SoFi Personal Loan Review 2018

sofi loans review

You can think of getting a personal loan from SoFi in a similar way to getting access to Facebook in the early days. Back when Facebook was starting out, if you didn’t have a .edu email address signifying that you were a student, you were not allowed to join. And just as Facebook narrowed its initial target market to college kids, SoFi has a narrow focus on what it calls HENRYs: High Earners Not Rich Yet.

The average income for a borrower at SoFi is north of $100,000, far above the national average. A typical SoFi borrower may not be rich enough to have a house in the Hamptons yet but they may well have sufficient earnings and the career trajectory to buy one in a decade or two. And that potential to become rich combined with excellent credit are among the factors that SoFi bets on when issuing personal loans.

Once you are in the door as a SoFi borrower, you have a lot more to look forward to than highly competitive rates. You are eligible to join an invite-only Facebook group that will notify you of weekly giveaways, members events, career advice, and exclusive financial and career resources. Plus, you get some bonus swag: hoodies, t-shirts, caps, and so on. If you are lucky, you may even be invited to an event with one of the co-founders to hear about how to grow a company from scratch to being worth billions of dollars in just a few years.

SoFi Personal Loans: Spotlight

SOFI PERSONAL LOANS SPOTLIGHT

sofi brokerage trading system investing

InvestorMint Rating

5 out of 5 stars

  • Origination Fees: Zero
  • Typical APR: 5.49% → 14.49%
  • Loan Amounts: $5,000 → $100,000

via Sofi secure site

Why Choose SoFi Personal Loans?

Borrowers get access to low rates and an active community of like-minded individuals.

When you borrow with SoFi, you get much more than a loan, you will feel like you’ve joined an exclusive community of go-getters.

Where SoFi stands apart from most lenders is by combining a sense of community with lending.

It’s almost inconceivable to think of a traditional lender as promoting a collaborative community among borrowers but SoFi has somehow managed to do just that.

sofi facebook community

In its online Facebook Group, which is highly active, borrowers and SoFi staff correspond on a wide range of topics relating not only to loans but also to personal finance queries too.

It’s not unusual to see a member post a query about borrowing rates, taxes, or simply sharing a personal story about paying off debt to inspire others.

And it’s not just its online community that SoFi fosters. The offline social networking opportunities at SoFi are impressive too.

Borrowers are invited to private dinners where they can meet other community members as well as to events that educate them on financial matters, such as buying a new home, in addition to regular fun events, like attending a ballgame.

Plus, SoFi goes the extra mile to help its borrowers get back on their feet if they find themselves out of a job. You will find perks like a moratorium on interest until you find a job, and SoFi will help you with your job search.

From our research, borrowers are so pleased with SoFi that some even complain when they don’t receive swag such as SoFi-branded t-shirts and caps as fast as they expected. What other lender has borrowers clammering to promote them by wearing their brands on t-shirts and caps as they go about their day-to-day lives?

And that’s all in addition to competitive rates that few rivals can offer. Personal lending rates are generally much higher than the typical APR charged by SoFi.

SoFi Personal LoanAmounts
Loan Amount Range$5,000 → $100,000
Fixed Rate APR Range5.49% → 14.49%
Variable Rate APR Range5.19% → 11.59%
Origination Fees0
Loan Duration3 → 7
(years)
Funding Timeline7 days
(approximately)

How SoFi Personal Loans Work

SoFi looks beyond traditional risk measures to evaluate whether you are a good fit for a personal loan. If you graduated from a top University and have a promising career trajectory, you stand a better chance of being approved than if you meet national averages for income and education.

Unlike an old school lender that may look narrowly at your FICO® Score when making a decision to approve you, SoFi pays close attention to where you went to school as well as to your income level.

Borrower default rates by applicants who graduated from top tier schools tend to be lower than those who graduated from online universities, and so the chances of receiving approval increases if you earned a degree from say a school like Harvard or Stanford.

Like other lenders, SoFi will evaluate your income and place of work before issuing you a loan rate which can start as low as 5.49% with auto-pay and rises up to 14.49%.

As you might expect, SoFi is stringent about documentation and will ask for proof of income and may even require proof of graduation.

Once approved, you can set up disbursement details and sign acceptance documents online.

SoFi Interest Rates & Fees

SoFi personal loans can be fixed rate or variable rate loans starting at Libor rates plus margin of 1.47%.

LoanAmount
Fixed Rates5.49% (with autopay) → 14.49% (without autopay)
Variable Rates5.19% (with autopay) → 11.59% (without autopay)
Origination Fees$0
Prepayment Fees$0
Late Fees
(after 15 day grace period)
4% of payment due or $5
(whichever is lower)
Personal-check Processing Fees$0

SoFi Review: How Does It Compare?

SoFi has little competition but CommonBond, Earnest, and LightStream are rivals.

Few lenders compete in the same league as SoFi. While most lenders cast a wide net, inviting borrowers with a range of credit histories to apply, and charging commensurately high rates to high-risk borrowers, SoFi targets super-prime borrowers who are very unlikely to default.

CommonBond, LightStream, and Earnest are among the very few competitors that SoFi faces. Like SoFi, CommonBond promotes a community feel too.

LightStream differs because it requires a longer credit history than SoFi, who is willing to take a risk on a borrower with shorter credit history if they have a solid career trajectory and earning potential. Personal loan rates at LightStream also vary based on the use of the loan, whether kitchen remodeling, buying a boat, or consolidating debt.

Earnest is willing to lend to borrowers who don’t have much of a credit history, charges no fees, and also has flexible payment terms.

SoFi Review: Pros and Cons

SoFi charges no hidden fees, offers low rates for personal loans, and has a fast application process, though you will generally need to have above average income and very low risk of default to be approved.

SoFi ProsSoFi Cons
Fixed & Variable Rate Loans: Both fixed and variable personal rate loans are available.❌ CoSigner Support: SoFi does not permit co-signers.
Low Rates: Personal loan rates start at 5.19% for variable rates with autopay and range as high as 14.49%.Limited Approvals: Borrowers with great credit and above average income stand a higher chance of approval.
Autopay Interest Rate Deduction: When you sign up for autopay, you enjoy a 0.50% annual discount.
Fast Application Process: You can get approved in as fast as 7 days.
Community Perks: Career advice, community dinners and events, and online community forums are among the perks available.
Personal Loan Amount Range: $5,000 → $100,000.
No Origination Fees & Prepayment Fees: You won’t pay any origination or prepayment fees with SoFi but late fees do incur penalty charges.

SoFi Summary

When it comes to personal loans, SoFi is about as good as it gets. Low rates, no hidden fees, and a loyal community of borrowers who are eager to share information and meet up both offline and online are just a handful of the many benefits.

Whether you want a fixed or variable rate loan, you will be put through the hoops so-to-speak to make sure that you qualify for what feels like an exclusive community of borrowers who made it into the inner circle.

If you don’t have an income approaching $100,000, excellent credit, and a solid educational and career pedigree you might find it a struggle to get approved by SoFi, but if you get past the high hurdle of acceptance, you’ll be spoiled with invites to events that improve your financial knowledge and may even be invited to events that co-founders attend from time to time. Where else can customers meet the founders of billion dollar companies in an exclusive setting?

The bottom line is getting a personal loan from SoFi isn’t a slam dunk but for those who qualify, the rates, low fees, and perks are hard to beat. And it doesn’t hurt that the application process is online and fast so you can get access to funds quickly.

We are excited to hear from you and want you to love your time at Investormint. Please keep our family friendly website squeaky clean so all our readers can enjoy their experiences here by adhering to our posting guidelines. Never reveal any personal or private information, especially relating to financial matters, bank, brokerage, and credit card accounts and so forth as well as personal or cell phone numbers. Please note that comments below are not monitored by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products unless otherwise explicitly stated.