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Lantern Review

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Patrick Sather
Patrick Sather
Jun. 29, 20224 min read

Lantern by SoFi summary

Acquired by SoFi in 2019, Lantern is a financial marketplace and product comparison platform. You can search for small business and personal loans, auto loan refinancing, mortgages, credit cards, life insurance, and student loan refinancing. Lantern enables you to quickly compare student loan refinancing quotes from select lenders for free. It also offers educational content to help you decide if student loan refinancing is right for you.

Pros

  • Free to use
  • Transparent rates
  • Large library of educational content and lender reviews

Cons

  • Requires credit score of 660 or greater
  • Limited search criteria and lenders
Lantern by SoFiat a glance
4.2

Editorial score

Online experience

Has learning resources and mobile app

5.0

Customer services and support

Limited ways of reaching lender

3.0

Repayment flexibility

Offers multiple repayment plans

5.0

Loan Types Covered

Covers most student loan types

4.0

Eligibility

Doesn't cover bad credit, low income borrowers

4.0

Lantern by SoFi Lantern by SoFi  Visit Lantern

Suitable for? 

Lantern is suitable for you if you have student loans with a high APR and want to refinance to a lower rate. With Lantern, you can quickly compare quotes from different lenders and get prequalified for a loan after answering just a few questions. Be advised that student loan refinancing through Lantern is best if you have a credit score above 660 and between $5,000 and $500,000 in student loans. Additional eligibility criteria may apply depending on the lender, which may exclude certain borrowers and loans. 

Loan Features

Lantern helps you find lenders offering student loan refinancing for federal and private student loans. While some lenders may offer refinancing for specialty loans such as spouse loans or examination prep loans, you’ll want to check with your lender to see if it will cover your existing loan type. Loans are available for US citizens and qualified permanent residents throughout the US.

Although income and credit score qualifications vary by lender, Lantern will only match you with lenders if your credit score is above 660. Furthermore, its platform only works if you’re looking to refinance between $5,000 and $500,000. Loan terms generally range from five to 20 years in either fixed or variable rates. Your credit score, loan term, and loan amount will determine your APR and monthly payment.

  • Loan type: Federal or private (some specialty loans)

  • Loan amount: $5,000-$500,000

  • Credit Score: 660 minimum

  • Repayment terms: Five to 20 years (fixed or variable)

  • Variable APR: 1.88% - 5.64%

  • Fixed APR: 2.49% - 7.50%

  • Monthly payment: Varies

The Application Process

To use Lantern, visit its website and select the option for Student Loan Refinancing. From there, enter your zip code, loan amount, and approximate credit score, and Lantern will attempt to match you with eligible lenders. You can also sort and filter results based on rate type, monthly payment amount, APR, and term. Lantern will then redirect you to the lender’s website to complete your credit check and application. 

Loan Terms

Loan terms will vary depending on the lender you choose and your personal situation. That said, Lantern’s lenders offer a combination of fixed and variable terms, with some lenders offering both. While some lenders offer flexible or customizable terms, others only provide a rigid list of terms for you to choose from. 

  • Loan terms vary by lender and your individual situation

  • Fixed and variable terms available

  • Some lenders offer customizable terms

Repayment Terms

Repayment terms for student loan refinancing vary between five and 20 years. However, Lantern’s lending partners each offer their own unique term lengths, so you’ll want to check with your lender to see what terms are available. 

Your loan APR will vary depending on your lender, loan amount, credit score, and repayment term. 

How Safe Is It? 

According to its website, Lantern uses security measures in compliance with federal law to protect your personal and financial information and does not share any information without your consent. SoFi uses SSL encryption as well as secure buildings and file storage to protect its data, so Lantern likely uses similar methods given that it is owned by SoFi. 

Help & Support

At this time, Lantern does not provide support for its platform via chat or phone. Lantern is a marketplace aggregator and not a direct lender, so questions about quotes, applications, and loan terms should be sent directly to your chosen third-party lender’s customer service team. 

If you are having difficulty using Lantern’s platform, you can send inquiries via secure message on its Contact Us page. Lantern also provides educational articles about student loan refinancing on its Learn page and hosts a large catalog of Lender Reviews where you can learn more about each of its lending partners. 

Summary

Lantern is a good option if you have student loans with a high APR or monthly payment and you want to refinance at a lower rate. It can help you to quickly and easily compare quotes from different lenders to find the best offer. However, it partners with a limited set of lenders and is not suitable if you have a low credit score. If you’re looking to get a lower rate on your student loans or see if refinancing is right for you, checking out Lantern might be worth your time. 

Physical Address

234 1 Street, San Francisco, California 94105 (SoFi Headquarters)

Lantern by SoFi Lantern by SoFi Visit Lantern

Methodology

The information used to create this review came from Lantern’s website and third-party reviews. 

Patrick Sather
Written byPatrick Sather

Patrick Sather is an award-winning personal finance writer and licensed broker who has worked for some of the largest financial firms in the United States, including TD Ameritrade and Pacific Life. A graduate of the University of Nebraska in both Economics and International Trade and English, his articles on life's most common financial decisions and quandaries are straightforward, practical, and always easy to understand.

Lantern by SoFi
Lantern by SoFi
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