SoFi Student Loan Refinance Review

Our Rating: B-

Loan Limits $5,000+
Fixed Rates 2.99% – 7.58%*
Variable Rates 2.25% – 7.13% (9.95% Cap)
Terms 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
Min. Credit Score 700 (soft minimum)

*Lowest rates always include the 0.25% interest reduction for auto-pay.

Skip to: Rates & Fees | Eligibility Requirements | Repayment Options | Consumer Reviews & Complaints | FAQ

Social Finance, Inc. (SoFi) is an online-only specialty finance corporation that provides private student loans, home loans, personal loans and other services. SoFi refinance loans are serviced by the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA). SoFi Lender Corp. originates all SoFi loans.

Loan Refinancing Options
Private student loans
Private parent loans
Federal student loans
Federal Parent PLUS loans (in either name)†

Parents may refinance their own parent loans or transfer the debt to their child.

SoFi Refinance Rates & Fees

SoFi offers fixed interest rates between 2.99% and 7.58% and variable interest rates between 2.25% and 7.13% for student loan refinancing, depending on the loan term.

Student Refinance Loan Rates
Term Fixed Rate Variable Rate
5 Year 2.99% – 6.29% 2.25% – 5.94%
7 Year 3.58% – 6.40% 3.58% – 5.95%
10 Year 4.03% – 6.41% 4.03% – 5.96%
15 Year 4.45% – 6.74% 4.45% – 6.29%
20 Year 4.67% – 7.58% 4.67% – 7.13%
Parent PLUS Refinance Loan Rates
Term Fixed Rate Variable Rate
5 Year 2.99% – 6.39% 2.25% – 5.94%
7 Year 3.58% – 6.40% 3.58% – 5.95%
10 Year 4.03% – 6.41% 4.03% – 5.96%
15 Year 4.45% – 6.74% 4.45% – 6.29%
Medical & Dental Resident Refinance Loan Rates
Term Fixed Rate Variable Rate
5 Year 3.12% – 6.34% 2.38% – 5.89%
7 Year 3.50% – 6.35% 3.50% – 5.90%
10 Year 3.81% – 6.46% 3.81% – 6.01%
15 Year 3.88% – 6.79% 3.88% – 6.34%
20 Year 4.30% – 7.63% 4.30% – 7.18%

Additional information about Sofi refinance rates:

  • Checking your rate with SoFi will not affect your credit score. They will conduct a soft, not hard, credit inquiry (learn the difference).
  • Sofi does offer a discount for setting up auto-pay: 0.25% interest rate reduction.
  • Variable rates are based on the 1-month LIBOR rate (0.12%as of this writing). This means that as the LIBOR changes, increasing or decreasing, your variable rate will change, increasing or decreasing correspondingly.
  • Variable rates are capped at 9.95% (or 8.95% for loan terms of 10 years or less).

Student Loan Refinancing Calculator

Based on advertised rates, use the calculator below to determine what your new monthly payment and potential savings may be if you refinance with SoFi.

Additional Fees

Beyond interest rates, there are a number of fees a refinance lender may charge up-front or during the loan servicing period. Below is a list of these fees that Sofi does or does not charge.

Fee Type Amount Charged
Application Fee None
Loan Origination Fee None
Disbursement Fee Undisclosed
Prepayment Penalty None
Late Payment Fee $5 (if more than 14 days overdue)
Returned Payment Fee Undisclosed
Collection Fee Undisclosed
  1. Application fee – fee to apply for rates & approval.
  2. Loan origination fee – fee to create the new loan.
  3. Disbursement fee – fee for distributing funds to lenders to pay off loans that have been refinanced.
  4. Prepayment penalty – fee for making extra payments to reduce a refinance loan balance or pay it off early.
  5. Late payment fee – fee for making a late payment. SoFi does not charge a late payment fee for individual monthly payments received within two weeks of the due date.
  6. Returned payment fee – fee for failed payments due to insufficient funds, also known as a “bounced check”.
  7. Collection fee – fee for collecton activity on a defaulted debt.

Current Promotions & Offers

As of this writing, SoFi offers a $10 gift card for checking rates on their website. To participate, you must be in the United States, be 18 years or older, have a qualifying education loan that is eligible for refinancing and agree to a soft credit pull. You don’t need to be approved to receive the gift card. Limit 1 gift card per participant, and 3 per household.

SoFi Refinance Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for refinancing with SoFi, all borrowers must meet the criteria below.

  • Citizenship Requirement: U.S. citizenship or permanent residence -OR- a creditworthy co-signer with U.S. citizenship or permanent residence.
  • Income Requirement: a steady source of income -OR- will have a steady source of income within 90 days of application.
  • Credit Score Requirement: there is no minimum, but applicants with credit scores below 700 are rarely accepted.
  • Graduation Requirement: an associates degree or higher from a Title IV accredited school.
  • Location Requirement: borrowers may be residents of any of the 50 states.

Additional restrictions apply for specific individuals and loans.

  • To qualify for medical resident student loan refinancing (MRSLR), borrowers must have a minimum of $10,000 in debt.
  • MRSLR is only available to medical and dental graduates.
  • Medical and dental residents and fellows with up to four years left in their approved program are eligible for MRSLR.
  • In Connecticut and Kentucky, the minimum debt for MRSLR is $15,001; in Pennsylvania, the minimum debt is $25,001.
  • Residents of Mississippi and Minnesota are not eligible for MRSLR.

SoFi Student Loan Repayment Options

Lenders vary greatly on the benefits and options provided to borrowers during the loan servicing period. Additionally, benefits may only be available on a case-by-case basis. SoFi offers some relief options.

Deferment & Forbearance

If unexpected financial hardships make it difficult or impossible to continue making timely payments in full, borrowers may be able to postpone payments for a limited period.

SoFi’s postponement options include deferment and forbearance. Deferments is preferable because interest does not continue to accrue for the length of the deferment. Loans in forbearance always continue to accrue interest.

See SoFi’s conditions for deferment and forbearance below.

Condition Coverage
Returning to grad school (half or full time ) Deferment
Disability rehabilitation Deferment
Active military duty Deferment
Involuntary unemployment‡ Forbearance (up to 12 months total)
Economic Hardship Unspecified
Natural Disaster Undisclosed
Temporary Hardship Unspecified

SoFi offers unemployment protection; in the event borrowers are unexpectedly unemployed, they may apply for job placement assistance in addition to 12 months of forbearance over the life of their loan.

Additional Options

Some lenders offer additional opportunities for debt assistance or to modify loan contracts.

  • Co-signer release is not available from SoFi. Refinance borrowers must instead reapply for refinancing. There is no limit to how many times borrowers can refinance with SoFi.
  • Death / disability discharge is available in the unfortunate circumstance that a borrower passes away or suffers total permanent disability.

SoFi Reviews, Complaints & Lawsuits

Beyond our own findings, our team also collected the most genuinely insightful customer experiences we could find, including any instances of legal action against the company in which the details became public.

SoFi Online Reviews

Below are 3 samples of SoFi customer reviews we found on public forums, included here for their value as unedited, uncensored, and unsolicited user experiences. Note that these reviews are unverified, may include inaccuracies, and may provide outdated information (about rates, bonus offers, etc.).


“Just wanted to let you know of my positive experience with SoFi ReFi with a rate match. I wanted to ReFi my ~$105k of student loans (third time), as it was 75% 4.899% and 25% 4.375%. SoFi originally quoted me 4.568% for 15yrs. I got a quote from Splash Financial for 4.07% for 15 years. SoFi matched, and actually did better. Happy to say I’m now at 3.978% @ 15yrs fixed rate with SoFi. I wanted to stick with SoFi since I’ve been with them for several years and had all positive experiences.” – KungFuScubaMaster on reddit, 1/21/2020


“My wife and I used SoFi to refinance student loans and it was a smooth process … We were not offered close to the lowest rate as marketed on their website (the 3.25% that you mention) even though we have great credit scores, so I’m not sure how they determine their rates.” – dsmil on Bogleheads.org, 4/24/2018


“Keep checking periodically to see what Sofi will give you every few months. I refinanced with Sofi in December 2017 to a 5.35% rate (5.1% after the auto-pay interest discount) with a 10 year loan (~$125k balance). Then I refinanced with Sofi again in December 2019 to a 4.0% interest rate (3.75% after the auto-pay discount) with a 7 year loan (~$90k balance). I continue to check every couple months to see if I can get anything better.

Just something to keep in mind – keep checking back on rates because it doesn’t cost anything to keep refinancing with Sofi.” – SaguaroSpines on reddit, 8/22/2020


More unfiltered customer reviews of SoFi are available at TrustPilot.com (3.4 out of 5), and ConsumerAffairs.com (2.9 out of 5).

SoFi CFPB Complaints

As consumer finance companies, student loan refinancing lenders fall under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency. As part of their mission, the CFPB allows consumers to log official complaints. These complaints are publicly available on the CFPB official website.

Since 2011, consumers have submitted 139 complaints about Social Finance, Inc.’s (SoFi’s) student loan product to the bureau. Most issues were about private student loans, with 90 complaints logged. Nonfederal student loans logged 35 complaints and federal loan servicing logged 14 complaints.

SoFi averages 9 complaints for every 100 corporate employees, or 1 complaint for every $2,167,050 of company revenue ($301.2 billion total).

The allegations made in these complaints are unverified, are not necessarily representative of all consumers’ experiences with SoFi, and may contain outdated information (about rates, bonus offers, etc.). Note that a lender with a large customer base is likely to also have a higher number of complaints when compared with smaller lenders.

Line Graph: SoFi Consumer Complaints with the Consuer Financial Protections Bureau

Below we’ve included the 3 most recent complaints (as of this writing) in which the consumer consented to sharing their details.


Complaint 3933072
11/2/2020
Missouri

SoFi heavily advertised a {$450.00} bonus paid in cash for refinancing a loan with them. The process of setting up the loan, while it does involve entering bank account information, does not trigger the payment of the {$450.00}. There are no clear instructions on how to provide the needed information to SoFi to receive the {$450.00}. I received emails notifying me they needed my bank account info for ACH deposit, but the link took me to a general account home page with no clear place to input the information. After reaching out to their customer service, they told me it could be found in the ” refer a friend ” section of the ” membership ” menu. There was nothing before my interaction with the customer service agent that pointed this out or made it clear in any way on the website or in any emails. Additionally, the terminology on where the information is to be entered does not align with what a reasonable person would normally search for and creates UDAAP concerns on my part. I believe that the process is potentially designed to be deliberately difficult to reduce the number of customers who actually complete the needed information to receive the {$450.00}. I recommend an audit of the company ‘s incentive program, communication, and the number of claimed rewards vs those that are not. I would also recommend the analysis be performed from a Fair Lending perspective to determine if there has been a disparate impact on XXXX customers.


Complaint 3923252
10/28/2020
Maryland

I used a referral link to apply for a Sofi Student Loan Refinance XXXX # XXXX XXXX which was first approved on XX/XX/2020. When I applied, my referral bonus XXXX {$300.00} ) was present on the application the entire time. Sofi went through two iterations to beat my competitor ‘s offers and I eventually decided to go with Sofi. I had my loan funded on XX/XX/2020. Having learned from past experiences of companies refusing to pay incentive bonuses, I reached out to Sofi customer service on XX/XX/XXXX about my cashback bonus. I was contacted on XX/XX/XXXX and told the steps I needed to complete to get my bonus sent to my bank account. Over the past month I have been dealing with Sofi Customer Service trying to get them to give me my bonus. I provided the email thread of me discussing the bonus with them directly and the link I used. Of course, yesterday XXXX XX/XX/2020 ) they informed me that they were not responsible for the bonus despite it being applied to my application. Promoting cashback bonuses to have someone accept a loan and failing to provide the bonus is illegal.


Complaint 3796214
8/14/2020
Texas

I refinanced my student loans with SoFi in XX/XX/XXXX. The loans were originally federal loans held by XXXX XXXX. The amount refinanced was {$31000.00}. At the time, SoFi aggressively marketed their loans, advertising that they could save customers thousands of dollars with their lower rates. They never clearly communicated to me the risks of losing the benefits that could potentially be offered by the federal government : for example the recent laws passed and executive orders signed granting relief from payments and accrued interest, and the possibility of student loan forgiveness. This information may have been in the fine print, but they did not make efforts to make it apparent. I reviewed all the email communications I received when initiating the loans and this information was not presented. SoFi is now adding this kind of disclaimer to their marketing efforts ( see attached ). This disclaimer is now on at least one of their websites : ” NOTICE : Recent legislative changes have suspended all federal student loan payments and waived interest charges on federally held loans until XX/XX/XXXX. Please carefully consider these changes before refinancing federally held loans with SoFi, as in doing so you will no longer qualify for these changes or other current or future benefits applicable to federally held loans. ” SoFi is allowing some forbearance ( 60 days ) now but they are not halting the accrual of interest ( see attached ). I believe that by not explicitly warning their customers about the risk of losing these benefits they are engaging in predatory lending practices.


For a full list of the 139 complaints made against SoFi in the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database, click here.

SoFi Lawsuits

Note that while this information is updated regularly, ongoing legal action is subject to change.

Juarez v. Social Finance, Case No. 3:20-cv-03386-LB

SoFi is currently subject to a nationwide class action lawsuit regarding its student loan products and services.[1] Juarez v. SoFi alleges lending descrimination against recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Outten & Golden LLP and Lawyers for Civil Rights filed the suit on behalf of Ruben Juarez on May 19, 2020.

The 17-page complaint alleges that SoFi “systematically denied and limited DACA recipients equal access to student loans and other financial products.”[2] Specifically, the suit alleges SoFi initially denied DACA recipients’ eligibility for student loan applications and later, following a policy update in late 2019, continued to require DACA recipients to provide a creditworthy co-signer who is also a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

The case is currently awaiting assignment to a district court judge.

Federal Trade Commission Charges

SoFi has been subject to FTC investigation and formal charges related to their student loan refinancing products specifically.[3] Most recently, SoFi settled a suit with the FTC early in 2019. This suit, filed in 2018, alleged that since April 2016, “SoFi made prominent false statements about loan refinancing savings in television, print, and internet advertisements. The complaint also alleged that the average savings SoFi touted in its ads inflated the actual average savings – sometimes even doubling it – by excluding large categories of consumers.”[4]

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is SoFi good for refinancing student loans?
    SoFi may be a good student loan refinance option for cautious borrowers with good credit ratings. Federal complaints, as well as many consumer complaints, report misleading advertisements; these ads include offers of bonus cash and inflated savings.
  • Can I refinance my SoFi loan?
    You can refinance a SoFi student loan or a student loan from another private lender. SoFi advertises that there is no limit to the number of times a borrower may refinance. Note, however, that every application requires a hard credit check that may affect your credit score.
  • Are SoFi loans federal?
    SoFi loans are not federal. SoFi is a private student loan lender and has no affiliation with the federal government or the US Department of Education.
  • How long does it take to refinance with SoFi?
    It usually takes between 8 to 16 weeks total to refinance a student loan with SoFi, from prequalification to the first payment due date. Applicants with specific needs or circumstances may require additional processing time.
  • Does SoFi have a prepayment penalty?
    SoFi does not charge a prepayment penalty for early payment on student loans to reduce a loan’s principal.
  • Does SoFi hurt your credit score?
    During their prequalification process of checking rates for student loans, SoFi will perform a soft credit check, which will not hurt your credit score. However, if you proceed with an application, SoFi will perform a hard credit check which may affect your credit score.
  • Does SoFi charge an origination fee?
    SoFi does not charge an origination fee or an application processing fee for a student refinance loan.
  • Can I change my mind after I refinance with SoFi?
    You can change your mind for a limited period after refinancing a student loan with SoFi. After signing the final documents, SoFi allows a 3-day grace period during which time the borrower may contact the company to cancel the new line of credit without penalty.
  • Is SoFi a bank?
    SoFi is not a bank nor is it affiliated with any bank.

Compare Student Loan Refinance Reviews

Lender Rating
Advantage B+
BECU C-
Brazos A
Citizens Bank B-
CommonBond A+
Education Loan Finance (ELFI) A-
Laurel Road A-
MEFA B-
SoFi B-

Sources

  1. PacerMonitor, Juarez v. Social Finance, Inc. et al
  2. Outten & Golden LLP, SoFi Lending Discrimination
  3. Federal Trade Commission, In the Matter of SOCIAL FINANCE, INC., a corporation, also d/b/a SOFI, and SOFI LENDING CORP., a corporation, d/b/a SOFI. DOCKET NO. C -4673
  4. Federal Trade Commission, FTC Approves Final Order with SoFi
  5. SoFi, Refinance Student Loans
  6. SoFi, Student Loan Refinancing Eligibility
  7. SoFi, Student Loan Refinancing Rates & Terms
  8. SoFi, Disclosures & Disclaimers
  9. CFPB, Consumer Complaint Database
  10. Dun & Bradstreet, Business Directory
  11. Better Business Bureau, Search Businesses and Charities