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Education Loan Finance

Bradley Schnitzer Bradley Schnitzer Last update:
Fixed APR
2.79-5.99%
Variable APR
2.39-6.01%
Min Credit Score
680

Education Loan Finance, or ELFI for short, is the student lending division of the Knoxville, TN-based SouthEast Bank. Students can take out student loans from the institution or refinance existing student loans through them.

ELFI is best known for offering competitive rates, flexible loan terms, strong customer support, and letting borrowers refinance parent PLUS loans.

Is ELFI worth considering if you need to refinance your loans to a lower rate? Read our full ELFI review below to learn more.

ELFI Student Loan Refinance Overview

APR (fixed interest rate) 2.79% – 5.99%
APR (variable interest rate) 2.39% – 6.01%
Eligible loan types Federal, Private, Parent PLUS
Refinance amount Minimum of $15,000, no maximum
Repayment terms 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years (regular); 5, 7, or 10 (parent PLUS)
Minimum credit score 680
Lender type Direct lender
Good for: Parent PLUS, large student debt, stable finances
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ELFI Pros

  • No maximum loan amount
  • All types of students eligible
  • A dedicated personal refinancing loan advisor
  • Ability to refinance parent PLUS loans into your name

ELFI Cons

  • 680 credit score
  • Refinancing loan minimum of $15,000
  • No payment postponement for borrowers returning to school

Application Process

ELFI has a fairly straightforward application process for refinancing loans that takes only a few minutes, and there are no application or origination fees.

First, you request a quote by filling out their prequalification application with your necessary background information.

ELFI then runs a soft credit pull, which doesn’t harm your credit. ELFI will provide you a preliminary offer with this information.

Should you accept, you upload documents verifying your income and employment (pay stubs, W2, government-issued ID) for Elfi to see. You’ll also need billing statements or payoff letters from each loan servicer for each loan.

If you’re doing a partial loan refinance and want to exclude certain loans from specific servicers, you’ll need to provide an identifying number, such as:

  • Sequence numbers
  • Loan IDs

ELFI then runs a hard pull (which harms your score a bit).

Finally, ELFI will extend a formal offer to you. Simply accept it if you like the terms, and they’ll send funds to your services to pay off the loans.

If ELFI denies you a refinancing loan, they’ll tell you why. That way, you can decide if you should work on your credit and try again, find a co-signer, or look to a different lender.

Terms & Requirements

ELFI has fairly strict requirements, but if you meet them, you gain access to their good rates and strong customer service.

Let’s look more closely at this company’s terms below.

Loan Requirements

ELFI requires the following to get a refinancing loan:

  • US citizen or permanent resident 18 or older in any state, Washington DC, or Puerto Rico
  • Bachelor’s degree from a school on ELFI’s list of approved schools
  • 680 FICO credit score
  • Credit history of 36 months or more
  • $35,000 minimum income
  • 55% maximum debt-to-income ratio

Loan Terms

Here are the student loan refinancing terms you can expect from ELFI:

  • Fixed APR: 79%-5.99%
  • Variable APR:39%-6.01%
  • Loan amount: $15,000 minimum, no maximum

That $15,000 minimum is higher than many competitors’, but combined with the lack of a borrowing ceiling, it seems that ELFI is suited for those with a large amount of student debt.

Your APR is partially dependent on your term length, but your credit score is likely the most important factor.

Repayment Terms

ELFI offers repayment terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years for regular student loan refinancing. Any parent loans can be refinanced into new loans with terms of 5, 7, or 10 years.

Terms length (along with other pertinent loan information) is determined through the application process.

Unfortunately, borrowers can’t defer payments if they return to school during the refinancing loan’s term.

That said, EFLI does offer up to 12 months of forbearance for hardship. Plus, they provide debt discharge due to death or disability on a case-by-case basis.

On the other hand, there are no prepayment penalties to worry about if you want to pay your loan off ahead of schedule.

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Privacy and Security

ELFI is a reputable student loan refinancing company. It uses several security measures to keep your information safe online, although it doesn’t disclose exactly what those measures are.

Check out ELFI’s privacy policy for more information on how it uses your data.

Customer Support

ELFI goes above and beyond with customer support by assigning every borrower a dedicated loan advisor. You can call, text, and email your advisor any time you have questions or concerns about your loan during the refinancing process and over your loan’s life.

Additionally, you can reach ELFI via phone at 1-844-601-ELFI or by email at answers@elfi.com.

Final Thoughts

ELFI is a great choice for those who have stable finances and strong credit (given its more stringent requirements) but have a large amount of student debt (given the $15,000 borrowing floor and lack of ceiling).

It offers good rates for these borrowers, and the customer service level you gain from a dedicated loan advisor is nearly unmatched.

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Address

SouthEast Bank:

104 North Seven Oaks Drive

Knoxville, TN 37922

Disclosure
This website is an informative comparison site that aims to offer its users find helpful information regarding the products and offers that will be suitable for their needs. We are able to maintain a free, high-quality service by receiving advertising fees from the brands and service providers we review on this website (though we may also review brands we are not engaged with). These advertising fees, combined with our criteria and methodology, such as the conversion rates, our team of reviewer's finding and subjective experience and product popularity, impact the placement and position of the brands within the comparison table. In the event rating or scoring are assigned by us, they are based on the position in the comparison table, or according to other formula in the event specifically detailed by us. See our How we Rate page and Terms of Use for information. The reviews, rating and scoring are provided “as-is” without guaranties or warranties regarding the information contained in our website, which shall not be considered as endorsement. We make the best efforts to keep the information up-to-date, however, an offer’s terms might change at any time. We do not compare or include all service providers, brands and offers available in the market.
Bradley Schnitzer Bradley Schnitzer
Bradley Schnitzer is a copywriter and content writer that helps businesses gain loyal customers through informative content pieces and persuasive copy. He is passionate about personal finance and helping budding freelancers further their careers. He spends his free time reading, hitting the gym, pursuing several intellectual interests, and drinking coffee.
This review is based on the writer's personal opinion.