Many or all of the companies featured provide compensation to LendEDU. These commissions are how we maintain our free service for consumers. Compensation, along with hours of in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear on our site.
Two of the biggest companies in student lending are SoFi and Earnest. These two companies have more similarities than differences, but when borrowers are evaluating refinancing opportunities, sometimes the smallest differences can have the biggest impact.
This Earnest vs. SoFi comparison takes a look at how the companies stack up in terms of interest rates, repayment terms, loan amounts, and more.
In this comparison:
Earnest vs. SoFi Overview
|Rates (APR)||1.99% – 6.43%||3.21% – 6.69%|
|Loan Amounts||$5,000 – $500,000||$5,000 – Total outstanding loan balance|
|Term Lengths||5 – 20 years||5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years|
|Minimum Credit Score||650||Not disclosed|
Earnest vs. SoFi student loans: Which is right for you?
Both Earnest and SoFi are popular online lenders that specialize in student lending. Each offers private student loans to pay for school as well as refinancing for existing student loan debt. The latter could be useful if you want to combine multiple loans into one or find a lower interest rate.
SoFi and Earnest have similar products when it comes to rates, terms, and loan amounts. To get the full picture of each lender, check out our full reviews:
It can be tough to determine which lender is right for you. So here are some scenarios where one lender might be a better fit than the other.
- If you’re refinancing less than $500,000
- If you want customized loan terms
- If you already use other SoFi products
- If you want to keep your money in one place
- If you want to ability to skip a payment each year
- If you want free career coaching
- If you’re worried about losing your job
If you’re refinancing less than $500,000: Earnest
Earnest is our top-rated lender for student loan refinancing. Borrowers have the opportunity to receive low rates, customized loan terms, and the option to skip one payment per year if needed.
If you’re planning on refinancing less than $500,000, Earnest is a great option thanks to the benefits mentioned above.
If you want customized loan terms: Earnest
Earnest allows borrowers to customize their loan terms to their needs. This includes choosing your preferred payment amount and choosing between biweekly or monthly payments.
If customization is something you are interested in, Earnest is the option for you.
If you already use other SoFi products: SoFi
SoFi wants to build a relationship with its customers, so it emphasizes community and gives perks to members who use SoFi for multiple loans.
If you have a SoFi financial account for banking, investing, or any other type of SoFi loan, you can qualify for an interest-rate discount on your new loan.
If you want to keep your money in one place: SoFi
Even if you don’t already use other SoFi products, you might want to open a SoFi account if you like to keep all of your money in the same place.
SoFi offers mortgage and personal lending services on top of its student loans. You can also use SoFi to invest or open an online checking account, making it a potential one-stop-shop for your financial needs.
If you want the ability to skip a payment each year: Earnest
If you want to have the option to skip one payment per year, Earnest is the choice. Having this option available to you can offer peace of mind in case you run into hardship and can’t meet your payment.
If you want free career coaching: SoFi
Another perk that SoFi offers is free career coaching for its borrowers.
The coaching includes online tools and one-on-one meetings with a coach who can help you negotiate a raise, advance your career, boost your personal brand, or find a new job. This coaching can help you increase your income and pay your loan off more quickly.
If you’re worried about losing your job: SoFi
SoFi offers an Unemployment Protection Program that lets you pause your payments if you lose your job. You can apply for protection when you lose your job to receive up to three months of loan forbearance at a time, up to 12 months throughout the life of the loan.
Earnest gives borrowers the option to skip up to one payment each year, which can help if you have a bad month, but doesn’t offer the level of protection that SoFi’s plan does.
To compare other options, you can check out our guide to the best student loan refinancing companies. If you would like to continue comparing SoFi or Earnest to other companies, you can check out our resources below:
Author: TJ Porter