SoFi is an online lender founded by Stanford Business School students in 2011. Initially focused on refinancing student loans, the company added private student loans in 2019. Its student loans for undergraduates , graduates and parents start at $5,000 and charge no fees.
- Zero fees: You won’t have to pay assembly costsapplication fees, prepayment penalties, late fees or insufficient funds fees.
- Flexible repayment options: SoFi offers cosigner release options, and borrowers in financial difficulty can access programs and benefits.
- Pre-qualified: Whether you’re looking for undergraduate, graduate, or parent loans, you and your co-signer can check rates and terms before submitting a full loan application without hurting your credit scores.
- Does not disclose all loan requirements: This means it can be difficult to decide if the lender is right for you, but pre-qualification is available online.
- Potentially slow funding: The entire application process, including school certification of the loan, can take four to six weeks, depending on the school. Borrowers who need funds faster should contact SoFi at 855-456-7634.
Find the best student loans for you
SoFi Private Student Loans offers undergraduate student loans, graduate student loans, law and MBA student loans, and parent student loans. Loans start at $5,000 and cover up to 100% of school-certified tuition, including tuition, room and board, food, books, and supplies.
The application process can be completed online, including accepting a loan and electronically signing your loan documents. To apply for a SoFi private student loan, you will need to provide this information:
- Social Security number.
- School information, including school term and estimated graduation date.
- How much you would like to borrow.
- Any financial assistance you hope to receive.
- Proof of income, if applicable.
A cosigner will need a social security number, government-issued ID, annual income, and proof of income.
Once you’ve accepted a loan, SoFi will send application information to your school for certification, which involves the school verifying your enrollment status, academic progress, and financial aid. SoFi will also require the school to verify that you meet its Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards, which measure academic progress toward graduation.
Certification times range from a few days to several weeks, as each school has its own processes and timelines. Once the school has certified the loan, SoFi will schedule sending the funds to the school. The whole process usually takes four to six weeks, but it may be shorter for some schools.
Students must be enrolled at least half-time at eligible establishments and meet underwriting criteria for private student loans from SoFi.
The minimum loan amount is $5,000, but may be higher in some states.
Annual percentage rates depend on the type of student loan and whether or not autopay is in place, which entitles you to a rate reduction of 0.25 percentage points. here are the APR you can expect with the automatic payment reduction:
- Undergraduate loans with fixed APRs from 3.22% to 11.16% or variable APRs from 1.10% to 11.68%.
- Graduate student loans with fixed APRs from 4.13% to 11.06% and variable APRs from 1.95% to 11.58%.
- Law school and MBA student loans with fixed APRs from 4.08% to 11.01% and variable APRs from 1.90% to 11.53%.
- Parent student loans with fixed APRs from 4.23% to 11.16% fixed APRs and variable APRs from 1.30% to 11.68%.
SoFi does not charge any fees. This includes application fees, set-up fees, late fees, unsuccessful payment fees, late fees and prepayment penalties.
Borrowers have two repayment options for student loans from parents – immediate or interest-only – and four options for undergraduate, graduate, law and MBA loans, including:
- Deferred, which allows you to start paying back six months after graduation, go below half-time, or leave school.
- Interest Only, which lets you make interest-only payments while you’re in school, then start paying back six months after you graduate, dropping below half-time or leaving school.
- Partial Repayment, which involves a fixed payment of $25 while you are in school, and repayment begins six months after you graduate, going below halftime or leaving school.
- Immediate repayment, which means you immediately start paying principal and interest.
You can save money on your SoFi student loan in two ways: Sign up for autopay and become a SoFi member.
The lender offers an interest rate reduction of 0.25 percentage points when borrowers sign up for automatic payments from a checking or savings account.
SoFi member borrowers and co-signers could qualify for an additional 0.125 percentage point discount on SoFi student loans. SoFi membership is free, but you’ll need to download the SoFi app to access all of your member benefits.
A borrower must be a US citizen or other eligible status and meet SoFi requirements subscription requirements for qualifying for a SoFi student loan.
You will need to be enrolled at least half-time in a degree program at an eligible institution, and your school must determine that you are making satisfactory progress toward a degree.
Co-signers are not required, but can help borrowers with limited credit histories increase their likelihood of approval. Eligibility for the loan depends on a number of factors, including your financial history, credit score and monthly income versus expenses, according to SoFi.
The lender does not disclose the minimum credit score to qualify for a SoFi student loan. Your credit score is only part of what SoFi considers.
SoFi reviews a candidate’s complete financial situation, including monthly income, work experience, and future earnings based on job offer letters. Additionally, the borrower or co-signer must be employed or have sufficient income to meet the lender’s requirements.
SoFi offers loans to undergraduates, graduates, and parents in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
SoFi received 4.3 out of 5 stars from US News & World Report. This rating is calculated based on lender affordability, eligibility criteria for potential borrowers, and customer service. The median rating for lenders in the student loan category is 4.3 stars.
SoFi is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau but receives an A+ rating and 1.39 out of 5 stars based on 95 customer reviews. The lender gets an average rating from Trustpilot and a rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars based on nearly 2,500 user reviews.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received 23 complaints in 2020 regarding SoFi student loans, and the company provided a prompt response to all complaints. The most common complaints were about getting a loan, dealing with the lender or managing agent, and difficulty repaying the loan.
SoFi Private Student Loans offers customer support by phone and chat from the lender Contact us page. Call customer service at 855-456-7634 from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific time, Monday through Thursday and from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time, Friday through Sunday.
In addition to an online application process, including prequalification, SoFi offers members access to Edmit Plus, a tool that can help you compare school costs and estimate financial aid. SoFi members also get free access to career coaches and financial planners.