CU Student Choice Student Loan Refinance Review

Our Rating: C+ (Compare)

Credit Union (CU) Student Choice connects student borrowers with credit unions in its marketplace. While CU Student Choice is not a direct lender*, its services may be valuable to borrowers who want to transfer their debt to a credit union. Applicants need not be credit union members but will be required to join their selected credit union in order to complete the refinancing process.

*CU Student Choice originates and processes student refinance loans on behalf of 230+ partnering credit unions.

Loan Limits $5,000 – $250,000
Fixed Rates 3.59%+**
Variable Rates 5.25%+
Terms Unspecified
Min. Credit Score 660

**Lowest rates include a 0.25% interest reduction, which is available with most lenders on the CU Student Choice marketplace when borrowers set up automatic payments.

Skip to: Rates & Fees | Eligibility Requirements | Repayment Options | Consumer Reviews & Complaints | FAQ

Loan Refinancing Options
Private student loans
Private parent loans
Federal student loans
Federal Parent PLUS loans

Some of CU Student Choice’s lender partners may allow parents to transfer debt to a child during refinancing.

CU Student Choice Refinance Rates & Fees

CU Student Choice lender partners have fixed rates starting as low as 3.59% and variable rates as low as 5.25%. Lowest rates include a 0.25% interest reduction for enrolling in auto-pay. While available loan term lengths vary by lender, most offer terms of 5, 10, and 15 years.

Refinance Loan Rates
Term Fixed Rate Variable Rate
Varies by lender 3.59%+ 5.25%+

Additional information about CU Student Choice refinance rates:

  • Checking your rate with CU Student Choice will not affect your credit score. They will conduct a soft, not hard, credit inquiry (learn the difference).
  • CU Student Choice does not offer a discount for setting up auto-pay, but most of its credit union partners offer a 0.25% interest rate reduction.
  • Variable rates are based on Prime rate (8.50% as of this writing). As the Prime index changes, increasing or decreasing, your variable rate will change, increasing or decreasing correspondingly.
  • While CU Student Choice does not disclose a variable rate cap, some lenders advertise an 18.00% maximum APR.

Student Loan Refinancing Calculator

Based on advertised rates, use the calculator below to determine what your new monthly payment and potential savings may be if you refinance with CU Student Choice.

Additional Fees

Beyond interest rates, there are a number of fees a refinance lender may charge up-front or during the loan servicing period. Below is a list of these fees that CU Student Choice does or does not charge.

Fee Type Amount Charged
Application Fee Undisclosed
Loan Origination Fee None
Disbursement Fee Undisclosed
Prepayment Penalty None
Late Payment Fee Undisclosed
Returned Payment Fee Undisclosed
Collection Fee Undisclosed
  1. Application fee – fee to apply for rates & approval.
  2. Loan origination fee – fee to create the new loan.
  3. Disbursement fee – fee for distributing funds to lenders to pay off loans that have been refinanced.
  4. Prepayment penalty – fee for making extra payments to reduce a refinance loan balance or pay it off early.
  5. Late payment fee – fee for making a late payment.
  6. Returned payment fee – fee for failed payments due to insufficient funds, also known as a “bounced check”.
  7. Collection fee – fee for collection activity on a defaulted debt.

Current Promotions & Offers

CU Student Choice does not appear to have any active promotions or special offers at this time. Direct lenders in their marketplace, however, may have their own promotional offers available.

CU Student Choice Refinance Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for refinancing with CU Student Choice, all borrowers must meet the criteria below.

  • Citizenship Requirement: varies by lender but application documents suggest U.S. citizenship or permanent residence is required.
  • Income Requirement: varies from lender to lender but application documents suggest proof of income is required.
  • Credit Score Requirement: soft minimum 660.
  • Graduation Requirement: no minimum degree specified; borrowers must have graduated from an approved institution.
  • Location Requirement: CU Student Choice has credit union partners in the 50 states and the District of Columbia; one or more of these partners may accept applicants from elsewhere. For example, at least one credit union that shares ownership of the CU Student Choice brand accepts borrowers from Puerto Rico.

Additional restrictions apply for specific individuals and loans.

  • CU Student Choice lender partners may have additional requirements for applicants to qualify for student loan refinancing. Check with individual lenders to learn more about requirements.
  • Applicants do not need to be credit union members but will need to join the credit union they choose to refinance with in order to receive funding.

CU Student Choice Student Loan Repayment Options

CU Student Choice does not specify many repayment options. Credit unions in its marketplace may have certain benefits available during the loan servicing period. Additionally, benefits may only be available on a case-by-case basis.

Deferment & Forbearance

CU Student Choice does not explicitly offer any deferment or forbearance options. Its loan servicing partner, University Accounting Service (UAS), may have options available for refinance borrowers returning to school or facing an economic hardship.

See conditions for deferment and forbearance below.

Condition Coverage
Returning to grad school Varies by lender
Disability rehabilitation Varies by lender
Active military duty Varies by lender
Involuntary unemployment Varies by lender
Economic hardship Varies by lender
Natural disaster Varies by lender
Temporary hardship Varies by lender

Additional Options

CU Student Choice may offer other opportunities for relief or contract modification.

  • Co-signer release or co-borrower release may be possible with some partnering credit unions under certain conditions. CU Student Choice notes that 95% of its existing education loans have co-borrowers.
  • Death / disability discharge may be available in the unfortunate circumstance that a borrower passes away or suffers total permanent disability.

CU Student Choice Reviews, Complaints & Lawsuits

Beyond our own findings, our team also collected the most genuinely insightful customer experiences we could find, including any instances of legal action against the company in which the details became public.

CU Student Choice Online Reviews

Few customer reviews of CU Student Choice are available on public forums. We’ve included what little forum chatter we found here for its value as unedited, uncensored, and unsolicited user experience. Note that these reviews are unverified, may include inaccuracies, and may provide outdated information (about rates, bonus offers, etc.).


“I am having a horrible experience with this company getting things processed so that my daughter can get the money needed to pay for school! I have never had this experience with my bank Visions Federal Credit Union. I have SEVERAL loans with my bank and have NEVER had an issue. When I try to contact people there is no answer. I need help immediately!!”Jennifer Turner Kelly on Facebook, 9/12/2023


“Real Advice:

Honestly, if anyone’s in this situation, call Credit Union Student Choice. It’s a company that connects students who have to start paying back their massive college loans with local credit unions across the country, who would kill to diversify their loan portfolio, and are happy to charge a much lower interest rate. CU Student Choice has a bunch of experts who can help fill out the forms to refinance your loan, and they’re used to refinancing government issued and Sallie Mae loans all the time. You don’t pay CU Student Choice anything, they charge the Credit Union a processing fee for each loan they help refinance.

A bit of background: What’s in it for the Credit Union? CU’s, in case you didn’t know, are legally community-based non-profits. They don’t pay taxes, but in order to legally not be a bank, they have to offer banking services for the good of their local community. For CU’s their stability comes from having a very diverse loan portfolio. (That’s how any financial institution makes money is by loaning out the money from the savings accounts, charging interest, and splitting that profit with the original person who put the money in the savings account.) Car loans are easy – tools like CarFax and Kelly Blue Book track the value of a car pretty well. Home loans are hard, because you need people with real estate experience. Investing in Wall Street is risky, and usually having a Stock Broker is expensive. Loaning out credit cards is risky too, but at least that can all be automated. As far as a CU is concerned, a student loan is an amazing investment! It’s usually a large amount, way more than a car or a credit card, the kid definitely wants to pay it back, and they can’t escape it by claiming bankruptcy, and it helps the community! If you can offer that kid a super fair loan, and kill the predatory lenders with their massive interest rates, you can have that young customer for life, just because you did right by them. It’s truly a win-win for everyone.

Source: Over a decade ago, for 6 years, I worked for the parent company that owned CU Student Choice.”TeddyRooseveltsHead on reddit, 10/10/2022


CU Student Choice has claimed a profile on TrustPilot.com with no reviews as of this writing.

CU Student Choice CFPB Complaints

As consumer finance companies, student loan refinancing lenders fall under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency. As part of their mission, the CFPB allows consumers to log official complaints. These complaints are publicly available on the CFPB official website.

Consumers have submitted 0 complaints about CU Student Choice to the CFPB. Among its conglomerate owners, two (2) have received 108 complaints between them: Digital Federal Credit Union (98 complaints) and Star One Credit Union (10 complaints).

CU Student Choice does not have a profile listed in the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database; to search the database for CU Student Choice, click here.

CU Student Choice Lawsuits

CU Student Choice has not been a party in any major legal action.

Note that while this information is updated regularly, ongoing legal action is subject to change.


Frequently Asked Questions

These are the most common questions consumers have about student loan refinancing with CU Student Choice.

  • Is CU Student Choice good for refinancing student loans? CU Student Choice is good for student borrowers looking to refinance and compare rates with credit unions (as opposed to banks or for-profit lenders).
  • Does CU Student Choice require a minimum credit score to qualify for student loan refinancing? Consider 660 a soft minimum (it’s the lowest credit score listed on CU Student Choice’s pre-qualifying application).
  • Are CU Student Choice loans federal? CU Student Choice loans are not federal. CU Student Choice has no affiliation with the federal government or the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Does CU Student Choice charge a prepayment penalty? There are no penalties for early payments or repaying a loan in full before its term is over.
  • Does checking your rates with CU Student Choice hurt your credit score? For its prequalification process, CU Student Choice performs a soft credit check, which will not hurt your credit score. If you proceed with an application, however, CU Student Choice will perform a hard credit check that may affect your credit score.
  • Is CU Student Choice a bank? CU Student Choice is not a bank but a financial marketplace service. Founded in 2008, the brand is a property of multiple credit unions and credit union service organizations.
  • Which credit unions share ownership of CU Student Choice? The CU Student Choice brand belongs to a partnership that includes multiple credit unions and service companies:
    • Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union
    • BCU (formerly Baxter Credit Union)
    • Callahan & Associates
    • Callahan Credit Union
    • Callahan Credit Union Financial Services Limited Partnership
    • Credit Human Federal Credit Union
    • Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU)
    • Elements Financial Federal Credit Union
    • Lake Trust Credit Union
    • MIT Federal Credit Union
    • NASA Federal Credit Union
    • Star One Credit Union
    • Workers Credit Union
    • Wright-Patt Credit Union, Inc.
    • Velera
  • Are all the credit unions in CU Student Choice’s marketplace insured? Yes, the credit unions found in the CU Student Choice marketplace are insured. Most are federally insured with the National Credit Union Administration. Approximately 3.0% of credit unions on the marketplace have private share insurance.
  • Can I refinance a CU Student Choice loan? While CU Student Choice is not a direct lender, its lending partners do not limit the number of times a borrower may refinance. Note, however, that every new line of credit requires a hard credit check that may affect your FICO score.
  • Can my spouse and I refinance our loans together with CU Student Choice? While CU Student Choice is not a direct lender, joint refinancing may not be an option with its lending partners.
  • How long does it take to refinance with CU Student Choice? CU Student Choice does not disclose a timeline for refinancing student loans. Its partnering credit unions, however, advertise a period between 10 and 31 days from application to finalization; disbursement takes an additional 8-11 days.
  • Who services CU Student Choice refinance loans? University Accounting Service services student refinance loans from CU Student Choice. Once the loan has been disbursed or entered repayment, direct all questions to UAS.
  • Does CU Student Choice offer a grace period? CU Student Choice lenders do not generally offer grace periods but may honor an existing grace period.
  • How often do variable rates change? CU Student Choice variable rates update quarterly (January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1) based on the Prime rate as published by the Wall Street Journal on the last business day of the preceding month.
  • Can I get any special rates or discounts with CU Student Choice ? CU Student Choice does not offer any special rates or discounts, but individual lender partners may make special offers available to its refinance borrowers. Most credit unions do have a 0.25% interest rate reduction for setting up automatic payments.
  • What happens if I file for bankruptcy? Student refinance loans originated through CU Student Choice are generally not eligible for discharge in bankruptcy.
  • Does CU Student Choice partner with any major student refinance lender marketplaces? CU Student Choice partners exclusively with credit unions and credit union service providers; it does not partner with any major refinance lender marketplaces.

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CU Student Choice C+
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Sources

  1. CU Student Choice, Student Loan Refinance
  2. National Credit Union Administration, Credit Union and Corporate Call Report Data