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: 2.41% to 11.70% APR
Fixed: 3.49% to 11.99% 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||3.99% – 11.39%||5.05% – 11.71% APR|
|Graduate student loans||3.27% – 11.70% APR||4.33% – 11.99% APR|
|Parent Plus loan refinancing||2.41% – 7.444% APR||3.49% – 7.694% APR|
|Medical and dental resident refinancing||2.66% – 7.694% APR||3.74% – 7.944% APR|
|Student loan refinancing||2.14% – 7.944% APR*||3.46% – 7.944% 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:Fixed rates from 3.460% APR to 7.944% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.140% APR to 7.944% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.140% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.04588% plus 0.100% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. 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. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
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.