What we like:
|Fixed APR||5.73% – 11.99%|
|Variable APR||4.73% – 11.74%|
|Loan Terms||5, 10, 15 years|
|Loan Amounts||$5,000 to 100% of the school-certified costs of attendance|
SoFi quickly became one of the nation’s top providers of student loan refinancing after its founding in 2011. It later expanded into mortgages and personal loans but only recently started funding its own private student loans. Currently, SoFi’s private student loans are only available to undergraduates, but the company indicates that loans for grad students and parents are on the horizon.
SoFi has branded its offerings as unique from other online lenders because it looks beyond credit scores and an applicant’s debt-to-income ratio to consider other factors like cash flow, education, and career prospects. Because SoFi doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar branch locations, it’s able to offer products with much lower fees than many of its competitors.
In this review:
- How to Get a SoFi Private Student Loan
- Basic Information: SoFi Student Loan Rates, Terms, Fees, & Limits
- Benefits of SoFi Student Loans
- Downsides of SoFi Student Loans
- SoFi Private Student Loan FAQ
How to Get a SoFi Private Student Loan
Students can apply for a SoFi private student loan online in just a few minutes, with or without a cosigner. Basic eligibility requirements include:
- Borrowers have to be the age of majority in the state where they live (or have a cosigner who is).
- Borrowers have to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (or have a cosigner who is).
- Borrowers have to live in a state where SoFi Lending Corp (which originates the company’s loan products) has lending authorization.
- The borrower and/or cosigner must be employed and/or have sufficient income.
- Borrowers have to use the loan for qualified higher education expenses at an eligible institution.
- Borrowers have to be enrolled at least half-time at a degree-granting institution.
Getting prequalified does not affect an applicant’s credit score, since SoFi conducts only a soft credit pull at that stage. Final approval, of course, requires a hard credit inquiry and is based on factors like your financial history, credit score, career prospects, cash flow, and more.
Although a cosigner is not required, rates are typically higher without one. Students who are just starting school and don’t have steady income or an established credit history will have a better chance of being approved if they apply with a creditworthy cosigner.
If you’re approved for a private loan from SoFi, you’ll need to accept the terms and electronically sign your documents. Once that happens, SoFi will send all loan application information to your school for certification, after which funds are released directly to the school. The entire process, SoFi claims, takes anywhere from four to six weeks on average.
Basic Information: SoFi Student Loan Rates, Terms, Fees, & Limits
SoFi private student loans comes with the following rates, terms, fees, and loan limits:
- Fixed APR: 5.73% to 11.99% with autopay
- Variable APR: 4.73% to 11.74% APR with autopay
- Terms: Repayment options include immediate repayment, interest-only payments, partial payments, and full deferment (i.e. no payments while in school)
- Fees: None
- Limits: $5,000 minimum (may be higher in some states) up to 100% of the school-certified costs of attendance
Benefits of SoFi Student Loans
As an established company with an excellent reputation in the student loan refinancing space, SoFi offers the following benefits with its new private student loan product:
- The entire application can be completed online within minutes.
- Existing SoFi customers have reported great customer service and a user-friendly interface, according to Trustpilot reviews.
- Check your rate without impacting your credit score with SoFi’s “Find My Rate” tool.
- SoFi charges no origination, application, insufficient funds, or late fees.
- You can get a 0.25% interest rate reduction when you sign up to make automated payments from your checking or savings account.
- If your cosigner is already a SoFi member, you may be eligible for an additional 0.125% interest rate reduction.
- You have your choice of four repayment plans (immediate repayment, interest-only payments, partial payments, and full deferment), allowing you to customize your SoFi student loan according to your personal financial situation.
- SoFi offers online tools such as a student loan calculator and other financial resources.
Downsides of SoFi Student Loans
Compared to federal student loans, which offer standardized interest rates and valuable borrower protections, SoFi private student loans are likely to be more expensive. For its part, the company does advise potential customers to exhaust their options for federal loans and grants before turning to private loans.
In addition, qualifying for SoFi loans can be challenging and the application process can be rigorous in terms of credit score and income requirements, especially if you don’t have a cosigner.
SoFi also comes with fewer repayment options than federal student loans.
SoFi Private Student Loan FAQ
SoFi’s private student loans are relatively untested, but as one of the leading providers of student loan refinancing products, it has a reputation as a reliable lender with good customer service.
If you’re interested in comparing SoFi to other refinancing lenders, check out our review on SoFi alternatives.
SoFi primarily offers student loan refinancing in addition to its new private undergraduate loans. It also has medical and dental resident student loan refinancing as well as Parent PLUS refinancing.
>> Read More: SoFi student loan refinancing review
SoFi brings an already strong reputation to the private student loan lending space. Interest rates on private student loans from SoFi are competitive compared to similar private lenders, and the company stands out in terms of fees (or a lack thereof), an easy online-only application process, and flexible repayment terms.
Learn more about what’s available with this SoFi review.
Author: Ashley Sutphin
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