MEFA Student Loan Refinance Review
Founded in 1982, MEFA is the self-described “Massachusetts authority on planning, saving, and paying for college”. MEFA is a not-for-profit, state-based, and self-funded state-chartered student loan organization that offers both resources and services to help students plan and pay for college.
One of their more popular services — and one that will be the focus of this review — is student loan refinancing. Through a MEFA Educational Refinancing Loan, you can combine your federal and/or private loans into one new loan for a potentially lower interest rate, which means lower monthly payments and, consequently, more money in your pocket every month.
MEFA’s refinancing service currently holds a 4/5 rating from NerdWallet, 4.5/5 from Finder, and is suitable for people with a credit score of at least 670, monthly income of at least $2,100, and is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
MEFA at a Glance
- Undergraduate loans are eligible for co-signer release
- No origination fees, application fees, late fees, or returned payment fees
- Available deferment on in-school loans for up to five years
- Plenty of support, both in terms of free web content and professional over-the-phne guidance
- Ineligible if you've defaulted on student loans in the past
- Not as extensive repayment options for graduate refinancing loans
- If you're in school, there are additional residency requirements
What Are the Repayment Details?
MEFA offers both fixed and variable interest rates starting at 3.05% APR for refi loans starting at $10,000. In terms of repayment, you can agree to repay your refinance loan over a period of 7, 10, or 15 years.
It should be noted that the variable rate listed above is accurate as of 11/1/20. Rates will change depending on the fluctuation of the 1-Month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), its replacement index, or its reference rate.
Who Is Eligible to Refinance Through MEFA?
According to their website, to qualify for a MEFA Education Refinancing Loan, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
- Have an established credit history; a co-borrower can help strengthen the application
- Have no history of default on an education loan and no delinquencies on education debt in the past 12 months
- Have a credit score of at least 670
- Have a monthly income of at least $2,100
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress
- Have no history of bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past 60 months
- Be a borrower on all loans being refinanced
In terms of what kinds of loans qualify for MEFA refinancing, you’re able to refinance student loans that:
- Are federal or private education loans, including Federal Direct Undergraduate and Graduate Loans, Stafford Loans, PLUS Loans, and Graduate PLUS Loans
- Are in repayment and current at the time of your refinance application
- Are not in a grace period, deferment, or forbearance
- Were used to fund the cost of attendance at an eligible, not-for-profit, degree-granting college or university (as defined by MEFA)
- Have been repaid on time in each of the previous 12 months
While refinancing certainly comes with its benefits, MEFA notes that refinancing a federal student loan will cause you to forfeit all benefits for which you may be eligible that only federal loans offer.
What Does Beeline’s Application Process Look Like?
Before applying for your refinance loan, make sure to gather the following documents:
- Personal Documents: Proof of identity and Social Security number.
- Contact Information: Current address, phone number, and email address.
- Financial Information: Monthly income, housing costs, employment information, two most recent pay stubs or proof of income, and current billing statements for loans to refinance.
With your documents gathered, the next step is to actually apply for your MEFA Educational Refinancing Loan, which requires you to simply follow the steps below.
- Create an account
- They'll run a soft credit check (with no effect on your credit) and you'll receive your offered interest rates
- Select a rate and provide more information (including details about your current student loans)
- They'll run a hard pull on your credit for approval. If you're conditionally approved, they'll request that you upload a few documents
- Upon final approval, you'll select a fixed or variable interest rate and e-sign your loan document
This whole process can be completed in a matter of minutes. Plus, if you need clarification at any point along the way, you can also call the listed support number. You can also use any of the myriad support resources offered by MEFA.
For example, you can use their Loan Refinancing Calculator to help you understand how much you can save through a MEFA refi loan, or any of their nearly 100 free webinars to learn about virtually any aspect of college finances imaginable.
Are There Any Loan Fees When Using MEFA?
One of the benefits of refinancing through MEFA is that there are no origination fees, application fees, late fees, or returned payment fees. All you can expect to pay are all the normal monthly payments associated with paying off your refinance loan.
However, while there are no penalties for missed payments, MEFA will report any missed payments to the major credit bureaus. Not only will this negatively affect your credit score, which could limit your ability to qualify for other loans in the future.
A lot of refinancing services are designed to lure you in with seemingly generous terms only to take advantage of you through hidden or excessive fees. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with MEFA. As a not-for-profit, state-based, and self-funded state-chartered student loan organization, MEFA’s only intention is to help students plan and pay for college — that’s it.
You can clearly see this intention through the organization’s vast selection of free educational resources and tools, including their Loan Refinancing Calculator and nearly 100 free video webinars about all aspects of the college financing process. Plus, with generous terms, support for a wide variety of student loans, lack of loan fees, and an easy application process, refinancing your student loans through MEFA is about as easy and affordable as it gets.
Whether you’re new to refinancing, want to better educate yourself about the college financing process, or you’re simply looking to take advantage of the best rates and terms available, creating an account with MEFA and applying for a MEFA Educational Refinancing Loan is a smart move.