SoFi Student Loans Review

SoFi offers private student loans and student loan refinancing and borrowers will receive special benefits

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SoFi

SoFi

Investopedia’s Rating
4.8

Our Take

SoFi offers a variety of student loans for undergraduates, graduates, and parents, as well as student loan refinancing with competitive rates. SoFi customers may appreciate the lender’s unique member benefits, which include career coaching, financial planning, and community events.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Member benefits, such as career coaching and financial planning

  • Option to pre-qualify

  • Variety of interest rate discounts

Cons
  • No co-signer release on refinanced student loans

  • May not postpone payments for financial hardship

  • Requires a credit score in the mid- to high-600s for refinancing

Key Takeaways
  • Founded in 2011, SoFi offers private student loans to both students and parents, as well as student loan refinancing to graduates with an associate’s degree or higher. 
  • SoFi doesn’t charge origination, application, disbursement, or late fees on student loans. 
  • SoFi borrowers can access a variety of member benefits, including complimentary career coaching and financial planning. 
  • While SoFi offers co-signer release on in-school student loans for qualifying borrowers, it doesn’t let you release a co-signer on a refinanced student loan. 
Company Overview

Since its founding in 2011, SoFi has funded over $50 billion in loans for over four million members. This online lender offers a variety of financial products, including personal loans, mortgages, and investment accounts. 

For higher education costs, SoFi offers private student loans to undergraduates, graduates, and parents in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. It also provides loans for specific advanced degrees, including law school loans, MBA loans, and health professions loans. 

If you’re interested in refinancing student loans for better rates, SoFi offers refinancing options with no application or origination fees. As with its private student loans, SoFi has designed refinance options for specific borrowers, including medical school residents and parent PLUS borrowers. 

  • Year Founded 2011
  • Official Website www.sofi.com
  • Loans Offered Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent, Refinance
  • Customer Service Web chat. Phone: (855) 456-SOFI (7634)

SoFi Student Loans: Quick Look

Loan Type Variable APR  Fixed APR 
Undergraduate loan 4.49%–13.80%  4.99%–13.07% 
Graduate loan  5.49%–13.07%  5.25%–13.60% 
Law school loan  5.49%–12.77%  5.25%–13.15% 
MBA loan  5.49%–12.77%  5.25%–13.15% 
Health professions loans  5.49%–13.07%  5.25%–13.60% 
Parent loans  6.32%–13.13%  6.50%–13.98% 

Before borrowing a student loan, shop around with multiple lenders to find the best offer. Check out our list of the best student loans to compare rates and terms. 

Pros Explained

  • Member benefits, such as career coaching and financial planning: SoFi provides more benefits than most other lenders, including complimentary meetings with career coaches, financial planning, and networking events. 
  • Option to pre-qualify: You can check your rates for student loans and student loan refinances on SoFi’s website with a soft credit check that won’t affect your score. 
  • Variety of interest rate discounts: SoFi offers autopay, family, previous customer, and continuing scholar discounts, all of which can lower the interest rate on your student loan. 

Cons Explained

  • No co-signer release on refinanced student loans: While SoFi gives you the option to release a co-signer on your in-school loans after 24 months of on-time payments, it doesn’t let you release a co-signer on a refinanced student loan. To remove your co-signer, you’ll need to apply and qualify for refinancing on your own. 
  • May not postpone payments for financial hardship: SoFi only offers economic hardship deferment for loans issued in 2012. If you’re going through a tough time, you can probably only reduce payments, unless you’re in the military or you experience a natural disaster. 
  • Requires a credit score in the mid- to high-600s for refinancing: SoFi has fairly hefty credit requirements to qualify for refinancing—it typically looks for a score of 650 or higher.  

Student Loans Offered by SoFi

Undergraduate Loans

SoFi offers student loans for undergraduates with no fees and repayment terms between 5 and 15 years. You can borrow as little as $1,000 with no specified maximum amount. At the time of borrowing, you also have the option of a fixed interest rate, which stays the same over the life of your loan, or a variable rate, which can fluctuate over time.  

Terms for Undergraduate Student Loans
Variable APR 4.49%–13.80%
Fixed APR  4.99%–13.07% 
Loan amounts  $1,000 up to the cost of attendance 
Loan terms  5, 7, 10, 15 years 

Graduate Student Loans 

SoFi’s graduate student loans have similar terms as its undergraduate loans, though fixed interest rates start slightly higher (as of publication). You can borrow up to your school’s cost of attendance and choose repayment terms as long as 15 years.

Terms for Graduate Student Loans
Variable APR 5.49%–13.07%
Fixed APR  5.25%–13.60% 
Loan amounts  $1,000 up to the cost of attendance 
Loan terms  5, 7, 10, 15 years 

Law and MBA Loans

If you’re pursuing your JD or MBA, you could borrow a SoFi student loan to cover your cost of attendance. As with its other student loans, SoFi requires a minimum borrowing amount of $1,000.

Terms for Law and MBA Loans
Variable APR 5.49%–12.77%
Fixed APR  5.25%–13.15% 
Loan amounts  $1,000 up to the cost of attendance 
Loan terms  5, 7, 10, 15 years 

Health Professions Student Loans

Medical, dental, and other health professions students might opt for one of SoFi’s health professions student loans.

Terms for Health Professions Student Loans
Variable APR 5.49%–13.07%
Fixed APR  5.25%–13.60% 
Loan amounts  $1,000 up to the cost of attendance 
Loan terms  5, 7, 10, 15 years 

Parent Loans 

SoFi also funds parent loans for parents or sponsors of college students. The interest rates start slightly higher than those of student loans (as of publication), but loan amounts and repayment terms are similarly flexible. Parent borrowers have the option of redeeming SoFi points to pay down their parent loans, which they can earn by logging in to the SoFi app, checking their credit score, or taking other qualifying steps. 

Terms for Parent Student Loans
Variable APR 6.32%–13.13%
Fixed APR  6.50%–13.98% 
Loan amounts  $1,000 up to the cost of attendance 
Loan terms  5, 7, 10, 15 years 

Loan Eligibility and Approval

SoFi funds student loans in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. To qualify for a SoFi student loan, you’ll need to meet the following eligibility requirements: 

  • Be a US citizen, permanent resident, or non-permanent resident alien 
  • Be the age of majority in your state (or apply with a co-signer who is) 
  • Be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution; associate’s degree programs are not eligible
  • Be employed or have sufficient income (or apply with a co-signer)
  • Meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements, which consider your financial history, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio 

Are Co-Signers Required?

Co-signers are not required to borrow a student loan from SoFi, but adding one to your application could help you qualify or get better rates. Most undergraduate borrowers apply for a private student loan with a co-signer, since they often don’t have sufficient credit history or income to qualify on their own. As mentioned, SoFi lets you apply for a co-signer release on an in-school student loan after 24 months of on-time payments. 

Is Loan Pre-Qualification Available?

SoFi makes it easy to pre-qualify for a student loan on its website. After entering a few personal details, you can check your rates on a student loan with no obligation or impact on your credit score. You can start the process by clicking “View Your Rate” on SoFi’s website. According to SoFi, pre-qualifying for a student loan only takes three minutes. 

Length of Time for Loan Approval and Disbursement

You can apply for a SoFi student loan online within minutes and may receive an approval decision right away. Once your loan has been approved, SoFi will verify your information with your school. This process may take a few days or weeks, depending on how quickly your school responds. 

After your school has confirmed your status and certified your cost of attendance, SoFi will send the funds to your financial aid office. Your school applies the funds to your tuition bill and sends any leftover amount to you. Generally speaking, the entire loan application process takes between four and six weeks. 

Loan Fees and Repayment Options

Loan Fees

SoFi does not charge any fees on its student loans. You won’t have to worry about origination, disbursement, application, or late fees if you borrow from SoFi. 

Loan Discounts

SoFi provides several opportunities for interest rate discounts. These include: 

  • Autopay: 0.25% rate cut for setting up automatic payments on your student loans
  • Family: 0.25% rate discount if you’re a parent or sponsor who has already co-signed on a SoFi student loan and are co-signing on another one
  • Continuing scholar: 0.25% rate discount if you’ve already borrowed a student loan from SoFi and are taking out another one
  • Member: 0.125% rate discount if you or your co-signer are already SoFi members

Repayment Options

When you borrow from SoFi, you can choose terms of 5, 7, 10, or 15 years. Students have the following repayment options: 

  • Deferred: Postpone payments while you’re in school and for six months after
  • Interest-only: Pay off the interest that accrues on your loans each month
  • Partial (fixed) payments: Make fixed payments of $25 per month while you’re in school
  • Immediate repayment: Start paying back your full principal and interest payments right away

Borrowers of parent loans can’t defer payments completely while the child is in school. Instead, they can choose between interest-only payments and immediate repayment of their parent loan. 

Rewards

SoFi offers a bonus of $100 for referring friends and family to any of its student loans or other financial products. Your friend or family member will need to use your unique referral link for you to earn the bonus. 

Member Benefits 

SoFi members are eligible for a number of benefits, including career coaching, community events, personalized advice from a financial planner, estate planning, and expedited entry to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. 

Loan Forbearance and Discharge Options

If you run into financial hardship, contact SoFi’s loan servicing partner MOHELA about your options for reducing payments. You may also qualify to pause payments completely through deferment or forbearance for other reasons, such as going back to school, serving on active duty, or experiencing a natural disaster. 

Is Student Loan Refinancing Available?

Along with in-school loans, SoFi also provides student loan refinancing to qualifying borrowers. Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% to 8.99% APR and variable rates range from 5.09% to 8.99% APR. When you refinance with SoFi, you can choose repayment terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years. The minimum student loan amount you can refinance is $5,000. 

The requirements to refinance student loans are similar to the ones to borrow in-school loans, such as meeting residency and age requirements. You (or your co-signer) must be employed, have sufficient income, or have an offer for a job that will start within 90 days. You must also have borrowed the loans for an eligible, accredited Title IV school and graduated with your associate’s degree or higher. 

Along with general student loan refinancing, SoFi also offers specific refinancing options for medical residents, parent PLUS borrowers, medical professionals, and law and MBA graduates. If you refinance as a medical resident, you have the option to make $100 monthly payments while you’re in residency.   

Be cautious about refinancing federal student loans with a private lender, as doing so means forfeiting federal repayment plans and forgiveness programs. If you want to retain access to programs such as income-driven repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness, avoid refinancing your federal loans.  

Customer Service

If you want to reach SoFi’s customer service, you can contact them directly on SoFi’s website via live chat after you’ve created an account. Or you can call the company’s student loan support team at (855) 456-SOFI (7634). Business hours for phone support are Monday to Thursday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific Time, and Friday to Sunday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT.

If you borrow from SoFi, you’ll pay your loan back through its third-party loan servicing partner, MOHELA. You can contact MOHELA by sending a secure message through your online account or calling (877) 292-7470.

Applying for a SoFi Student Loan 

Before applying for a private student loan through SoFi or another lender, make sure to maximize your eligibility for federal student aid. You can access federal student loans, grants, and other aid by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you still have a gap in funding, a private student loan could provide the funds you need. 

You can apply for a SoFi student loan on SoFi’s website in a matter of minutes. Your first step is checking your rate with a soft credit check, which won’t impact your credit or appear as a negative mark on your credit reports. If you’d like to move forward with a loan offer, you’ll provide more details and consent to a hard credit inquiry, which can ding your score by a few points. 

The information you’ll need to provide includes:

  • Your name, date of birth, and Social Security number 
  • Proof of income for you and/or your co-signer 
  • ID
  • School and cost of attendance 
  • Loan amount 
  • Financial aid you think you’ll receive 

You may need to upload some documents to verify your information. If you’re borrowing a student loan for college or graduate school, SoFi will reach out to your school to certify its cost of attendance and confirm your enrollment. As mentioned, the process may take four to six weeks, so make sure to apply at least a month and a half before your tuition bill is due. 

If you’re refinancing student loans with SoFi, the process may only take one to two weeks. SoFi will pay off your prior loans and get you up and running with your new one. Make sure to keep paying your old loans until you’re 100% sure the accounts have been closed. After refinancing with SoFi, expect your first payment to be due in 30 to 45 days. 

Alternative Choices

  SoFi Sallie Mae  ISL Education Lending 
Loan types offered Undergraduate; graduate; professional; health professions; parent Undergraduate; graduate; medical; technical; bootcamp  Undergraduate; graduate; parent
Undergraduate fixed APR  4.49%–13.80%  4.50%–14.83%  3.85%–7.91% 
Undergraduate variable APR  4.99%–13.07%  5.37%–15.70%  4.44%–8.98% 
Origination/administrative fee  None  None  None 
Repayment options  Deferment; fixed; interest-only; full payment  Deferment; fixed; interest-only; full payment Deferment; interest-only; full payment 
Refinancing available  Yes  No  Yes 

Final Verdict

Whether you’re looking to borrow a student loan for the first time or refinance existing student loan debt, it’s worth checking your rates with SoFi. This online lender makes it easy to pre-qualify online, meaning you can check your rates with no impact on your credit score. 

Not only does SoFi offer competitive rates, a variety of repayment terms, and no fees, but it also provides unique benefits to its members, such as coaching with certified career coaches and complimentary financial planning. 

Plus, SoFi designs loans for specific degrees and situations, including law and MBA loans, parent loans, and medical resident refinancing. If you have a credit score of 650 or higher (or can apply with a co-signer who does), SoFi could be a good choice.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of student loan lenders. We collected thousands of data points across 30 lenders—including loan types, interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—to ensure that we help readers make the right borrowing decision for their education needs.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
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  2. U.S. Department of Education. "Other than interest, is there a charge for this loan?"

  3. SoFi. "What rate discounts do you offer?"

  4. SoFi. "Member Benefits." 

  5. SoFi/MOHELA. "Cosigner Release." 

  6. SoFi. "Options to Postpone Repayment."

  7. SoFi. "Does SoFi offer a co-signer release for their Private Student Loans?"

  8. SoFi. "Private Student Loan." 

  9. SoFi. "How long does the application process take? How quickly can I get my loan?"

  10. SoFi. "Frequently Asked Questions." 

  11. SoFi. "Parent Loans."

  12. SoFi. "Undergraduate Student Loans."

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  14. SoFi/MOHELA. "Options to Postpone Repayment."

  15. SoFi. "Student Loan Refinancing Rates & Terms."