Everence is a faith-based Federal credit union. It partners with LendKey (a loan marketplace for credit unions and community financial institutions) to provide its members with private student loans and student loan consolidation in all 50 states.
Here’s an in-depth look at its private student loan offer.
Everence was established in 2010 as a new joint venture bringing together the Mennonite Mutual Aid (MMA) and the Mennonite Financial Federal Credit Union. The MMA began in 1945 providing loans to church members and partnered with the credit union in 2009.
Everence now offers insurance, investments, banking, financial planning, loans, and other financial services. Additionally, it has a focus on providing benefits to the community and stewardship education.
To become a member, you need to either have a relationship with a Mennonite or Anabaptist church or share values with Anabaptist’s understanding of Christian stewardship.
Here’s what you should know if you are considering a private student loan from this lender.
Everence private student loans
To qualify for an Everence student loan, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a member of the Everence Federal Credit Union (or willing to become one during the application)
- Half-time enrollment in a degree-granting program at a qualifying school
- A minimum GPA of 2.0
- Must be meeting your school’s Satisfactory Academic Progress standards
- S. citizen or permanent resident
- Be the age of the majority in your state
- Meet Everence’s underwriting criteria
- Students must have a cosigner
While a cosigner is required on student loans, Matt Gehman, VP of lending at Everence, says, “We offer cosigner releases for creditworthy borrowers after 24 consecutive on-time principal and interest payments are made during the repayment period.”
Student loan products
Everence offers student loans for undergraduate and graduate programs at eligible schools.
Rates and fees
This lender offers fixed and variable interest rates. A 0.25% interest rate discount is available if you enroll in automatic monthly payments from a checking or savings account.
Further, Gehman says, “We want our students to do well in school, as we offer a lower interest rate incentive for students with good grades. We also reward our students, after they graduate and have repaid 10% of the loan principal back, by giving them a 1% interest rate reduction.”
There are no application, origination, or prepayment fees.
You can borrow as little as $2,000. The maximum certified amount will be determined by your school, but tops out at $120,000 for undergraduate loans and $175,000 for graduate loans.
When enrolled in school or within the six-month grace period, a borrower can either pay $25 per month, the amount of the interest accrued each month, or the full payment amount.
The full repayment period will start six months after graduating or ceasing to be enrolled half-time. Once it begins, the minimum payment allowed is the lesser of $50 per month or the unpaid monthly balance of your loan.
As for the repayment period length, Gehman says, “Our loan terms are up to 20 years (for private student loans: up to five years in school, and 15-year repayment). Repayment terms vary after graduation, ranging up to 15 years.”
You can easily apply online with Everence. However, you will need to know which school you will be attending and the cost of attendance. Further, you can’t apply before the 1st of June for the fall term.
When you are ready, here are the steps to follow.
Visit Everence’s student loan page and click “Apply Now.”
Provide basic information to find out if you are eligible.
If you are eligible, you will then start the loan application by providing your name, social security number, and birth date.
Next, you will provide your address.
Add your references, cosigner (if applicable), and an authorized user (if applicable).
Create your account.
Verify you can open PDFs.
Review your disclosures.
Submit your application.
That’s it; then you will find out if you qualify. If you do, the next steps will include Everence verifying your enrollment with your school, and you submitting documents to prove your identity, enrollment, and income.
The process to verify and finalize the loan typically takes two to four weeks. When approved, the funds will be sent to your school, and it will determine the date of disbursement. If you aren’t happy with your loan, you can also cancel it within 30 days.
Gehman says, “We offer a 30-day no-fee return policy, which allows you to cancel the loan within 30 days of disbursement without fees or interest.”
Everence review and summary
Are Everence student loans the right fit for you? If you are part of the Mennonite or Anabaptist church, this lender will likely align with your values while also helping you get a loan, which is a plus. If not, you technically won’t be able to become a member, so that’s the first factor to consider.
As far as its loan features, the interest rates are competitive, and several discounts are available. The loan limits are pretty standard and will likely cover the majority of school costs. It also serves members in all 50 states of the U.S. so that location won’t be an issue.
Eligibility requirements are pretty standard. However, all students are required to apply with a cosigner. While students usually need a cosigner with other lenders, it’s not often required for all. The good news is, Everence allows borrowers to apply to release their cosigners after two years of consistent, on-time payments.
The application is online, it’s very easy, and the processing time isn’t bad at two to four weeks. One drawback, when comparing Everence to other lenders, is that they require a minimum payment of $25 per month when students are in school.
Other lenders don’t require any payments until the repayment period. While the payments will help to lower the balance and can help the borrower’s credit score, some students may prefer not to pay anything while enrolled in school.
Those are the basics you need to know about Everence private student loans. If you want to read more about Everence or apply, click here. Find out how Everence compares with other student loan providers.