SoFi was the first lender to offer refinancing for federal and private loans together.
Today, more than 250,000 borrowers have refinanced $18 billion in student loans with SoFi. It’s no wonder considering the company offers no fees, competitive interest rates, and flexible repayment terms.
Keep reading this SoFi review to find out more about refinancing your student loans with SoFi.
SoFi is best if you:
- Have excellent credit
- Have graduated from a top-ranked Title IV-accredited school
- Have an advanced degree in a field like law or medicine
In this review:
- SoFi student loan refinance details
- SoFi eligibility
- SoFi student loan refinancing review
- How SoFi compares to other lenders
- How to refinance student loans with SoFi
SoFi student loan refinance details
- Fixed or variable rates? Both
- Soft credit check? Yes
- Application fee? No
- Origination fee? No
- Prepayment penalty? No
- Cosigner release? No
Whether you can qualify to refinance student loans with SoFi depends on a number of factors, including your credit history, credit score, work experience, and free cash flow (how much of your monthly income is left over after covering your monthly expenses).
SoFi looks at both your FICO score and your VantageScore, which will range from 300 to 850. Although it’s not a hard cutoff, SoFi rarely refinances borrowers with credit scores below 700.
SoFi requires the following:
- Education: Associate degree or higher from a Title IV school
- Residency: U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or visa holder
- Minimum loan amount: $5,000
- Minimum income: Income must exceed expenses
|Loan amounts||$5,000 up to the full balance of your qualified education loans|
|Loan terms||5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years|
|Loan types||Private and federal loans
(including Parent PLUS loans)
|Min. credit quality||Good
(most SoFi borrowers have very good credit)
|Residency||U.S. resident, permanent resident, or visa holder|
|Interest rates||Fixed or variable|
|Discounts||0.25% discount for autopay|
|Education||Associate degree or higher from a Title IV school|
|Cosigner release||Not available|
|Income||Must be employed, have sufficient income from other sources, or have an offer of employment to start within the next 90 days|
|Loan servicer||Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA)|
SoFi student loan refinancing review
SoFi’s ideal customer looks a lot like its founders, who are products of one of the nation’s top business schools, the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Concentrating on advanced degree holders from top schools allows SoFi to offer competitive rates. That’s because its customers tend to be high earners who have a lower risk of becoming unemployed than less elite borrowers.
An analysis of a pool of $740 million in SoFi loans refinanced in 2018 reveals a lot about the type of borrower SoFi is looking for:
- Holds an advanced degree in a field like law or medicine: 69%
- Graduated from a top 100 college: 39%
- Average credit score: 779
- Credit score of 700 or higher: 96%
- Average income: $161,476
- Average amount of debt refinanced: $68,678
Although you definitely have a better chance of qualifying with SoFi if you have an advanced degree from a top school, there’s no harm in checking interest rates if you don’t fit the typical profile. SoFi uses a soft credit check to prequalify borrowers, so you don’t have to worry about dinging your credit report. But if you find a refinancing option you like and apply for it, SoFi will run a hard credit check that could have a small impact on your credit score.
If you make it that far, SoFi promises a simple online application process and provides live customer support seven days a week.
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SoFi borrower perks
SoFi is popular with borrowers not only for its competitive rates, but for the many perks it offers, including:
- Investing advice: SoFi borrowers qualify for fee waivers when they invest with SoFi Wealth and get free guidance licensed financial advisors.
- Career services: SoFi offers one-on-one career coaching to members, and tech tools that help you assess your strengths and polish your resume
- Discounts on other loans: SoFi members get a 0.125% discount on additional loans, including mortgages and personal loans.
- Member events: SoFi organizes regular dinners, happy hours and educational events for members around the country.
But SoFi does offer the following protections that can be helpful if you have a change in plans or an unexpected life event:
- Unemployment protection: If you’re laid off, SoFi’s career services team will help you find another job. While you’re looking, you can postpone your loan payments for up to three months at a time, for up to 12 months in total. Interest will still accrue on your loans while they’re in forbearance.
- Academic, military, or medical deferment: If you decide to go back to school to get another degree, are called up for active duty military serve, or undergo disability rehabilitation, you can request a deferment.
How SoFi compares to other lenders
|Rates from (APR)||Fixed:|
|Loan repayment terms (Years)||5, 7, 10, 15, 20||5, 8, 12, 15||5, 7, 10, 15, 20|
|Loan amount||$5,000 up to outstanding balance||$7,500 to $300,000||$10,000 to $350,000 (depending on level of education)|
|Cosigner release?||No||Yes, applications accepted after 12 consecutive payments||Yes, applications accepted after 36 months of consecutive payments|
|Transfer parent loan to child?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Loan servicer||Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA)||Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed)||Firstmark Services|
|Best for||Those who have very good or excellent credit and don't require a cosigner||Those applying with a cosigner||Those who want to lower their monthly payment|
Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR") published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of December 1, 2019, the one-month LIBOR rate is 1.70%. Variable interest rates range from 2.05%-8.72% (2.05%-8.72% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower's loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Fixed interest rates range from 3.45%-9.02% (3.45%-9.02% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Lowest rates shown are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
How to refinance student loans with SoFi
SoFi can be a great choice for refinancing student loan debt if you have the education, income, and credit score this company is looking for.
Even if you qualify to refinance with SoFi, it’s smart to compare rates from several lenders so you can get a lower interest rate on your loans. No two lenders evaluate borrowers the same way — each has its own methodology for deciding whether you’ll qualify for a loan and what interest rate and terms you’ll be offered.
You can use Credible to fill out a single form in two minutes and request prequalified rates from SoFi and other top lenders who offer student loan refinancing.
The company above is one of Credible’s approved partner lenders. Because they compete for your business through Credible, you can request rates from them by filling out a single form. Then, you can compare your available options side-by-side. Requesting rates is free, doesn’t affect your credit score, and your personal information is not shared with our partner lenders unless you see an option you like. Credible receives compensation if you close a loan with one of our partner lenders. The rates you receive and the fees you pay (if any) are not impacted by this compensation.