What (or who) is Unigo?
What does student loan refinancing mean?
Student loan refinancing gives you the ability to refinance one or more federal and private student loans into a single loan with new terms, including a new interest rate, monthly payment amount or repayment length.
What loans can I include in my refinancing?
You can include any student loan debt used for financing your education.
Can I pay off credit cards I used to finance my education?
No, you cannot include any other debt such as credit cards or auto loans even if it was used to pay education expenses.
Can I restructure or consolidate my loans through Unigo?
Unigo's refinance product allows qualified college graduates to replace their existing student loans - whether federal or private - with Unigo’s “Smart Choice” refinance program. In addition, existing Parent Plus loans currently held by student’s parents may be consolidated in to the student refinance loan.
Does the Unigo Smart Choice Loan refinance / consolidate Federal loans & Private loans?
Yes, Unigo refinances both Federal and private student loans. We also allow students to pay off a parent’s Parent Plus loan and consolidate it in to the loan amount of their new loan.
If I am a parent who took out a Student Loan for my child, am I eligible to refinance with Unigo?
Absolutely, as long as your child is working and has completed their bachelors or graduate degree. You will have the option to refinance the loan in your name or into your child’s name. This can be done with or without a cosigner, depending on your child’s and your credit profiles.
Is refinancing the right chioce for everyone?
Not necessarily. The federal government has special forgiveness programs for employees in specific industries (e.g., public service). Graduates with federal loans working in such industries may therefore prefer to keep their federal loans to maintain these extra borrower protections.
How do I decide if refinancing is the right decision for me?
Refinancing private and federal student loans can be a smart decision, but it is not always right for everyone. A few things to consider:
- Will my monthly payment be lower and is that important to me at this point in my life? Or,
- Will I be saving interest expense over the life of the loan?
- Is the convenience of one payment important?
- Does replacing any current or future Federal loan benefits with these new Smart Choice benefits make sense?
To learn more about possible differences between your federal and private student loans or for more information on federal loan consolidation you can visit:
Federal vs Private Loans
Direct Consolidation Loans
Can I refinance if I haven't graduated?
Not at this time. Our program is meant for students who have graduated with at least a four year college degree and have the income necessary to service the debt.
Can Unigo refinance student loans in any state?
Yes, Unigo is able to refinance student loans in all 50 states.
Can I refinance and/or consolidate with Unigo if I have already refinanced/consolidated with another lender?
Yes, absolutely. Unigo will be glad to refinance/consolidate your student loans even if you have already refinanced/consolidated your student loans with another lender but only if there is a benefit for you.
Can my spouse and I refinance and consolidate all our student loans into one Unigo loan?
Yes, spouses can combine all their student loans together into one loan, as long as both of them apply together as co-signers on the loan and meet the qualifications required for refinancing their debt.
When is the right time to refinance?
If your rates are higher than Unigo's, you should consider refinancing immediately so your savings can begin right away.
Do I have to wait a certain amount of time before I can refinance?
You can refinance with Unigo once you have graduated and have been on the job for 6 months, subject to underwriting criteria.
What are the terms of the loan?
Loan terms include:
- Both fixed rate and variable rate options are available.
- Variable rates can adjust quarterly in conjunction with the 1 month LIBOR index.
- Borrowers have the option of 5, 10, and 15 year repayment terms subject to income qualifications.
- Monthly payments start between 30 and 60 days after your refinanced loan (s) is disbursed.
- No prepayment penalty will apply.
- Financial hardship forbearance options are available.
How much can I borrow?
The Refinance Program has a minimum loan amount of $25,000 and a maximum loan amount of $150,000.
Are the terms of the loan program the same for all borrowers or do they vary based on one's credit score?
The interest rate does depend on the credit profile of the borrower or the cosigner (whoever has the higher credit score).
What's the difference between a fixed-rate loan and a variable rate loan?
An interest rate is "fixed" if it remains unchanged over time. A "variable" interest rate changes over time based on changes in a market benchmark rate, also known as an index. The 1-month LIBOR index is used for the Smart Choice refinance program. Our variable option can adjust quarterly. Initially, a variable rate loan may be lower than a fixed rate. Over time, the variable rate can change, up or down, and your monthly payment will change with it.
A fixed rate loan remains the same for the life of your loan, and you’ll owe the same monthly payment every month.
How much does the loan cost?
The interest rate for a Smart Choice Refinance Loan™ depends on the applicant's credit profile, the choice of variable rate or fixed rate, and the term of repayment for the loan. Rates do not depend on the school attended or the amount of the loan request.
Are there fees to apply?
No, there are no costs to complete the application.
Is there a benefit if I set a monthly automatic payment with my bank?
Yes, we encourage this option by reducing your interest rate by 0.25%. However, failure to make payments or elimination of auto pay may result in the loss of the 0.25%.
Do I qualify for a refinance loan?
There are basic eligibility requirements to apply:
- Be a United States citizen or non-citizen with government-issued, non-expired documentation of permanent resident status.
- Have graduated from a 4-year public or private college or university. Graduates from For-Profit schools are not eligible.
- Have verified annual income of no less than $60,000.
Note: Your credit history, other credit factors, and debt to income ratios will be considered through our simple online application. If you don’t meet the credit and income minimums and are denied, you will be able to re-apply with a co-signer.
Am I required to graduate from a certain school to be eligible?
No, unlike other programs, our program is open to those who have graduated from a 4-year public or private college or university. Graduates from For-Profit schools are not eligible.
Do I need a co-signer?
You do not need a cosigner, but if you do not meet Unigo’s credit underwriting criteria on your own, a cosigner can be used to improve the likelihood of approval or even improve the interest rate you are offered.
What are some of the benefits of having a co-signer?
The main reason to use a cosigner is if your own credit history or financial strength is not adequate to qualify for you to refinance a student loan by yourself.
Applying with a cosigner that has a strong enough financial profile may:
- Increase your chances of being approved despite your own lack of credit or income.
- Secure a lower interest rate.
Can my spouse be a cosigner on a student loan or student loan refinance?
If you have a spouse who has significantly better credit, less debt, or higher income than you do, you may want to consider using them as your cosigner. That’s especially helpful if you both already like to share your financial resources since, over the long haul, a strategic student loan refinance may save a lot of money.
Can the co-signer later be removed from the loan?
Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest on your Smart Choice Loan. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release.
Is the process difficult and time consuming?
On the contrary, it’s very straight forward and simple and can be accomplished entirely online.
- Fill out a short online application which takes approximately 7-10 minutes.
- Provide requested information, such as proof of income and information on your current student loans by uploading these supporting documents directly to our system. A list will be provided once the loan has been given a preliminary approval.
- Once the documentation is reviewed and meets our requirements, Unigo provides final approval. Once you accept the terms of the loan, a final disclosure and promissory note are presented for you to sign electronically. (You also can download the promissory note, sign, and upload)
- After the required waiting period (this allows you to change your mind for any reason) we send checks to your current lender(s) to pay off your student loans.
- The first Smart Choice loan payment will be due in approximately 30-45 days. You will be sent instructions on making your payment in plenty of time prior to the due date.
What documents should I have with me when I apply?
To complete the application you will need the information provided on your current loan statements. Once you’ve completed the application a list of additional documents will be provided, these items can be uploaded simply through our processing system.
Typically you will need:
- Proof of income based on your employment status. Current paystubs, W-2 forms, or tax form are examples.
- Recent loan statement for each loan you wish to refinance. Each statement must have your name, account number, loan balance, and physical address where you would mail a payment.
- Your driver's license with your current address.
- Proof of graduation
Will you require a credit report and will it show an inquiry?
Yes, once you’ve made your decision to submit the application a credit report and credit score will be automatically requested which will result in an inquiry.
How do I sign my promisory note?
You may choose whether to physically sign or e-sign your student loan application and promissory note. Simple instructions will be included once you’ve reached that stage in the process.
Before we deliver the loan proceeds to pay off your loans, we’ll provide you with:
A Final Disclosure that will confirm the terms of the refinance loan, and
A Right to Cancel notice that explains you have at least 3 business days to cancel your refinance loan without penalty along with instructions on how to do so.
When do I start making payments on my Smart Choice Loan?
Principal and interest payments will begin within 30-45 days after your loans have been refinanced. We will notify you in advance so that you have plenty of time to make your first payment on time.
Can I make payments online?
Yes. Shortly after we’ve paid off your existing loans you will receive all the information regarding the various payment options from our servicer, Reliamax
You will be in good hands with Reliamax - we've chosen them for their supportive customer service, and they will be there to answer all of your questions.
Is there a benefit if I sign up for payments to be made automatically from my bank account?
Yes, not only is it easier for you to manage you monthly payments, you also receive the benefit of a quarter of one percent reduction in your interest rate which can add up over time!
How do I enroll in auto pay to receive this 0.25% benefit?
You can sign up for auto pay by electronically filling out the enrollment form. Reliamax will help you with this option.
Does the loan program offer a temporary forbearance for economic hardship?
Yes. Similar to Federal and many Private student loans, under certain circumstances, including economic hardship, you may be eligible for forbearance. While in forbearance, you may temporarily postpone making full monthly loan payments for a specific period of time. After contacting your loan servicer, we may agree to allow partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months during the term of your loan).
Can I prepay my loan in full or partially, without incurring a penalty?
Yes. You are welcome to prepay the loan or pay more than the minimum monthly payment amount if you wish, without incurring any penalty.
Is an income-based repayment plan currently available?
We do not offer an income-based repayment plan but we fully recognize the importance of flexible repayment terms. If an income-based repayment plan is of interest to you, and you have existing federal loans, you may prefer to keep those loans to take advantage of special government programs such as income-based repayment.