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||Refinance a minimum of $5,000 up to the full balance of qualified education loans you’re paying back|
|Best for||• Borrowers with very good or excellent credit
• Advanced degree holders in fields like law and medicine
|Minimum credit quality||Good (most SoFi borrowers have very good credit)|
|Loan terms||5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years|
|Loan qualifications||Refinance federal loans and private loans, as well as Parent PLUS loans|
|Discounts||0.25% discount for autopay|
|Income||Must be employed, have sufficient income from other sources, or have an offer of employment to start within the next 90 days|
|Education||Graduates with an associates’ degree or higher from a Title IV school|
|Citizenship/Residency||U.S. resident, permanent resident, or visa holder|
|Cosigner release||Not available|
|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
|Loan repayment terms (Years)||5, 7, 10, 15, 20||5, 7, 10, 15, 20||5, 8, 12, 15|
|Loan amount||$5,000 up to outstanding balance||$10,000 to $350,000 (depending on level of education)||$7,500 to $300,000|
|Cosigner release?||No||Yes, applications accepted after 36 months of consecutive payments||Yes, applications accepted after 12 consecutive payments|
|Transfer parent loan to child?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Loan servicer||Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA)||Firstmark Services||Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed)|
|Best for||Those who have very good or excellent credit and don't require a cosigner||Those who want to lower their monthly payment||Those applying with a cosigner|
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.
SoFi isn’t one of our partner lenders, but you can use Credible to fill out a single form in two minutes and request prequalified rates from other top lenders who offer student loan refinancing.