SoFi Bank Review 2022

SoFi logo

SoFi

9.6

Millennial Money rating

Bottom Line

Started as a student loan refinance company, SoFis is now a national bank that offers a competitive checking and savings account, among several other products, financial insights, and a range of membership benefits.

Pros

  • No Monthly Fees
  • Competitive APY Rates
  • Automatic Savings Tool
  • Early Pay with Direct Deposits

Cons

  • No Physical Locations
  • Only Offers One Bank Account

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Get Started

at SoFi

SoFi — which stands for Social Finance — is an innovative financial services company based out of San Francisco, California.

The company was founded in 2011 by four Stamford Business School students and quickly garnered attention for revolutionizing the way student loans are refinanced.

The company has since grown tremendously and branched out into several other financial services areas. In 2022, SoFi became an FDIC-insured nationally chartered bank.

In this review, I’ll give an overview of SoFi’s Checking and Savings account and other products and services to help you decide if it’s the right online bank for you.

SoFi Checking and Savings Account Features

Formerly called SoFi Money, SoFi Checking and Savings is a hybrid online checking and saving account. Here are some key account features you should know about:

  • Interest: You can earn competitive interest with its Checking and Savings account. When you set up direct deposits, you can earn 3% APY on your savings balance and 2.5% on your checking balance.
  • Paycheck Advance: If you set up direct deposits, you can also access your paycheck up to two days early.
  • Cashback: 15% in cashback rewards when you shop locally using your SoFi debit card.
  • Overdraft Protection: Covers you if you overdraft your account by $50 or less, without charging any fee when you make at least $1,000 of direct deposits per month.
  • Account Fees: No monthly maintenance fees or overdraft fees. It doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement, either.
  • Mobile Banking: You can easily manage your Checking and Savings account in the SoFi app. You can also make mobile deposits, transfer money, pay bills, and locate ATMs near you.
  • ATM Access: SoFi Checking and Savings accounts come with access to over 55,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide, but there aren’t reimbursements for out-of-network ATM fees.
  • Savings Tools: Provides automated savings, customizable savings goals, and categories to help you organize your savings.
  • Sign-up Bonus: Routinely offers generous sign-up bonuses when you open up a new Checking and Savings account. Depending on how much you deposit, you can earn a bonus of $50 to $250 when you sign up and fund your account.
  • Membership Benefits: A SoFi bank account also comes with a long list of membership perks, like rewards you can put towards your savings, investments, or loans, a referral program, career coaching, and discounted estate planning services.

Fees

Like a lot of online banks, SoFi aims to keep its fees to a minimum. SoFi doesn’t charge a service fee for any of the following:

  • Account management
  • Overdrafts and item returns due to insufficient funds
  • Debit card replacement and rush delivery
  • Stop payments
  • Dormant or inactive account
  • Account opening
  • P2P transfers
  • Bill payment and mobile deposits
  • Domestic and international POS transactions

Note: Fee structure is subject to change at any time.

SoFi Invest

SoFi Invest is the company’s investment arm that allows members to trade stocks, purchase ETFs, and invest in cryptocurrency.

It is a good fit for active and hands-off investors, with self-directed active accounts and automated Robo-advisor investment accounts. You can also buy fractional shares for as little as $5.

The company offers Roth, SEP, and traditional IRAs, with retirement resources for investors saving for the future. You can manage the account and your investments using the SoFi mobile app.

Additional Products

Here’s a brief overview of some of SoFi’s other financial products and services:

1. Student Loan Refi

SoFi Student Loan Refinance offers most student loan borrowers the option to pay off their loans faster while saving potentially thousands on interest rates.

Thanks to benefits such as flexible terms and low-interest rates—and a super-easy online sign-up process—the company already has over 375,000 customers and over $30 billion in student loan refinances under its belt. Impressive!

2. Personal Loans

SoFi offers Personal Loans up to $100,000 for loan terms of two to seven years. They come with competitive fixed rates that are based on your credit score, outstanding loans, and other factors.

A SoFi Personal Loan might be the perfect option for you if you have high-interest credit card debts or need some extra cash for something like making home improvements.

3. Home Loans

SoFi Home Mortgage Loans is the company’s relatively new online home mortgage lending division. This division offers traditional home loans, competitive mortgage refinancing rates, and jumbo loans that don’t require private mortgage insurance (PMI).

SoFi Mortgage Loans Offers the Following Products:

  • 10, 15, 20, and 30-year Fixed-Term Mortgages
  • Mortgage Refinance
  • Cash-Out Refinance
  • Jumbo Loans
  • Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

4. Private Student Loans

SoFi offers several types of Private Student Loans that have no hidden fees. There’s also an easy online application process.

SoFi’s Student Loan Offerings Include:

  • Undergraduate Student Loans: Undergrads can pay for their entire tuition with SoFi’s Undergraduate Loans with no fees and some discounts.
  • Graduate Student Loans: Grad students can finance their tuition fees with SoFi’s Graduate Student Loans. Rates range from 5.25% to 14.48% APR for fixed-interest loans, while variable-rate interest loans range from 4.99% to 13.82%.
  • Parent Loans: As you might expect, SoFi’s Parent Loans were designed to help parents pay for the cost of their children’s tuition, with variable rates as low as 5.74%.

It’s worth noting that each of the above student loan rates includes an autopay discount. I recommend taking advantage of any payment discounts that are available to you as long as you can afford to do so.

User Experience

SoFi’s user-friendly mobile app is highly rated in the Apple app store and Google Play Store. In addition to carrying out basic banking tasks, the app lets you manage your account, monitor your credit, freeze your debit card, and more.

Customer Support

In terms of overall customer support, SoFi offers several ways to get in touch. The customer support line is open from 5:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. PT on weekdays and 5:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. PT on weekends.

The website also has a virtual chat tool and exhaustive FAQs and articles for common account issues and banking questions. However, SoFi doesn’t have in-person branches, so it might not be the right fit if you’re looking for hands-on personalized support.

Pros & Cons

If you’re trying to decide if SoFi is right for you, check out these pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Abundant Services: Rapidly adding to its service portfolio. Their wide array of services—including student loans, personal loans, SoFi Money (similar to an HYSA), Sofi Home Loans, and Sofi Invest—is simply unmatched in the online banking world.
  • Competitive APY: SoFi Checking and Savings offer competitive interest rates on your checking and savings balances when you enroll in direct deposits.
  • No Monthly Fees: No monthly maintenance fees or overdraft fees, and the account doesn’t come with minimums balance requirements.
  • Early Pay with Direct Deposits: Will pay you up to two days early when you set up direct deposits, a nice perk more online banks are starting to offer.
  • Fee-Free Overdraft Protection: One of the biggest advantages is its overdraft protection. While $50 coverage is lower than some banks, the lack of a fee for this service is a nice asset.
  • Automatic Savings Tool: You can put your savings on auto-pilot with Roundups and Vaults to reach your savings goals by automatically rounding up debit card purchases and putting that change into specific buckets for different savings goals.

Cons:

  • No Physical Locations: Like other online banks, they do not have brick-and-mortar branches that can offer you in-person assistance. That means you have to make deposits from your phone or a Green Dot location.
  • Doesn’t reimburse out-of-network ATM fees: Massive network of ATMs, letting you make withdrawals from 50,000 Allpoint ATMs across the country. But it doesn’t reimburse you for using other ATMs, a service that a good many online banks offer.
  • Only offers one bank account: SoFi’s Checking and Savings account packs a lot of punch, but it’s the only option they currently offer. So if you want to choose from a lineup of specialized accounts or have your checking and savings totally separate, look elsewhere.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now, let’s answer some of the most common questions about SoFi Bank.

Is SoFi legitimate?

SoFi Bank is a legitimate online bank. The financial institution’s checking and savings account offer high APY, overdraft protection, mobile banking, and a suite of other benefits.

Is my money safe with SoFi?

Yes, your money is safe with SoFi. It is a nationally chartered bank, meaning it is FDIC-insured. So any money you deposit into a SoFi Bank Checking and Savings account is insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

How much do you need to open a SoFi account?

There is no minimum balance requirement, so you don’t have to deposit a certain amount of money to open a bank account with SoFi.

Does SoFi offer a savings account?

SoFi has a dual checking and savings account, but it doesn’t offer a standalone savings account. However, SoFi Checking and Savings offer benefits like automated savings, competitive APY, and targeted savings goals that are similar to other online savings accounts.

Can you use a SoFi debit card anywhere?

SoFi Checking and Savings accounts come with a Mastercard. It can be used anywhere that Mastercard is accepted in the US or abroad.

Is SoFi a Good Option for You?

It’s impossible for me to tell you whether SoFi is the best bank for your needs. It’s certainly a great option for some folks, but it might not work well at all for others.

But I can tell you that SoFi is a reputable bank, and its Checking and Savings account has some competitive interest rates and rewarding features.

Research your options, compare rates, and consider what account features matter most to you to choose the right bank.

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  • Comment Author image blank
    Jerry
    Based on my personal experience with SoFi, don't trust them to pay the bonus they advertise. I signed up and was really liking the interface and what they had to offer, until they wouldn't pay the bonus I signed up under. I can't give them my money if I can't trust them. My recommendation is that you explore some of the other options out there--there are a lot of other online banking and investing options available now. SoFi was not a good experience.