MEFA Student Loans Review 2021
The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority offers private student loans to undergraduate graduate students who are Massachusetts residents or attend school in the state. The lender also offers education refinancing loans across the country.
- Offers co-signer release on undergraduate loans
- Provides deferment on in-school loans for up to five years
- Allows students to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus financial aid
- Does not offer co-signer release on graduate or refinancing loans
- Has residency requirements for in-school loans
- Provides less flexible repayment options for graduate refinancing loans
Find the Best Student Loans for You
MEFA has student loan options for all levels of education refinancing, including:
- Undergraduate student loans
- Graduate student loans
- Student loan refinancing
Only fixed-rate in-school student loans are offered by MEFA. Borrowers looking to refinance can choose between a fixed or variable interest rate.
In-school loans start at $1,500 for public school $2,000 for private school tuition, with a maximum of the school’s cost of attendance minus financial aid. Undergraduate students can choose between a 10- or 15-year repayment term, while graduate students are given 15 years.
All in-school loans have an origination fee of 4 percent if you apply with a co-signer.
Education refinancing loans start at $10,000 with 10- 15-year repayment terms. There are no application, origination or prepayment fees.
Both undergraduate graduate loans require the student to be a Massachusetts resident or attend school in the state, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Borrowers must also be enrolled at least half-time in an accredited program at an eligible college or university. They must maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by the college or university.
To qualify for an education refinancing loan, borrowers must be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. with an established credit history. You also can’t have any history of default or delinquencies in the past year or history of bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past five years.
If you don’t qualify for an in-school or education refinancing loan on your own, you may add a co-signer to your application.
Repayment options can vary, depending on the type of loan you have. Undergraduate borrowers can choose between immediate repayment, interest-only repayment deferred repayment, while graduate borrowers don’t get an immediate repayment option.
Education refinancing loans don’t offer interest-only or deferred repayment.
Students can defer undergraduate loans for up to 60 months graduate loans for up to 36 months. The lender doesn’t provide deferment options for its refinancing loans.
MEFA does not offer clear policies for forbearance due to financial hardship, or for discharge if the student dies or becomes permanently disabled. Only undergraduate loans offer co-signer release. To qualify, borrowers must make 48 consecutive, on-time payments meet MEFA’s credit requirements.
MEFA has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. In 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received 24 student-loan-related complaints about MEFA. The most common issues were related to:
- Troubles with how payments are handled
- Receiving bad information about a loan
- Lack of flexible repayment options
- Problems with customer service
MEFA provided a timely response to 23 of the complaints closed all 24 with an explanation.
- Students who live or go to school in Massachusetts
- Students graduates who qualify or have a co-signer who qualifies
- Undergraduate students who want a co-signer release feature