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ZuntaFi Review

Wednesday, June 29th

2022 Student Loan Provider Reviews

ZuntaFi Review 2 Star Rating

ZuntaFi

2 Star Rating
  • Originates and services loans in approximately 10 states
  • Undergraduate, graduate, medical school loans available
  • 20-year variable interest rates and a 20-year fixed hybrid, with advertised rates a little higher than other lenders in our review
  • "A+" rated and accredited with the BBB

Who is ZuntaFi? Based in the Midwest, this company offers private student loans for undergraduate, graduate and medical school programs, refinancing for Federal and private student loans, as well as consumer loans. They aim to provide honest financial solutions no matter which type of loan you need.

Benefits that are on par with the competition

ZuntaFi offers some benefits on their student loans that are fairly similar to other lenders'. First, there are no loan origination or prepayment fees, and you'll get a 0.25% rate discount when you make automated repayments. Next, if you've applied for a loan with a cosigner, he or she is eligible to be released after 24 months of full, consecutive, on-time payments - as long as you meet the loan requirements yourself at the time that release is requested. Finally, ZuntaFi will release the cosigner and forgive the balance of the loan if the borrower passes away during the lending term.

Not the lender, just the originator/servicer

It's important to note that ZuntaFi isn't the lender for student loans. Your application allows them to match you with a lender for origination, and then ZuntaFi will service that loan once it's been funded.

Extremely limited range of eligible states

Why does that matter? At the time of our evaluation, this company was only originating loans in a handful of states: seven for undergraduate loans, twelve for graduate loans, and seven for medical school loans. Even though the site says to contact ZuntaFi if your state isn't included in the list, don't bother: in our call to the provider, the representative said that they only offer funding in those states (though they hope to have more in the future). She explained that their lenders were restricting loans to just those areas. Sounds like ZuntaFi needs to work on their lending network!

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Very few eligible schools

It gets even more disappointing when you try to choose a school in one of the states serviced by ZuntaFi. Massachusetts? Only Harvard is in the list. New York? Just Columbia. Surprisingly, there were 14 schools in the West Virginia list - but think about how many students that covers, compared with all of the schools in New York and Massachusetts that weren't even on the list.

Not many loans to choose from

So, let's say that you're one of the lucky few who go to a school that ZuntaFi covers. You're not going to be blown away by your student loan choices. For example, the only options for Columbia undergrads we found were a 20-year variable loan and a 20-year fixed hybrid loan with rates slightly higher than other lenders. These were designated as iHelp loans, and that's the name that showed up on the caller ID when we dialed the toll-free number for ZuntaFi, but we're still unclear on the relationship between those two brands.

Feedback is hard to find

As you'd expect from a student loan provider with such a limited service area, borrower feedback on ZuntaFi is pretty scarce. The company has an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau - always a reassuring sign. There were a handful of complaints registered with the BBB, but all of them received a timely, appropriate response from ZuntaFi representatives. But, as with many financial institutions, ZuntaFi has its share of unhappy customers who have complained about mistakes in recording payments, late fees and other penalties. Among the handful of negative reviews, more than one mentioned having a hard time reaching their loan representative. We got through to a ZuntaFi rep right away, but then again we were calling as a prospective borrower and not a current one.

Most students won't get loans here

Most students should look elsewhere for their student loans. ZuntaFi only operates in a few states - and covers an extremely small number of schools within those service areas. Plus, there's nothing so over-the-top amazing with their servicing that would give them an advantage over other student loan providers even for the states and schools they cover. ZuntaFi earns a below-average rating.

Where Can You Find the Best Student Loans?

With 45% of high school graduates finding it necessary to take on student debt to finance their higher learning, that's an important question to answer. While most student loan debt comes from federal loans, some people discover that their government loans just aren't enough to cover the full costs of tuition, room and board, expensive textbooks, and everything else necessary for their college education.

If you find yourself in that situation - for your studies or your children's - you might get overwhelmed trying to figure out where the money will come from. And even once you've selected a lender, you still need to decide what repayment terms are best. Fixed- or variable-rate? Interest-only or small fixed repayments while still in school or fully deferred for 6-9 months after graduation? Repaying over five years or twenty? There are a lot of factors to consider that are unique to you.

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Student Loan Provider FAQ

Most students need a loan to fund the full cost of their college education. While the majority of student loans in the United States come through federal programs, there are also private loans available. You usually have to start making repayments on student loans six months after your last semester, though you can start sooner if you wish. Student loans often have repayment terms of at least 10 years.
Yes, very easily. If you're applying for federal student loans, you'll complete the FAFSA online. For private student loans, there are several ways to apply: either directly with a financial institution, like Discover or Wells Fargo, or using a platform that connects you with multiple lenders using a single quote request or application.
Unlike many other types of borrowing, student loans are designed to be affordable - it's rare to be charged an application or origination fee, and you should be able to pay off your loan early with no penalties. Interest rates are also much lower than credit cards and personal loans, and you'll usually have very long repayment terms: starting 6 months after your last semester and often stretching 10 years into the future. Expect interest rates between 1% and 6%, but watch out for fixed vs. variable APRs.
Your student loan will probably be disbursed directly to your school, not deposited to your personal bank account. That's a good thing if you want to ensure that your loan money actually gets used for your education! Because the process requires your school to certify the loan amount, the process can take a few days or more. It's a wise idea to start the loan application process early, to make sure there's plenty of time to meet your school's payment deadlines.
If you have a financial hardship or other eligible circumstance, you can request to defer your student loan repayments. Most lenders allow you to suspend your payments for up to three years if you qualify. Contact the servicer of your student loan to find out what requirements you need to meet to defer your loan.
Forbearance is similar to deferring your student loan payments. If you don't qualify for a deferral but still can't pay your student loan, you might be able to get your payments reduced or suspended temporarily, for up to 12 months. You'll need to get in touch with the servicer of your student loan to see if you're eligible for a forbearance arrangement.
In limited circumstances, yes. It usually depends on the type of student loan you have, the lender, and your situation. Student loans may be forgiven (or, essentially, written off) in the event of the disability or death of the borrower; issues with the school, like closure, error or fraud; income-driven repayment plans or employment-based forgiveness programs.
Yes, most of the time. Tax laws are changing constantly, but in the past students have been able to reduce taxable income by as much as $2,500 based on student loan interest paid, as long as they meet eligibility criteria (like having a qualified student loan that was used exclusively for educational expenses).
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Continued from above...

Fortunately, there are quite a few providers of student loans that can help you not only figure out those answers but also connect you with the money you need to pay for school. Many of them can even prequalify you for a loan with just your name, address and birthdate, with no impact on your credit report. Rest assured that millions of students (and many of their parents) have successfully navigated this process - and you can too.

Here are several aspects of student loan providers to keep in mind as you decide which ones merit further consideration:

  • Referral service or direct lender: Some sites serve as a comparison shopping platform, allowing you to get preliminary information about what loans might be available to you. These referral services may or may not use your information to complete some of the first steps of the application process. Other student loan sites directly connect you with the funding you need.
  • Interest rates. Don't be overly impressed by the super-low interest rates posted by any student loan provider: they almost always come with the caveat that only the "most qualified" candidates qualify for the best rates (and we've yet to find anyone that actually got a loan with rates that low). Just make sure that the rate you're offered is reasonable and competitive with other loans.
  • Repayment options. There are so many different ways to configure a student loan, like repayment terms ranging from 5-20 years, fixed and variable rates, and repayments either while still in school or deferred until after graduation. The more choices available to you, the more likely it is that you'll get loan terms you can afford.
  • Loan servicing. Getting a student loan is just the beginning. Take into account what other students have said about the experience after the application has been approved. Are funds disbursed quickly? Does the customer service team handle issues well? Can you expect any unpleasant surprises (like payments not being recorded accurately or not being able to reach support)?

To help you get the funds you need for your education, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best options for student loans today. We're confident that this information will make it possible to find the right way to cover the costs of your tuition, books and more!

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