SoFi Review

article by Emery S. author June 07, 2017
our score
SoFi started out by refinancing student loans, and has since evolved its services to include other loan types, including personal loans.
pros
  • Lower APRs than most lenders
  • No origination fees
  • No prepayment penalty
  • $100,000 lending cap
  • No minimum FICO score
cons
  • No co-signers allowed
  • Pre-approved applicants can be denied after a more thorough review
  • No loans within Mississippi or Nevada
SoFi is known for low interest rates, unique features, and a user-friendly experience. They come highly recommended for anyone who has good credit and is looking for low rates.
Emery S., author
Personal Use Benefits Unemployment protection
speed Late fee waiver and flexible grace period for payments
Money Back Guarantee Repayment terms of three, five, and seven years
Reliability Extremely fast pre-approval
Benefits to Your Business No minimum credit history required

The biggest factor SoFi considers in its applicant reviewal process is an applicant’s free cash flow, i.e. the amount of money an applicant has in his or her budget after regular expenses.

Quick Data

  • Loans range from $5,000-$100,000
  • APRs range from 5-15%

Applicant Requirements

The list of SoFi loan requirements is relatively short compared to competitors in the industry. Requirements include:

  • A minimum credit score of 660, though the majority of their approved loans are closer to 700.
  • Proof of income is required, but there is no minimum income requirement.
  • SoFi does not require a low DTIR (Debt to Income Ratio), making it easier for many new borrowers to be approved.
  • SoFi is a viable option for almost all US citizens since it is available in all but two states; Mississippi and Nevada.

Application Process

Applying for a personal loan with SoFi can be done completely online, and many borrowers opt to utilize the mobile system to fill out their applications. Simply answer the necessary questions regarding your education and income, and apply for the loan. Pre-approval takes about 3 minutes.

Once SoFi receives your information, it will cross-reference it with their databases, do a cash flow analysis, and approve or deny your loan request. What’s nice about SoFi is that they don’t hold strictly to a FICO score, meaning someone with a relatively short credit history who would have difficulty acquiring a loan from other lenders will still be considered by SoFi. Approved loans will receive an offer from SoFi.

Next, the borrower will need to upload documentation about their current income, loans, and identity. This can be done with any smartphone or via a scanner and computer. Once received, the borrower can also electronically sign the approval documents to finalize the loan.

After setting up a payment plan, a feature that grants borrowers a .25% lower interest rate, funds are transferred to the bank account specified within the loan terms.

The entire process generally takes approximately seven days, but some borrowers may receive approval within an hour or so.

Loan Terms Overview

SoFi has reasonable loan terms. While the initial contract will specify a repayment date for each month, SoFi borrowers are entitled to change the payment date. Something rare in the lending market is SoFi’s late fee waiver. If a borrower has a history of making payments on time but is late for some reason one month, the late fee may be waived.

Another unusual aspect of SoFi personal loans is that a borrower may choose between variable or fixed rates. The benefit of selecting a fixed rate is the knowledge that the rate will not change. A variable rate, on the other hand, may go up with time, but these loans generally have lower interest rates to begin with. This is potentially a good option for those intending to pay off their personal loan quickly.

Additionally, SoFi allows its borrowers a 15-day grace period with which to make late payments before being charged a late fee. After those two weeks, borrowers are charged an additional 4% of the payment due (or $5, whichever is lower). Payments can be made via ACH, online banking, or paper checks.

Special Features 

SoFi is a popular choice for many reasons, but some of the most attractive features include:

  • Unemployment protection: If the borrower loses their job during the duration of the loan, they can file for forbearance or a pause on the loan terms. Borrowers can essentially put their loans on hold for anywhere from 3 to 12 months, depending on the circumstances. Note that interest still builds during this time, but monthly payments are not required.
  • Happy hour: This is a unique feature that makes SoFi stand out from other lenders. They host regional ‘happy hours’ for their borrowers, adding a social element to the lending process. This helps upwardly-mobile borrowers build new connections and discover new opportunities for professional and financial growth.

SoFi charges no origination or prepayment fees, a valuable benefit for borrowers who wish to pay off their loans earlier than anticipated. There is also no balance transfer fee, an added benefit for those already dealing with loans or credit card debt.

Multiple Devices Platforms Available

Website is mobile optimized for any OS/phone, and a mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices. Just search for ‘SoFi’ in Google Play or App Store.

Antivirus Setup Limitations

As mentioned above, Nevada and Mississippi residents are not eligible for SoFi loans. Some of SoFi’s standard loan policies are adapted to the laws of certain states, primarily with respect to minimum loan amount requirements, as well as the availability of fixed vs variable rates.

Support

SoFi offers email and phone support that is knowledgeable and friendly. They also have a tremendous amount of resources available on their website, including a blog, FAQ section and community forum.

Unlike many competitors, SoFi is meticulous about responding to reviews/comments and helping customers fix whatever issues may arise during the borrowing process.

Bottom Line Bottom Line

SoFi is a trusted name in the lending industry. They’re known for uncommonly low interest rates, unique features, and an all-around user-friendly experience. SoFi comes highly recommended for anyone who has good credit and is looking for low rates.