- Review of: SoFi
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SoFi is a multi-purpose financial company that offers student loan refinancing, personal loans, mortgages, wealth management services, and more. It can help you save a ton of money on your student debt, buy a house and even get a new job. But if you have less than good credit, you might want to look elsewhere — SoFi requires a credit score of at least 660.
SoFi (short for Social Finance) has made a name for itself in the student loan refinancing space. But the company also offers personal loans, 10% down mortgages, wealth management (offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC), job search assistance and other services. Become a SoFi member and you’ll also be invited to networking events such as local happy hours. (However, for the sake of this review we’ll stay away from the sips and nibbles and focus on SoFi’s loan offerings.)
What Is SoFi?
Let’s start with what SoFi isn’t. It is not a traditional lender and it’s certainly not a bank. SoFi raises money from investors to fund its operations and of course to loan to its customers.
The company is now over five years old and has more than 600 employees. It offers four products:
- Student loan refinancing
- Personal loans
- Home Mortgages
- Wealth Management
According to a Forbes interview with co-founder Dan Macklin, SoFi is working on developing some new products and trying to manage its growth.
Beyond just the financial products, SoFi is about building a community. It offers career coaching services for customers to help them with job-hunting skills and salary negotiations. It sponsors networking events for customers and has started an entrepreneurship program to help customers with student loan debt to become business owners.
SoFi offers two main services: student loan refinancing and personal loans. In this review, we’re going to talk about both of these offerings. Click on the link to jump to the section you are more interested in:
SoFi Student Loan Refinancing
SoFi is one of the few lenders to offer consolidation of both federal and private student loans. The site claims the average customer realizes savings in excess of $22,000. It’s easy to sign up for SoFi student loan refinancing. The process is straightforward, and according to the company, the following three-step process can take a little as 15 minutes.
- Customers complete online preapproval
- Then they select the refinancing options, including rates and terms, that meet their needs.
- Finally, all they have to do is electronically sign and upload the loan agreement.
SoFi also offers great rates, with variable rates ranging from 2.365% to 6.290% APR and fixed rates ranging from 3.375% to 6.740% with autopay.
In addition, SoFi’s unemployment forbearance can be a lifesaver for at least a period of time if you ever lose your job.
SoFi is widely ranked at or near the top in the student loan refinance space. For the right borrower, it can offer significant cost savings. The other services it offers within its community are a value-added bonus.
But that’s not all SoFi offers.
SoFi Personal Loans
While perhaps best known for its student loan refinancing programs, SoFi offers personal loans as well. Its process and many of the features and benefits are similar in many ways to its student loan refinancing programs.
The site touts benefits that include the ability to borrow at fixed rates as low as 5.70% to 14.24% APR. These rates can be lower than credit card debt or other high-interest loans and result in significant savings for borrowers.
The process to apply is identical to the process for student loans, so expect it to be quick and painless, lasting as little as 15 minutes!
Current fixed rates range from 5.70% to 14.24% with autopay. The personal loans SoFi offers are unsecured, meaning you don’t need to provide any collateral for the loan. And you can borrow a minimum of $5,0000 (the maximum is $100,000), with repayment time frames ranging from three to seven years.
Are You Eligible?
In order to qualify for either SoFi student loan refinancing or personal loans, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of at least 18 years of age. Your financial history, employment status and your income versus your expenses will all be considered in evaluating your application and will be used to determine your interest rate.
As with any lender, not all applicants will qualify. Having an attractive financial profile will certainly help not only with qualifying but in getting the best rates and terms.
- Competitive Rates — Low, competitive rates for their loans.
- Easy Credit Requirements — No minimum-length credit history requirement, meaning these loans can be a good fit for borrowers with a limited credit history.
- Easy Process — No maximum debt-to-income ratio to qualify.
- Membership Privileges — Access to other benefits and features of the SoFi community.
- Loan Consolidation — The ability to consolidate both federal and private student loans.
- An opportunity to realize significant savings on the repayment of your student loans.
- Strict Loan Qualifications — Not all applicants will qualify; SoFi’s personal loans work best for those with good credit.
- Cheaper Options — There may be cheaper options such as a 0% credit card offer or a home equity line if you own a home.
- Not Available in Every State — Available in most but not all states.
- College Graduate — You must be a college graduate to qualify for student loan refinancing, so if you didn’t finish college but still have high-cost loans this is not an option for you.
- Not All Schools Qualify — Borrowers must have graduated from an eligible Title IV university to qualify. While there are more than 2,000 eligible schools, not all secondary educational programs will qualify.
- Short Loan Forbearance — The loan forbearance of 12 months for a job loss is lower than some other players in this space.
SoFi offers personal loans to borrowers with decent credit and a solid financial history. If you need a personal loan, SoFi is a place to check out. As with any financial transaction, be sure a personal loan is the best option for your situation.