MEFA student loan refinancing review
Rates start at just 3.96%, but only for former Massachusetts students.
- Best for students with high debts loads from a school in Massachusetts.
- Pick something else if you’re looking for more flexible repayment terms.
As low as 3.96%
Min. Credit Score
|Product Name||MEFA Education Refinancing Loan|
|Minimum Loan Amount||$10,000|
|APR||As low as 3.96%|
|Interest Rate Type||Variable|
|Minimum Loan Term||10 years|
|Maximum Loan Term||15 years|
|Requirements||670+ credit score, $2,000+ monthly income, $10,000+ student loan debt, made 12+ payments, currently repaying loans, US citizen or permanent resident, attended an eligible Massachusetts school, signer on all loans being refinanced, no student loan defaults, no bankruptcies or foreclosures in past 5 years|
Anna Serio is a trusted loans expert who's published more than 800 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. A former editor of a newspaper in Beirut, Anna writes about personal, student, business and car loans. Today, digital publications like Fundera, Business.com, and ValueWalk feature her professional advice, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.
MEFA student loan refinancing is ideal for anyone paying off private student debt on an undergraduate or graduate degree from a Massachusetts school. With no limit to how much you can borrow, this could be a particularly attractive option if you attended law or medical school.
But with only two repayment terms to choose from, it might not be right for everyone — especially if you can’t afford to pay off your loans over the next 10 or 15 years.
Not sure MEFA is right for you? Compare your other refinancing options below
First, am I eligible?
To be eligible for a MEFA Education Refinancing Loan, you must:
- Have a credit score of 670 or higher.
- Make at least $2,000 a month.
- Have a minimum debt of $10,000 from a Massachusetts school.
- Have made at least 12 repayments on your loan.
- Are currently paying off your loans.
- Be a US citizen or permanent resident.
- Have no bankruptcies or foreclosures in the past five years.
- Have no student loan defaults.
How does refinancing with MEFA work?
Refinancing with Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) works by giving you a new loan with different rates and terms to pay off your current student loans. There’s no maximum amount you can borrow, though you must have at least $10,000 in student loan debt from a Massachusetts-based school to qualify.
MEFA is a direct, nonprofit lender that refinances both federal and private student loans — though it might not be worth it if you only have federal debt. That’s because federal loans often come with lower rates and more flexible repayment terms than MEFA can offer, such as income-based repayment plans.
You can complete the application online in a few minutes — either on your own or with a cosigner — and get an instant decision.
How much will I pay to refinance?
There are two main costs you need to consider when refinancing with MEFA: the interest rate and the origination fee.
- MEFA offers both fixed and variable interest rates. Fixed rates starting from 3.85%. Rates can stay the same throughout the life of your loan. Variable rates can change from month to month based on fluctuations in the LIBOR rate. As of September 2019, variable rates run from 3.96%. Depending on the lending market, your variable rate can potentially go much lower or higher than the fixed rate, though MEFA caps interest at 20%.
- MEFA advertises no application, origination or prepayment penalties on its website. However, the representative we spoke with told us its refinancing loans come with a 4% origination fee, which it rolls into the total cost of your loan.
Does MEFA offer discounts?
No, MEFA doesn’t advertise any discounts for signing up for autopay or referring a friend.
What are my repayment options?
MEFA has relatively limited repayment options compared to other student loan refinancing providers. You can choose between a 10 years– or 15 years term with standard fixed repayments that begin one month after your money is disbursed.
Top reasons to consider MEFA
- No maximum amount. There’s no limit to how much student debt you can refinance with MEFA as long as it’s more than $10,000.
- Low maximum rates. The highest fixed rate you’ll pay on a MEFA refinancing loan is lower than some of the rates that come with federal student loans.
- No prepayment penalty. You can save even more on interest by paying off your loan early.
- Cosigners allowed. Bringing on a cosigner can help you meet eligibility requirements or qualify foe a more competitive rate.
Why you might want to look elsewhere
- No cosigner release. You’ll have to refinance your loan again if you want to take your cosigner off your account in the future.
- Good credit required. You must have a credit score of at least 670 to qualify.
- Massachusetts schools only. As a state-chartered institution, MEFA only refinances loans that covered educational expenses in Massachusetts.
- Limited repayment terms. Many refinancing providers offer five- and 20-year loan terms. MEFA does not.
- Not for international students. Even if you bring on a cosigner, you’re ineligible unless you’re both US citizens or permanent residents.
More student loan refinancing providers
What to expect when signing up
You can sign up for MEFA student loan refinancing online or by calling 855-433-7334. Get started online by following these steps:
- Go to the MEFA website and click MEFA Loans in the main navigation bar.
- Scroll down to Education Refinancing Loans and click Apply Now.
- Review the process and the information you need before clicking Apply Online.
- Answer the eligibility questions and click Continue.
- Complete the application with information about your personal finances, employment and debt obligations.
- Review your answers before submitting your application.
You should receive an instant decision. If you get the green light, MEFA provides instructions for which documents to upload to verify your income and other information you entered on the application.
Once you’re officially approved, review MEFA’s offers and select the one with the most favorable rates and terms. You can sign your loan documents online, after which MEFA connects with your current lenders to pay off your student loans.
At the very least, MEFA asks to see:
- Your and your cosigner’s two most recent pay stubs.
- Current billing statements for the loans you want to refinance.
More about MEFA
The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority is a nonprofit, state-based, self-funded and self-chartered institution. The Massachusetts state legislature created MEFA in 1982 with the purpose of providing affordable financing options for college students across the state.
In addition to refinancing, it offers private student loans and services to help Massachusetts families plan, save and pay for school.
Find out how MEFA stacks up against the competition by reading our guide to student loan refinancing.