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College students looking for extra funding for school sometime turn to private student loans. One option borrowers have is to turn to SoFi student loans.
SoFi is an online lender that specializes in private student loans and student loan refinancing. They offer several loan options for students and parents.
What is SoFi?
SoFi is an online lender founded in 2011 in San Francisco. They started as a small business, but have grown into one of the leading private lenders of student loan refinancing, which is their cornerstone product.
In recent years, they’ve also become one of the most competitive lenders of private student loans.
SoFi SoFi is one of the most well-known student loan companies on the market – and continues to offer competitive rates. Along with their well known refinancing options, they offer some excellent unsecured private student loan options.
Is Sofi Good For Student Loans?
SoFi student loans are available for undergraduate students, graduate students, and parents. Each type of student loan carries its own rates, terms, and requirements.
They offer several different options and make it easy for you to compare. Let’s take a look at the available options:
For undergraduate students looking for private loans, Sofi interest rates are among the best available. Currently, fixed rates are 4.73%-11.46% APR (automatic payment discount included).
Variable rates range from 2.74%-11.56% APR (automatic payment discount included). The rate you qualify for depends largely on your credit and the credit of a cosigner.
Terms for undergraduate private loans through SoFi are 5, 10, and 15 years.
Graduate students have private loan options through SoFi too. Fixed rates range from 4.54%–11.76% APR (automatic payment discount included).
Variable rates fall between 2.52%-11.85% APR (automatic payment discount included). Variable rates usually start lower than fixed rates and increase over time.
Terms for graduate private loans through SoFi are 5, 10, and 15 years.
Parents wanting to help pay for their child’s education can turn to SoFi. They offer competitive interest rates that often beat out rates on federal Parent PLUS loans, which also come with costly fees.
Fixed rates for SoFi parent loans are between 4.73%-11.46% APR (automatic payment discount included). Variable rates range from 2.74%-11.56% APR (automatic payment discount included).
Terms for parent private loans through SoFi are 5, 10, and 15 years.
All of SoFi’s private loans can cover 100% of school costs, including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, food, and more. The minimum amount someone can borrow is $5,000.
SoFi student loans are flexible with their repayment. There are four repayment options for undergraduate and graduate loans.
Under the deferred repayment option, borrowers defer payment until 6 months after leaving school. This includes deferring principal and interest payments.
This option is for you if you can’t make payments while in school or don’t want to worry about it then. However, this is the costliest repayment option.
Interest will build up while in school. When you finish school, your interest will capitalize. This means it gets added to your loan principal and you’ll essentially pay interest on your interest.
Interest-only is exactly what it sounds like. You’ll make full interest payments while in school. This will help avoid your interest capitalizing when you finish school.
If you have money to do this, it would be a smart choice. While it’s not a full payment, it handles a large chunk of your student loans, which is the interest.
With the Partial repayment option, you’ll pay a $25 monthly payment while in school. While it’s not a lot, it will reduce some of the overall cost of your loans once you finish school.
The immediate repayment option is the highest payment option available. That’s because you’ll be making full student loan payments towards your loan principal and interest right away.
It’s not easy to make full payments while in school. Most likely, if you were able to afford this during school, you wouldn’t need private student loans.
Parent loans through SoFi only have two repayment options available: Interest only and Immediate.
Qualifications for SoFi Student Loans
To qualify for a student loan, you must be a U.S. citizen above the age of majority for their state of residence. The age of majority is when you are legally considered an adult.
Borrowers must also reside in a state where SoFi is authorized to lend. They must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution. Loan funds must go towards qualified education expenses at that institution.
A cosigner isn’t required to qualify for student loans through SoFi, but it can help. A cosigner is someone who pledges to take financial responsibility for your student loan balance should you be unable to make payments.
Ideally, this is someone you trust and who trusts you, like a parent, grandparent or family friend. You can choose to use a cosigner to try and get a better rate, but they will look at your credit first before they look at a cosigner.
Sofi interest rates are dependent largely on your cosigner’s credit and the terms of your loan.
Finding a good cosigner is the key to locking in a lower rate. If your cosigner is an existing SoFi Member it’s even better. You’ll get an additional 0.125% interest rate reduction on your loan.
What Credit Score Do You Need for a SoFi Loan?
SoFi currently requires a minimum credit score of 680. The average borrower with SoFi has around a 700 credit score.
Loan Deferment Through SoFi
There may be times when a borrower isn’t able to make their loan payments. During these times, there may be options for loan deferment.
This is like hitting the pause button on your loan payments and usually, this is due to some type of hardship. SoFi allows loan deferment for borrowers who return to graduate school on at least a half-time basis.
They also allow deferment or those undergoing disability rehabilitation or are serving on active military duty. While you never wish for any type of hardship, it’s nice to know SoFi allows deferment in these cases.
Refinance your Student Loans with SoFi
SoFi student loan refinancing is an option for people looking to lower their interest rate. Refinancing your student loans could save you thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of your loan.
This is dependent on what type of rate you qualify for through SoFi. There are three refinancing options available to borrowers.
Student Loan Refinancing
Fixed rates for refinancing your student loans range from 4.25%-8.77% APR (automatic payment discount included). Variable rates go from 3.50%-8.70% APR (automatic payment discount included).
Borrowers can prequalify for student loan refinancing through the SoFi website. They will perform a soft credit pull, which doesn’t affect your credit.
If you refinance federal student loans, they become private loans. This will cut off any access you might need to federal programs like loan forgiveness and income-driven repayment plans.
Medical Resident Refinancing
WIth Sofi, medical residents and fellows can refinance their student loan debt before they become an attending physician. Minimum monthly payments are set at $100 until the end of your residency or fellowship. This is available for up to 54 months.
Fixed rates for medical residency go from 4.50%-8.24% APR (automatic payment discount included). Variable rates range from 3.75%-8.24% APR (automatic payment discount included).
To be eligible you must be a medical resident or fellow with up to four years left in your program. You must also have over $10,000 in student loan debt, federal or private.
Parent PLUS Refinancing
Parents looking for a solution to costly Parent PLUS loans can refinance through SoFi. Fixed rates for these parent loans go from 4.25%-8.15% APR (automatic payment discount included). Variable rates range from 3.50%-8.15% APR (automatic payment discount included).
If you took out a Parent PLUS loan, you can also choose to refinance your loan so it’s under your child’s name instead. The application must be initiated by your child.
Terms for all of the student loan refinancing options are set at 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years.
There are no application or origination fees when refinancing through SoFi. They’re also no prepayment penalties.
SoFi Student Loan Pros
SoFi student loans have many positives that borrowers will love. What are the best features?
- No Fees
- Interest Rate Reductions
- Refinancing Parent Plus
- No Cosigner Needed
Pre-Qualification: Borrowers and cosigners can see what kind of rate they qualify for before actually applying. SoFi only performs a soft credit check during this process, which doesn’t affect your credit.
No Fees: SoFi doesn’t charge any fees for private loans or refinancing.
Interest Rate Reductions: Borrowers can earn a 0.25% interest rate reduction when they set up automatic monthly payments from their savings or checking account.
Refinancing Parent Plus: Borrowers can refinance Parent PLUS loans in their own name.
No Cosigner Needed: SoFi doesn’t require a cosigner for its private loans or refinancing. Many borrowers won’t qualify without one, but it’s nice to have the option to borrow without one.
Sofi Student Loan Cons
There are also some things about SoFi that could make you reconsider borrowing through them. This includes:
- No Cosigner Release
- Degree Needed
No Cosigner Release: If you need to use a cosigner, they are signed up for the life of your loan. There’s no option for a cosigner release, no matter how well you do with loan repayment.
Degree Needed: To refinance through SoFi, you need to have earned a degree from a four-year college.
Is SoFi Worth it?
Borrowers should always look to exhaust all federal student loan aid first before. If you’ve maxed out federal loans, but still have school funds to pay, private student loans are the next best option.
With SoFi’s competitive interest rates, they are a solid choice if you do need private loans. They are also a great alternative to Parent PLUS loans.
If you’re in the market for private student loans, check your rate today with SoFi.