SoFi Review: Personal & Student Loans with Low Rates and No Fee

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SoFi is an online loan company that offers student loan refinancing options, mortgages and personal loans. SoFi offers some of the lowest interest rates and a great consumer experience.

Although SoFi has strict credit criteria and requires borrowers to have a good job, good income, a proven ability to manage a budget and good credit history, it’s known for having some of the lowest rates on student loans and personal loans on the market.

SoFi personal loans

SoFi personal loans allow you to borrow between $5,000 and $100,000 for a range of expenses including credit card consolidation, home improvement and medical procedures.

You can borrow the money for 24 to 84 months. There is No origination fee, no prepayment penalty and no balance transfer fee.

In addition, SoFi offers unemployment protection. If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you will be given a payment holiday. Interest will continue to accrue on the loan (and be added to the balance), but no payment will be due and your loan will continue to be reported as current to the credit bureau. You can have three consecutive months of forbearance at a time, up to 12 months total over the life of the loan. That offers great flexibility. In addition, they offer job placement services to help you find a job.

Fixed interest rates range from 5.99% to 20.01%* — but you have to sign up for autopay in order to get these rates. In addition, SoFi offers variable interest rates from 5.47% to 14.70%* with autopay. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%.*

SoFi
APR

5.99%
To
20.01%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 84

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

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Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 20.01% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.49% APR to 14.70% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of November 15, 2019 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.49% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.81% plus 4.93% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. 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.

All rates, terms, and figures are subject to change by the lender without notice. For the most up-to-date information, visit the lender's website directly. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.

See Consumer Licenses.

SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Minimum loan requirements might be higher than $5,000 in specific states due to legal requirements. Fixed and variable-rate caps may be lower in some states due to legal requirements and may impact your eligibility to qualify for a SoFi loan.

If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may apply for Unemployment Protection. SoFi will suspend your monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during your forbearance period. Interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your principal balance at the end of each forbearance period, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Benefits are offered in three month increments, and capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. To be eligible for this assistance you must provide proof that you have applied for and are eligible for unemployment compensation, and you must actively work with our Career Advisory Group to look for new employment. If the loan is co-signed the unemployment protection applies where both the borrower and cosigner lose their job and meet conditions.

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 permanent resident in an eligible state 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, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and 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 such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

Eligibility requirements

In order to be approved for a loan, you must at least meet the following requirements:

  • You are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • You are at least the age of majority in your state (typically 18).
  • You are currently employed, have sufficient income from other sources or have a job offer to start within the next 90 days.

SoFi personal loans are not available to residents of the following state: Mississippi.
If you fail to meet the above criteria, you will be rejected. However, just because you meet these criteria does not mean that you will be approved. SoFi will:

  • Perform an analysis of your ability to repay. They do a “cash flow analysis” looking at your income and expenditure, making sure you can pay.
  • Perform an analysis of your history with credit. Missed payments and defaults will most likely get you rejected. You need to have a strong history of repayment. Although SoFi is not a FICO-driven lender (because they look at education, employment and cash flow), the following people will likely have difficulty getting approved:
    • People who do not have excellent credit. In particular, if you have missed payments or have rapidly built up debt, you could find it difficult to qualify.
    • People with collection items or other negative items on their credit report.

If you have a “thin credit file,” you may still have a good chance of getting approved. A thin file means that you do not have much information in your credit report. Although that could be a problem with traditional credit scores, SoFi might still be willing to work with you.

SoFi offers some of the lowest interest rates out there and is picky about who is approved. But there is good news: You can check to see if you will be approved, and the interest rate you would receive, without hurting your credit score. SoFi uses what is called a “Soft Pull” to determine your interest rate and loan amount.

Given how low the interest rates are at SoFi, you should take the time to see if you can be approved. The only cost is your time.

Remember that you’re in no way obligated to take a loan once you apply.
Unless you go through with the hard credit inquiry and accept the loan, you are not obligated to take any of the loans presented to you.

SoFi’s student loan refinance offerings

With SoFi, you can refinance as little as $5,000 of student loan debt. There is no cap on how much you can refinance. Based on your cash flow, SoFi will try to provide an option to refinance all of your student loan debt.

There is no origination fee and no prepayment penalty. SoFi offers some of the lowest rates out there. Fixed APRs range from 3.46% to 7.36%,* and variable APRs range from 2.31% to 7.36%.* These rates are available so long as you enroll in autopay. Given that interest rates are near an all-time low, you should think carefully before signing up for a variable interest rate. If you can pay off your loan in a short period of time, you could save a lot of money. If it will take you longer, you may not want to take the interest rate risk.

You can refinance on a 5-, 7-, 10-, 15- or 20-year term.

SoFi will refinance both private and federal student loans. However, if you refinance a federal loan you will give up all federal protections and programs, including income-based repayment programs. SoFi is unique among private lenders because it offers unemployment insurance, free of charge. If you lose your job for no fault of your own (you can’t quit), SoFi will suspend your monthly payments until you find a new job. You can do this for up to 12 months. The interest that accrues during this period would be added to the loan.

The downsides of refinancing with SoFi

Refinancing with SoFi isn’t an option for everyone. That said, SoFi offers refinance loans in 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

SoFi has a list of available schools and programs it services. If your school or program isn’t on that list, you won’t be eligible to refinance.

Also, SoFi typically requires applicants to have excellent credit. It occasionally accepts cosigners — you can call to review your situation with a representative. However, there’s no cosigner release if you move forward with one on your loan.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible to refinance your student loans with SoFi, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • You must be at least the age of majority in your state (typically 18).
  • You need to have an associates’ degree or higher from a Title IV accredited institution.
  • You have to be currently employed, have sufficient income from other sources or have a job offer to start within the next 90 days.

How to apply

The application process is straightforward and SoFi’s preapproval process doesn’t take long. You likely won’t need most of the documents listed below until you’re ready to move forward with a loan, but they’re good to have on hand while you’re shopping around.

  • Existing student loan information (SoFi will need your account information for the loans you wish to finance)
  • Employment information — salary, offer of employment, length of employment
  • Most recent pay stubs as proof of income and employment (if you’re currently employed)
  • Diploma or transcript in the event SoFi needs to verify your graduation

If you’re ready to get started, you can apply for a refinance and check your rate by clicking the button below.

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on SoFi’s secure website

SoFi medical residency refinancing

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, medical school students take on a median debt level of about $200,000. SoFi’s Medical Resident Student Loan Refinancing program can be used to lock in a lower monthly payment or pay off your existing medical loans sooner. There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties.

SoFi Medical Residency Refinancing: At a Glance

Variable APR

3.86% - 6.53%*

Fixed APR

4.53% – 7.20%*

Terms available

5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years

Balance range

$10,001 – no max

*Includes autopay discount.

*Rates current as of September 2019.

Highlights

With SoFi’s Medical Resident Student Loan Refinancing, participating students can avoid compounding interest on their debt for up to 54 months of residency. Minimum payments are only $100 a month. Like many lenders, SoFi offers a 0.25% interest rate reduction on loans if you agree to have monthly payments automatically deducted from your bank account.

Applicants may use refinancing to consolidate qualified public and private medical school loans into a single rate and payment. But take heed, per SoFi: “Upon completion or departure from your residency program, your loan will re-amortize and your payment amount will increase according to a fully amortized loan schedule.”

Lowlights

SoFi refi loans are private loans and do not offer the repayment options of federal loan programs. For example, there are no SoFi equivalents that peg monthly payments to your family’s income and family size, like the federal Income-Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR Plan), Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR Plan) or Pay as You Earn Repayment Plan (PAYE Plan). Also, private education loans are ineligible for federal loan repayment remedies such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

SoFi doesn’t offer medical student refinance loans in every state, either.

Residents of Mississippi and Montana are not eligible. Minimum loan amounts are $25,001 in Pennsylvania and $15,001 in Connecticut and Kentucky.

Eligibility requirements

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, 18 years or older.
  • You must be a medical/dental resident or fellow with no more than four years remaining in your program.
  • You must have more than $10,000 in federal or private student loan debt.
  • You must be a graduate of a selected Title IV accredited university or graduate program within the United States with an MD, DO, DMD or DDS.

How to apply

Start the process at SoFi’s Medical and Dental Resident Student Loan Refinancing webpage and see if you are prequalified. Since it’s only a soft pull on your credit report, it won’t affect your credit score. When you officially apply for refinancing, however, there will be a hard credit pull.

Learn more about SoFi

SoFi was created with a mission to revolutionize the way we borrow in this country. In particular:

  • They want to make it easy for people to shop for a loan, believing that you should be able to get your interest rate without hurting your score.
  • They want to create an easy, seamless experience with a great user experience.
  • They want to cut out the costs of the big banks, giving lower interest rates to borrowers and higher interest rates to lenders.
  • They want to create a different type of borrowing experience, by providing unemployment insurance as a free benefit.

SoFi’s mission and personal loan product align with the vision of MagnifyMoney. When we created MagnifyMoney, we hoped to find lenders like SoFi, and are pleased to award them an A+ Transparency Score.

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Nick Clements
Nick Clements |

Nick Clements is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Nick at [email protected]

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