SoFi can be a great help to many student loan borrowers.
However, using SoFi’s services is potentially risky. Before signing up with SoFi, it is critical that you understand how SoFi works and the pros and cons of choosing to work with a company like SoFi.
Moving Student Loans to SoFi
Moving to SoFi sounds like a simple process, like moving your checking account from one bank to another.
Unfortuantely, moving student loans is a bit more complicated.
In this case, “moving to SoFi” means refinancing your student loans with SoFi. In a student loan refinance, SoFi pays off the balance of student loans you want to move. A new loan SoFi loan is created, and you repay SoFi according to the terms of the new loan.
By eliminating your old loans and replacing them with a new loan, SoFi offers the chance for borrowers to get better loan terms, like a lower interest rate or lower monthly payments. However, borrowers need to be careful to ensure that the new loan terms are better.
Is SoFi a Good Company? SoFi stacks up pretty well against the other lenders providing student loan refinance services.
To get all the details on SoFi, check the In-Depth SoFi Review.
Who Can SoFi Help?
The big limitation with SoFi is that they won’t help the borrowers who need the most help. If you lost your job or you have fallen behind on your current student loans, SoFi is unlikely to refinance your debt.
Instead, SoFi focuses on borrowers with stable jobs and decent credit scores. The higher your credit score and income, the more likely you are to get favorable interest rates and repayment terms from SoFi.
SoFi can offer low interest rates because they only lend to the borrowers likely to repay their debt.
The Risk of Choosing SoFi
Just because you can qualify to refinance with SoFi doesn’t mean you should refinance with SoFi.
For example, borrowers with high-interest federal student loans should think twice before choosing SoFi. Because SoFi is a private lender, it can’t offer federal perks like Income-Driven Repayment or Student Loan Forgiveness.
If you are only refinancing private loans, choosing SoFi is considerably less risky. However, you still want to make sure that the new loan terms are better than your current loan terms. For some borrowers, this means only refinancing certain loans.
The Benefits of Student Loan Help from SoFi
The headline benefit to choosing SoFi is a lower interest rate and possibly lower payments. If you are looking to spend as little as possible on interest, select a loan with a short repayment period when you refinance. If you want the lowest possible payment, choose a longer loan term, such as 20 years.
Another benefit of refinancing is moving loans with several different lenders to one location. If you have loans with lender A, lender B, and lender C, refinancing can move all of the debt over to SoFi.
If you are concerned about the impacts of inflation on your student loans, refinancing into a fixed-rate loan is one of the best ways to ensure inflation doesn’t mean higher student loan payments.
Finally, SoFi is trying to become the go-to financial institution for young people and recent grads. This means they have a huge incentive to provide excellent customer service.
Alternatives to SoFi
SoFi is far from the only lender that offers refinance services. Even though they are one of the best, it is wise for borrowers to investigate other lenders to find the best possible deal.
If you are looking for the lowest interest rate possible, these lenders advertise the best rates as of April, 2022:
If the goal is to get the lowest possible payment and lower your interest rate, a 20-year fixed-rate loan is probably the best choice. As of April 2022, the following lenders offer the lowest rates: