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SoFi Parent Loans review

This top online lender offers some of the lowest starting APRs out there.

Bottom line: Excellent credit can provide some of the lowest private loan APRs. And current SoFi customers can earn an extra discount.

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1.88% to 11.16%

APR

Up to 100% of the CoA

Max. Loan Amount

Not stated, but other loans require good to excellent credit

Min. Credit Score

Details

Product NameSoFi Parent Loans
Minimum Loan Amount$5,000
Max. Loan AmountUp to 100% of the CoA
APR1.88% to 11.16%
Interest Rate TypeFixed and variable
Fixed rate4.6% to 10.76%
RequirementsNot stated
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Review by


Kellye Guinan is a seasoned financial writer with over 500 articles under her belt spanning all things loans from auto to personal to business and everything in between. With four years in the field and five years of research experience, she's able to make complex personal finance decisions easier for anyone to tackle. When she's not up to her knees learning about the latest trends in lending, she spends her time improving her own financial literacy and expertise — and maintaining a Duolingo streak of over 1,300 days.

Expert review

SoFi is a well-known online lender — and its parent loans have competitive rates. If you have good to excellent credit and a steady source of income, you may qualify for one of its low variable- or fixed-rate loans. And there are no fees, which will help reduce the amount you pay to finance your student’s education. You won’t need to be the parent or legal guardian, either. Anyone can borrow a parent loan through SoFi regardless of their relationship with the student.

But it has misrepresented savings in the past. SoFi also has more strict eligibility criteria than other lenders, and you could be stuck with a midrange rate even if you have good credit.

For more ways to finance your student’s education, compare other parent loan options.

First, am I eligible?

To borrow a parent loan from SoFi, the student you are borrowing for must be enrolled at least half time in a degree-seeking program. In addition, you will need to have a regular source of income and be a US citizen or permanent resident.

SoFi will also consider your credit score and other factors, although it doesn’t provide any minimum requirements on its website.

What states is SoFi available in?

SoFi parent loans are available in all 50 states and Washington, DC.

How do SoFi parent loans work?

SoFi bases its decision on your credit score, debts and other factors. Typically, it only accepts borrowers with good to excellent credit. This helps keep rates low, but it does mean that borrowers with good credit may face higher rates than they would with other lenders.

What are the benefits of a parent loan from SoFi?

SoFi is one of the top lenders and may be competitively inexpensive if you qualify for its parent loans.

  • No fees — ever
  • Low variable rates starting at 1.90%
  • Multiple APR discounts
  • Loans cover full cost of attendance

What to watch out for

You will need to begin repayments immediately — if you qualify.

  • Good to excellent credit required
  • Limited repayment options
  • Faced government action in 2018

Compare other student loan options

Not sure SoFi is a good fit? Check out these other student loan providers.

Name Product APR Min. Credit Score Loan amount Loan Term
Purefy Student Loan Refinancing (Variable Rate)
1.88% to 5.54%
650
$5,000 - $300,000
5 to 20 years
Refinance all types of student loans — including federal and parent PLUS loans.
Credible Student Loan Refinancing
1.90% to 8.90%
Good to excellent credit
Starting at $5,000
5 to 20 years
Get prequalified offers from top student loan refinancing providers in one place.
SoFi Student Loan Refinancing Variable Rate (with Autopay)
2.25% to 6.39%
650
Starting at $5,000
5 to 20 years
A leader in student loan refinancing, SoFi can help you refinance your loans and pay them off sooner.
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinancing
1.89% to 6.66%
650
Starting at $7,500
5 to 25 years
Save on your student loans with this market-leading newcomer.
Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinancing
2.39% to 6.01%
680
Starting at $15,000
5 to 20 years
Lower your student debt costs with manageable payments, affordable rates and flexible terms.
Earnest Student Loan Refinancing
1.88% to 5.64% APR with autopay
650
$5,000 - $500,000
5 to 20 years
Get a tailored interest rate and repayment plan with no hidden fees.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How much do SoFi parent loans cost?

You can borrow anywhere from $5,000 to the full cost of attendance, minus other financial aid, with a parent loan. Loan terms can stretch up to 15 years, and SoFi offers two APR options: Fixed and variable rate.

  • Fixed-rate APR: 4.6% to 10.76%, with autopay
  • Variable-rate APR: 1.88% to 11.16%, with autopay

SoFi caps its variable-rate loans at 13.95% — which means even if rates fluctuate in the future, you won’t be stuck with an extremely high APR. And because it charges no fees, the interest rate you pay will be the only thing you have to worry about with your repayments.

Does SoFi offer discounts?

Like many other lenders, SoFi offers a 0.25% APR discount when you sign up for autopay. If you’re an existing SoFi member, you may also qualify for an additional 0.125% APR discount.

What are my repayment options?

SoFi allows you to make interest-only repayments while your student is enrolled at least half time. These payments begin 30 to 45 days after the loan is fully disbursed, and full payments begin 30 to 45 days after your student has graduated or dropped below half-time status.

You can also choose to make full repayments while your student is in school. These will also begin 30 to 45 days after the loan is fully disbursed.

Does SoFi offer deferment or forbearance?

Like other private lenders, you may be able to defer or forbear your loan if you are unemployed, facing economic hardship or a member of the military. SoFi also has forbearance available for borrowers who have been affected by the coronavirus.

What servicer does SoFi use?

SoFi uses MOHELA as a servicer for its parent loans. To request a payoff statement or handle other payment issues, you will need to log in to your MOHELA account.

What do borrowers say about SoFi?

SoFi receives mixed reviews from its customers — although not many specifically address its parent loans. Recently, SoFi has received a number of complaints about how it has handled payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Others complain about the poor user interface for both its website and app. Positive reviews highlight its speed and customer service.

SoFi faced action from the FTC

In 2018, SoFi alleged that SoFi had made false statements about its refinancing program as well as its preapproved offers. It came to a settlement in February 2019 that bans it from misrepresenting potential savings through its refinancing program.

How do I apply?

You can apply online by following these five steps:

  1. Visit SoFi’s website and click Find my rate, then select Private Student Loans.
  2. Enter your full name, state, email and password, then read SoFi’s terms to create an account.
  3. Select Parent student loans from the list of product options.
  4. Enter information about your student, your student’s current education status and yourself.
  5. Submit your application by clicking Check my rate.

What information do I need to apply?

To complete SoFi’s preapproval application, you will need to submit the following information:

  • Student’s university and expected graduation date
  • Date of birth
  • Annual income before taxes
  • Social Security number

SoFi may also request proof of income and a copy of your government-issued photo ID to confirm your identity.

What happens after I apply?

The application process should take less than ten minutes. After, SoFi will send your information to your student’s school for verification. This may take up to six weeks — although SoFi may be able to speed up the process if you need your loan funds processed by the school more quickly.

What other student loans does SoFi offer?

SoFi has a wide range of student loan options, including:

  • Undergraduate student loans
  • Graduate student loans
  • Law and MBA student loans
  • Student or parent loan refinancing
  • Medical resident student loan refinancing

SoFi also offers personal loans, mortgages and home equity loans.

SoFi is a top option for student loans — but you should understand your parent loan options, including federal Parent PLUS loans, before you apply.

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