SoFi Student Loans Review

Competitive rates and flexible repayment options with a high loan minimum

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SoFi

SoFi

Our Take

For students who need to borrow a significant amount of money for their education, such as MBA or medical school students, SoFi may be a good match for you. You can borrow up to the total cost of attendance, and SoFi charges no origination, application, or late fees.

  • Key Takeaways
  • Pros and Cons
  • Company Overview
Key Takeaways
  • With SoFi, you can borrow between $5,000 and the total cost of attendance
  • The lender offers undergraduate, graduate, medical school, law school, and parent student loans
  • Student borrowers ave four repayment options, and can defer payments until after graduation
  • SoFi also offers student loan refinancing for private and federal loans
  • As a SoFi member, you qualify for benefits like career coaching and unemployment protection
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • No origination, application, or late fees

  • Loans up to the total cost of attendance

  • Unemployment protection and forbearance available

Cons
  • High loan minimum

  • Limited repayment term options

Company Overview
  • Year Founded 2011
  • Official Website www.sofi.com
  • Loans Offered Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent, Professional, Refinance
  • Customer Service By phone: 855-456-7634, M-Th 5am–7pm PT Fri–Sun 5am–5pm PT

If you need money to pay for college, SoFi allows you to borrow up to the total cost of attendance. The lender offers competitive interest rates and flexible repayment options and has loans for undergraduate, graduate, and parent borrowers. It also provides extra perks, such as career coaching, referral bonuses, and free financial planning to help you after graduation.

However, SoFi has a high loan minimum, so it may not be the best lender for you. Here’s what you should know about SoFi student loans.

As a SoFi member, you’re entitled to a free financial planning session with a certified financial planner (CFP). During your session, you can talk about paying down your debt, develop a plan for buying a home, or discuss saving for retirement as you start your career.

Pros Explained

  • No Fees – Unlike some other lenders, SoFi doesn’t charge origination, application, or late fees. By choosing SoFi, you could save money on costly fees. 
  • Loans Up to the Total Cost of Attendance – Some private student loan lenders set caps on how much you can borrow, but with SoFi, you can borrow up to the total cost of attendance, so you can take out how much you need to pay for your degree. 
  • Unemployment Protection and Forbearance Options – If you’re facing financial hardship once you enter into repayment, such as a job loss or medical emergency, you may be able to postpone your payments until you get back on your feet. 

Cons Explained

  • High Loan Minimum – SoFi has a relatively high loan minimum. To qualify for a loan, you must borrow at least $5,000. If you need less than that, you may need to work with another lender. 
  • Limited Repayment Term Options – SoFi only offers repayment terms of 5, 10, or 15 years. Some other lenders offer more repayment options, with loan terms as long as 20 years, which could make your monthly payments more affordable.

Student Loans Offered by SoFi

Undergraduate Student Loans

As an independent undergraduate student—a married student, a veteran of the U.S. armed forces, a person with children or dependents who receive more than half of their support from them, a person with deceased parents or who was in foster care, a person that was an emancipated minor, or was an unaccompanied youth who was homeless—the most you can borrow in federal direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans per year is $9,500. If you need more than that to pay for school, taking out private student loans from a lender like SoFi can help. With SoFi, you can borrow up to the total cost of attendance. SoFi student loans have no application, origination, or late fees, and there are no penalties if you decide to pay off your loan early.

Loan Terms for Undergraduate Loans
Variable Rates 1.87% - 11.66% 
Fixed Rates 4.23% - 11.26%
Loan Amounts $5,000 - total cost of attendance
Loan Terms 5, 10, or 15 years
Lowest rates include 0.25% autopay discount

Graduate Student Loans

If you’re going to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree, you can use SoFi to pay for your education. You can borrow up to the total cost of attendance and take advantage of flexible repayment options. The total cost of attendance varies by school, but it typically includes tuition and fees, on-campus room and board, books, supplies, transportation, and dependent care.

Loan Terms for Graduate Loans
Variable Rates 1.77% - 11.73%
Fixed Rates 4.13% - 11.37%
Loan Amounts $5,000 up to the total cost of attendance
Loan Terms 5, 10, or 15 years
Lowest rates include 0.25% autopay discount

MBA and Law School Student Loans

If you plan on obtaining an MBA from a business school or attending law school, you may be eligible for a SoFi student loan to complete your degree. There are no origination fees, late fees, or prepayment penalties, and you can borrow up to the total cost of attendance for your program.

Loan Terms for MBA and Law School Loans
Variable Rates 1.94% - 11.89%
Fixed Rates 4.30% - 11.52%
Loan Amounts $5,000 up to the total cost of attendance
Loan Terms 5, 10, or 15 years
Lowest rates include 0.25% autopay discount

Parent Student Loans

If you’re a parent who wants to help your child pay for a degree, SoFi offers parent student loans, too. Like SoFi’s other student loans, there are no origination fees or late fees, and no prepayment penalties. As a SoFi member, you also get access to benefits like career counseling and free financial advisor sessions.

Unlike undergraduate and graduate student loans, parent student loans only have two repayment options:

  • Immediate – With immediate repayment, you start paying the principal and interest right away, even while your child is in school. Using this repayment option will help you save the most money overall. 
  • Interest Only – With interest-only repayment, you only make payments on the interest while your child is in school; you’ll make full payments after graduation. Making interest-only payments while your child is still in school will cause you to pay more over the length of your loan. 
Loan Terms for Parent Loans
Variable Rates 1.90% - 11.16%
Fixed Rates 4.60% - 11.26%
Loan Amounts $5,000 up to the total cost of attendance
Loan Terms 5, 10, or 15 years
Lowest rates include 0.25% autopay discount

Loan Eligibility

To qualify for a student loan from SoFi, SoFi will also perform a credit check. Also, you must meet the following criteria: 

  • Borrowers must be the age of majority in their state.
  • Borrowers must be U.S. citizens. If you are a permanent resident, you can apply for a loan by calling 877-936-2269.
  • You or your cosigner must be employed or have income from other sources.
  • You must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution.
  • You must make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree.

Is Loan Prequalification Available? 

SoFi does have a loan prequalification tool. You can find out if you qualify for a loan online and get a rate estimate without affecting your credit score. Once you choose an interest rate type and repayment term that works for you, you can move forward with the application process. 

Loan Fees

SoFi student loans have no fees at all, meaning there are no origination fees, application fees, late fees, or prepayment penalties. That’s a significant advantage over some other private lenders and even federal student loans, which often have costly fees.

For example, Grad PLUS Loans—federal student loans for graduate and professional borrowers—have a disbursement fee of 4.236%. If you borrowed $10,000, that means you’d pay $423.60 just to get the money you borrowed. Opting for a private student loan instead could help you save money.

Loan Discounts 

SoFi offers two loan discounts: 

  • Automatic Payment Discount When you sign up for automatic payments with your checking or savings account, SoFi will reduce your interest rate by 0.25%. 
  • SoFI Membership Discount – If you or your cosigner are already SoFi members, you can get a 0.125% interest rate deduction.

Repayment Options

There are four repayment options for undergraduate, graduate, MBA, and law school student loans: 

  • Deferred – With deferred payments, you don’t start making loan payments until six months after graduation. 
  • Interest Only – Under interest only repayment, you make interest payments while still in school, reducing your overall cost. 
  • Partial – While still in school, you pay $25 per month toward your loan. 
  • Immediate – With immediate repayment, you make full payments toward the principal and interest while still in school. 

Parent student loans are only eligible for immediate repayment and interest only repayment.

When you take out a SoFi student loan, you become a SoFi member. That gives you access to select benefits, including: 

  • Career Coaching – You can work one-on-one with a career coach to get advice on landing a promotion, transitioning to a new job, or improving your resume. 
  • Referral Program – If you refer friends to SoFi and they take out a loan, open an investment account, or sign up for a cash management account, you can earn a referral bonus. You can earn up to $10,000 for eligible referrals. 
  • Financial Planning – You can make an appointment with a financial planner at no cost. During your meeting, you can get advice on preparing for retirement, saving for a new home, or investing for your future goals. 

Are Cosigners Required? 

SoFi doesn’t require applicants to have a cosigner for private student loans. However, the company says that rates for undergraduate borrowers are typically higher without a cosigner because they usually have limited credit histories and income. Adding a cosigner to your application can help you secure a loan and get a better interest rate. 

An important thing to note is that SoFi didn’t use to offer cosigner releases. Loans disbursed before May 1, 2019, aren’t eligible for cosigner release, but loans disbursed after that date now are.

SoFi loans issued before May 1, 2019, aren’t eligible for cosigner release

After making 24 consecutive on-time full principal and interest payments, you can apply for a cosigner release. SoFi will review your information, and if you meet its underwriting and credit requirements, your cosigner may be removed from the loan

Forbearance and Loan Discharge Options

SoFi offers several deferment and forbearance options if you are facing an unexpected hardship and can’t keep up with your payments. 

For example, SoFi has an Unemployment Protection Program. If you lose your job through no fault of your own—such as through company-wide layoffs—you can put your loans into forbearance and postpone making payments on them. You can postpone payments for up to three months at a time, for up to 12 months over the life of your loan. Forbearance may be available in other circumstances, such as medical issues, damage to your home, or a natural disaster.

Undergraduate and graduate student loans are eligible for discharge if the borrower passes away or becomes totally and permanently disabled. Parent refinancing loans and parent in-school loans do not qualify for those options. 

Length of Time for Loan Approval and Disbursement

You can apply and get a credit decision within a few minutes. Once you apply and are approved for a loan, you need to submit supporting documentation and sign your loan documents. 

From there, SoFi will send the loan application information to your college for certification. Once SoFi gets that information back from the school, it will schedule the loan disbursement based on the college’s suggested timeline. From the time your application is submitted to loan disbursal can take four to six weeks. 

Is Student Loan Refinancing Available? 

Yes. SoFi offers student loan refinancing for both federal and private student loans. The minimum amount you can refinance is $5,000, but there is no cap on how much you can consolidate. 

Customer Service

SoFi doesn’t service its student loans itself. Instead, it uses the Higher Education Loan Authority of the State of Missouri (MOHELA) as its loan servicer. If you take out a loan from SOFI, MOHELA is the entity to which you will make payments and which you should contact if you have questions about your account. 

Neither SoFi nor MOHELA are included in the Annual Report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Private Education Loan Ombudsman. On TrustPilot, SoFi has more than 2,400 reviews and a four-star rating. Customer support is available by emailing customerservice@sofi.com or by calling 855-456-7634. 

Apply for a SoFi Student Loan

Even if you think a SoFi private student loan is right for you, it’s a good idea to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Submitting the FAFSA ensures that you will get all the financial aid you’re entitled to, including gift aid, such as grants. 

Once you’ve considered all of your financial aid options, you can move forward with your SoFi student loan application. First, use SoFi’s prequalification tool to get a rate estimate and see what loan terms are available to you. Once you find a loan that’s a good fit, you can complete the full application. You’ll need the following information: 

  • Social Security Number
  • Chosen School Information
  • Requested Loan Amount
  • Expected Financial Aid (including federal financial aid and scholarships)
  • Rent or Mortgage Payments
  • Income and Employer Information
  • Permanent Address 
  • In-School Address (if applicable)
Final Verdict

SoFi student loans are a good option if you exhausted federal aid. The lender offers competitive interest rates and doesn’t charge added fees. Plus, it offers unemployment protection and forbearance options, giving you an added layer of protection that some other private loan lenders do not.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of student loan lenders. We collected over 45 data points across more than 15 lenders—including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—to ensure that our content helps users 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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  5. U.S. Department of Education. "Other than interest, is there a charge for this loan?" Accessed March 10, 2010.

  6. SoFi.com. "Unemployment Protection Program." Accessed March 10, 2020.

  7. Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. "Annual Report of the CFPB Private Education Loan Ombudsman." Accessed March 10, 2020.

  8. TrustPilot.com. "SoFi Reviews." Accessed March 10, 2020.