SoFi Personal Loan Review

About SoFi

SoFi

SoFi is reinventing consumer finance for the better as a leader in marketplace lending. SoFi helps ambitious professionals accelerate their success with student loan refinancing, mortgages, mortgage refinancing, personal loans, parent loans and more. Their nontraditional underwriting approach takes into account merit and employment history, among other factors, to provide financial products that can't be found elsewhere.

review breakdown

Recommended
85%
Interest Rates
Fees & Closing Cost
Customer Service
Responsiveness

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About SoFi

SoFi was founded in 2011 by four Stanford business school graduates who sought to create an online lending platform that would fund student loan refinances through investments from wealthy investors, including big names from Wall Street. SoFi wanted to serve borrowers who may not have the strongest credit scores but, because of their chosen career path, income level and their college education can demonstrate that they have high earnings potential. The company is now one of the biggest players in student loan refinance and has since expanded in the lending space. SoFi now offer student loans, mortgages, a forthcoming checking account service and — most importantly for our purposes today — personal loans.

In 2017, SoFi estimated its borrowers had cumulatively paid off over $5 billion dollars in credit card debt using SoFi Personal Loans.

In this review, we’ll take a closer look at SoFi’s Personal Loan business and what it offers borrowers.

By clicking “See Offers”, you may or may not be matched with any lender mentioned in this article. Based on your creditworthiness, you may be matched with up to five different lenders in our partner network.

SoFi personal loan highlights

  • No origination fees
  • SoFi does not charge origination fees on its personal loans. They also do not charge any prepayment penalties, so you can pay your loan off early without incurring a fee.
  • Unique underwriting criteria
  • While your credit history will play a part in the approval process, it is not necessarily the deciding factor. SoFi also takes your career field, education and earning potential into account.
  • Constructed for high-income earners
  • According to Alan Donner, who heads up SoFi’s personal loan marketing team, people who qualify for SoFi personal loans have an average credit score of 700 and an annual income of $101,000.
  • Unemployment protection

    If you lose your job and are found not at fault, SoFi will put your mandatory principal payments on hold for a maximum of 12 months while helping you find employment through its job placement program.


SoFi at a glance

APR Range

5.99%–16.19%

Minimum Credit Score

680

Terms

24 to 84 months

Origination Fee

No origination fee


What SoFi offers

Terms: 24 to 84 months

APR range: 5.99%–16.19%

Loan amounts: $5,000–$100,000

Time to funding: The average borrower has funds within seven days after they electronically sign their loan agreement.

Hard pull / Soft pull: You can get pre-qualified via a Soft Pull. If you qualify and want to apply, SoFi will do a hard pull on your credit report.

Unemployment protection: If you lose your job and are found not at fault, SoFi will put your mandatory principal payments on hold for a maximum of 12 months while helping you find employment through its job placement program.

SoFi personal loans can be used for almost anything. SoFi will not ask how you are spending your personal loan funds, the company’s rep said. “We lend to responsible people for responsible uses: consolidating existing debt or investing in yourself, your health, or your home,” they added.

Fees and penalties

Origination fee: No origination fee

Prepayment fee: None

Late fee: After a 15-day grace period, late payments will incur a fee of either 4% of payment due or $5, whichever is lower.

Other fees: None


Eligibility requirements

Minimum credit score: 680—though the average credit score of approved candidates is 700.

Minimum credit history: None required.

Maximum debt-to-income: Varies depending on other credit factors.

To qualify for a SoFi personal loan, you must either be employed or have an offer of employment — as long as your first day on the job is within the next 90 days. You can also qualify if you have sufficient income from sources other than employment.

You must also be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or visa holder who is at least 18 — or the age of majority in your state.


Applying for a personal loan from SoFi

Before you actually apply for a loan, you should go through SoFi’s pre-qualification process. This should take you less than 10 minutes. You’ll answer questions about:

Your basic contact information.
Your educational history.
Your current employment/income situation

From there, you’ll be notified if you qualify for the personal loan, and what your potential rate will be. At this point, there will only be a soft pull on your credit report, which does not affect your score.

You don’t need any documentation for this part of the process, but if you choose to follow through and apply, you will need to electronically submit supporting paperwork. You can do this via smart phone screen captures or screenshots from your PC if you don’t have a printer/scanner.

When you officially apply, there will be a hard pull on your credit report. This may slightly ding your score, but you will likely be able to pull it back up again by making consistent, on-time payments on your loan.

After your loan is approved, you will need to electronically sign the loan agreement. Your money should be disbursed within a few days, though there are currently a number of customers who report never receiving funding or not receiving the funding for months on end.


Pros & cons

Pros

 

Competitive rates. The interest rates on SoFi’s personal loans are competitive. While they’re not the absolute lowest, they’re at the lower end of the spectrum. Always shop and compare rates before signing up for a loan offer, which you can do at LendingTree’s personal loan marketplace.

 

No origination fees or prepayment penalties. The only fee you can expect to see on a SoFi loan is a late payment fee, and that’s something you have the ability to avoid by making on-time payments each and every month.

 

Unemployment protectionYou’ll be hard-pressed to find another lender offering unemployment protection on their personal loans. SoFi is genuinely interested in helping you get back on your feet again and pulls out all the stops to help you get there — from deferred payments to hooking you up with a new job.

Cons

 

Elite clientele. While there are no specific credit underwriting requirements, the fact that the average borrower has a credit score of 700 and an income of $101,000 shows that those who will do best on interest rates and approval with SoFi tend to be higher-income earners with few blemishes on their credit report.

 

Educational background requirements can be a help or a hindrance. If you have an educational background in a traditionally high-paying field — great! This will help your odds of approval. However, if you don’t have a degree or chose a course of study in a field that was not as lucrative, this may work against you.

 

Pseudo-high minimum loan amounts. If you need to borrow less than $5,000, there are lenders out there who will lend you a smaller amount than the minimum required by SoFi. Some credit unions will even lend you as little as $500, allowing you to only borrow as much as you need.


Who's the best fit for a SoFi personal loan?

If you’re a high-income earner, or someone who will land a high-paying job in the next 90 days, SoFi is likely to be a smart fiscal choice, assuming your loan gets funded in a timely manner. Offered interest rates are competitive, there are no excessive fees and its personal loans come with phenomenal benefits like the Unemployment Protection program and Career Advisory Group, which helps you secure future employment should you lose your job.

Keep in mind that earning a large salary in and of itself isn’t enough; you’ll also have to have at least a somewhat decent credit history demonstrating you can manage your money responsibly.

Alternative personal loan options

LightStream

LightStream does offer lower interest rates on their personal loans when compared with SoFi — but only if you’re using your personal loan for specific purposes. For example, if you’re borrowing over $50,000 to install solar panels and have an excellent credit history, you may qualify for their lowest rate of 4.99%. Depending on the purpose of your personal loan, LightStream may or may not be more competitive.

LightStream

APR Range

4.99% – 16.79%*%

Credit Requirement

Not specified

Terms

24 – 144 months months

Origination Fee

None

By clicking “See Offers”, you may or may not be matched with any lender mentioned in this article. Based on your creditworthiness, you may be matched with up to five different lenders in our partner network.

LendingClub

If you need to borrow less than SoFi’s minimum amount of $5,000, it’s worth looking into LendingClub. This peer-to-peer lending network has no minimum loan amount, and their credit score requirements are much lower than the other highlighted lenders at 600. Keep in mind, though, that the lower your credit score, the more likely you are to pay a higher interest rate.

LendingClub

APR Range

6.95% to 35.89%%

Credit Requirement

Not specified

Terms

36 or 60 months months

Origination Fee

1% – 6%%

By clicking “See Offers”, you may or may not be matched with any lender mentioned in this article. Based on your creditworthiness, you may be matched with up to five different lenders in our partner network.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® does have higher interest rates than SoFi, and the max amount you can borrow is $40,000. While it’s not the most affordable option, the rates aren’t so high that you should ignore it as a comparison product — especially if you don’t pre-qualify for a personal loan from SoFi.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

APR Range

5.99%% -28.99% (For New York residents, rates range from 5.99% to 24.99% APR)%

Credit Requirement

Varies

Terms

36 to 72 months months

Origination Fee

None

By clicking “See Offers”, you may or may not be matched with any lender mentioned in this article. Based on your creditworthiness, you may be matched with up to five different lenders in our partner network.