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Refinance your student loans through this top-rated lender with competitive rates and additional perks.
If you’re ready to refinance your student loans, SoFi may be near the top of your list of potential lenders. Low interest rates and highly-rated customer service make its loan offers attractive. But if you don’t have the credit to apply, you may not find the best deal
Aliyyah Camp is a publisher helping folks compare personal, student, car and business loans. Prior to joining Finder, she ran her own personal finance blog and wrote for numerous finance sites. Aliyyah earned a BA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania. She likes to go to the movies and go for runs outdoors.
How does student loan refinancing through SoFi work?
SoFi student Loan refinancing works similarly to debt consolidation — if you’re approved for a loan, you can use your funds to pay off your previous student loans, whether you have federal, private or a mix of both. This could result in a lower interest rate or smaller monthly payments. And with SoFi, you’ll have access to customer service every day of the week through email, live chat and social media.
The refinancing process is quite similar to any other loan application. Simply visit SoFi’s website and fill out the application. The application is split into two parts. In order to show you the rates you qualify for, SoFi will conduct a soft credit pull that won’t affect your credit score. If you choose a product and continue the application, SoFi will conduct a hard credit check, which can impact your credit score.
How much will I pay for SoFi student loan refinancing?
The total cost of refinancing will depend on your loan terms and the amount you need to borrow. If you opt for a variable interest rate, you may qualify for a rate anywhere between 1.81% to 5.98%. Fixed rates are slightly higher at 3.46% to 5.98%, but they come with the added benefit of not changing over the life of your loan.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll lower your monthly payment or save on interest, but if you choose the right deal, you may be able to make an impact on how much you’ll end up paying. Choose the option that best suits your finances, and don’t be afraid to contact SoFi if you have any questions regarding loan costs and payments.
What are my repayment options?
SoFi only offers standard repayment plans, which divide your loans into even repayments across your loan term. However, you can pause your repayments by applying for deferment in some situations. These include going back to school as a half- or full-time student, serving on active military duty or going through rehabilitation due to a disability.
Benefits of SoFi Student Loan Refinancing
Member perks. As a member, you can enjoy an additional 0.125% rate discount on an additional loan product, customer service seven days a week, career strategy services, invitations to SoFi events and more.
Unemployment protection. If you lose you job, SoFi can pause your loan payments for 3-month periods for a total of 12 months.
Career support. SoFi provides career coaches that can help you advance in your job, build a personal brand and negotiate your salary.
Wealth advisors. You can take advantage of SoFi’s wealth advisors to help make sense of finances and investments.
Perks for referral. If you refer a friend to SoFi, you may be able to get a check of $300 for each person you refer.
No hidden fees. You don’t have to worry about application fees, origination fees or prepayment penalties.
What to watch out for
Not great for low credit. If you don’t have good to excellent credit, you won’t qualify for SoFi’s student loan refinancing opportunities.
You’ll lose federal benefits. While refinancing your federal loans could potentially make monthly payments easier or even lower your rates, you’ll lose key federal benefits like forgiveness program and flexible repayment options.
No cosigner release. If you want to apply with a cosigner now and take them off your loan later, you’ll have to refinance your student loan again.
Only considers individual income. SoFi doesn’t consider your household income when you apply, so you might have a difficult time qualifying if you’re a stay-at-home parent or otherwise rely on a partner for financial support.
Case study: Britny’s experience
Britny Lawhorn Assistant Publisher
I decided to refinance my federal Parent PLUS Loan because I was looking for a better interest rate, lower monthly payment and a provider that could put the loan in my name, rather than my parents’ names. After looking at my options, I chose SoFi.
During the application process, I was able to review multiple term length and interest rate options to decide what would work best for my situation. It also offered an autopay discount that lowered my interest rate by 0.25%. And SoFi has no prepayment penalties, which was an important feature for me.
By transferring to SoFi, I lost certain federal protections like income-driven repayment plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. But overall the pros outweigh the cons for my situation and I’m happy I refinanced.
Compare more options for student loan refinancing
Updated November 15th, 2019
Refinancing for medical and dental residents
SoFi has a special loan for medical and dental graduates that allows them to make repayments as low as $100 a month while completing a residency. Fixed rates run from 4.274% to 8.679% with autopay and variable rates range from 2.855% to 7.490 with autopay. Residents have a choice between terms of five, seven, 10, 15 and 20 years.
To qualify you must have no more than four years left in your residency program and at least $10,000 in debt. It’s an affordable option in the short-term, though the interest that adds up during your residency gets added to your loan balance, ultimately increasing your debt load.
Is SoFi student loan refinancing legit?
It is. In fact, SoFi has grown to become one of the most popular student loan refinancing options over the past few years. Online reviews are mixed, which you can expect from such a large company.
While it’s not accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), it still receives an A+ rating, which the BBB bases on factors like how it handles customer complaints and advertising practices. However, it has 3.99 stars out of 5, based on over 100 customer reviews — 76% of which are negative.
SoFi does better on Trustpilot. As of June 2018, it’s rated 9.1 out of 10 based on over 1,700 reviews, 85% of which rate SoFi as excellent.
Customers repeatedly praise the customer service, low interest rates and fast turnover time. Many said the application process was fast an easy, though some had difficulty completing the application or qualifying at all because they had unconventional financial situations.
FTC complaint against SoFi
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against SoFi in 2018 over the way it advertised an average customer’s savings. The FTC claims that the savings SoFi advertised for its student loan refinancing product were inflated and didn’t represent a true average of savings per month or over the lifetime of a loan for a customer.
Its online savings tool also didn’t inform customers when a loan would actually increase the lifetime or monthly cost of the new loan. SoFi settled by agreeing to an order barring them from making further misleading claims.
Am I eligible?
Before you apply for student loan refinancing through SoFi, you’ll have to meet its strict eligibility criteria.
You must have a valid bank account.
You must have a regular source of income or an offer of employment that starts within 90 days.
You must have a minimum loan balance of $5,000.
You must have graduated from a selection of Title IV accredited universities or graduate programs.
You must be a US citizen, a permanent resident or in the US on a valid long-term visa.
You must not be living in Vermont.
You must be at least 18 years old.
How can I apply for SoFi student loan refinancing?
You can apply for SoFi student loan refinancing by visiting its website once you’ve checked to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements. To speed things up, have the following documents and information on hand:
Your name, contact information and date of birth
How much you want to borrow and the purpose of the loan
Your credit score range
Your annual individual income
Your school or university information
Steps to apply
Once you’ve gathered everything you need, you’re ready to apply. Here’s what you need to do in three steps:
This step involves a soft credit pull, which won’t affect your credit score.
Review your options and continue by uploading your documents and formally submitting your application. If approved, wait for SoFi to reach out to you with your acceptance packet. Read it carefully before e-signing and submitting it. Then you’ll just need to wait for SoFi to disburse your funds.
I refinanced my student loans with SoFi. Now what?
Now it’s time to start making repayments through SoFi’s servicer. Once your funds are disbursed, your servicer will contact you to set up your account. SoFi only offers standard repayments, which stay the same over time if you have a fixed-rate APR or fluctuate if you went with the variable option.
Consider setting up autopay. You’ll get a 0.25% discount on your interest rate and won’t have to worry about remembering to make your monthly repayments. And if you go back to school or start a business, you can apply to defer your student loans for a period of time. To do so, reach out to SoFi’s customer support team.
I didn’t qualify. What can I do?
First, reach out to SoFi to see why you were rejected. If you were rejected over an inaccuracy in your application — which is more common than you’d think — then feel free to apply to SoFi or another student loan refinancing provider again.
SoFi uses student loan servicer MOHELA to handle all repayments on its student loans. You can learn more about how this servicer works — and what borrowers say — check out our review of the company.
If you just graduated and are looking for help paying off your student loan, SoFi’s student loan refinancing program can help. With low rates and good customer service, SoFi stands out among a sea of refinancing options. However, you’ll need decent credit to qualify.
SoFi conducts a soft pull on your credit report when you apply. A soft pull doesn’t hurt your credit score.
Your new SoFi loan will be considered a student loan for tax purposes. Whether or not you’re considered eligible for tax deduction depends on your individual situation, however. Consult a tax specialist if you’re unsure.
SoFi offers a wide range of lending options, including student loan refinancing, personal loans and mortgages. Check out our SoFi reviews to learn more about the features and how they compare to other lenders.
Yes. SoFi has a number of loan products, including
Mortgage loans. Buy a home with as little as 10% down, with flexible debt-to-income limits. You’ll also avoid application and loan origination fees.
Mortgage refinancing. Paying too much interest on your existing mortgage? The refinancing process takes fewer than 30 days.
Personal loans.SoFi personal loans can be used to consolidate your credit card debt, take a vacation or improve your home. It offers competitive rates, and you can choose between a fixed or variable rate.
MBA loans. If you’re pursuing a graduate degree, SoFi has MBA loans that allow you to make interest-only repayments while in school.
Not any more. SoFi previously offered a program that allowed members to defer their loans for up to six months while getting a new business idea off the ground, plus access to networking and mentorship opportunities. However, that program is no longer available.
Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
Student Loan Refinance Fixed rates from 3.460% APR to 7.944% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.140% APR to 7.944% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.140% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.04588% plus 0.100% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
All rates, terms, and figures are subject to change by the lender without notice. For the most up-to-date information, visit the lender's website directly.
SoFi unemployment protection
If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may apply for Unemployment Protection. SoFi will suspend your monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during your forbearance period. Interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your principal balance at the end of each forbearance period, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Benefits are offered in three month increments, and capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. To be eligible for this assistance you must provide proof that you have applied for and are eligible for unemployment compensation, and you must actively work with our Career Advisory Group to look for new employment. If the loan is co-signed the unemployment protection applies where both the borrower and cosigner lose their job and meet conditions.
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