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SoFi loans

This lender sets itself apart with competitive rates and an extensive list of borrower perks.

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Best known for student loan refinancing, SoFi has issued more than $50 billion in loans to over 1 million members. Its loan products include personal loans, student loans, student loan refinancing, mortgages and mortgage refinancing.

The typical SoFi borrower has good credit and a high salary, but it has no hard credit or income requirements.

What loans does SoFi offer?

SoFi offers a number of loans for people with good to excellent credit.

Personal loans

Geared toward recent college graduates, you’ll need to have a good credit score of at least 670 and be currently employed — or pending employment — in order to qualify for a personal loan from SoFi.

In most states, you can borrow between $5,000 and $100,000. The maximum you qualify to borrow depends on a number of factors, including your creditworthiness, current financial situation and state regulations.

Private student loans

Cover up to 100% of your school-certified cost of attendance with SoFi’s undergraduate student loans. Loan terms range from 5 to 15 years with your choice of fixed or variable rates — here’s how they break down:

  • Variable rates: 4.62% to 13.07% with autopay with autopay
  • Fixed rates: 4.49% to 13.8% with autopay

If you opt for variable rates, they’ll increase or decrease based on the lending market, though they’ll never go above 13.95% — relatively low compared to other lenders. Its loans come with a few other perks, including cosigner release, interest rate discounts and access to networking events to help you find a job after graduation.

To qualify, you or your cosigner need to have steady income. And it’s only open to students studying in the US.

Student loan refinancing

If you have at least $5,000 in federal or private student loans and are looking to consolidate them into one monthly payment, possibly at a lower rate, then SoFi student loan refinancing might be a good choice. With autopay, you could a discount on both fixed and variable rates.

SoFi also offers a few other types of refinancing for students and parents, including:

  • Medical resident refinancing. SoFi offers refinancing options that can lower medical residents’ monthly payments down to $100. Loan terms go up to 20 years, and you can choose from a fixed or variable rate — both with low starting APRs.
  • Parent PLUS refinancing. If you took out a Parent PLUS Loan to help pay for your child’s college expenses, you can also refinance through SoFi. Fixed rates start as low as 2.99% APR, while variable rates start as low as 2.25% APR.

And if you do choose to refinance with SoFi, you’ll also score unemployment protection, career support and access to wealth advisers — among other benefits.

Does SoFi offer business loans?

SoFi doesn’t offer small business loans directly. But it launched a platform called SoFi Lantern to help connect business owners with funding. Currently, it’s focused on helping businesses that have been hurt by COVID-19.

“SoFi Lantern makes it easy for applicants to search across different financing options, including SBA programs, private small business financing options, and personal loans to provide applicants with a wide array of solutions all from a single application,” SoFi CEO Anthony Noto tells Finder.

Mortgages and mortgage refinancing

SoFi currently only offers home loan refinancing to new borrowers.

While SoFi has temporarily stopped accepting new mortgage applications as of December 15, 2018, you can still apply for a mortgage or refinancing through its affiliate company: SoFi Mortgage. It offers everything from conventional home loans for first-time buyers with as little as 3% down to refinancing Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Administration (VA) mortgages to even more home loan products.

If you’re looking to refinance, you can choose between a regular refinance for up to 80% of your loan-to-value ratio (LTV) or a cash-out refinance for up to 65% of your LTV. Regular refinancing is perfect for those who want to lower monthly payments or potentially save on interest, while a cash-out refinance works like a home equity loan — borrow what you need to consolidate debt, pay for home renovations or handle other big expenses.

Why should I consider taking out a loan with SoFi?

From its competitive rates to its slew of borrower perks, here are a few reasons why you should consider taking out a loan with SoFi:

  • Competitive rates. SoFi offers fixed rates that start relatively low compared to the competition. You also have the opportunity to knock up to 0.375% off your APR by signing up for autopay and qualifying for SoFi’s member rate discount.
  • Minimal fees. None of SoFi’s loans come with application or prepayment penalty fees and origination fees aren’t required. And if you take out a personal loan, you won’t be on the hook for any late fees either.
  • Unemployment protection. If you end up losing your job through no fault of your own, you can apply for the SoFi Unemployment Protection Program.
  • Networking opportunities. SoFi organizes community events like happy hour meet-ups, dinners, workshops and lectures where members can get to know each other.

Where SoFi loans fall short

Consider these potential drawbacks before taking out a loan with SoFi:

  • Qualifying can be difficult. SoFi’s comparably low rates are compelling, but not everyone can qualify for a SoFi loan. If you’ve experienced any kind of financial hardship in the past, you might have a hard time getting approved.
  • Not available nationwide. SoFi doesn’t offer its personal loan products to residents of Mississippi.
  • Mediocre customer reviews. Top customer complaints of SoFi include its glitchy application process, inflexible repayment schedule and strict underwriting criteria.
  • Good to excellent credit required. SoFi only accepts borrowers on the upper end of the credit scale, which can be hard to meet — especially if you’re a recent graduate without an extensive credit history.

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What’s this I hear about a SoFi CEO scandal?

You might have heard that SoFi’s cofounder and CEO Mike Cagney resigned in the fall of 2017. This is no cause for panic if you’re already a SoFi borrower: Your money is as safe as it ever was. Cagney’s resignation follows allegations of sexual harassment, not financial misconduct. However, SoFi has pulled back on its plans to expand to foreign markets and asset management following this change in leadership.

What do borrowers say about SoFi?

Reviews of SoFi are mixed. Some borrowers have only positive things to say, while others have run into hurdles that have turned them off from the lender entirely.

SoFi isn’t accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and receives an A- rating due to government action taken against the company and a high volume of borrower complaints filed against it. And while a large majority of complaints have been hidden, the reviews haven’t. As of January 2019, reviewers give SoFi an average 2-star rating.

Many complained that they received a preapproval offer only to be denied the loan after filling out a full application. Others had problems with customer service not being responsive or helpful to inquiries about their loan status.

It fares much better on Trustpilot. Over 90% of its nearly 2,000 reviewers rate SoFi as “Excellent” or “Great.” Most of the negative reviews have to do with the underwriting process and mistakes with customer service — same as on the BBB. But positive reviews praise SoFi’s speed and easy application process, with multiple people stating they’ve gone to SoFi for two or three loans and have had great experiences each time.

These mixed reviews can make it hard to know if SoFi is the right choice for you. Fortunately, the preapproval process only requires a soft pull of your credit. So you can see what rates you qualify for — and how the customer service fares — before signing your loan contract.

Are SoFi loans safe?

In general, yes — though no website can ensure your personal information stays 100% safe. However, SoFi does its part by encrypting any details you enter online. It also has a robust privacy policy that spells out what type of personal information is collected, how it’s used and how you can limit sharing. Your information won’t be sold or rented to any third parties, which helps keep you safe from fraud.

In addition, SoFi has a dedicated contact page that lists its customer service numbers, email addresses and physical locations, so you know exactly where to turn if you have a problem with your loan.

How to apply for a loan with SoFi

In order to start the application process, select the type of loan you want to borrow from the list above. Follow these steps:

  1. Select Go to Site to begin the student loan refinancing or personal loan application process. Otherwise, select the product you want from the dropdown menu on SoFi’s website.
  2. Choose Find My Rate and create your account by providing your full name, selecting your state of residence and entering your email and password.
  3. Read over SoFi’s different policies, including its terms of use and arbitration agreement.
  4. Follow the application steps, providing personal information like your address, date of birth and income. You may also be required to enter your Social Security number.
  5. Hit Find My Rate to submit your application and see what loan terms you qualify for.

The information you need to provide to complete your application varies by loan type. Check out our review pages or contact SoFi directly to learn what documents you might need to submit in order to finalize your application.

Eligibility requirements

The exact eligibility requirements differ by loan type, but in general, you’ll need to meet the following:

  • Be employed or have a steady source of income.
  • Live in a state SoFi is licensed to lend.
  • Be a US citizen, permanent resident or visa holder.
  • Be the age of majority in your state.

And while SoFi doesn’t have a set income requirement, the median income of a SoFi borrower is $101,000.

More about SoFi

SoFi was founded in 2011 in San Francisco. Since then, it’s served over half a million borrowers and funded $30 billion in loans. And beyond its loan products, it also offers investing options, life insurance and FDIC-insured checking accounts. It works to minimize fees so borrowers can keep more money in their pockets.

Bottom line

SoFi has become an industry leader since it was founded. With plenty of loan options for borrowers and limited fees, you’re likely to find a loan that suits your needs. But its strict eligibility criteria and mixed customer reviews might turn some borrowers off.

Before you fill out its quick application, take the time to explore your other personal loan and student loan refinancing options.

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