- The Good
- Unemployment protection
- Low interest rates
- Save on interest rates with auto-pay
- No origination fee
- High loan amounts
- The Bad
- High approval standards
SoFi is best known for student loan refinancing, but it actually offers loans for a variety of needs, including actual student loans, parent loans, mortgages and personal loans. That variety, coupled with valued extras like unemployment protection, no origination fees and lower interest rates with auto-pay, make SoFi one of the top online personal loan services. Check out our Upstart reviews to see how SoFi stacks up against its top competitor.
Other Loan Reviews
- 5.49% to 14.24%
- Origination Fee
SoFi actually has great interest rates that fluctuate depending on your credit and other factors that it uses to determine your eligibility for a loan. The APR ranges between 3.375 percent and 6.740 percent. There is no origination fee, which is great because other online loan services can charge a large origination fee. SoFi’s late fee is also only $5 or 4 percent, whichever is greater.
SoFi is very different from other online loan companies in that it offers a very high maximum loan at $100,000. Of course, you need impressive financial qualifications to be approved for that amount. The minimum loan is $5,000, which might be too much for people who are just looking for a quick loan for home improvement or to pay off bills.
- Good to excellent credit
- Can be approved with little to no credit
- Proof of income
- Low debt-to-income ratio
- Must be at least 18 years old
Like traditional loans, you need certain qualifications to get approved. SoFi looks for a good credit score or above, along with proof of income and a low debt-to-income ratio, but gives special consideration to recent grads looking to refinance their student loans. You must also be 18 to apply. If you don’t have the best credit, look at the Avant review.
- Loan Process
- Application > Application Review > Loan Approval
SoFi’s loan process is similar to that of a traditional loan. You fill out your online form, submit it and you will be notified by SoFi if it is approved or not. Once you are approved, you’ll receive your loan agreement. Once you sign the agreement, it should only take a few days for the funds to reach your bank account.
- Partial Loans
SoFi does not offer partial loans. If you are not approved for your loan amount, you can try to apply again for a lower amount, although since SoFi has strict qualification standards, it may be difficult to be approved for any amount of loan. If you are looking for a lender who approves partial loans, check out either the Prosper reviews or Lending Club reviews.
SoFi: User Reviews
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.