Student loan refinancing is the process of trading in old federal and/or private loans for a new private loan for either a lower interest rate or lower monthly payments.
It could be a good option if you're looking to reduce your monthly payments and maximum interest savings. If you’ve heard of student loan refinancing, you've probably heard of ELFI, or Education Loan Finance.
Bonus offer: ELFI is currently offering up to a $1,100 bonus to our readers! Check it out here.
- Student loan refinancing with top-notch rates and terms
- Parent PLUS Refinancing Options
- Up to a $1,100 bonus for College Investor Readers
ELFI Student Loan Refinancing Details
ELFI Student Loan Refinancing
Min Loan Amount
Max Loan Amount
4.78% - 8.49% APR
5.08% - 8.04% APR
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 Year Terms
Up to $1,100 bonus
What Is ELFI (Education Loan Finance)?
ELFI is a leading student loan refinancing option offered through Southeast Bank known for having among the lowest rates in the industry coupled with the highest level of customer service through its award-winning Student Loan Advisor program. ELFI has not-for-profit roots through SouthEast Bank’s holding company, Education Loan Finance, Inc. which has been around for over 25 years.
While there are other options for student loan refinancing through multiple lender, ELFI provides numerous benefits that set ELFI apart from its competitors, such as loan consolidation, bonus payments, and Parent PLUS loans refinancing.
If you have graduated from school and have a stable job, ELFI can probably help you reduce your payments and interest rate. ELFI offers competitive interest rates for student loan financing, with some of the lowest we've seen on the market.
What Does It Offer?
ELFI student loan refinancing offers several benefits and only a few, minor drawbacks. Let's take a closer look at what it has to offer for student loan borrowers.
Low Interest Rates
ELFI offers competitive refinancing rates for those who have over $10,000 in student loan debt and who qualify.
The rates are as follows:
- Variable Rate: 4.78% - 8.49% APR
- Fixed Rate: 5.08% - 8.04%% APR
You can choose from fixed or variable interest rates. A fixed interest rate will lock in the rate despite changes in the market, whereas a variable interest rate will depend on the rise and fall of the market.
Consequently, borrowers who opt for variable interest rates may end up paying a bit more over a longer period of time. Borrowers who want stable interest rates should opt for a fixed rate repayment plan.
If you go with a variable interest rate, don’t worry. ELFI’s variable rates won’t increase more than once every three months, and will never exceed 9.95%.
Flexible Repayment Terms
Refinancing is designed to result in better loan terms. ELFI’s terms are very flexible, with terms including 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20-year options. The loan terms for Federal consolidation loans can be anywhere up to 30 years.
A shorter term means a larger monthly payment but a lower interest rate, resulting in less paid over the life of the loan. A longer term may allow for a lower monthly payment, but you will pay much more overall as the interest rate will be much higher.
Parent PLUS Loan Refinancing Options
ELFI is one of the few refinancing companies that offers refinancing services for parents that have taken out student loans for their child’s college education. ELFI’s Parent PLUS loans offer a lower interest rate and better terms.
Parents are able to refinance their parent loans into the student’s name so long as there is consent from both sides and the student is willing to accept responsibility for the debt (and they qualify for it).
In addition, parents can also combine other private loans into this consolidation and refinancing plan to simplify the payment process.
ELFI has offered a generous bonus offer to readers of The College Investor who take action. Right now, they are offering up to $1,100 if you refinance your student loans with them. It breaks down like this:
- $1,100 bonus when you refinance at least $100,000 in student loans!
- $550 bonus when you refinance less than $100,000 but at least $50,000 in student loans!
Make sure you check out our full list of Student Loan Refinancing Bonus Offers.
No Cosigner Release Option
While ELFI does allow borrowers with limited credit history to apply with a cosigner, it unfortunately does not offer any sort of release program. If you'd like to release your cosigner down the road, you'd need to apply for a new refinance loan on your own.
How Does ELFI Compare?
ELFI is typically one of the best student loan refinancing lenders. They offer great rates with awesome bonus offers as well. Check out this quick comparison here:
4.78% - 8.49%
4.74% - 9.99%
5.02% - 8.18%
5.08% - 8.04%
4.96% - 9.99%
4.49% - 10.68%
Up to $1,100
Up to $500
Up to $775
What Borrower Protections Are Available?
A big disadvantage is that you will lose benefits associated with your federal student loans when you refinance. For example, you won't be able to apply for income-driven repayment plans. ELFI does, however offer up 12 months of hardships forbearance.
On ELFI's private student loans, it offers a 6-month grace period and up to three years of academic deferment should you decide to go back to school. However, it's unclear whether it extends these same benefits to its refinance loan borrowers.
Who Qualifies To Apply?
To qualify with Education Loan Finance, you must meet the following requirements.
Since you are required to have a bachelor’s degree or higher, it follows that you must graduate from college to use ELFI to refinance your student loans.
That can be tough for those that have student loans and didn't graduate. These students sometimes need the most help with their loans, and having a graduation requirement blocks them from refinancing.
What Is The Application Process?
Applying for ELFI Refinancing is a simple and quick process if you have the needed documents on hand. The information must be current, meaning no more than 30 days old.
Fill out the application here by providing your basic background information. For the initial pre-qualification, ELFI only does a "soft pull" of your credit report.
Once your application is finished, you will get a preliminary offer, and if you accept, you will have to upload certain documents and verify your income and financial situation. At this point, ELFI will run a full credit check.
Once your information is confirmed, ELFI will provide you with a loan offer, and you can accept the offer through electronic signature.
If you want to get started, sign up here.
Are There Any Fees?
ELFI borrowers will never have to pay an origination or application fee. In addition, there is never a fee to pay off student loans early.
However, there is a fee for late payments that is the lesser of 5% of the past due amount or $50. There's also a $30 insufficient funds fee.
How Do I Contact ELFI?
ELFI will replace your existing loan servicer with MOHELA or AES - both are also federal student loan servicers. However, ELFI borrowers do have access to a team of student loan experts consistently receives high customer service scores on third-party review sites like Trustpilot.
Here are the various ways you can get in contact with their support team:
Live chat or support ticket:
Monday – Thursday:
8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Is It Safe And Secure?
While ELFI does not handle user deposits like a bank, it does receive a lot of personal information including Social Security numbers. On its privacy page, it does say that it has taken security measures to protect its customer data. Unfortunately, it does not provide any specifics. If you'd like more details about ELFI's data collection and protection policies, you can reach out to one the company's representatives.
Is It Worth It?
Student loan refinancing is a great option for borrowers with a stable job and high student loan debts. You can benefit from reduced monthly payments and lower interest rates that also save thousands of dollars on the original value of the loan.
Ultimately, your goal is to pay off your student loans quickly without hurting your wallet. ELFI can help you reach your goals. They have great rates and terms, and can be a good option.
When shopping for a student loan, make sure you shop around. ELFI could be the best option, but there are other options as well. We also recommend Credible as a comparison tool to help you shop for your loans in one place.
Here are some of the most common questions we get about ELFI:
Is ELFI legit?
Yes. ELFI is a lender that has been around since 2015 and offers competitive rates on private student loans and student loan refinancing.
Who owns ELFI?
Education Loan Finance (ELFI) is a division of Southeast Bank which is based in Knoxville, Tennessee.
What company services ELFI Loans?
ELFI uses MOHELA and AES to service its student loan accounts.
Is ELFI good for my student loans?
It could be! If you have private student loans, refinancing with ELFI could save a lot of money in interest charges. If you have federal loans, though, you should only consider refinancing if you have a stable income as you'll become ineligible for a variety of federal benefits such as income-driven repayment.
Does ELFI offer any bonuses or incentives?
Yes, ELFI is currently offering readers a bonus of to $1,100 if they refinance through our site.
Min Loan Amount
Max Loan Amount
Total loan amount
Fixed or variable
0.25% (already reflected in rates shown as all borrowers are required to make automatic payments)
5,7,10,15, and 20 years
Late Payment Fee
5% of the past due amount or $50 (whichever is less)
Title-IV accredited schools
Associate Degree Refinancing
Customer Service Phone Number
Customer Service Hours
Mon – Thurs, 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM (EST)
Customer Service Email Address
MOHELA or AES
Address For Sending Payments
For Loans Serviced By MOHELA
For Loans Services By AES
American Education Services (AES)
Up to $1,100 bonus
ELFI Student Loan Refinancing
ELFI is one of the student loan refinancing options offered through Southeast Bank. They offer competitive student loan refinancing terms and rates.
- Typically offers some of the lowest rates
- Highly-rated customer service
- Strong bonus offer
- Higher minimum loan amount
- No cosigner release program
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.
Editor: Clint Proctor Reviewed by: Claire Tak