SoFi Personal Loans: 2017 Review

Loans, Personal Loans, Personal Loans Reviews
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5 stars out of 5

NerdWallet rating: 5.0 / 5.0
Good for: Good credit, debt consolidation

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Getting a SoFi personal loan can feel like joining an elite club, thanks to the lender’s high credit standards and members-only networking events. SoFi customers can attend social events and member dinners around the country or tap an online forum for career and financial advice.

SoFi may be a good fit if:

  • Your credit score is 660 or higher. SoFi borrowers generally have scores above 700.
  • Your income is high. Borrowers’ median income is $101,000.
  • You’re new to credit. SoFi has no minimum credit history requirement.
  • You’re early in your career and want support and networking opportunities. SoFi has perks like career counseling services and happy hours for its borrowers.
  • You don’t live in Nevada, the only state where SoFi doesn’t operate.

If you don’t have excellent credit, you might be better off considering these loan options.

SoFi at a glance

Typical APR5% – 15% (fixed and variable rates)
Loan amounts$5,000 – $100,000
Time to fundingTypically 7 days
Origination feeNone
Soft credit check with application?Yes
Reports payments to credit bureaus?Yes, all three
Offers secured personal loans?No
Allows co-signers or joint applications?No


Clicking “Check rates” will take you to the Sofi site for an online application.

SoFi personal loan review

To review SoFi, NerdWallet collected more than 30 data points from the lender, interviewed company executives, completed the online loan application process with sample data and compared the lender with others that seek the same type of customer or offer a similar product.

Other SoFi Reviews

SoFi, founded by Stanford alumni in 2011, provides personal loans, mortgages and student loan refinancing. To SoFi, an applicant’s credit score doesn’t matter as much as other factors. Most important in determining your creditworthiness is free cash flow, or how much of your income is left over after expenses, according to CEO Mike Cagney.

To well-qualified borrowers, SoFi offers loans as large as $100,000. The average annual percentage rate for a three-year loan at SoFi is 8.5%.

SoFi is unusual in that it offers variable-rate as well as fixed-rate loans. The fixed-rate option is more popular and comes with the peace of mind that the rate will never change. However, some SoFi borrowers choose the variable rate, particularly for loans of short duration, according to the company. Interest rates on variable-rate loans tend to be lower than those on fixed-rate loans, but they can go up over the life of the loan.

Online lenders Earnest and LightStream also cater to people with excellent credit and high incomes. Earnest charges no fees and offers flexible payment options to those with thin credit. LightStream has low interest rates that vary according to loan purpose, but it requires several years of credit history.

Flexible payment options

SoFi gives borrowers some flexibility in payments, like letting you change your payment date. If you miss a payment but have a record of on-time payments, it might waive the late fee.

If you lose your job through no fault of your own, SoFi lets you apply for forbearance — temporary suspension of your monthly loan payments — for three months at a time, up to 12 months. While you’re participating in the Unemployment Protection Program, interest still accrues on the loan, but you can avoid having it added to your balance by making interest-only payments during the forbearance period.

» MORE: Other lenders for people who have good credit

How to apply for a SoFi loan

You can check your rate on SoFi’s website by setting up an account and entering information about your education and employment.

If you want to compare an offer from SoFi with those from other lenders, you can check rates with multiple lenders on NerdWallet using the button below. NerdWallet will check its lender marketplace and display the loans for which you qualify, so you can compare rates in one place. Checking your rate won’t affect your credit score.

More about SoFi

SoFi loan requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 660, but typically 700 or higher
  • Minimum income: None, but borrowers’ median income is $101,000
  • Minimum credit history: None
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: None

SoFi terms

  • APR range: 5%-15% (fixed and variable)
  • Loan amount: $5,000-$100,000
  • Loan duration: Three to seven years

SoFi fees and penalties

  • Origination fee: None
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late fees: 4% of payment due or $5, whichever is lower, after 15-day grace period
  • Personal-check processing fee: None

Before you take a personal loan

Consider other debt consolidation options

Check your credit report and know your financial strengths

Learn how personal loans work

Calculate payment scenarios

Have a plan for getting out of debt

Amrita Jayakumar and Jeanne Lee are staff writers at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: ajayakumar@nerdwallet.com or jlee@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ajbombay or @jlee_jeanne.

Updated May 9, 2017

Personal Loans Ratings Methodology

NerdWallet’s ratings for personal loans awards points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including soft credit checks, no origination fees, payment options, short time to funding, interest rate caps of 36% and absence of prepayment penalties. Features are considered for their positive impact on consumers’ credit history and financial health. To ensure accuracy and consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Personal Loans team.

5 stars out of 5 — Among the very best for consumer-friendly features

4.5 stars out of 5 — Excellent; offers most consumer-friendly features

4 stars out of 5 — Very good; offers many consumer-friendly features

3.5 stars out of 5 — Good; may not offer something important to you

3 stars out of 5 — Fair; missing important consumer-friendly features

2.5 stars out of 5 — Poor; proceed with great caution