Updated May 4, 2021

SoFi Personal Loan Review

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SoFi offers unsecured personal loans if you need to borrow money ASAP. But is it legit (or not)? Learn how SoFi personal loans actually work.

5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Competitive, fixed rates
  • Low fees
  • No collateral
  • Slower underwriting process
  • High standards for borrowers

Bottom Line

Personal loans with low APR and fees. Must have good credit to qualify

A SoFi personal loan can be used when you need to pay off a bunch of big bills that are weighing you down. You could also use it as an infusion for a big purchase, like a honeymoon, but that's not recommended.

A SoFi personal loan may make sense for you if:

  • Have a lot of debt with high interest rates
  • Want to make large purchases that you can't finance with a credit card
  • Need 2 or more years to pay off the loan

Otherwise, a balance transfer makes more sense if you have a smaller amount of debt and can pay it off within a year.

Getting a Personal Loan for Credit Card Debt

Are you swimming in credit card debt and need help? Are you searching for a lifeline for your debt and shopping around for the right solution? For most people, a balance transfer is the most effective way to streamline credit card debt, but others may view SoFi as the solution.

Proceed with caution, though. Although personal loans can be tempting, they should only be sought if you can afford the monthly bill and the interest that comes with the privilege.

Another big warning: Get the wrong loan and it can sink you fast.

Here's what you need to know about getting a personal loan through SoFi. We'll start with the positives and also highlight some reasons to steer clear.

Is SoFi Legitimate? Social Finance or SoFi is an online lender. Originally known for student loan refinancing, they have made their way into personal and home loan lending. They have high standards when compared to other lenders such as requiring good credit scores and steady income. SoFi offers competitive rates and don't add on additional fees.

Want a Personal Loan? 10 Reasons to Use SoFi


Wondering what kind of features and benefits SoFi has to offer? Here's what you can expect.

  1. You'll get a competitive rate. Compared to other personal loan lenders, SoFi's rates are some of the lowest around. That's a major plus if you're trying to score a better deal on your credit card debt or finance a big purchase.

  2. You can borrow just a little or a lot. With most online lenders, the personal loan borrowing limit is capped at $35,000. With SoFi, you can borrow as little as $5,000 or as much as $100,000. Note: Minimum loan amounts for residents of the state of California is $10,000.

  3. You won't pay unreasonable fees. Between application fees, origination fees and closing fees, getting a personal loan can cost you an arm and a leg. Fortunately, SoFi doesn't tack on any of these expensive extras.

  4. You'll be offered flexible loan terms. Typically, you get 2, 3, 5, or 7 years to pay back what you borrow on a personal loan. With SoFi, you can take as many as 7 years to clear your debt.

  5. You can get a discount on your rate. If you sign up for auto payments, with your monthly payments getting pulled right out of your bank account, SoFi will cut your rate by 0.25%. That may not seem like much at first, but it can add up to big savings over the life of the loan.

  6. You can get free money. If you know someone who needs a personal loan, SoFi will pay you 100 bucks for referring them if they are also approved for a loan. There's no limit on how many people you refer, so you can snag some serious cash just by telling people about the company.

  7. You can get help if you lose your job. What's one of the first things to worry about if you get laid off? Your bills. For this loan, anyway, you can get a break. If you become unemployed, SoFi will put your loans in forbearance for up to 12 months and help you out with career counseling in the meantime so you can find a new gig.

  8. You don't need collateral. SoFi personal loans are unsecured, meaning you don't have to put up property or other assets to borrow. This makes dealing with SoFi less risky than with lenders that demand you do agree to give up certain assets if you become unable to pay.

  9. You get a fixed APR. SoFi personal loans come with a fixed APR. In comparison, a variable APR is riskier; the interest rate can change and go higher if the index the rate is tied to goes up. If it does, you'll end up paying more in interest over time.

  10. You can use the money for just about anything. SoFi doesn't put tight restrictions on how you can use personal loan funds. That means you can get a loan to consolidate your debt, pay for your dream wedding, or put a new roof on your house.

Reasons to Consider a Different Lender

The 10 reasons we just listed make a SoFi personal loan sound pretty good, but it's not going to be the best choice for everyone. Here are reasons why another lender might make more sense.

  1. Loan funding takes time. While SoFi's application is all done online and takes just a few minutes to give you the OK, underwriting is a slower process. Unlike some online lenders that can fund loans the same or next day, SoFi can take up to a week to get the money to you.

  2. Borrowers need to meet high standards. SoFi is on the hunt for high-quality borrowers, which means they're going to put your credit history and income in the spotlight. Compared to other lenders, the bar is set fairly high, so if your credit is iffy or you're not making a lot of money, you may have a harder time getting approved.

Is SoFi safe? Yes. SoFi is a legitimate online lender and licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi offers competitive rates without added fees. But they require strong credit scores and consistent income.

Compare Your Options

Compared to a balance transfer, consolidating your debt with a SoFi personal loan may make sense for a couple of different reasons. For one thing, there are no fees. Typically, credit card companies charge a 2%-3% fee for balance transfers, which only adds to your debt. With SoFi, a fee like that is not tacked on.

Tip: If you only have a little bit of credit card debt, a no balance transfer fee credit card may be better for you instead.

So, is a personal loan always better than a credit card balance transfer? It depends on how much you need to consolidate and how long you need to pay it off. You can easily find credit card companies that will take on your debt, interest free, for a limited time. If you can pay off what you owe within the promotional offer (generally 6 months to 1½ years), you could save a lot of money on your credit card debt. But the risk is if you don't pay it off by then, you could be stuck with a super-high APR.

On the other hand, a personal loan from SoFi will charge you interest from day one, but you have the advantage of stretching out the loan term. You may find that to be a less stressful option. And you may find it possible that you'll pay less than you would with a balance transfer.

For example, let's say you have $25,000 in credit card debt to consolidate and SoFi offers you a personal loan with a 5-year term and a fixed 7% APR (your actual rate will depend on your creditworthiness and other factors). The alternative is a 0% interest balance transfer for 12 months, after which a regular APR of 15.99% applies. What are the chances you'd be able to pay off that debt within 12 months, interest free?

Why a personal loan makes sense: If you took SoFi's offer and made payments of $500 a month, the loan would cost you around $4,700 in interest. Now, if you went with the balance transfer instead and made the same monthly payment over a 5-year period, you'd spend close to $6,800 in interest before it's all said and done. That doesn't include the balance transfer fee.

When you do the math, it becomes clear that for some borrowers at least, SoFi is the more cost-effective option.

SoFi Loan Rates

You've got some flexibility as far as the loan terms go, which is great if you need a longer time frame to pay it off. Currently, SoFi offers personal loans with repayment terms of 2, 3, 5, and 7 years.

How SoFi is different: While some lenders like to pile on the fees, SoFi doesn't do that. There's no application fee, no loan origination fee, no prepayment penalty if you pay it off ahead of time, and no late fees if you're late in making a payment.

Personal Loan Calculator

Personal loan calculators can come in handy if you want to get an idea of how much interest you'll pay over the life of the loan or how increasing your payment speeds up your payoff. Unfortunately, SoFi doesn't offer this feature for personal loan borrowers.

There is a tool for calculating repayment of student loans, but you'll have to look elsewhere for one that lets you plug in the numbers for personal loans.

Personal Loan Requirements

Before you go through the application process, you'll want to make sure you meet all of SoFi's eligibility criteria. All borrowers have to be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and you must be the age of majority (at least 18 or 21) in your state.

You also have to be working. As part of the underwriting process, SoFi will take a look at your overall employment history, what kind of money you're making, and how your income stacks up against your monthly expenses. SoFi also reviews your overall financial history to see how good you are at saving and paying your bills.

The last eligibility requirement has to do with where you live. At the moment, SoFi offers personal loans in 49 states and the District of Columbia. If you live in Mississippi, you're out of luck.

Pro Tip: The minimum to borrow from SoFi's Personal Loans is $5,000 in most states, but you can borrow up to $100,000. Note: Minimum loan amounts for residents of the state of California is $10,000.

Credit Score

SoFi offers some pretty generous lending terms, but they don't just hand out personal loans to anybody. Aside from the requirements mentioned above, you also have to prove yourself worthy of a loan based on your credit history.

If you have a history of paying all your bills on time and you're not carrying a huge amount of debt, you'll likely be a good candidate for a loan. On the other hand, if your credit report is littered with late payments or collection accounts, or you're close to maxing out your total credit line, it might be difficult to meet SoFi's credit standards.

Can you have a cosigner?: As of April 2018, you can now apply with a co-applicant for a SoFi Personal Loan. While adding a co-applicant is not required, it may help you qualify for a loan or qualify for a lower interest rate. However, both applicants will be jointly responsible for repaying the loan. In addition, the review process with a co-applicant may take an extra one to two weeks. Note that co-applicants must live at the same address as the primary applicant.

SoFi Personal Loan Application Process

SoFi's loan application process begins with getting your rate quote online. To do that, you'll need to create a login using your email address and a unique password.

Once you're logged in, choose the personal loan link on your account dashboard to get started. Next, plug in your name, address, phone number, date of birth and citizenship status. You'll also have to check off whether you rent or own your home and fill in information about your education, employment and income.

The last step is telling SoFi what you plan to use the money for and agreeing to the rate check terms. Getting your rate only counts as a soft pull against your credit at this point, but a hard pull will show up if you actually take out a loan.

Once SoFi tells you what kind of loan terms you qualify for, the next step is formally applying. At this point, you'll have to upload supporting documents to verify your identity and income. SoFi uses electronic deposit to disburse loans, so you'll have to give them your bank account information as well. The last step is signing the acceptance packet online, which finalizes the loan.

Worried about being able to provide collateral for your personal loan? The SoFi Personal Loan is unsecured, which means you don't need collateral to apply.

It's easy: According to the SoFi website, it takes borrowers about 15 minutes to get a rate quote, fill out the online application, upload documents and sign the final loan agreement. Once that's done, you'll have the money within a week or so.

Bottom Line

SoFi is worth considering if you've got a spotless credit history and a steady income stream. The rates are extremely competitive and the lack of fees just adds to the money you can potentially save. Be sure to check your credit report and score before applying for a personal loan with SoFi to gauge whether you'll be able to qualify.

All rates, terms, state availability, and savings calculations are current at the time this article was written. Rates, terms, state availability, and savings calculations may update in the future. For current rates and terms visit SoFi.

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Rebecca Lake is a journalist at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Rebecca Lake at rebecca@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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