U-fi student loan refinancing review July 2019 | finder.com

U-fi student loan refinancing review

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U-fi Education Refinance Loan offered by Citizens Bank

Cosigners are welcome and you may be eligible for special discounts.

Whether you hold a bachelor’s degree or a doctorate, refinancing your student loans could help consolidate your debt, and ease the pinch of demanding interest rates and potentially save you thousands of dollars.

Don’t think you can qualify on your own? U-fi lets you apply with a cosigner who can qualify for better rates and terms.

Product NameU-fi Education Refinance Loan offered by Citizens Bank
Minimum Loan Amount$5,000
Max. Loan Amount$225,000
APRStarting at 2.72%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Minimum Loan Term5 years
Maximum Loan Term25 years
RequirementsYou need to be a US citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a Social Security number and have at least $5,000 in student loans. Your student loans must be in repayment and you cannot attend school on a half-time basis or more. Graduate degree holders can apply during the grace period
  • US citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a Social Security number, living in the US.
  • Owe at least $10,000 in student loans.
  • Repaying student loans and not enrolled in school.
  • Undergraduate degree: Have proof of graduation and have made at least three full on-time student loan repayments.
  • Without undergraduate degree: Made at least 12 full on-time student loan repayments.
  • You or your cosigner need to have strong credit score of 650 or higher.
  • Annual income of at least $24,000.

First, am I eligible for refinancing with U-fi?

To refinance your student debt with U-fi, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • US citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a Social Security number, living in the US.
  • Owe at least $5,000 in student loans.
  • Loans must be in their grace or repayment period.
  • Not enrolled in school on a half-time or more basis.
  • Undergraduate degree: Have proof of graduation and have made at least three full on-time student loan repayments.
  • Without undergraduate degree: Made at least 12 full on-time student loan repayments.
  • You or your cosigner need to have strong credit score of 650 or higher.
  • You or your cosigner need to have an annual income of at least $36,000.

U-fi won’t let you refinance federal loans on an income-driven repayment plan, including the revised pay as you earn (REPAYE), pay as you earn (PAYE), income-based repayment (IBR) or income-contingent repayment (ICR) plans.

How does refinancing with U-fi work?

U-fi isn’t a direct provider of student loan refinancing. Instead, it’s partnered with Citizens Bank to connect you with refinancing options to lower interest rates on crippling student loans.

You can apply online, where you can then review different loan offers and choose the best one that fits your budget and needs.

Borrow up to $225,000 depending on your highest level of education with repayment terms of up to 25 years.

What happens if I refinance my federal student loans with U-fi?

You can refinance one or more student loans with U-fi, including federal loans that aren’t on an income-driven repayment plan. But you could stand to lose several potential benefits provided through your federal loan that includes:

  • Forbearance. A loan deferment or forbearance allows you to temporarily suspend or decrease your student loan repayment.
  • Loan forgiveness. If you choose to venture into education, health care or the military, you could have a portion of your loan forgiven.
  • Repayment flexibility. Income-driven repayment plans take into account your income and family size and adjust your monthly loan payments accordingly.

Compare more student loan refinancing providers

Updated July 17th, 2019
Name Product Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
700
$300,000
Starting at 3.75%
Save on your student loans with this market-leading newcomer.
Good to excellent credit
None
Starting at 2.8%
Get prequalified offers from top student loan refinancing providers in one place.
680
None
3.29% to 6.69%
Lower your student debt costs with manageable payments, affordable rates and flexible terms.
650
None
2.41% to 6.99%
Get a tailored interest rate and repayment plan with no hidden fees.
650
Full balance of your qualified education loans
2.43% to 6.59%
A leader in student loan refinancing, SoFi can help you refinance your loans and pay them off sooner.
620
$300,000
3.01% to 8.61%
Refinance all types of student loans — including federal and parent PLUS loans.

Compare up to 4 providers

How much will I pay to refinance?

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

You can refinance with either fixed or variable interest rates. Below are the APR ranges for both:

  • Fixed APR: 3.7%-6.07%
  • Variable APR: 2.49%-6.45%

Does U-fi offer discounts?

Yes, U-fi offers two discounts for eligible applicants:

  • 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?

Repayment begins immediately after you’ve secured your refinancing through U-fi — usually 30 to 45 days after the loan is granted.

When you refinance your student loans through U-fi, you can select between a variable- or fixed-rate loan with terms between 5 years and 25 years.

Top reasons to consider U-fi

  • No prepayment penalties. Repay your loan early without paying a prepayment fee.
  • No origination fee. U-fi advertises no origination or application fees with its student loan refinancing.
  • Online application. Enjoy the ease of an entirely online application process from start to finish.
  • Cosigners allowed. Cosigners with U-fi are welcome, and borrowers have an option of a cosigner release available after 36 consecutive on-time repayments.

Why you might want to look elsewhere

  • Limited options. U-fi offers student loan refinancing through its lending partner, Citizens Bank, but lacks additional loan refinancing partners and options.
  • Immediate repayment. When applying for loan refinancing through U-fi, you’re expected to begin making payments on your new loan immediately, which could jeopardize a potential grace period with your current loan provider.

What to expect when signing up

Before your sign up for a loan to refinance your student loans, find out what rate you qualify for by completing Citizens Bank’s online prequalification form. It takes less than two minutes and won’t affect your credit score.

Once you’re ready, begin the full application process by clicking Apply Now on U-fi’s site. You’re redirected to Citizens Bank’s site to complete the process.

Citizens Bank outlines asks for the following information to complete your application:

  • Name.
  • Social Security number.
  • Employment details.
  • Proof of income.
  • Student loan billing statements.

After you submit your application, check on its status by logging into the Citizens Bank site and clicking Access an Existing Application under Student Lending. Or call a student lending specialist during business hours at 888-411-0266 to get an update on your application status.

Who is my new loan servicer?

U-fi uses Nelnet as a servicer for their student loans and student loan refinancing. While that does mean you can pay off your new loan early if you want to, some borrowers have complained about having difficulties doing so, as well as inaccurate information regarding their loans (such as incorrect monthly repayment amounts). Read our review of Nelnet servicing if you decide to refinance your student loans with U-fi.

Bottom line

U-fi could help you refinance your student loans and consolidate your debt, potentially saving you money. But applying without a cosigner requires strong credit, and more competitive rates might be available with another lender.

Compare your options with our guide to student loan refinancing to ensure you’ve found the best provider out there.

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