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Student Loans

SoFi Student Loans Review: A Deep Dive Into Its Benefits

Best for Member Benefits

4.7 /5
LendEDU Rating
Private Student Loans
  • Student loans for undergraduates, graduates, and parents
  • Cover the costs of fall, spring, and summer terms
  • No origination, application, or prepayment fees
  • Return borrowers are eligible for a 0.125% rate discount
  • Check your rate without impacting your credit score
  • High minimum loan amount
Rates (APR)4.44%14.70%
Loan amounts$1,000 – 100% of certified costs
Repayment terms5, 7, 10, or 15 years
Refinance Student LoansView Rates
  • Refinance your entire outstanding student loan balance
  • Choose between five different repayment terms
  • No origination, application, or prepayment fees
  • Check your rate without impacting your credit score
  • Cosigners can’t be released from the loan
Rates (APR)3.99% – 9.19%
Loan amounts$5,000 – total outstanding balance
Repayment terms5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years

Founded in 2011 to provide accessible, low-cost financing options for higher education, SoFi has since expanded into offering nearly all other financial products, including personal loans, mortgages, and banking. However, student loans remain central to SoFi’s goal of helping people invest in themselves to achieve their dreams.

In this SoFi student loans review, we’ll look at the terms, unique benefits, and what borrowers have to say about their experience.

How does SoFi work?

To apply for a student loan with SoFi, you’ll fill out an application on its website, asking for personal information and details on the schools and programs you want to fund. SoFi will review your application and credit to determine eligibility and offer rates and terms for you to choose from.

SoFi disburses loan funds to your school to pay for tuition, room and board, and other expenses. You typically must reapply for a new SoFi student loan each academic year. 

Its online application, rate quotes, electronic signing, and fund disbursement help you get efficient, quick access to the money you need.

Our take on SoFi’s private student loans

4.7 /5
LendEDU Rating
Private Student Loans
  • Student loans for undergraduates, graduates, and parents
  • Cover the costs of fall, spring, and summer terms
  • No origination, application, or prepayment fees
  • Return borrowers are eligible for a 0.125% rate discount
  • Check your rate without impacting your credit score
  • High minimum loan amount

Rates, borrowing limits, and fees

SoFi’s private student loans come with competitive rates, no fees, and the funds you need to cover all of your certified costs of attendance.

FeaturesDetails
Fixed rates (APR)4.24%13.55%
Variable rates (APR)5.24%12.82%
Rate discounts0.25% for autopay and 0.125% for subsequent loans
Loan amounts$1,000 – 100% of certified costs
FeesNone

What are the eligibility requirements?

SoFi’s student loans are available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents attending eligible schools at least half-time. SoFi considers applicants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

DACA students, asylum seekers, and non-permanent residents with proper documentation can also be accepted.

While cosigners are not required, SoFi does state that applicants with a cosigner are five times more likely to be approved for a loan due to the credit and income requirements.

RequirementDetails
CitizenshipU.S. citizens, permanent residents, non-permanent residents, DACA students, or asylum seekers with valid documentation
State of residenceAll 50 states and D.C.
Minimum ageAge of majority (18 in most states)
SchoolAccredited Title IV schools
Enrollment statusAt least half-time
Min. credit score650
Min. incomeNot disclosed

How does repayment work?

SoFi student loan borrowers can choose the repayment term and plan to find a monthly payment that aligns with their budget.

TermDetails
Repayment terms5, 7, 10, or 15 years
Repayment optionsIn-school (full, interest-only, or $25 flat) or deferred
Grace period6 months
Cosigner releaseYes, after 24 consecutive on-time payments

Here’s how each repayment plan works:

  • Deferred: No payments while in school.
  • Interest only: Pay only accrued interest.
  • Partial: Fixed $25 payments.
  • Full: Full repayment while enrolled.

Here’s a breakdown of the monthly in-school repayment options on a $10,000 loan at 6.00% fixed APR:

In-school repayment planMonthly payment 
Deferred$0.00
Interest only$50.00
Partial ($25 fixed)$25.00
Full$193.33

Please note: The principal and interest plan assumes a standard 10-year repayment term. The “Interest only” plan simply pays the accrued interest each month.

Repayment terms range from five to 15 years. The table below illustrates the monthly repayment and total interest paid on each of the four repayment term lengths after graduation on a $10,000 loan at 6.00% fixed APR (assuming deferred in-school repayment):

Repayment termMonthly payment Total interest paid
5 years$193.33$1,599.80
7 years$144.23$2,137.16
10 years$111.02$3,322.74
15 years$84.26$5,165.89

Please note: These calculations assume a standard amortization schedule with monthly payments. We calculated the total interest paid by subtracting the initial loan amount ($10,000) from the total repayment amount over the loan term. Total interest will be more for longer terms because interest accrues over a longer time.

SoFi also assists those facing financial hardship. It offers deferment and forbearance to postpone payments and loan discharge in cases of death or permanent disability.

How can SoFi improve its private student loans?

SoFi offers competitive rates and benefits for student loan borrowers. Still, it could improve in a few areas to better serve customers.

  • SoFi’s $5,000 minimum borrowing amount is higher than competitors, including College Ave, Sallie Mae, and Earnest, which allow loans as low as $1,000. The higher minimum with SoFi could require some borrowers to take on more debt than they need.
  • Qualifying for a SoFi student loan can be difficult for those with limited or no credit history or income. SoFi doesn’t disclose its exact underwriting criteria, but meeting its eligibility requirements often requires a creditworthy cosigner or proof of income and a stable financial situation.

By making its student loans even more accessible, SoFi could open doors to higher education for more students looking to invest in their futures.

How do SoFi private student loans compare to other lenders?

We recommend comparing student loan companies to ensure you get the most favorable terms. College Ave and Sallie Mae are highly-rated companies worth considering.

SoFiCollege AveSallie Mae
Our rating4.754.8
Rates (APR)4.24%13.55%4.44% – 15.99%4.50% – 14.83%
Min. funding$1,000$1,000$1,000
Max. funding100% of costs100% of costs100% of costs
Repayment5, 7, 10, or 15 years5, 8, 10, or 15 years10 – 15 years
Grace period6 months6 months6 months
View ratesView ratesView rates
Comparison of undergraduate student loans.

Our take on SoFi’s refinance student loans

Best Overall

4.9 /5
LendEDU Rating
Refinance Student Loans
  • Refinance your entire outstanding student loan balance
  • Choose between five different repayment terms
  • No origination, application, or prepayment fees
  • Check your rate without impacting your credit score
  • Cosigners can’t be released from the loan

Rates, borrowing limits, and fees

If you qualify for refinancing with SoFi, here are key loan terms to be aware of:

FeaturesDetails
Fixed rates (APR)3.99% – 9.99%
Variable rates (APR)6.24% – 9.99%
Rate discounts0.25% for autopay
Loan amounts$5,000 – total outstanding balance
FeesLate payment fee

What are the eligibility requirements?

To refinance your loans with SoFi, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:

RequirementDetails
CitizenshipU.S. citizens or permanent resident
State of residenceAll 50 states and D.C.
Minimum ageAge of majority (18 in most states)
SchoolAccredited Title IV schools
DegreeAssociate degree or higher
Min. credit score650
Min. incomeNo specific requirement

How does repayment work?

Borrowers who refinance student loans with SoFi will have the following repayment terms:

TermDetails
Repayment terms5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
Grace period6 months if present on your existing loan
Cosigner releaseNot available

Is SoFi a reputable lender?

When you’re choosing between several lenders, it helps to consider its customer reviews on trusted sites. This way, you’ll be confident you’re in capable hands if you need assistance.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a nonprofit organization focused on marketplace trust and transparency. Businesses are not required to be BBB-accredited, but many view it as an indicator of reputation and customer service. SoFi is not BBB-accredited.

Trustpilot is an independent review platform where customers can share feedback on companies. Businesses cannot edit or delete reviews on Trustpilot, which provides a reliable indication of the overall customer experience.   

Here are SoFi’s ratings from major review sites:

SourceCustomer ratingNumber of reviews
Better Business BureauNo rating0
Trustpilot4.6 out of 58,169

Ratings collected April 2024.

Does SoFi have a customer service team?

SoFi aims to provide helpful customer service for a seamless experience throughout the student loan process. SoFi’s customer support team is based in the U.S. and assists with applications, repayment questions, changes in account information, and more.

SoFi facilitates the application and disbursement of funds, but partners with the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) as its loan servicer to handle repayment and account management after the loan is disbursed.

SoFi doesn’t publish an email for student loan customers on its website, but borrowers can contact its support team through:

  • Phone: 855-456-SOFI (7634) Monday through Thursday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific time; Friday through Sunday, 5 a.m. – 5 p.m.  
  • Chat: Talk to SoFi’s virtual assistant Clara, or chat live with a SoFi support member. (Note: You must be a SoFi account holder and log in to your account to use the chat service.) 
  • Mail: Send student loan-related written correspondence to MOHELA: P.O. Box 1022, Chesterfield, MO 63006-1022
  • Twitter: Tweet @SoFiSupport

How to apply for a SoFi student loan

SoFi aims to provide a fast, easy application process for student loans. Completing SoFi’s application takes just minutes, and prequalifying for a rate only takes basic information. 

Here are the primary steps to apply for a SoFi student loan:  

  1. Prequalify online. The initial application asks for basic information, such as the school, loan amount, and loan type (undergraduate, graduate, or parent), to determine eligibility and provide a prequalified rate. This only takes a few minutes.
Source: SoFi
Source: SoFi
  1. Complete the full application. Enter your personal information, employment and income details, school enrollment data, and more to apply for your student loan. This typically takes 10 to 15 minutes. Adding a cosigner, if needed, only requires a few additional fields to finish the joint application.  
  2. Upload and sign documents. SoFi may ask you to provide screenshots or physical copies of pay stubs, tax forms, or enrollment verification to verify information in your application. Then, electronically sign your final paperwork using SoFi’s secure system. You can do this within a few days of applying.
  3. SoFi will facilitate your loan. Once approved and you have signed all documents, SoFi will work with its lending partners to facilitate your student loan. SoFi will send funds to your school’s financial aid office within three to five business days of completing the necessary paperwork. 

What if I’m denied a student loan from SoFi?

SoFi will provide an Adverse Action Notice explaining why your application was denied—often due to limited or inability to verify income, high debt-to-income ratio, lack of credit history, or other eligibility criteria gaps. With this information, you can reapply with a cosigner or take steps to improve your eligibility before reapplying alone.

You might also consider applying for alternative student loans:

How we rated SoFi student loans

We compared SoFi to 17 student loan lenders offering undergraduate, graduate, parent, and refinancing student loans. Its editorial rating for each student loan reflects how it compares to similar products.

We considered more than 26 factors, including rates, repayment terms, fees, unique benefits, and more. In the end, SoFi stood out for its member benefits.

SoFi FAQ

Does SoFi offer private or federal student loans?  

SoFi offers private student loans with fixed and variable rate options for undergraduates, graduates, and parents. 

SoFi’s federal student loan refinancing allows borrowers to consolidate eligible federal loans into a new private student loan with potentially lower rates.

Does applying with SoFi hurt my credit?   

Applying for a SoFi student loan causes a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can lower your score by a few points. However, if you avoid other new applications, your score should recover within six months. 

Paying your SoFi student loan on time will also help build your credit history over the repayment term, which can raise your score by more than any initial drop from the inquiry.

Does SoFi require a cosigner?   

SoFi does not require a cosigner for most student loan applicants but may recommend one if you have minimal credit history or income. 

A cosigner with good credit and a stable income can increase your eligibility and chances of approval with SoFi. However, cosigners on your student loan must repay the debt if you fail to do so.

Does SoFi allow cosigners to be released?   

Yes, SoFi offers cosigner release for student loans after 24 months of consecutive on-time payments. The borrower must meet income and credit requirements at the time of the cosigner release application. 

If approved, the cosigner is released from the legal obligation to repay the student loan debt.

What can SoFi student loans be used for?   

You can use SoFi student loans to pay for qualified higher education expenses at approved schools, including tuition, room and board, fees, books, supplies, equipment, and transportation. 

You can’t use the loan funds for optional or recreational expenses. Borrowed amounts must not exceed the cost of attendance, less other aid received.

How long does it take to receive funds from SoFi?   

If approved, it may take three to five business days for SoFi to send student loan funds to your school’s financial aid office. The exact timeline depends on the time required to complete the necessary paperwork, which SoFi makes as efficient as possible through its online application and signing process. 

However, disbursement time can vary during peak periods at the start or middle of a semester. It’s best to apply with SoFi at least two weeks before any payment deadlines to ensure on-time delivery of funds.

Can SoFi student loans be forgiven?   

SoFi student loans do not offer forgiveness programs. These are private loans, not federal student loans that provide paths to forgiveness (e.g., Public Service Loan Forgiveness). 

However, SoFi provides temporary relief options for those facing financial hardship through forbearance (up to 12 months) or deferment programs to pause payments. 

Loan discharge may also be available in rare extreme circumstances of permanent disability or death. But outside these limited situations, you must repay SoFi student loans in full based on the terms of your promissory note.