Geeky Insight:

SoFi Review: Private Student Loans and Student Loan Refinancing

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Americans have an outstanding student loan debt of $1.67 trillion, as per the recent data from the Federal Reserve.

Research indicates that student loans are among the primary reasons for stress among a growing population of US adults. And it’s not just about students, but their parents and grandparents are bearing the brunt of these outstanding loans.

If you’re someone looking to organize your student debt or seeking a private student loan, SoFi could be an option.

We have analyzed SoFi’s student loan refinancing and private student loans in this post, so continue reading to know more.

Quick Summary:

SoFi is an online personal finance company founded in 2011. SoFi started off with just student loan refinancing, but now the company offers a variety of products like private student loans, personal loans, checking accounts and much more. SoFi is a leader in online finance and can offer it's customers great value.

Student Loan Refinancing:

4.7/5

(5/5)

Private Student Loan:

4.5/5

(4.5/5)

Good for:

Bad for:

SoFi: A No-Fees Online Lender

SoFi is an online lender that offers student loan refinancing for federal or private student loans. You can apply for refinancing or a private student loan online. The lender brands itself as a no-fee lender, which means you won’t have to pay application charges, origination fees, or prepayment penalties on your loans.

SoFi’s official website puts its net refinanced loans at $18 billion, with over 300,000 members.

Let’s find out more about their specific loan offerings.

Which SoFi product do you want to learn about?

SoFi: Student Loan Refinancing Review

Best if

  • Individuals with a credit score of 700 or above.

  • Students with at least an associate degree or higher from a Title IV school.

  • Individuals with good income and decent disposable income levels.

Student loan refinancing is one of the primary offerings from SoFi. In fact, it was one of the first lenders to offer loan refinancing for both federal as well as private student loans together. When you enquire for a loan, the lender performs a soft-pull, keeping your credit score intact.

The loans start with as low as $5,000, though minimum loan amounts may vary depending on your state.

Geeky Insight

SoFi - Student Loan Refinancing

Loan amounts

$5,000 - Total outstanding loan balance

Loan terms

5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years

Fixed rate

3.20% - 6.44%*

Variable rate

2.99% - 6.44%*

Loans that qualify

Federal, private and previously consolidated loans. Borrowers can refinance PLUS loans taken out by their parents

Discounts

0.25% autopay discount

Income

Sufficient to show ability to repay loan

Education

Minimum of a bachelor's degree from one of over 2,000 Title IV accredited schools

Citizenship/Residency

U.S. citizen, permanent residents, or H1-B, J-1, L-1, E-2, E-3 visa holder

Cosigner release

Yes, after two years of on-time payments

Origination fees

None

Application fee

None

Prepayment fee

None

Late fees

5% of the unpaid amount of the payment due or $10, whichever is less

*auto-pay discount is included on rates

SoFi's interest rates and repayment terms

Loan APR: Starting from 3.20% for fixed APR and 2.99% for variable APR.

Repayment term: 5,7,10,15, 20 (years)

Borrowing requirements: Minimum $5,000 and up to outstanding loan balance

Fees: No origination, prepayment, or late fees.

Fixed rate

3.19 - 6.43%*

Variable rate

3.18 - 6.07%*

Hybrid rate

4.45 - 6.10%*

Loan terms

5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years

*auto-pay discount is included on rates

Additional benefits with SoFi

SoFi offers some additional perks to their customers. Here is what you can expect as a SoFi borrower:

  • As a SoFi customer, you’ll have access to one-to-one career advice. These counselors will help you realize and fill any gaps in your resume or skills.
  • SoFi provides free investment advice to its existing clients. You can qualify for a fee waiver and receive help from licensed financial advisors.
  • You can qualify for a 0.125% discount on any other SoFi products, including mortgage, personal loans, or other offerings.

In addition to these member benefits, SoFi offers unemployment protection of up to 12 months through the life of your loan. You can seek a maximum forbearance period of 3 months at a time.

Also, SoFi offers deferment options for those rejoining their studies, going on active military duty, and people undergoing disability rehabilitation.

Types of student loans you can refinance with SoFi

When you refinance your student loans with SoFi you will combine your loans into a single loan with one monthly payment. 

You will be able to refinance your private loans, your federal loans, or both. These can include any of the following:

  • Undergraduate
  • Graduate
  • MBA
  • Law school
  • Dental school
  • Medical school

Also, if your parents took out a PLUS loan to help pay for your education, you can take over the loan by refinancing it in your name.

Limitations with SoFi

Much like any other financial product, SoFi’s refinancing program does have some limitations.

  • You need to have at least an associate degree to get a loan, which means if you dropped out of college for one or the other reason, SoFi wouldn’t approve your application.
  • SoFi offers refinancing loans only to US citizens. If you’re an international student, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
  • SoFi doesn’t provide co-signer release until all the payments have been made. Most lenders offer co-signer release after 12 or more regular payments.
  • If you receive a refinancing loan from SoFi, you’ll lose access to federal relief programs, such as income-based repayment plans or any chances of loan forgiveness.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible to refinance with SoFi you must have excellent credit (700+), be a U.S. citizen or legal resident with a bachelor’s degree from an approved school to refinance your student loan debt with SoFi.

How to get started refinancing your student loan with SoFi

SoFi makes it easy to explore your refinance options in just a few minutes online with no commitments, no documents, and no impact to your credit score.

Get your new rate in just minutes on company’s website here.

If you choose to continue with the loan you’ll have to upload the necessary documents and sign electronic loan documents. Once SoFi approves your loan they will arrange for your existing loans to be paid off.

If you can’t be automatically verified you might get asked to provide a few things such as proof of employment, loan statements for each loan you’d like to refinance, and proof of residency (ex: utility bill, bank statement, etc.)

SoFi: Private Student Loans Review

Best FOR

  • Borrowers with a good credit score, employment history, and cash flow. In case you don’t have these, a co-signer with the right credentials would suffice too.
  • Students who have exhausted their federal student loans and need an affordable student loan provider.
  • Existing SoFi customers who can qualify for a discount.
  • Parents who want to fund their child’s education with affordable loans.

Private student loans are a new addition to SoFi’s existing lending options, starting in April 2019. Its student loan portfolio includes undergraduate program loans, graduate student loans, and parent student loans.

Unlike other borrowers, SoFi takes pride in its no-fee private student loans. Students don’t have to pay an origination fee, prepayment penalty, or late-payment fee with SoFi student loans. Also, there are no caps on how much you can borrow for your education, which means you can borrow up to 100% of your attendance expenses.

What makes SoFi trustworthy is the fact that the lender recommends students to exhaust their federal student loans before seeking a private student loan.

Geeky Insight

SoFi - Private Student Loan

Loan amounts

$5,000 up to your total cost of attendance

Loan terms

5, 10 or 15 years

Variable rate

1.30% - 10.00%*

Fixed rate

4.73% - 11.46%

Discounts

0.25% autopay discount

Citizenship/Residency

Borrowers must be U.S. citizens

Enrollment

Undergraduate, graduate and MBA program students who are currently enrolled at least half-time at eligible school. Overseas study allowed if school's main campus is based in the U.S. and on approved list

Types of repayment

Full principal and interest, interest only, deferred and flat payment

Cosigner Info

Cosigner required on all undergraduate loans. Cosigner release available after two years of consecutive, on-time payments (must apply for release)

Late fee

5% of the unpaid amount of the payment due or $10, whichever is less

Eligibility requirements for SoFi private student loans

So, how do you qualify for a private student loan with SoFi?

  • You’ll need to be an undergraduate or graduate student that is currently enrolled at least half-time at one of 2,000+ eligible schools. If you’re studying overseas, your school’s main campus will have to be based in the United States and on SoFi’s list of eligible schools.
  • If you are an undergraduate or graduate student you are required to have a cosigner. A cosigner could be a parent, friend, or relative who is willing to take on the responsibility to cover your loan payments if for some reason you cannot.

How to pay back your loan

Everyone has different budgets and unique circumstances so SoFi offers you four ways to pay back your loan:

  • Defer payments: This will allow you to completely postpone making your student loan payments until graduation. It’s important to remember that interest will accrue during deferment and will be capitalized at the end of the deferment period.
  • Fixed payments: Make fixed payments of $25 that are affordable and you’ll be able to save even more over the life of your loan. A little can go a long way.
  • Interest-only: Interest-only payments can be made while you’re in school. This will pay the interest as you go so it doesn’t accrue and get added to your balance.
  • Full monthly payment: Full monthly payment of the student loan (principal + interest) begins while you’re in school.

How to get private student loans with SoFi

SoFi makes it easy to explore your refinance options in just a few minutes online with no commitments, no documents, and no impact to your credit score.

To see your rate for a private student loan with SoFi click here.

When you’re approved, you’ll e-sign your loan disclosures, and SoFi will confirm your enrollment and loan amount with your school. That can take anywhere from five days to three weeks.

As soon as your school certifies the loan, the funds will be sent directly to your school.

Check your rate today >>>>> Visit SoFi.

The bottom line

SoFi is a decent option for private student loans and refinancing as long as you have a good credit score, employment history, or a co-signer that matches SoFi’s lending criteria. As a customer, make sure to compare SoFi’s loans with other lenders to get a complete picture.

FAQs

Rate check doesn't hurt your credit score

Low interest rates

No prepayment penalty

Flexible repayment terms

on SoFi's secure site