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Tuesday, March 28th
SoFi wants you to get your money right, reaching financial independence so you can make your ambitions a reality. And, with over two million members and $50 billion in funded loans, this service is absolutely helping people like you accomplish that. While you can definitely use SoFi just for a consolidation loan and nothing else, you may want to take advantage of their additional products and tools that can give you guidance for attacking your debt with a plan, building and maintaining a safety net, putting your money to work, and even saving for retirement or other goals.
A few unique questions in application process
To apply for a consolidation loan from SoFi, enter your name, state of residence and email address to create an account on their site. Next, you put in the desired loan amount (from $5,000 to $100,000) and click on the category that matches your intended use of the funds. We like the next question: "What monthly payment amount works with your budget?" You can enter any number between $150 and $500, or skip it altogether. The remaining questions help SoFi to verify your identity; otherwise, you'll be asked for your Social Security Number if they can't match your credit history to the details you provided.
Big perks you won't find elsewhere
SoFi has some huge perks compared with many financial institutions offering consolidation loans. Their interest rates are generally lower than what you'll find elsewhere, with an added deduction if you set your repayments to automatically come out of your bank account each month. Better yet, the APRs on SoFi personal loans have zero origination fees - good luck finding that with other lenders!
Look for sign-up bonus promotions
There was even a promotion in place at the time of our most recent visit to SoFi: a $10 credit for simply checking our offered rate on a loan, and a $300 cash bonus if our loan was funded. Hey, if credit cards can offer sign-up bonuses, why not providers of loans too?
Unemployment protection benefit
Our favorite SoFi benefit, though, is their Unemployment Protection program. If you lose your job through no fault of your own and your loan is in good standing at that time, you can apply to have your loan repayments suspended for three months at a time, for a total of 12 months over the life of the loan. SoFi's Career Advisory Group will even help you look for a new job.
Disappointing downturn in overall customer satisfaction
However, we were disappointed to find out that in the time that has passed since our last evaluation, several of SoFi's rivals have done a better job of keeping clients happy. In fact, even though the BBB gives them an "A+" rating, Sofi's listing there says "this business receives a high volume of complaints" . That's not good. Looking at nearly 2,500 independently-verified reviews elsewhere, SoFi comes in with a disappointing 3.2 out of 5-star average, and less than 80% of their reviewers would give the service a perfect score. Ouch!
Customer service needs improvement
The biggest complaints we found described frustrating challenges getting ahold of anyone in SoFi's customer service department - and the resulting long timeframes for resolving issues. If you need funds quickly, or if you have any problems with your personal loan, you want to know you'll get a prompt, professional response. Unfortunately, SoFi has some work to do in that regard.
Still worth considering
SoFi has a lot to offer: you'll find low interest rates on your loan, and no other lender we found works with you so supportively if you lose your job. But, there's more to the story, and customer complaints tell a tale that leaves us feeling more than a little disappointed. We really hope to see an upswing in customer satisfaction in the near future, because SoFi has previously been a great option for loans.
Maybe you've gotten overwhelmed by credit card payments and overdue bills, and now you're wondering if there's any light at the end of the tunnel. Or, perhaps you're a financially-savvy consumer who wants to take advantage of lower interest rates, in order to pay off your mounting credit cards bills. Debt consolidation can be a smart strategy either way.
What, exactly, is debt consolidation? It's important to understand that companies offering it may mean different things. For some, debt consolidation is offered as a personal loan: you borrow funds that you use to pay off all of your outstanding debts. Your interest rate should be much lower than your credit cards, and now you've got a simplified, single payment to make each month. This can be a great way to boost your credit score by reducing the likelihood of making late payments (or none at all) and get on your feet again financially. On the other hand, you're in charge of using your loan money responsibly - and not to buy things you don't need!
Other providers of debt consolidation take a more hands-on approach, giving you credit counseling and even going to bat for you with your creditors. The services they provide may include negotiating a lower debt amount or getting your debt forgiven altogether! You might pay a monthly fee for this kind of debt consolidation, or it might be a flat fee based on how much money they saved you overall.
Either route you choose, there are a lot of options out there. How can you decide which one is right for you? Keep these points in mind as you weigh out the possibilities:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best debt consolidation options available today. We're confident that this information will help you choose a strategy to pay down your debts and get your finances in order!
Select any 2 Debt Consolidation Companies to compare them head to head
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