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Student Loans

College Ave vs. SoFi: Who Offers Better Student Loans?

If you need a private student loan or want to refinance a student loan, two popular online lenders to consider are College Ave and SoFi.

In this College Ave vs. SoFi comparison, you’ll see which lender offers better terms and which to choose in different scenarios. We’ll also explain which lender performed best in our analysis. To get started, click the product below that you’re interested in comparing:

College Ave vs. SoFi private student loans: At a glance

4.8
View Rates

4.6
View Rates

Fixed rates (APR) 4.07%16.49% 4.44%14.88%
Fixed rates (APR) Fixed rates (APR)
4.07%16.49% 4.44%14.88%
Variable rates (APR) 5.59%16.85% 5.99%14.88%
Variable rates (APR) Variable rates (APR)
5.59%16.85% 5.99%14.88%
Loan amounts $1,000 – 100% of certified costs $1,000 – 100% of certified costs
Loan amounts Loan amounts
$1,000 – 100% of certified costs $1,000 – 100% of certified costs
Repayment terms 5, 8, 10, or 15 years 5, 7, 10, or 15 years
Repayment terms Repayment terms
5, 8, 10, or 15 years 5, 7, 10, or 15 years

Which lender has better rates and terms?

If you’re considering a private student loan from College Ave or SoFi, it’s important to understand the terms each lender offers. After several hours of research, we think College Ave’s private student loan terms are better than SoFi’s.

College Ave stands out for three reasons: the possibility of obtaining lower rates, more repayment terms, and the ability to choose your term.

College AveSoFi
DiscountsAutopay: 0.25%Autopay: 0.25%

0.125% for subsequent SoFi loans
FeesLate paymentNone

The main difference between College Ave and SoFi’s discounts and fees is that SoFi offers an additional discount of 0.125% for customers who take out additional loans, plus it charges no fees, while College Ave charges a late payment fee the lesser of 5% of your unpaid monthly payment or $25.

Which lender has better repayment terms?

College Ave and SoFi offer similar repayment terms on their private student loans. However, a few small differences led us to choose College Ave as the better option for repayment.

The main differences are: 

  1. College Ave offers the option to choose your term
  2. College Ave gives borrowers the ability to apply for an additional six-month grace period
  3. SoFi allows earlier cosigner release—after 24 consecutive on-time monthly principal and interest payments. (College Ave allows cosigner release after half of the repayment term is completed—so if you have a 10-year term, you can request cosigner release after making consecutive on-time monthly payments for five years.)
College Ave SoFi
Repayment terms5, 8, 10, or 15 years5, 7, 10, or 15 years
4 in-school repayment options?
6-month grace period?✅*
In-school & military deferment?
Forbearance available?
Cosigner release?
Death discharge?
Disability discharge?
*Option to apply for an additional six months at the end of the initial grace period

Are you eligible with both lenders?

College Ave and SoFi have similar eligibility requirements but differ in a few ways.

College AveSoFi
Min. age16State age of majority (or cosigner who is the age of majority)
Academic reqs.Must meet school’s satisfactory academic progress (SAP) guidelinesNone
CitizenshipRequires international students to have a Social Security numberProof of permanent residency or valid non-permanent residency doc.
Allows students earning assoc. degree?❌ (unless in final semester)

How are College Ave’s and SoFi’s eligibility requirements similar?

Neither company discloses its minimum credit score or minimum income. Both are available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and both allow borrowers to view their rates with a soft credit check.

SoFi and College Ave student loans are available to students enrolled at least half-time and international students with an eligible cosigner.

Which lender offers better benefits?

The sections above should be where you focus most of your attention when comparing these two lenders, but some borrowers may like to know what added benefits they can expect from working with each lender.

Both lenders have in-house customer service teams that can assist you with setting up your loan, but that’s where College Ave’s extra benefits end and SoFi’s begin.

SoFi has built a platform that aims to create a community for its members. This includes community events, such as workshops and social events. It also offers access to credentialed financial planning advice, referral discounts, and military benefits.

College AveSoFi
In-house customer service team?
Financial planning?
Referral bonuses?
Member rate discounts?
Estate planning discounts?
Travel discounts?
Military benefits while on active duty?
Community events?
Members-only Facebook group?

Scenarios where College Ave or SoFi private student loans are better

We know you have plenty of information to digest and compare between these two lenders, so we’ve highlighted several scenarios in which one lender might be better than the other to help you decide.

ScenarioWinner
You want to work with a lender that solely focuses on student loansCollege Ave
You’re worried about missing a paymentSoFi
You value member benefitsSoFi
You want to choose your repayment termCollege Ave

If you want to work with a lender that solely focuses on student loans

College Ave specializes in student loans, offering a range of options tailored to student borrowers. Its expertise and focus in this area may provide a more targeted and comprehensive borrowing experience for those seeking student loan financing.

Winner

If you’re worried about missing a payment

SoFi is flexible compared to many other lenders. It doesn’t require borrowers to pay any additional fees, including late fees. 

Winner

If you value member benefits

SoFi provides a range of member benefits beyond lending and banking. It has built a community of in-person and at-home social activities, plus several resources, including webinars, guides, and educational videos, to help you make better financial decisions and prepare for the future.

Winner

If you want to choose your repayment term

College Ave offers borrowers the flexibility to choose from multiple repayment term options, allowing them to tailor their loan repayment plan to better suit their financial situation and goals. 

Winner

🧑‍⚖️ Final verdict: College Ave vs. SoFi for private student loans

After comparing both lenders’ private student loans, we view College Ave as the best option. In an analysis of several popular student loan lenders, we found College Ave to be the best overall.

College Ave stands out as the superior product because of the opportunity to earn lower rates, select your repayment term, and work with a lender that specializes in student loans.

If you’re ready to check your rates with College Ave, you can visit its website to get a quote now.


College Ave vs. SoFi student loan refinancing: At a glance

4.2
View Rates

4.9
View Rates

Fixed rates (APR) 6.99% – 13.99% 5.24% – 9.99%
Fixed rates (APR) Fixed rates (APR)
6.99% – 13.99% 5.24% – 9.99%
Variable rates (APR) 6.99% – 13.99% 6.24% – 9.99%
Variable rates (APR) Variable rates (APR)
6.99% – 13.99% 6.24% – 9.99%
Loan amounts $5,000 – $300,000 $5,000 – total outstanding balance
Loan amounts Loan amounts
$5,000 – $300,000 $5,000 – total outstanding balance
Discounts 0.25% autopay 0.25% autopay
Discounts Discounts
0.25% autopay 0.25% autopay
Repayment terms 5 – 20 years 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
Repayment terms Repayment terms
5 – 20 years 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years

Which lender has better rates and terms?

SoFi is our choice as the lender with better refinance student loan rates and terms. Although both lenders have much in common, SoFi will refinance your total loan balance, while College Ave has an upper limit.

SoFi offers borrowers some of the lowest rates available when refinancing, making its rates and terms stand out.

You might notice the following differences when comparing student loan refinancing options between College Ave and SoFi. 

College Ave SoFi
FeesLate fee (after 15 days or more)None
Allows parent loan transfers?

Which lender has better repayment terms?

Both lenders have unique benefits and drawbacks. But after a lengthy review, we give College Ave a slight edge.

For the average borrower, having more repayment terms to choose from gives you more control over the total cost of your loan. Plus, being able to release your cosigner is a terrific feature that can remove the financial risk they’ve taken to help you get a loan.

However, if you think you may go back to school, are worried about a future disability, or are a medical or dental student who wants a reduced payment during residency, SoFi could be the better option.

College AveSoFi
Repayment terms5 – 20 years5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
Deferment?✅ Military✅ In-school, military, & disability
Forbearance✅ Up to 12 months✅ Up to 12 months
Residency benefit✅ $100 monthly payments
Cosigner release?
Death discharge?
Disability discharge?

Are you eligible for both lenders?

Based on available information, SoFi seems to be less strict with its eligibility requirements than College Ave.

College AveSoFi
Eligible statesAll except MaineAll 
International students eligible?✅ With eligible cosigner
Must have graduated?✅ Associate degree or higher✅ Associate degree or higher
See rates with a soft credit check?

Neither lender discloses a minimum required credit score or income.

Which lender offers better benefits?

SoFi’s benefits, such as access to financial planning services and community events, are hard to ignore.

College AveSoFi
In-house customer service team?
Financial planning?
Referral bonuses?
Member rate discounts?
Estate planning discounts?
Travel discounts?
Military benefits while on active duty?
Community events?
Members-only Facebook group?

Scenarios where College Ave or SoFi refinance student loan is better

If you’re still having trouble deciding which lender is best for you, check out the scenarios below to help with your decision.

ScenarioWinner
You want to choose your repayment termCollege Ave
You have a balance over $300,000SoFi
You want to transfer a parent loan to a childSoFi
You want to release your cosigner from the loanCollege Ave
You value member benefitsSoFi

If you want to choose your repayment term

College Ave offers borrowers the flexibility to select from a wide range of repayment terms, allowing them to tailor their loan repayment plan to suit their financial goals and circumstances. 

Winner

If you have a balance over $300,000

SoFi stands out for borrowers with loan balances of more than $300,000. You can refinance the entire amount of your original loan, which can provide a better solution for your specific financial needs.

Winner

If you want to transfer a parent loan to a child

SoFi offers the unique option for parents to transfer the loan to their student and pass on financial responsibility.

Winner

If you want to release your cosigner from the loan

College Ave allows borrowers to release their cosigner from the loan. When they can assume full responsibility, they can relieve their cosigner of any future obligation.

Winner

If you value member benefits

SoFi’s community-building efforts for its members include in-person and at-home social activities and resources to empower them to learn the right information to help them make better financial decisions.

Winner

🧑‍⚖️ Final verdict: College Ave vs. SoFi for student loan refinancing

Considering all the information above, our choice between these two lenders for refinancing your student loans is SoFi.

SoFi has low rates, competitive repayment terms, fair eligibility requirements, and several additional member benefits.

To check your rate with SoFi, visit its website now.

Does College Ave or SoFi have better customer reviews and ratings?

Customer reviews are important for providing authentic feedback based on other customers’ experiences and can tell you what to expect from a lender. If you have any questions about the loan application or funding or have issues once your loan is disbursed, you’ll need a reputable lender to assist you and provide the customer support you need.

We looked at College Ave’s and SoFi’s customer reviews on third-party sites. Ratings from each source range from one to five, with one being poor and five being excellent.

SourceCollege Ave ratingSoFi rating
Trustpilot4.4 (1,090 reviews)4.6 (8,427 reviews)
BBB3.15 (46 reviews)1.54 (316 reviews)
Google3.0 (128 reviews)2.3 (118 reviews)
Reviews collected on May 14, 2024.

Most customer reviews of College Ave and SoFi revolve around transparency relating to rates and eligibility requirements, communication, and customer service. 

College Ave and SoFi seem to leave room for improvement in resolving issues and better serving their customers. Overall, customers rate both lenders as average. 

However, both have far more reviews at Trustpilot than the other two sources, and they earn average customer ratings above 4.0—so keep this in mind when evaluating.