SoFi personal loans review: Borrowers need a high credit score but will get perks like unemployment protection

SoFi personal loans review: Borrowers need a high credit score but will get perks like unemployment protection

SoFi offers personal loans that have great rates for those with excellent credit.

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The bottom line: SoFi Personal Loan is a strong personal loan lender for those with high credit scores — you’ll get perks like unemployment protection and no fees. However, its minimum loan amount is relatively high and you’ll need a solid credit score to qualify. 

SoFi personal loan amounts and interest rates

SoFi Personal Loan loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000. The minimum and maximum amounts are higher than other comparable lenders. For example, Upstart’s loan amount range is between $1,000 and $50,000, and the range for Marcus by Goldman Sachs personal loans is $3,500 to $40,000.

SoFi may be a good choice if you need a bigger loan, but you may be able to find a better lender if you’re looking for a smaller amount of cash.

Interest rates at SoFi range from SoFi personal loan APR. That’s comparable to Lightstream’s APR range of LightStream. 

Pros and cons of SoFi personal loans

Pros

Generous loan limits. A generous maximum loan limit of $100,000 could be helpful for borrowers who need a large loan. Some competing lenders won’t lend nearly as much.Unemployment protection. SoFi offers forbearance in case you lose your job during your loan repayment. This unique feature allows you to apply for a three-month forbearance, up to a total of 12 months.No origination or late payment fees. SoFi doesn’t charge an origination fee at the start of the loan and also doesn’t charge a fee on late payments. However, interest will still accumulate on late payments, and a late payment could still be reflected on your credit report. 
 Fully online application. SoFi personal loan applications can be completed entirely online, so there’s no need to visit a bank in person. Preapproval is also available on SoFi’s website to check your interest rates before completing the full application. 

 

Cons

High minimum credit score requirement. The minimum credit score required for approval is 680. Many other personal loan lenders, including LightStream and Discover, only require a credit score of 660.High minimum loan amount. The lowest amount you can borrow with SoFi is $5,000. The minimum loan amount may be higher in some states, too. No in-person support. If you like having the option of talking to a banker in person about your loan or make a payment in person, SoFi may not be the lender for you. 

How SoFi personal loans work

SoFi Personal Loan offers unsecured personal loans, which are loans that don’t require collateral, such as a house or car.

You can use a SoFi personal loan for various reasons, like debt consolidation and home improvements. But you can’t use them for real estate purchases, business purposes, investments, purchases of securities, post-secondary education, and short-term bridge financing. Check with SoFi to confirm your expense is eligible for a loan. 

SoFi’s repayment term lengths range from two to seven years. There are no prepayment penalties for paying off your loan early, though.

Personal loans are available in all US states, except Mississippi. You are able to apply with a co-borrower, which could help you get lower rates if your co-borrower has a good credit history. 

One of SoFi’s unique perks is its unemployment protection. The company offers forbearance for any personal loan borrower who loses their job during their loan repayment. This unique feature allows borrowers to apply for a three-month forbearance, up to a total of 12 months.

Only borrowers who have lost work involuntarily and have applied for unemployment are eligible. SoFi states that borrowers will have to work with its careers group to actively look for employment to qualify. This is separate from any assistance the lender is offering during the coronavirus pandemic. 

After your application is complete and verified by SoFi, you’ll usually receive your money within a few days. 

You can call customer support Monday through Thursday, 5:00 a.m.to 7:00 p.m. PT, or Friday through Sunday from 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT. You also have the option of sending mail to the company’s Dallas, Texas, address. 

If you like to handle your money on the go, SoFi has a sleek mobile app where you can manage your personal loan and make payments.  

What credit score do you need to get a SoFi personal loan?

With SoFi Personal Loan, you’ll need a minimum credit score of 680 to qualify for a loan. This minimum is one of the highest of any personal loan lender out there. For comparison, the lowest credit score Lightstream will consider is 660, and Upstart’s minimum is 600. 

To get your credit report from one of the three major credit bureaus, use annualcreditreport.com. You can get your report for free once per week through April 20, 2022. While you won’t receive your credit score on this report, you’ll get information about your credit and payment history. While reviewing your credit report, you can spot errors and figure out where you can improve. 

You can obtain your score at no cost on your credit card statement or online account. You can also purchase it from a credit reporting agency. If you want to check your rates, your credit score will not be affected because SoFi will only conduct a soft credit inquiry. 

However, the lender will conduct a hard credit inquiry once you accept the loan offer, which will likely affect your credit score. A hard inquiry gives a lender a complete look at your credit history, but may negatively affect your credit score.

Is SoFi trustworthy?

The Better Business Bureau, a non-profit organization focused on consumer protection and trust, gives SoFi Personal Loan an A+ rating. The BBB analyzes businesses by evaluating a business’ responses to customer complaints, truthfulness in advertising, and transparency about business practices. 

However, SoFi has been involved in a notable scandal over the past few years. In 2019, the company was charged with misleading consumers over the savings they would receive by refinancing with SoFi. The Federal Trade Commission then prohibited SoFi from making any promises over potential savings without dependable evidence to support those claims. 

Regardless of the company’s stellar BBB score, if this scandal concerns you, you may be better off choosing another personal loan provider. 

How SoFi personal loans compare

Min. credit score

680

Min. credit score

660

Min. credit score

600

APR

SoFi personal loan

APR

LightStream Personal Loan

APR

Upstart Personal Loans

Origination fee?

No

Origination fee?

No

Origination fee?

Yes

SoFi Personal Loan

LightStream

Upstart Personal Loans

SoFi and LightStream both cater to borrowers with good or better credit. But for borrowers who don’t meet SoFi’s relatively high credit requirements, Lightstream may be the better choice.

On the other hand, SoFi has an advantage for people who want to see their potential rates and loan amount before they do the full application. 

LightStream’s interest rates start much lower than SoFi’s rates do, but LightStream’s maximum interest rates are higher. Your choice could depend on which lender offers you the better rate.

While comparing preapprovals would be the best way to find out, LightStream doesn’t offer preapproval. To compare offers, you would have to submit an application and agree to a hard credit pull. SoFi offers preapprovals online.

While SoFi does not have an origination fee, Upstart does have an origination fee of up to 8% on its personal loans. Upstart has a much wider range of interest rates than SoFi with interest rates ranging from 7.86% to 35.99% APR. SoFi’s interest rates stop much lower than Upstart’s interest rates.  

However, Upstart only requires a 600 minimum credit score to apply, much lower than SoFi’s 680. Both Upstart and SoFi allow you to check your rate without affecting your credit score before applying. 

SoFi SoFi Personal Loan

SoFi Personal Loans Disclaimer: Fixed rates from 4.99% APR to 19.53% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of December 27, 2021 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, income, and other factors. See APR examples and terms. 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. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.

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