SoFi student loans at a glance
|Fixed APR||Variable APR||Loan Amount||Standout Feature|
|SoFi||4.23%–11.76%||1.87%–11.66%||Up to 100% of cost of attendance||Career coaching and financial advice available|
*Rates accurate as of October 2020 and exclude an autopay discount of 0.25%.
What we like about it
SoFi is one of the best in the business when it comes to offering more than just ways to pay for college. It offers free career coaching services for any borrower, which includes a variety of services including how to ask for a promotion, how to network, how to update a resume, negotiation tactics and personal branding. It is also a great resource if borrowers are looking to consolidate or refinance student loans.
Furthermore, SoFi offers a rate discount of 0.25% when borrowers sign up for automatic payments, reducing the amount of interest that adds on to your principal amount over time.
Things to consider
SoFi has some strict eligibility requirements. While for private undergraduate students loans, borrowers are allowed to bring on a creditworthy cosigner to help guarantee the loan, student loan refinancing applicants are required to have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, sufficient income and a worthy credit score.
What you need to know
Overall, SoFi has done its best to make its loan application as streamlined as possible. Everything can be accomplished on its online portal, though 24/7 customer support is available.
There are several lenders who will originate or refinance substantial loan amounts. SoFi should be commended for lending up to 100% of the certified costs of attendance.
An associate’s degree is the minimum level of attainment required to be considered for a loan. SoFi doesn’t appear to distinguish the type of degree earned but will factor in income, credit score and debt-to-income ratio, in keeping with standard practices. The specific terms will depend on your profile.
Here’s how to apply for a SoFi student loan:
- Navigate to SoFi.com and pull up the private student loan product page. From there, you’ll be able to get started on your application where you will input general personal information and create a profile.
- SoFi will perform a soft credit check based on the information provided and be able to pre-approve your application with an offer of student loan rates.
- If approved, you can continue the application with the required documents. These include any employment validation documents, driver’s license, W-2s and your cosigner’s information, if applicable.
- Then, SoFi will perform a hard credit check to offer your final rates and loan amount for your private student loan. Review the lending documents and sign on the dotted line to finance your higher education.
SoFi vs. Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank’s lending arm, Citizens One, offers private student loan financing with rates comparable to SoFi. However, Citizens One offer multi-year approval, meaning there’s only one hard credit check to be approved for four years of financing. Every time you need to reapply for a student loan for subsequent years of education, Citizens One only performs a soft credit check.
While SoFi student loans feature no fees and tons of member perks, Citizens One does charge a late fee to its student borrowers.
SoFi vs College Ave
College Ave is another popular lender that features a quick approval process. However, its interest rate on student loans is higher than SoFi and its loan amounts featured a cap of $150,000 for undergraduate and $300,000 for medical degrees. College Ave also required satisfactory academic progress to originate loans for subsequent years.
A cap of $150,000 to $300,000 sounds like a lot, but for certain degrees, it can be the start. If you prefer to have one lender to cover 100% cost of attendance, SoFi may be your best bet.