SoFi Student Loans Review

SoFi student loan rates for current students and those refinancing

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SoFi is an online- and mobile-based financial company that offers a range of products to save, invest, insure, and borrow. Student lending is a major offering from SoFi. It offers private student loans for college students and their parents, and graduate students. SoFi also offers student loan refinancing for borrowers who want to consolidate their student loan debt or change their loan terms.

  • Fixed APR Range 4.23% to 11.76%
  • Variable APR Range 1.90% to 11.66%
  • Loan Types Undergraduate and graduate student loans, MBA and law school loans, parent student loans, and student loan refinancing
  • Repayment Terms 5, 10, or 15 years
  • Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons
  • Rate estimates with a soft credit check

  • Co-signers allowed

  • Interest rate discounts

  • Four in-school payment options

  • Borrower protections

  • No student loan fees

  • SoFi membership perks

  • Borrowers lose federal student loan benefits

  • Higher loan minimum

  • Degree and employment required to refinance student loans

Pros of SoFi Loans

  • Rate estimates with a soft credit check: You can see if you’re likely to get approved and get a preview of the rate SoFi could offer you—without affecting your credit.
  • Co-signers allowed, with co-signer release option: You can apply for a SoFi student loan with a co-signer, which can improve your chances of approval and help you qualify for a better rate. Co-signer release is available on undergraduate loans after 24 months of payments (there is no option for co-signer release on refinanced loans).
  • Interest rate discounts: Borrowers can get a 0.25% rate discount for automatic payments, and an additional 0.125% loyalty discount for existing customers.
  • Four in-school payment options: You can choose how you manage your student loans while enrolled. You can fully defer payments, make interest-only or fixed monthly payments, or even make full payments immediately.
  • Borrower protections: SoFi allows borrowers to pause payments for a range of reasons, from active military service to unemployment. This gives borrowers more options and control over student loan repayment. 
  • No student loan fees: You face no origination fees upfront with student loans or refinancing, and private student loans have no late or insufficient funds fees. 
  • SoFi membership perks: SoFi members get access to a range of tools and services for support, from loyalty rate discounts to college cost comparison tools, financial planning, and career coaching. 

Cons of SoFi Loans

  • No federal student loan benefits: Taking out a SoFi student loan, either as a student in school or through refinancing, will mean giving up access to benefits of federal student loans. These include the ability to change your repayment plan, access student loan forgiveness opportunities such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), and more. 
  • Higher loan minimum: The minimum loan amount is $5,000 for new student loans and for refinanced loans—which is higher than the minimums set by other lenders. This may make SoFi a less ideal option for borrowers who want to borrow less.
  • Degree and employment required to refinance student loans: SoFi requires borrowers to hold at least an associate’s degree and a job or have an offer within 90 days to qualify for student loan refinancing.

What Does SoFi Offer?

SoFi provides several ways for you to borrow money to pay for school or manage your existing loans.

  • Undergraduate student loans
  • Graduate student loans
  • MBA and law school loans
  • Parent student loans
  • Student loan refinancing
  • Medical resident refinancing
  • Parent PLUS refinancing

SoFi Undergraduate Student Loan Rates & Terms

Loan Amounts $5,000 to full cost of attendance
Fixed APR 4.23% to 11.76% (with autopay)
Variable APR 1.90% to 11.66% (with autopay)
Terms Available 5, 10, or 15 years
Recommended Minimum Credit Score Not disclosed
Grace Period 6 months
Origination Fee None

For undergraduates who need additional funding to federal student loans, SoFi undergraduate student loans can help. Competitive rates and no fees help keep borrowing costs low.

Private undergraduate loans do not come with the same protections as federal loans. Students who take out federal loans benefit from income-driven repayment plans, forbearance, grace periods, and other perks that private loans don’t guarantee. However, SoFi offers several similar benefits including:

  • Full deferment for six months with no payments
  • Interest-only payments
  • Fixed $25 monthly payments
  • Immediate full repayment
  • Forbearance

SoFi Graduate Student Loan Rates & Terms

Loan Amounts $5,000 to full cost of attendance
Fixed APR 4.13% to 11.83% (with autopay)
Variable APR 1.80% to 11.73% (with autopay)
Terms Available 5, 10, or 15 years
Recommended Minimum Credit Score Not disclosed
Grace Period 6 months
Origination Fee None

Generally, SoFi’s graduate student loan offers similar features to the lender’s undergraduate loans, though with slightly lower costs. This is a big help, as federal graduate student loan options come with higher rates and costs than those offered to undergraduates.

SoFi’s borrower benefits include unemployment protection and the option to forbear or defer payments. The protection gives you more ways to manage student loans and financial hardship without entering default or delinquency. In all, the lower rates and benefits of SoFi graduate student loans makes them a decent alternative to grad PLUS loans.

SoFi offers graduate loans specifically for MBA and law students, which offer slightly lower rates. The APRs for these options range from 0.98% to 10.21% for variable-rate loans, and 4.41% to 11.67% for fixed rates.

SoFi Parent Student Loan Rates & Terms

Loan Amounts $5,000 to full cost of attendance
Fixed APR 4.23% to 11.26% (with autopay)
Variable APR 1.90% to 11.16% (with autopay
Terms Available 5, 10, or 15 years
Recommended Minimum Credit Score Not disclosed
Grace Period None
Origination Fee None

SoFi’s parent student loans allow parents to borrow for college costs—an option that other lenders like Discover don’t provide. These differ from co-signed student loans because the parent owns the loan completely, and the student has no obligation to repay it.

Federal parent PLUS loans also have some of the highest rates and fees among federal student loans, with a fixed rate of 7.08% APR for the 2019-20 school year and a one-time fee of 4.236%. By comparison, SoFi has no fees, and well-qualified parents could get student loan rates below what’s offered on PLUS loans.

Keep in mind, however, that private student loans won’t offer the same benefits that federal student loans will. For example, parents can defer PLUS loan payments while their child is enrolled at least half-time. SoFi has no such deferment option for its parent student loans aside from unemployment protection.

The SoFi parent student loan offers two repayment options: Interest-only payments or full payments while your child is enrolled.

SoFi Student Loan Refinancing Rates & Terms

Loan Amounts $5,000 to maximum loan amount
Fixed APR 3.20% to 6.69% (with autopay)
Variable APR 2.99% to 6.69% (with autopay)
Terms Available 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
Recommended Minimum Credit Score Not disclosed
Grace Period Up to 6 months of any existing grace period
Origination Fee None

You can use SoFi student loan refinancing to pay off private student loans, federal student loans, or a combination of the two. A new refinanced student loan replaces your previous student loans. That means you no longer have access to the benefits your federal loans give you.

With a new loan, you can simplify student debt and choose a different term. You may even be able to lower the interest rate you’re paying.

SoFi requires student loan refinance applicants to hold at least an associate’s degree, have employment, or a job offer to start within 90 days. If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements, you might need to find a different lender, such as Citizens Bank, that accepts applicants who didn’t graduate. And if you need a co-signer for your SoFi loan, note that it does not offer a co-signer release.

SoFi has different terms for its refinanced student loans compared to its undergraduate or graduate student loans. Full payments start immediately with no default option to defer, and these loans may levy late fees. 

SoFi Medical Residency Refinancing Rates & Terms

Loan Amounts $10,001 up to maximum loan balance (varies by location)
Fixed APR 3.45% to 6.94% (with autopay)
Variable APR 3.24% to 6.94% (with autopay)
Terms Available 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
Recommended Minimum Credit Score Not disclosed
Grace Period 6 months
Origination Fee None

This loan offers some features ideal for dental and medical school graduates completing residency or fellowship, who are often facing high medical debt and payments while earning lower pay during these training periods.

The SoFi medical residency student loan refinance offers fixed payments of $100 a month while in residency or fellowship, up to four years. It also keeps payments at $100 during a six-month grace period after residency ends.

Refinancing federal student loans will mean losing federally-guaranteed benefits, such as forbearing payments during a medical or dental internship or residency, and access to student loan forgiveness.

While SoFi will assess interest during this residency period, it won’t compound interest nor add it to your loan balance. So during residency, you’ll only pay interest on your principal balance.

To qualify for medical or dental residency refinancing, students must hold and have documentation of their degree. SoFi’s minimum refinancing loan amount also differs in Pennsylvania ($25,001), as well as Connecticut and Kentucky ($15,001). It is not available to residents of Mississippi or Montana as of April 2020.

SoFi Parent PLUS Loan Refinancing Rates & Terms

Loan Amounts $5,000 up to maximum loan balance
Fixed APR 3.20% to 5.82% (with autopay)
Variable APR 2.99% to 5.82% (with autopay)
Terms Available 5, 7, 10, or 15 years
Recommended Minimum Credit Score Not disclosed
Grace Period None
Origination Fee None

Parents or their child can also refinance parent PLUS loans through SoFi. The lender even allows you (after you graduate) to refinance your parents’ parent PLUS loans into your own name. This option gives you ownership of and responsibility for those loans.

How to Get a Student Loan From SoFi

Before starting an application, you can request a rate from SoFi. Just click a “Find My Rate” button on the page of the student loan product you’re interested in and provide some personal information.

SoFi will run a soft credit inquiry to estimate your approval odds and what rates you might pay. This can also help you decide if you should apply with a co-signer to improve your chances of approval or secure a better rate offer.

If you decide SoFi is your best option, you’ll need to complete a full online application.

Repaying Your SoFi Student Loan

To repay your student loans, you’ll work with MOHELA—that’s the servicer SoFi contracts with to manage its student loans. MOHELA will send you a welcome packet that explains how to get your new account set up.

SoFi members who already have an account with the lender can earn a 0.125% loyalty discount. For more savings, borrowers or refinancers should sign up for autopay.

Should you need to pause payments, SoFi offers student loan deferment and forbearance for a range of reasons, from returning to school to financial hardship or unemployment.

Final Verdict

SoFi is one of your best bets for student loans and refinancing if you have good credit, a solid employment history or can apply with a well-qualified co-signer. If you do, SoFi can provide loans with competitive interest rates while you’re still in college, or refinancing options to potentially lower your interest rate after you graduate. SoFi also stands out for its solid borrower protections and membership benefits.

Be sure to review all options and alternatives before deciding to move forward with a SoFi student loan or refinancing. Some federal student loan options could provide lower interest rates or more flexible repayment options. And you’ll want to compare SoFi’s student loan and refinancing offer with custom rates from other private lenders, to make sure you’re getting the best deal. 

Article Sources

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