Westerly Community Credit Union Go to main content

WCCU’s College Refinance Loan - FAQ

Am I eligible for a WCCU College Refinance loan?

To be eligible, you must be a graduate of at least a four-year accredited college/university, employed full time, and a member of WCCU. Membership is available to anyone who lives or works in RI & New London County, CT and maintains a minimum balance of $5 in any deposit account. (Holiday Club Accounts do not qualify.) Loan eligibility also depends on factors including financial history, income vs. expenses, etc.

What is the difference between consolidation and refinancing?

When you consolidate Federal loans through the Federal loan consolidation program, you’re combining multiple loans together with a resulting interest rate that’s the weighted average of your original loans’ rates. When you refinance loans with WCCU (a private lender), you’re also consolidating them, but the lender will use your financial information to give you a new interest rate (hopefully lower), and loan repayment term. Refinancing student loans at a lower interest rate may translate into lower monthly payment. Depending on the rates and remaining terms of the loans that are refinanced, it may also mean less interest paid over the life of the new loan.

When is the best time to refinance?

The earlier you refinance to a lower loan rate, the more money you will save. Even if you are in your grace period, interest accrues for unsubsidized Federal loans. WCCU is unable to honor your existing grace periods, but we will allow you to push your first payment out 45 days if requested.

Who should refinance?

Refinancing is a great solution for full-time working graduates who have high-interest, private loans, unsubsidized Direct Loans and/or Graduate PLUS loans. 

Are there benefits on my existing Federal student loans that I might lose if I refinance?

Federal student loans typically offer options which may be available to distressed borrowers such as public service forgiveness, economic hardship programs, and benefits for members of the armed forces. You should carefully consider the costs and benefits of refinancing before you move forward.

Is it possible to refinance both Federal and Private student loans with WCCU?


What is the automatic payment discount?

The automatic payment discount is a 0.25% interest rate reduction on your loan when you sign up for an automatic direct payment coming from your WCCU checking account.

Can I refinance previously consolidated student loans with WCCU?

Yes. If you previously consolidated your loans through a government program or a private lender, you are still eligible to refinance with WCCU. However, you may not refinance an existing WCCU College Refinance Loan.

Can my spouse and I refinance and consolidate our loans together?

No. WCCU’s College Refinance Loan can only be comprised of loans that were previously in one person’s name. However, you and your spouse can apply separately for refinancing.

Does WCCU offer loan deferment if I go back to school?

No. WCCU does not offer loan deferment for borrowers who return to college or graduate school on a half or full-time basis.

Does WCCU offer a grace period?

No, but we are able to delay your first payment up to 45 days if requested.

Does WCCU offer a fixed or variable rate product?

WCCU offers both. Please visit our rates page for details. Whether you choose a fixed or variable rate product depends on your individual financial situation.

What is the minimum and maximum amount I can borrow?

There is no minimum amount. The maximum amount is $50,000.

What is the loan term?

Loan terms can be up to 120 months (ten years)

Are there prepayment, application, origination or disbursement fees?


Do you require or accept co-signers?

Yes. While adding a co-signer is not required, it may help you qualify for a loan.

If I default on my loan, is my co-signer responsible for repaying my loan?


If I build a good payment history, can my co-signer be removed?

Yes. The cosigner  may be removed after 24-36 months of good payment history.

Is WCCU’s College Refinance loan considered a “student loan” for tax purposes?

Yes. Please note that you may or may not be eligible for interest deduction depending on your individual tax situation. You should consult your tax advisor for more information.

Can I refinance a Parent PLUS loan?

Yes, you can refinance a Parent PLUS loan provided you meet the eligibility criteria.

Can my child on whose behalf I took out a Parent PLUS loan refinance my loan in his or her name?

It is possible to refinance a Parent PLUS loan into your child’s name, but your child must apply.

More questions? Contact us today, we are here to help!

Go to main navigation