Advertiser Disclosure

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.
Aug. 19, 2019
Loans, Student Loans
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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

Bottom line: An option for borrowers who don’t have a degree and may need wiggle room on payments.

iHelp
Reviewed loanStudent loan refinancing
Interest ratesFixed: 4% - 8%

Variable: 5.13% - 10.13%
Includes autopay discount of 0.25%
Loan terms10, 15 or 20 years
Loan amounts$10,000 to $250,000
Co-signer release availableYes
Can transfer a parent loan to the childNo
See my rates on NerdWallet's secure website

Full Review

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 or pay 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

  • You can refinance without a degree.
  • Graduated and income-sensitive repayment plans are available.
  • Personalized rate estimates are available via a soft credit check.

HOW IHELP COULD IMPROVE

NerdWallet does not have enough information from iHelp to fully evaluate its student loan refinance product.

How much can refinancing save?

iHelp student loan refinancing details

  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.
  • Loan terms: 10, 15 or 20 years.
  • Loan amounts: $10,000 to $250,000.
  • Can transfer a parent loan to the child: Yes.
  • Application or origination fee: No.
  • Prepayment penalty: No.
  • Late fees: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

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.

See my rates on NerdWallet's secure website

Financial

  • Minimum credit score: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details. Must have at least two years of positive credit history.
  • Minimum income: $24,000 per year.
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.
  • Typical income of approved borrowers: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.
  • 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: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.
  • Must have graduated: No.
  • Must have attended a school authorized to received federal aid: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.
  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

  • Academic deferment: Yes.
  • Military deferment: Yes.
  • Forbearance: Postpone payments if you experience financial hardship. You can also receive forbearance in the event of a natural disaster.
  • Graduated repayment: Payments can be as little as the monthly interest accruing on your loans and then increase gradually.
  • Income-sensitive repayment: Pay based on your gross monthly income. Payments cannot be less than the monthly interest accruing on your loan.
  • Co-signer release available: Yes, after 24 months of on-time payments.
  • Death or disability discharge available: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

Repayment preferences:

  • Allows greater-then-minimum payments via autopay: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.
  • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

  • Loan servicer: Reunion Student Loan Finance Corp.
  • In-house customer service team: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.
  • Process for escalating concerns: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.
  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.
  • Average time from approval to payoff: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

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.

See my rates on NerdWallet's secure website

iHelp private student loan

NerdWallet rating: Not rated

Bottom line: An option for students who value working with a community bank and may need wiggle room on payments.

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

Full Review

iHelp’s private student loans come with multiple repayment and postponement options, making these a strong choice for students who may need future payment flexibility. Other loan features are less flexible, though: iHelp offers a single, 20-year repayment term and no fixed interest rates for the entire repayment term. Most other lenders offer a fixed-rate option, as well as 5-, 10- and 15-year terms.

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 is available after 24 on-time payments.
  • Personalized rate estimates are available via a soft credit check.

HOW IHELP COULD IMPROVE

NerdWallet does not have enough information from iHelp to fully evaluate its private student loan product.

iHelp private student loan details

  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.
  • Loan terms: 20 years.
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 minimum ($3,000 in Georgia). Maximum of $100,000 for undergraduates and $150,000 for graduate students.
  • Application or origination fee: No.
  • Prepayment penalty: No.
  • Late fees: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

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: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.
  • Minimum income: $24,000.
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.
  • Typical income of approved borrowers: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 45%.
  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

Other

  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Location: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time or more: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.
  • Types of schools served: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.
  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

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

  • Grace period: 6 months on deferred loans.
  • Academic deferment: Yes.
  • Military deferment: Yes.
  • Forbearance: Postpone payments if you experience financial hardship. You can also receive forbearance in the event of a natural disaster.
  • 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: Payments can be as little as the monthly interest accruing on your loans and then increase gradually.
  • Income-sensitive repayment: Pay based on your gross monthly income. Payments cannot be less than the monthly interest accruing on your loan.
  • Co-signer release available: Yes, after 24 on-time monthly payments.
  • Death or disability discharge available: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

  • Loan servicer: Reunion Student Loan Finance Corp.
  • In-house customer service team: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.
  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.
  • Average time for approval: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details

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.

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

About the authors