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SoFi Review 2017

What is SoFi?

Developed by Stanford graduates using a p2p model, SoFi began as an effort to relieve Stanford graduates' student debt by crowdsourcing funds from Stanford alumni and, although it has expanded to offer more loans to a wider demographic, their target borrower is still pretty elite — a top-school graduate with a high-income degree making a mid-six-figure salary.

In 2011, SoFi was one of the first online to offer student refinancing and grown very fast in a short amount of time. Although their loans can be difficult to get, they offer great interest rates and flexible terms that makes applying worth it.

SoFi's Principles

SoFi Four Princples

What are the Advantages of a SoFi Loan?

If you can hit the benchmarks of “greatness” that SoFi values in applicants, there are definite advantages to refinancing or getting a loan with them, including:

  • Federal and private student loans can be refinanced together
  • If you qualify, the interest rates can't be beat
  • The maximum personal loan amount ($100,000) of any online lender
  • Flexible terms
  • Loan approval gets you a SoFi membership that offers networking, career counselling, unemployment insurance and an entrepreneur program

SoFi Contact Information

SoFi One Letterman Drive Building A, Suite 4700 San Francisco, CA 94129

Customer Support: (855) 456-7634 Mon-Thu 7am-12am ET Fri-Sun 7am-8pm ET Email: customerservice@sofi.com Website: www.sofi.com

How Does SoFi Work?

How does SoFi Work?

SoFi offers online student refinancing, parent and personal loans as well as mortgages.

Who is considered a member?

  • SoFi borrowers in good-standing
  • SoFi borrowers who have paid off a previous loan
  • SoFi Wealth members

SoFi insurance customers are not considered members.

AutoPay Discount

SoFi borrowers who authorize automatic deductions from their bank for their monthly payments receive a 0.25% discount on the interest rate of their loan.

Am I Eligible?

Am I Eligible

SoFi's Financial Products

SoFi loans have no penalties like application fees, origination fees or prepayment fees.

Student Loan Refinancing

SoFi student loan refinancing is great for working graduates with high-interest student federal or private loan debt.

WARNING: When you refinance with SoFi, you are no longer eligible for federal loan protections like loan forgiveness, income-driven plans, deferment and forbearance.

Details:

  • Refinancing for both federal and private loans, as well a previously refinanced loans
  • A qualified co-signer could greatly increase chances of approval and good rates

Restrictions:

  • Bar loans and residency loan refinancing not available
  • Not available in Nevada

Unique Eligibility Requirements:

Rates & Terms (Reflect AutoPay Discount):

Rates & Terms

Loan Amounts:

  • Minimum $5,000 (dependent on state
  • Maximum = full amount of qualified student loans

Parent Plus Loans Refinancing

Creditworthy parents can get significant savings by refinancing federal Parent Plus loans with SoFi.

Details:

  • Repayment begins about 45 days after outstanding loans are paid off

Restrictions:

  • Not available in Nevada
  • Variable APR not offered in Illinois or Ohio

Rates & Terms (Reflect AutoPay Discount):

Rates & Terms

Loan Amounts:

  • Minimum $10,000
  • Maximum: Up to the outstanding amount of federal or private student loans

Parent Loans

Parents can apply to offset tuition and other expenses for a year of their child's education.

Details:

  • Loan disbursed in one payment 7-10 days after approval
  • No deferment
  • 1st payment is scheduled within 30-45 days of loan receipt

Restrictions:

  • Only a child's other parent or guardian can co-sign
  • Not available in Nevada
  • Variable APR not available in Illinois or Ohio

Unique Eligibility Requirements:

Terms & Rates (Reflect AutoPay Discount):

Rates & Terms

Loan Amounts:

  • Minimum $5,000 (dependent on state)
  • Maximum Cost of Attendance less grants or other aid

Personal Loans

SoFi offers unsecured personal loans for a variety of uses included to pay off credit cards or make large purchases.

Restrictions:

  • Cannot be used for education
  • No co-signers
  • Not offered in Mississippi or Nevada
  • Variable rates are not available some states
  • Maximum interest rates vary by states

Rates & Terms (Reflect AutoPay Discount):

Rates & Terms

Loan Amounts:

  • Minimum $5,000 - $15,001 varies by states
  • Maximum $100,000

How to Use SoFi Services

Application Process

Application Process

SoFi's online application is an easy-to-use process takes about 15 minutes.

Before applying, users should set up an account and use the Find My Rate tool. This step is called a “soft check” that will not affect your credit score. SoFi does do a “hard check” after the application has been submitted.

How User-Friendly is SoFi?

SoFi has made a concerted effort to make the site attractive, intuitive and offers lots of resources. There are several interactive tools borrowers can use to determine the best way to refinance loans and calculate savings including:

Downloadable Guides:

Articles:

Other Resources:

However, there have been some criticisms of the website application process. Most involve applicants repeatedly ask to upload their documentation. They need to fix that pronto. It is hard to buy that bankless is better with frustrating document management glitches.

How are SoFi Loan's ratings?

SoFi Loan Ratings

SoFi was rated highly across the board:

  • Better Business Bureau (BBB): A+
  • Credit karma: 4.9 out of 5 stars
  • Supermoney: 4 out of 5 stars
  • Best Company: 9 out of 10
  • Top 10 Reviews: 9.88 out of 10
  • Consumer Advocate: 9.8 out of 10 (Excellent)
  • Student Loan Sherpa: 8.8 out of 10

How is SoFi's Customer Service?

SoFi has a great reputation for customer service which is available by phone seven days a week.

What are the clients saying about SoFi's services?

Customer Service

The vast majority of reviews are exceedingly positive. Clients are happy with the interest rates, payment options and interactions with SoFi.

The pain point is application denial. SoFi's membership culture is exclusive — they even call their members “great” for having the required criteria for loan approval. It is hard enough to be denied a loan, but worse to be denied into inner circle of greatness.

On the other hand, there could be basic reasons you are denied a SoFi loan that you didn't see in the small print. For one, all their loans are not available or have rate differentials in some states. To qualify for student loan refinancing or a parent loan, you must have graduated or your child must be enrolled full-time in an accredited university.

If you have been denied a SoFi loan, also check to see the minimum loan amounts. You may have asked for less than the required amount. In most states, the minimum is $5,000, but in Arizona, Massachusetts and New Hampshire is $10,001 and in Kentucky, it is $15,001.

SoFi admits to a strict eligibility criteria that they are constantly “tweaking” because it excludes many complicated pay structures it has yet to understand. SoFi uses an algorithm to automatically check applicant eligibility and the company has yet to provide the customer service end to that technology: actually communicating to applicants why they were denied a loan.

Is SoFi Safe and Legitimate?

Yes, SoFi:

  • Has Moody's highest rating AAA
  • Is the 1st student lender with an S&P AAA rating
  • Provided $9.76 billion in student loans
  • Is regulated by the onsumer Financial Protection Bureau

Pros & Cons

FAQs

  • Do borrowers with a good credit score get lower interest rates?

    SoFi values free cash flow and future income potential over credit scores.

  • What is SoFi's referral program? What types of referral awards are there?

    The SoFi Referral Program allows you to generate unique links from your account to send to family, friends and colleagues. If they then are able to get a loan using that link, you both get a bonus.

  • What happens if I'm late on a payment, don't pay the loan back, or default on the loan?

    Payments over 15 days late are charged either 4% or $5 (whichever is less). Payments over 30 days late are in default and subject to collections charges. Not even bankruptcy can protect you from paying back SoFi's student loans as they are protected as “educational loans”.

  • Can I pay a SoFi loan off early? If so, what are SoFi's interest penalty for early payoff.

    You can pay your loan off early without penalty.

  • I have just graduated from school and do not have a job. Do I have to pay off my loans while I am still finding work?

    You cannot get a SoFi loan employment or an employment offer.

  • Can I apply for a loan if my school is not on SoFi school list?

    No, SoFi only lends to graduates of accredited universities.

  • I am an international student studying in the US. Can I apply for a student loan?

    SoFi only offers loans U.S. Citizens or permanent residents.

  • Why is SoFi not accepting my statement of earnings as proof of income?

    SoFi needs legal verification of your employment in the form of pay stubs, tax receipts or a letter from your future employer.

  • Can I have more than one loan at the same time?

    Yes.

  • What is SoFi's BBB rating?

    A+ rating

  • Does SoFi run my credit score? Or affect my credit score?

    SoFi does a soft credit check when you use their FIND MY RATE tool. The hard credit check that affects your score is done if you submit your application.

  • What are the most common complaints about SoFi?

    Loan denial. SoFi has a strict proprietary underwriting model.

  • Can I get a loan if I am self-employed?

    Yes, but you must prove your income with tax receipts.

  • Is there an account maintenance fee or a transaction fee that is applied on my account?

    No.

  • Why was my parent loan rejected?

    Parent loans require your child attend an accredited universities full-time. SoFi products vary by states.

  • Can I take a loan for investment and invest with SoFi's investment options?

    No, using a loan to purchase securities can only be done using a margin account.

  • Can my payment date be extended?

    Loans with fixed rates can be extended using this form.

  • Can I negotiate the terms of my loan?

    Contact SoFi Customer Support to modify your payment terms.

  • What background checks are performed on borrowers?

    Credit check, employment verification, repayment history, income-debt ratio, free cash flow, etc.

  • Is it worth refinancing through SoFi?

    It is worth it if you think you will be approved.

  • Why does SoFi ask if I am going to use a personal loan to buy securities?

    It is illegal to buy securities with borrowed money without a margin account.

  • Can I claim the interest paid on my student loan when doing my taxes?

    Yes.

  • Which credit bureaus does SoFi report to?

    Dunn & Bradstreet, Experian and TransUnion

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