(Social Financing) started as a small company with just one product, student loan refinancing. Today, the company offers a variety of products, but student loan refinancing is still its signature product.In 2020, SoFi also is working to become a market leader in private student loans as well.Over the years, it has grown into the largest and most well known student loan refinancing lender. I personally attribute them to making student loan refinancing as mainstream as it is today. However, SoFi is not without it’s growing pains, and it’s hard to know if they are still the best with all the other competitors out there.Are the rates at SoFi still compelling? Are the borrower perks still unique? Do they still offer great student loan bonuses?The answer is yes – and that’s why SoFi always makes it into our list of the Best Places To Refinance Your Student Loans. Plus, SoFi is currently offering a $200 bonus if you sign up with The College Investor to refinance.Even if you’re leaning towards SoFi, you need to shop around for your student loan lender. We recommend doing this through , a marketplace for student loan refinancing where you can receive and compare offers from multiple student loan refinancing lenders. Don’t forget to take advantage of the $750 gift card bonus if you refinance with Credible.This article explains what to expect if you refinance your student loans with SoFi.
SoFi is a market leader in student loan refinancing – becoming one of the first companies to really provide an online experience in this space. SoFi continues to be a great option for student loan refinancing, and it’s what they are most well known for.The number one criteria that considers when underwriting its loans is cash flow. If you have a high income, and relatively few debts, you’ll probably qualify to refinance with SoFi. In addition to considering cash flow, SoFi considers your credit history, and your current debt load. SoFi doesn’t use traditional credit scoring algorithms, but generally finds that people with FICO credit scores in the 700 range or above tend to qualify.We’ve found that SoFi was once one of the toughest places to qualify for refinancing, but over the last few years, they have loosened their lending standards a bit. However, if you have a low credit score, you might be better off going with a company like Earnest.In addition to meeting underwriting criteria, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States with a degree from a four year university. offers borrowing terms of 5,7,10, 15, or 20 years, and it offers fixed and variable rate loans. The minimum amount you can refinance is $5,000 ($10,000 in California).Current SoFi rates are as follows.Fixed:Variable:Maximum interest rates on variable rate loans are 8.95-9.95% depending on the term length. These rates are current as of June 9, 2020.Remember, these rates do change, so please check their website for the latest rates.SoFi consistently offers rates that are among the lowest in the country. Other than competitive interest rates, SoFi’s loan offerings aren’t particularly exceptional.The only lender we’ve seen with sometimes better rates at is Splash Financial.
When you refinance with any lender, you lose the protections offered by Federal student loans. For example, people who refinance with SoFi cannot opt for an income based repayment program. SoFi does have a forbearance program if you’ve become unemployed. The Unemployment Protection is offered in three month increments, and is capped at 12 months over the life of the loan. While generous, other lenders offer better forbearance programs.SoFi also offer loan deferment for borrowers who return to graduate school, undergo disability rehabilitation, or serve on active military duty. It also offers a six month deferment to people who are in SoFi’s entrepreneurship program. During either deferment or forbearance interest continues to accrue on the loan.SoFi’s website doesn’t list death and disability discharge as an option for borrowers, but we’ve confirmed with their compliance team that in cases of , the loan will be discharged – even if there is a cosigner. It will be listed on your promissory note.However, there is no option for disability discharge at this time. Federal loans do offer this protection, and some private loans have started to as well. If you borrow with SoFi, consider a low cost life insurance policy or disability insurance policy.One unique aspect of borrowing with SoFi is its emphasis on career growth. As a borrower, you will qualify for free career coaching and local networking events. These personalized services can help push you towards a higher income and faster debt repayment.
does offer some unique repayment programs that could benefit some. For example, they have a program for medical and dental residency candidates that offer $100/mo payments while in residency (for up to 4 years). This can be a life saver to doctors and dentists who are still in training, and only earning $50,000 per year, but have $200,000+ in student loan debt. Also, SoFi does allow for borrowers to refinance Parent PLUS Loans. Parent PLUS Loans are some of the most difficult Federal student loans to deal with, and refinancing is typically the best option if possible.
SoFi also offers private undergraduate and graduate student loans. These loans are extremely competitive with both rates and repayment terms. They also offer parent loans to pay for college, which not many other lenders offer.
SoFi undergraduate and graduate private loans have some of the best rates and terms available to borrowers.With SoFi, you can borrow up to 100% of the cost of attendance, with a minimum of $5,000 ($10,000 in California). Their loans also have no fees: no origination fees, no late fees, and no insufficient funds fees.They offer 5, 10, and 15 year term loans.They offer both variable rate and fixed rate loans. Current rates for undergraduates are follows:Fixed:Variable:These rates are current as of March 18, 2020.The graduate school loans offer slightly better top tier rates, with the same basic repayment plans and options:Fixed:Variable:
One of the highlights of SoFi’s private student loan program is that they offer four repayment plan options – which can provide borrowers with a high level of flexibility.They currently offer:Immediate: This option requires immediate principal and interest payments on the loan. It’s the highest monthly payment option, but the lowest overall cost option.Partial: This option allows for a $25/mo payment while in school, then switches over to a standard payment after graduation. Interest Only: This option has interest-only payments while in school, and then switches over to a standard payment after graduation. Deferred: This option allows you to not pay anything while you’re in school, and you begin full payments 6 months after graduation. This is most similar to a Federal loan.SoFi also offers a 0.25% interest rate discount if you sign up to make automatic payments. This discount is reflected in their advertised loan rates.
SoFi’s private student loan product doesn’t really have any concerning fine print. They charge no fees – no origination, no prepayment, and they even avoid charging late fees.They also advertise that they don’t require a cosigner for borrowers, although having a cosigner could provide better rates and terms.
SoFi also offers mortgages and personal loans as complimentary products to it’s student loan refinancing program.We’ve tried to use SoFi Mortgage, and we have a full SoFi Mortgage review here.For personal loans, you should compare SoFi to other lenders just like you would with student loan refinancing. Check outand see how SoFi compares for what you need.
SoFi is really becoming a major financial player, creating products in the investing and banking spaces. Check out our full reviews of their other major products here:SoFi Wealth – This is their investment management platform that is revolutionizing the robo-advisor space by offering 0% AUM fees. Read our SoFi Wealth review here.SoFi Money – SoFi Money is a high interest checking account that has some of the top rates currently available to consumers. Read out full SoFi Money review here.
offers decent interest rates on shorter term loans (up to ten years). If you’ve got a great income, and a decent credit history, you’ll likely qualify for a loan from SoFi. You can get a free rate estimate from SoFi (they won’t pull your credit until underwriting), so take a few minutes to get your rate. Then compare that rate with other lenders before deciding where to refinance.Plus, College Investor readers can get a $200 bonus when they refinance with SoFi. Don’t just go with SoFi for the bonus, and make sure you check out other student loan refinancing bonuses as well. But, if you were already considering SoFi, make sure you take advantage.