As a parent, you might want to help pay your child’s way through college, even if it means taking on student loans.
In fact, according to our recent survey, two-thirds of parents who cosigned student loans or took out parent student loans had no regrets about doing so. That’s despite carrying upward of $40,000 in student debt, on average.
With that much money on the line, choosing the right lender is key to borrowing without regrets. If you’re a parent looking into SoFi student loans, this review can help you decide if it’s a smart way to fund your child’s education.
SoFi student loans for parents review
Currently, the only SoFi student loans available are tailored to parents. SoFi Parent Loans are offered solely to parents or legal guardians of current students.
Pros of SoFi Parent Loans
SoFi Parent Loans have several benefits that make them a smart alternative to other parent student loan options. Here are some pros of these SoFi student loans:
- Low interest rates: For well-qualified borrowers, SoFi Parent Loans likely will come with interest rates well below the current 7.00% charged on federal Parent PLUS Loans. Plus, SoFi offers a 0.25% rate discount for enrolling in autopay.
- No fees: SoFi student loans don’t have application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties. Parent PLUS Loans, on the other hand, charge a one-time loan fee of 4.264 percent.
- Loans owned by parents: Since SoFi Parent Loans are taken out by parents only, you can rest assured they won’t add to your student’s debt — unlike cosigning a student loan.
- Borrower protections and benefits: SoFi Parent Loan borrowers receive unemployment protection to pause student loan payments after a job loss and career counseling to help you get back on your feet.
Cons of SoFi Parent Loans
Here are a few drawbacks parents should watch out for when evaluating SoFi student loans:
- Repayment begins immediately: While federal student loans and some private lenders offer in-school deferment, there’s no such option for SoFi Parent Loans. Repayment will begin within 30 to 45 days after the loan disburses.
- Loan can’t be transferred to the student: Parents should choose a SoFi student loan only if they plan to repay the debt themselves. There is no option to transfer SoFi Parent Loans to the student’s name.
SoFi student loan interest rates and fees
SoFi student loan rates are competitive. However, the exact rates you’re offered will depend on a few things:
- Your creditworthiness: The lowest SoFi student loan rates will go to applicants with excellent credit histories.
- Your loan repayment terms: SoFi offers repayment terms of five years or 10 years, with lower rates offered on five-year student loans. Additionally, you’ll get 0.25% knocked off your rate after setting up autopay for your SoFi Parent Loans.
- The type of rate you choose: Parents can choose variable or fixed rates for their SoFi student loans. Variable rates are lower initially but might rise over time. Fixed rates are initially higher but don’t carry the risk of increasing.
As of January 2018, student loan rates start at 4.020% APR for five-year, variable-rate SoFi Parent Loans (including the autopay rate discount). Note that lenders update their rates often to match market fluctuations, so the rates you see on SoFi might differ from what we have here.
For well-qualified parents, SoFi student loans can be a more affordable way to borrow, especially compared to federal student loans for parents.
To see the savings in action, check out our cost comparison of fixed-rate SoFi Parent Loans and Parent PLUS Loans, assuming a $40,000 balance:
|Loan Type||Loan fee||Original balance||Interest rate||Monthly Payment||Total Repaid|
|SoFi fixed-rate, 5-year loan||$0||$40,000||4.250%*||$741||$44,471|
|SoFi fixed-rate, 10-year loan||$0||$40,000||5.365%*||$431||$51,772|
|Parent PLUS Loan||$1,794||$41,794||7.000%||$485||$58,232|
*Lowest stated rates as of January 2018, which reflect a 0.25% rate discount for enrolling in autopay.
Borrowing with a 10-year, fixed-rate SoFi student loan would save a parent $6,460. A parent who opted for a five-year term would save even more: $13,761.
Applying for SoFi Parent Loans
Of course, your actual savings and costs will depend on your credit and the SoFi student loan terms you choose. SoFi offers rate quotes using a soft credit check to give you an accurate, personalized rate estimate — without affecting your credit score.
To request a rate on a SoFi student loan, you can visit the SoFi Parent Loans page and click “Find My Rate.” It will take you to a sign-up screen, which will prompt you to create a SoFi account. From there, the lender will ask for additional details it needs to provide you with a customized rate estimate, such as your name, employment information, and housing status.
To boost your chances of approval or your likelihood of getting a lower rate, you can apply for a SoFi Parent Loan with a well-qualified cosigner. Both you and the cosigner must be parents or guardians of the student.
SoFi student loans customer service
Overall, customers rate their experience with SoFi highly. The lender has earned an average 4.8 out of five stars on Credit Karma.
Reviewers report a fast and easy application process, with student loans funded in a matter of days. Many added that SoFi’s competitive interest rates provided savings and were a major factor in choosing the lender.
Borrowers also pointed to SoFi’s helpful representatives as a reason they’re satisfied with their experience. SoFi provides fast and responsive assistance through the following customer service channels:
- Email: CustomerService@SoFi.com
- Phone: (855) 456-7634
- Twitter: @SoFiSupport
When you take out parent student loans, remember that this debt will affect your finances for years to come. Make sure you compare SoFi student loans for parents with similar products from other lenders so you can choose the product that gives you the most benefits.
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|1 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB). Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions, and certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of Turnstile Capital Management (TCM) and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
* Application times vary depending on the applicants ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
2 Important Disclosures for College Ave.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Information advertised valid as of 4/1/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
3 Important Disclosures for Discover.
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
4 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
5 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.
Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2019 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.
6 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see LendKey
7 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.
Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.
Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.
Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.
8 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|4.24% – 13.24%1||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.07% – 11.32%2||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.84% – 13.49%3||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.50% – 11.35%*,4||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.25% – 13.25%5||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|6.08% – 7.22%6||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|3.95% – 9.81%7||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.45% – 12.42%8||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|