SoFi Student Loans Reviews

An in-depth review of the SoFi Student Loans - Undergraduate and Graduate Loans, Parent Loans, Refinancing and unique features offered by SoFi

Updated by C Laltlanhlua on 20th November 2019

Student Loans are one of the main sources for financing higher studies. Whether you are an undergraduate or a graduate, there is a good chance that you will be among the 44+ million, as of July 2019, student loan borrowers.

Getting a student loan is not bad at all. In fact, it has helped many students achieve their careers from their dream schools. The federal government offers Direct Student Loans at low-interest rates with many protection benefits for borrowers. However, these loans are not always sufficient to fund the entirety of college expenditures.

The next best option is Private Student Loans. There are many lenders in the market who offer loans with varying features and terms. Among the top private student loan lenders today, we will be looking into details on the SoFi Student Loans.


List of contents


Overview of SoFi

Social Finance, Inc., commonly known as SoFi has been making a name in the student loan refinancing market. They are an online finance company that was founded in 2011. They offer personal loans, student loans, refinancing, mortgages, and insurances.

SoFi started with the aim to provide finance to college students at affordable rates. At the start, they were backed by 40 alumni with a $2 million pilot program at Stanford. In May 2019, SoFi closed $500 million in a single funding round.

Types of student loans offered - 

  • Undergraduate Student Loans

  • Graduate Student Loans

  • Parent Loans

Apart from the traditional Private Student Loans, SoFi also offers a Student Loan Refinancing Program. Let us look into each loan in detail.


SoFi Undergraduate Loans

SoFi offers Private Undergraduate Loans to students who are enrolled at least half-time in an accredited Title IV schools. All applications are processed online with fast and simple steps. Borrowers with a low credit score may opt to add cosigners. This may increase the chances of approval and lower the interest rate of the loan at the same time.

One of the best features of SoFi Graduate Loans is the absence of a loan limit. The amount of the loan covers 100% of the certified cost of attendance. However, there is a minimum amount of loan that can be taken. This amount may vary from state to state depending on the individual laws of each state.

Loan Details

Minimum Loan Amount: $5,000

Maximum Loan Amount: Entire Cost of Attendance

Interest Rates:  5.05% – 11.71% Fixed APR with autopay, 3.99% – 11.39% Variable APR with autopay

Fees: No origination fees, No late fees, and No insufficient funds fees

Unemployment Protection Program: Yes


SoFi Graduate Loans

SoFi also offers Graduate Loans to students enrolled at least half-time in an eligible school/institution. This loan comes with several benefits that are not found in other private student loans.

You may apply for this loan with or without a cosigner. An existing member of SoFi may avail of an additional reduction of the interest rate of 0.125%. On top of that, they offer several benefits such as career coaching, financial advice, exclusive networking events, etc..

Loan Details

Minimum Loan Amount: $5,000

Maximum Loan Amount: Entire Cost of Attendance

Interest Rates:  4.33% – 11.99% Fixed APR with autopay, 3.27% – 11.70% Variable APR with autopay

Fees: No origination fees, No late fees, and No insufficient funds fees

Unemployment Protection Program: Yes


Repayment options for student loans

The repayment options available for undergraduate loans and graduate loans are given below.

1 - Deferred

The repayment of the loan will start six months after leaving school. The overall cost of the loan will be the highest under this option since every unpaid interest will be capitalized.

2 - Interest Only

Only the interest amount has to be paid while in school. The loan amount does not change while in school. However, making payments on the interest will reduce the overall cost of the loan.

3 - Partial

A fixed monthly payment of $25 will be made while in school. This will reduce some of the loan amounts with manageable monthly payments while in school.

4 - Immediate

Standard payment on principal and interest will start while in school. This requires a higher monthly payment even while in school. However, it is the most effective way of repaying your loan.


Eligibility Criteria for SoFi student loans

If you plan to apply for the Sofi Undergraduate Loan, you must qualify, but not limited to, the following criteria.

  • Must be a US citizen

  • Must be over the age of majority in the state of residence or have a cosigner who is

  • Enrolled at least as a half-time student in an eligible school

  • Employed or with significant income or cosigner must qualify as such.

Eligibility for this loan may also depend on many other factors. This factor includes financial history, credit score, academic progress, experiences, etc. The above criteria may also change depending on the state laws governing each borrower or cosigner.


SoFi Parent Loans

Sofi has a special Parent Loans which are meant for parents or guardians of students who are enrolled in eligible schools. One of the special features of their Parent Loans is that the borrower need not be a legal guardian of the student.

This loan also comes with the additional benefit of the Unemployment Protection Program.

Loan Details

Minimum Loan Amount: $5,000

Maximum Loan Amount: Entire Cost of Attendance

Interest Rates:  5.05% – 11.71% Fixed APR with autopay, 3.99% – 11.39% Variable APR with autopay

Fees: No origination fees, No late fees, and No insufficient funds fees

Unemployment Protection Program: Yes


Repayment Options

1 - Interest Only: Only interest amount has to be paid while in school.

2 - Immediate: Standard payment on principal and interest will start while in school.


Eligibility Criteria

If you plan to apply for the Sofi Parent Loans, you must qualify, but not limited to, the following criteria.

  • Must be a US citizen

  • Must be over the age of majority in the state of residence

  • Must be employed or with significant income

  • Must use the loan to finance higher education in an eligible school

  • The student must be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible school

Borrowers need not be the legal guardian of the students for whom they are financing.

Eligibility for this loan may also depend on many other factors. This factor includes financial history, credit score, academic progress, experiences, etc. The above criteria may also change depending on the state laws governing each borrower or cosigner.


Looking for college fee? Learn about student loans


Unemployment Protection Program

One of the unique features that SoFi Loans come with, that is not very common from the other bigger players in the market, is their Unemployment Protection Program. Under this program, if you lose your job for reasons which are not your fault, you may be eligible to put a hold on to your loan repayment and take forbearance on your loan.

When your loan is in forbearance, you can either pay only the interest or pay nothing at all. However, if you choose not to make any payments during this period, the interest will accrue and be capitalized.

Your loan must be in a good standing position with no recent late payment in order to be eligible. Your forbearance will also be reported to the credit bureaus. 


SoFi Refinancing

SoFi offers Student Loan Refinancing to all eligible candidates for their Private Student Loans, Federal Student Loans or both kinds of loans at the same time. They also provide a special program for Medical Loan Refinancing and Parent PLUS Loan Refinancing.

When you refinance your loans under SoFi, you have a chance to combine all your eligible loans into one loan with a much lower interest rate, better loan terms and several benefits such as career coaching, financial advisors, etc..

SoFi Refinancing Loans are also eligible for the Unemployment Protection Program. We have an in-depth review of the SoFi Student Loan Refinancing in another article. Please refer to it if you wish to know more.


Conclusion

SoFi started as a student loan refinancing company has made a name for themselves in the student loan market. They offer unique features along with their student loan programs which cannot be found in other big players in the market. The interest rates are competitive but borrowers with a credit score on the lower side may find it difficult to get approval.

If you plan to finance your higher education with SoFi, we recommend that you go through heir loan terms and conditions thoroughly before making a decision.

Reasons to choose SoFi Student Loans

  • No fees

  • The application process is completely online so it is fast and fairly easy

  • Reduction of 0.25% on interest rates if autopayment is chosen

  • No maximum cap in loans as they cover 100% of the certified cost of attendance

  • Borrowers of Graduate Loans and/or Parent Loans will get exclusive benefits such as - career coaches, financial advisors, and more, at no extra costs.