UW Credit Union Student Loan Refinance Review

Last Updated: July 10, 2021 by Melanie Hanson

Our Rating: A

Loan Limits $5,000 – $60,000
Fixed Rates 3.14% – 7.15%*
Variable Rates 1.68% – 4.98% (15% Cap)
Terms 5, 7, 10 or 15 years
Min. Credit Score Undisclosed

*Lowest rates always include the 0.25% interest reduction for enrolling in auto-pay.

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

Founded by a group of professors in 1931, University of Wisconsin Credit Union (UWCU) has grown to over a 293K members. UWCU is the preferred financial partner for the University of Wisconsin–Madison, though members need not have any association with Wisconsin’s massive postsecondary system.

Loan Refinancing Options
Private student loans
Private parent loans (in either name†)
Federal student loans
Federal Parent PLUS loans (in either name)

Parents may refinance in their own names or transfer debt to a child.

UWCU Refinance Rates & Fees

UW Credit Union’s fixed rates are between 3.14% and 7.15%. Variable rates start between 1.68% and 4.98%. Lowest rates always include the 0.25% interest reduction for enrolling in auto-pay.

Refinance Loan Rates
Term Fixed Rate Variable Rate
5 Year 3.14% – 5.40% 1.68% – 4.18%
7 Year 3.65% – 5.90% 1.98% – 4.43%
10 Year 4.40% – 6.40% 2.33% – 4.63%
15 Year 5.15% – 7.15% 2.68% – 4.98%

Additional information about UW Credit Union refinance rates:

  • Checking your rate with UWCU will not affect your credit score. They will conduct a soft, not hard, credit inquiry (learn the difference).
  • UWCU does offer a discount for setting up auto-pay: 0.25% interest rate reduction.
  • Variable rates are based on the 3-month LIBOR (0.146% as of this writing), updating each quarter by adding a margin between 1.55% and 4.85% to the LIBOR.
  • Variable rates are capped at 15%.

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 UWCU.

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 UW Credit Union does or does not charge.

Fee Type Amount Charged
Application Fee None
Loan Origination Fee None
Disbursement Fee Undisclosed
Prepayment Penalty None
Late Payment Fee The lesser of $10 or 5% of the overdue amount
Returned Payment Fee $15
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. UWCU considers a payment late if it is more than 10 days overdue.
  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

UW Credit Union offers a 0.25% APR reduction for borrowers who enroll in automatic payments. This lender also has a history of advertising temporary bonus offers. Past offers include $250 cash back to applicants who become new members.

UWCU members are also eligible for free, confidential financial counseling. This program is designed to help them improve their fiancial health, including credit consultation, credit score rehabilitation, debt repayment strategies, etc.

UWCU Refinance Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for refinancing with UW Credit Union, all borrowers must meet the criteria below.

  • Citizenship Requirement: U.S. citizenship or permanent residence.
  • Income Requirement: undisclosed; UWCU requires employment information, such as employer name, as part of a refinnance application..
  • Credit Score Requirement: no minimum score specified.
  • Graduation Requirement: undisclosed.
  • Location Requirement: undisclosed.

Additional restrictions apply for specific individuals and loans.

  • Borrowers must have a minimum four (4) years of credit history -OR- a qualified co-signer.
  • The minimum monthly payment is $50.
  • Borrowers must be(come) members of the University of Wisconsin Credit Union; membership is excluded to:
    • Any current employee, former employee, enrolled student, or alumnus of the University of Wisconsin System, Madison College or Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin.
    • Any Wisconsin resident who is currently enrolled or has attended any accredited institution of higher education.
    • Any current or former employee of UWCU, of an affiliate of the University of Wisconsin System, or of Covance Clinical Research Units, Inc., (formerly Bessalar or Hazelton Laboratories America, Inc.), Madison, Wisconsin.
    • Any current or former employee of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association.
    • Persons residing, employed, or enrolled in school within a five-mile radius of the UWCU headquarters’ office or any branch location.
    • Any member of the immediate family¶ of any other person who is eligible via the manner provided in UWCU’s membership bylaws.
    • Any organization or association if a majority of the directors, owners or members thereof are eligible for membership.
    • Any organization or association that has a business location within the geographic areas, set forth under Article III, Section 1(b) of UWCU’s bylaws.
    • Any trust if a majority of the persons who are settlor(s), trustee(s) and beneficiary(ies) are eligible for membership.

Immediate family includes spouses, children, stepchildren, grandchildren, adoptive children, parents, stepparents, siblings, grandparents, adoptive parents, and persons of the same residence maintaining a single economic unit (for example, commonlaw spouses and their children).

UWCU Student Loan Repayment Options

Lenders vary greatly on the benefits and options provided to borrowers during the loan servicing period. Additionally, benefits may only be available on a case-by-case basis. UWCU offers some relief options.

Deferment & Forbearance

UWCU does not explicitly offer deferment or forbearance under any circumstances.

Condition Coverage
Returning to grad school None
Disability rehabilitation Undisclosed
Active military duty Undisclosed
Involuntary unemployment Undisclosed
Economic hardship Undisclosed
Natural disaster Undisclosed
Temporary hardship Undisclosed

Additional Options

UWCU may offer other opportunities for relief or contract modification.

  • Co-signer release is available after 36 consecutive, qualifying payments.
  • Death / disability discharge may available in the unfortunate circumstance that a borrower passes away or suffers total permanent disability.
  • Interest-only payment may be an option for the first six (6) months of the loan term.

UWCU 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.

UWCU Online Reviews

Below are 3 samples of UWCU customer reviews we found on public forums, included here for their value as unedited, uncensored, and unsolicited user experiences. Note that these reviews are unverified, may include inaccuracies, and may provide outdated information (about rates, bonus offers, etc.).


“Very trustworthy. They did an awesome job helping me refinance my student loans to pay them off. I attended a free seminar they had on buying a house, which was really helpful before we actually went through with things. Genuinely nice people and care about their customers.”CoolCatLadyy on reddit, 8/15/2018


“I am a big fan of UW Credit Union! Back when I was in college, it was thanks to them that I could afford to stay enrolled. They were very nice and very understanding about my needs and helped me out with every detail needed. Now that the loan has come to term, their loan officers are very nice and respectful to my needs once again. They have worked with me to make sure all the necessary details have been covered and have even worked with me to lower my rates.”@AdamA2 on WalletHub, 10/14/2014


“I personally really like UWCU. When I graduated college, I called with some questions about building credit and managing student debt. They introduced me to a financial adviser, who took the time to sit down with me to analyze my entire financial situation: credit cards, various student and personal loans, income, etc. He was really friendly and helped me apply for a rewards credit card, gave me the best advice on most efficiently paying off loans based on fixed and fluctuating interest rates, and explained the nitty gritty of stuff like consolidation and why it wasn’t in my interest. If I ever had follow-up questions, I could call UWCU and speak directly with him. This was all also at no additional charge, and after two years of following his advice, I’ve got a bangin credit score and paid off a huge chunk of my student loans.

I also love that there are benefits for using your debit card and little extras, like free ATMS and free checks if you use a certain amount of services. I’ve met people whose banks charge them to make debit transactions and I’m baffled by that.

So yea, I’m head over heels in love with UWCU. I’m sorry your experience wasn’t as satisfying.”krustenon reddit, 1/25/2011

UWCU 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 zero (0) complaints about University of Wisconsin Credit Union (UWCU) to the CFPB.

UWCU Lawsuits

UWCU has not been subject to any major legal action in recent years.

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 UWCU.

  • Is UWCU good for refinancing student loans?
    UWCU may be a good option for borrowers with ties to Wisconsin. This lender claims borrowers who refinance save an average $2,883 over the life of their loan.
  • Are UWCU loans federal?
    UWCU loans are not federal. UWCU has no affiliation with the federal government or the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Does UWCU 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 UWCU hurt your credit score?
    For their prequalification process, UWCU performs a soft credit check, which will not hurt your credit score. If you proceed with an application, however, UWCU will perform a hard credit check that may affect your credit score.
  • Is UWCU a bank?
    UWCU is not a bank nor is it affiliated with any bank.
  • Can I refinance a UWCU loan?
    You can refinance UWCU student loans, student loans from another private lender, or federal loans. There is no limit to the number of times a borrower may refinance with UWCU. Note, however, that every new line of credit requires a hard credit check that may affect your FICO score.
  • Can I refinance just some of my loans with UWCU?
    Yes, you can refinance some, all, or just one of your qualifying student loans with UWCU. You may choose to refinance your private loans only or refinance private and federal loans together.
  • Can I refinance loans that have already been refinanced?
    Yes, you can refinance loans as many times as you want with UWCU. Note that each time you refinance, you will have to submit a new application; every application requires a hard credit check that may affect your credit score.
  • Can my spouse and I refinance our loans together with UWCU?
    UWCU does not offer joint refinancing.
  • How long does it take to refinance with UWCU?
    UWCU’s timeline from application to disbursement is between 2 and 7 weeks. UWCU does not specify when the first payment comes due; typically, first payments are due between 3 and 9 weeks after disbursal.
  • Who services UWCU refinance loans?
    UWCU does not publicly disclose a third-party loan servicer.
  • Does UWCU offer a grace period?
    No, UWCU does not offer a grace period, but refinance borrowers may apply for 6 months of interest-only payments.
  • How often do variable rates change?
    UWCU updates variable rates quarterly according to the 3-month LIBOR.
  • Can I get any special rates or discounts with UWCU?
    Yes, UWCU does offer a 0.25% interest rate reduction to those who enroll in automatic payments. This lender also has a history of offering temporary special promotions.
  • What happens if I file for bankruptcy?
    Filing for bankruptcy will not necessarily discharge your UWCU refinance loans.
  • Is UWCU a Credible lender?
    UWCU does not partner with marketplace lender Credible.

Compare Student Loan Refinance Reviews

Lender Rating
Advantage B+
BECU C-
Brazos A
Citizens Bank B-
College Ave A-
CommonBond A+
Discover D+
Earnest B+
EDvestinU B
ELFI A-
First Tech Federal C-
iHelp D
Laurel Road A-
MEFA B-
NaviRefi D-
Navy Federal C+
PenFed B+
PNC Bank C
RISLA A
SoFi B-
UW Credit Union A

Sources

  1. University of Wisconsin Credit Union (UWCU), Refinance Student Loans
  2. UWCU, University of Wisconsin Credit Union Bylaws
  3. Facebook, UW Credit Union
  4. University of Wisconsin-Madison News, UW-Madison Extends Campus Banking Relationship with UW Credit Union
  5. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Consumer Complaint Database
  6. Dun & Bradstreet, Business Directory
  7. Better Business Bureau, Search Businesses and Charities