SoFi Review: 2020 Edition

If you need to take out a loan and are looking for the best personal loan companies, then you are probably wondering: 

Is SoFi a good idea? Or is it too good to be true? 

If you are cautious about falling for a SoFi scam, then check out our SoFi review which contains the answers to all the questions you have about this lender. 

In our lending platform review you will find the following information:

  • What type of financial and personal loan services SoFi offers and who they are best for
  • How to borrow money from SoFi 
  • SoFi’s terms and requirements 
  • Sofi.com reviews from customers
  • The pros and cons of using SoFi
  • The costs associated with using SoFi
  • SoFi’s privacy policy 
  • How to contact SoFi’s customer service
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about SoFi

What is SoFi?

SoFi (Social Finance, Inc) was founded in 2011 by Stanford business students. At first, their lending model offered alumni funded educational loans. 

They then introduced student loan refinancing and mortgages. The company first started offering personal loans in 2015. Their latest products are SoFi Money and SoFi Invest, launched in 2019. You can read our SoFi Invest review here

And lastly, SoFi also operates a lending marketplace called Lantern, where you can compare small business funding options. 

Who Is SoFi Best for?

SoFi is a good lending option for people that need an online personal loan of up to $100,000 with a few years to pay it off. In addition to these great terms, SoFi offers competitive rates for those who don’t want to overpay their loans.

These awesome loan offers come with a great price: high borrower requirements. So, make sure you have an excellent credit score and sufficient income before you dare to apply. 

Getting Started with SoFi

We will now guide you through the SoFi application process so that you know what to expect when applying. 

First, you need to visit the SoFi official website and click on Find My Rate button.

You will immediately be required to create a SoFi account. 

After you have created your account, you will be prompted to choose the loan amount and the purpose of the loan. 

You can borrow anywhere between $5,000 and $100,000. 

As for the use of the funds, you can select one of the options below: 

(Image Source: SoFi)

 

One thing we noticed about the SoFi application form that stood out from other marketplace platforms, is that you are given the option to choose a preferred monthly payment. 

(Image Source: SoFi)

The next step is entering your date of birth and citizenship status. 

We have discussed the needed qualifications to apply below. You can apply if you are a US citizen, green card holder, or non-permanent resident. 

(Image Source: SoFi)

Next, you will need to provide your address. You will also need to clarify if you are a renter, homeowner, or living with family and friends.

The annual income stated should be verifiable. 

(Image Source: SoFi)

 

And lastly, you will have the option to add a co-borrower. The co-borrower needs to live at the same address. 

You should know that a co-borrower is not the same as a co-signer. SoFi has a great article that explains the difference. 

Finally, you will be able to check your rates.

Terms & Requirements

(Image Source: SoFi)

In order to apply for a SoFi personal loan, you need to meet the following loan requirements:

  • You are at the age of majority in your state (able to enter a binding contract).
  • You are a US citizen, permanent resident, or visa holder (E-2, E-3, H-1B, J-1, L-1, or O-1).
  • You reside in a state where SoFi is authorized to lend. 
  • You have a steady stream of income

If you would like to apply for other SoFi loans, such as student loan refinancing or a mortgage, you can check your loan eligibility here

SoFi Personal Loan Terms

SoFi loan rates: 5.99% APR – 17.53% APR (fixed rates with Autopay)

SoFi loan amount: $5,000 — $100,000

SoFi loan terms: 2 — 7 years

Unemployment Protection: Yes, monthly SoFi loan payments can be suspended.

Collateral: No, the SoFi Personal Loan is an unsecured loan. 

SoFi minimum credit score: Not listed, though 680+ is recommended 

SoFi minimum income requirement: Not listed, though the debt to income ratio is factored in.

 

The SoFi personal loan rates range from 5.99% to 17.53% on a fixed APR. If you enable Autopay (automatic deduction of monthly payments from your bank account), you can get an Autopay discount of 0.25%

Here you can view payment examples of fixed-rate loan payments which include an estimated annual percentage rate of the loan cost. Your SoFi interest rates will depend on the loan amount term, your personal credit score, and other factors. 

The SoFi minimum loan amount is $5,000 and the maximum loan amount is $100,000 for a personal loan. 

SoFi also has an Unemployment Protection Program. If you lose your job (through no fault of your own) you may be approved for a SoFi personal loan forbearance. If approved, your monthly loan payments will be suspended for three months. You will only need to pay the interest on the loan. 

There are no SoFi credit score requirements listed on their website, however, a score of at least 680 is recommended, preferably 700+. 

Lastly, no SoFi minimum income is listed in their loan eligibility criteria, however, your monthly income vs. expenses and your professional work experience are important factors with the loan approval.

Now:

Does SoFi hurt your credit score

If you use the SoFi Find My Rate option to check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi will only perform a soft inquiry. A soft pull or soft inquiry won’t damage your score. 

If you decide to proceed with your application for a SoFi personal loan after you have been pre-qualified, SoFi will perform a hard pull or a hard inquiry. This can damage your credit score by a few points. 

User Reviews

We looked up SoFi reviews online, and we will now sum up what customers had to say about their lending experience. 

The majority of the positive SoFi reviews we read talked about how fast and easy the process was. They only had to fill out a free application and once they were approved, everything went smoothly. Compared to the loan process of banks, the reviewers were surprised by how easy it was to borrow money online

Another common theme we noticed about the positive SoFi loan reviews, was the loan amount and the rates. Borrowers that had tried out other peer-to-peer lending companies and lending platforms claimed that SoFi approved them for a bigger loan with better rates

Here are the SoFi personal loan reviews that stood out most:

(Image Source: Trustpilot)

(Image Source: Trustpilot)

 

We also noticed many negative SoFi reviews from customers that didn’t get approved for a loan. While this is to be expected, a lot of the customers that were denied had credit scores of more than 700

Customers also complained that SoFi is not very transparent about the reason behind their rejection. There were instances of customers meeting all requirements and then getting denied at the last part of the process. So, even with a credit score of around 750, your SoFi approval odds aren’t as high as you think. 

Here is a SoFi loans review from an applicant with a high credit score:

(Image Source: Consumer Affairs)

A significant number of the negative SoFi Financial reviews were related to SoFi’s other financial services (mortgages, SoFi money, student loan refinancing).

Most of the SoFi Money reviews were from customers whose accounts were restricted. 

(Image Source: Consumer Affairs)

We also encountered a lot of conflicting SoFi student loan reviews

Some were positive, like this one:

(Image Source: Consumer Affairs)

Most of the negative ones were SoFi refinancing reviews claiming that the rates were too high. 

And lastly, there was a good number of applicants who felt that SoFi didn’t honor the referral bonus. 

Pros & Cons

(Image Source: SoFi)

Now, let’s check out the pros and cons of using SoFi as a lender.

Pros 

  • Free online application
  • Only a soft pull is required to view online offers
  • Competitive rates
  • No fees
  • 2- to 7-year terms
  • Personal loans of up to $100,000
  • A rating with the Better Business Bureau 

Cons 

  • High credit score requirements
  • Hard credit pull is required before the final lending decision
  • 2-star SoFi rating on Consumer Affairs 
  • Terms and requirements vary by state 

Features

(Image Source: SoFi)

Rates & Fees

What makes SoFi stand out from other lenders is that the firm doesn’t charge most of the fees seen with other lenders. There is no SoFi origination fee, no SoFi prepayment fees, no late payment fees, no closing fees. 

So, what fees does SoFi charge?

The only fee that SoFi charges is the APR. The fixed APRs range from 5.99% to 17.53% with Autopay (0.25% discount). 

That said, missing your payments has consequences. You will accumulate more interest and your final payment will be larger. This will also damage your credit score. 

Not to mention that this may result in an event of default under your loan agreement. In short, missing your payments can have serious consequences. Don’t be fooled by the ‘no fees’ narrative and always read the fine print. 

Privacy & Security

SoFi collects the following information about you:

  • Personal information (including your social security number and employment information),
  • Demographic information,
  • Consumer reports (credit reports etc),
  • Website use and logging data (IP address, etc).

Your information is used to:

  • Provide you with services,
  • Process payments,
  • Send you information about new products etc.

Your information may be shared with:

  • Loan servicing partners,
  • Credit reporting agencies,
  • Marketing service providers,
  • Auditors,
  • Government bodies, etc.

All the information you submit to their site is encrypted using Transport Layer Security. 

Customer Support

Customers can call SoFi customer support, send them an email, or reach them on Twitter. 

(Image Source: SoFi)

SoFi Alternatives

How does SoFi compare to other lenders? 

Credible vs SoFi

Both SoFi and Credible give you the option to create an account and view and compare multiple loan offers. The maximum loan amount you can borrow from these lenders is $100,000.

What’s interesting is that SoFi is a part of Credible’s network of lenders. So, you can either go to SoFi directly to request a loan for your needs, or you can use Credible to compare multiple lenders

For more details about Credible, check out our Credible review

LendingClub Vs SoFi 

The highest amount you can borrow from LendingClub is $40,000, which is nearly half the amount offered by SoFi. They also charge higher rates. On the other hand, LendingClub is more transparent about the requirements needed to apply. 

For more details, check out our LendingClub review

LendingTree Vs SoFi 

LendingTree is also an online lending network where you can submit your information to compare offers and rates. 

You can apply for unsecured loans for bad credit, however, the rates will be higher. 

And as LendingTree is a market place that connects you with the best available lenders, your data will be shared with partners. This is one of the most common complaints on their BBB profile. 

While we didn’t notice any complaints from customers regarding the sharing of their information by SoFi, based on the customer SoFi reviews on BBB they have a two-star rating. 

For more information about the types of personal loans offered by LendingTree, check out our review

Final Verdict/Summary

Now, we will sum up what we liked and what we didn’t like about SoFi. 

One of the things we liked most is the straightforward SoFi personal loan application process. After filling out some basic information, you can see what rates you pre-qualify for. 

We also liked the fact that there is no origination fee, or any other fees for that matter. All you need to worry about is the loan’s annual percentage rate. Plenty of the SoFi offer reviews we read confirmed that the rates were very competitive. 

SoFi also offers a lot of members-only exclusive benefits to members only. You can get financial advice and attend member-only events. 

What we didn’t like about SoFi is the fact that they aren’t very transparent about their requirements. They have no minimum score nor income listed in their eligibility criteria. They are also known to reject applicants with excellent credit scores. 

So, if you meet the requirements and get to join their club — you can enjoy the low rates they offer. If not, there are other lenders on the market with lower requirements. 

Common Questions about SoFi

What credit score do you need for a SoFi loan?

  • SoFi does not have a credit score requirement listed on their eligibility criteria page, however, SoFi most SoFi customers have an above average credit score. We have included a SoFi loans review from a customer that got rejected for a personal loan with a credit score of 700+ in our SoFi review article. We also encountered other complaints from applicants that got rejected, even though they had high credit scores. 

What credit bureau does SoFi use?

  • SoFi takes into account both your FICO score and your Vantage score before reaching a lending decision. They use reports from the three major credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. 

How high can SoFi lend?

  • The maximum amount that SoFi can lend is $100,000. We would also like to highlight this SoFi review from a customer who was satisfied with the loan amount offered. 

(Image Source: Consumer Affairs)

Can you pay off a SoFi loan early?

  • Yes, and there are no prepayment penalties. 

Is SoFi worth it?

  • Compared to other lenders, SoFi seems to have better rates and offers. However, other online platforms that connect lenders with borrowers in the United States have lower requirements and deposit the funds faster. So, if you are looking for personal loans for bad credit or emergency funding, we suggest checking out some of SoFi’s competitors. A good chunk of the SoFi lending reviews indicate that the SoFi personal loan approval rate is not very high. 

Is SoFi a bank?

  • While some user reviews suggest SoFi is a bank, it definitely isn’t. We would like to highlight the fact that SoFi is only an online personal finance company.

Is SoFi a good lender?

  • Applicants are mostly drawn to SoFi due to the low rates offered. In addition, SoFi customers can enjoy a variety of member-only benefits, such as financial planning, referral bonuses and member-only events. However, joining this elite group seems next to impossible for some applicants, due to the high borrower requirements.  And while some customers have a good lending experience with SoFi, there are a lot of SoFi loans complaints. We encountered a large number of complaints regarding their customer service, as well as complaints about SoFi not honoring the referral bonus. To check if SoFi is the right lender for you, try out the ‘Find My Rate’ option on their website. Make sure to read all of the loan information prior to accepting the offer. And don’t forget to check out the consumer complaints included in our SoFi review.

Is SoFi a bank?

  • While some user reviews suggest SoFi is a bank, it definitely isn’t. We would like to highlight the fact that SoFi is only an online personal finance company.
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