SoFi Personal Loans: 2018 Comprehensive Review

SoFi.com

A SoFi personal loan is great for debt consolidation. There are no origination fees and you won’t be penalized for paying off your balance early.

When you sign on for a SoFi personal loan, you’re also getting more than the funding you need. Borrowers with good to excellent credit can also gain access to members-only events, career counseling and home-buying workshops.

Who is a SoFi personal loan good for?
Lending terms
Minimum borrower requirements
Fees and penalties
How to apply
What to do if you’re turned down

Who is a SoFi personal loan good for?

  • Anyone with good to excellent credit. SoFi borrowers have an average credit score of 730. Check your credit score for free before you apply.
  • High-income earners. SoFi borrowers have an average annual income of $114,000.
  • Someone who has a short credit history. SoFi is more interested in how responsible you’ve been at paying bills.
  • Someone who doesn’t need a co-borrower. SoFi, like many other online lenders, does not allow joint borrowers on a single loan.
  • Someone who doesn’t mind an entirely online experience. The entire process takes place virtually — from applying for a loan to receiving approval.

Who should not accept a loan

  • Anyone with fair or poor credit. If you have less-than-stellar credit, SoFi may not approve your loan request.

Consider applying for a balance transfer credit card if a card offers more favorable terms.

Lending terms

SoFi offers both fixed- and variable-rate personal loans that range from $5,000 to $100,000 and are repayable over three, four, five, six or seven years. Minimum loan amounts are higher in four states: Arizona, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

For most borrowers, SoFi personal loans with fixed rates carry an annual percentage rate of between 5.74% and 14.24%.

Variable-rate loans, based on the benchmark LIBOR interest rate index, ranges from 4.78% to 10.88%. Should the LIBOR rate increase, your top interest rate would be capped at 14.95%.

Maximum fixed or variable interest rates are lower in 12 states that SoFi serves: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming.

To help you see if a SoFi personal loan is right for you, we’ve put together this example of a potential SoFi borrower:

SoFi borrower snapshot
Borrower average
Loan size $14,739
Annual percentage rate 8.5%
Income $114,000
Credit score 730

SoFi is one of the few online lenders that doesn’t charge an origination fee. There are also no prepayment penalties for paying off your loan early.

Once approved for your loan it takes about three to five business days before you receive the funds.

Minimum borrower requirements

  • Typical borrowers earn over $110,000 on average
  • There is no minimum credit score (most borrowers have a score above 700)
  • No maximum debt-to-income ratio nor minimum credit history

Whether you choose a fixed- or variable-rate loan, the quote you receive is based on multiple factors. “Our underwriting aims to evaluate a more comprehensive view of a borrower’s creditworthiness by assessing factors like free cash flow in addition to a history of responsible bill payment,” according to the company.

Unlike many other lenders who base loan terms on your credit history, SoFi considers your financial future, too.

SoFi personal loans are not approved for residents of Mississippi.

Fees and penalties

  • SoFi doesn’t charge an origination fee.
  • You won’t be penalized for paying off your loan early.

SoFi stands out among other lenders by offering unemployment protection. If you lose your job, you can apply to have your loan payments suspended, without affecting your credit. You can pause your loan payments for up to 12 months, although you’ll continue to accrue interest on the balance.

To enact this payment pause, you have to prove that you’re receiving unemployment benefits, that you’re actively seeking a job and you have to agree to work with SoFi’s career strategy services to help you in your search.

How to apply

  1. Provide a username, password, and some basic identifying information to see if you pre-qualify.
  2. Choose from the fixed-rate or variable-rate loans you are eligible for.
  3. Upload supporting documentation (driver’s license, pay stub, etc.) to complete your application.
  4. Sign the loan agreement.
  5. Be sure and sign up for automatic electronic withdrawals to get a 0.25% discount off your rate.
How SoFi compares
SoFi Lending Club
Loan amounts $5,000 to $100,000 in most states $1,000 to $40,000
APR range 6.20% to 15.24% (with AutoPay) 5.99% to 35.89%
Origination fee None 1% to 5%
Minimum credit score None 600
Time to funding Several days A week or longer
Soft credit check with application? Yes Yes

These figures are accurate at the time this review was written.

Although the application process itself is pretty painless, it will take several days for the funds to be transferred.

Before finalizing your loan, SoFi, like all lenders, will do a “hard” credit check, which can adversely impact your credit score.

What to do if you’re turned down

If you are rejected for a SoFi personal loan and you believe your financial standing is strong enough, consider asking for clarification. The explanation could be as simple as a processing error. Or there may be a negative mark on your credit report that you need to investigate.

If your credit is lower than 700, consider applying for a personal loan at Avant, OneMain Financial or a credit union. You may find more favorable rates and fewer lending restrictions. Our reviews will help you make a decision that’s right for you.

A brief history of SoFi

Founded in 2011, Social Finance Inc. (SoFi) was a niche loan company. Their specialty was providing student loan refinancing to recent graduates. Eligible borrowers usually had above-average incomes and short credit histories.

Today, SoFi has expanded into other financial sectors including mortgages and personal loans. They’re also known for extra perks such as members-only events, career counseling and home-buying workshops.