Monday, 30 March 2020

SoFi Review: Personal & Student Loans with Low Rates and No Fee

SoFi Review: Personal & Student Loans with Low Rates and No Fee
17 Feb




Credit Req.


Minimum Credit Score


24 to 84


Origination Fee

No origination fee

SoFi offers some of the best rates and terms on the market. Read More

Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 21.16% (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of January 30, 2020 and are subject to change without notice. See APR examples and terms. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have excellent credit and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including credit score, credit usage and history, years of experience, our ability to verify your income and employment and other factors. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction applies if you 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. AutoPay is not required to obtain a loan. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, 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 pull.

All rates, terms, and figures are subject to change by the lender without notice. For the most up-to-date information, visit the lender's website directly. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, 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 pull.

See Consumer Licenses.

SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Minimum loan requirements might be higher than $5,000 in specific states due to legal requirements. Fixed and variable-rate caps may be lower in some states due to legal requirements and may impact your eligibility to qualify for a SoFi loan.

If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may apply for Unemployment Protection. SoFi will suspend your monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during your forbearance period. Interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your principal balance at the end of each forbearance period, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Benefits are offered in three month increments, and capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. To be eligible for this assistance you must provide proof that you have applied for and are eligible for unemployment compensation, and you must actively work with our Career Advisory Group to look for new employment. If the loan is co-signed the unemployment protection applies where both the borrower and cosigner lose their job and meet conditions.

Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (

Pros and cons of SoFi personal loans



  • Choose a fixed or variable interest rate: Few competitors offer personal loans with a variable interest rate.
  • No fees: No origination, prepayment or late fees.
  • High maximum borrowing amount: Qualifying customers can borrow up to $100,000. Few competitors can match that.
  • Unemployment protection: If you lose your job and can’t make your payments, SoFi will suspend them for you and provide career assistance.
  • High credit requirements: Without a steady job and decent income, you won’t qualify.
  • Online-only experience: You can’t visit a loan officer in person, as SoFi has no physical branches.
  • Slow funding process: SoFi can take a few business days to fund a personal loan, unlike some competitors.

SoFi personal loans are inexpensive: interest rates for qualifying borrowers can be low, and there are no fees associated with these loans. You can manage or even apply for a SoFi personal loan from the SoFi app, which hosts the entire SoFi experience, from investments to savings. SoFi also offers unemployment protection, which makes your loan payments if you lose your job.

But funding can be slow. SoFi also has high qualification standards for its personal loans. Without a solid income and a good credit history, you won’t likely qualify for a personal loan.

How your SoFi personal loan can be used

You can only use SoFi personal loans for personal, family or household expenses. Using SoFi for debt consolidation can help you repay high-interest debt, assuming you qualify for a competitively low interest rate. You might also use funds to cover medical expenses, relocation costs or home improvements.

The lender’s personal loan cannot be used for: post-secondary education costs, short-term bridge financing, real estate, investments or other business purposes.

However, you can take out other types of SoFi loans for some of these purposes. The lender offers:

  • Private student loans
  • Student loan refinancing
  • Mortgages
  • Investing via its app

Who qualifies

SoFi’s minimum credit score requirement is 680. As part of the application process, the lender will evaluate your:

  • Monthly income versus expenses
  • Professional experience
  • Credit history

You’ll also have to meet basic eligibility requirements, which include being a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or visa holder and at least 18 years old.

  • For permanent residents, you must have at least two years before your status expires to qualify, unless you’ve filed an extension.
  • For visa holders, you must have the same two or more years before your status expires to qualify, unless you’ve filed for permanent residency or for a renewal.

SoFi personal loan reviews from borrowers

Out of 88 SoFi personal loan reviews on LendingTree, the lender has an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars among borrowers. Average reviews are graded excellent for SoFi rates, fees and customer service. However, borrower reviews are generally either very positive or very negative; of the 88 reviews, 74 are five stars, while 13 are one star.

Brandi from Greenbrier, Ark., gave SoFi a 5-star review, emphasizing the “super easy process” involved in getting a loan. Brandi said she completed her application online and had to verify her information over the phone before receiving her funding in less than three days.

However, Judy from Marysville, Calif., had an entirely different experience, advising others to “never use this lender.” Judy received repeated requests for additional verification of her employment and received vague answers after asking when her loan might be funded. She eventually pulled out and got funded by an alternate lender within 24 hours, according to her review.

How SoFi compares to competitors




with AutoPay

Credit Req.

Not specified


24 to 144*


Origination Fee

No origination fee

LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank.Read More

*Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay may be higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 4.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $299.66.

LightStream is a tough competitor for SoFi. Its minimum personal loan APR beats the lowest available APR from SoFi for well-qualified lenders. LightStream’s APRs range from 4.99% to 16.79% with autopay. However, invoiced loans, as opposed to autopay loans, pay an additional 0.50% – that’s higher than the additional 0.25% charged by SoFi for borrowers who don’t set up autopay.

LightStream personal loans can be funded as rapidly as the same business day, as opposed to the few business days typically required by SoFi.





Credit Req.

Not specified


36 or 60


Origination Fee

1.00% – 6.00%

LendingClub is a great tool for borrowers that can offer competitive interest rates.Read More

Unlike SoFi, which is a lender, LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace. Although the application process is relatively similar, LendingClub requires at least four business days to fund loans, which is slower than with SoFi. Personal loans are limited to $40,000, which is far below SoFi’s maximum loan amount.

For many borrowers, the key factor in the SoFi vs. LendingClub debate will be the interest rates offered. SoFi is a clear winner here, as LendingClub’s personal loan APRs range between 6.95% and 35.89%. Additionally, LendingClub tacks on a 1.00% – 6.00% origination fee to all loans and has a late payment fee of 5% of the unpaid amount or $15, whichever is greater. SoFi has no origination or late fees at all.

How to apply for a SoFi personal loan

You can see the APR you may qualify for within minutes on the SoFi website with a soft credit check, which won’t affect your credit. From there, you can decide whether you want to continue with a full application for a SoFi loan.

Here’s an overview of SoFi’s application process:

  1. Provide your name, state, email address and create a password.
  2. Read and consent to SoFi’s ESIGN act consent, privacy policy, terms of use and arbitration agreement.
  3. Enter the amount you’d like to borrow, between $5,000 and $100,000.
  4. Select how you’re planning to use the funds. The available options listed are credit card payoff, loan consolidation, home improvement, major purchase, moving expenses and other.
  5. Enter the amount of your preferred monthly payment, between $80 and $260.
  6. Provide your date of birth and citizenship status.
  7. Provide your contact information, including your address and mobile phone number.
  8. Describe your current living situation — renting, homeowner or living with family or friends.
  9. Provide your total annual base income, pre-taxes.
  10. Indicate whether this is a personal or joint application.
  11. Click to check your rate.
  12. Proceed with application if you approve of the offered terms.

If you accept a loan offer with SoFi, you can expect your loan to be funded in a matter of a few days.

By clicking “See Offers”, you may or may not be matched with the lender you clicked on or any lender below. Based on your creditworthiness, you may be matched with up to five different lenders in our partner network.

FAQ on SoFi

SoFi is not a scam. The lender’s investment arm is registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and its partner banks are FDIC-insured up to $1.5 million.

SoFi offers a variety of lending, investment, banking and insurance products. It has a basic checking and savings account, an investment option for stocks, ETFs and cryptocurrency, as well as renters, homeowners, auto and life insurance. Its loan division offers student loans, personal loans and home loans.

Yes. The entire SoFi experience is based around mobile compatibility. The SoFi app integrates the lender’s products and offers features such as loan application, bill pay, money transfer and mobile check deposit.

Mohela services SoFi private education loans.

A personal loan has a fixed repayment term and payments. A line of credit is like a credit card in the sense that you won’t owe any interest or payments until you draw down the line.

You can check your rate on the SoFi website without any effect on your credit whatsoever. However, if you decide to proceed with your full loan application, SoFi will do a hard check of your credit, which is standard practice when you apply for a loan. A hard credit check will show up in your credit history and may trim a few points off your score temporarily.

In short, no it is not. A secured credit card requires a cash deposit, and that amount becomes your collateral for any amount you “borrow” on the card. A personal loan is an unsecured loan that has no collateral. Typically, a secured card is used by customers that can’t qualify for an unsecured personal loan.


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