By Kevin Mercadante
SoFi, short for Social Finance, specializes in loans to new and recent college graduates. They offer the ability to either refinance or to consolidate existing student loan debts, up to the amount currently owed by the borrower. You can include both federal and private student loans in your new SoFi loan. Rates are lower than what is typically available with banks and other sources. SoFi states that the average borrower using their service will save $18,936 in interest.
The company has funded over $10 billion in loans since it was founded in 2011. SoFi is a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform that offers loans based on investment capital provided by both institutional investors and alumni investors.
|$10,000||Up to the amount you|
|2.20% - 7.99% APR%,(with autopay)|
No application or origination fees
The entire loan process is completed online. You start by applying for pre-approval, which you can receive within 15 minutes of applying. At that point you can choose the loan type (fixed rate or variable), specific rate, and term - up to 20 years. SoFi does not charge either an application fee or an origination fee.
If documents are required, you can download screenshots or smartphone photos, then sign your documents electronically.
In order to qualify for SoFi's services, you must:
Have attained legal age in your state
Be either a US citizen or permanent resident alien
Have either a 4 year undergraduate degree or a graduate degree from a Title IV accredited college
Have a job, or a job offer, and have a good employment history
Be up to date with your current student loans
Have a steady monthly income to support the loan payment
Have excellent credit history
Loans are available in every state except Nevada. In addition, law school graduates must have passed the bar and be licensed in their respective states.
SoFi is one of the few companies that offer student loan debt refinancing and consolidation, and they add attractive features to their loan package:
Loan amounts are as high as you need.You can refinance or consolidate both federal and private student loans, at loan amounts up to the amount of student loans you currently owe, or the cost of attendance at college.
Extended repayment term.You can select a loan term of up to 20 years if you choose, and that will keep your monthly payment to an absolute minimum.
Unemployment Protection:In the event you lose your job, SoFi will suspend your monthly payments for up to 12 months. The job loss must be no fault of yours, and you must have made application for unemployment insurance. The company will also provide you with job placement assistance.
SoFi has been featured in popular media outlets, including NBC, CNBC, Inc., The New York Times, Huffington Post, Kiplinger and The Wall Street Journal. SoFi has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (on a scale of A+ to F). The site is Norton Secured and features encrypted data transmission, so your information is protected.
Chances are that SoFi's rates will be well below what you're currently paying on your student loans. They offer fixed rate loans with APRs of between 3.50% and 7.74% (with Autopay), and variable rate loans with APRs between 2.20% to 6% (with Autopay). Variable rate loans have lifetime rate caps. On loans of five, seven or 10 years, rates are capped at 8.95% APR; on loans of 15 and 20 years they're capped at 9.95% APR.
SoFi has no application fees or origination fees - interest is all you pay. There is also no prepayment penalty so you can repay your loan at any time.
SoFi is not a debt counseling or debt settlement service so they don't offer counseling or debt advice. However, the company does offer readily accessible customer support, and helpful FAQ page, to help answer your questions in regard to student loan consolidation or refinance, or on how to best use their service.
You can contact the SoFi by phone, email and on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Linked In.
Customer support is available:
Monday through Thursday, from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm (Pacific Time)
Friday from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm (Pacific Time),
Saturday and Sunday, from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm (Pacific Time).
One Letterman Drive
Building A, Suite 4700
San Francisco, CA 94129
About Kevin Mercadante
Kevin Mercadante is a freelance professional personal finance blogger,