As the online personal loans space becomes more competitive, SoFi and Prosper are two lenders leading the market.
It can feel like complexity and loans go hand in hand. Bank loans are notorious for requiring a lot of time and endless paperwork. What if you could cut straight to the chase with a simple application and quick preapproval?
SoFi and Prosper are two online lenders that have built themselves a reputation of streamlined convenience. See how they compare and which one is right for you.
|Fair credit OK||
Yes. Our analysis is based on both lenders’ stated APR ranges, loan amounts and listed fees. Reputation is judged from an outside source that gathers user reviews. Keep in mind that SoFi has stricter eligibility requirements and evaluates multiple factors including your credit score, employment history, income and more. You must have good to excellent credit to qualify.
First, am I eligible for a loan with SoFi and Prosper?
Here are the minimum requirements for each lender:
- Have a credit score of 680+.
- Be an American citizen or a permanent US resident.
- Be at least the age of majority in your state, typically 18 years old.
- Be employed, have sufficient income from other sources or have an offer of employment to begin within 90 days.
- Have a credit score of 640+.
- You must be an American citizen or a permanent US resident.
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You must have a valid bank account in your name.
An overview of SoFi and Prosper
Prosper is an online peer-to-peer (P2P) lender and has been working with borrowers since 2005. SoFi joined the lending scene in 2011 and offers loans directly, rather than through a P2P marketplace.
While Prosper only offers personal loans, SoFi offers a wider array of products. Alongside personal loans, SoFi offers student loan refinancing as well as mortgages and mortgage refinancing.
What is a peer-to-peer lender?
Peer investors choose and wholly or partially fund loans through online lending marketplaces. Services like Prosper act as a marketplace that brings together borrowers and investors and facilitates the process of funding a loan.
Potential borrowers submit applications through the provider’s website, and the provider evaluates that information. If approved, the provider presents the borrower’s application to its investors, which can include a wide range of individuals.
Which lender offers lower interest rates?
SoFi’s fixed-rate personal loan APRs start at 5.99%, and its variable-rate personal loans start at 5.74% when you sign up for autopay. If you’re interested in rates for any of SoFi’s other loan types, check out our reviews for its student loan refinancing and mortgage and mortgage refinancing options.
With Prosper, the APR you’re ultimately offered can range anywhere from 6.95% to 35.99%. Prosper uses seven rating tiers to determine your interest rate range. AA is the highest tier, where your interest rate can fall anywhere from 5.99% to 15.00%.
When it comes to rates, SoFi comes out on top. Offering a maximum rate that’s 2.5 times that of SoFi, Prosper doesn’t hold a candle.
Which lender offers better loan terms?
- Minimum term: Three years
- Maximum term: Seven years
- Minimum term: Three years
- Maximum term: Five years
Both lenders have minimum term lengths of three years, but if you need to borrow longer to keep your monthly payments lower, SoFi is the better option.
Which has less strenuous credit requirements?
SoFi’s eligibility guidelines require that borrowers have good to excellent credit in order to qualify — which translates to a minimum score of 680 or higher.
Prosper accepts borrowers who may not have perfect credit. Provided you have a score of at least 640, you may still qualify for a loan.
Prosper has less strict credit eligibility criteria and accepts borrowers with fair credit.
Which comes with fewer fees?
You won’t any fees for a personal loan with SoFi.
Prosper won’t hit you with prepayment fees, but you will pay an origination fee that represents 1% to 5% of the borrowed amount. The percentage, like the interest rates, are based on your Prosper Rating. Other fees include $5 for check payments, $15 or 5% of your unpaid amount for late payments and $15 for insufficient funds or returned payments.
SoFi wins out by not charging any fees.
Case study: Cassidy consolidates her debt
Cassidy has $8,000 in credit card debt left from her time in school and a stint of unemployment after graduation several years ago. Now that she’s settled into her marketing job and steadily progressing in her career, she’s ready to fully sort out her open balances and consolidate her debt.
While variable rates can be lower at first, Cassidy doesn’t want to risk a higher one later on. She’s looking at fixed rate APRs only.
|Starting APR||Fees||Ease of application|
|SoFi||5.99%||No fees||Check your terms online in just two minutes without affecting your credit score. After learning your rates, submit your application completely online. Customer support is available seven days a week.|
|Prosper||6.95%||$80–$400 for an origination fee on an $8,000 loan||Check your potential rates online through preapproval without affecting your credit score. The entire process is online — no faxing documents and no in-person meetings.|
Cassidy discovers that both providers offer comparable application processes and maximum loan amounts that meet her needs. But after assessing how much she could possibly pay in interest and fees on her loan, Cassidy decides to go with SoFi.
Which has a better reputation?
With a solid 9.6 out of 10 from 743 reviews on Trustpilot, SoFi has an excellent reputation. Reviewers repeatedly report on SoFi’s general ease of use, speed of funding and professionalism.
Prosper holds a score of 7.3 out of 10 with Trustpilot over 49 reviews. The reputation falls in the great range, with users giving high accolades to Prosper’s ease of use.
Both platforms are safe to use, but SoFi holds significantly more and better reviews.
How much can I borrow with each lender?
- Minimum: $5,000
- Maximum: $100,000
- Minimum: $2,000
- Maximum: $40,000
For loans of $5,000 or more, SoFi is the winner. A much higher limit allows flexibility for your costlier projects and purchases.
Which lender can get me money faster?
You can get personalized rates in as little as two minutes. SoFi’s application requires the standard information needed for a personal loan — contact, personal, employment and income information and documentation. A few business days after the application review is complete and the agreement is accepted, you’ll receive your funds by direct deposit.
You’ll be able to get your preapproved rates in just a few minutes. From there, you’ll need to complete a full application with verified documents. Prosper typically provides your final loan offer within seven days and disburses funds shortly after your acceptance.
Both SoFi and Prosper can take several days to over a week to fund your loan. To speed up the process, submit any requested documents as soon as you’re able.
By taking the steps to find the best lender, you’re potentially saving yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars. For loans of under $5,000, Prosper would be a better choice by virtue of offering loans as low as $2,000. But SoFi offers better overall terms and financing in more significant amounts for those bigger undertakings.
Both lenders look for good to excellent credit. Though the median credit score of SoFi borrowers is in the excellent range. If your credit score is in the high 600s and you’re concerned you might not qualify for a loan through SoFi, Prosper could be a good alternative if you meet that lender’s eligibility criteria.
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