SoFi Refinance Review: How You Could Save Big on Student Loans

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Refinancing with Laurel Road

Refinancing rates from 1.89% APR. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.

Check out Laurel road

SoFi is one of the largest student loan refinancing companies in the industry. With about $18 billion in refinanced student loans for more than 250,000 members, they specialize in helping young professionals manage their finances.

This SoFi student loan refinancing review will help you understand the pros and cons of the company so you can decide if it’s right for you.

SoFi student loan refinancing review: The basics

SoFi’s approach to refinancing student loans is different than that of many other lenders. Along with competitive repayment terms, the company also offers career support and wealth management services to its members. With these perks, SoFi offers you the opportunity for more than just repaying your student loans.

Here are some of the features of a SoFi refinancing loan:

  • APR starting at 2.25% for variable rates and 2.99% for fixed
  • Rate quotes without affecting your credit
  • 0.25% interest rate discount if you enroll in AutoPay
  • Repayment terms between five and 20 years
  • Deferment option for those who go back to school, experience disability or serve in the military
  • Forbearance option for those who lose their jobs
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties
  • Minimum loan amount of $5,000, with no maximum borrowing amount

SoFi also offers an additional benefit for medical and dental school residents: affordable $100 monthly payments for up to four years.

To refinance using SoFi loans, you must be at least 18 years old (or your respective state’s age of majority) and a United States citizen or permanent resident. Your debt must be from a Title IV accredited college or university, and you must have completed your associate’s degree or higher.

You must be employed or show proof that your employment will start in the next 90 days, and you’ll need a minimum credit score of 650 to qualify.

Get your personalized rate with SoFi

What we like about SoFi student loan refinancing

As you can see from this post and other SoFi reviews, the lender is one of the leading student loan refinancers in the country — and it’s not hard to see why. Here are some of the advantages you may find at SoFi:

Deferment options

Not all refinancing lenders allow you to temporarily pause your payments through student loan deferment. However, SoFi reviews your situation generously, allowing you, for example, to defer your loans while in graduate school, as long as you’re enrolled at least half time. Similarly, you can defer your loans for active military service or if you are on disability rehabilitation.

Interest will still accrue during deferment, however, and your loan will be reamortized to adjust for this.

Career coaching

When you refinance with SoFi loans, you get access to free career coaching. You can schedule one-on-one sessions with career coaches and get help setting career goals, learn about personal branding and even receive tips for creating or improving your resume.

This career strategy also comes into play as part of the lender’s Unemployment Protection program. If you lose your job and enter your loans into forbearance, you’ll be required to use the career strategy services offered by SoFi. The company is invested in getting you back on your feet so you can comfortably manage your student loan debt.

Wealth management services

Not only can you get help with your career, but SoFi also offers its members access to wealth planning services. Through a combination of digital and person-to-person advising, you can set money goals and get help achieving those goals.

SoFi helps you manage your student loans and build wealth through tools like diversification, portfolio selection and automatic rebalancing of your investments.

Parent PLUS and private parent loan refinancing

If you’re a parent who took out Parent PLUS loans or private loans to pay for your child’s education, SoFi has solutions for you, too. They offer comprehensive refinancing services for parent loans, helping you manage the debt you took on to help your children.

Refinance with SoFi today

What to keep in mind when considering SoFi loans

Even though SoFi is a respected lender, there are some potential disadvantages, depending on your financial situation. Here’s what you should know:

Minimum credit score

To qualify to refinance with SoFi, you’ll need to have a minimum credit score of 650. While SoFi reviews other criteria, including your financial history and your career experience, you won’t qualify to refinance student loans if you have a low credit score.

If you’ve had credit problems in the past, you can increase your chances of approval by adding a cosigner to your SoFi loan. A qualified cosigner can improve your chances of becoming eligible — and help you get a better interest rate. However, it can also add a week or two to the student loan refinancing process.

No cosigner release

If you do use a cosigner on your application, know that SoFi doesn’t allow you to remove them from your loan later, as some other lenders do. Your cosigner has to pass away, or you have to refinance a second time to remove them from the account.

You must have a degree

What if you attended school, but didn’t complete your degree? Unfortunately, SoFi student loan refinancing won’t be an option for you.

Unless you have at least an associate’s degree, you won’t qualify for refinancing with this lender.

Refinancing federal student loans

While refinancing could offer you a lower interest rate, note that you will lose certain borrower protections if you refinance federal student loans. Because the federal government doesn’t currently offer refinancing, any refinancing — including through SoFi — will turn your federal loans into private loans.

As a result, you won’t qualify for federal income-driven repayment plans or student loan forgiveness programs after you refinance with SoFi. On the other hand, SoFi does have an income-based repayment program of its own that will cap your monthly payment at 15% of your disposable income. However, it’s not automatic, so you will need to show you face financial hardship, and only certain loan types from certain disbursement dates are eligible.

SoFi: Streamlined refinancing with perks

Is SoFi refinancing right for you?

To sum up, SoFi might be a good choice if you…

  • … can show consistent monthly income and comfortably afford the payments.
  • … have a credit score of at least 650.
  • … don’t plan to use federal income-driven repayment or federal student loan forgiveness.
  • … have higher interest rates on your current student loans than what SoFi offers.
  • … want access to program perks like career coaching and wealth management.

As you can see from our SoFi refinance review, these loans come with many perks and advantages that student loan borrowers can benefit from.

But before you decide to refinance student loans with SoFi, compare your other refinancing options. Carefully considering your circumstances and your financial needs as you decide about student loan refinancing can potentially save you a good deal of money in the long run.

Kat Tretina and Andrew Pentis contributed to this post.

Student Loan Hero has independently collected the above information related to SoFi refinancing loans, which is current as of Jan. 27, 2019, unless otherwise noted. SoFi has neither provided nor reviewed the information shared in this article.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2020!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
1.99% – 5.64%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

1.89% – 5.90%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

2.25% – 6.09%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

1.89% – 6.77%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

2.39% – 6.01%Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Elfi

1.99% – 5.41%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.64% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of July 31, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 7/31/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.

© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

All credit products are subject to credit approval.

Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.

As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.

  1. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
  2. Savings vary based on rate and term of your existing and refinanced loan(s). Refinancing to a longer term may lower your monthly payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a shorter term may increase your monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.
  3. After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship. During any period of forbearance interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized and be added to the remaining principle amount of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment (“AutoPay”) Discount: if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster.

Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.

Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.

Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.

Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.

KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

This information is current as of September 9, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
 


3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 2.99% APR to 6.09% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.09% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.25% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.18% plus 2.32% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. See eligibility details. 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. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. 

4 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.

Splash Financial Disclosures

Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.

The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of September 10, 2020.


5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. ‍All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.16% effective August 10, 2020.

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.