U-fi Student Loans was founded in 2015. It's a relatively inexperienced company, but it's a registered trademark of Nelnet, a U.S.-based conglomerate with 35 years worth of experience in providing loan services to students in need. It's a big company that has a lot to offer and has been making waves in the short time it has been active, and in this guide we'll study it in more detail.
U-fi offers students loans, as well as loan consolidation and refinancing. It rewards students with high GPAs, giving them an incentive to push harder for those bigger grades, but overall their rates are significantly higher than other student loan refinancing companies.
- Address: 121 S. 13th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508
- Web Address: https://u-fi.com
- Date of Founding: 2015
- Contact Number: 844.307.3451
- BBB Accredited? No.
There isn't a great deal of information out there about U-fi Student Loans, but you will find a lot more on Nelnet, who own the company. If you're doing your own research, coming up short, and worrying about the implications, don't be concerned. Nelnet are one of the biggest companies in this sector and they are the brains behind U-fi Student Loans.
U-fi Student Loans provide student loans and student loan refinancing. They claim some very impressive rates, but the actual rate you get may be quite different from the one advertised. It all depends on your situation and on a number of other factors.
For instance, at the time of writing their variable APR rates claim a low of 2.72%, while their fixed rates claim a low of 3.75%, but you may only get these if you are able to show a large income, a clean credit rating, and a high GPA.
As mentioned already, some of the rates charged by U-fi Student Loans can be quite high. As far as we can tell, they increase to a high of 6.49% for the fixed APR and 5.81% for the variable one.
Th loan amounts range from $5,000 to $220,000, which is one of the largest ranges we have seen and ensures that U-fi Student Loans are in direct competition with the likes of Wells Fargo, and the average terms are 5 to 20 years, with some 25 year terms allowed if a variable rate is chosen.
U-fi Student Loans reviews seem to be few and far between. We encountered a number of affiliate reviews and critical reviews, but user reviews were not as easy to come by. There is a chance that many customers are leaving reviews for Nelnet instead, and you also have to consider that U-fi Student Loans have only been around for a few short years at the time of writing.
Our U-Fi Review
We have covered the basics of U-fi above, but now it's time to take a closer look as we provide a detailed review of this company and the services that they offer.
Low Minimum Requirement: $5,000
The majority of consolidation and refinancing companies require a minimum of $10,000 in student loans before they can help out. This is bad news for millions of Americans, and is surprising when you consider that the average student loan debt is less than $10,000.
But this is where U-fi Student Loans differ. U-fi requires only $5,000 in student loans to apply for their refinancing program.
Online Chat Service
Unlike other student loan refinancing companies, U-fi provides a live online chat service to answer any questions that borrowers may have. This ensures there is always someone on hand to help and it also helps to hasten the process by quickly answering questions that applicants have.
Rewards & Discounts
U-fi Student Loans offers incentives and rewards to make their rates even more appealing. These include:
- Good Grade Reward: Those with a GPA that is 3.0 or higher can reduce their interest rate by up to 1.50%. If you have the credentials then you need to submit proof within 180 days and you can take advantage of this reduced rate.
- On Time Payments Reward: If you pay your 12 month principal and interest payments on time, U-fi will deduct 1.25% from your interest rate.
- Automatic Payment Reward: If you sign up for automatic payments, an additional 0.25% will be deducted from your interest rate. This is a feature that you will find on many student loan programs, but it's especially useful here as it can be combined with the other rewards.
Payment Plan Calculators
U-fi offers the following calculators to help borrowers get to grips with their payment plans before signing on the dotted line:
- Refinance Calculator: Gives an estimate of monthly payments, potential savings, and interest rates.
- Student Loan Calculator: Helps potential borrowers determine how much money needs to be borrowed to cover all 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, as we discussed above, but it has a higher interest rate.
Controversial Nelnet Connection
U-Fi is a registered trademark of Nelnet, and while they are a big company with a lot of clout, they have also had a substantial amount of controversy in recent years, with reports suggesting they overcharged the U.S. government by approximately $1 billion in 2006. They have worked through these allegations and have not encountered anymore issues recently, but their history could be a concern 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 on their website, they are limited when compared to many other student loan refinancing companies in the industry. Many customers have also complained that U-fi’s website is outdated, even though it is only a few years old and doesn't have a valid excuse to be so dated.
High APR Rates
U-fi has some of the highest rates in the industry and they pale in comparison to many of their rivals, some of which have interest rates that go as low as 2.20%. It's not a huge difference, but every percentage point matters and adds up to a lot of money in the long run.
The Bottom Line
Despite being new to the student loan refinancing industry, U-fi is owned by a well-known financial company (albeit one that has been surrounded by controversy).
They offer a low minimum loan requirement of $5,000 and some of the best cash back rewards in the industry. They also have a 25-year term option for their variable interest rate.
But despite their advantages, it's hard to ignore the fact that their interest rates are higher than many other refinancing companies, and potential borrowers may be smart to look elsewhere. 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, but if all of those boxes aren't ticked then we feel that there are better options out there.