Ben Todd | Apr 16, 2017 | 3
SoFi Loans Review – Borrow, Invest, Save And Earn
The SoFi company makes money by lending money to people. SoFi offer student loan refinancing, mortgage loans, personal loans and personal wealth management services. If you visit their website, you will find that they give very little away for free. For example, if you click the “Find Your Rate” button on the homepage, you will first have to sign up before they tell you what rate you will get.
Invest, Earn And Save With SoFi
The SoFi loans company is not all about loans, they also have an investment side to their business. Offering money to people is a big part of their business, but they also have a wealth management function, private placements functions, and investment resources.
What they call wealth management is really their investment sevice. It is not built for newbie investors, but they offer such a soft start to investing that novice and amateur investors should consider using their service. If you are new to investing, try a few of our articles before you consider SoFi.
The articles listed below are all about investing in shares. SoFi offers a short range of different investments, they are exclusively about shares, but the linked articles below will give you enough of an idea about investing to get you started with SoFi.
Their investment fees are very good. It is free to invest your first £10,000, and it is only $5 per month for every $100,000 you invest. There are no account opening fees, closing fees or trading fees other than the ones just mentioned.
This service simply explains the types of investment opportunities that SoFi has and why they are so special. I cannot comment on the selection of investments they offer except to say that they haven’t had any devastating failures where people have lost hundreds of thousands.
It sounds like they are offering a toolkit for investors that you may use elsewhere with other investing tools and companies, but that is not the case. The “tools” they offer mostly apply to the investments you make with the SoFi company, and few of them are helpful outside of the SoFi website/service.
What Are Your SoFi Loans Borrowing Options?
When SoFi loans lend you money, they look at your career experience, your monthly income, your monthly expenses, your financial history, and your education. If you live with somebody, do not forget that you have to detail your personal expenses for you individually. For example, if you live with your spouse and your rent is $1100 per month, you only need to note down $550. You need only write $550 for rent when you make out your expenses while applying for your SoFi loans.
As a side note, and I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but the company is far more likely to accept you if you can prove you earn over $13,000 in liquid cash every month. In other words, you have a net of over $13,000 every year after taxes and all your expenses. If you have a partner/spouse, it may be worth applying jointly if you both work full-time and your combined net income after all expenses is over $13,000.
In addition, once you have signed up, the SoFi website nags you to check the rates you take with their company. All of their checks/searches are soft searches, which mean your credit rating is not affected by them. The only time their checks will affect your credit rating is if you have applied and confirmed your application, which means you intend to buy into whichever loan they are offering.
Student Loan Refinancing
You are not stuck with your student loans as they are, you may refinance them as time goes by. Your situation and credit rating may change to the point where you may gain a very attractive student loan deal. If that is the case, try SoFi loans because they may offer you a good deal on your student loan refinance.
Pop as little as 10% down on your house, and they may give you a mortgage. Their mortgages go up to as much as $3 million. Their no-fees and no-catch offer seems fair.
Maybe your situation has changed and you are now able to apply for a better rate on your current mortgage. If that is the case, then see what SoFi loans has to offer. They do prefer people with very good credit ratings, but it cannot hurt to have a look at what rate they will offer you.
Enter your details and see what rate they will offer you. You will need a good credit rating, full employment for over 6 months, and you will need to give details of where you have been living for the last three years.
If you would like to pay for your child’s education and lumber yourself with the burden of a mortgage without a house (aka a student loan), then run a check with SoFi loans to see if their rates beat the other companies you are looking at.
Parent Plus Refinancing
You could be overpaying on your Parent PLUS loan. Check the rate that SoFi loans are offering and decide if you would like to consolidate your Federal Parent PLUS loans with SoFi.
It is not uncommon for companies of this type to branch out into life insurance because it uses many of the mechanisms that long term investing uses.
The website has private placements under its borrowing section. I consulted with the customer support people, who said they had no idea why it was in the borrowing section. The link for it leads back to their investing page that has a downloadable white paper on it.
What About Security Concerns?
SoFi loans is a big company, and they take all adequate precautions to ensure that your payment details are not stolen, to be sure that your investments are not tampered with, and to be sure your money is not stolen.
What Other Perks Does The Company Offer?
On a hot winter morning, a suit and tie at the SoFi corporate office had a flash of the obvious and he said aloud, “Wait a minute…if we helped our customers get rich, then they would have enough money to use our investment and credit services.”
The grey haired man suggested it to a room full of female executives, who swiftly told him to go and do one (that being an urban way of saying go away). Misunderstanding the context of what they said, he spearheaded six initiatives that SoFi customers may use today.
SoFi Career Strategy Advice
They have a career strategy team that will give you advice on what you should do with your career with a paid program. Despite the fact that the program looks just like the ones you see advertised by overly happy people who claim they have all the answers and yet do not pay their child support payments.
In truth, this career-building program is not as bad as around 90% of all the others you find online. If you have a little money to burn, you could do worse than trying the program.
Frankly, it is better than whatever career advice you had in high school. For example, when young man asks a careers councilor which jobs allow people to cultivate or engineer amino acids in a polypeptide chain because this young man wanted to create a vegetarian meat that didn’t involve killing anything other than plants. The careers advisor said I should be a medical doctor because there is a shortage of them in our town.
Anyway, if you don’t mind the expense, it may be worth trying the SoFi career strategy advice program.
The Community Events For Customers
There is a certain amount of the SoFi staff trying to sell to you during these events, but it is not really about that. It is mostly about getting customers in the same room to pat each other on the back. It is also about networking, and it is an excuse to eat meals, go out drinking and have a good time.
The SoFi Wealth Advisors
If you borrow from SoFi loans, then you get free access to their team of licensed Wealth advisors. Frankly, their advice is suitable for a very small minority of people. Their licensed advisors (dog licenses maybe?) are so far out of touch from reality that they are one step away from telling you to glue carpet on your feet so you can walk on your bare floorboards in comfort. If you want good wealth building advice, then try these articles:
Companies are afraid to offer PPI (Payment Protection Insurance) these days because PPI has such a bad name. Instead, SoFi offers you protection after you have lost your job. You may suspend your loan payments for three months up to 12 months. During that time, you do not have to pay a penny, but interest will still be added to your loan.
If you take them up on their unemployment protection, you may still pay interest payments if you wish to stop your principle balance going up. Of all the secondary services that SoFi loans offers, this has to be the most fair and most decent. If you are looking for pros and cons of using SoFi, then consider this a big benefit. There are not many companies that offer such a fair deal for people who have lost their job.
There Is An Entrepreneur Program
If you have the money, you may take try their Entrepreneur program. It is not perfect, but it is probably one of the best programs they have to offer. Plus, they allow you to pause your student loan payments (if you have your student loan with SoFi) if you take the entrepreneur course and wish to grow your business.
There is a referral program that is aimed at customers and not web masters, social media influencers or blog masters. Their referral program is aimed squarely at customers who think their friends may be interested in an account. There are details of their referral program here, but the gist of it is to get your friends to use SoFi loans services through a link that you provide them in order to earn $100 for each friend you send.
Conclusion – A Mixed Bag Of Pros And Cons
As you have seen by the content of this article, SoFi has some usable and well functioning elements, and it has some elements that are a joke and/or a waste of time and money. When you are shopping around for a loan and/or borrowing options, you should add this company into your search. Compare it and its rates to other lending groups and companies, and give it some consideration if you are serious about borrowing. You could do far worse than to use SoFi for its lending function.
If you are investing and/or looking for advice, you should treat the company with a little more caution. Some of their advice offerings are of a poor quality, and just because their investing customers haven’t made big losses does not mean their investment functions are worth while. If you are looking to invest with SoFi, try to find other people online who have invested with them and try to find out how happy they are with the service and their investments.