At some point in life, we all will likely need to borrow money. When that time comes, you’ll want to check out what SoFi has to offer. We’ll go through all the details in our SoFi review.
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We go through paths in life, don’t we?
Our first major step into adulting is going to high school (awkward). But then it’s off to college.
We’re so excited to finally move out of our mom and dad’s house that we don’t care how much we’re taking on in student loans.
Then we get through college and realize that we have six months before we have to start paying on our student loans. We never really think that sixth month is coming, until it actually does.
Then panic sets in.
By default, you’re making a payment on a 10-year loan, which often isn’t cheap.
As you grow in your career, you’ll make more money. You’ll need to invest that money if you want to retire.
Then maybe you want to buy a home.
All the while, you’re still paying down debt like student loans.
Does this life path sound familiar?
That’s because it’s becoming the norm for many Americans.
And what SoFi has done is design their business to match the phases we go through in life–whether it was intentional or not.
SoFi is an online company that offers student loan refinancing, mortgages, and career coaching, to name a few things.
In this article, I’ll review all that SoFi has to offer, so you can decide if it’s for you.
Ways to Borrow
There are a few ways to borrow money with SoFi–each with a different purpose. Let’s check them out.
Student Loan Refinancing
You can save thousands of dollars by refinancing your student loans with SoFi. According to their website, they are the leading student loan refinancing provider. Sofi is responsible for refinancing over $18 billion in student loans, serving over 250,000 members, and seeing a 98% recommendation rate by those members.
You can refinance your student loans with a fixed rate between 3.999% and 7.804% APR or a variable rate between 2.480% and 7.524% APR when you enroll in AutoPay. SoFi’s loans also come with no hidden fees and no prepayment penalties–so you can pay it off early with no repercussions if you want.
The process is pretty easy, too. Here’s what you do:
- Get pre-qualified online. The application takes a couple of minutes. You have to have at least a 650 credit score, and these offers will be a soft pull on your credit (so they won’t hurt your score).
- Pick a rate and term. In most cases, you’ll get at least a few options to choose from. From there, simply pick the rate and term that you like best.
- Upload documents and verify. After you pick a loan and apply, you’ll need to upload a few necessary documents and e-sign them.
- Get one low payment. After you’re approved, SoFi will pay off the balance with your other loan servicer and switch you to one low monthly payment with them.
Medical Resident Student Loan Refinancing
If you’re a medical, veterinary, or dental resident student, you can refinance your student loans with SoFi as well. This program is designed specifically for residents, as you’ll get a low monthly payment of just $100 for up to four years while you complete your residency. For anyone who’s either done a residency or known anyone who’s done one, you know it’s grueling and the last thing you want to focus on is your student loan payment.
In addition to the $100 monthly payment, interest does not compound (so you won’t pay interest on interest) while you’re doing your residency and making these lower payments– which is a really nice feature to help you get by financially during these tough four years. For these types of loans, SoFi offers fixed rates as low as 4.374% and variable rates as low as 2.605% when you enroll in AutoPay. Obviously, this will vary based on a number of factors, but these rates are super competitive.
The application process is the same as it is for regular student loans– so it’s quick and easy to get done online and you should have a decision in minutes.
SoFi now offers mortgage loans and mortgage refinancing loans. For home buyers, there are a lot of reasons to love this product.
One of the biggest selling points is the ability to put only 10% down on loans up to $3 million–with no borrower-paid PMI required. There are also no origination fees. This alone can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
The loan process is done online and takes a few minutes. Like student loans, you enter your basic information and you’ll be presented with a few options to choose from. Here are the offerings for mortgage loan types:
- 30-year fixed
- 15-year fixed
- 7/1 ARM
- 5/1 ARM Interest-Only
Their rates are on-par with competitive industry interest rates on mortgages, but you may need to put more than 10% down to get the best rate.
SoFi also does mortgage loan refinancing. You can take one of three options:
- Standard refinance. Save money on your payment by getting a lower rate.
- Cash-out refinance. Get cash for things like renovations or debt consolidation by using the equity in your home.
- Student loan payoff refinance. Use the equity in your home to pay off your student loans (note: this doesn’t require as low of a loan-to-value ratio as the cash-out refinance option, which is why it’s separate).
These loans come with the same options as a mortgage loan, and the application process is the same too.
If you’re looking for a personal loan to consolidate your debt, do home renovations, or tackle large medical expenses, you can get a pretty affordable rate with SoFi. With using AutoPay, you can get a fixed rate as low as 7.08%. Terms range from 3 to 7 years and you can borrow up to $100,000 (minimum $5,000).
SoFi personal loans carry a few nice perks as well. First, there’s no origination fee for the loan–which competitor LendingClub does charge. The other nice benefit is around job loss. If you lose your job when you have a SoFi personal loan, they will temporarily pause their payments and help you find a new job (more on career coaching below).
Parent PLUS Refinancing
If you took out a PLUS loan for your child to go to college, or if your parents have one, this is a good product to consider. Rates on PLUS loans (loans that parents take to help pay for their children’s college) can get pretty high, but with SoFi you can get a fixed rate as low as 3.999% and a variable rate as low as 2.480% when you use AutoPay. Like all other SoFi loans, the process is quick and painless and is done online. If everything goes through you can have your PLUS loans refinanced in 15 minutes.
Additional Perks with SoFi
Aside from offering a number of loan options at competitive rates, SoFi members have access to some pretty awesome perks:
This is a complimentary service for SoFi members, and it’s an excellent one at that. SoFi members are eligible to get one-on-one career coaching advice with an experienced coach at no cost.
These coaches will help you focus on your career transitions (new job, new industry, or just a promotion) by building an action plan with you. They’ll help you create your own personal brand and support you in job searches by helping you update your social profiles and resume.
This is a really nice feature that I wish I had when I was just getting out of college. A service like this, according to SoFi, normally costs about $1,000. But you get it for free just by being a member.
SoFi members have access to exclusive networking events in their area, where they will be able to meet people in a variety of industries. You’ll also be able to attend their speaker series, where you’ll get actionable financial advice on things like buying a home and investing. Finally, you can attend events like career workshops, where you’ll work with people in your similar situation to build up their brand, resume, and focus on the next steps in your career.
SoFi acts as an angel investor for entrepreneurs. If you have ever dreamed of being on a show like Shark Tank, now is your chance to get that same thrill (only you won’t be getting millions of dollars).
SoFi has an application process for their program, and people who own their own business (or are an active partner) can apply. Your company also has to be growing and as SoFi says, “tech-enabled.”
The benefits of this program include:
- Seed money. SoFi will give you money to invest in your business.
- Mentoring. You’ll have access to personal mentors and tools that will help you grow.
- Access to more investors. This will open the door to more angel investors if and when you’re ready to grow even more.
Other Financial Products
Outside of the loans and extra perks, SoFi has even more to offer. Here are some of their other offerings:
- Wealth management. SoFi has a wealth management team that will help you invest your money. When you open an account with SoFi, you’ll get free, unlimited, personalized financial advice and you won’t pay any management fees.
- Term life insurance. You can get coverage from $100,000 all the way up to $8 million anywhere from 10 to 30 years with SoFi term life insurance.
Is SoFi for You?
Because SoFi has extended its scope beyond just refinancing student loans, it’s really for anyone. Here are some examples of who would benefit from linking up with SoFi:
- Those who have higher than a 4% interest rate on their student loans
- Residents who need some extra cash flow while they’re doing their program
- New home buyers who can’t afford to put 20% down or pay PMI
- Parents who want to save money on the PLUS loan they took out for their child
- Anyone looking to consolidate debt, remodel their home or pay off large medical expenses
- People who want career advice and coaching
Because they offer so many products and such competitive rates, most of us could benefit from at least doing a quick application with SoFi.
Full disclosure – I actually stopped writing this article to check my rates on a student loan refinance, just for the heck of it. It’s really that simple and carries no risk. If you don’t like the rates, there’s no obligation to do anything.
- A wide variety of loan options and financial products
- Extra perks like career coaching are a selling point in and of themselves
- Competitive rates for those who qualify
- Ability to choose terms, rate type, and payment
- No prepayment penalties
- No origination fees
- A major perk for entrepreneurs looking for seed money
- 10% down and no PMI with mortgages
- Student loan refinance doesn’t register as a “student loan” on your credit report–this can slightly impact your credit score as it’ll show up as a general unsecured loan
- Student loan refinance isn’t available to everyone–your school has to be listed for it to qualify
- Variable rates are sometimes not available, depending on the loan product and where you live
- Must have a minimum 650 credit score
- Rates for lower credit scores aren’t great
This review is unbiased and I do not have a loan with SoFi. I have looked at rates with them, but never needed to secure a loan.
With that being said, I love what they’re doing. They have gone beyond just student loans and are now offering other solutions for people that need it. The way their pricing is set up (i.e., no origination loans, no PMI on mortgages) is as if they’re genuinely trying to help people–not just make money. I appreciate that.
If you’re in a situation where you need to borrow money for whatever reason, my advice would be to at least check SoFi out and see if they can help.