Earnest vs. SoFi Student Loan Refinance Comparison
SoFi offers some of the best deals in student loan refinancing and will be a great choice for most borrowers, though Earnest’s willingness to look at more than credit scores can make its loans more accessible to borrowers with lower credit scores.
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Two of the biggest players in student loan refinancing 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 SoFi vs. Earnest comparison takes a look at how the companies stack up in terms of interest rates, repayment terms, loan amounts, and more.
In this comparison:
SoFi vs. Earnest Overview
|Fixed Rates||3.89% – 8.07%||3.50% – 7.89%|
|Variable Rates||2.49% – 7.11%||2.49% – 7.27%|
|Loan Terms||5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years||5 – 20 years|
|Loan Amounts||$5,000 up to your total outstanding loan balance||$5,000 up to your total outstanding loan balance|
SoFi vs. Earnest student loans: Which is right for you?
Both SoFi and Earnest 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 already use other SoFi products
- If you want to keep your money in one place
- If you have a low credit score
- If you want free career coaching
- If you have friends with student loan debt
- If you need to customize your monthly payment
- If you’re worried about losing your job
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 have a low credit score: Earnest
If your credit isn’t great, it can be hard to qualify for a loan, let alone get a low interest rate on the loans you do qualify for.
Unlike lenders that only look at your credit score, Earnest uses data including your savings patterns and investments to help you qualify for loans that other lenders would deny you.
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 have friends with student loan debt: SoFi
For each friend you refer to SoFi who takes out a refinance loan, you’ll get $300 and your friend will get a $100 bonus. If you like your experience with SoFi, this is a great way to help your friends and yourself at the same time.
If you need to customize your monthly payment: Earnest
Earnest uses what it calls Precision Pricing to help you customize your loan and monthly payments.
Most lenders have set repayment periods, such as five-year, 10-year, or 15-year terms. Earnest has more flexibility and even offers unusual terms like 10.5 years, which can help you get exactly the monthly payment you can afford.
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.
SoFi vs. other lenders
As you can see, SoFi comes out on top in a lot of situations. SoFi is a major player in student lending, but it’s not necessarily right for everyone. To learn about other SoFi competitors, check out these comparisons:
If you’re interested in comparing Earnest to more lenders, check out our guide to Earnest competitors and alternatives.
How we rate student loan refinance companies
Wondering how we rate student loan refinancing companies? We use a weighted average of several data points to score private lenders. You can read more about our methodology here.
Author: TJ Porter
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