SoFi Review

Michael Dinich

In a Nutshell

SoFi’s low interest rates and dedication to customer education make it a top choice when it comes to getting a personal loan. It’s an excellent alternative for young professionals who are looking to build their credit through responsible borrowing, as well as aspiring homeowners or those seeking to refinance loans with unfavorable terms.

pros

  • Flexible loan amounts and terms
  • Unemployment protection freezes loan payments if case of job loss

cons

  • Good or Excellent credit score needed to apply
  • Approval process takes longer than some competitors

SoFi SoFi Visit Site

SoFi at a Glance

Loan types: Multi purpose personal loans

Loan amount: Up to $100,000

Repayment terms: 24-84 months

APR :  5.99% to 18.53% (with AutoPay)

Minimum credit score: 680

Best for: Young professionals and recent graduates

Direct lender or marketplace: Direct lender

Overview

SoFi offers a fresh and innovative approach to lending that differentiates its services from traditional brick and mortar lenders. The company was founded by four graduate students at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2011. The group wanted to make a commitment to offering a service that could help graduates pay back their student loans while bypassing traditional lending institutions. From there, the concept expanded to accommodate a wider variety of borrowing needs. In the time since, SoFi has worked hard to make good on their commitment, becoming one of the best personal loan lenders in the industry after extending over $7 billion in loans to date. SoFi offers a variety of technology driven financial lending and money management solutions including wealth management, loans, and even life insurance. Additionally, SoFi works with customers to help them achieve stability, plan for their future, and reach their personal finance goals.

sofi review

Best For?

SoFi takes a fresh approach to lending and is ideal if you are looking for:

  • An alternative to the traditional lending system. SoFi’s marketplace lending model allows users to connect to the best borrowing opportunity without dealing with intermediaries such as banks or other bureaucratic roadblocks. If you need to restructure or deal with student loans, or are simply looking for a wealth management service, SoFi provides a fresh approach.
  • Financial stability. If you prefer a lending solution that not only seeks to work with you, but also helps you plan for the future, build your credit, or simply shape a better understanding of your financial reality, SoFi stands out as an excellent option.

Loan Features

SoFi’s does more than simply offer personal loans; it presents borrowers with several options, including student loan refinancing, mortgages and mortgage refinancing, as well as personal loans and parent loans. Additionally, SoFi is committed to helping loan seekers develop skills to instill a sense of more responsible financial decision-making. The company offers wealth management solutions, private placements, and even provides market commentary and investment resources to help you understand the process and make better investing choices. SoFi also makes a serious effort to educate customers, providing a wide variety of resources designed to bolster your understanding of personal loans, personal finances, and different types of loan options. 

Highlights for SoFi

  • Variety of personal loan types including student loan refinancing and consolidation
  • Mortgage and mortgage refinancing offered for new homeowners
  • Unemployment protection in cases of job loss
  • Wealth management service designed to help with financial planning
  • Strong educational resources to better understand loans, finances, and investing
  • Parent loans to help those parents looking to support their children’s education
  • Technology-driven approach to lending
  • Community events for entrepreneur networking

The Application Process

Applying for a loan with SoFi is simple, and though approval can take slightly longer than with some competitors, this is related to the company’s pledge to ensure responsible lending and transparency. SoFi’s loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000, although the higher amounts are reserved for applicants that have credit scores over 680. SoFi's approval process is not long, but can be expedited if you prequalify. To apply, you are required to fill out an online application, after which the company will do a soft credit pull—with no impact on your credit—and if you are approved, you will move on to a more rigorous qualification process. The online segment can be completed in a few minutes, although the full process can take slightly longer depending on your specific qualifications and credit score. 

When you apply, you should have the following documentation to hand:

  • Proof of income such as paystubs
  • A valid ID
  • Information on any existing loans
  • Employment information
  • Diploma or transcript in order to verify your graduation

Once you have completed the application, you will learn if you have been approved, and if so, you will be contacted by SoFi to establish the terms of your loan. After that, your loan will be transferred into your account.

Loan Terms and Requirements 

Due to its more involved qualification process, SoFi’s loan application takes a little longer than other personal loan providers in the industry. However, this comes with some benefits and advantages that make SoFi such a great choice relative to peers. 

SoFi Requirements:

  • US citizen or permanent resident
  • At least over the legal age in your state
  • Be employed, have sufficient income, or have an offer to start a new job within 90 days of your application
  • Minimum credit score of 680

Additionally, eligibility depends on other factors including your financial history, expenses, income, and career experience. One thing we were very pleased with was the company’s willingness to work with customers who have newly established credit, as it has no requirements on years of credit history. Moreover, the company does not have any restrictions on maximum debt-to-income ratios

In order to apply, you simply need to create an account with SoFi. The initial application process takes about 10 minutes, and once you’ve been approved, the qualification process will take a little longer depending on your personal information.

Rates and Fees

SoFi offers 2 options when you are selecting a loan: fixed or variable interest rates.

SoFi’s rates can change somewhat depending on how you choose to pay your loans. If you opt for automatic payments, the company can offer better interest rates. The best part is that it has zero fees of any kind any of its personal loans.

SoFi loans are primarily aimed at young professionals and recent graduates. The company’s goal of helping people deal with student loans while instilling a sense of responsible decision-making makes it a top choice if you are a recent graduate and looking to establish your credit history, refinance your student loans, or simply learn to handle your finances better. SoFi’s products are generally designed for customers that have better credit scores.  Part of the reason why it can offer such competitive interest rates is its focus on customers with more proven financial track records. Furthermore, you can still apply for a loan from SoFi even if you were not recently a college student. 

Repayment Terms

All of SoFi's loan amounts are available with 6 different repayment terms of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 years.

Unlike some personal loan providers that only issue fixed loan amounts for predetermined terms, SoFi allows you to choose your amount and your term.

The only factor that is impacted by choosing a different repayment term is the interest rate, which will generally start at the low end of the range for shorter terms. 

Additional SoFi Services 

SoFi Mortgage

SoFi Mortgage offers 3 types of mortgages: 30-year fixed 15-year fixed and 7/1 ARM. You can pay as little as 10% down and still potentially qualify for a loan. SoFi  Mortgage requires that you have great credit, typically favors high-income properties, and is currently only licensed in 29 states. Some highlights include:

  • Refinance up to 80% of your home’s value
  • Rate information available within 2 minutes
  • Potential to qualify for more than a traditional lender allows
  • Pre-qualify for a mortgage online
  • Underwriting as early as the pre-approval stage
  • No lender fees 

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

SoFi also offers student loan refinance plans with just as competitive terms and rate options as its other services. SoFi’s creditworthiness selection process is forward looking and takes into account a potential borrower’s education history. For that reason, SoFi believes in its customers throughout the whole loan term. Some highlights include:

  • Checking your rate will not affect your credit score
  • Unemployment Protection
  • No application or origination fees
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Autopay discount of 0.25%
  • $5,000 minimum to refinance with no maximum amount

Privacy & Security

SoFi places a premium on its customers’ personal information security, and works hard to avoid any data breaches. The company’s site features robust 256-bit Secure Sockets Layer technology that encrypts transferred data and includes military-grade protection. When it comes to entering personal information, SoFi asks for pertinent data only when necessary. While you are required to enter some personal information when first applying including details such as name and address as well as employment and education history, you only need to provide more specifics once you have been initially approved for your loan.  

Customer Service

As part of its customer service, SoFi features a standard FAQ section to help answer common questions and queries while also providing an excellent suite of resources that are designed to help people better understand loans and personal finances. Moreover, it offers community events and assistance programs for entrepreneurs to network. You can reach SoFi via e-mail or call its customer support weekdays during normal business hours.

How SoFi Compares

APR

5.99% to 18.53% (with AutoPay)
6.95% - 35.89% ***
6.99% - 19.99% **
Minimum credit score
680
600
660
Loan amounts
$5,000-$100,000
$1,000-$40,000
$3,500-$40,000

Loan term

24-84 months

36-60 months

36-72 months

Best for
Borrowers with Excellent credit
Small loans
Flexible loan terms

SoFi has impressive loan terms and a high maximum loan amount, but if you have a lower credit score LendingClub is a solid option as it accepts borrowers with credit scores starting at 600. When comparing SoFi and LendingClub there's not much in it when it comes to minimum APR but SoFi pulls ahead with a very low maximum APR, offering very attractive loan terms overall. 

Marcus is another lender that has some similar features as SoFi, offering competitive APRs and flexible loan terms. However, while SoFi charges just $5 or 4% as a late payment fee, Marcus doesn’t charge any fees at all, not even any late fees. Read more about how Marcus and SoFi stack up against each other.

Summary

SoFi’s has worked hard to set itself apart in a crowded industry by providing a transparent offering with a customer-first approach. Despite some small downsides such as high minimum amounts and a slightly longer approval process, the company’s low interest rates and dedication to customer education make it a good choice when it comes to getting a personal loan. Furthermore, SoFi's efforts to teach better personal finance skills and professional development resources help in furthering your financial ambitions. Value-added services such as unemployment protection and job-search assistance are added benefits. All in all, SoFi is a good alternative for young professionals who are looking to build their credit through responsible borrowing, as well as aspiring homeowners or those seeking to refinance loans with unfavorable terms. SoFi presents a good choice for borrowers with strong credit scores thanks to its dedication to financial education, overall lending transparency, and strong customer-facing solutions.

You might also like:

Lending Club vs Prosper  /  Personal Loan After Bankruptcy  /  Online Loans with Cosigner

SoFi SoFi Visit Site

Physical Address

One Letterman Drive

Building A, Suite 4700

San Francisco, CA 94129

USA

Disclaimer

Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 18.53% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 18, 2020 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, income, and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

*Eligibility Criteria

Before you apply for SoFi Student Loan Refinancing to refinance your student or Parent PLUS loans, we'd like you to be aware of the eligibility criteria. In addition to the information noted below, you must also meet our underwriting criteria to obtain a loan from SoFi.

**Rates and Terms

The following examples depict the APR, monthly payment and total payments during the life of a $30,000 personal loan. All personal loan APR rates below are shown with the Autopay Discount (0.25%). Your actual interest rate may be different than the rates in these examples and will be based on term of loan, your financial history and other factors.

Frequently Asked Questions
My credit isn’t perfect, can I still get a loan?
-
+
With SoFi you need a relatively high credit score of 680, but there’s good news too. The company takes a holistic view of your credit score, and examines things like your financial history, expenses, income, and career experience. In addition, the company doesn’t have any restrictions on debt-to-income ratio and when the it checks your credit it will do a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score.
What can I use a SoFi personal loan for?
-
+
There are some restrictions on SoFi loans. You can borrow from $5,000 to $100,000 to use for personal, family, or household purposes, but the loans cannot be used for real estate, investment, buying securities, higher education, short-term bridge financing, or business purposes, according to the company.
How long does it take to receive my funds?
-
+
After you’ve finished the online application - and assuming you are approved for loan - SoFi will contact you to put an electronic signature on a loan agreement. After signing, you should receive the funds within a few days.
What types of fees does SoFi charge?
-
+
SoFi does not charge any fees for origination, closing, or prepayment. Also, as of April, 2020, SoFi does not charge late fees on personal loans.
Michael has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, pay down debt and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, saving money, and all things geeky.

SoFi customer reviews

Based on 68 reviews

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

Write review

Adjust category ratings

Ease of use

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

Brand satisfaction

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

Value for money

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

Service quality

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

Share your experience

People discuss, price, satisfaction level and more.

Write your review

30 Sep 2020

Almost done!

Check that everything's correct, fill in your details, and submit your review!

Anonymous

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

Today

Your review will be screened by our team
Whoo-hoo!
Thanks, we love getting your feedback

Top Reviews

Alex, NY
7 months ago

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

Once again, SoFi is very easy to get up and running and had the convenience of modern tech with modern financial instruments

Jeff, IL
8 months ago

Its the Best account I have had in 49 years! When they say "no fees" they mean "no fees". Period. I love my SoFi account.

Cheyenne, PA
a year ago

I've only ever heard good things about SoFi to be honest. I have not had a negative experience

LeAnne, KS
8 months ago

It was very fast and you get your loan money within 2 days. Customer Service is nice. Easy to fill out online.

Rebecca, NY
a year ago

Because it helps people keep their money safe. And you can deposit money in the account perfectly.

Laura, TX
8 months ago

Sofia is the first online lender I've ever worked with. Customer service can't be beat. The application process was quick and easy, and repayment plan is definitely something I can work with.

Ricardo, NJ
8 months ago

The efficiency, ease of application, customer service and quick process and approval was outstanding

Brad, IL
a year ago

They gave me money when I needed it for my student loans payment. I graduated from college because of my loan

Matt, NC
9 months ago

Great and fast to use! Enjoy having so much freedom and open dialogue to help me pick the right plan.

Chris, TX
8 months ago

Sofi is the best lender I have done business with. They are hassle free and I don't have to worry.

Michael, NJ
a year ago

Sofi has great rates. I have no opposition to using this loan servicer. I am very glad I went with them

Cassie, TX
8 months ago

Easy to use brand. App works well to keep up with my products that I have with the company.

Anais, FL
a year ago

I think they have a good system and they work very well. Their website is informative and has all the information I need.

Riya, TX
a year ago

Service is good and quick. It was easy to use and I was able to receive things quickly. Easy to use.

JW, NJ
7 months ago

Easy to work with, answered questions, easy to make payments to, made information about the loan simple.

Suzie, NY
7 months ago

it's an easy company to deal with when it comes to refinancing loans at the right time of my life.

Susan, SD
10 months ago

No fees. Fast responses. Calls and texts on status. Fast electronic payout. No penalties for early payoff.

KC, MN
9 months ago

They are a good company to do business with. They have a great website and great interest rates.

JW, OR
7 months ago

Easy to work with, answered questions, easy to make payments to, made information about the loan simple.

Enz, MD
9 months ago

SoFi helps members take control of their finances. From getting out of high-interest debt to managing your wealth, they were there to help get my money right.

68 reviews