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SoFi Personal Loans vs. Other Top Options (2024 Review)

sofi logo in white on dark background
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Long Story Short
SoFi is a gold standard of personal loans for prime borrowers, standing out with perks including unemployment protection & rate discounts.

When it comes to selecting a lender from the sea of choices, it helps to narrow down what to look for. The best lenders will have adequate loan sizes, competitive rates, low and transparent fees, strong customer support, and positive customer reviews.

Bearing these criteria in mind, SoFi has been a leading choice since 2011. Today, it is a $19 billion company offering a wide range of financial and banking products, including savings accounts, credit cards, insurance, investments, and, of course, personal loans.

This review takes an in-depth look at SoFi's personal loan products. We will cover the pros and cons of the loans, what makes them unique, what they can be used for, approval criteria for borrowers, and what the application process is like. We will also compare the lender against three of their top competitors:

Reading this guide to SoFi personal loans will help you better understand whether they are right for you, ensuring you make an informed financing decision before submitting a loan application.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of loan sizes, from $5,000 to $100,000, with flexible uses, including debt consolidation
  • Competitive interest rates ranging from 8.99% to 29.49% APR
  • Wide range of repayment terms, from 2 years to 7 years
  • No prepayment or late fees
  • Allows co-signers/co-borrowers
  • Flexible fee options for some borrowers: choose either an origination fee or a slightly higher APR
  • Rate discount available for qualifying actions like autopay enrollment and direct deposit to a SoFi bank account
  • Excellent and accessible customer service
  • Special benefits including unemployment protection and financing advising

Cons

  • Minimum loan sizes of $5,000 may be more than some borrowers want or need
  • Credit score requirements makes approval tough for many borrowers

The Basics Of SoFi Personal Loans

illustration of cash and piggy bank

Before anything else, it is critical to understand the fundamentals of what a lender can offer you: how much can you get, what can the funds be used for, and what will the total cost of the loan (including interest rate and other fees) add up to? Let's cut straight to the chase for SoFi:

Wide Range of Loan Sizes

SoFi offers unsecured personal loans from $5,000 to $100,000. However, in some cases, certain state regulations may dictate higher minimum loan amounts, so it will be important for you to confirm during the pre-qualification stage if your desired loan size is affected.

Note that not all borrowers will qualify for the same loan amounts. During the pre-qualification stage of the application process, SoFi will help determine the maximum loan amount you might be approved for based on your financial profile and ability to repay.

Flexible Uses

As with any personal loan, SoFi personal loans have significant flexibility in terms of what they can be used for. Some of the most common uses for SoFi's unsecured loans include consolidating high-interest credit card debt through credit card consolidation, financing a large purchase, or covering the cost of a major event like a wedding.

SoFi loan proceeds can cover any of these kinds of expenses: home improvement projects, fertility or adoption expenses, medical bills, moving costs, or emergencies.

In fact, just about the only thing a SoFi personal loan cannot be used for is higher education expenses (SoFi offers student loans for that) and, of course, anything illegal.

Competitive Interest Rates And Loan Terms

SoFi boasts competitive interest rates ranging from 8.99% to 29.49%. Because these rates are fixed, they will remain constant throughout the entirety of the loan repayment period, ensuring stability and predictability in your repayment process.

Borrowers can choose a repayment term ranging from two to seven years, which is an unusually generous set of options compared to what many competitors offer.

Transparent Fees

SoFi personal loans come with a promise of no hidden fees, and they specifically do not have any prepayment or late fees. This means that you will not pay a fee if you happen to be late on a payment or if you decide to pay off your loan balance early.

The only fee SoFi may charge some borrowers is an origination fee. You can think of this as an "administrative" fee for underwriting and funding the loan. This fee ranges from 0% to 7% of the total cost of the loan and is deducted from the total loan amount before it is deposited into your bank account.

SoFi provides borrowers with a choice regarding the fee: they can choose to either pay it in exchange for a lower interest rate or have a slightly higher interest rate and skip the origination fee. This is a nice example of SoFi's uniquely flexible approach to lending.

Key Benefits Of SoFi Personal Loans

While it's clear that SoFi has highly competitive loan sizes, repayment terms, interest rates, and transparency, it also has a couple of unique features that really make it stand out.

Rate Discounts

Enrolling in autopay is the easiest – and most rewarding – way to manage a SoFi loan repayment. Borrowers who set up autopay get a 0.25% discount on their loan's interest rate while conveniently streamlining the monthly payment process. This is especially useful when managing multiple payments from a savings or checking account.

Additionally, borrowers can be eligible for another .25% discount on their loan's interest rate if they open an eligible cash management account (either a SoFi checking or savings account) and set up direct deposit.

Unemployment Protection

Layoffs or sudden departures from the workforce happen, and SoFi's Unemployment Protection Program offers forbearance and modified monthly payments for borrowers experiencing a challenging time.

Once enrolled in Unemployment Protection, borrowers can temporarily make smaller, interest-only payments on their loan until their employment situation improves. This benefit is unique to SoFi, with no other competitor offering a similar program.

Eligibility Criteria for a SoFi Personal Loan

illustration of hands holding a checklist

SoFi is generally regarded as a lender for people with Good to Excellent credit. While SoFi does not publish a minimum credit score or income requirements to get approved, we know that they will evaluate a borrower's credit history, residency status, employment conditions, and ability to repay. Let's consider a few of the top criteria SoFi will consider as part of their approval process:

Residency, Employment, and Income

  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or visa holder (and possess a valid U.S. or state government ID)
  • Have a social security number
  • Have a verified home address
  • Be of legal age (at least 18 years old in almost all states)
  • Be employed, have sufficient income, and/or an offer of employment to start within the next three months (and possess proof of income)
  • Maintain a good credit history
  • If a DACA recipient or asylum seeker: Current immigration status documentation

Credit Score and Credit History

Although SoFi does not officially state credit score requirements, it still plays a pivotal role in the loan approval process. Based on information from applicants gathered over the years, it seems that the minimum credit score required for a SoFi personal loan is 650, but most successful applicants have a credit score of 700 or higher.

For those with less-than-ideal credit, SoFi allows co-applicants to apply jointly, potentially improving the chances of qualifying for a personal loan and securing a lower interest rate.

How SoFi's Application Process Works

mobile phone showing 'application is complete' status

As you might expect from a leading lender, SoFi's application process is done entirely online and is designed to be fast and straightforward. The process has three basic stages: pre-qualification, submitting an application, and receiving funds upon approval. Let’s break down each step:

1) Pre-qualification and Soft Credit Pull

Pre-qualification is the stage where a borrower provides basic personal, educational, and employment details, as well as the desired loan amount they wish to borrow. Although SoFi states it will only take one minute to complete, it is a crucial step: both your interest rate and the amount you will be eligible to borrow will be revealed at this stage.

Because this step only involves a soft credit pull, a borrower's credit will not be impacted by checking their rate. It is crucial to carefully review what the terms of the loan will be before moving into the next stage, as submitting a formal application does have an impact on a borrower's credit score.

2) Submitting Your Application

A formal application involves providing further personal information as well as proof of residency, employment, income, and assets. At this stage you should have scans or PDFs of important documents ready to upload to SoFi, including:

  • Government ID
  • Signed letters from your employer, recent pay stubs, or W2s
  • For self-employed applicants, a copy of tax returns, bank deposit information, or payroll direct deposits may be required to verify income

Bear in mind that to complete the application, SoFi will conduct a hard credit pull to view your full credit history and credit score. This will cause a slight and temporary dip in your credit score, so be sure you want the loan before submitting an application.

3) Receiving Your Funds

Once your application is approved, SoFi will send a digital contract that can be e-signed. Upon signing, you can expect SoFi personal loans funded within one to three business days. In some cases, however, borrowers have reported getting their funds the same day they completed the application process.

SoFi Reviews & Customer Experiences

When selecting a personal loan provider, the company's reputation and customer service are critical aspects to consider. This portion of our review should help answer the question: is SoFi a company you'd want to do business and engage with, possibly for years?

Reviews and Accreditations

illustration showing cursor selecting 5 star review

Simply put, SoFi has excellent reviews from current and past customers. They have a Trustpilot rating of "Excellent" (4.6 out of 5 stars) based on over 7,700 reviews. Additionally, the Better Business Bureau gives SoFi an A+ rating.

Customer reviews, overwhelmingly positive, revealed a few common themes:

  • Praise for the speed of the application and funding process
  • Customer service that was accessible, responsive, and helpful in answering questions or resolving issues
  • A great digital experience, from applying to managing loan payments

However, like any lender, SoFi reviews also revealed some customers who were dissatisfied with their experience. The common theme among these customers was frustration at being denied a loan despite expecting to be approved. This is an important reminder that even if a borrower is pre-qualified for a loan, they are not guaranteed to be approved.

Quality of Customer Service

Customers generally gave SoFi's customer service rave reviews for their speed and professionalism in resolving issues. It is also worth noting that SoFi offers several convenient ways to access their service teams:

  • Phone: (855) 456-SOFI (7634), seven days per week during business hours
  • Online chat: seven days per week during business hours
  • Virtual assistant: 24/7 on the SoFi website

Comparing SoFi vs. Other Unsecured Personal Loan Providers

logos of other lenders to consider in addition to sofi

The decision to choose SoFi, or any lender for that matter, should come after thorough research and comparison. Here, we compare SoFi to three top competitors:

SoFi vs. Best Egg

  • Loan sizes offered: While Best Egg offers loans from $2,000 to $50,000, SoFi offers loans from $5,000 to $100,000. (SoFi offers more, but Best Egg offers smaller loan sizes if that's all a borrower needs)
  • Interest rates/fees: Best Egg and SoFi both have minimum interest rates of 8.99%, but Best Egg's maximum interest rate tops out at 35.99% compared to SoFi's 29.49%. (Borrowers will have a lower maximum interest rate with SoFi)
  • Repayment terms: Both Best Egg and SoFi have maximum repayment terms of 7 years, while the shortest repayment period is 3 years for Best Egg and 2 years for SoFi. (Neither lender has prepayment fees, so loans can be paid off as early as possible with no penalty)
  • Credit score requirements: Best Egg has a minimum credit score requirement of 600. While SoFi does not claim a minimum score requirement, it appears that for many customers, a minimum score is 650, with many being approved with a score of 700 or higher. (SoFi likely approves borrowers with higher credit scores than Best Egg)
  • Lender Reviews: Both Best Egg and SoFi share the same Trustpilot score of 4.6/5 and the same Better Business Bureau grade of A+.

Read our full review on Best Egg here

SoFi vs. LendingClub

  • Loan sizes offered: While LendingClub offers loans from $1,000 to $40,000, SoFi offers loans from $5,000 to $100,000. (SoFi offers more, but Lending Club offers smaller loan sizes if that's all a borrower needs)
  • Interest rates/fees: LendingClub rates range from 9.57% to 35.99%, while SoFi has interest rates from 8.99% to 29.49%. (SoFi has better interest rates overall)
  • Repayment terms: Both LendingClub and SoFi have a minimum repayment term of 2 years, whereas LendingClub has a maximum term of 5 years, and SoFi has a maximum of 7 years. (SoFi has the longer repayment period option)
  • Credit score requirements: LendingClub has a minimum credit score requirement of 600. While SoFi does not claim a minimum score requirement, it appears that for many customers, a minimum score is 650, with many being approved with a score of 700 or higher. (SoFi likely approves borrowers with higher credit scores than Best Egg)
  • Lender Reviews: Both LendingClub and SoFi have the same Better Business Bureau grade of A+. LendingClub has a Trustpilot score of 4.7/5, compared to SoFi's score of 4.6/5.

SoFi vs. Upstart

  • Loan sizes offered: While Upstart loan amounts range from $1,000 to $50,000, SoFi offers loans from $5,000 to $100,000. (SoFi offers more, but Lending Club offers smaller loan sizes if that's all a borrower needs)
  • Interest rates/fees: Upstart rates range from 6.4% to 35.99%, while SoFi has interest rates from 8.99% to 29.49%. (Upstart may be able to offer the lowest interest rates)
  • Repayment terms: Upstart repayment terms are either only 3 years or 5 years, whereas SoFi has terms ranging from 2 years to 7 years. (SoFi offers greater flexibility)
  • Credit score requirements: Neither Upstart nor SoFi claim to have minimum credit score requirements. Upstart considers other factors in a borrower's profile in their underwriting process, such as where they went to school and employment history. (Upstart may offer greater approval odds than SoFi)
  • Lender Reviews: Upstart has a Trustpilot score of 4.9/5, as compared to SoFi's Trustpilot score of 4.6/5. Both Upstart and SoFi have the same Better Business Bureau grade of A+. (Upstart has marginally better customer reviews overall)

Read our full review on Upstart here

The Bottom Line

SoFi is a leader in personal loans with its excellent reputation, flexible loan amounts, competitive interest rates, and benefits, including Unemployment Protection and rate discounts. If you are a borrower with Good to Excellent credit, we recommend that SoFi sit high on your consideration list.

With that said, choosing the right personal loan provider requires careful research and comparison. We hope this comprehensive guide helps you make the lending decision that is best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it hard to get approved for a SoFi personal loan?

SoFi is considered to be a lender for borrowers with Good to Excellent credit. While the lender does not specifically state minimum credit score requirements, some applicants with scores as low as 650 have been approved, but most successful applicants have a score of 700 or higher.

What credit score do you need for SoFi?

To qualify for a personal loan with SoFi, you generally need a FICO Score in the good range (670-739) or higher. Keep in mind, SoFi will also consider your entire financial profile for approval.

What are the rates for a personal loan from SoFi?

SoFi offers personal loans with APR ranging from 8.99% to 25.81% when you sign up for autopay, for amounts between $5,000 and $100,000, with terms of 24 to 84 months and various loan purposes. The average loan amount funded in 2022 was approximately $30,000.

What can SoFi personal loans be used for?

SoFi personal loans can be used for various purposes, including consolidating debt, financing major expenses like home projects or fertility treatments, and covering unexpected life events.

What is the range of loan amounts offered by SoFi?

SoFi offers personal loan amounts ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.


By
Zach Robbins

Zach has been recognized on Inc. 500 & “Top Places to Work” lists & has been featured in ConsumerAffairs, Forbes, GoBankingRates, Huffington Post, and U.S. News & World Report.

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Editor
Editorial Staff

The editorial team applies their decades of experience in financial services & customer experience to develop research aligned with our editorial pillars of Integrity, Transparency, & User-centricity.

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