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
Student Loan Process Checklist
Student Loan Refinance 101
Student Loan Glossary
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Curious about the differences between a SoFi vs Earnest student loan refinance?
If you’re thinking about refinancing your student loans, it’s crucial that you take the time to research lenders and find the one that works best for you. The best student loan refinancing options provide low interest rates, flexible repayment terms and other features that can make your student loan repayment plan more effective.
To help you make the right decision, we’ll compare Earnest student loan refinancing and SoFi student loan refinancing. Among the top student loan refinance companies, these two lenders can offer what you’re looking for.
If you’re trying to decide between a SoFi vs Earnest student loan refinance, here’s everything you need to know.
SoFi and Earnest are among the best student loan refinancing companies. But if you’re trying to decide between the two, which one is right for you? Here’s a quick SoFi vs Earnest student loan refinance guide to help you decide.
What is SoFi student loan refinancing, and how did they start? SoFi began operations in 2017, primarily as a student loan refinancing company. Since then, the lender has become a full-blown financial services company. In addition to student loan refinancing, the company also offers:
Earnest student loan refinancing review: An overview
Earnest was founded in 2013 and offers a handful of financing options. That includes student loan refinancing, private student loans, personal loans, and a credit card. Earnest promises extra flexibility when it comes to your repayment term, making it easier to find a monthly payment that fits your budget.
The lender offers in-house servicing and also makes it possible for borrowers to skip one payment every year and make it up later.
Both SoFi and Earnest offer both fixed and variable interest rates. As you compare SoFi vs Earnest student loan refinancerates between these and other lenders, it’s important to understand the differences and compare apples to apples.
Variable interest rates generally start lower than fixed interest rates. However, they can fluctuate over time as market conditions change.
This means that while your interest rate may start out low, it can increase over time. And because student loan interest rates have hit record lows in 2021, the chances of a variable rate increasing are high. If your interest rate increases, so will your monthly payment.
In contrast, fixed interest rates start out higher than variable rates, but they don’t change throughout the life of your loan.
In the majority of cases, it’s better to choose a fixed-rate loan over a variable-rate loan. The time to consider the latter is if you have a very short repayment term, so there’s little chance of a big fluctuation in the interest rate or if interest rates are high and market experts expect them to drop.
In both cases, you’ll get a 0.25% interest rate discount if you sign up for automatic payments.
Student loan interest rates change regularly, sometimes from day to day. As a result, it’s important to check each lender’s website to get the most up-to-date information on what they’re charging.
As of time of publishing, here’s what each of these lenders offers:
As you can see, Earnest is offering lower interest rates than SoFi in what is publicly advertised (as of time of writing). This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a lower interest rate with Earnest, though.
This is because each lender has its own criteria for determining your creditworthiness and how that affects your loan terms, including your interest rate.
As a result, you may get prequalified with both lenders and end up with a lower interest rate with SoFi than Earnest.
It’s also important to note that SoFi has a low-rate guarantee, which means that if you find a lower interest rate with a different lender, the company will match it and give you $100 for your trouble.
As previously mentioned, variable interest rates can fluctuate over time, which means that you’re taking on more risk. That said, if you’ve considered both fixed and variable interest rates and want a variable-rate loan, here’s what to expect between SoFi and Earnest as of time of publishing:
Again, Earnest’s interest rates look lower than SoFi’s, both on the low and the high end of the spectrum. But your actual rate with each lender will depend on various creditworthiness factors and how the lender considers them.
As a result, it’s always a good idea to shop around and compare rates instead of choosing a lender simply because its interest rate ranges look lower.
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A lender’s student loan repayment term options are a crucial factor in determining whether or not they’re a good fit. Even if you can get a lower interest rate somewhere else, it may not be worth it if you don’t have enough flexibility.
There are also other terms, such as loan amounts and fees, that you’ll want to keep in mind as you compare SoFi vs Earnest for a student loan refinance.
SoFi offers several repayment terms, including five, seven, 10, 15 and 20 years. This kind of flexibility makes it relatively easy to find a good payment option that works for you, especially compared with federal student loans.
SoFi doesn’t limit how much you can borrow — you can get a loan for the total amount of what you owe, regardless of how much that is. The lender goes as low as $5,000.
A common question is: Does SoFi have prepayment penalties? There’s no late fees, application fees, or origination fees and also no prepayment penalty with a SoFi student loan refinance.
Instead of prescribing loan terms for you, Earnest’s student loan refinance terms allow you to choose a repayment term that fits your budget. You can choose a schedule anytime between five and 20 years, right down to the month.
This kind of customization gives you so much more flexibility than most private student loan companies. The precision makes it easier to find a loan term that fits your budget well.
Earnest will refinance loans from $5,000 to $500,000, which should be more than enough for most student loan borrowers. But if you happen to have more than that limit, SoFi may be the better choice between the two.
One bright spot is that the lender doesn’t charge an application fee, origination fee, prepayment penalty or even a late fee.
Of course, late payments can still damage your credit score if they’re past due by 30 days or more, so don’t let the lack of a fee make you complacent.
While interest rates and repayment terms are key factors in determining which student loan refinance lender is best for you, the overall experience as a customer is also crucial. Here’s what you should know about SoFi vs Earnest student loan refinancing in this area.
In 2020, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) received 13 student loan-related complaints about SoFi. The lender has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
If you have questions about SoFi student loan refinancing, you can contact customer service at 855-456-7634.
As with SoFi, Earnest received just 13 complaints about student loans through the CFPB in 2020. The lender’s rating with the Better Business Bureau is an A. If you need to contact Earnest’s customer service team, you can reach them at 888-601-2801.
Earnest received an award from NerdWallet for being the best overall lender for student loan refinancing in 2021. This award is likely attributable to the lender’s low interest rates and customizable repayment options that you can’t get elsewhere.
The lender also received an award from NerdWallet for the best MBA and law school loan refinancing, so if you’re a business or law school graduate, consider using that lender for a better experience.
SoFi, on the other hand, received an award from NerdWallet for best medical school loan refinancing. So if you’ve graduated from medical school, consider working with SoFi to get your refinancing in place.
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As you compare student loan refinance options, there are several other features beyond the most important ones to keep in mind. Here are some other reasons to consider refinancing with SoFi over Earnest:
For the most part, Earnest doesn’t offer as many major features. There are, however, some to keep in mind as you do your due diligence:
Both lenders have minimum requirements to qualify for student loan refinancing. While meeting those requirements won’t guarantee favorable enough terms to make refinancing worth your while, they can give you a benchmark to help you determine whether or not you’re eligible.
Is SoFi good for refinancing student loans? In order to qualify for a SoFi refinance loan, you must meet the following SoFi student loan refinance requirements:
Is there a minimum credit score for a SoFi student loan refinance? SoFi does not disclose a minimum credit score, and there is no minimum income requirement, at least not an official one it has disclosed to the public, but the lender will look at your cash flow after your monthly expenses.
Earnest provides a little more information about what it takes to get approved for student loan refinancing, as well as what can disqualify you. Here’s what to expect:
It’s also important to note that Earnest considers more than just your credit to determine whether or not you’re eligible for a loan. Other factors include:
Earnest student loan refinancing is one of the best options available for most people who are looking to refinance their student loans. There are several reasons for this, especially compared with SoFi, including:
That said, the lender does not allow cosigners, so if you can’t get approved for refinancing on your own, this lender isn’t even an option for you. The same goes if you’re a parent who wants to refinance on your own or transfer the debt to your child who was a college student — the debt must be yours and for your education.
If you don’t qualify for a loan from Earnest, it’s a good idea to look elsewhere. But if you do and you can get better terms overall than with SoFi or any other student loan refinance company, it’s a good idea to apply.
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.
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As with all other major student loan refinance companies, Earnest and SoFi allow you to see rate quotes through the prequalification process. This process doesn’t require a hard credit check, so there’s no damage to your credit score.
Before you apply with Earnest or SoFi, though, it’s important to shop around and compare interest rates and other features across multiple lenders to determine which is best for you.
The best way to do this is through Purefy’s rate comparison tool. This tool functions similarly to the prequalification process each lender offers, but instead of doing it with just one lender, you’re doing it with multiple lenders at the same time.
This not only saves you money but also makes it easier to compare your options.
Remember, though, that interest rates aren’t the only important factor to consider. Earnest’s flexibility is one of the lender’s best features, and you likely won’t get that anywhere else. Also, because the lender looks at more than just your credit score, people with less-than-stellar credit who are generally responsible with their money will still have a chance to get approved.
Comparing SoFi and Earnest student loan refinancing can help you find the right option for you. As you look beyond the lenders’ interest rates and review other terms and features, it’ll be easier to determine which lender will provide the most savings and the best overall experience.
While SoFi has some excellent features and may be a solid option for many, Earnest can provide a better all-around experience, so it’s important to compare both before you decide.
The important thing is that you take the time to do your due diligence and find the best path forward for you and your student loans.
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