SoFi Personal Loans: 2023 Review
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Qualified borrowers will find few lenders better than SoFi, thanks to thoughtful perks like unemployment protection and free financial advising.
Pros & Cons
- Joint loan option.
- Multiple rate discounts.
- Hardship program for borrowers in need.
- Mobile app to manage loan.
- No option to choose initial payment date.
- High minimum loan amount.
Compare to Other Lenders
Full Review of SoFi Personal Loan
SoFi’s personal loans have the standard features of a five-star lender: a wide variety of loan amounts, flexible repayment terms, plus special features like free career and financial advising, unemployment protection and estate planning discounts. SoFi loans can be used for common purposes like debt consolidation, as well as for adoption or in vitro fertilization procedures, travel or weddings.
While there are no required fees, SoFi may offer the option to pay an origination fee up to 6% of the loan amount in exchange for a lower interest rate. The fee amount is deducted from the loan proceeds before disbursement.
Table of Contents
SoFi personal loans at a glance
Minimum credit score
8.99% - 25.81%.
No required fees.
$5,000 to $100,000.
2 to 7 years.
Time to fund after approval
Loans available in all states.
- Disclosure from SoFi
The following payment example depicts the APR, monthly payment and total payments made during the life of a personal loan with a single disbursement. All loan rates below are shown with the autopay discount (0.25%) and direct deposit discount (0.25%). The monthly payment for a $30,000 loan with a 60-month term and a fixed annual percentage rate (APR) between 12.95% – 25.03% would be $681.82 – $881.07 in monthly payments, with total payments between $40,909.47 – $52,864.05. Your actual interest rate may be different than the loan interest rates in these examples and will be based on term of loan, your financial history, and other factors, including your cosigner’s (if any) financial history. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. See SoFi.com/eligibility for details. Fixed rates from 8.99% APR to 25.81% APR reflect the 0.25% autopay interest rate discount and a 0.25% direct deposit interest rate discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 05/19/23 and are subject to change without notice. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, and a variety of other factors.Loan amounts range from $5,000– $100,000. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0%-6%, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive.Autopay: The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.Direct Deposit Discount: To be eligible to potentially receive an additional (0.25%) interest rate reduction for setting up direct deposit with a SoFi Checking and Savings account offered by SoFi Bank, N.A. or eligible cash management account offered by SoFi Securities, LLC (“Direct Deposit Account”), you must have an open Direct Deposit Account within 30 days of the funding of your Loan. Once eligible, you will receive this discount during periods in which you have enabled payroll direct deposits of at least $1,000/month to a Direct Deposit Account in accordance with SoFi’s reasonable procedures and requirements to be determined at SoFi’s sole discretion. This discount will be lost during periods in which SoFi determines you have turned off direct deposits to your Direct Deposit Account. You are not required to enroll in direct deposits to receive a Loan.
Where SoFi personal loans stand out
Joint loans. Borrowers can add a co-applicant to their application. Adding someone with better credit or higher income can improve your chances of qualifying or getting a lower rate. Co-borrowers on a joint loan are both responsible for repaying the loan. Unlike single-borrower applications, which may be approved the same day, joint applications may require up to 10 business days to process.
» MORE: Best co-sign and joint loans
Multiple discounts. Borrowers may qualify for multiple discounts that can lower their interest rate. A rate discount of 0.25 percentage points is available for setting up autopay. If the loan is for debt consolidation, borrowers can get another 0.25 percentage point discount for having SoFi directly pay off creditors.
An additional rate discount of 0.25 percentage points may apply for borrowers who set up a monthly direct deposit of at least $1,000 to a SoFi checking account.
Unemployment protection. If you lose your job while paying off the loan, you can apply for SoFi’s unemployment protection program. Once approved, SoFi will put the loan into forbearance and modify the monthly payments. Interest still accrues during that time, but you can make interest-only payments.
Career and financial advising. SoFi gives borrowers access to one-on-one career coaching to help with job searches, career transitions and personal branding. Customers can also receive free financial advice and discounted estate planning services.
Mobile app to manage the loan. Borrowers can use SoFi’s mobile app to manage their money, check available rates, monitor their credit score and make payments.
» MORE: Best good-credit lenders
Where SoFi personal loans fall short
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
No secured loan option: Borrowers can’t secure a SoFi loan with collateral such as a car or savings account. A secured loan often helps in getting a lower annual percentage rate or higher loan amount.
» MORE: Best secured personal loans
Do you qualify for a SoFi personal loan?
Most lenders have basic requirements to apply, and some have financial requirements or recommendations to qualify. SoFi doesn’t have specific credit scores or income requirements for applicants, but the average borrower has excellent credit.
To apply for a SoFi personal loan, you must be:
At least 18 years old in most states.
A U.S. citizen, permanent or non-permanent resident, including DACA recipients and asylum seekers.
Employed, have sufficient income, or have an offer of employment to start within the next 90 days.
To qualify borrowers, the lender evaluates your overall cash flow, ability to pay, credit history and additional factors.
Before you apply:
Calculate your monthly payments. Use a personal loan calculator to determine what APR and repayment term you’d need to get a loan with affordable monthly payments.
Make a plan to repay the loan. Review your budget to see how the loan’s monthly payments impact your cash flow. If you have to cut other expenses to repay the loan, it’s better to know that before you borrow.
Gather your documents. SoFi requires a valid U.S. or state government ID, proof of income, address and Social Security number. Having these documents handy can speed up the application process.
How to apply for a SoFi personal loan
Here are the steps to apply for a SoFi loan.
Pre-qualify on SoFi’s website. You’ll be asked for personal information like your name, email and state of residence, as well as how much you want to borrow and the purpose of the loan. Then, the lender will ask for your birthdate, citizenship status, address and sources of income before you can preview loan offers. There’s no hard credit pull at this stage.
Preview loan offers and accept the one that fits your budget. Once you accept a loan offer, you’ll submit a formal personal loan application. This could require more documents, like W-2s, pay stubs and bank statements, to confirm the information you gave during pre-qualification. SoFi will do a hard credit check at this stage, so your credit score could temporarily dip.
Stay on top of your loan payments. SoFi reports payment to all three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), so on-time payments will help build your credit score, but missed payments will hurt it. Setting up automatic payments and keeping an eye on your budget are two ways to manage your loan payments.
Compare SoFi to other lenders
Personal loan lenders offer different rates, loan amounts and special features, so it pays to weigh your options. The best personal loan is usually the one with the lowest APR.
Upstart and LightStream are online lenders that offer a range of loan sizes and terms, like SoFi. But SoFi’s unique benefits can be a strong choice for qualifying borrowers.
SoFi vs. Upstart
Upstart offers quick funding time after approval, similar to SoFi, but loans come with a required origination fee and a late fee if you miss a payment.
Upstart uses alternative data like education and work experience to evaluate applicants, and borrowers with thin or no credit history may qualify. Upstart lets borrowers pre-qualify online and customer service is available seven days a week. SoFi offers a wider array of member benefits and a mobile app to manage your loan.
» MORE: Read our review of Upstart
SoFi vs. LightStream
LightStream boasts a wide loan amount range and no fees, similar to SoFi. However, SoFi offers perks for borrowers, like unemployment protection and the option to pre-qualify. With an extended repayment period, LightStream can be a good option for borrowers looking to finance a home improvement project.
» MORE: Read our review of LightStream
How we rate SoFi personal loans
NerdWallet writers rate lenders against a rubric that changes each year based on how personal loan products evolve. Here’s what we prioritized this year:
- Category definitions
Affordability (30%) An affordable loan has low rates and fees compared to other similar loans and may offer rate discounts.
Underwriting and eligibility (25%) The lender reviews borrowers credit reports and credit history, and tries to understand their ability to repay a loan, before making a final application decision.
Loan flexibility (20%) A flexible loan is one that lets users customize terms and payments. That means offering a wide range of repayment term options, allowing the borrower to change their payment date, offering loans in most states and funding it quickly.
Customer experience (15%) A good customer experience can include a fully online application process, financial education on the lender’s website and a customer service team that’s available most of the time and can be reached multiple ways.
Transparency (10%) A transparent lender makes information about the loan easy to find on its website, including rates, terms and loan amounts. Transparency also means allowing users to pre-qualify online to preview potential loan offers and reporting payment information with the major credit bureaus.
Ready to apply? Tap the "Get Rate" button and head to SoFi's website to pre-qualify.
NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 technology companies and financial institutions. We collect over 50 data points from each lender and cross-check company websites, earnings reports and other public documents to confirm product details. We may also go through a lender’s pre-qualification flow and follow up with company representatives. 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. Our ratings award fewer points to lenders with practices that may make a loan difficult to repay on time, such as charging high annual percentage rates (above 36%), underwriting that does not adequately assess consumers’ ability to repay and lack of credit-building help. 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.
Frequently asked questions
- Is SoFi good for personal loans?
With a wide range of loan amounts and consumer-friendly features, SoFi is a great option for a personal loan. Borrowers will need to have strong credit scores and monthly cash flow to be eligible for the best rates.
- What credit score do I need for a SoFi personal loan?
SoFi does not have a minimum credit score requirement, but the lender says its average borrower has an excellent credit score.