FAQ's 

 

Student Loan Refinance

 

What is a direct consolidation loan?

A Direct Consolidation Loan is a government program that allows you to combine multiple federal education loans into a single loan.  The resulting interest rate is a weighted average of your prior loan rates.  Refer to https://www.sofi.com/consolidate-student-loans-vs-refinance/ for more information.

What is the AutoPay discount?

The AutoPay discount is a 0.25% interest rate reduction on loans in which you authorize the loan servicer to automatically deduct monthly payments from any bank account you choose.

Will applying for a student loan refinancing affect my credit?

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.

Will checking the rates and terms that I qualify for affect my credit?

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.

Can I refinance previously consolidated loans with SoFi?

Yes.  Whether you previously consolidated federal loans through the government’s Direct or FFEL consolidation programs or you did a “consolidation loan” with a private lender, you can still apply to refinance the consolidated loan through SoFi just the way you could with any other federal or private loan.

When is the best time to refinance?

The earlier you refinance to a lower loan rate, the more money you will save. Even if you are in your grace period, interest accrues for unsubsidized federal loans. SoFi will honor any existing grace period of the loans you refinance with us.

Who should refinance?

Refinancing is a great solution for working graduates who have high-interest, unsubsidized Direct Loans, Graduate PLUS loans, and/or private loans. Federal loans do carry some special benefits, for example, public service forgiveness and economic hardship programs, that may not be accessible to you after you refinance. Check out this blog post that provide more information: When to Consolidate Federal and Private Loans by Refinancing. Or, call us for a free consultation about your particular situation.

Am I eligible for a SoFi Refinance loan?

To be eligible for a SoFi loan, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident 18 years or older and reside in one of our eligible states. Loan eligibility also depends on a number of additional factors, such as a responsible financial history, your income vs. expenses, and employment status. Please review our Eligibility Criteria or call us for further details.

Am I a good candidate to refinance my student loans with SoFi?

SoFi aims to revolutionize financial services- ultimately improving the system for everyone. Today, we’re able to offer significant savings and flexibility to US citizens or permanent residents who have graduated from a selection of Title IV accredited university or graduate programs, are employed or hold a job offer with a start date within 90 days, have a responsible financial history, and a strong monthly cash flow.

Is my school and/or program eligible?

Today we’re able to refinance graduates from Title IV accredited universities and graduate programs. If you believe you are a good candidate for refinancing, we encourage you to apply. Loan eligibility also depends on a number of additional factors, such as your financial history, your income and employment status. Please review our Eligibility Criteria or call us for further details.

Can my spouse and I refinance and consolidate all of our loans into one?

No. A consolidated SoFi loan can only be comprised of loans that were previously in one person’s name. However, you and your spouse can apply separately for refinancing.

Is it possible to refinance both federal and private student loans?

Yes, SoFi will consolidate all qualified education loans.

What is the difference between consolidation and refinancing?

When you consolidate federal loans through the federal loan consolidation program, you’re combining multiple loans together with a resulting interest rate that’s the weighted average of your original loans’ rates.  When you refinance loans with a private lender, you’re also consolidating (i.e. combining) them, but the lender will use your financial information to give you a new, hopefully lower, interest rate.

Does SoFi offer a grace period?

SoFi will honor any existing grace periods on the loans that you refinance with us.

What is the difference between interest rate and APR?

The interest rate is the percentage of the loan amount that is charged for borrowing money. The APR includes not only the interest rate, but also certain other fees charged by the lender, and represents the total cost of borrowing.

Does SoFi have a variable rate product?

Yes, we have a variable rate product. Please visit our Rates page for more information about our interest rate options.

Should I choose a fixed interest rate or variable interest rate loan?

Whether you choose a fixed or variable interest rate really depends on your particular financial situation. Find out more information on our Fixed vs. Variable Rate Loans resource page. Feel free to give us a call at 855-456-7634 to talk with a customer care consultant about which product may be right for you.

What is the minimum and maximum amount I can borrow with SoFi?

The minimum amount is $5,000 (and may be higher in certain states due to legal requirements). The maximum amount is the full balance of your qualified education loans.

Why was my application to refinance my student loans rejected?

While SoFi aims to ultimately improve financial services for everyone, today we’re able to offer student loan refinancing to highly qualified applicants who meet a number of criteria. We determine eligibility on a number of factors, not limited to:

 

  • 1. A US citizen or permanent resident.
  • 2. Hold a 4-year undergraduate or graduate degree from a Title IV accredited institution.
  • 3. Good employment history. Currently employed or hold a confirmed offer of employment.
  • 4. In good standing on current student loans.
  • 5. Strong monthly cash flow.
  • 6. A responsible financial history.

 

If one of the above factors changes, such as your employment or monthly cash flow, we encourage you to apply again in the future.

Are there origination or prepayment fees for SoFi loans?

No, there are no origination or prepayment fees on SoFi Student Refi loans.

Do you require or accept co-signers?

We do accept co-signers; adding a co-signer is optional. Please call us at 855.456.7634 to inquire about your specific situation and a customer care consultant can help you add a co-signer.

Are SoFi Loans considered “student loans” for tax purposes?

SoFi loans are considered student loans for federal and state tax consideration. Note that you may or may not be eligible for interest deduction depending on your individual tax situation. You should consult your tax advisor for more information.

Can I refinance a Parent PLUS loan?

Yes, you can refinance a Parent PLUS loan provided you meet the Eligibility Criteria.

Can my child on whose behalf I took out a Parent PLUS loan refinance my loan in his or her name?

It is possible to refinance a Parent PLUS loan into your child’s name, but your child must apply.  Please contact Customer Support to learn more.

Who is MOHELA?

MOHELA is SoFis’ third-party loan servicer for student loans.

What is the Entrepreneurship Program?

The Entrepreneurship Program is available to SoFi members who have already refinanced with us and have entered repayment. Qualified applicants may receive 6-month deferment and will have access to networking and professional mentorship opportunities. Visit our Entrepreneur Program page for more information.

Do you have a Referral Program?

Yes and we would love your help in spreading the word to help your friends save money. Check out our Referral Program, which rewards you with cash for new applicants you refer.

 

Mortgages

 

Will applying for a mortgage or mortgage refinancing affect my credit?

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.

Will checking the rates and terms that I qualify for affect my credit?

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.

What types of properties are eligible?

Mortgages are available for primary owner-occupied residences and second homes. This includes single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and PUDs in which borrower(s) is the primary occupant. Rental properties, tenancies-in-common (TICs), and co-ops are not eligible.

Who can apply for a SoFi mortgage?

All applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and be the age of majority in their state of residence. Applicants must also reside in one of our eligible states. Mortgage eligibility also depends on a number of additional factors, such as credit scores, income, employment status, and property eligibility. Please review SoFi’s mortgage eligibility criteria for further details.

What is the minimum down payment SoFi will accept?

We may require as little as a 10% down payment for well-qualified applicants. Maximum loan amount and program requirements apply.

Can I refinance an existing mortgage?

Yes, qualified applicants may apply for refinancing.

Do you require private mortgage insurance (PMI)?

No, we do not require PMI on any of our loans.

What is the difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval?

A pre-qualification is an estimate of how much you can borrow and the rates you may be eligible for (as determined using today’s rates), based on a preliminary review of your credit report and information you provided to us. With SoFi, there is no fee to get pre-qualified and we do a soft credit pull, which means it won’t affect your credit score. A pre-approval is a more formal offer, based on a complete credit check, evaluation of your employment history, income and assets, and the completion of the Automated Valuation Model (AVM) for the property you’d like to purchase. A pre-approval allows you to submit an offer with confidence that you are personally approved for a loan. Once you have identified a property to purchase, it must meet SoFi property eligibility standards.

Does SoFi require a property appraisal?

Yes, but unlike many traditional lenders, getting a mortgage with SoFi is usually not contingent upon how much the property is appraised for. This is because SoFi uses an Automated Valuation Model (AVM) as part of the pre-approval process to approve the value of the property for purchase. In most cases, as long as the purchase price satisfies the AVM, you will be able to get a mortgage for the amount determined as part of the pre-approval process. But, prior to final approval of the loan, a property appraisal with an interior and exterior inspection will still need to be completed to verify the property meets eligibility standards.

What is your rate lock policy?

SoFi may grant requests for a 30-day rate lock after receipt of a signed purchase contract or a fully completed refinance application. Otherwise, please note that mortgage rates may change on a daily basis.

Do you charge loan origination fees?

No, we do not charge origination fees on our mortgage products. However, you will still be responsible for standard third-party closing costs as well as other fees like credit report and flood certification.

What are standard third-party closing costs?

Closing costs are costs associated with a new mortgage or a refinance of an existing mortgage. Typical closing costs include fees for appraisal, title insurance, title search, transfer taxes, settlement services, property taxes and hazard insurance premiums and government recording fees. These fees vary depending on the transaction type and the geographic location of the property.

Are there prepayment penalties?

No, you can pay off your loan early without incurring a prepayment penalty.

 

Personal Loans

 

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is money you borrow for any kind of personal use such as paying off credit card debt, investing in home improvements, taking a special vacation, or paying for an engagement ring or wedding expenses. Taking a personal loan can be a smart way to consolidate high-interest rate balances under one monthly rate. To repay the loan, you make monthly payments of principal plus interest.  A personal loan gives you the flexibility to make big purchases, then pay it off at a pace that makes sense for you.

Should I choose a fixed interest rate or variable interest rate loan?

Whether you choose a fixed or variable interest rate really depends on your particular financial situation. Find out more information on our Fixed vs. Variable Rate Loans resource page. Feel free to give us a call at 855-456-7634 to talk with a customer care consultant about which product may be right for you.

What can I use a SoFi Personal Loan for?

You can use a SoFi Personal Loan for any personal, family, or household purpose. Unlike SoFi student loans, this loan is not intended to pay for educational expenses.

Am I eligible for a SoFi Personal Loan?

To be eligible for a SoFi loan, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident 18 years or older and reside in one of our eligible states. Loan eligibility also depends on a number of additional factors, such as a responsible financial history, your monthly income vs. expenses, and professional experience. Please review our Eligibility Criteria for further details.

Am I a good candidate for a SoFi Personal Loan?

SoFi aims to revolutionize financial services, ultimately improving the system for everyone. Today, we’re able to offer significant savings and flexibility to US citizens or permanent residents who are employed with a responsible financial history and have a strong monthly cash flow.

Is the SoFi Personal Loan secured or unsecured?

The SoFi Personal Loan is an unsecured loan. This means that you do not need to provide collateral for the loan.

If interest rates rise and I have a variable rate loan, what is the highest rate I could pay?

Interest rates on SoFi variable rate personal loans only change by the amount that LIBOR changes. Interest rates on SoFi variable rate personal loans are capped at 14.95%.

What is the minimum and maximum I can borrow?

With the SoFi Personal Loan, the minimum amount you can borrow is $5,000 in most states and the maximum is $100,000.

Are there any origination or prepayment fees?

No. We want to make things simple for our members, so we have no origination fees, closing costs, or prepayment penalties.

How is a SoFi Personal Loan different from credit card debt?

SoFi Personal Loans have a fixed repayment term. Credit cards often have high variable rates and no set repayment term.

Will applying for a personal loan affect my credit?

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.

Will checking the rates and terms that I qualify for affect my credit?

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.

If I use a Personal Loan to make improvements to my home, is the interest paid Tax Deductible?

Generally, interest paid on an unsecured loan is not tax deductible. SoFi encourages applicants to consult a Tax Advisor for more information.

How long does it take to receive the funds?

Once your application is complete and verified, if you are approved for a loan, you will receive a Loan Agreement for electronic signature. Once you’ve signed the document electronically, we will give you a call to confirm your address and welcome you to the SoFi Community, and then your funds should generally be available within 30 days.

How can I make my loan payments?

The easiest way to pay is to log in to SoFi.com and make payments electronically via ACH, the same secure way most people get paid by their employers. Even better, paying by ACH earns you a 0.25% discount on your rate. You can also set up online bill pay to SoFi through your bank, or you can send in a paper check. Note that we do not currently accept payment via credit card.

Do you require or accept co-signers?

We do not accept co-signers for SoFi Personal Loans.

What if I am laid off and can’t pay my monthly installments?

We encourage you to contact us as early as possible if you become unemployed. As a SoFi member and part of our community, we have tools and resources to help you land on your feet, including Unemployment Protection and Career Services. For more information, click here to learn about our career services program.

What if I’m late in making a payment?

Timely payment of your SoFi loans helps ensure we can continue to deliver great products and services to the SoFi community. A late fee applies if a payment is more than 15 days late. The late fee is the lesser of 4% of the payment due or $5.

 

Unemployment Protection Program

 

What is SoFi’s Unemployment Protection Program?

If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may apply for the Unemployment Protection Program. If approved for the program, 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.

During each three-month forbearance period, unpaid interest will continue to accrue and will be capitalized (added) onto your principal balance. You do have the option to make interest-only payments during this period in order to prevent the interest from increasing your principal balance.

Who is eligible for Unemployment Protection?

Refinanced student loans and personal loans are eligible for Unemployment Protection. Mortgage loans are not eligible for Unemployment Protection.

To apply for this assistance you must:

  • – Be a current SoFi member
  • – Provide proof that you are eligible for unemployment benefits, or have proof of involuntary severance with an employer
  • – Actively work with our Career Services department to look for new employment

How do I apply for Unemployment Protection?

The application process depends on the type of loan you have:

Student Loans:

For SoFi’s student loans, members should fill out the SoFi General Forbearance Request Form (download now), gather the required documents (proof of unemployment benefits and/or involuntary severance with an employer) and submit via MOHELA’s website.

After submitting the paperwork, SoFi’s Career Services team will reach out to you to get started with job search help. We suggest proactively submitting information via the Career Services request form to get the ball rolling more quickly (note that engaging with the Career Services is a requirement for Unemployment Protection, but reaching out to the team does not increase the chance of approval).

After all documents have been received by MOHELA, the decision process generally takes up to 5 business days to complete. If you have questions about the status of your Unemployment Protection application for this type of loan, please contact MOHELA directly.

Personal Loans:

For SoFi’s personal loans, members should fill out the SoFi Personal Loan Forbearance Request Form (download now) and submit the required documents (proof of unemployment benefits and/or involuntary severance with an employer) per the form’s instructions.

After submitting the paperwork, SoFi’s Career Services team will reach out to you to get started with job search help. We suggest proactively submitting information via the Career Services request form to get the ball rolling more quickly (note that engaging with the Career Services is a requirement for Unemployment Protection, but reaching out to the team does not increase the chance of approval).

After all documents have been received by SoFi’s Customer Service team, the decision process generally takes up to 5 business days to complete. If you have questions about the Unemployment Protection application for this type of loan, please contact SoFi Customer Service directly.

If you have more than one type of loan with SoFi, you’ll need to apply for Unemployment Protection for each loan. Note that mortgage loans are not eligible for Unemployment Protection.

Note that the same application process should be followed if extending past the initial three-month Unemployment Protection term.

Will my approval in the Unemployment Protection Program affect my credit score?

When approved for Unemployment Protection, your loan is placed into forbearance. This status is reported to the credit bureaus, and may be a factor in credit-based decisions from other institutions.

How will my loan payments be affected after Unemployment Protection ends?

Each forbearance period lasts for three months. You can re-apply to extend this in three-month increments, up to 12 months over the life of the loan.

During the forbearance period, interest will continue to accrue. Unpaid interest will be capitalized (added) to your principal balance at the end of each three-month forbearance period. If you’re able, we recommend making interest-only payments during this time in order to prevent the interest from being capitalized to the loan principal.

For student loans, forbearance does not extend the loan repayment term.

If interest-only payments are made during the forbearance period, the amount of the principal balance will not increase. Monthly loan payments will increase due to the same loan amount needing to be paid over the same repayment term.

If no payments are made during the forbearance period, the amount of the principal balance will increase. The increase to monthly payments will be more significant than if interest payments were made during the forbearance period.

For personal loans, forbearance does extend the loan repayment term.

If interest-only payments are made during the forbearance period, the repayment term will be extended, but monthly payments will not increase.

If no payments are made during the forbearance period, the unpaid interest will increase the principal balance, and will increase the monthly payment.

I’ve been denied for Unemployment Protection / forbearance. Why?

To be eligible for Unemployment Protection, you must be a current SoFi member and provide proof that you are eligible for unemployment benefits or have proof of involuntary severance with an employer.

Denial for Unemployment Protection may happen because:

– One or more of the eligibility requirements have not been met (for example, involuntary job loss is an eligibility requirement for Unemployment Protection, so members who have voluntarily quit their jobs are not eligible)

– All eligibility criteria have been met, but required documentation wasn’t submitted

Regardless of your enrollment in Unemployment Protection, all members can request job search assistance from the Career Services team, who can advise on job search and interview techniques, networking, and offer negotiation.