Credit cards usually have very high interest rates, making it harder for you to pay off your debt. Personal loans, which often have lower APR, can therefore help you out when refinancing existing debt or even just making a major purchase.
SoFi Personal Loans come with no fees other than interest, unlike many other lenders who charge origination and late fees. CNBC Select ranked SoFi personal loans as the best for refinancing high interest debt because qualifying applicants can borrow up to $100,000, which comes in handy when your debt feels out of control.
SoFi accepts applicants with good to excellent credit, and a better score means more favorable terms. While it can be a helpful option in a pinch, debt refinancing is not always a catch-all solution, so it’s best to do a little research ahead of time.
To help you out, CNBC Select looked at SoFi’s APR, perks, fees, loan amounts and term lengths. (Learn more about our methodology below.) Read on to find out if SoFi is the right lender for you.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
5.99% to 22.56% when you sign up for autopay
Debt consolidation/refinancing, home improvement, relocation assistance or medical expenses
Early payoff penalty
APRs range from 5.99% to 22.56% when you sign up for autopay. (There’s a small, 0.25% autopay discount.)
Loan applicants can chose between variable and fixed APR. Fixed APRs give you one rate that you pay for the duration of your loan, and variable interest rates fluctuate, but they are capped at 14.95%.
SoFi allows you to apply for a loan with a co-borrower (who would then be liable for the loan payments). This is an added perk, since it can be tough to qualify for good rates on your own with damaged credit.
Another perk is SoFi’s unemployment protection: If a borrower loses their job they may apply to put payments on hold for increments of three months (if they have been abiding by the terms of their agreement). In order to qualify you must prove that you have lost your job through no fault of your own.
If approved, SoFi temporarily pauses your monthly bill while you look for new employment, while giving you the option to pay off interest. You will still incur interest, but your payment history will not be affected.
SoFi does not charge customers any origination fees or late fees.
There are no early payoff penalties, and customers are only responsible for interest on their principal balance for the time they have the loan. If you pay off your loan earlier, you do not have to pay the remaining interest.
Loan amounts vary from $5,000 to $100,000. After your loan is approved, you can expect to receive the funds in your bank account within a few days.
To determine which personal loans are the best, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of U.S. personal loans offered by both online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions, that come with no origination or signup fees, fixed-rate APRs and flexible loan amounts and terms to suit an array of financing needs.
When narrowing down and ranking the best personal loans, we focused on the following features:
- No origination or signup fee: None of the lenders on our best-of list charge borrowers an upfront fee for processing your loan.
- Fixed-rate APR: Variable rates can go up and down over the lifetime of your loan. With a fixed rate APR, you lock in an interest rate for the duration of the loan’s term, which means your monthly payment won’t vary, making your budget easier to plan.
- Flexible minimum and maximum loan amounts/terms: Each lender provides a variety of financing options that you can customize based on your monthly budget and how long you need to pay back your loan.
- No early payoff penalties: The lenders on our list do not charge borrowers for paying off loans early.
- Streamlined application process: We considered whether lenders offered same-day approval decisions and a fast online application process.
- Customer support: Every loan on our list provides customer service available via telephone, email or secure online messaging. We also opted for lenders with an online resource hub or advice center to help you educate yourself about the personal loan process and your finances.
- Fund disbursement: The loans on our list deliver funds promptly through either electronic wire transfer to your checking account or in the form of a paper check. Some lenders (which we noted) offer the ability to pay your creditors directly.
- Autopay discounts: We noted the lenders that reward you for enrolling in autopay by lowering your APR by 0.25% to 0.5%.
- Creditor payment limits and loan sizes: The above lenders provide loans in an array of sizes, from $500 to $100,000. Each lender advertises its respective payment limits and loan sizes, and completing a preapproval process can give you an idea of what your interest rate and monthly payment would be for such an amount.
After reviewing the above features, we sorted our recommendations by best for overall financing needs, debt consolidation and refinancing, small loans and next-day funding.
Note that the rates and fee structures advertised for personal loans are subject to fluctuate in accordance with the Fed rate. However, once you accept your loan agreement, a fixed-rate APR will guarantee interest rate and monthly payment will remain consistent throughout the entire term of the loan. Your APR, monthly payment and loan amount depend on your credit history and creditworthiness. To take out a loan, lenders will conduct a hard credit inquiry and request a full application, which could require proof of income, identity verification, proof of address and more.
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.