Founded in 2011 by four students at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, SoFi takes an innovative approach to personal loans by cutting out the middleman and directly granting low-interest loans. SoFi started out with a focus on helping students pay back their student loans. Since then, it has expanded to offer a range of lending and financial management services like wealth management, loans, and life insurance.
Because of their unique approach to lending, SoFi has more understanding and flexibility for their borrowers. SoFi has a range of loan options available including student loan refinancing, medical resident refinancing, mortgages, mortgage refinancing, and personal loans. Although SoFi applicants need a minimum credit score of 680, SoFi doesn’t accept loans solely based on credit score and also considers financial history. In addition, unemployment protection means that SoFi freezes repayment temporarily for borrowers who lose their jobs.
Whether looking to pay for a special vacation or seeking a loan to purchase an engagement ring, SoFi gives applicants the ability to afford a range of big purchases for personal, family, or household purposes. Their personal loan services exclude business purposes, investments, post-secondary education, and real estate, but SoFi does offer different financing options for those kinds of loans as well.
In order to be eligible, applicants must have a US citizenship, permanent residence, or hold a J-1, H-1B, E-2, O-1, or TN visa residing in one of the eligible states. Visa holders should have at least two years remaining on their visa before it expires. SoFi also requires applicants to have been 18 years or older.
To begin the application process, you can easily find out the rate you qualify for through the SoFi website without making any commitments. SoFi bases their eligibility and rates on a number of factors including financial history, monthly income, monthly expenses, and professional experience.
Prior to applying, prospective borrowers can check rates in advance using SoFi’s “Find My Rate” feature. In addition, their website provides a soft credit check in which anyone can find out their credit score. This feature does not affect credit score.
After pre-qualifying, SoFi has a relatively simple application online process, although it may take a bit longer to receive approval compared to other loan services. Applicants can fill in forms online with the help from SoFi loan consultants. Once SoFi approves your loan, all you’ll have to do is sign documents before receiving funds deposited directly into your account within a few days.
Unlike many other personal loan services, SoFi lends directly to their applicants rather than connecting borrowers with a third-party lender like a bank or financial institution. SoFi has both fixed interest rate and variable interest rate loans available between $5,000 and $100,000. Their fixed personal loans range from 5.74% APR to 16.99% APR.*
SoFi loans have flexible repayment periods ranging from 36 to 84 months. Borrowers can set up automatic electronic payments via ACH. Payments start no sooner than 15 days after receiving funds and no later than 45 days after disbursement. Best of all, setting up automatic payments will earn a 0.25% discount on your rate. With the unemployment protection, in the event of losing your job, SoFi will temporarily pause payments and help find a new one.
SoFi loan consultants help applicants along every step of the way, from the application process through to the final payments. Their customer care consultants help guide borrowers in choosing the right loan product, and SoFi welcomes potential applicants to give them a call to help in the loan process.
Customers can reach support directly by phone during work hours (Mon-Thu 4:00 AM - 9:00 PM PT Fri-Sun 4:00 AM - 5:00 PM PT). For more information, the SoFi website contains a comprehensive FAQ section detailing some of the common questions customers may have. The nifty mobile apps for iOS and Android make it easy for borrowers to manage their account and payments right from smartphones and tablets.
* Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 16.49% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.74% APR to 16.99% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of February 15, 2019 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history 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 evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.74% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.51% plus 4.28% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to 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.