iHelp Student Loans Review for 2024

iHelp, owned and operated by the Student Loan Finance Corporation, is a rising lender in the student loan space. iHelp partners with community banks to offer private student loans with two standout features: competitive interest rates and excellent loan terms.


Repayment may not be on your radar just yet, but for the sake of your future, it should be. With iHelp private student loans, you’ll save money compared to your peers and be able to choose the best payment plan to suit your financial needs right out of college.

iHelp Student Loan Application Requirements

Before you begin your application, there are a few things iHelp requires of its borrowers. All borrowers must meet the following requirements (but if you don’t keep reading!):

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Must have a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 45% or under.
  • Must have a minimum income of $24,000 for two years or more.
  • Must have three years of positive credit history.

During the application, you’ll be asked for the following information:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Name of school
  • Expected date of graduation
  • Cost of attendance
  • Reference information

If you don’t meet the DTI, income, and credit history requirements, then you’ll need to cosign with a creditworthy adult. Your cosigner must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, and have a strong credit score.

Why does iHelp require a cosigner?

Requiring a cosigner is very common among private student loan lenders. A cosigner is needed because you probably haven’t established a positive credit history yet. Lenders like iHelp are hesitant to lend to you because they don’t know how well you’ll handle payments yet. If you don’t make the required payments when they start, your cosigner is expected to make them for you.

In truth, lenders aren’t concerned with who makes the payment so long as they are made. The bad news is that if a payment isn’t made, then both your credit score and your cosigner’s credit score will take a hit.

With iHelp, you can apply to have your cosigner released after 24 months of on-time payments. You still must meet the standard credit and income requirements discussed above to qualify for this feature.

Types of Student Loans Available from iHelp

iHelp offers two types of student loans to help you on your journey.

iHelp Private Student Loans

You can use an iHELP private student loan to fund either your undergraduate or graduate education. You can use the loan for all of your education costs.


Variable Rates: 4.71% to 9.21%
Fixed Rates: 5.52% to 9.09%

Maximum Loan Amounts:

Undergraduate: $100,000
Graduate: $150,000

iHelp Student Loan Consolidation

Need to consolidate your private and federal student loans? iHelp has student loan refinancing plans for you. Take advantage of better interest rates and possibly lower your monthly obligations with one single payment each month.

To refinance student loans with iHelp, you must have a current loan balance of $10,000 and still meet the requirements mentioned above. It’s not necessary to have graduated. However, you must also have two years of good credit. This means no collection accounts and no student loans in default.


10 year fixed: 4% to 7.5%
15 year fixed: 4.5% to 8%
20 year fixed hybrid: 3.25% to 6.5%
20 year variable: LIBOR + 2.5% to 7.5%

Maximum Loan Amounts:

Undergraduate: $250,000
Graduate: $250,000

Fixed Rate vs. Variable Rate

A variable interest is determined by the market, so this means it can change month to month. When market rates are high, your interest rate will be high. When they’re low, yours will also be low. Typically, payments for a variable rate loan fluctuate a bit each month.

A fixed interest loan is the opposite. Instead of mirroring what the market is doing at the time, a fixed interest rate stays the same for the entire loan. Your rates won’t fluctuate or change, and your monthly payment will remain the same over the entire course of repayment.

The nice thing about fixed interest rates is that you never have to worry about what your payments will be. You know exactly how much you have to set aside month to month. The downside to this is that if market rates dip, you’ll be paying higher rates than everyone else. Still, predictability can be a good thing, especially when you’re first starting out after graduation.

Variable interest rates can save you money month to month. When the market is great, you get to reap the rewards. On the other hand, when rates are high, you’ll be paying for it while others aren’t.

iHelp Student Loan Repayment Options

iHelp offers both in-school and post-school repayment plans. This sets iHelp apart from its competition, as very few offer post-school options. These options are suitable for both sets of college graduates— those who have work lined up and those who don’t.

In-School Repayment Options

While you’re in school, you have three repayment options to suit your needs.

Deferred Payment: With deferred repayment, borrowers make no payments while enrolled in school at least half-time. This is a suitable option if you need to concentrate on your schooling and don’t want to worry about finding work that doesn’t conflict with classes and homework. Full payment begins six months after graduation.

Interest-Only Payment: With this option, you make interest-only payments while you’re in school. Doing this keeps your loan principal from growing and can lower your payments once you graduate. Payments for this option begin 30 to 60 days after disbursement.

Principal and Interest Payments: Making both interest and principal payments will put you on the path to paying off your student loan early. It’ll save you money on interest, and you’ll be able to pay off your student loan much faster once you graduate. If you choose this method, payments will begin 30 to 60 days after disbursement.

Post-School Repayment Options

You don’t have to choose right away, but you should return to this list as graduation gets closer.

Income-Sensitive Payments: This is a great option for many borrowers because monthly payments are based on your monthly gross income. Just know that payments cannot be less than the monthly interest accrual.

Graduated Payments: Monthly payments grow more over time to reflect your growing income. At first, payments are equal to the monthly interest accrual, and from there grow in amount month to month.

Principal and Interest Payments: This option is selected for you automatically after you graduate or attend school less than half-time. This is the standard payment option and includes payments that go towards both your interest and principal.

iHelp Student Loans Application Process

To start the iHelp application process, click the Apply Now button on the homepage. From there, you’ll be asked to select the school you’ll be attending and which student loan option has your interest. iHelp will ask you a few questions and inquire whether you plan to apply with a cosigner.

Tip: If you’re just out of high school, you are likely going to need one.

Once you’ve provided your personal and financial information, iHelp will immediately tell you whether you’ve been approved or declined for a student loan. If your application is declined, you may still be able to apply with a cosigner if you didn’t at first. However, if you already applied with a cosigner and were still declined, you may want to find someone else.

If approved, iHelp will likely ask for supporting documentation. When iHelp has everything they need, they’ll contact your school to verify your enrollment status and that all the information you provided was correct.

Once verified, iHelp disburses your funds to your college or university to cover your tuition and enrollment costs. Whatever remaining amount you have will be sent to you by your school after it has withdrawn what it needs.

iHelp Special Features

iHelp distinguishes itself in the competitive student loan market with features aimed at easing your financial burden and maximizing savings. One of the most beneficial aspects is the automatic debit rate discount. Setting up automatic payments from an approved U.S. bank account makes you eligible for a 0.25% reduction in your interest rate. Over the loan’s lifetime, this seemingly small discount can lead to substantial savings.

Additionally, iHelp promotes a no-fee policy, ensuring borrowers are not bogged down by origination fees or prepayment penalties. This approach highlights iHelp’s dedication to affordability and transparency, aiming to keep more money in your pocket.

Bottom Line

iHelp offers attractive rates and adaptable repayment plans, making it one of the best student loan options. While other lenders might boast a wider array of benefits, the true measure of value with iHelp lies in the tangible financial savings and flexibility it offers.

The company’s collaboration with community banks for better interest rates and its commitment to no unnecessary fees emphasize its focus on aiding borrowers in efficiently managing their educational expenses.

As graduates step into the real world, the significance of these advantages becomes abundantly clear. iHelp facilitates the funding of your education and supports your financial health long after you’ve left college, making it a compelling option for those searching for private student loans.

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