ELFI Student Loan Refinancing Review

Ben Luthi

Finding the right lender to refinance your student loans with can feel like a daunting task. With so many options available, you want to make sure you get the best deal while also setting yourself up for success with your student loan repayment plan.

Education Loan Finance (ELFI) is one of the many student loan refinancing lenders to consider. In this ELFI student loan refinance review, you’ll learn about the lender, what sets it apart from the rest, and whether it’s the right path forward for you.

ELFI student loan refinance review: Company overview

ELFI is owned by Tennessee-based SouthEast Bank and unlike some other student loan refinance lenders, which also offer other financial products and services, it only specializes in private student loans and student loan refinancing.

ELFI was launched by SouthEast Bank in 2015, and by 2020, it surpasses $1 billion in student refinance loans. The lender offers competitive interest rates and some features that aren’t available with all lenders. But there are also some drawbacks that may make you think twice, especially if you’re thinking about heading back to school.

Benefits of ELFI student loan refinancing

Many of the benefits you can get from refinancing your student loans with ELFI apply to other student loan refinancing lenders:


Unique features of ELFI student loan refinancing

ELFI also offers some refinancing benefits that you can’t get everywhere else. One of them is the ability to refinance Parent PLUS Loans, with the option to refinance them in the child’s name. The only catch is that parent refinance loans are limited to 5, 7 or 10-year repayment terms.

You’ll also be assigned a personal loan advisor, who will guide you throughout the refinancing process and answer any questions you might have along the way.

Finally, unlike some other lenders, ELFI doesn’t limit how much you can refinance, so it’s an excellent option for borrowers with huge student loan balances.


Other key features to know about ELFI Student Loan Refinance

Every lender has a different set of features, so it’s important to look at more than just the interest rate when you compare student loan refinance rates:


  • Loan minimum: ELFI doesn’t have a maximum loan amount. But its minimum loan amount is $10,000. If you have a lower loan balance than that, you will need to seek out a different lender.
  • Interest rates: Like many other lenders, ELFI offers both fixed and variable interest rates, so it’s important to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Fixed interest rates don’t change throughout the life of the loan, but they are higher than variable rates at the start. In contrast, variable rates start lower but can increase over time as market rates change.
  • Forbearance: If you have a hard time making your monthly payments, ELFI may offer forbearance of up to 12 months.
  • Cosigner release: If you apply with a cosigner, many student loan refinance companies offer a cosigner release program, which allows you to remove your cosigner if you meet certain conditions. Unfortunately, ELFI doesn’t offer one of these programs, so you’d need to refinance again to get a cosigner off your loan.
  • School deferral: Once your payments begin, you can’t get a deferment if you return to school.

Who should refinance student loans with ELFI?

ELFI student loan refinancing is best for people with good credit scores and high balances. The lender offers low interest rates, with a cap of 9.95%, so you know you’re never going to go higher than that.

It can also be worth considering if you have Parent PLUS Loans and want to refinance them for yourself or to transfer your loans to your child graduate.

The lender offers refinancing in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, so you don’t have to worry about not qualifying based on where you live. Other eligibility requirements include:0

If you’re not sure whether you qualify based on certain criteria, you can get prequalified with ELFI, which doesn’t require a hard credit check.

How to compare ELFI student loan refinance rates

ELFI student loan refinancing can be a great choice for some borrowers, but not for everyone. So it’s important to shop around and compare the best student loan refinance rates and other features before you proceed.

Like ELFI, most other student loan refinancing companies offer a prequalification process. But going through this process with each individual lender can be time-consuming. The Purefy rate comparison tool offers the opportunity to get prequalified with multiple lenders at once.

The 4 Best Companies to Refinance Student Loans

Our Top-Rated Picks for 2022 Offer Low Rates and No Fees

No Maximum Loan Amount

Fixed Rate

4.83% – 7.64% APR 4

Variable Rate

3.99% – 7.24% APR 4
98% of surveyed customers would recommend SoFi to a friend

Fixed Rate

4.49% – 8.99% APR 3

Variable Rate

5.09% – 8.99% APR 3
Precision Pricing — Pick Your Monthly Payment

Fixed Rate

4.47% – 8.99% APR 2

Variable Rate

4.14% – 8.94% APR 2
Loans Available in All States but Maine and Oregon

Fixed Rate

6.94% – 11.58% APR 5

Variable Rate

Not Offered

This comparison not only saves you time but also allows you to compare your options side by side for more convenience and efficiency.

Again, it’s important to look at more than just the interest rates. Consider other features that might make working with a certain lender a better experience for you.

ELFI student loan refinancing: The bottom line

ELFI is a legitimate student loan refinancing company that offers competitive interest rates and excellent features. It’s especially worth considering if you have a large student loan balance.

However, it might not be the best fit if you’re thinking about returning to school in the future. It may also not be the right choice if you don’t meet certain eligibility requirements the lender has set.

Make sure you shop around before you pull the trigger on student loan refinancing to make sure you get the best deal for your situation.

You Might Also Like
purefy recommends

Student Loan Refinancing

Refinancing from 3.99% APR

Check your rate in 2 minutes

with no impact on your credit score.

ELFI Rate Disclosure

4 ELFI Rate Disclosure:

Education Loan Finance is a nationwide student loan debt consolidation and refinance program offered by Tennessee based SouthEast Bank. ELFI is designed to assist borrowers through consolidating and refinancing loans into one single loan that effectively lowers your cost of education debt and/or makes repayment very simple. Subject to credit approval. See Terms & Conditions. Interest rates current as of 01/01/2023. The interest rate and monthly payment for a variable rate loan may increase after closing, but will never exceed 9.95% APR. Interest rates may be different from the rates shown above and will be based on the term of your loan, your financial history, and other factors, including your cosigner’s (if any) financial history. For example, a 10-year loan with a fixed rate of 6% would have 120 payments of $11.00 per $1,000 borrowed. Rates are subject to change.

SoFi Rate Disclosure

3 SoFi Rate Disclosure:

Fixed rates range from 4.49% APR to 8.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 5.09% APR to 8.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.

Earnest Rate Disclosure

2 Earnest Rate Disclosure:

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 4.72% APR to 9.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 4.39% APR to 9.19% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account.

Advertiser Disclosure:


ISL Rate Disclosure

5 Iowa Student Loan Rate Disclosure:

Fixed Rate Loan Terms: 5 years/60 monthly payments, 7 years/84 monthly payments, 10 years/120 monthly payments, 15 years/180 monthly payments, or 20 years/240 monthly payments. Annual Percentage Rate [APR] is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. This rate is expressed as an APR. Fixed APRs range from 6.94% to 11.58% APR [low to high range with 0.25% auto-debit rate reduction]. Rates are subject to change without notice. Fixed rates will not change during the term. Since there are no fees associated with this loan offer, the APR is the same percentage as the actual interest rate of the loan including a 0.25% auto-debit rate reduction. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. All estimates are based on information provided by you and are for informational purposes only, accuracy is not guaranteed and may not reflect actual rates or savings and do not constitute an offer of credit. Your actual rate, payment and savings may be different based on credit history, actual interest rate, loan amount, and term, including your cosigner [if applicable]. If applying with a cosigner, we use the higher credit score between the borrower and the cosigner for approval purposes. All loans are subject to credit approval.

Want To Find Out When Student Loan Refinance Rates Drop?

Join our email list to get instantly notified when rates change.

I am a(Required)