Education Loan Finance Receives AAA Ratings on Inaugural Securitization Deal

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.--()--Education Loan Finance (ELFI), a division of SouthEast Bank, focusing on student loan debt refinancing and consolidation, announces the close of its inaugural securitization of refinanced student loans. Education Loan Finance is the first student loan refinancing lender to receive the AAA rating from both Standard & Poor’s and DBRS on its senior notes in its first securitization transaction comprised of this type of education loan product.

The $200 million transaction was comprised of $24.784 million of variable rate Class A-1 Notes, $158.65 million of fixed rate Class A-2 Notes, and $16.566 million of Class B Notes. The Class B Notes are rated A by DBRS. Citi and Credit Suisse served as joint lead managers on the transaction.

“Achieving AAA status right out of the gate for a marketplace lender in the FinTech industry is essentially unheard of as other companies were years into their business before receiving the AAA ratings on their securitizations. This accomplishment is evidence of the stability of SouthEast Bank and its Education Loan Finance platform, the products we offer and the high credit quality we bring to the market,” said Barbara Thomas, SouthEast Bank’s Executive Vice President and head of the Education Loan Finance Division. “I have been in the student loan refinancing industry from the beginning since 2012, and as a former Head of Morgan Stanley’s Student Loan Banking practice, I led the charge in creating the financing platforms for several lenders in the student loan refinancing marketplace.”

“Leveraging SouthEast Bank’s capital strength and management’s student loan financing and operational expertise, we created Education Loan Finance with a state-of-the-art loan application platform and a customer service delivery model that provides personalized service to all of our customers throughout the refinancing process. We take great pride in ensuring that our personnel are highly trained and well versed in student loans. We work hard with each and every consumer to ensure that we are helping them make the best choice for their financial future while ensuring that we are making loans to highly qualified candidates,” explained Thomas.

SouthEast Bank and its parent holding company, Educational Services of America, Inc., are no strangers to the student loan securitization market, having financed over $5 billion in student loans since 2011.

“I am very pleased that we can provide this loan product that helps borrowers consolidate all of their education loans at lower interest rates and provides more payment options at a time when total student loan debt has surpassed $1.3 trillion in the United States,” said John E. Arnold, Jr., SouthEast Bank’s Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank’s holding company.

Education Loan Finance has been providing low cost refinancing and consolidation solutions for borrowers with both federal and private student loans since December 2015. This securitization deal follows a year of significant investment in the platform to deliver excellence in the user experience and personalized service for Education Loan Finance’s customers.

About Education Loan Finance

Education Loan Finance, a division of SouthEast Bank, is a financial technology company and leading online lender designed to assist borrowers by consolidating and refinancing private and federal student loans into one simple, low-cost loan. Education Loan Finance believes that providing consumers comprehensive refinancing and consolidation options empowers the consumers on their financial journey. To learn more, visit

About SouthEast Bank

Headquartered in Farragut, Tennessee, SouthEast Bank operates branches throughout East and Middle Tennessee, blending modern amenities with hometown service and decision-making. Our customers enjoy free access to convenient electronic and mobile platforms such as online banking, remote deposit, automatic fraud monitoring, and a worldwide ATM network. In the last decade, SouthEast Bank, along with its holding company, has donated over $20 million to support secondary and post-secondary education in our local communities and universities throughout the state of Tennessee. To learn more about SouthEast Bank, please visit


SouthEast Bank
Heather B. Price, 865-824-3350

Release Summary

Education Loan Finance (ELFI), a division of SouthEast Bank, received an AAA rating on its first securitization deal.


SouthEast Bank
Heather B. Price, 865-824-3350