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U-fi private student loans review

No hidden fees and multiple repayment options on terms of up to 5 to 20 years.

finder.com’s rating: 4.4 / 5.0

★★★★★

  • Best for students who want to compare offers from multiple lenders at once.
  • Pick something else if you don't have good credit — or a creditworthy cosigner.

Starting at 3.59%

APR

$90,000

Max. Loan Amount

650

Min. Credit Score

Details

Product NameU-fi private student loans
Minimum Loan Amount$1,000
Max. Loan Amount$90,000
APRStarting at 3.59%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Minimum Loan Term5 years
Maximum Loan Term20 years
RequirementsUS citizen, permanent resident or international student 16 years or older enrolled at least half time in a bachelor’s, associate’s or graduate program at an eligible school; must pass a credit check and make satisfactory academic progress as defined by your school

Review by


Shannon Terrell is a senior writer for Finder who has written over 400 personal finance guides. With a focus on investments and personal finance, she breaks down jargon-laden topics to help others make informed financial decisions. She studied communications and English literature at the University of Toronto.

Expert review

U-fi is a student loan connection service designed to help students secure funding when federal aid falls short. It offers financing for both undergraduates entering their first year of study to well-versed academics in their final year of medical or law school. In addition to flexible in-school repayment options, you won’t get hit with a slew of fees.

It doesn’t have the lowest rates out there, however. And with relatively high credit requirements, you’ll likely need to apply with a cosigner to qualify.

Still unsure? Check out our list of other lenders that might be a better fit for you.

First, am I eligible for a U-fi loan?

Eligibility differs slightly across loan products.

Undergraduates and graduates

  • US citizen, permanent resident or international student.
  • At least 16 years old at time of application.
  • Enrolled at least half time in a bachelor’s, associate’s or graduate program at an eligible school.
  • Satisfies all credit requirements, including a credit check.
  • Satisfactory academic progress as defined by your school.

Residency loans

  • US citizen, permanent resident or international student.
  • At least 16 years old at time of application.
  • Satisfies all credit requirements, including a credit check.
  • Graduation from medical school within the past 12 months or enrolled at least half time in your final year of study.

Parent loans

  • US citizen, permanent resident or international student.
  • At least 18 years old or state’s age of majority.
  • Satisfies all credit requirements, including a credit check.
  • No prior loan defaults.
  • Attends eligible school.

How does getting a student loan with U-fi work?

U-fi isn’t a direct provider of student loans. Rather, it partners with Citizens Bank and other leading financial institutions to connect students in need with private financing options.

When you’re unable to secure a federal student loan to cover the costs of your education, private student loans provided by banks, financial institutions and other lenders can help bridge the funding gap.

U-fi suggests that you budget six to eight weeks from the time you complete your application to when you need your funds. Processing times vary by lender and school, and a cushion gives you time to submit your documentation and for your funds to arrive at your school when you need them.

What fees are associated with a private student loan with U-fi?

Your loan’s APR includes all the fees you’ll pay. U-fi’s lender partners don’t charge application, origination, disbursement or prepayment fees.

Does U-fi offer discounts?

U-fi’s partners offer two types borrower discounts, each involving accounts with Citizens Bank:

  • Loyalty discount. 0.25% percentage point rate reduction for holding an approved account with Citizens Bank at time of application.
  • Autopay discount. 0.25% percentage point rate reduction for enrolling in automatic payments from an approved Citizens Bank account.

What are my repayment options?

Each U-fi loans offers a handful of repayment options to best meet the needs of your budget and circumstances while you pursue your schooling.

Undergraduate students select from loan terms of 5 years to 15 years through flexible options:

  • Principal and interest payments while in school.
  • Interest-only payments while in school.
  • $25 fixed monthly payments while in school.
  • No payments until six months after graduation.

Graduate students select from loan terms of 5 years to 20 years through flexible payment options:

  • Principal and interest payments while in school.
  • Interest-only payments while in school.
  • $25 fixed monthly payments while in school.
  • No payments until nine months after graduation.

Parent loans offer terms of 5 years or 10 years through two repayment options:

  • Principal and interest payments while in school.
  • Interest-only payments while in school.

Top reasons to consider a private student loan with U-fi

  • No prepayment fees. You can pay back your loan in full at any time without fees or penalties.
  • No origination fees. Without processing or origination fees to worry about, you know that the loan amount you apply for is the amount you’ll get.
  • Available to international students. If you plan to study in the US from overseas, this lender extends funding with a cosigner in the US.
  • Flexible repayments. From getting a head start on loan repayments while in school to waiting out the six- or nine-month grace period after graduation, you can select the option best for your needs.

Why you might want to look elsewhere

  • Credit check and cosigner required. You’ll need to pass a credit check to secure a loan and may be required to apply with a cosigner if your creditworthiness is subpar. A credit score of at least 650 is recommended.
  • Lower APRs elsewhere. U-fi’s interest rates aren’t sky high, they’re not the lowest in town. You might find more competitive APRs with other providers.
  • Not a direct lender. You just might get the same loan or better by working with Citizens Bank directly.

Compare other student loan providers

Name Product APR Min. Credit Score Loan amount Loan Term
EDvestinU Private Student Loans
4.092% to 8.609% with autopay
675
$1,000 - $200,000
7 to 20 years
Straightforward student loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
CommonBond Private Student Loans
3.74% to 10.74%
700
$5,000 - $500,000
5 to 15 years
Finance your college education through this lender with a strong social mission and terms that fit your budget.
Edvisors Private Student Loan Marketplace
Varies by lender
Varies by lender
Varies by lender
Varies by lender
Quickly compare private lenders for your school and apply for the right student loan.
Credible Labs Inc. (Student Loan Platform)
Starting at 1.24% with autopay
Good to excellent credit
Starting at $1,000
5 to 20 years
Get prequalified rates from private lenders offering student loans with no origination or prepayment fees.
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Compare up to 4 providers

What do customers say about private student loans with U-fi?

As of this writing, U-fi is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and it doesn’t appear to have sufficient information to provide U-fi with a rating. In fact, online reviews of this provider are in short supply, which means there are no sinister stories to be wary of — but also no firsthand borrower experiences available to draw on.

Looking at individual reviews of Citizens Bank, U-fi’s lending partners reveals the bank’s poor online reputation, with customers complaining of double charging and excess fees for no apparent reason.

On Reddit, past customers talk about unexpected rebates of up to $350 for a year of on-time payments, also crowing about the lender’s flexible repayment options. Your mileage with U-fi may vary.

What to expect when signing up

When applying for a student loan through U-fi, you first select the type of loan you’re interested in: Undergraduate, graduate or parent loan. You’re then transferred to a partner site to complete the application.

Applying takes about 15 minutes. You’ll enter the name of your school, the program you’re enrolled in, your estimated cost of study and your financial information, including monthly income, rent and additional assets.

Once finished, you receive a list of the documents to submit and complete your application.

More about U-fi

U-fi partners with student loan originator Nelnet to provide flexible lending solutions to students in need of financing. While not a direct lender, U-fi’s partners offer a range of funding and repayment options for undergraduates, graduates and parents. U-fi also offers student loan refinancing.

Read our review of U-fi student loan refinancing

Compare even more lenders with our guide to private student loans.

Frequently asked questions

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We rate student loan providers on a scale of 1 to 5 stars based on factors like transparency, costs and customer experience. We don’t take into account elements like eligibility criteria, state availability or payment frequency — we save that for our reviews.

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