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SoFi private student loans review

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Undergrad and graduate financing with no late fees.

Student loan refinancing giant SoFi unveiled a private student loan program in April 2019. There are no fees — not even late fees. And your variable rate never rises above 13.95%. But SoFi offers terms of up to 180 months only, and you must be a US citizen to qualify.

5.05% to 11.71%

APR

700

Min. Credit Score

Details

Product NameSoFi Undergraduate Student Loans
Minimum Loan Amount$5,000
APR5.05% to 11.71%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Minimum Loan Term5 years
Maximum Loan Term15 years
Requirements700+ credit score, employed or receive income from other sources, enrolled at least half time at an eligible degree-granting program, satisfactory academic progress, US citizen not living in Vermont, age of majority

First, am I eligible?

SoFi requires all borrowers to meet the following criteria:

  • Credit score of at least 700
  • Regular income from a job or other source
  • Enrolled at least half time in eligible degree-granting program
  • Satisfactory academic progress, as defined by your school
  • US citizen
  • Not living in Vermont
  • Age of majority in your state

You can bring on a cosigner to help you meet the credit and income requirements. But you must meet the other criteria on your own.

What states are SoFi student loans available in?

SoFi student loans are available to residents in all 50 states.

How do SoFi student loans work?

SoFi’s student loans are designed to cover what federal aid can’t. Its loans run from $5,000 up to 100% of your school-certified cost of attendance — which typically includes expenses beyond tuition, like textbooks and transportation.

It offers both fixed and variable rates with terms of 5 to 15 years. This new product was previously only available to undergraduate students. But SoFi recently started to offer financing for graduate degrees at rates starting at 3.73% with autopay.

Does SoFi offer parent loans?

Not yet. But SoFi says it plans to roll out student loans for parents in the near future. Expect different rates, terms and repayment options when compared with undergraduate student loans.

How much do SoFi student loans cost?

It depends on the rate you get. SoFi doesn’t charge fees, leaving interest your main cost to consider.

Rates fall into two types: fixed and variable.

Degree and rateAPR range*
Fixed undergraduate5.05% to 11.71%
Fixed graduate4.73% – 11.99%
Variable undergraduate4.14% to 11.39%
Variable graduate3.42% – 11.7%

*with autopay

Fixed rates won’t change over the course of repaying your loan. Variable rates can increase or decrease depending on the lending market, though they’re capped at 13.95%.

SoFi calculates your variable rate by adding the one-month LIBOR rate to a fixed rate of 2.74% to 9.99%. Learn more about how this works in our guide to student loan interest rates.

Does SoFi offer any discounts?

Yes. You can shave 0.25% off your interest rate by signing up for automatic repayments from a checking or savings account.

If you or a cosigner is already repaying a SoFi loan, you may qualify for an additional 0.125% interest rate discount.

What are my repayment options?

SoFi offers four repayment options while you’re in school and over the six-month grace period after you drop below half time:

  • Deferred. Hold off on making repayments until your grace period is up.
  • Interest-only. Make repayments on interest only until your grace period ends.
  • Partial. Make $25 fixed monthly repayments while you’re in school and during your grace period.
  • Immediate. Start full repayments on interest and principal after your school gets the funds.

After that grace period is up, everyone is responsible for making full repayments. While deferred repayments give you the lowest short-term cost, it can make your loan more expensive in the long run. That’s because SoFi adds any unpaid interest to your balance, so you’re essentially paying interest on interest.

Immediate repayments give you the lowest total loan cost. But even partial repayments can significantly lower the cost, if making full repayments immediately doesn’t fit your budget.

Does SoFi offer deferment or forbearance?

Yes. SoFi offers two options to put your repayments on hold:

  • Hardship forbearance. Pause student loan repayments if you lose your job or face another temporary drop in cash flow.
  • In-school deferment. Put your repayments on hold if you decide to go to graduate school or get another type of degree.

Top reasons to consider SoFi

From its lack of late fees to its low variable-rate cap, you can expect a few perks when taking out a student loan from SoFi:

  • No fees. You won’t pay a fee to apply or repay your loan early. And you aren’t on the hook for late or insufficient funds fees should you miss a payment.
  • Cosigner release. Apply to take your cosigner off your loan without having to refinance after at least two years of on-time repayments.
  • Low variable rate cap. Many student loan providers have a maximum variable rate of 18%. SoFi’s is 13.95%.
  • No-risk prequalification. SoFi can prequalify you with a soft credit pull, which doesn’t affect your credit.
  • Employment not required. As long as you or your cosigner earn enough steady income from another source, you don’t need to have a job.
  • Membership perks. Being a SoFi borrower qualifies you for discounts, networking events and other services to help you along your career path.

Drawbacks to borrowing from SoFi

Consider these potential pitfalls before taking out a private student loan with SoFi:

  • New product. While experienced with other types of lending, SoFi’s just entered the private student loan market. There’s not much out there as far as first-person reviews.
  • For US citizens only. Permanent residents and international students aren’t eligible to borrow.
  • No 20-year term. Unlike other private student loan providers, SoFi offers terms of up to 180 months only.
  • Requires age of majority, even with a cosigner. SoFi requires both borrowers and cosigners to be at least 18 years old in most states, 19 in Alabama and Nebraska and 21 in Mississippi.

Compare more private student loan options

Updated October 24th, 2019
Name Product Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
Good to excellent credit
Varies by lender (typically, total certified costs of education minus financial aid already received)
Starting at 4.2% with autopay
Get prequalified rates from private lenders offering student loans with no origination or prepayment fees.
Varies by lender
Varies by lender
Varies by lender
Quickly compare private lenders for your school and apply for the right student loan.
675
$200,000
4.51% to 9.26%
Straightforward student loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
700
$500,000
5.45% to 9.74%
Finance your college education through this lender with a strong social mission and terms that fit your budget.
Good to excellent credit
Varies by lender
Starting at 3%
Compare multiple student loans and student loan refinancing options in one place.

Compare up to 4 providers

What to expect when signing up

Make sure you and your cosigner meet SoFi’s eligibility requirements before applying:

  1. Go to the SoFi website and click Find My Rate.
  2. Select Private Student Loans.
  3. Enter your personal information and a password to create your account.
  4. Read the disclosures and check I Agree. Click Continue.
  5. Select I’m the student or I’m the parent if you’re the cosigner. Click Next.
  6. Follow the directions to complete the form with information about yourself, your cosigner and your program.
  7. Click Check My Rate.

If you’re accepted, review your potential rates and repayment options before completing your application.

SoFi typically requests documents to verify your income and other aspects of you and your cosigner’s finances. It will also reach out to your school to verify your enrollment status, academic progress and financial aid package.

The whole application process can take four to six weeks.

What information do I need to apply?

Have the following information on hand to complete the application:

  • You or your cosigner’s income before taxes
  • How much you need to borrow
  • You and your cosigner’s contact information

You might need to provide additional information after you prequalify, such as proof of income.

Who services SoFi student loans?

SoFi uses student loan servicer Mohela to handle repayments on its student loans. So if you want to sign up for autopay or request deferment or forbearance, you’ll need to reach out to Mohela — not SoFi.

More about SoFi

SoFi launched in 2011 as a peer-to-peer lender that specializes in private student loan refinancing for high-credit borrowers. It’s since expanded to fund its own loans and offers a range of financial products, from mortgages to insurance. It generally earns positive customer reviews, though the FTC filed a complaint against the lender in 2018 over its advertising practices.

Becoming a SoFi borrower makes you a member, which unlocks access to career help, financial advisers and other services designed to help you reach financial independence.

Bottom line

SoFi’s private student loans could be a helpful supplement to federal student aid, especially if your parents rely on nontraditional sources of income. But with credit requirements on the high side, you may find more competitive rates elsewhere if you can qualify.

Learn more about how SoFi compares to other options in our guide to student loans.

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