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|Members-only perks like career coaching and events||Not a con but a heads up: Those with shakier credit profiles may have a tough time qualifying|
|Interest-rate discount with automatic payments||$15,000 minimum loan amount (if you apply through Credit Karma)|
What you need to know about a SoFi personal loan
SoFi — short for Social Finance, Inc. — started in 2011 as a student-loan refinance product for Stanford alumni. The company has since expanded nationally into personal loans, mortgages, mortgage refinancing, investing and more.
SoFi personal loans are designed for people with a “responsible financial history and “a strong monthly cash flow,” according to the lender. Unsecured personal loan terms range from two to seven years for $15,000 to $100,000 (if you apply through Credit Karma).
Here’s a closer look at more SoFi personal-loan features.
Large loan amounts
If you need a very large personal loan, SoFi may be a good option. Many lenders cap personal loans around $40,000 or less. But SoFi will lend up to $100,000 for people who qualify.
But if you’re looking for a smaller loan SoFi might not be right for you. Its minimum loan amount is $5,000 in most states.
Competitive interest rates and a discount for autopay
SoFi offers competitive interest rates, particularly for its most creditworthy borrowers. You’ll also be eligible for a 0.25% rate discount if you make automatic payments. While that’s a nice perk, you’ll find other lenders that offer similar rate reductions.
You can choose from either a fixed-rate loan or a variable-rate loan.Learn more: Fixed interest rate vs. variable interest rate
If you’re approved for a loan and become a SoFi member, you’ll get access to other perks, including a 0.125% interest-rate discount on other loans. You’ll also get access to career coaching and events like happy hours and dinners with other members.
If life throws you a curveball, SoFi’s unemployment protection may offer some peace of mind. If you’re laid off through no fault of your own, SoFi may allow you to pause payments (take note though that interest would still accrue in this situation). The company may also offer to help with job placement during this period.
High eligibility requirements
SoFi eligibility requirements aren’t specific, but the company states you may be a good candidate if you have a “responsible financial history” and “strong monthly cash flow.” The fine print indicates that creditworthiness, years of professional experience and income are important, too.
No origination or late fees — and no prepayment penalty
SoFi says it’s committed to transparency, claiming a “no hidden fees” policy with no origination, closing or late payment fees. SoFi also won’t charge you a prepayment penalty if you decide to pay off your loan early. You’ll still be responsible for any interest that accrues on your loan, though.
Who a SoFi personal loan is good for
If you have good credit, you’ll probably have options if you want a personal loan, but SoFi is worth a look with its competitive interest rates and promise of no hidden fees.
On the other hand, if your income is inconsistent or your credit history isn’t top notch, you may want to look elsewhere.
You can use a SoFi personal loan for debt consolidation, home improvements, moving expenses, medical bills and major purchases. If you have high-interest credit card debt and qualify for a lower interest rate with a SoFi personal loan, it may help you pay off your credit card debt and save money.
How to apply for a SoFi personal loan
You can apply for a SoFi loan online or through its iOS or Android mobile app. You can start the application process by trying to prequalify — which usually only takes a few minutes.
You’ll need to be at least 18 years old; be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or visa holder; and live in an eligible state to be able to apply.
To speed up the process, SoFi recommends having this information handy.
- Social Security number
- Proof of address and personal identification
- Proof of income, including W-2s, tax returns, bank statements and pay stubs
- Documentation of monthly debt
- Employer contact information
- Address and phone number
- Whether you’re applying by yourself or with a co-borrower
SoFi may also ask about your career experience, as well as how much you want to borrow and how you plan to use the money.
The last step to apply for prequalification is agreeing to a soft credit inquiry — which won’t affect your credit scores — to get an idea of what rates you might qualify for. If you decide to move forward with your loan application, SoFi will ask you to upload more detailed information through its website and perform a hard inquiry to check your credit reports, which may lower your scores by a few points.
If you’re approved, SoFi will send over a loan agreement for electronic signature. If you accept the offer, you’ll get a phone call to confirm your address. You should receive the funds within a few days.
Not sure a SoFi personal loan is right for you? Consider these alternatives.
Even if you think SoFi is right for you, taking a few minutes to compare your other personal-loan choices is a smart move. Here are some other lenders to consider.
- Marcus by Goldman Sachs: Marcus may be a good option if you want to consolidate credit card debt. Read our Marcus personal loan review to learn more.
- Earnest: Earnest will consider factors beyond your credit scores when considering you for a loan, including how much you’ve saved, a history of on-time payments and your amount of debt. For more details, read our Earnest personal loan review.