SoFi Review: Here’s How They’re Different

sofi reviews

Social Finance Inc, better known as SoFi, is a non-bank lender best known for its student loan refinancing product. In addition, the company offers mortgage loans, personal loans, and wealth management products.

Let’s take a look at SoFI reviews, how the company works, the good, the bad, and whether or not SoFi might make sense for you.

SoFi reviews: Is SoFi legit?

What is SoFi, exactly? They are a non-traditional finance company that offers loans and wealth management. SoFi reviews your career and education information in addition to your credit report and credit score to approve new loans.

Once you get a loan with SoFi, you become a SoFi member with access to member education events, dinners, and happy hours. Through other non-traditional programs like the SoFi Entrepreneur Program, borrowers can defer payments without worrying about fees or negative credit reporting.

Through the SoFi Career Strategy program, the company offers free career counseling and advising, helping you increase your income so you can get out of debt faster and enjoy a more fulfilling career.

SoFi products

The company is primarily known for its SoFi student loans refinance product. This flagship product helps student loan borrowers consolidate and refinance existing federal and private student loans.

Rather than a complete focus on credit and financial information, SoFi also includes information on the applicant’s education and career to make lending and interest rate decisions.

SoFi has also expanded to include a SoFi mortgage product. As with student loan refinancing, SoFi uses its non-traditional lending criteria to offer mortgages starting at 10 percent down. If you have an existing mortgage, SoFi offers mortgage refinancing, too.

If you’re in the market for a SoFi personal loan, they offer these using the same lending criteria as above. While traditional banks often shy away from personal loans, you can sometimes find them at credit unions and non-traditional lenders like SoFi.

SoFi also offers parent loans and parent PLUS refinancing for loans that Mom and Dad took out to support their child’s college expenses.

If you’re looking for a holistic experience with one financial institution, note that SoFi does not offer any traditional bank accounts. However, the company does have a wealth management arm that offers investment services with a live human advisor.

Existing SoFi borrowers can use the investment service for free. For everyone else, it’s free up to $10,000 under management. Over $10,000, SoFi charges a flat $60 per year fee for wealth management services.

SoFi online platform

SoFi built its platform for educated young professionals who know their way around a web browser. They’ve created an online loan application system that is easier to use than most traditional banks’ systems. Applying for SoFi student loan refinancing is fairly simple and straightforward.

To start, head to the Refinance Student Loans page and click on one of the big “find my rate” buttons. It takes about two minutes to find your rate and decide if you want to move forward with a SoFi refinance.

The first form you land on asks for basic information like your name, state, email address, and a password to create an account.

SoFI platform 1

On the next screen, you’ll enter more details like your address, school information, employment information, and details about your existing loans.

sofi platform 2

After submitting that information, which should only take a few minutes if you have your student loan documents gathered when you apply, you will get your rate.

Once you have your rate, the next step is to upload some personal identification and loan documents and submit your formal application. Sign and accept, and you’re up and running.

SoFi interest rates and fees

SoFi rates for fixed rate student loan refinancing ranges from 3.38% APR to 6.74% APR if you’re enrolled in autopay. For variable rate loans, SoFi rates are currently 2.34% APR to 6.27% APR with autopay. (If you opt out of autopay, you pay .25% more.) SoFi charges no origination fees on student loan refinancing.

These rates are very competitive. For borrowers paying only the minimum payment rather than paying off their loans early with extra payments, this can save tens of thousands of dollars.

For personal loans, fixed rates are currently 5.70% to 14.24 APR with autopay. Variable rates are 4.77% to 10.87%. These rates are often lower than social lending sites like Lending Club and are typically much lower than credit card interest. Again, there are no origination fees of any type.

Parents looking to SoFi for a loan can expect fixed rates to start at 4.25% APR and variable rates starting at 2.95% APR with autopay. Fixed rates currently top out at 6.13% APR with autopay and variable rates go up to 7.75% with autopay. Again, no fees apply. (Are you picking up a pattern here?)

Rounding out the rates, Parent PLUS loan refinancing fixed rates range from 3.50% APR to 7.49% APR with autopay. Variables rates range from 2.20% APR to 5.75% APR with autopay. And — you guessed it — no origination fees.

For mortgages, SoFi offers 7/1 ARM loans. That means the interest rate is fixed for seven years. After seven years, the rate can adjust once per year based on the current market interest rate. Current rates are not available without applying. Unlike most competitors, SoFi does not charge origination, application, or other lenders fees.

SoFi eligibility requirements

Because SoFi looks at more than just credit scores, eligibility requirements are very different from traditional banks.

SoFi does look at financial information and credit history, in addition to their own unique criteria. You must be at least the age of majority in your state (typically 18) to enter into a contract. You must be a United States citizen or permanent resident, as do any co-signers. You must be employed or have a written job offer where you will start within 90 days. And finally, you must have graduated from a specific list of Title IV accredited universities or graduate programs.

SoFi reviews your current job and career history as part of the approval process. Nevada residents are currently ineligible for a SoFi refinance and loans must have a balance of at least $5,000 for consideration.

Parent lending criteria are similar and include the requirement that the child graduated from the specific list of universities. Parent loans are not available for Nevada residents, and variable rate loans are not available to borrowers in Ohio or Illinois.

For a SoFi personal loan, the school criteria are dropped, but everything else is similar. However, residents of Nevada and Mississippi are not eligible. In addition, Michigan borrowers who already have an existing SoFi student loan cannot apply for a personal loan.

Personal loans are typically only available starting at $5,000, but in Arizona, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, the minimum is $10,001. In Kentucky, the minimum is $15,001. Residents of Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming can apply for fixed rate personal loans only. The maximum SoFi personal loan is $100,000.

With SoFi’s mortgage product, lending criteria are similar to student loans. SoFi mortgages can be used for a primary residence or second home, but not for investment properties.

SoFi does not offer mortgage loans in Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, or West Virginia.

SoFi customer service

SoFi customer service is available by phone Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. PT, and Friday through Sunday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also reach customer service via email.

SoFi has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. While there are some poor reviews out there, the vast majority of SoFi reviews were 5 stars. As long as you fully understand the process and find it to be a good fit for you, there shouldn’t be any surprises along the way.

More about SoFi

SoFi is headquartered in San Francisco and was founded there in September 2011. While the company is only five years old, in January 2016 they passed $7 billion in loans funded — more than $1 billion per year on average.

The target market is well-educated, affluent student loan borrowers who have a good career path, high income, and are looking for a lending experience that isn’t as bland as what you typically see from traditional banks.

The company was originally founded as a social lending platform where alumni could invest in student loans for borrowers at their alma mater. The company has since shifted away from that model and funds the loans from its own capital pool.

The member benefits are what really sets SoFi apart after the loan closes. Members have access to a community of SoFi members in their city. Larger cities see SoFi events hosted to help you learn more about improving your finances, paying off your loans, growing your income, and networking with other SoFi members.

SoFi contact

Visit SoFi to check your rates and eligibility. You can reach SoFi’s customer service at 855-456-SOFI (7634) or by email at CustomerService@SoFi.com.

If you want to connect with SoFi, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

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Published in Refinance Parent PLUS Loans, Refinance Student Loans, Review