SoFi Personal Loans: 2021 Review

SoFi offers online personal loans with consumer-friendly features for good- and excellent-credit borrowers.

Jackie VelingJanuary 4, 2021
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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

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.

Best Personal Loan for Excellent Credit

SoFi

on SoFi's website

on SoFi's website

Min. Credit Score

680

Est. APR

5.99 - 20.69%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Offers co-sign and joint loan options.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Offers unemployment protection.

  • Provides mobile app to manage your loan.

Cons

  • No secured loan option.

Compare to Other Lenders

SoFi
Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Lightstream
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Est. APR

5.99 - 20.69%

Est. APR

6.99 - 19.99%

Est. APR

4.49 - 20.49%

Loan Term

2 to 7 years

Loan Term

3 to 6 years

Loan Term

2 to 7 years

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

Loan Amount

$3,500 - $40,000

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

Min. Credit Score

680

Min. Credit Score

660

Min. Credit Score

660

Compare estimated rates from multiple lenders

Compare Rates

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Full Review

To review SoFi’s personal loans, NerdWallet collected more than 40 data points from the lender, confirmed details with customer service representatives and compared the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. Loan terms and fees may vary by state.

SoFi’s personal loans have all the standard features of a five-star lender: low rates, zero fees, fast funding 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, local networking events, an active online community and even complimentary estate planning, among others.

The lender says it evaluates applicants based on their financial history, credit score and monthly income versus expenses.

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 their loan online.

  • Want extra help with their career and financial decisions.

SoFi at a glance

Credit building

  • Soft credit check to pre-qualify.

  • Reports payments to three credit bureaus.

Affordability

  • APRs are consistent among lenders targeting good-credit borrowers.

  • No fees.

  • Rate discount for autopayments.

Loan flexibility

  • Offers multiple loan types.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Funds loans the same day.

  • Not available in Mississippi.

Transparency

  • Discloses rates, fees and terms on website.

  • FAQ answers key borrower questions.

Customer experience

  • Offers multiple customer contact channels and seven-day support.

  • Offers mobile app to manage loan.

  • Provides financial education and perks exclusive to members.

Where SoFi stands out

No fees: SoFi does not charge an origination fee, late fee or prepayment fee. Though few lenders charge all three, true zero-fee personal 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 and joint loans: Borrowers can add a co-signer or co-borrower 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 do not have access to the loan proceeds but are responsible for any missed payments.

Unemployment protection: If you lose your job while paying off your loan, you can apply for SoFi’s unemployment protection program. Once approved, the lender will put your loans into forbearance and suspend your monthly payments. Interest still accrues during that time, but borrowers have the option to make interest-only payments to avoid increasing their principal. Borrowers are eligible as long as their loan is in good standing and they lost their job through no fault of their own.

Loans in forbearance will be reported to the credit bureaus. This shouldn’t affect your credit score, but it could be a factor for other lenders in deciding whether to extend credit.

Free career and financial advising: SoFi gives borrowers access to one-on-one career coaching that helps with job searches, career transitions and personal branding. Members also receive free financial advising from a certified financial planner who can help them build a budget, create an investment strategy, choose insurance and save for the future.

Mobile app: Borrowers can use SoFi’s mobile app to check available rates, apply for a loan and make payments.

Where SoFi falls short

No secured loan option: Borrowers can’t secure a SoFi loan with collateral such as a car or savings account. A secured 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 repair or other minor expense.

How to qualify for a SoFi loan

SoFi does not 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, $20,000 loan with an 11.8% APR would cost $443 in monthly payments. You’d pay $6,580 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 will not 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. You’ll then be shown loan offers you qualify for.

on SoFi's website

Personal Loans Rating Methodology

NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus, and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.