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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.
Sept. 27, 2019
Loans, Student Loans
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5.0 NerdWallet rating

Bottom line: Best for borrowers who may need wiggle room on payments, or those who didn’t graduate.

Reviewed loanStudent loan refinancing
Interest ratesFixed: 3.55% - 6.23%
Variable: 2.45% - 6.46%
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

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No option to temporarily pause payments through forbearance.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • Below-average customer support compared with other lenders.
  • Loans aren’t available in Vermont.

Full Review

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.

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.

How much can refinancing save?

U-fi student loan refinancing details

  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.
  • Loan terms: 5, 10, 15 or 20 years. 25-year terms available for variable-rate loans.
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 – $225,000.
  • Can transfer a parent loan to the child: 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.

Financial

  • 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.

Other

  • 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 school authorized to receive federal aid: 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.
  • Co-signer release available: Yes.
  • Death or disability discharge available: Yes.

repayment preferences:

  • 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.
  • Average time from approval to payoff: Funds are typically disbursed for payoff 48 hours after initiation date.

How to refinance with U-fi

You can apply for a U-fi refinanced student loan on its website. 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.

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