Founded in 2015, U-fi Student Loans is a registered trademark of Nelnet, a U.S.-based conglomerate with 35 years experience providing student loan repayment and education services. U-fi offers students loans, student loan consolidation, and student loan refinancing. Despite rewarding students with high GPAs, their rates are significantly higher than other student loan refinancing companies.
Low Minimum Requirement: $5,000
Many loan refinancing companies require a minimum of $10,000 in student loans to qualify. U-fi requires only $5,000 in student loans to apply for their student loan refinancing program.
Online Chat Service
Unlike other student loan refinancing companies, U-fi provides a live online chat service to help answer any questions borrowers may have, helping to streamline the process.
Rewards & Discounts
U-fi offers a wide range of cash rewards, which include:
- Good Grade Reward: Those with a 3.0 GPA or higher can reduce their interest rate by up to 1.50%. Proof of GPA must be submitted within 180 days to qualify.
- On Time Payments Reward: If a borrower pays their initial 12 month principal and interest payments on time, U-fi will deduct 1.25% from their interest rate.
- Automatic Payment Reward: By signing up for automatic payments, an additional 0.25% is deducted from a borrower’s interest rate. (Cash back rewards cannot exceed $500)
Payment Plan Calculators
U-fi offers the following 3 calculators to help borrowers determine what their payment plan will look like:
- Refinance Calculator: Estimates monthly payments, potential savings, and interest rates
- Student Loan Calculator: Helps potential borrowers determine how much money will have to be borrowed to cover out-of-pocket expenses.
- Student Loan Monthly Payment Calculator: Assists customers in estimating their monthly private student loan payment.
Fixed Interest Rates Up to 20 Years
U-fi only offers fixed interest rates up to a 20-year term, and does not offer a 25-year term option for fixed interest. There is a 25-year option for variable interest, but it has a higher interest rate.
Controversial Nelnet Connection
U-Fi is a registered trademark of the well-known lender, Nelnet. Nelnet has had a substantial amount of controversy in recent years, with reports suggesting they overcharged the U.S. government by approximately $1 billion in 2006. Although they have worked through these allegations and currently appear in good standing, their controversial history could be a significant drawback for many potential customers.
The amount of helpful resources available to potential customers on U-fi is limited at best. While there are a few articles with decent information, it is limited in comparison to many other student loan refinancing companies in the industry. Additionally, many customers have complained that U-fi’s website is outdated.
High APR Rates
U-fi has some of the highest rates in the industry. Other companies, such as LendKey and Citizens Bank have substantially lower rates. Lendkey has variable APR as low as 2.13% and Citizens Bank is only slightly more.
The Bottom Line
Despite being new to the student loan refinancing industry, U-fi is built upon Nelnet, a well-known, albeit controversial, financial company. They offer a low minimum loan requirement of $5,000 and some of the best cash back rewards in the industry. Additionally, many customers love the 25-year term option for their variable interest rate. Despite their advantages, their interest rates are higher than many other refinancing companies, and potential borrowers may be smart to look to other options. U-fi is a great choice for those who have completed grad school, have great credit, and who want to choose a 5-year term. And while this is an option to consider, we recommend exploring other student loan refinancing options before making a decision.