Student loan ratings
Student loan refinancing
Private student loan
The bottom line: The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority, known as MEFA, offers student loan refinancing and private student loans for undergrads and graduate students across all 50 U.S. states. Its refinancing loan is best for borrowers with a stable income who don't have a degree. Its private student loan is best for students who expect stable income after graduation.
Student loan refinancing review
MEFA Student Loan Refinance
3.65 - 5.50%
3.05 - 5.55%
Min. Credit Score
- No late fees.
- You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
- No formal deferment/forbearance options.
- No co-signer release.
Best for borrowers with a stable income who don’t have a degree.
Unlike most other private lenders, MEFA doesn’t have a formal program that lets borrowers pause payments temporarily through deferment or forbearance for economic hardships. That means refinancing with MEFA is best for those with stable income who don't foresee needing breathing room in the future.
You don't have to have graduated to refinance with MEFA. But you must have made one year's worth of on-time payments toward your loans. You're also ineligible if you've defaulted on student loans in the past.
MEFA student loan refinancing at a glance
Borrowers without a degree can refinance.
No late fees.
Offers personalized rate estimates via a soft credit check.
How MEFA could improve
MEFA could improve its student loan refinance product by offering:
Formal forbearance for borrowers facing an economic hardship.
A co-signer release program.
Biweekly student loan payments via autopay.
How much can refinancing save?
MEFA student loan refinancing details
Before refinancing with MEFA
You can apply for a MEFA 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.
If you aren’t eligible to refinance with MEFA
If MEFA denies your refinance application, the lender will let you know why. Depending on the reason, you may want to consider other lenders or need a co-signer.
NerdWallet recommends prequalifying with multiple refinance lenders before you apply. This will let you know which lenders you may be eligible with, without affecting your credit.
Private student loan review
MEFA Private Student Loan
3.75 - 5.75%
Min. Credit Score
- No late fees.
- You can’t see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
- Only one repayment plan offers co-signer release.
Best for students who expect stable income after graduation.
MEFA private student loans don't offer a formal deferment or forbearance program if you have trouble affording payments. That makes MEFA a good choice only for those who expect a stable income after graduation.
Despite being a state-based organization, MEFA private student loans are available to students no matter where they go to school. MEFA offers fixed interest rates only, which means they'll stay the same over the life of the loan.
MEFA private student loan at a glance
Offers fixed interest rates only.
Co-signer release is only available if you select the deferred repayment with co-signer release option when you apply.
No deferment or forbearance programs are available.
How MEFA could improve
MEFA could improve its student loan product by:
Offering formal forbearance for borrowers facing an economic hardship.
Offering co-signer release on all repayment options.
Allowing borrowers to make greater-than-minimum and biweekly payments via autopay.
MEFA private student loan details
Before applying for a MEFA student loan
You can apply for a MEFA student loan on its website. Before taking out a MEFA 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 aren’t eligible for an MEFA student loan
If MEFA denies your student loan application, the lender will let you know why. Depending on the reason, you may want to consider other lenders or, if you haven’t already, try applying with a co-signer.
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
Frequently asked questions
MEFA is a four-star lender based on NerdWallet's student loan rating system. Our ratings prioritize low interest rates and flexible repayment options that allow borrowers to repay loans faster and avoid default.
No. MEFA provides private undergraduate and graduate student loans. It also offers student loan refinancing.
MEFA provides private student loans and student loan refinancing to qualified borrowers.