SoFi Student Loans Review

SoFi’s willingness to originate 100% cost of attendance, as well as no fees, make it a strong contender for your student loan. Just be sure to have your documentation in order to make for a smooth application process.

Fixed APR
4.48%–12.01%
Loan Amount
Up to 100% of costs
Fees
None
SimpleScore
4.6 / 5.0
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SimpleScore SoFi 4.6
Max Fixed APR 3
Perks 5
Transparency 5
Loan Amount 5
Fees 5
  • No fees
  • Plenty of member perks
  • Autopay discounts
  • Strict eligibility requirements
SoFi Disclosure

UNDERGRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.23% to 11.76% annual percentage rate (“APR”) (with autopay), variable rates from 1.90% to 11.66% APR (with autopay). GRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.13% to 11.83% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.80% to 11.73% APR (with autopay). MBA AND LAW SCHOOL LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.11% to 11.81% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.78% to 11.72% APR (with autopay). PARENT LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.23% to 11.26% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.90% to 11.16% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, the variable interest rate is derived from the one-month LIBOR rate plus a margin and your APR may increase after origination if the LIBOR increases. 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. Lowest rates are reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. If approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, the repayment option you select, the term and amount of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. 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. Information current as of 07/10/2020. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. SoFi Lending Corp., licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. NMLS #1121636 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org).

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In this article

    SoFi student loans at a glance 


    Fixed APRVariable APRLoan AmountStandout Feature
    SoFi4.23%–11.76%1.87%–11.66%Up to 100% of cost of attendanceCareer coaching and financial advice available

    *Rates accurate as of October 2020 and exclude an autopay discount of 0.25%. 

    What we like about it

    SoFi is one of the best in the business when it comes to offering more than just ways to pay for college. It offers free career coaching services for any borrower, which includes a variety of services including how to ask for a promotion, how to network, how to update a resume, negotiation tactics and personal branding. It is also a great resource if borrowers are looking to consolidate or refinance student loans.

    Furthermore, SoFi offers a rate discount of 0.25% when borrowers sign up for automatic payments, reducing the amount of interest that adds on to your principal amount over time. 

    Things to consider

    SoFi has some strict eligibility requirements. While for private undergraduate students loans, borrowers are allowed to bring on a creditworthy cosigner to help guarantee the loan, student loan refinancing applicants are required to have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, sufficient income and a worthy credit score. 

    What you need to know

    Overall, SoFi has done its best to make its loan application as streamlined as possible. Everything can be accomplished on its online portal, though 24/7 customer support is available. 

    There are several lenders who will originate or refinance substantial loan amounts. SoFi should be commended for lending up to 100% of the certified costs of attendance.

    An associate’s degree is the minimum level of attainment required to be considered for a loan. SoFi doesn’t appear to distinguish the type of degree earned but will factor in income, credit score and debt-to-income ratio, in keeping with standard practices. The specific terms will depend on your profile.

    Here’s how to apply for a SoFi student loan:

    1. Navigate to SoFi.com and pull up the private student loan product page. From there, you’ll be able to get started on your application where you will input general personal information and create a profile. 
    2. SoFi will perform a soft credit check based on the information provided and be able to pre-approve your application with an offer of student loan rates.
    3. If approved, you can continue the application with the required documents. These include any employment validation documents, driver’s license, W-2s and your cosigner’s information, if applicable. 
    4. Then, SoFi will perform a hard credit check to offer your final rates and loan amount for your private student loan. Review the lending documents and sign on the dotted line to finance your higher education. 

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    SoFi vs. Citizens Bank

    Citizens Bank’s lending arm, Citizens One, offers private student loan financing with rates comparable to SoFi. However, Citizens One offer multi-year approval, meaning there’s only one hard credit check to be approved for four years of financing. Every time you need to reapply for a student loan for subsequent years of education, Citizens One only performs a soft credit check. 

    While SoFi student loans feature no fees and tons of member perks, Citizens One does charge a late fee to its student borrowers. 

    SoFi vs College Ave

    College Ave is another popular lender that features a quick approval process. However, its interest rate on student loans is higher than SoFi and its loan amounts featured a cap of $150,000 for undergraduate and $300,000 for medical degrees. College Ave also required satisfactory academic progress to originate loans for subsequent years. 

    A cap of $150,000 to $300,000 sounds like a lot, but for certain degrees, it can be the start. If you prefer to have one lender to cover 100% cost of attendance, SoFi may be your best bet.

    Methodology

    SimpleScore

    The SimpleScore is a proprietary scoring metric we use to objectively compare products and services at The Simple Dollar.

    For every review, our editorial team:

    • Identifies five measurable aspects to compare across each brand
    • Determines the rating criteria for each aspect score
    • Averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore™

    Here’s a breakdown of the five aspect scores and their rating criteria for our review of the best student loans of 2020.

    Max Fixed Rate

    Lenders who offered a lower maximum fixed rate were awarded higher scores.

    Perks

    We awarded higher scores for lenders that list more perks including services, discounts and special offers for their borrowers.

    Transparency

    Lenders that laid it all bare by publishing important data about products — APR, offered loan amounts, applicable fees and customer support contact links — scored higher for transparency.

    Loan Amount

    Lenders that offered higher loan amounts compared to others received higher scores. 

    Fees

    We awarded higher scores to lenders that have fewer loan fees for borrowers. 

    Alexander Clark

    Contributing Finance Writer

    Alexander Clark is a freelance writer based in Phoenix, Arizona. He has 10 years of experience as a financial professional with a focus on financial planning, asset allocation, and alternative investments. He has been published on The Simple Dollar, Interest.com, and Value Walk.

    Reviewed by

    • Courtney Mihocik
      Courtney Mihocik
      Finance Editor

      Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in insurance, personal finance, and loans. Previously, she wrote and edited for Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, Ballantyne Magazine, Thread Magazine, The Post, ACRN, The New Political, Columbus Alive and the Institute for International Journalism.