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SoFi Review: Personal Loans in 2023 [Our Verdict]

Life happens. Sometimes you just need that bit of extra cash—say $50,000—to cover your expenses. Personal loans can pay for your wedding, honeymoon, or divorce attorney if it doesn’t work out for you two a few years down the line. 

Whatever you need a loan for, we won’t judge. We’re here to rate and rank your potential lenders.

SoFi is one of the most popular loan providers in the US. Here’s our comprehensive review of SoFi personal loans.

In this review we’ll:

  • Answer the question, “Is SoFi as good as everyone says?” (Spoiler alert: yes!).
  • Show you where SoFi shines, and where it drops the ball.
  • Compare it with its closest competitor.
  • Evaluate SoFi’s features and explain how we’ve graded it. 
SoFi Our rating Fixed APR Fees Loan term Loan amount Min. credit score
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4.8 / 5.0 7.99%–23.43% No fees 2–7 years $5,000–$100,000 650

SoFi Personal Loan Review: An Overview

SoFi is an online lender that offers personal loans everywhere in the US (but Mississippi). They’re unsecured installment loans with fixed rates—which means you won’t need to provide collateral to get one (and won’t risk losing your car or your house). 

The interest rates are competitive, and there are no fees across the board. The amounts you can borrow are more than generous—and capped at $100,000. Your rates and loan terms will depend on your credit history and financial situation.

Remember, the higher your credit score and income, the lower your APR will be—and the better terms you’ll get overall.

SoFi personal loan is best for people who are already in good standing money-wise. If that’s you—  

You can use SoFi Personal Loan for:

—and other personal and family reasons. 

You can’t use your personal loan as a student loan (duh!), for business purposes, or investments. 

Pros of Choosing SoFi

What makes SoFi a standout among other lenders? Let’s check its advantages.

No fees 

Personal loans are a bit notorious for their fees. 

There’s an origination fee—a one-time charge that you have to pay right away to cover the cost of your loan. If you’re borrowing $100,000, and your origination fee is 5%, you’ll pay $5,000 upfront and only get $95,000 for your wedding cake and flowers.

A late-payment fee is kind of a given when you skip payments or fail to pay off your loan before  the end of its term. But guess what? Personal loans often charge a prepayment penalty too. Your lender can “punish” you if you pay off your loan in advance.

SoFi throws all these fees out of the window. You won’t pay a penny for getting a loan or for exiting early. To paraphrase a famous book, it’s easier for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven than for anyone to find a personal loan with zero fees. And you’ve just found that rare gem (congrats!). 

Top tier benefits

SoFi offers some of the most lucrative benefits on the market:

  • You get a rate discount if you opt in to the autopay function.
  • There are referral bonuses—up to $10,000 in total.
  • You can apply for SoFi’s Unemployment Protection Program if you lose your job unexpectedly. Your loan will go into forbearance (meaning all payments will be paused) for up to 12 months. Mind you, this might lower your credit score—but it’ll take that financial burden off your chest.
  • SoFi also provides career coaching and helps with job placements.

Soft credit check when you pre-qualify

You might want to double-check your chances of qualifying for a loan before you commit to it or even apply for it. Your application will leave a mark on your credit report for two whole years, after all. Don’t apply for ten loans at once just for kicks and giggles—you’ll ruin your chances to get even one (with your credit score). 

Soft inquiries, on the contrary, won’t lower your credit score. SoFi lets you check if you qualify and what rates you are likely to get. You’ll answer simple questions about your income, fill in some personal info—and voilà! SoFi will send you a detailed list of the conditions and rates they can offer you.

Fast funding 

SoFi boasts same-day funding after you get approved for the loan. It’s certainly possible to get your money within one business day. In some cases, it can take a couple of days instead. But rarely more than three.

Reviewers generally praise SoFi for how swiftly they’ve got their funds. In 2021, 86% of people who got approval before 7 p.m., received their personal loans the same business day

Large loans and lengthy terms

Last but not least, what matters in a loan is how much you can borrow and for how long.

Two to seven years is a wide range of repayment terms. You can pick and choose whether you want to repay your loan quicker with lower interest rates, or over a longer period with smaller monthly contributions. Both approaches have their fans.

Similarly, the ceiling of $100,000 is really high for a personal loan.

Some people don’t like SoFi’s high minimum loan amounts ($5,000 and even $10,001 in certain states). Yes, it’s not a loan you’d use to finance your Christmas shopping. Their website says the average SoFi loan amount in 2021 was around $33,000. We think most applicants are looking to fund larger projects.

Cons of SoFi Personal Loans

Nobody’s perfect (except your mom)—so let’s dissect SoFi’s shortcomings.

Can’t use a co-signer

Co-signers on a loan are people who can vouch for you (and who’ll pay off your loan when you can’t). They typically have a stellar credit history, which can help you get a loan when you need to (re)build your own credit. 

One of SoFi’s disadvantages is that it doesn’t let you use a co-signer.

On the bright side, there’s an option to get a joint loan—a co-borrower is a lot like a co-signer. You can use them strategically as a way to qualify for a loan that’s out of your league—but you’ll share equal responsibility for making payments.

Keep in mind that if you choose this path, your co-applicant has to live at the same address as you. The review process for your application may take a couple of weeks more. And you can’t remove a co-borrower, unless they’ve passed away. Truly, till death do us part. 

Challenging to qualify for

The number one reason people leave negative reviews for SoFi is that it’s hard to qualify for their personal loans. Apparently, they’ll only consider you as a candidate if you have at least a 650 credit score. Even then, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the loan.

SoFi investigates your credit history, employment status, and monthly income before making a decision. Your free cash flow (what’s left of your income after you pay off your monthly debts and buy groceries) is also important. 

SoFi targets their personal loans at people with good and excellent credit and considerable income ($45,000 a year at least). If you’re not there yet, you might want to consider bad credit loans or other strategies for how to build credit.

SoFi vs. Discover: Compare Lenders

Loan SoFi Discover
Our rating 4.8 / 5.0 4.6 / 5.0
Fixed APR 7.99%–23.43% 6.99%–24.99%
Fees No fees No origination or prepayment fees Late fee—$39
Loan terms 2–7 years 3–7 years
Loan amount $5,000–$100,000 $2,500–$35,000
Min. credit score 650 660

Discover is SoFi’s closest competitor when it comes to personal loans. They share a lot of the good stuff—low interest rates, no origination fees, and up to seven years of the repayment period. 

The main reason why we think SoFi is better, is because of the sheer immensity of the amount you can borrow—more than three times the maximum Discover offers. SoFi also doesn’t charge the late fees that you’ll get with Discover. And Discover’s benefits aren’t as appealing since there are no rate discounts or unemployment protections.

Our Methodology 

We’ve scored SoFi over six key categories by analyzing 12 data points. We’ve also reviewed other lenders and compared their performances with SoFi. Here are the six categories we’ve come up with to rate and rank everyone: 

  • Affordability: Everything related to APR and fees.
  • Availability: is this loan available in every state? What are the minimum credit score and household income requirements? In other words—how easy it is for an average American to get this loan.
  • “The meat”: half of this score is the loan terms, and the other half––the amount you can borrow. We consider those two factors “the meat” of every loan.
  • Application process: can you pre-qualify for this loan? Will the lender do a soft credit check first? Also—how quick and smooth your application process will be and how fast the funding takes.
  • Customer experience: the digital experience—is there an app, and how easy is it to navigate their website?. Plus—overall customer satisfaction and potential red flags.
  • Additional benefits: all the sweet perks, discounts, and special terms the lender is eager to offer.

How we scored SoFi

Here’s the breakdown of how we rated SoFi in each of the six categories: 

Category Explanation Our Score
Affordability SoFi is one of the most affordable personal loans out there. Its interest rates start low, and it offers unprecedented zero fees. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Availability SoFi is available in every state but Mississippi.

It’s best suited for people with good and excellent credit—and considerable income. Those who fall short in these categories might apply in vain.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

“The Meat” —and the gravy! SoFi offers phenomenal loan terms and the largest amounts to borrow. You won’t find any better.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Application Process The application process is quick and painless. You can pre-qualify before applying without hurting your credit score.

The best case scenarios provide same-day funding. When the lender approves you, you can get your money ASAP.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Customer Experience SoFi is a company that operates fully online. Their website is easy to navigate and provides all vital info. The finance app covers all their services—we think it’s helpful. 

Customer support is there for you every day of the week.

The reviews of their personal loans are top-notch. People only have problems with the rejections. We get it—it hurts. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Additional Benefits Once again, SoFi eclipses other loaners. Rate discounts, member benefits, and Unemployment Protection are all outstanding perks.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Overall  

4.8 stars

Our Final Verdict

We give SoFi personal loans 4.8 stars. It blows its competitors out of the water in every category but availability. Keep in mind it’s not a credit-builder loan. But if you’re doing well financially and credit-wise, this one is as good as it gets. Enjoy low interest rates, don’t worry about any fees—and reap the hottest benefits. Now go renovate that backyard and buy your dream wedding dress!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is SoFi?

Or, as some people google, “Who is Sofi?”

SoFi is short for Social Finance Inc. It’s a personal finance company, founded in 2011 by Stanford graduates. SoFi has been offering student loan refinance since 2012—and personal loans since 2015. And by now, it has funded over $50 billion in loans.

Is SoFi safe?

Yes. SoFi is a legit company and a trusted lender. It’s not a scam. Whether you choose to get their checking account or a loan, you’ll be in safe hands.

What does SoFi offer besides personal loans?

Personal loans are far from the only option SoFi can offer you. 

Among other things, you should consider SoFi’s: 

—and other services. Check out the full list here.

Does SoFi do a hard credit pull?

SoFi has roughly the same application process as your typical credit card company. They do a soft credit inquiry at the pre-approval stage—but they’ll do a hard pull once you submit your actual application

How to apply for SoFi Personal Loan?

Our step-by-step guide on how to apply for your personal loan with SoFi:

  1. Check your credit score before applying (always best practice).
  2. Pre-qualify for the loan.
  3. Review the loan conditions SoFi offers you (your credit won’t get affected up until this point).
  4. Complete your online application.
  5. Wait for approval (it takes two to four days for sums over $20,000—and up to 15 if there’s a co-applicant).
  6. Receive your funds (on the same day, ideally).

Can I have more than one personal loan with SoFi?

Yes, you can! But in order to qualify for the second (third, fourth—) loan, you need to have three consecutive months of payments on your existing one

Unless you are from Michigan, then there can only be one.

 

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AUTHOR Jane Tumar

Storyteller by day, data enthusiast when I have free time, meticulous researcher—always. I’ve been working as a content writer for the past 3 years. With my degree in Computer Science and Literature, I am a breathing and walking juxtaposition. I love metaphors, SQL, and round brackets (duh!).

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