SoFi (Social Finance) started in 2011 as an online personal finance lender that offers personal loans, mortgages, and student loan refinancing.

SoFi is one of the few personal loan providers online to offer up to $100,000 with a fixed and variable interest rate option. Funds can be used for debt consolidation, home renovations, medical expenses, and many more.

Prequalification of the loan is completed in a few minutes with no obligations and only requires a soft pull on your credit score. If the borrower decides to proceed to fund, they will complete the online application and this will require a hard pull on your credit score to finalize the loan process. 

SoFi offers a service called unemployment protection as a part of their loan offering.   If a borrower loses their income source, they become eligible for the unemployment protection program. Sofi halts the loan payment temporarily until the borrower finds new employment and also helps the borrowers find new job opportunities. 

SoFi will put your loans into forbearance, suspending your monthly SoFi loan payments. Unemployment Protection is offered in three-month increments and is capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. 

SoFi has initiated an entrepreneur program and will provide seed capital, an accelerator program and a demo day for the member companies each year. They also offer the tools to build your company and pitch top VC's at the SoFi Demo days.

SoFi matches their products and services to those who have just graduated from university and are starting their careers and businesses. Their focus is to work with these up and coming professionals and their start-up companies from graduation into their future.

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Quick Snapshot

  • Loan Amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Credit Score: 660+
  • Terms: 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 years
  • Fees: No application fees, no origination fees, and no prepayment penalties
  • Will consider borrowers with limited credit history and excellent cash flow
  • Unemployment protection: If you lose your job, SoFi will temporarily pause your payments and help you find a new job (unique to SoFi. Check out their disclaimer on the SoFi website for full details)

In Our View

SoFi is an excellent online lender if you have good to excellent credit. A representative from SoFi stated that although credit is important, they place a higher importance on salary and the applicant's ability to repay the loan. There's no specified minimum income requirement with SoFi. SoFi offers its 'members' repeat no-hassle loans and up to two loans during the same period. They offer 'member' perks such as career coaching by helping you strategize for new job placement. They walk you through the process until you find a new job. While you are looking, they will postpone your loan payments for up to 12 months.

Loan Amounts $5,000 to $100,000
Required Credit Score Sofi will Credit Scores at 660 with variations. Sofi is looking for the applicant to have a very strong cashflow to support repayment.
Doesn't lend in Mississippi
Minimum Annual Income $75000
Types of Income Salary, Sufficient Income from other Sources, Job Offer with a start date within 90 days
Variable Rate Option Yes - 5.74%+ (with AutoPay) Variable rates not offered in AK, IL, OK, TX, VA, WY
APR Range Fixed: 5.99% APR to 16.99% APR (with AutoPay). Variable: 5.74% APR to 14.70% APR (with AutoPay).
Loan Term 3,4,5,6,7 Year Terms Available:
Repayment Schedule Monthly
Credit Inquiry Initial Inquiry - Soft, If Loan Offered & Accepted - Hard Inquiry with permission
Fees and Closing Costs No application, origination or prepayment fees
Secured Loans Unsecured
Co-Signer Co-Applicants and Co-signers
Direct Deposit Yes with Valid Savings or Checking Account
Loan Purpose Personal Loan, Debt Consolidation, Pay-Off Credit Cards
Qualifications U.S. Citizen, Permanent Resident, Visa Holder, over 18 years of age
Allows Military Yes
Legal Documents Required U.S. Citizen, Permanent Resident, Visa Holder (J-1, H-1B, E-2, O-1, or TN)
Number of Offers Not Applicable
Customer Service Live Customer Support

Mission & Vision

SoFi's founders saw a centuries-old industry that wasn't responding to a new generation of young adults who were well-versed in technology and embraced all it had to offer. These new generations financial needs weren't being addressed by traditional banks and lenders, so SoFi launched with a new vision for a new kind of finance company. They addressed the biggest financial challenge this new generation has which is student loan refinancing. Sofi then expanded into other types of loans, insurance, wealth management with similarly inventive products. SoFi understands that to be truly competitive in today's financial market they must continually make improvements to their wealth management platform.

Important Historical Facts

SoFi was founded by Mike Cagney, Dan Macklin, Ian Brady and James Finnigan in August of 2011. They began by originally offering in-school loans for Staford GSB students. They had 40 alumni invest $50,000 which in turn funded 100 students for their education. Since then SoFi has raised millions of dollars in peer-to-peer funding. In November of 2013, SoFi announced a deal with Barclays and Morgan Stanley to create a bond backed by the peer-to-peer loans. This created the first securitization of peer-to-peer loans to receive a credit rating.

  • February 2015 - SoFi was the first and only online lender to offer personal loans online up to $100,000 with a seven-year term
  • May 2016 - Gains Fannie Mae seller/servicer approval and becomes the first online lender to receive a triple-A rating from Moody's
  • August 2017 - by this time SoFi has funded over $30B in loans
  • SoFi has 500,000+ members across the country.
  • SoFi continues to be a leader in the online lending financial sector looking for solid improvisation to match the ever-changing technology sector.

Where is SoFi located

SoFi is located in San Francisco with offices in Claymont, DE, Healdsburg, CA, Helena, Mt, New York, NY, Reston VA and Salt Lake City, UT.

Company Growth

SoFi has more than 1,300 full-time employees with job postings listed on their website. SoFi believes in their team and offers exceptional benefits and perks. SoFi is leading the charge to bring innovation and disruption to financial services as a whole. They are building transformative products and tools that go beyond what's expected. SoFi is never satisfied with the status quo and always ready to see each idea as an opportunity.

How to Become a Member

  • SoFi is selective in who they lend money to. They want to be able to keep rates low and so look for the following criteria:
  • You are a US citizen, permanent resident or visa holder (J-1, H1B, E-2, O-1, or TN)
  • If you are a permanent resident, you have more than 2 years until your status expires or you have filed an extension.
  • If you are a visa holder, you have at least 2 years remaining until your status expires, or you have filed for a renewal or applied for permanent residency.
  • You reside in a state where SoFi Lending Corp is authorized to lend. At present SoFi lends in all states except MS.
  • You are 18+ years of age
  • You must be employed, have sufficient income from other sources or have an offer of employment to within the next 90 days.

Additional Criteria

  • must have a strong credit score, history and credit usage.
  • strong career experience
  • monthly income vs. expenses (Debt-to-Income) must be relatively low
  • strong cash reserves

Member Benefits

Members are eligible to have up to two SoFi Personal Loans at any given time. In order to qualify for a second SoFi Personal Loan, you must have made three consecutive scheduled payments on your first SoFi Personal Loan. (Note - Michigan residents are allowed only one SoFi Personal Loan at a time)

  • SoFi offers Unemployment Protection - if you lose your job, SoFi will temporarily pause your payments and help you find a new job.
  • SoFi does not charge origination fees, pre-payment penalties, or closing costs. As of April 18, 2018, SoFi does not charge late fees on Personal Loans.
  • Members are offered an exclusive rate discount on additional SoFi loans of 0.125%

Where Does SoFi Lend

  • SoFi offers Personal Loans in all states except Mississippi.
  • AK, OK, and WY - maximum interest rate on loans is 9.99%
  • IL - interest rates for loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR
  • TX - interest rates for loans over $40,000 with terms over five years is 9.99% APR
  • CO, CT, HI, KS, VA, SC - interest rates for loans over $40,000 is 11.99% APR.
  • ME - interest rates for loans over $40,000 is 12.24% APR
  • Personal loans not available to the resident of MI who already have a SoFi Student Loan

Minimum Personal Loan Amounts

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  • $5,000 except for the following
  • AZ, MA, and NH - $10,001
  • KY - $15,001
  • PA - $25,001

Rates

Fixed rates available in all states that SoFi originates loans and is the most popular as members know their interest rate and payment will never change

  • Variable rates not available to residents of AK, OK, TX, VA, WY
  • IL - Variable rates available for loans greater than $40,000
Anchor
  1. USA GOV credit reports - USA.gov Credit reports and scores acquired May 2018
  2. SoFi Mission & History - SoFi Mission & Historical Timeline
  3. Understanding Your Vantage Score - Understanding Your Vantage Score Acquired May 2018
  4. Vantage Scoring System - Vantage Scoring System acquired June 2018

Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 16.99% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.74% APR to 14.70% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of March 18, 2019 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 creditworthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.74% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.49% plus 4.28% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. 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.