SoFi is an online lender that offers student loan refinancing, parent loans and private student loans for undergraduates and graduates. Low rates, low fees, rate discount opportunities, a full menu of repayment options and exclusive member discounts make it worth consideration.
Founded in 2011, SoFi started out in the student loan refinancing space. It’s since expanded its product line to include private student loans, parent loans, personal loans, mortgages, investing, banking products and insurance.
Its student loans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
SoFi Bank student loan snapshot
Undergraduate, graduate, parent, refinance
$5,000 minimum with no maximum
Variable: 1.3% to 10.0% APR
Fixed: 4.73% to 11.46% APR
5-20 yearsDeferred: Pay principal and interest six months after leaving school
Interest only: Pay interest only while in school.
Partial: Pay $25 monthly fixed payments while in school.
Immediate: Pay principal and interest while in school.
No, but option is available.
Who can take out a SoFi student loan/who is it good for?
SoFi is a good option for borrowers interested in an online lender with low rates, no fees and plenty of repayment options. But it’s also a good fit for those who need to refinance high-interest federal or private student loans, which is where SoFi shines. More than 250,000 members have refinanced with SoFi since it was founded, according to the lender.
SoFi also offers exclusive member benefits to its customers, including rate discounts, career coaching, financial advice, unemployment protection and a member community. If you want those type of perks, SoFi could be a good fit for you.
Eligibility requirements vary slightly by loan type, but share some common characteristics:
In order to apply for an undergraduate or graduate loan, students must:
- Be the age of majority in their state of residence
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be employed or have sufficient income from other sources
- Use the loan for qualified higher education expenses
- Be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution
- Meet SoFi’s underwriting criteria
In order to refinance student loans, students must:
- Be the age of majority in their state
- A U.S. citizen, permanent resident or visa holder
- Reside in a state where SoFi is authorized to lend
- Be employed or have sufficient income from somewhere else
- Have graduated with an associates’ degree or higher from an approved school
- Be refinancing educational debt
Interest rates and terms
SoFi provides competitive fixed and variable rate options to borrowers. Its fixed rate student loan products range from 3.49 percent to 11.99 percent. Variable rate products range from 2.41 percent to 11.70 percent. Rate quotes include a 0.25 percent discount for autopay.
Current SoFi customers applying for a loan product of a different type may also be eligible for an additional rate discount of 0.125 percent.
Here are the rate ranges for each loan product at SoFi:
|Loan product||Variable rate||Fixed rate|
|Undergraduate student loans||1.3% – 10.0%||4.73% – 11.46% APR|
|Graduate student loans||1.08% – 10.3% APR||4.51% – 11.76% APR|
|Parent Plus loan refinancing||1.3% – 9.88% APR||4.73% – 11.46% APR|
|Medical and dental resident refinancing||2.66% – 7.694% APR||3.74% – 7.944% APR|
|Student loan refinancing||2.99% – 6.44 APR*||3.20 – 6.44% APR*|
Fees and penalties
SoFi charges no fees whatsoever — no origination fees, insufficient fund fees or late fees.
Five to 20-year repayment terms are available for SoFi’s student loans.
Repayment options include:
- Deferred: Make no principal or interest payments until six months after leaving school
- Interest-only: Make only interest payments while you’re in school to reduce the overall cost of the loan
- Partial: Pay $25 per month on your loan while in school
- Immediate: Start making principal and interest payments as soon as you start school
SoFi gets an “A-” score from the Better Business Bureau. The score considers complaint history and the institution’s response to those complaints.
The customer service department, based out of the U.S., is available seven days a week from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. PT Monday-Thursday and from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Friday-Sunday.
You can contact customer service by phone at 855-456-7634 or by email at email@example.com.
The student loan application process through SoFi, whether for an undergraduate loan, graduate loan or refinance, can be completed entirely online. You can apply and get a decision within minutes, according to SoFi. The full process — from completing the application to SoFi sending the money to your school — takes anywhere from four to six weeks.
Before applying, gather information including your Social Security number, proof of income, bank account information, school name, cost of attendance, student status, financial aid you’ve received, your expected graduation date, references and any cosigner information.
Here’s what the process looks like when applying for a student loan from SoFi:
- Start the process online and find out if you’re prequalified within a few minutes. The entire application can be filled out online.
- Choose an interest rate and repayment option. You have the option of variable or fixed rates and four different repayment options.
- If approved, sign the loan and accept. SoFi allows you to upload screenshots of your information and electronically sign paperwork.
- SoFi sends the loan application and information to your school for certification.
- SoFi sends money to your school within four to six weeks.
What to do if application is turned down
Get in touch with SoFi’s customer service department to get some clarification on why you were rejected. It’s possible there was a processing error on the lender’s end.
You also could have been rejected due to a low credit score, missed payments, low income, a high debt-to-income ratio, shaky job history or other financial blemishes.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take in order to help your chances of being approved at other lenders, such as improving your credit and getting a cosigner.
It’s also wise to shop around thoroughly and apply to other lenders. Discover, SunTrust and Sallie Mae all offer competitive student loan products with low rates, low fees and generous repayment options.
How Bankrate Rates SoFi
Disclosure: UNDERGRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.73% to 11.46% annual percentage rate (“APR”) (with autopay), variable rates from 1.30% to 10.00% APR (with autopay). GRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.51% to 11.76% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.08% to 10.30% APR (with autopay). MBA AND LAW SCHOOL LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.41% to 11.67% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 0.98% to 10.21% APR (with autopay). PARENT LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.73% to 11.46% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.30% to 9.88% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, the variable interest rate is derived from the one-month LIBOR rate plus a margin and your APR may increase after origination if the LIBOR increases. Changes in the one-month LIBOR rate may cause your monthly payment to increase or decrease. Interest rates for variable rate loans are capped at 13.95%, unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law. Lowest rates are reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. If approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, the repayment option you select, the term and amount of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. 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. Information current as of 6/29/20. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. SoFi Lending Corp., licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. NMLS #1121636 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.