SoFi (short for Social Financing) started as a small company with just one product, student loan refinancing. Today, the company offers a variety of products, but student loan refinancing is still its signature product.
In 2020, SoFi also is working to become a market leader in private student loans as well.
Over the years, it has grown into the largest and most well known student loan refinancing lender. I personally attribute them to making student loan refinancing as mainstream as it is today. However, SoFi is not without it's growing pains, and it's hard to know if they are still the best with all the other competitors out there.
Are the rates at SoFi still compelling? Are the borrower perks still unique? Do they still offer great student loan bonuses?
The answer is yes - and that's why SoFi always makes it into our list of the Best Places To Refinance Your Student Loans.
Even if you're leaning towards SoFi, you need to shop around for your student loan lender. We recommend doing this through Credible, a marketplace for student loan refinancing where you can receive and compare offers from multiple student loan refinancing lenders. Don't forget to take advantage of the $750 gift card bonus if you refinance with Credible.
This article explains what to expect if you refinance your student loans with SoFi.
SoFi Student Loan Refinancing
SoFi is a market leader in student loan refinancing - becoming one of the first companies to really provide an online experience in this space. SoFi continues to be a great option for student loan refinancing, and it's what they are most well known for.
Who Qualifies To Refinance With SoFi?
The number one criteria that SoFi considers when underwriting its loans is cash flow. If you have a high income, and relatively few debts, you’ll probably qualify to refinance with SoFi. In addition to considering cash flow, SoFi considers your credit history, and your current debt load. SoFi doesn’t use traditional credit scoring algorithms, but generally finds that people with FICO credit scores in the 700 range or above tend to qualify.
We've found that SoFi was once one of the toughest places to qualify for refinancing, but over the last few years, they have loosened their lending standards a bit. However, if you have a low credit score, you might be better off going with a company like Earnest.
In addition to meeting underwriting criteria, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States with a degree from a four year university.
Rates And Terms
SoFi offers borrowing terms of 5,7,10, 15, or 20 years, and it offers fixed and variable rate loans. The minimum amount you can refinance is $5,000 ($10,000 in California).
Current SoFi rates are as follows.
- 2.99% - 6.24% APR (with AutoPay)
- 1.99% - 6.24% APR (with AutoPay)
Maximum interest rates on variable rate loans are 8.95-9.95% depending on the term length.
Remember, these rates do change, so please check their website for the latest rates.
SoFi consistently offers rates that are among the lowest in the country. Other than competitive interest rates, SoFi’s loan offerings aren’t particularly exceptional.
The only lender we've seen with sometimes better rates at is Splash Financial.
SoFi Student Loan Refinancing Details
SoFi Student Loan
Min Loan Amount
Max Loan Amount
As low as 2.99% APR
Variable and Fixed
5,7,10, 15, or 20 years
Any Concerning Fine Print?
When you refinance with any lender, you lose the protections offered by Federal student loans. For example, people who refinance with SoFi cannot opt for an income based repayment program. SoFi does have a forbearance program if you’ve become unemployed. The Unemployment Protection is offered in three month increments, and is capped at 12 months over the life of the loan. While generous, other lenders offer better forbearance programs.
SoFi also offer loan deferment for borrowers who return to graduate school, undergo disability rehabilitation, or serve on active military duty. It also offers a six month deferment to people who are in SoFi’s entrepreneurship program. During either deferment or forbearance interest continues to accrue on the loan.
SoFi's website doesn't list death and disability discharge as an option for borrowers, but we've confirmed with their compliance team that in cases of borrower death, the loan will be discharged - even if there is a cosigner. It will be listed on your promissory note.
However, there is no option for disability discharge at this time. Federal loans do offer this protection, and some private loans have started to as well. If you borrow with SoFi, consider a low cost life insurance policy or disability insurance policy.
One unique aspect of borrowing with SoFi is its emphasis on career growth. As a borrower, you will qualify for free career coaching and local networking events. These personalized services can help push you towards a higher income and faster debt repayment.
Unique SoFi Repayment Programs
SoFi does offer some unique repayment programs that could benefit some. For example, they have a program for medical and dental residency candidates that offer $100/mo payments while in residency (for up to 4 years).
This can be a life saver to doctors and dentists who are still in training, and only earning $50,000 per year, but have $200,000+ in student loan debt.
Also, SoFi does allow for borrowers to refinance Parent PLUS Loans. Parent PLUS Loans are some of the most difficult Federal student loans to deal with, and refinancing is typically the best option if possible.
SoFi Private Student Loans
SoFi also offers private undergraduate and graduate student loans. These loans are extremely competitive with both rates and repayment terms.
They also offer parent loans to pay for college, which not many other lenders offer.
Rates And Terms
SoFi undergraduate and graduate private loans have some of the best rates and terms available to borrowers.
With SoFi, you can borrow up to 100% of the cost of attendance, with a minimum of $5,000 ($10,000 in California). Their loans also have no fees: no origination fees, no late fees, and no insufficient funds fees.
They offer 5, 10, and 15 year term loans.
They offer both variable rate and fixed rate loans. Current rates for undergraduates are follows:
- 4.11% to 11.83% APR (with Autopay)
- 1.78% to 11.73% APR (with autopay)
These rates are current as of July 14, 2020.
The graduate school loans offer similiar top tier rates, with the same basic repayment plans and options:
- 4.13% to 11.83% APR (with AutoPay)
- 1.80% to 11.73% APR (with AutoPay)
SoFi Student Loan Details
SoFi Private Student Loan
Min Loan Amount
Max Loan Amount
100% Cost of Attendance
As low as 1.78% APR
Variable and Fixed
5, 10, or 15 years
Loan Repayment Options
One of the highlights of SoFi's private student loan program is that they offer four repayment plan options - which can provide borrowers with a high level of flexibility.
They currently offer:
Immediate: This option requires immediate principal and interest payments on the loan. It's the highest monthly payment option, but the lowest overall cost option.
Partial: This option allows for a $25/mo payment while in school, then switches over to a standard payment after graduation.
Interest Only: This option has interest-only payments while in school, and then switches over to a standard payment after graduation.
Deferred: This option allows you to not pay anything while you're in school, and you begin full payments 6 months after graduation. This is most similar to a Federal loan.
SoFi also offers a 0.25% interest rate discount if you sign up to make automatic payments. This discount is reflected in their advertised loan rates.
The Fine Print
SoFi's private student loan product doesn't really have any concerning fine print. They charge no fees - no origination, no prepayment, and they even avoid charging late fees.
They also advertise that they don't require a cosigner for borrowers, although having a cosigner could provide better rates and terms.
SoFi Mortgage And Personal Loans
SoFi also offers mortgages and personal loans as complimentary products to it's student loan refinancing program.
We've tried to use SoFi Mortgage, and we have a full SoFi Mortgage review here.
For personal loans, you should compare SoFi to other lenders just like you would with student loan refinancing. Check out Credible's Personal Loan Tool and see how SoFi compares for what you need.
Other SoFi Products
SoFi is really becoming a major financial player, creating products in the investing and banking spaces. Check out our full reviews of their other major products here:
SoFi Wealth - This is their investment management platform that is revolutionizing the robo-advisor space by offering 0% AUM fees. Read our SoFi Wealth review here.
SoFi Money - SoFi Money is a high interest checking account that has some of the top rates currently available to consumers. Read out full SoFi Money review here.
SoFi offers decent interest rates on shorter term loans (up to ten years). If you’ve got a great income, and a decent credit history, you’ll likely qualify for a loan from SoFi.
You can get a free rate estimate from SoFi (they won’t pull your credit until underwriting), so take a few minutes to get your rate. Then compare that rate with other lenders before deciding where to refinance.
Student Loan Refinancing
Fixed rates from 3.20% APR to 6.29% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.99% APR to 6.29% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.99% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.18% plus 3.06% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. See eligibility details. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score.Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
Undergraduate Student Loans
Fixed Rates: Fixed rates range from 5.05% APR to 11.71% APR (with autopay).
Variable Rates: Starting variable rates range from 3.43% – 11.03% APR (with autopay), and will never exceed 13.95% (sometimes lower in certain states as required by law). For variable rate loans, the variable interest rate is derived from the one-month LIBOR rate plus a margin of between 1.38% – 9.98%. The current one-month LIBOR rate is 2.05%. Changes in the one-month LIBOR rate may cause your monthly payment to increase or decrease. Interest rates for variable rate loans are capped at 13.95%, unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law.
Graduate Student Loans
Fixed Rates: Fixed rates range from 4.73% APR to 11.99% APR (with autopay).
Variable Rates: Starting variable rates range from 3.11% – 11.37% APY (with autopay), and will never exceed 13.95% (sometimes lower in certain states as required by law). For variable rate loans, the variable interest rate is derived from the one-month LIBOR rate plus a margin of between 1.06% and 9.76%. The current one-month LIBOR rate is 2.05%. Changes in the one-month LIBOR rate may cause your monthly payment to increase or decrease. Interest rates for variable rate loans are capped at 13.95%, unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law.
Parent Student Loans
Fixed Rates: Fixed rates range from 5.05% APR to 11.71% APR (with autopay).
Variable Rates: Starting variable rates range from 3.43% – 11.03% APR (with autopay), and will never exceed 13.95% (sometimes lower in certain states as required by law). For variable rate loans, the variable interest rate is derived from the one-month LIBOR rate plus a margin of between 1.38% and 8.98%. The current one-month LIBOR rate is 2.05%. Changes in the one-month LIBOR rate may cause your monthly payment to increase or decrease. Interest rates for variable rate loans are capped at 13.95%, unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law.
Autopay Discount. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make your scheduled monthly payments by an automatic monthly deduction (ACH) from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the interest savings are applied to the principal loan balance, which may help pay the loan down faster. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.
Credit Pulls. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms you are pre-qualified for, subject to the verification of the information you have submitted as part of your application. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan and may impact your credit score.
Unemployment Protection. If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may apply for Unemployment Protection. If you qualify, SoFi will suspend your monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during your forbearance period. Interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your principal balance at the end of each forbearance period, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Benefits are offered in up to three month increments, and capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. To be eligible for this assistance, you must provide proof that you have applied for and are eligible for unemployment compensation, and you must actively work with SoFi Career Services to look for new employment. If the loan is cosigned, the unemployment protection applies where both the borrower and cosigner lose their job and meet conditions. Learn more about SoFi’s Unemployment Protection here #what is sofis unemployment protection program.
Negative Amortization. Interest begins accruing on the first disbursement date, but some repayment options do not require full principal or interest payments until the end of the deferment period. Any unpaid interest that has accrued and remains unpaid at the end of the deferment period will be added to the principal balance at the end of the deferment period. Thereafter, interest will accrue on this new principal balance. This is known as negative amortization. You can help avoid negative amortization by making extra payments on your loan during the deferment period. Check out our APR examples and terms. Still have questions? Our FAQs have answers.
Important Information About Federal Repayment Options. SoFi Private Student Loans do not have the same repayment options that federal loan programs offer, such as Income-Based Repayment or Income-Contingent Repayment, or PAYE or REPAYE. In addition, federal student loans offer deferment and forbearance options that are not available for SoFi Lending Corp. Private Student Loan borrowers. Find out more about federal repayment options here.
SoFi Student Loan Refinancing
- Rates And Fees - 90
- Application Process - 90
- Customer Service - 85
- Products and Services - 95
SoFi offers student loan refinancing and more, but their standards are pretty strict.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.