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SoFi Review

Reviews 8,468
SoFi
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SoFi
SoFi
Excellent
Reviews 8,468
Sarah Badani
Nov. 16, 2023
6 min read
Sarah Badani
SoFi Summary
With its online application, flexible repayment terms, and lack of fees, SoFi makes applying and getting loans fast and easy. With private student loans, SoFi adds yet another financial support product to its line. As with all SoFi products, these loans come with transparent terms, reliable service, and competitive rates, making it a solid option for student loans.

Pros

  • Autopay discount
  • No origination, late, or insufficient funds fees
  • Post-graduate employment opportunities and networking events

Cons

  • Not eligible for many community colleges

SoFi at a glance

9.2
Editorial score

Online experience

Has learning resources, access to rates, mobile app
10.0

Customer services and support

Multiple ways of reaching lender but limited hours
6.0

Repayment flexibility

Offers flexible repayment plans & the option for special repayment programs
10.0

Eligibility

Loans available to all credit types, income levels, and students
10.0

Variety of Loan Types

Offers all loan types
10.0

Overview

SoFi is a known name in the finance world, SoFi offers consumers just about every type of financial assistance, from personal loans to home mortgages. And if you’re a student, there are options for you including medical residency refinancing, undergraduate student loans, and private student loans. 

With positive feedback online, an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau, and a reputation for being a fun, forward-thinking financial option, SoFi is a good choice if you’re looking to finance your way through school.

Suitable For?

SoFi private student loans are a good fit for students who have already exhausted their federal grant and loan venues and are looking for an easy, affordable, and flexible financing option. SoFi is also great for grad loans and parent loans - perfect for parents looking to help their kids through college.

Loan Features

SoFi is a well-known name in the finance world, offering solid products, good customer experience, and flexible policies. Plus, if you qualify, you can get competitive rates. Here are some areas where SoFi shines.

  • Social financing

As the name implies, SoFi is a social financing option. This has several ramifications. For one thing, SoFi actually sets up social networking events where you can meet people in your field, scout potential job opportunities, and learn more about your industry. SoFi is also known for helping its borrowers get jobs after they graduate (though this is not guaranteed).

  • No fees

Another advantage of going with SoFi for your private student loan is the lack of fees involved. Most lenders have fees, such as finder’s fees, registration fees, late payment fees (the most common), or others. This is why SoFi’s lack of fee policy is impressive. SoFi charges no fees for origination, application, insufficient funds, or prepayment penalty fees. In fact, this company doesn’t even charge a late fee, the most basic penalty charged if you miss a payment.

  • Human touch

SoFi has considerate repayment terms. It has a deferment and forbearance policy aka unemployment protection policy. If you lose your job, you can qualify for loan repayment deferment. That means you won’t be responsible for repaying your loan during your months of unemployment for up to 12 months.

The Application Process

The SoFi private student loan application process takes minutes to complete.

  • Fill out the online application form.
  • You may or may not get pre-qualified.
  • When you are approved, you’ll need to review the terms of your loan.
  • If everything looks good to you, you can sign using the e-signature tool.
  • The school you are currently enrolled in will then need to verify all of your information. This stage can take more or less time, depending on the institution.
  • Once verified, you can have your money right away.

Altogether, the whole process usually takes 4 to 6 weeks, but it can vary depending on the speed of your school’s verification process.

Additionally, SoFi encourages (but doesn’t require) borrowers to apply with a cosigner. Generally speaking, you’ll be given lower rates if you do this. That’s because, while SoFi doesn’t have a specified minimum credit score, your credit history and income may not be top tier in your student years, but a cosigner will have a longer credit history and more substantial income to back up the loan. A cosigner can also help improve your chances of getting approved for the loan altogether.

Eligibility Requirements

SoFi has fairly standard eligibility requirements. The only thing that stands out is that it doesn’t have any minimum credit score requirements. Here’s what you need:

  • US citizen
  • Of legal age within your state of residence
  • Live within the United States
  • Be enrolled for a minimum of half-time
  • Be enrolled in one of the eligible institutions
  • Be enrolled in one of the eligible degrees

Cosigner requirements include:

  • Must be of legal age within the state of residence
  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident

Loan Rates

SoFi offers both fixed and variable rates. They range as follows:

  • Fixed rates:  4.44% - 14.70% (with autopay)*
  • Variable rates:  5.99% - 14.70% (with autopay)

While there aren’t specific numbers, having a cosigner alongside you will definitely reduce your APR. For example, if your cosigner is a SoFi member already, you’ll get an immediate 0.25% off your interest rate.

SoFi will cover up to 100% of the cost of attendance at your school. This can include tuition, books, travel expenses, personal expenses, supplies, and room and board.

Repayment Terms

As mentioned, APRs range from 4.44% - 14.70% (with autopay)* depending on several factors. You can get an automatic 0.25% discount on your interest rate if you sign up for auto-payments that come directly out of your checking or savings account. There are several repayment options, including:

  • Deferred payments: Make no payments while in school (for students only)
  • Interest only: Only pay interest while you’re in school
  • Partial payments: Pay a set rate of $25/month while you’re in school (for students only)
  • Immediate payments: Start paying off your loan right away and finish faster

Choose the one that works for your finances.

How Safe is It?

SoFi is a fintech brand and so takes online security and privacy very seriously. It has all the normal industry-standard safeguards in place, including technical, administrative, and physical layers of protection.

Your personal account information is protected by a unique user ID and password that only you know. Along with the other sensitive information, those passwords are encrypted even during transmission, so nobody ever sees or knows your password. SoFi uses TLS (Transport Layer Security) to keep prying eyes away from your sensitive data.

Customer Service

This company does customer service right. SoFi’s customer service is based in the US. In our experience, customer care representatives understand your problems when you reach out for help. Support team members are available to you via telephone or email channels. The hours are convenient:

Available Monday thru Thursday 4am to 9pm PT and Friday thru Sunday 4am to 5pm PT

Finally, SoFi has a useful FAQ section on the site that has the answers you could be looking for from customer support.

How SoFi Compares


SoFiLaurel Road
APR4.44% - 14.70% (with autopay)*
4.11%
Minimum credit scoreNot specified650
Loan amounts$5,000-total COA$5,000-total COA
Accepts co-signersYesYes
Suitable for
Ambitious borrowers looking to finance the rest of their schoolingStudents who are specializing in the medical fields

Summary

SoFi is putting the personal edge back into financing. Offering flexible repayment terms, competitive pricing, and an easy-to-use online application, this brand stands by its customers. The forbearance and deferment programs are more examples of why SoFi is a good choice for student loan refinancing.

Disclaimers:

Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or other eligible status and and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, evaluation of your creditworthiness, years of professional experience, income, and a variety of other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers, or may become available, such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE.

SoFi Rewards Points: If you elect to redeem points for cash deposited into your SoFi Checking and Savings or SoFi Money account, fractional shares in your SoFi Invest account, or as a payment to your SoFi Personal Loans or SoFi student loans, your points will redeem at a rate of 1 cent per every point. If you elect to redeem points as a statement credit to your SoFi Credit Card account, your points will redeem at a rate of 0.5 cents per every point. For more details, please visit the Rewards page. Brokerage and Active investing products offered through SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.

UNDERGRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.44% to 14.83% annual percentage rate ("APR") (with autopay), variable rates from 5.99% to 14.83% APR (with autopay). GRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.99% to 13.60% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 5.99% to 14.10% APR (with autopay). PARENT LOANS: Fixed rates from 6.50% to 14.83% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 6.32% to 14.83% APR (with autopay). For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. Interest rates for variable rate loans are capped at 14.83%, unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law. Lowest rates are reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. If approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, the repayment option you select, the term and amount of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Information current as of 08/31/2023.

Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. Loans originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), Licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. NMLS # 1121636.  (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org).

Sarah Badani
Written by
Sarah Badani
Sarah Badani has extensive research and review experience in the finance industry. With a degree in psychology and education, she brings a level of depth and understanding to her writing along with her own flavor to spice up each topic in a unique and inviting way. She writes for BestMoney and enjoys helping readers make sense of the options on the market.‎
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