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iHelp Reviews: Student Loan Refinancing and Private Student Loans

iHelp refinances student loans and partners with community banks to offer college loans. Both come with uniquely flexible repayment options.
Oct. 5, 2018
Loans, Student Loans
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

iHelp offers student loan refinancing and private student loans from community banks. Its parent company, Reunion Student Loan Finance Corp., makes and manages all iHelp loans, serving as the main point of contact for borrowers.

Here we review iHelp’s refinance loan; you’ll find a review of its private student loan below. NerdWallet does not have enough information from iHelp to rate it or compare it with other lenders.

Review of iHelp’s private student loan

iHelp student loan refinancing

NerdWallet rating: Not rated

To refinance student loans with iHelp, you don’t need to have graduated, making it a strong option for those without a degree. You must have two years of good credit history, though, including no open accounts in collections and no student loans in default.

iHelp lets borrowers make full monthly payments, interest-only payments for 24 months, or payments on a graduated or income-sensitive plan. These are unique options for a refinance loan; many other lenders don’t provide as much flexibility.

iHelp student loan refinancing at a glance:

  • 24 months of forbearance available.
  • Co-signer release after 24 months of on-time payments.
  • Borrowers receive a dedicated iHelp account manager.
iHelp
Reviewed loanStudent loan refinancing
Interest ratesFixed: 4% - 8%

Variable: 4.9% - 9.9%
Includes autopay discount of 0.25%
Loan terms10, 15 or 20 years
Loan amounts$10,000 to $250,000
Co-signer release availableYes

iHelp student loan refinancing details

  • Application or origination fee: No.
  • Prepayment penalty: No.

Compare iHelp’s range of interest rates with other student loan refinance lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate iHelp will offer you, apply on its website.

Financial

  • Minimum credit score: 650. Must also have two years of positive credit history.
  • Minimum income: $24,000 per year.
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: 751.
  • Typical income of approved borrowers: $50,000.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 45%.
  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Yes, after five years.

Other

  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Location: Available to borrowers in all 50 U.S. states.
  • Must have graduated: No.

  • Forbearance: Postpone payments for up to 24 months if you experience financial hardship. You can also receive forbearance in the event of a natural disaster or if you serve in the military.
  • Interest-only payments: Pay just the interest on your loans for up to 24 months.
  • Graduated repayment: Make interest-only payments for a set period of time. Your payments will increase gradually until you’re making full monthly payments.
  • Income-sensitive repayment: Pay 4% of your gross monthly income, but at a minimum your monthly interest payment, or $16.67, whichever is greater.

  • Loan servicer: Reunion Student Loan Finance Corp.
  • Loan servicer contact information: Call 800-592-1270 or email loans@slfc.com.
  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: Yes.

How to refinance with iHelp

Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender, compare multiple student loan refinance options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, compare lenders’ repayment options and the flexibility they offer borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If you’re ready to refinance, you can apply on iHelp’s website.

iHelp private student loan

NerdWallet rating: Not rated

iHelp’s private student loans come with a single, 20-year repayment term. You must also choose between a variable interest rate and a fixed hybrid rate, which stays the same for five years, then adjusts every five years thereafter. Most other lenders offer 5-, 10- and 15-year terms, and a fixed interest rate for the entire repayment term.

When you apply through iHelp’s website, your loan will be funded by a community bank in the state or region where you’re attending college. If you apply through a specific community bank that uses iHelp’s platform, that bank will fund your loan regardless of where you attend college.

iHelp private student loan at a glance:

  • Borrower or co-signer must have three years of positive credit history to qualify.
  • Co-signer release after 24 on-time payments.
  • Personalized rate estimates via a soft credit check.
iHelp
Type of loanPrivate student loan
Loan terms20 years
Loan amounts$1,000 to $100,000 for undergraduates; $150,000 for graduates. Borrowers in Georgia have a loan minimum of $3,000.
Grace period6 months for undergraduates
Co-signer release availableYes

iHelp private student loan details

  • Application or origination fee: No.
  • Prepayment penalty: No.
  • Interest rate options: Variable and fixed hybrid rates only.

Compare iHelp’s range of interest rates with other private student loan lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate iHelp will offer you, apply on its website.

Financial

  • Minimum credit score: Mid-600s.
  • Minimum income: $18,000.
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 750.
  • Typical income of approved borrowers: About $50,000.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 45%.

Other

  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Location: Available to borrowers in all 50 states.

In-school repayment options

  • Immediate: Begin making full monthly payments while still in school.
  • Deferred: You won’t be required to make any payments until your six-month grace period ends, but you can choose to make payments if you’d like.
  • Interest-only: Pay only the interest while in school. Begin paying down the principal balance after you graduate or leave school.

Post-school repayment options

  • Forbearance: Postpone payments for up to 24 months if you experience financial hardship. You can also receive forbearance in the event of a natural disaster or if you serve in the military.
  • Internship/residency deferment: Borrowers with at least a bachelor’s degree can defer loans during a supervised training program.
  • Fellowship deferment: Borrowers with at least a bachelor’s degree can defer loans during full-time academic or professional study.
  • Graduated repayment: Make interest-only payments for a set period of time. Your payments will increase gradually until you’re making full monthly payments.
  • Income-sensitive repayment: Pay 4% of your gross monthly income, but at a minimum your monthly interest payment, or $16.67, whichever is greater.

  • Loan servicer: Reunion Student Loan Finance Corp.
  • Loan servicer contact information: Call 800-592-1270 or email loans@slfc.com.
  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: Yes.

How to apply for an iHelp student loan

Before taking out an iHelp student loan or any other private loan, exhaust your federal student loan options first. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, to apply.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s FAFSA guide

Compare your private student loan options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, look at lenders’ repayment alternatives and the flexibility they offer to borrowers who struggle to make payments.

If you’re ready to borrow with iHelp, you can apply on its website.

STUDENT LOANS RATINGS METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet believes the best student loan is one you can repay at the lowest interest rate you can get. That’s why NerdWallet’s student loan ratings reward lenders that offer a variety of loan terms, limit their fees and penalties, and extend borrowers multiple options to avoid default. Points are also awarded for soft credit checks, underwriting transparency and other consumer-friendly features. Use these ratings as a guide, but we encourage you to shop around for the lowest interest rate you can qualify for. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for its reviews. Read our editorial guidelines

5 stars out of 5 — Among the very best for consumer-friendly features

4.5 stars out of 5 — Excellent; offers most consumer-friendly features

4 stars out of 5 — Very good; offers many consumer-friendly features

3.5 stars out of 5 — Good; may not offer something important to you

3 stars out of 5 — Fair; missing important consumer-friendly features

2.5 stars out of 5 — Poor; proceed with great caution

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