CordiaGrad Student Loan Refinancing
CordiaGrad isn't the very best on the market, but a tight interest rate range means it could be the best option for many borrowers.
Update 5/30/16: CordiaGrad is no longer in the student loan consolidation business. The company has been rebranded and is now called Purefy. For our most up to date information, be sure to check out our Purefy Review.
Overall, CordiaGrad presents a good option for borrowers who are in the market for student loan consolidation or refinancing services. While there are some shortcoming to the Cordiagrad option, we really do like their emphasis on having a borrower-centric approach.
Like most of the top student loan consolidation companies, CordiaGrad offers refinancing without any fees. That means no fee to apply, no loan origination fees, and no “pre-payment” fees for paying your loan off ahead of schedule. CordiaGrad is also in line with most of the other top lenders with an income requirement of $42,000 a year and a credit score requirement of 700 or higher. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee approval, but it does show that they are definitely looking for the high credit score, high income borrowers.
Variable rate interest rates currently start at 2.75% with a maximum of 4.95%. While we have seen slightly lower interest rates from other lenders, the tight range indicates that if you do get approval, you will likely be in line for a pretty good loan. The same could be said for their fixed rate loans which have interest rates ranging from 3.95% to 6.75%.
To refinance with CordiaGrad, your loans must be at least $20,000 with a maximum consolidation of $350,000. One of the bigger limitations with CordiaGrad is the repayment lengths offered. Borrowers will have options of 5, 8, and 12 years. The 12 year maximum repayment length is on of the shorter ones on the market. The good news with the shorter repayment lengths is the relatively lower interest rates, but the problem is that the short repayment length also means larger payments.
A Federal Refinancing Warning
CordiaGrad offers consolidation of private loans, federal loans, and even Parent PLUS loans. The flexibility here is a good thing, but before consolidating any federal government loan, it is important to remember that federal loans come with certain perks that no private lender can compete with. Before you go this route, be sure to know whether or not private consolidation of federal debt is a good idea for you.
CordiaGrad and Cosigners
CordiaGrad does seem to place a bit more emphasis on cosigners than other lenders. We are not big fans of this approach. If you are refinancing your loans, ideally it is done on your own.
The CordiaGrad website also notes that they do not have a cosigner release program. On one hand this is pretty bad. No matter how good your credit score and income become, they won’t let you get your cosigner removed from the loan. On the other hand we actually like how upfront they are about this policy. Many lenders advertise a cosigner release policy, but make it nearly impossible to actually get the cosigner released from the loan. In that respect, we do applaud CordiaGrad for being upfront about that fact that your cosigner will be on the loan for the life of the loan.
The Forbearance Concern
Here at the Student Loan Sherpa, we think forbearances and deferments should be avoided at all costs. In fact, we call them a recipe for disaster.
That being said, sometimes life and finances make keeping up with your student loans an impossibility. Most lenders have programs in place for borrowers who lose their job and need a brief break from payments. CordiaGrad makes no such promise. On their website, CordiaGrad makes it clear that they are willing to offer one in the event of a financial hardship, but it is not something that is guaranteed for all borrowers. This distinction is not a huge issue, but it does give us pause for concern. If you find yourself in dire financial conditions, the last thing you want to do is have to justify things to your lender. A more preferable option would be to ask for a three to six month forbearance, like many other lenders offer.
Who is CordiaGrad best for?
Given the shorter repayment length offerings at CordiaGrad, it is clearly best for borrowers who plan on paying of their loans quickly and aggressively. Unfortunately, their best rates are slightly below a few other lenders offering rates below 2%. As a result, we would say that CordiaGrad is best for borrowers who are looking to pay off their loans quickly, but unable to lock in rates below 2% elsewhere.
One perk with CordiaGrad that we especially like is the fact that you can get an estimate of your interest rate, based upon your credit score and income, without a hard or soft credit pull. This means you can very quickly get an idea of your potential interest rate with CordiaGrad with very little effort.
Also worth noting is the fact that CordiaGrad offers Parent PLUS loan refinancing. This is a service not offered by many lenders, and given the available rates, Parents could save a bundle off the high interest rate Parent PLUS loans.
Should I apply for CordiaGrad?
Probably. The process of applying for consolidation is mostly about interest rates. The fact that CordiaGrad makes checking your rate so easy is a huge advantage. It is a couple minutes of your time, and a better rate can save thousands in the long run, so a brief investigation is a smart move.
The Bottom Line
In our evaluation, CordiaGrad is not quite in the top tier of lenders, due to the shortcomings already noted, but is definitely one of the better options available. Ultimately, the only way to know whether or not CordiaGrad is the best option is to check your rate.