SoFi vs Lendkey Refinancing - Which is better for you

With an array of refinancing lenders in the market here is an in dept guide on what a borrower can expect while refinancing with Lendkey or SoFi. If you are at the crossroads with them this article should help you make a sound decision.

Updated by Roopsi Gupta on 9th October 2020

LendKey is one of the private lenders who work to connect small banks, credit unions to prospective clients. They aim at building long term relationships with the local college graduates. LendKey's working differs from the other lending companies. It works on a networking basis to offer you the best-suited deals for refinancing your loans.

Social Finance (SoFi) is yet another company that is famous for its refinancing services to premium clients. It offers the best rates amongst all the competitor lenders. As it treats premium clients, it looks at the outstanding credit score that can assure timely repayment of the loans.

Thus, both the companies are good performers in their respective areas, it depends on the different requirements that you are looking for in any lender.

Table of contents

Table of comparison between Sofi and LendKey

Here is a table indicating the various terms of

LendKey and SoFi- how they differ from each other and what similarities they hold together. LendKey vs SoFi

Basis of Comparison
LendKey SoFi
Variable APR 2.47% – 7.99%
2.48% to 7.52% APR
Fixed APR 3.49% – 8.72%
3.99% – 7.80% APR
Minimum Amount
$5,000 $5,000
Maximum Amount
$300,000 No maximum
Terms of the loan? 5 to 20 years 5 to 20 years
State Residency
Most state, except for Maine, North Dakota
, Nevada, Rhode Island
, and West Virginia
All states eligible
Degree required?
Bachelor's or higher
Associates or higher
Employment Requirements
Must be employed
Employed or hold an offer to commence in 90 days
Interest-Only Payments
Yes, for the initial 4 years No
Origination Fees and Prepayment Penalties?
None None
Option for Cosigner?
Yes Yes
Option to release a Cosigner?
Yes No
Interest rate deduction on Auto-Pay?
Yes Yes
Credit check required?
Yes Yes
Unemployment Protection
Yes Yes

As you have noted that the services are so similar yet different in terms of the important requirements like the maximum amount of loan that they refinance, condition of release of a cosigner, their eligibility in the states, and a few more.

Worried about your college tuition? Learn more about best student loans

LendKey overview

The company commenced its business in 2009 and changed its name to LendKey in 2013. It is an online lending company that works mostly with the non-profit credit unions and banks which offers low rates to you when you go for refinancing with it. Being partnered with around 300 banks and unions, it offers competitive rates to you by providing rates from almost all the network partners. 

It has offered its refinancing services to more than 80,000 students and funded around $2 billion in loans. To see what will be the values after refinancing like your monthly payments, terms of the loan, and all the information then you can check on their refinancing calculator tool.

Pros & Cons of LendKey

Some points can define LendKey in a better way. Some pros and cons are as follows


  • You can easily release a cosigner by making 12 months regular payments, which is generally not offered by every lender

  • 18 months forbearance option is provided by LendKey, 6 months extension if you lose your job

  • Be the U.S citizen

  • With a soft credit check, you can be given a prescreened rate that can allow you to know what are the probable repayment terms, interest rates, and other details

  • If you are going for the loan term of 15 or 20 years, a 4-year interest-only repayment option can be offered to you

  • No application or origination fees are charged when you apply for refinancing, the only membership fee will be charged if you become a member of  any credit union

  • Being small banks or credit union, they offer low-interest rates for refinancing


  • Rates offered can be dynamic based on your residential location

  • While comparing loans the loan refinancing amount is based on a few parameters like APR, monthly payments & term of the loan. 

  • Residents of Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, or West Virginia are not eligible to refinance their loan with LendKey

  • You cannot qualify if you do not have a degree of graduate

Refinancing can be a crucial decision, henceforth consider all pros and cons. 

SoFi overview

SoFi is also an online lending company that started its business in 2011. It has around 500,000 members to date and has funded around $30 billion in loans. It started exclusively for clients with outstanding credit scores but now it has its roots in mortgages, wealth management services, and many more.

It specializes in student loans, refinancing, job placement assistance to those who are not employed, this makes them stand out and is one of the reasons they can achieve a good position in the marketplace. 

Pros & Cons of SoFi

To know more about SoFi, the followings are the pros and cons which can help you decide to refinance with it


  • Its quick pre-application form will help you get the various details of refinancing without affecting your credit score

  • Option for deferment is available if you are facing a financial problem, your interest will accrue for that time but your amount of the loan will be re-amortized to make adjustments

  • Services for job placements, mock interview sessions are the plus that SoFi offers when you go for refinancing options with it

  • It offers services for wealth planning also, in case you are refinancing the loans of your child, SoFi will help you in planning for your wealth as well

  • An invitation to the community events that SoFi conducts like dinners, yoga sessions, workshops, etc.

  • It also provides career coaching in case you have involuntarily lost your job or looking for a change, and assistance regarding how you can improve in getting a better opportunity


  • No cosigner release option is available, the cosigner will be there for the life of your loan

  • Even if you have attended school or college but do not hold a degree, you cannot qualify for refinancing your loan with SoFi

  • The minimum credit score that you hold should be more than 650, otherwise, it will not consider your loan refinancing application

Gather the advantages that are most important before you refinance with SoFi. 

LendKey refinance student loans

You require basic details to refinance your loan with LendKey, just your name, address, total income, the degree you hold, the income statement, the amount of loan you want to refinance. After filling it all, you will have to fill a pre-application form so that it will give you the list of the most matched bank. 

After selecting one from then, by using the LendKey platform you can complete the application form online and continue the process. This is how refinancing of loans with LendKey works. Also, they are present in only 46 states and Washington, DC.

Terms, Rates & Fees

LendKey offers loans with terms varying from 5, 7, 10, 15 & 20 years, you can select a term as per your requirement or in how much time you want to get your loan paid off. 

There are both fixed and variable rates available for refinancing your loan, the fixed rates vary from 3.49% to 8.72% and the variable rates vary from 2.47% to 7.99%. It generally depends on the factors like your creditworthiness, your past payment history, your income, and several other things.

They do not charge any fee as origination or application fees and also there are no prepayment penalties. In case you did not qualified for the refinancing then you can apply with a cosigner. With their credit score, you may qualify for the loan. 

Application Process

LendKey does not refinance on its own, it acts as a mediator between the clients and the banks or credit unions. The process is different from what SoFi has. When you update all your details regarding the refinancing of your loan, then it provides the list of networked banks or unions, the various terms that they will offer in case you go for financing with them. 

It is on you with which institution you will go and refinance with. With the list, you can easily compare the rates, repayment terms, terms of loans, and the other information which will help you in making a decision. After getting approval from the chosen bank you will get the funds within 1 to 7 days and you can start with the refinancing of your loan.

Looking to refinance your student loans? Find the best student loan refinancing lenders

SoFi student loan refinance

Refinancing your loan with SoFi is an easy and few minutes process. It is available in all the states and offers competitive rates based on the terms and conditions you have put in and everything happens online so that you can complete it at your convenience. 

Select the rates and terms the way you want to make repayments, the longer the term more the interest you will end up paying, so choose wisely.  It will take around 1 to 7 days to compare your funds after receiving approval and also the company will pay off your current debts with the servicer and provides you new loan details.

Terms, Rates & Fees

The refinancing loans can be termed like 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years, it is your choice how long you have to take your debt with you. 

The rates vary as per your choice, it offers both- fixed and variable rates. The current fixed rates are 3.99% to 7.80% APR and variable rates range from 2.48% to 7.52% APR. A discount of 0.25% is offered in cases when you make auto-payments.

These loan refinancing options are available with no origination fees and no prepaid penalties are there. 

Eligibility Requirement 

To be eligible for the refinancing of student loans with SoFi, the following are the requirements to be fulfilled-

  • You must be a citizen of the US or a permanent resident 

  • Graduated from the Title IV accredited university

  • Should be an employee or going to commence their business within 90 days

  • Your credit score should be 650 or more

  • Verify all your documents by providing screenshots of it so that they can be cross-checked

SoFi has an easy online application procedure that takes minutes to fill and provides results easily to do the refinancing of your loan. This makes SoFi different and out performer amongst other different lenders.

Application Process

To apply for the refinancing of loans with SoFi refinancing, you need to follow a simple 4 step process. To get pre-qualified, you just need to fill a 2 min form to check if you will be qualifying for the refinancing of your loan or not before filling the final application form. 

Then, select the different terms on which you want your loan to range in- interest rates, the amount of money you want to save, the monthly payments that you make to repay it out. 

Upload all the related documents after that and sign the application form digitally so that the form can be processed further. Make sure that you have entered the correct information to receive the correct figures for refinancing. 

After getting approval from the company, it will pay out the current loan and issue you with a new loan with new terms, interest rates, repayment terms and monthly payments to be made. Thus, you can get your loan refinanced. 

Learn more about What is Student Loan Refinancing?

Contact Information

If you wish to get in touch with SoFi you can use the following 

Telephone number - 855-456-7634    

E-mail[email protected]

Address -   


PO Box 1022

Chesterfield, MO 63006-1022

If you wish to get in touch with LendKey you can use the following

Telephone number - (888)-549-9050

Email[email protected], [email protected] 

Address - 

104, W, 27th St.

New York, NY 10001

9999 Carver Rd, suite - 400

Cincinnati, OH 45242

Based on which company is best suited for you with your financial interests in mind- either LendKey or SoFi.

The interest rates are low and almost the same but if you want a comparison amongst lenders, then choose the lender. LendKey is a good option to go ahead with but if you want to have loan refinancing in one go you can opt for SoFi- it is prompt and easy as well.

Thus, check for the rates and terms & see what suits best for you then choose one and proceed further with your loan refinancing.