SoFi doesn’t look like a lot of other online loan services, which is good for you. It has higher loan amounts and lower interest rates. It offers cool features and important extras that no other company provides. It has left out important fees that other lenders include, while the fees it does have are lower than most lenders. Sounds perfect, right? Well, perfection comes at a price.

How Does SoFi Work

Even though SoFi doesn’t operate like many other online loan services, it does have a very similar loan process. Basically, you answer a few questions online to get pre-approved. Once you are pre-approved, you choose the loan that works best for you, fill out the application, and once the loan documents arrive, sign them electronically and your account will be funded within a business day.

The tricky part is getting approved. Unlike many new online loan services, SoFi only looks at traditional criteria when reviewing your application, including credit history, steady income and income-to-debt ratio. No student transcripts. No job history. No social networks.

On top of this, you usually need a pretty solid credit score to be approved. Why? SoFi is able to offers such low interest rates and great perks because it only accepts financially stable borrowers. (Note: SoFi does take recent graduates into account who may have little to no credit history. So if your credit score is low because you don’t have enough credit history, you may still be able to be approved.)

If you are able to become a SoFi member, the benefits are definitely worth it. Not only do you get the lower interest rates and fees, but SoFi offers a wide range of resources to help you be successful in your financial life. These can be as simple as its refinancing and home buying guides to its Entrepreneur Program, which allows you to defer your student loans for six months to build a business, in addition to granting you access to investors and mentorship programs.

Is SoFi Legit?

SoFi is definitely legit. It has only been in business for about six years, but already it has the backing of more than $1 billion in funding. It has funded more than $14 billion in loans itself over the past six years to more than 200,000 customers, making it one of the biggest online loan success stories.

SoFi also funds its own loans through its lending arm, SoFi Lending Corp., something that most other online lenders aren’t able to do. It has also had a bond it funded get an Aaa rating by Moody’s Investors Service, which is big for an online lender.

Common SoFi Reviews

SoFi is kind of a juggernaut when it comes to the online loan world, so it is no surprise that it generally tops the leader board when it comes to consumer product review sites. Reviews are generally glowing, with five stars attached to them, boasting SoFi’s low rates, high loan amounts and stream-lined process, although some think it should be more accessible to those with average credit.

The one thing that professional reviewers and users agree on is SoFi’s excellent customer service. Generally, the user reviews discuss the ease of using SoFi’s application system and the friendliness of the customer service, although a few do discuss how much cheaper SoFi’s loan offer was than other banks they had applied to.

There are a few negative reviews from people who were not aware of the process or felt SoFi didn’t handle a mix-up correctly, which are legitimate concerns, but do not speak to the overall competence and function of the company as a whole.

Is SoFi Right For You?

This question is less about whether SoFi is right for you and more about whether you are right for SoFi. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I have good credit?
  • Do I have a steady income?
  • Am I handling my debts well?
  • Did I recently graduate?

If you answered yes to these, you probably have a good shot at being approved for a SoFi loan, and if you can get approved, it’s generally a good idea to go for it.

With SoFi’s low interest rates and fees, it will be hard to find another lender who will be able to beat SoFi’s terms. That coupled with its financial mentoring and other perks make SoFi a no-brainer for those who are looking for a loan.