The bottom line: Qualified borrowers will find few lenders better than SoFi, thanks to its zero fees and thoughtful perks like unemployment protection and free financial advising.
Pros & Cons
- No fees.
- Offers co-sign loan options.
- Offers 0.25 percentage point rate discount for setting up autopay.
- Offers unemployment protection.
- Provides mobile app to manage your loan.
- No secured or joint loan option.
- Three-day approval time is longer than many lenders.
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SoFi’s personal loans have all the standard features of a five-star lender: zero fees, a wide variety of loan amounts and flexible repayment terms.
But this lender outshines the competition with a slew of special perks. SoFi members have access to free career and financial advising, referral bonuses, networking events and even complimentary estate planning, among others.
SoFi is best for borrowers who:
Have good or excellent credit (690 FICO or higher).
Are looking for a loan of at least $5,000.
Prefer to apply for and manage a loan online.
Want extra help with career and financial decisions.
SoFi at a glance
Key terms to know about personal loans
» COMPARE: Best personal loans
Where SoFi stands out
No fees: SoFi doesn't charge an origination fee, late fee or prepayment fee. Among online lenders, true zero-fee loans are rare.
Term availability: Repayment terms range from two to seven years, which is more options than most online lenders offer. With more choices, you can prioritize less overall interest with a shorter term or lower monthly payments with a longer term.
Offers co-signed loans: Borrowers can add a co-signer to their application. Adding someone with better credit or higher income than you can improve your chances of getting a lower rate or receiving a higher loan amount. Unlike co-borrowers, co-signers don't have access to the loan proceeds but are responsible for any missed payments.
» MORE: Best co-signed and joint loans
Unemployment protection: If you lose your job while paying off your loan, you can apply for SoFi’s unemployment protection program. Once approved, SoFi will put your loans into forbearance and suspend your monthly payments. Interest still accrues during that time, but borrowers can make interest-only payments to avoid increasing their principal.
Free career and financial advising: SoFi gives borrowers access to one-on-one career coaching to help with job searches, career transitions and personal branding. Members can also receive free advice from a certified financial planner who can help them build a budget, create an investment strategy, choose insurance and save for the future.
Offers mobile app to manage loan: Borrowers can use SoFi’s mobile app to check available rates, apply for a loan and make payments.
» MORE: Best good-credit lenders
Compare SoFi with other loan companies:
Where SoFi falls short
No secured or joint loan option: Borrowers can’t secure a SoFi loan with collateral such as a car or savings account or submit a joint application with a co-borrower. A secured loan or joint loan can help you get a lower annual percentage rate.
High minimum loan amount: SoFi loans start at $5,000, which could be too high for borrowers looking to fund a small project or other minor expense.
» MORE: Best small personal loans
How to qualify for a SoFi loan
SoFi doesn't publicly disclose many of its borrower requirements, but according to customer service representatives, borrowers with good to excellent credit are the most likely to qualify.
Here’s what you need:
Must legally be an adult in your state.
Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or visa holder.
Must be employed, have sufficient income or have an offer of employment to start within the next 90 days.
Loan example: A five-year, $30,000 loan with an 11.2% APR would cost $655 in monthly payments. You’d pay $9,300 in total interest on that loan.
How to get a SoFi loan
Pre-qualify on NerdWallet
NerdWallet recommends comparing loans to find the best rate for you. Click the button below to pre-qualify on NerdWallet. You may receive personalized rates from multiple lenders that partner with us, including SoFi. Pre-qualifying won't impact your credit.
Apply on SoFi
You can apply on SoFi’s website by entering your email address, personal information and details about the loan you want. Then, you’ll be shown loan offers you qualify for.
on SoFi's website
Personal Loans Rating Methodology
NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 30 lenders. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.
Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.
This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read our editorial guidelines.