Connext Private Student Loans has only been operating since 2009, but has a reputation for good customer service. Unlike more conventional private student loan structures, their loans are backed by a network of private lenders instead of via a national financial institution. You also won’t find a brick-and-mortar Connext location anytime soon because they offer their full range of products through a simple online platform. They strive to make the entire student loan process an easy one, from application to final payment.
The Connext platform is powered by ReliaMax. ReliaMax is both a private student loan servicer and a lender. The Connext arm of the business has helped roughly 100,000 students get a higher education. While this number is impressive, it pales in comparison to the 900,000 student loans issued through ReliaMax, worth approximately $14 billion. It’s reassuring to know that despite how new Connext is in the student loan sector, they are backed by experience and financial stability.
Despite not having any physical locations, Connext provides each borrower with a personal one-on-one advisor, available via email or phone call, who is there to help through every step of the process. In a world of predatory lending, they also are noted for their low-interest rates, which often beat out many of their competitors. Currently, their are three core Connext student loans: the Connext Refinance Loan, the Connext Undergraduate Student Loan, and the Connext Graduate Student Loan.
Connext Refinance Loan
Upon graduation, many students feel the burden of trying to juggle multiple student loan payments. Some graduates are also stuck with mediocre student loan rates and terms. According to Connext, graduates could benefit in five critical ways if they choose to refinance with them:
- Lower annual percentage rate (APR).
- Lower monthly payments
- Combine multiple monthly payments into one payment
- Move from a variable to a fixed APR
- Take over the loan from any cosigners
Connext offers both variable and fixed rate student loan consolidation rates, with terms of 5, 10, or 15 years (and even a 20-year term for the variable option). All loans come with no origination fee and a 0.25 percent rate discount for automatic payments.
The interest rates on the variable loans are determined by a credit evaluation and the chosen term. At the moment the variable rates range from 3.39 to 9.89 percent APR. The fixed interest rates, determined by the same criteria, currently vary from 4.25 to 9.85 percent.
The Connext Refinance loan is available for both federal and private student loans. Be aware, all borrowers should be wary of refinancing federal student loans into the private sector. They will lose all the protections and benefits of the Federal government.
Connext Undergraduate Student Loan
As always, students should always exhaust their options by applying through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid program first. Once a borrower's FAFSA is determined, the Connext Undergraduate Student Loan is available in both variable and fixed rate options. The loan can be made for amounts between $2,000 and the annual cost of attendance, with an aggregate limit of $100,000. They offer undergraduate student loans terms of both 10 and 15 years, and again there are no prepayment penalties or origination fees.
The variable APR currently ranges from 3.35 to 10.89 percent, dependent on creditworthiness and the term of the loan. The fixed rate undergraduate loan has interest rates ranging from 5.40 to 10.76 percent.
Connext Graduate Loans
The Connext Graduate Loans are extremely similar to their undergraduate counterparts. They offer both variable and fixed rate structures, with terms of 10 to 15 years. Again, absolutely no hidden fees (origination or prepayment charges), and they offer the automatic payment interest rate reduction of 0.25 percent.
Their variable rates currently range from between 3.35 to 10.89 percent, while their fixed interest rate loans vary from 5.40 to 10.76 percent. The aggregate loan maximum for the graduate student loan is up to $150,000.
How to Apply Online
Connext aims to make the process easy to navigate and has already gained a reputation for its high standards of customer service. Each of their three loan options has a simple online application.
Both their student loan options require specific information about the student, the university or college, any federal student aid, and the cost of attendance. You'll need to know what educational program you are entering into, as well as your expected graduation date. Both U.S Citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply for the undergraduate and graduate loans. Their Refinance Loan application requires significantly less information and is only open to school graduates. Interestingly, non-residents may apply, as long as their cosigner has residency.