U-fi student loan refinancing review
Cosigners are welcome and you may be eligible for special discounts.
finder.com’s rating: 4.6 / 5.0
- Best for Citizens Bank customers looking for loyalty and autopay discounts.
- Pick something else if you have excellent credit — you can find better rates elsewhere.
Starting at 3.19%
Max. Loan Amount
Min. Credit Score
|Product Name||U-fi Education Refinance Loan offered by Citizens Bank|
|Minimum Loan Amount||$5,000|
|Max. Loan Amount||$225,000|
|APR||Starting at 3.19%|
|Interest Rate Type||Fixed|
|Minimum Loan Term||5 years|
|Maximum Loan Term||25 years|
|Requirements||You 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|
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.
U-fi is ideal for Citizens Bank customers — you can shave 0.5% off your interest rate by signing up for autopay from your account. You won’t have to worry about getting hit with any hidden fees, and its smooth online application is an extra plus for those pressed for time.
But applying without a cosigner requires strong credit, and more competitive rates might be available with another lender. You’re also required to begin making repayments immediately, which can be difficult if you’re just starting out in your career.
Not sold on U-fi? Compare other student loan refinancing providers that might be a better fit.
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
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:
- 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.
Compare your options with our guide to student loan refinancing to ensure you’ve found the best provider out there.
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