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ELFI Student Loans vs Earnest Student Loans

ELFI is a good choice for low rates, but high eligibility requirements. How does it compare to Earnest? Read our comparison chart below.

ELFI offers some of the lowest fixed rates among all student loan refinance providers. There is no origination fee or prepayment penalty. However, eligibility requirements are high. You need a minimum $15,000 in loans to refinance, as well as credit score and income minimums.

While Earnest sets itself apart by taking a more personalized approach to lending. Instead of just looking at your credit score, Earnest also considers your job, savings habits, and how you handle finances. It offers flexibility in payments, with the option to switch between fixed and variable rates. You also can skip a payment every 12 months without penalty. Minimum $5,000 in loans to be eligible.

Compare ELFI with Earnest, side-by-side. Read on for an in-depth look, including ratings, reviews, pros and cons.

 ELFI Student LoansEarnest Student Loans
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ELFI Student Loans

Earnest Student Loans

Refinance Student Loans - Learn More

Read ELFI Review

Refinance Student Loans - Learn More

Read Earnest Review


Benefits and Features

Variable APR
2.39% - 5.78%
1.89% - 5.98% (includes 0.25% autopay discount)
Fixed APR
2.89% - 6.69%
2.94% - 5.98% (includes 0.25% autopay discount)
Minimum Amount
Maximum AmountNo maximum - depends on your eligibility
Loan Term
5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years
Custom term from 5 to 20 years (180 term options)
State ResidencyAll 50 states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto RicoMost states with the exception of: DE, KY, and NV and no variable rate loans to residents of: AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN and TX
Degree RequirementsBachelor's or higher from an approved post-secondary institution and program of study
Associates or higher
Income Requirements
Employment Requirements
Must be employed
Must be employed or have an offer for a position to start within 6 months
Interest Only Payments
Origination Fees
Prepayment Penalty
Can Use a Cosigner
Can Release a Cosigner
Only on existing loans
Auto-Pay Interest Rate Reduction
Soft Credit Check
Unemployment ProtectionYes - up to 12 months forbearance

CreditDonkey® Reviews

 ELFI Student LoansEarnest Student Loans
Customer Service
Loan Term
Ease of Use
Interest Rates
Payment Flexibility
Pros & ConsPros:
  • Low fixed rates
  • Up to 12 months forbearance
  • Minimum $15,000 to refinance
  • No cosigner release
  • Looks beyond your credit score
  • Custom term based on budget
  • Option to skip one payment every 12 months
  • Tougher requirements
  • No co-signer option
Bottom LineGood choice for low rates, but high eligibility requirements... Read full reviewMerit-based lender with custom terms... Read full review
 Learn MoreLearn More

Refinance Student Loans

Refinance Student Loans

What Others View

    ELFI: Pricing information from published website as of 10/1/2019

    Earnest: Pricing information from published website as of 02/212020

    Which is Better: ELFI or Earnest?

    Still need help deciding which student loans is better? Read the in-depth reviews below. You may also be interested in comparing ELFI or CommonBond.

    Articles on ELFI Student Loans

    Articles on Earnest Student Loans

    Which Do You Think is Best?

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    About CreditDonkey®
    CreditDonkey is a student loan comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

    Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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