Paying for education ranks among the largest, most complex financial decisions of your life. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Because college financial aid offices usually connect students with loans – both federal and private – there’s limited information out there on your student loans, especially when it comes to student loan repayment options and the availability of private student loan refinancing or consolidation.
If you need to take out private student loans to supplement federal loans or to refinance existing private loans, it would be wise to find several options before signing on the dotted line. And this is where credit unions are worth a look.
Credit unions are non-profit and usually local organizations that have “members” who can make deposit and take out loans. Rather than paying big executive bonuses, credit unions pass profits back to members in the form of competitive loan rates. All credit unions offer everyday banking products like checking and savings accounts and auto loans. But some also offer student loans.
cuStudentLoans is a consortium that offers easier access to credit union student loans for both current students and graduates looking to refinance other student loans at a lower rate. (cuStudent loans is an affiliate, meaning if you decide to get a loan with them this Website may receive a commission. If you choose to support our free content in this way, thanks!)
Private student loan refinancing with cuStudentLoans
In different cases, refinancing your private student loans can save you money on interest, reduce your monthly payments, or release a co-signer from your existing loans.
cuStudentLoans offers two repayment options:
- A standard 15-year term or
- Interest-only payments for the first four years
Obviously, you’ll pay more interest by choosing the interest-only payment period, but this can provide significantly lower monthly payments while you get your finances in order and hopefully land a career that will help you manage your regular payments when the time comes.
Student loan refinancing requirements
To qualify for a cuStudentLoans consolidation loan, you’ll need to have:
- Between $7,500 and $125,000 in undergraduate private student loan debt (up to $150,000 for graduate debt)
- Graduated from an eligible school
- A reliable gross monthly income of at least $2,000 a month or a co-signer earning that much
Consolidation rates with cuStudentLoans are variable and currently between 4.49 and 6.99 percent. There is a 1 percent original fee to refinance your loans, which you should take into account when deciding whether refinancing makes sense.
You can begin the application process online with basic information about your existing student loans, your social security number, and your driver’s license. If approved, it can take up to 60 days for the consolidation to complete and pay off your current loans.
Have you used a credit union for a private student loan or private student loan refinancing? How was your experience?