SoFi Personal Loan Review

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

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What is SoFi?

Social Finance (or SoFi for short) was launched in 2011 to offer low-interest student loan refinancing to those with high-income earning potential. In 2015, it launched its personal loan product. Today, it also offers mortgages, mortgage refinancing, an investing platform, life insurance and a hybrid checking/savings account.

SoFi tends to offer comparatively low APRs on its products. It does this by selling the loans it makes and passing some of its profits on to consumers via lower rates. Buyers of the loans include pension funds, insurance funds and other asset managers. While this is the primary way the company makes money, it also profits from a portion of interest paid on the loans it makes.

SoFi’s loans come with myriad benefits to borrowers, including deferred payments in case of unemployment and career placement services for borrowers. But the company has faced controversy. Most recently, it settled a Federal Trade Commission complaint about misleading advertising. In the October 2018 settlement, SoFi agreed to amend its advertising practices to not mislead consumers about potential savings when they refinance student loans with the fintech company.

SoFi personal loan highlights

  • No origination fees: SoFi does not charge origination fees when you take out your loan. It also does not charge prepayment penalties, which means you can pay off your loan at a faster clip, reducing the amount of interest you pay over the term of the loan.
  • No late payment fees: In April 2018, SoFi stopped charging late fees on its personal loans.
  • Competitive interest rates: When you’re comparing personal loan rates, you’ll find SoFi to lean toward the lower end, which is a good thing for you as a borrower.
  • Suite of benefits: SoFi offers several bonus features to its borrowers, such as payment deferral in times of unemployment, career coaching and a referral program.
  • APR range: 5.99% – 16.99%*
  • Minimum credit requirement: 680
  • Terms: 24 to 84 month
SoFi Personal Loan Details
Terms
Fees and Penalties
  • Term lengths: 24 to 84 months
  • APR range: 5.99% – 16.99%*
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 – $50,000
  • Time to funding: A few days after signing the loan agreement
  • Credit check: Soft Pull at time of application; should you go ahead with the loan, a hard pull will be performed
  • Origination fee: No origination fee
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: No

*Reflects enrollment in autopay, which reduces your rate by 0.25%

SoFi product details

SoFi offers unique perks for its borrowers, whether they face unemployment, want to advance in their careers or hope to earn some cash by referring a friend to the company.

The first, Unemployment Protection, is a forbearance program. If you lose your job involuntarily and your account is in good standing, you can enroll in this program, which puts your account in forbearance for three months. You will not have to make any payments during this time, but interest will accrue. You do have the option of making interest-only payments, though it is not a requirement. You can utilize this program up to four times over the course of your loan for a max benefit of 12 months.

If you’re using Unemployment Protection, you must also engage with SoFi’s Career Team. This program offers career planning services, assistance with your resume and LinkedIn profile, networking, negotiation training and more. While you must use this program if you’re enrolled in Unemployment Protection, you can access these services even if you’re not in forbearance.

If you already have a loan with SoFi, you’ll be rewarded with a 0.125% discount on subsequent SoFi loans. You’ll also get access to SoFi’s investment platform without the regular fees.

Finally, if you’re loving your SoFi loan and all its perks, you may want to refer a friend. SoFi’s referral program allows you to do just that, issuing you $300 for each referral. Your friend will be rewarded with $100 when they take out their loan. Terms may apply.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 680. You do have to have a strong history of responsible use of credit. SoFi heavily weighs factors such as income, career experience and your debt-to-income ratio.
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified

To be eligible for a SoFi personal loan, you must be at least the age of majority in your state. This is usually 18, but it does vary depending on where you live. You must also be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or hold one of the following visas: J-1, H-1B, E-2, O-1 or TN.

SoFi also needs to see that you can repay your loan. You’ll have to be employed, have an offer of employment that will begin in the next 90 days or have income from another source that will cover your monthly payments.

SoFi’s personal loans are available in all states except Mississippi. While personal loans may be available in most states, it is important to note that minimum loan amounts may be higher than the advertised $5,000 depending on your state’s laws. Maximum interest rates may be lower depending on your state of residence, too. To check any stipulations that may apply to you, review state eligibility here.

Applying for a personal loan from SoFi

To get started with your SoFi personal loan application, you’ll first check your rates. During this preliminary part of the process, SoFi will perform a soft pull on your credit. That means that while it will look at your credit report, it will not inflict any negative effects on your credit score.

At this point, SoFi will give you a preliminary rate. If you’re still interested in moving forward, SoFi will perform a hard pull on your credit. This will result in your final loan offer, and it may also result in a hit on your credit score. This hit is usually minimal, and is a standard part of the application process across nearly all lenders.

As long as the offer comes back with terms that you find agreeable, the next step will be to electronically sign and submit your loan agreement. You’ll receive a phone call where information such as your address will be confirmed, and your money should appear in your bank account within a few days.

Pros and Cons of a SoFi Personal Loan
Pros
Cons
  • Virtually no fees: Not only are there no origination fees or prepayment penalties, but you also won’t find any late fees associated with your SoFi personal loan.
  • Competitive interest rates: SoFi’s personal loan rates are on the lower end when compared to other offers on the market.
  • Lots of perks: SoFi offers programs other lenders do not. Your loan can be put in forbearance in the event of unemployment, SoFi’s career services can help you get back on your feet, and you can even earn money through the referral program.
  • Turnaround time: While waiting a few days for loan money isn’t horrible, many lenders can get you your funds within a business day, or sometimes even on the same day as you apply.
  • Eligibility requirements can be cumbersome: SoFi targets higher-income millennials. If you aren’t a high-income earner or have a negative credit history, you might have a hard time securing a loan.
  • Read the fine print: While the recent FTC case applied to advertising practices in SoFi’s student lending branch, you should be extra careful to read the fine print on your loan agreement before signing.

Who’s the best fit for a SoFi personal loan?

If you have a high income or work in a high-income field, you’re a good candidate for a SoFi loan. While you do have to have a positive credit history, this lender will not pass your application by simply because your credit file is thin.

If you do have a positive credit history and sufficient income, you’ll be happy with SoFi’s numbers. The APR’s are competitive and there are no origination, late payment or prepayment fees. While there are other financial institutions offering similar rates with low to no fees, you’ll find that SoFi is competitive and may be worth sticking with because of its wide range of career and unemployment benefits.

Alternative personal loan options

SoFi isn’t the only option on the market. If you’re looking for a personal loan for your individual situation, check out the Student Loan Hero marketplace. You can also read about some of SoFi’s fiercest competitors below.

Earnest

  • APR: 6.99% – 18.24%
  • Credit requirements: 680
  • Terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Origination fee: No origination fee

Earnest got its start in a similar way to SoFi: Student loan refinancing as a nontraditional lender. Its minimum credit requirements are the same. While it does have a slightly higher starting APR, it’s worth getting a quote via soft pull from each of these lenders to see which one gives you the better rate.

Santander Bank, N.A

  • APR: 6.99% – 16.99%
  • Credit requirements: 680
  • Terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Origination fee: No origination fee

Similarly, Santander Bank offers rates that aren’t dramatically higher than those offered by SoFi, and it does so without necessarily evaluating your income potential. You will still have to be responsible with your money and have a decent debt-to-income ratio. Another reason to consider Santander Bank is that it offers a shorter term of 24 months, which should help you pay off your loan faster and with less interest, depending on the APR you are offered.

PenFed Credit Union

  • APR: Starting at 6.49%
  • Credit requirements: 700
  • Terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Origination fee: No origination fee

Credit history requirements are similar at PenFed Credit Union, but you can have a good credit score without pulling in a high salary. The fixed rates at PenFed Credit Union also have a similar starting point.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2019!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Fixed rates from 5.990% APR to 16.990% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.74% APR to 14.70% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of March 18, 2019 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, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.72% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.49% plus 4.28% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. 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.
  2. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.
    See Consumer Licenses.
  3. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  4. SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.
  5. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.

3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. The following limitations, in addition to others, shall apply: FreedomPlus does not arrange loans in: (i) Arizona under $10,500; (ii) Massachusetts under $6,500, (iii) Ohio under $5,500, and (iv) Georgia under $3,500. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 5.99% to a maximum of 29.99%. APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For Example, a four year $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. To qualify for a 5.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan for an amount less than $12,000.00, and with a term equal to 24 months. Adding a co-borrower with sufficient income; using at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the loan proceeds to directly pay off qualifying existing debt; or showing proof of sufficient retirement savings, could help you also qualify for the lowest rate available.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.79% – 20.89% (6.79% – 20.89% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.

LendingPoint Disclosures

  • Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 6% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon LendingPoint’s final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. LendingPoint makes loan offers from $2,000 to $25,000, at rates ranging from a low of 9.99% APR to a high of 35.99% APR, with terms from 24 to 48 months. The loan offer(s) shown reflect a 28 day payment cycle which is being offered as a courtesy as many of our customers are paid on a biweekly schedule and thus this may better align the loan payment dates with your actual income receipt schedule.

6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.

LendingClub Disclosures

All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.89%*. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: LendingClub, 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105.

†Per reviews collected and authenticated by Bazaarvoice in compliance with the Bazaarvoice Authentication Requirements, supported by anti-fraud technology and human analysis. All reviews can be reviewed at reviews.lendingclub.com

**Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between January 1, 2018 to July 20,2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.


7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Earnest does not lend in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island.

8 Important Disclosures for Avant.

Avant Disclosures

* The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Funds are generally deposited via ACH for delivery next business day if approved by 4:30pm CT Monday-Friday. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

** Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33


* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

* Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.

5.74% – 16.99%1$5,000 - $100,000

Visit SoFi

7.54% – 35.99%$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upstart

7.99% – 35.89%*$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upgrade

5.99% – 24.99%2$5,000 - $35,000

Visit Payoff

5.99% – 29.99%3$7,500 - $40,000

Visit FreedomPlus

6.79% – 20.89%4$5,000 - $50,000

Visit Citizens

9.99% – 35.99%5$2,000 - $25,000

Visit LendingPoint

6.95% – 35.89%6$1,000 - $40,000

Visit LendingClub

6.99% – 18.24%7$5,000 - $75,000

Visit Earnest

9.95% – 35.99%8$2,000 - $35,000

Visit Avant

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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