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SoFi Review: Student Loan Refinancing With No Fees

SoFi offers student loan refinancing with no fees to its borrowers.

By Matt Carter
Matt Carter

Written by

Matt Carter


Matt Carter is an expert on student loans. Analysis pieces he's contributed to have been featured by CNBC, CNN Money, USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

Edited by Ashley Harrison

Written by

Ashley Harrison


Ashley Harrison is a Credible authority on personal finance who enjoys helping people become debt-free.

Updated April 10, 2024

Editorial disclosure: Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we receive compensation from our partner lenders, whom we will always identify, all opinions are our own. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to here as “Credible.”


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

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

SoFi eligibility

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
Credible rating
Rates from (APR)
Fixed: Check with lenderVariable:check with lender
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)
U.S. resident, permanent resident, or visa holder
0.25% discount for autopay
Associate degree or higher from a Title IV school
Cosigner release
Not available
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)
Best for
  • Borrowers with very good or excellent credit
  • Advanced degree holders in fields like law and medicine
All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | [5]SoFi Disclosures

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.

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.

Borrower protections

Borrowers who refinance federal student loans with a private lender like SoFi lose access to federal programs like an income-driven repayment plan and the potential to qualify for loan forgiveness.

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.

See: The Best Companies to Refinance Student Loans

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 2 minutes and compare prequalified rates from other lenders who offer student loan refinancing.

Compare Rates Now

Meet the expert:
Matt Carter
Matt Carter

Matt Carter is an expert on student loans. Analysis pieces he's contributed to have been featured by CNBC, CNN Money, USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.