Whether you’re just starting to research student loan refinancing options or you’re evaluating rate offers, it’s always worth reading reviews of the various lenders to see where they shine — and where they fall short.
MEFA (which stands for the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority) helps Massachusetts families plan and save for education expenses, but also offers student loan refinancing to borrowers across the country. Read on for more information about MEFA reviews, their student loans, eligibility, and more.
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Pros of MEFA refinancing
MEFA offers borrowers lower monthly payments, and no maximum loan balance
Unlike some refinancing lenders who focus on the benefit of saving money over the life of the loan, MEFA emphasizes that their borrowers see lower monthly payments when they refinance. The average MEFA borrower pays $191 less per month than before they refinanced.
According to MEFA’s CFO, this opens up financial opportunities for borrowers who would be otherwise unable to, for example, purchase a new car or take out a mortgage.
Unlike most lenders, MEFA has no maximum loan balance. Many will cap the amount they lend at $250,000 or $300,000, but MEFA will refinance the total loan balance for eligible borrowers.
Borrowers who have not completed their degrees can refinance with MEFA
Also, MEFA’s eligibility requirements for student loan refinancing do not include having completed a degree, so borrowers who have put school on hold and are repaying their loans may be able to refinance into lower rates with MEFA — or at the very least, into a longer loan term and therefore lower monthly payments.
Cons of MEFA refinancing
Borrowers looking for deferment, forbearance, or co-signer release might want to look elsewhere
MEFA does not offer deferment or forbearance, which may cause problems for borrowers who find themselves in a tough financial spot. While other lenders may offer these options to those who qualify, MEFA borrowers who cannot make their monthly loan payments risk going into loan default — a mark that shows up on credit reports.
Like most lenders, MEFA allows borrowers to apply with a cosigner, which can help the applicant qualify for a loan or even secure a lower interest rate. Unlike many lenders, however, MEFA does not offer cosigner release, which is typically an option after a number of on-time payments have been made. This means that MEFA cosigners will be legally tied to the loan until it is fully repaid.
MEFA only offers a 15-year loan term
Borrowers who refinance with MEFA will also be unable to choose between different loan terms, since MEFA offers just one 15-year option. However, borrowers can choose between a fixed and variable rate, and may repay their loan faster without any penalties. That said, as longer terms tend to go hand-in-hand with higher rates, those planning to repay their student loans faster may lose money to interest payments by selecting a 15-year term.
Before applying to refinance your student loans with MEFA, be sure you fulfill the following requirements. You must:
- Have loans that are in repayment and current (i.e they are not in deferment, forbearance, or a grace period);
- Refinance a minimum of $10,000;
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
- Have an established credit history (your cosigner can fulfill this requirement if you do not);
- Not have a history of student loan default, bankruptcy, or foreclosure in the past 60 months;
- Be the primary borrower on the loans you wish to refinance; and
- Have used the loan to finance an education at an eligible college
Compare rates to get the best offer out there
MEFA can be a great match for certain borrowers. But each refinancing lender determines the rate they’ll offer a borrower on a case-by-case basis — so it’s impossible to know your lowest possible rate without applying to multiple banks.
To learn more, read Credible’s reviews of other top student loan refinancing lenders:
Compare the best options and save with Credible
With Credible, it’s easy to compare the best available rates from MEFA and other top student loan refinancing lenders with just one application. You can even check your prequalified rates without a hard credit pull, so it won’t affect your credit.