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SoFi Review

Tuesday, January 25th

2022 Student Loan Refinance Company Reviews

SoFi Review 4 Star Rating

SoFi

4 Star Rating
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • Minimum loan amount: $5,000
  • Very competitive rates for both fixed-rate and variable-rate student loans
  • Autopay discount
  • No fees of any kind (origination, application, NSF)
  • US-based customer support
  • Available to residents of all 50 states plus Washington DC
  • Rate matching and $100 bonus

SoFi is one of the most popular options for students who want to refinance their loans. More than 375,000 SoFi members have refinanced over $30 billion in student loans, and the company was named as one of the best choices in the industry by US News and World Report. You'll regularly find SoFi included as a trusted partner on platforms that refer prospective borrowers to other lenders, too.

Good reasons to get loans refinanced here

There are a lot of reasons why SoFi should get your business for refinancing student loans. They're available to residents of all 50 states and DC, and their minimum loan amount is just $5,000. SoFi is also one of the only lenders we found who will refinance loans on associates' degrees and not just bachelors' and up.

Lowest rate guaranteed and other promos

Also, SoFi guarantees that they'll refinance your student loan with the lowest rate. Terms and conditions apply, but if you meet the criteria they'll not only match that rate but also give you $100! And, at the time of our most recent visit to the SoFi site, there was a promotion offering a $500 welcome bonus on newly-refinanced student loans.

No Social Security number required to prequalify

Finding out if you prequalify for refinancing is easy. Just answer a few questions about why you want to refinance your loans and if they're federal, private or a mixture. You can either enter the information from your current loan(s) manually, or link via Plaid to your current provider (Sallie Mae, Discover, Navient, and so on). SoFi will gather other details like your graduation year and field of study, your annual income, and so forth, until they've gathered enough information to do a soft pull on your credit report. We were glad that we didn't have to provide our Social Security number for SoFi to prequalify us for student loan refinancing: many of their rivals required it.

Best Student Loan Refinance Companies

Many combinations of rates and terms

You'll find plenty of loan options here: fixed-rate and variable-rate, terms anywhere from 5-20 years, and all with competitive interest rates. While we didn't qualify for their absolute lowest APRs, we were pleased with what we were given during the prequalification process.

Not a flawless reputation

In spite of all these positives, SoFi's standing isn't picture-perfect. Their reputation has taken some hits over the years, from an FTC action in the past that didn't get resolved until 2019 to more than 150 complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau in the year leading up to this review - though many of those are related to SoFi's other financial products and not to student loans and refinancing. Still, we found complaints from students who said that they never got the promotional money they were expecting, that their loans took too long to fund, and that their interest rates were higher than average. And yet, the BBB still gives SoFi their highest possible rating ("A+" ) and there's a lot of feedback from very satisfied student borrowers too.

Still a good choice for student loan refinancing

SoFi maintains its spot as a recommended choice for student loan refinancing, despite some of the flaws in its reputation. It's a good option for students who might not be eligible to refinance with other lenders for some reason, and we like the wide variety of rates and terms found here. We're hopeful that customer feedback will continue to improve, and we give SoFi high marks for their student loan refinancing product.

Where Can You Find the Best Options for Student Loan Refinancing?

If you got your student loans back when interest rates were high, you're smart to think it might be a good idea to refinance when rates have dropped. Whether you get a lower rate or take years off your loan (or both!), your savings could be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

You can typically qualify to refinance your student loans if your outstanding balance is at least $5,000, though some lenders have higher minimums. You'll often need to be in good standing and up to date on your current loan payments, have steady income and a credit score of 660 or higher. Otherwise, your refinancing may require a cosigner.

The Best Student Loan Refinance Companies Compare Student Loan Refinance Companies Compare Student Loan Refinance Company Reviews What are the best Student Loan Refinance Companies Best Student Loan Refinance Company Reviews

Student Loan Refinance Company FAQ

Refinancing your student loans essentially means that you're taking your current education debt and replacing it with a new loan. This can be done with both federal and private loans.
If interest rates have dropped significantly since you first got your loans, that's a great time to see if a new loan could save you money. And, if you're able to shorten the length of your loan at the same time - like going from having 15 years left on a 20-year term to a 10-year term - you'll save even more.
The qualifications for student loan refinancing are probably different from the ones you had to meet to get your original funding. Most lenders require a minimum refinanced amount of $5,000, though some have higher thresholds of $10-$15k. You'll also need a credit score in the upper 600s or more and a steady income - or a cosigner who meets those criteria. Finally, many financial institutions will only refinance your student loans if you completed your degree.
Be very careful when deciding to refinance federal student loans. You'll lose the perks that are only available with those loans, like income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness programs. And, of course, refinancing isn't a good idea if it doesn't help you in some way: lowering your interest rate, making your monthly payments more manageable, or saving you in interest over the timeframe of the loan.
Yes! It's the simplest way to get the best rates and terms too. Most providers will ask you some basic questions about your current situation, including your income and the amount of educational debt you're hoping to refinance, and they'll do a soft pull on your credit report (your score won't be affected). They'll use that information to tell you if you tentatively qualify for one of their refinancing loans. Once you decide to complete the full application, a hard pull will be done and if you're offered a loan, all that's left is for you to accept the terms and submit any required documentation. All of that can easily be done online!
It's a subtle distinction, and it can depend on who you ask. If you have multiple student loans (federal and private) and you combine all of that debt into a single new private loan, you're consolidating and refinancing your loans. But, there's also a governmental Direct Consolidation Loan program that is just for federal student loans: it makes it easier to manage your payments and preserves the benefits specific to federal loans, but it doesn't include any private loans you have and doesn't save you any money.
It shouldn't. Most lenders will happily tell you that they charge no fees for applying, originating loans, or really anything else (besides the loan itself, of course). Just remember that the process will usually include a soft pull of your credit during prequalification and then a hard pull when you decide to officially apply; the latter will temporarily impact your credit report.
That varies by lender. You can find out in just a few minutes if you prequalify, and another few minutes to get formally approved if you decide to complete the full application. From there, you'll probably be asked to submit documentation on your current loan, proof of income and other paperwork. Most lenders will tell you to expect it to take up to 45 days for your current loans to be paid off and for your new loan to be finalized.
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Continued from above...

But, be careful if you're considering refinancing your federal student loans into a private loan. There are some benefits offered with government student loans that don't carry over into privately-funded ones. Do your research before you sign on the dotted line and make sure that the benefits you'd gain outweigh the perks you'd lose.

So, you've determined that it's the right time to refinance your student loan. What should you look for in a lender? Here are some factors to guide your decision-making:

  • Referral service or loan originator. Some platforms let you compare loan possibilities with multiple lenders using a single prequalifying application. This one-stop "shopping" can save you some time and hassle, but ultimately you'll still have to complete a full application with the lender you choose. Other refinancing sites belong to the lenders themselves and that can make the process more streamlined.
  • Loan minimums and other eligibility requirements. While most lenders let you refinance student loan balances as low as $5,000, some will only approve loans of $10,000 or $15,000 and up. Not all lenders will refinance your student loans if you didn't finish your degree, either.
  • Customer service. Consider what borrowers have to say about their experience with the lender or referral service - not just during the application and approval process, but also while making payments. Choose a lender that has a good reputation for helping customers both before and after the refinancing is complete.

To help you determine the best way to refinance your student loan, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's top lenders. We're confident that with this information, you'll easily find the right rate and term on your loan refinancing!

The Best Reviews of Student Loan Refinance Companies