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Student Loans

SoFi Private Student Loans: A Deep Dive into Rates, Terms, and Benefits

Updated Feb 08, 2024   |   31-min read

  • Offers private student loans and student loan refinancing with competitive rates for qualified borrowers. 
  • No origination, application, or late fees.
  • Best for career services: Provides unemployment protection for borrowers who lose jobs through no fault of their own. 
  • Gives access to career coaching and financial planning at no cost.
  • Allows cosigners to be released after 24 on-time payments.

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

SoFi offers private and parent student loans to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students attending approved schools. SoFi’s private student loans come with fixed and variable rate options for qualified applicants.

To qualify for SoFi student loans, applicants must meet underwriting requirements. Some may need to add a cosigner to be eligible. Keep reading for the details about SoFi’s student loans, including its terms, eligibility, and reputation.

How does SoFi work?

SoFi offers students, families, and cosigners private student loans and refinancing. To apply, you fill out an application on SoFi’s website, which will ask for personal information and details on the schools and programs you want to fund. SoFi will review your application and credit to determine your eligibility and offer student loan rates and terms. 

The amount you can borrow depends on factors including: 

  • The cost of your education
  • Other financial aid received
  • SoFi’s assessment of your ability to repay

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. 

SoFi aims to make the student loan process as straightforward as possible: Its online application, rate quotes, electronic signing, and fund disbursement help you get efficient, quick access to the money you need.

SoFi’s undergraduate student loan

Why it’s the best for career services

SoFi stands out for its career support to student loan borrowers. It offers unemployment protection for those who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, as well as complimentary career coaching and financial counseling. 

If you face unemployment after funding your education with a SoFi student loan, the lender will pause your payments for up to 12 months and help you find a new source of income by connecting you with career coaching services. SoFi’s career coaches review your resume, help you improve your interviewing skills, and suggest job opportunities that match your education and experience.

In addition to career support, SoFi student loan borrowers get access to financial planning services. Certified financial planners guide paying debt and help set and achieve other financial goals through tailored financial plans. 

SoFi’s free career and financial tools can be valuable for navigating life’s challenges, especially when entering the workforce with student loan debt. Its commitment to members’ well-being sets SoFi apart.

Source: SoFi

Rates, terms, and fees

SoFi offers competitive rates and fees on its undergraduate student loans compared to other private lenders. Its fixed and variable APR ranges are reasonable for those with good credit, and it provides opportunities to lower rates further with discounts for autopay and borrowing multiple loans. 

FeaturesDetails
Fixed rates (APR)4.24%13.55%
Variable rates (APR)5.24%12.82%
Rate discounts0.25% rate discount with autopay

0.125% discount for multiple SoFi loans
Loan amounts$5,000 – 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance
In-school repayment plansDeferred (no payments while in school)

Interest only

Partial ($25 fixed)

Principal and interest
Repayment terms5, 7, 10, or 15 years
Grace period6 months
Repayment assistanceDeferment and forbearance for eligible borrowers experiencing financial hardship

Discharge loan in cases of total and permanent disability and death
Cosigner releaseYes, after 24 months of on-time payments (For Colorado, Connecticut, and Maine residents, borrowers are eligible after only 12 months of consecutive payments.)
FeesNone
Unique featuresNo fees

Cosigner release after 24 months

Unemployment protection for borrowers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own

Career coaching and financial planning for members

Use SoFi Points to pay down your debt (earn points by logging into the SoFi app, setting up direct deposit, checking your credit score, and more)

SoFi also stands out for its lack of fees, generous cosigner release policy, and benefits, such as unemployment protection and financial planning, that provide support beyond the student loan. Its mix of rates, terms, and perks makes SoFi an attractive choice for undergraduate borrowers and their families.

What are the eligibility requirements?

SoFi undergraduate 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. 

It also accepts DACA students, asylum seekers, and non-permanent residents with proper documentation. SoFi does not disclose a minimum income, but borrowers must be employed or have other sufficient income to repay the loan.

Cosigners are not required, but they can help applicants with limited or no credit history or income qualify and secure a lower interest rate. SoFi states applicants with a cosigner are five times more likely to be approved. 

Eligibility requirementsDetails
Citizenship statusU.S. citizen or permanent resident

Non-permanent residents, DACA students, and asylum seekers with valid documentation showing immigration status is current
State of residenceAll 50 states + District of Columbia
Minimum ageAge of majority in your state of residence (18 in most states)
SchoolAccredited Title IV schools 

Most four-year public and private degree-granting institutions approved to participate in the Department of Education’s direct loan program and located in the United States
Enrollment statusMust be enrolled in a degree-seeking program at an eligible school and be attending classes at least half-time
Credit score650
IncomeNo amount stated 

Must be employed, have sufficient income from other sources, or have an offer of employment to start within the next 90 days

SoFi aims to make private student loans accessible to as many eligible applicants as possible while responsibly assessing their ability to repay the debt. Its acceptance of half-time students and non-permanent residents helps set it apart.

How does repayment work?

SoFi offers undergraduate student loan borrowers choices for an in-school repayment plan that fits their needs and budget. SoFi provides four options: 

  • Deferred repayment 
  • Interest-only payments 
  • $25 fixed payments while in school
  • Immediate principal and interest repayment

When finalizing your application, you can choose a five-, seven-, 10-, or 15-year repayment term. SoFi’s variety of in-school and full repayment options allows students to keep costs low while working toward their degree and ease into higher payments over time. 

SoFi also assists those facing financial hardship. It offers deferment and forbearance to postpone payments, loan discharge in cases of death or permanent disability, and unemployment protection that pauses payments for up to 12 months if you lose your job through no fault of your own.

SoFi’s generous terms, reduced payment options, and financial protections aim to make paying for college more realistic and less risky. Students can fund their education responsibly, focus on their studies, and ramp up payments as their income allows. 

SoFi’s repayment options and assistance programs help ensure responsible borrowing for undergraduate students at various life and career stages. Visit SoFi’s website for several helpful examples of its repayment plans.

SoFi’s graduate student loan

Why it’s the best for career services

SoFi provides valuable career support and financial planning services to all student loan borrowers, including those who take out loans for graduate school. It stands out for offering:

  • Unemployment protection that pauses loan payments for up to 12 months if you lose your job through no fault of your own after graduating. 
  • Complimentary career coaches who can review resumes, improve interviewing skills, and suggest job leads to help you find work that will allow you to repay student debt. 

In addition to career support, SoFi offers financial counseling for graduate student loan borrowers. Certified financial planners can create tailored plans for paying off debt, saving money, and achieving other goals. 

They can guide managing student loan payments and living expenses as well as creating a sustainable budget. 

Source: SoFi

The career coaching, financial planning, and unemployment protection SoFi provides demonstrate its commitment to members’ long-term success and financial well-being. These services aim to provide peace of mind to graduate students taking on debt to invest in education to advance their careers. 

They help borrowers get support in navigating challenges, finding employment, managing obligations, and charting a path to financial security after earning an advanced degree.

SoFi’s workforce programs and counseling show that it cares about customers beyond just originating a loan. Its benefits help separate SoFi from other lenders and make it a standout choice for graduate student borrowing. 

Rates, terms, and fees

SoFi offers competitive rates and no fees on graduate student loans. Its APR ranges align with other private lenders, and it provides discounts for autopay and borrowing multiple loans to lower costs further. 

SoFi graduate rates vary by degree program, with options for law, MBA, health professions, and general graduate students.

FeaturesDetails
Fixed rates (APR)5.00%13.35%
Variable rates (APR)5.74%12.82%
Rate discounts0.25% rate discount with autopay

0.125% discount for multiple SoFi loans
Loan amounts$5,000 – certified cost of attendance, less any financial aid you get from the school
In-school repayment plansDeferred (no payments while in school)

Interest only

Partial ($25 fixed)

Principal and interest
Repayment terms5, 7, 10, or 15 years
Grace period6 months
Repayment assistanceDeferment and forbearance for eligible borrowers experiencing financial hardship

Discharge loan in cases of total and permanent disability and death
Cosigner releaseYes, after 24 months of on-time payments (For residents of Colorado, Connecticut, and Maine, borrowers are eligible after only 12 months of consecutive payments.)
FeesNone
Unique featuresNo fees

Cosigner release after 24 months

Unemployment protection for borrowers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own

Career coaching and financial planning for members

Students in graduate-level certificate programs are eligible

Use your SoFi Points to pay down your debt (earn points by logging into the SoFi app, setting up direct deposit, checking your credit score, and more)

SoFi’s other graduate student loans

SoFi offers specific graduate student loans for those pursuing a law degree, an MBA, or a graduate degree in a health profession:

Student loansFixed rates (APR)Variable rates (APR)Grace period
Law school loans5%12.9%5.74%12.52%6 months
MBA loans5%12.9%5.74%12.52%6 months
Health professions loans5%13.35%5.74%12.82%9 months

Please note: All other features for these loans, such as loan amounts, repayment terms, cosigner release, fees, and unique features, are identical to those of SoFi’s general graduate student loans.

What are the eligibility requirements?

SoFi graduate student loans are available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents enrolled at least half-time in an eligible graduate-level program. SoFi considers applicants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

It also accepts DACA students, asylum seekers, and non-permanent residents with proper documentation. Applicants should have an undergraduate degree and be admitted to an approved school, but SoFi does not disclose a minimum income. 

Cosigners are not required for SoFi graduate student loans but can help applicants with limited credit access lower rates. SoFi states applicants with a cosigner may receive a lower interest rate. 

Eligibility requirementsDetails
Citizenship statusU.S. citizen or permanent resident

Non-permanent residents, DACA students, and asylum seekers with valid documentation showing immigration status is current
State of residenceAll 50 states + District of Columbia
Minimum ageAge of majority in your state of residence (18 in most states)
SchoolAccredited Title IV schools
 
Most four-year public and private degree-granting institutions that are approved to participate in the Department of Education’s direct loan program and located in the United States
Enrollment statusMust have an undergraduate degree, be enrolled at an approved degree-granting institution, and be attending the school at least half time

Eligible borrowers may be in graduate-level certificate programs as well as programs for advanced degrees
Credit score650
IncomeNo amount stated (must be employed, have sufficient income from other sources, or have an offer of employment to start within the next 90 days)

SoFi aims to make private student loans accessible for graduate studies. Its lenient eligibility criteria and acceptance of nontraditional students help set it apart in serving customers from all backgrounds through responsible lending practices.

How does repayment work?

SoFi offers competitive rates and terms for graduate student loans. Borrowers can choose between fixed and variable interest rates as well as shorter or longer repayment terms based on their needs.

SoFi allows you to borrow up to the total cost of attendance with no origination or disbursement fees. Repayment options include:

  • Deferred: No payments while in school. 
  • Interest only: Pay only accrued interest. 
  • Partial: Fixed $25 payments.
  • Principal and interest: Full repayments begin after a six- to nine-month grace period.

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
Principal and interest$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 term (years)Monthly payment Total interest paid
5$193.33$1,599.80
7$144.23$2,137.16
10$111.02$3,322.74
15$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 offers options for those facing financial hardship, including deferment, forbearance, and discharge for disability or death. Cosigners can be released after 24 months of on-time payments.

SoFi aims to provide affordable, flexible options for grad students to pay for school and repay their debts through fixed- or variable-rate loans and tailored terms.

SoFi’s parent student loan

Why it’s the best for career services

SoFi stands out among student loan lenders for providing no-cost benefits that help parents plan for their child’s—and their own—financial future. With its parent student loans, SoFi offers career coaching, financial planning, and unemployment protection for no extra charge. 

SoFi’s career coaching pairs parents with a certified career coach for tailored guidance on advancing their career or making a change. The coach helps set career goals and build a plan to achieve them, providing motivation and accountability. (Please note: The student can’t use this benefit if they aren’t named on the loan—and they wouldn’t be named on a parent loan.)

The service would cost well over $100 per month from a private career coach but is complimentary for SoFi parent student loan borrowers. 

SoFi also offers parents financial planning and education, which can cost several hundred dollars, as you can see in the table below. Its financial planners help parents evaluate their current financial situation, set goals such as saving for retirement or college expenses, and create a custom plan to achieve them. 

ServiceCost if privateCost with SoFi
Career coaching$100 – $150 per session (Indeed)

$75 – $500 per hour (Business News Daily
Free
Comprehensive financial planning$2,250 (Kitces)

$200 – $400 per hour or $2,500 flat (AARP
Free

SoFi’s parent student loans also come with unemployment protection in case a parent loses their job through no fault of their own. SoFi will pause payments with no interest charged for up to 12 months while the parent looks for a new job. This provides security and peace of mind when taking on loans for a child’s education. 

SoFi aims to support parents through career and financial guidance—not just when taking out a loan, but for the loan’s lifetime. These additional benefits provide service and value with SoFi’s parent student loans.

Rates, terms, and fees

SoFi offers competitive rates and terms for parent student loans with no fees. 

Borrowers can choose between fixed and variable rates and full immediate repayment or interest-only options during school. Note that the fixed and deferred options aren’t available for parent loans because SoFi assumes the parent—not the student—will make these payments.

FeatureDetails
Fixed rates (APR)6.25%13.73%
Variable rates (APR)6.07%12.88%
Rate discounts0.25% rate discount with autopay

0.125% discount for multiple SoFi loans
Loan amounts$5,000 – 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance
In-school repayment plansInterest-only or principal and interest
Repayment terms5, 7, 10, or 15 years
Grace periodNone (full principal and interest payments begin 30 – 45 days after the student has graduated or left school if you choose the interest-only repayment option)
Repayment assistanceDeferment and forbearance for eligible borrowers experiencing financial hardship

Discharge loan in cases of total and permanent disability and death
Cosigner releaseN/A for parent loans
FeesNone
Unique featuresNo fees

Unemployment protection

Career coaching and financial planning for members

Use SoFi Points to pay down your debt

What are the eligibility requirements?

Parents and students must meet basic eligibility criteria, but SoFi does not disclose a minimum income requirement. 

Applicants need sufficient income to repay the loan, and cosigners aren’t an option for parent loans, so the primary borrower must qualify.

Eligibility requirementDetails
Citizenship statusU.S. citizen or permanent resident

Non-permanent residents, DACA students, and asylum seekers with valid documentation showing immigration status is current
State of residenceAll 50 states + District of Columbia
Minimum ageAge of majority in your state of residence (18 in most states)
SchoolAccredited Title IV schools 

Most four-year public and private degree-granting institutions that are approved to participate in the Department of Education’s direct loan program and located in the U.S.
Enrollment statusStudent must be enrolled at an approved degree-granting institution and be attending the school at least half-time
Credit score650
IncomeNo amount stated (must be employed, have sufficient income from other sources, or have an offer of employment to start within the next 90 days)

Applying with SoFi is free and fast—SoFi advises it takes three minutes to apply—with no impact on your credit score. SoFi’s goal is to make parent student loans accessible for all who can demonstrate the ability to repay the loan, regardless of income, credit score, or citizenship status.

How does repayment work?

SoFi provides several repayment plans for parent student loans, allowing families options to tailor payments to their budget. SoFi offers repayment terms of up to 15 years and temporary relief for those facing financial hardship. 

SoFi parent student loans feature fixed or variable rates, terms of five to 15 years, and the option to make interest-only or full payments while the child is in school. Families can choose a shorter term to save on interest or longer terms for smaller payments. 

For example, take a look at how monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 8% APR might differ:

Loan termMonthly payment
5 years$189
15 years $87

SoFi also offers payment relief options including temporary forbearance for up to 18 months or loan discharge in cases of disability or death. Deferment is available for those returning to school or unemployed, pausing payments for up to 36 months. These flexible options provide a safety net for families if their situation changes during repayment.

SoFi aims to ease the repayment burden through competitive rates, longer terms, and options for temporary relief without penalty. Its parent student loans offer an array of choices to fit each family’s needs and budget during school and after. 

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 interest rates, while competitive for private student loans, tend to be higher than federal student loan rates. Always explore federal student loan options before turning to private lenders. Federal loans also have more flexible repayment terms, deferment, and forgiveness options.
  • 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. 

We always recommend federal student loans first because they don’t have income or credit requirements. If you’ve maxed out federal loans and can’t qualify for SoFi student loans due to credit or income, you may need to consider lenders specializing in private student loans for bad credit or no-cosigner student loans.   

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 have SoFi student loans evolved over the years?

When it launched in 2011, SoFi only offered student loan refinancing to Stanford University graduates. 

Today, SoFi refinances loans from most accredited colleges and offers private student loans. It’s expanded its offerings and added valuable benefits for borrowers. SoFi now provides private student loans in addition to refinancing. It has also diversified into personal loans, mortgages, wealth management, and banking.  

SoFi has enhanced its private student loan benefits over time:

  • Longer repayment terms: SoFi now offers terms up to 15 years for higher loan amounts, allowing smaller monthly payments.
  • Cosigner release: Borrowers can apply to release a cosigner after making 24 months of consecutive, on-time payments. 
  • Career coaching and financial planning: SoFi introduced complimentary career support and financial counseling for members in 2015.
  • Unemployment protection: SoFi rolled out unemployment protection for its student loans in 2016. It allows temporary loan forbearance for up to 12 months if a borrower loses their job through no fault of their own.
  • Parent student loans: SoFi launched student loans for parents in 2018 to help make college more affordable for families. Parents can borrow up to the full cost of their child’s college education with competitive rates and terms.

How do SoFi private student loans compare to other lenders?

SoFi offers competitive private student loans. However, we recommend comparing student loan companies to ensure you get the most favorable terms. Earnest, College Ave, and Sallie Mae also provide attractive options for borrowers. Here’s how they compare:  

FeaturesSoFiEarnestCollege AveSallie Mae
Our rating (out of 5)4.64.74.84.7
Best forBest for career servicesBest rate match guarantee

Best for skipping a payment

Best for no fees
Best overallBest for cosigners
Rates (APR) – fixed4.24%13.55%4.43%14.90%4.44% – 15.99%4.50% – 14.83%
Rates (APR) – variable5.24%12.82%5.32%16.20%5.09% – 15.99%5.87% – 16.20%
Loan amount$5,000 – 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance$1,000 – 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance$1,000 – 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance$1,000 – 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance
Repayment terms5, 7, 10, or 15 years5, 7, 10, 12, or 15 years5, 8, 10, or 15 years10 – 15 years
Grace period6 months9 months6 months6 months
View ratesView ratesView ratesView rates
Comparison of undergraduate student loans.

The right lender for you will depend on your specific needs and financial situation. For example, you might choose Earnest if you want as many repayment options as possible. If you want to borrow less than $5,000, SoFi won’t be right for you.

We recommend prequalifying with several lenders so you can make an informed decision.

SoFi refinance student loans

Why it’s the best online lender for student loan refinance

We designate SoFi as the best online lender for refinance student loans because it’s the highest rated refinancing lender, with a score of 4.9 out of 5. Refinancing with SoFi opens up access to member benefits and discounts if you have other SoFi loans and accounts.

SoFi’s refinance loans can serve two purposes for borrowers:

  1. Help you consolidate multiple loans into one to make student loan repayment easier
  2. Help you lower your interest rates

SoFi allows borrowers to refinance federal and private student loans. If you are considering refinancing your federal student loans, know which protections and benefits you may be giving up.

SoFi student loan refinance
Loan amount$5,000 – Total outstanding loan balance
Term lengths5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
Fixed rates4.74% – 8.99%
Variable rates5.29% – 9.19%
Autopay rate reduction0.25%
FeesNone

How to refinance student loans with SoFi

You can start the process by visiting the SoFi website and clicking “Find My Rate.” This will take you to a simple form you fill out to prequalify. You can do this without a hard credit check, so there’s no impact on your credit score.

Just provide:

  • Your first and last name
  • Your state of residence
  • Your email
  • A password
  • Your date of birth
  • Details about your citizenship status
  • Your current address
  • Your mobile phone number
  • Whether you renting or own a home
  • The highest degree you have (undergraduate or graduate)
  • The school and program you attended and graduation date or the date you last attended
  • Your employment status
  • Your employer name
  • Your individual annual income
  • How many years of professional experience you have
  • The loan amount you would like to refinance

Based on the information you provide, SoFi will do a soft credit check and offer a personalized rate quote.

If you like the rate, you can move forward and complete the application process. This will result in a hard credit check, and you may need to provide additional financial information, including tax returns or pay stubs, to provide proof of income.

What are the eligibility requirements?

To refinance your loans with SoFi, you’ll need:

  • A credit score of at least 650 (estimated)
  • Free cash available after paying monthly expenses (no minimum income requirement)
  • To be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident
  • An associate degree or higher from a Title IV accredited school
  • Proof of employment or an offer for a job with employment scheduled to start within 90 days or less

Rates, terms, and fees

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

Loan detailsUndergraduate & graduate refinancingParent PLUS loan refinancingMedical & dental resident student loan refinancing
Fixed APR4.74% – 8.99%4.74%8.99%3.99%8.99%
Variable APR5.29% – 9.19%5.29%9.19%4.54%9.19%
Loan repayment terms5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
Loan feesNo application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penaltiesNo application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penaltiesNo application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties
Loan amounts$5,000 – the total outstanding loan balance$5,000 – the total outstanding loan balance$5,000 – the total outstanding loan balance
Cosigner releaseNoneNoneNone

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Member benefits

    When you refinance with SoFi, you get access to member benefits including career coaching, a referral program if you refer friends or family to SoFi, and invitations to exclusive member events where you can network and build your career.

  • Discounts on additional SoFi loans

    SoFi members who have one loan with the company can get a 0.125% rate discount on an additional SoFi loan. This can make taking out a personal loan or other private student loans cheaper.

  • Autopay discount

    As with most online lenders, SoFi offers a 0.25% autopay discount for setting up automatic loan payments.

  • Unemployment protection

    You can pause monthly payments if you become unemployed, and the career services team will help you to find new opportunities.

  • No fees

    SoFi offers simple repayment options with no hidden fees.

Cons

  • Most borrowers who qualify have high incomes

    SoFi has no stated minimum income limits, but most borrowers—especially those who qualify for lower interest rates—have high income levels.

  • You can qualify only if you earned a degree

    If you didn’t finish your educational program, refinancing with SoFi isn’t an option.

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 Bureau1.27 out of 5170
Trustpilot4.6 out of 55,965
Google2.5 out of 590

Ratings collected on June 15, 2023.

Additional information:

  • In the last three years, 1,029 BBB complaints were closed, and 623 were closed in the previous 12 months. Many complaints are unrelated to SoFi’s student loans because SoFi offers several loan products. SoFi has responded to every complaint, and many customers respond that SoFi handled the issue satisfactorily.
  • Many Trustpilot reviewers noted SoFi’s quick, simple application process and helpful customer service.

SoFi’s responses to customers’ BBB complaints—and those folks’ follow-up comments that they were satisfied with the outcomes—along with its excellent Trustpilot scores, where it has far more reviews than the other two platforms, demonstrate that it’s serious about customer service.

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 it 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?

If SoFi denies your student loan application, don’t be discouraged. You have other options to explore in affording higher education. 

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:

  • Alternative private student loans: Check your options with lenders such as Ascent and College Ave. They may allow lower minimum income and credit scores or higher debt-to-income ratios.
  • Other no-cosigner and bad-credit student loan options. If you can’t qualify for SoFi or other traditional lenders and don’t have a cosigner—and you’ve exhausted available federal aid—these lenders might be the solution you’re seeking.

If denied by any lenders, you may need to adjust costs or seek other funding sources, including scholarships, personal loans, or payment plans from your school. 

Don’t risk delaying or abandoning your education over temporary financial setbacks. With persistence and by exploring all options, you can find the resources to achieve your dreams.

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, these were our picks for SoFi:

LoanBest forLendEDU rating (out of 5)
Undergraduate student loanCareer services4.6
Graduate student loanCareer services4.5
Parent student loanCareer services4.5
Refinance student loanBest online lender4.9

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.