Student Loan Refinancing
How to Pay off Student Loans Fast
Managing Your Student Loan Debt
Parent PLUS Loan Refinancing
Why Parents Should Refinance Student Loans
How to Refinance Parent Student Loans
Parent’s Guide to Student Loans
When to Apply for Private Loans
How to Pay for College Tuition
Applying for Student Loans Guide
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Student Loan Refinance 101
Student Loan Glossary
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Refinancing your student loans can potentially help you save money, achieve more flexibility with your monthly payments and even eliminate your student debt more quickly.
But it’s important to take your time to compare multiple student loan refinance options to determine which is the best fit for you and your needs and goals. In this SoFi student loan refinance review, you’ll learn about how the company operates, how it can help you refinance your debt and the unique features it offers that are worth considering.
Here’s everything you need to know about SoFi student loan refinancing.
SoFi is short for Social Finance. The company was founded in 2011, originally focusing on helping Stanford business school graduates get help with student loans via the alumni community.
A year later, the company became the first to refinance federal and private student loans. Since then, SoFi has funded more than $50 billion in loans, albeit not just student loans and student refinance loans, and has more than 2.5 million members.
In addition to private student loans and student refinance loans, SoFi now offers a wide variety of financial services and products, including:
SoFi also offers various workforce benefits through its SoFi At Work program. Employers can partner with SoFi to provide student loan and 529 plan contributions, as well as resources and educational tools.
In other words, while SoFi originally started out as a student loan refinance company, it’s now a full-blown financial services company with a lot to offer to its customers. The company became a publicly traded company in June 2021.
SoFi refinances undergraduate student loans and graduate student loans, as well as parent loans. If you’re considering refinancing with SoFi, here’s what you need to know before you pull the trigger on an application.
SoFi offers student loan refinancing for both federal and private student loans starting at $5,000, though that minimum can be higher in some states due to local legal requirements.
Unlike many other student loan refinance companies, SoFi has no maximum loan amount, so as long as you qualify, you can refinance the full balance of your student loan debt.
Repayment terms include 5, 7, 10, 15 and 20 years, so you’ll have some flexibility with your monthly payments and how long it’ll take to pay off your debt.
You can refinance both federal and private student loans, including Parent PLUS Loans and parent private loans.
If you’re a parent who borrowed money to help your child get through school, you can transfer the debt to their name through SoFi, although they’ll need to be on board and be able to qualify on their own or with you or someone else as their cosigner.
As with any lender, interest rates with SoFi will depend largely on your creditworthiness. However, the lender provides a range for its student refinance loans. As of Dec. 9, 2021, here’s what to expect if you’re a college graduate or a parent who borrowed on behalf of their child broken down by program:
To qualify for the best rates, you’ll typically need a high credit score and a high income, though SoFi doesn’t disclose its preferences. If you can’t qualify on your own, or if you want to maximize your savings, consider getting a cosigner with an excellent credit history and a high income to apply with you.
Just keep in mind that your cosigner will be equally responsible for paying the debt if you can’t.
Also, note that the lowest rates also include an autopay discount, which knocks 0.25% off your interest rate. Autopay is also a good idea because it can help you avoid accidentally missing a payment, and it’ll save you the time it would take to make your payments manually.
As you compare student loan refinance rates, SoFi offers a rate match program. The program will not only match the lowest rate you receive from another private student loan refinance lender, but it’ll also give you a $100 bonus (though the bonus is not available to Ohio residents).
To get the bonus, you must provide eligible documentation of the competing rate within 30 days of getting a prequalified rate from SoFi. You can call 855-456-7634 or chat with an agent through the lender’s website to find out how to send your documentation. You’ll also need to meet SoFi’s criteria for getting approved for a SoFi refinance loan.
SoFi doesn’t charge late fees, application fees, origination fees, or disbursement fees. There’s also no penalty if you choose to pay off your student refinance loan early. All of this is standard for most private student loan refinance companies.
If you’re considering SoFi student loan refinancing, here are some of the benefits you can get as a SoFi member that you might not be able to get elsewhere:
To qualify for the best student loan refinance rates, you typically need to make a strong impression.
SoFi offers student refinance loans in all 50 states, and while the lender doesn’t provide all of the specifics for what you need to be eligible for a student refinance loan, here are some of the criteria it does share with the public:
When you apply, the lender will review your credit score, financial history, monthly income and expenses and other factors to determine whether you qualify for a loan and what your interest rate will be.
If you have a cosigner, SoFi will also consider their information on the application. Note that SoFi does not offer cosigner release, so if you want to remove your cosigner from the loan at some point in the future, you’ll need to refinance the debt again.
The good news is that you can get prequalified for a SoFi student refinance loan without a hard credit check. This can give you the information you need to compare the lender’s interest rates with the best student loan refinance rates from other lenders to determine the best fit.
Student loan refinancing combines your current loans into a single loan with a new rate and term. See how much you can save by entering your loan information below, or by getting quotes from multiple lenders using Purefy’s rate comparison tool.
Lifetime Interest Savings
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If SoFi is on your list of refinancing options, it’s important to know both the benefits and the drawbacks of working with the lender. Here are some to consider as you make your decision.
SoFi was the first lender to refinance federal and private student loans, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best lender for everyone. You’ll want to consider SoFi if you:
That said, SoFi likely won’t be right for you if you have a cosigner and they’re uneasy about the lack of a cosigner release program. It’s also not an option at all if you don’t have a degree.
Take your time to research SoFi competitors and compare student loan refinance rates and other features to find the best one for you.
There are many reasons to consider refinancing your student loan debt, but there are also reasons why you should consider holding off, at least for now. Here are some of the benefits to consider:
If you’re a federal student loan borrower, think carefully about what you might lose when refinancing with a private lender.
Before you submit an application with SoFi, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare the best student loan refinance rates from other lenders like Earnest, ELFI, and more. As with SoFi, many lenders allow you to get prequalified with just a soft credit check, allowing you to review an initial loan offer.
But going through the prequalification process with each individual lender can be time-consuming. To speed up the process and make it easier to compare offers side by side, consider using Purefy’s rate comparison tool.
With the tool, you’ll be able to get prequalified with multiple lenders at once in just a few minutes. From there, you can compare the different rate offers side by side and also review other features that are important to your student loan payoff plan.
As you compare interest rates, though, make sure you’re looking at the right rates. Many lenders offer both fixed and variable interest rates. While variable rates start off lower, they can fluctuate over time along with market rates. And since we’ve seen record low student loan refinance rates in 2021, it’s likely that those rates will go up significantly over time.
As a result, you’re likely better off with a fixed interest rate.
Once you determine which lender is the right one for you, you can click through and apply directly with the lender.
SoFi is one of the top student loan refinance companies and offers several benefits that are unique to the lender. It also provides competitive interest rates, as well as a rate match guarantee if you find a lower rate elsewhere.
However, the lender doesn’t offer cosigner release, and there are no refinance options for people who don’t have a college degree. Before you apply with SoFi, take your time to shop around and compare multiple options to determine which one is the best match for you, your current situation and your short- and long-term goals.
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