SoFi Parent Loans Review: Pay for College Without Pricey PLUS Loans

sofi student loans

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

SoFi offers a wide range of lending products, from student loan refinancing to mortgages, personal loans, and more.

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:
  • 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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