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U-fi Student Loan Refinancing Review

U-fi is an option for borrowers who need to apply with a co-signer or who might need flexibility on payments in the future.
Jan. 24, 2019
Loans, Student Loans
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4.5 NerdWallet rating

Refinancing student loans through U-fi is a good option for borrowers who don’t have strong enough credit to qualify independently but have a creditworthy co-signer. It’s also a good fit for borrowers who might need flexibility on payments in the future.

U-fi accepts applicants with credit scores as low as 640 if they apply with a co-signer who has a score of at least 680. It also offers longer-than-average forbearance periods, allowing borrowers to postpone payments for up to 24 months throughout their loan term.

U-fi is a partnership between veteran student loan servicer Nelnet and Union Bank and Trust Company.

U-fi at a glance

  • Generous forbearance policy.
  • Co-signer release option.
  • No option to get personalized rate estimates without affecting credit.
Reviewed loanStudent loan refinancing
Interest ratesFixed: 3.75% - 6.71%
Variable: 2.75% - 6.11%
includes autopay discount of 0.25%
Loan terms5, 10, 15 or 20 years.
25-year terms available for variable-rate loans.
Loan amounts$5,000 - $225,000
Co-signer release availableYes
Can transfer a parent loan to the childNo

How much can refinancing save?

How U-fi scores

NerdWallet student loan experts evaluated more than 50 data points across five categories to see whether U-fi ranks below average, average or above average compared with other student loan refinance lenders.

Enables faster repayment:
Lenders score highly if they offer a variety of term lengths and make extra payments easy.

Discloses requirements, limits costs:
Below average
Lenders score highly if they limit fees and interest rates, are transparent about their underwriting criteria and allow borrowers to get personalized rate estimates before applying.

Serves range of borrowers:
Above average
Lenders score highly if they cater to customers in varying locations, in different financial situations, and with varying citizenship statuses.

Offers payment flexibility:
Above average
Lenders score highly if they offer longer than 12-month forbearance periods, in-school and military deferment, and any other flexible policies that help borrowers during tough times.

Supports customers:
Below average
Lenders score highly if they assign borrowers an advisor, offer multiple ways to get in touch, and have in-house customer service. Websites should display full APR ranges, fees and forbearance policies.

How U-fi could improve

U-fi could improve by:

  • Assigning customers a dedicated student loan advisor.
  • Allowing borrowers to refinance their parents’ PLUS loans.
  • Conducting soft credit checks to offer personalized rate estimates without affecting credit.

U-fi student loan refinancing details

  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: No.
  • Application or origination fee: No.
  • Prepayment penalty: No.
  • Late fees: Yes; a fee equal to 5% of the late payment or $10, whichever is less, applies after a payment is 15 days late.

Compare U-fi’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 U-fi will offer you, apply on its website.


  • Minimum credit score: 680.
  • Minimum income: $36,000.
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.
  • Typical income of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 45%.
  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Yes; after seven years.


  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Location: Not available to borrowers in Vermont.
  • Must have graduated: No.
  • Must have attended a Title IV-accredited school: No.
  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: Did not disclose.

  • Academic deferment: Yes, borrowers can postpone payments if they return to school.
  • Military deferment: Yes, borrowers can postpone payments while serving in the military.
  • Forbearance: Yes, borrowers experiencing an economic hardship can postpone payments for up to 24 months throughout the life of the loan.
  • Natural disaster forbearance: Borrowers can postpone payments if they’re involved in a natural disaster.
  • Are loans discharged in the event of death/disability of borrower? Yes.
  • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.
  • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: No.

  • Loan servicer: U-fi.
  • In-house customer service team: Yes.
  • Process for escalating concerns: No. Complaints are handled by U-fi’s customer service team.
  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: No.

How to refinance with U-fi

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 borrow, you can apply on U-fi’s website.


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