Credible vs. SoFi: Which is Better to Refinance?

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Stanley Tate

#1 Student Loan Lawyer

Updated on October 6, 2022

SoFi is a quality private student loan and refinancing lender. Credible is a marketplace where you can compare multiple lenders’ interest rates and repayment options.

Although I would recommend SoFi, it’s wise to first compare different refinance lender rates with Credible’s free marketplace tool.

What is the difference between a direct lender and a broker? A direct lender (like SoFi) processes your application and lends you the money if you’re approved. A broker (like Credible) helps borrowers determine the best lender for their unique situation.

Related: Credible review

REFINANCE YOUR STUDENT LOANS WITH SOFI

COMPARE REFINANCE RATES WITH CREDIBLE

Credible vs. SoFi quick comparison

Credible is not a lender — it’s a free marketplace (sometimes called a brokerage). Use Credible to compare rates and repayment terms for loans (for student loans, mortgages, personal loans, insurance plans, and more) to find the best interest rate possible.

SoFi is an actual refinance lender. Unlike Credible, SoFi can actually provide you with a refinance loan. They offer certain perks few other loan lenders do, such as financial advice and career coaching.

Is SoFi the same as Credible? They are not the same. SoFi is a lender, whereas Credible is a free marketplace that compares rates from various lenders (including SoFi).

Credible isn’t available in NY, and SoFi isn’t available in HI.

In any case, I recommend that you rate shop — use Credible first to find a lender (possibly SoFi).

Loan options

Credible

Credible is a free marketplace to check rates from loan lenders, but not a lender itself. Credible offers no loan options.

SoFi

SoFi provides multiple robust loan offers for:

  • Student loan refinancing

  • Private student loans

  • Parent PLUS loans

  • Parent PLUS refinancing

  • Mortgages

  • Auto refinance loans

  • Credit card consolidation loans

  • Personal loans

You can refinance federal student loans, but I would not recommend it since you lose federal loan benefits like Public Service Loan Forgiveness or income-driven loan payment.

Interest rates

Credible

Credible is a broker that helps you compare rates, but Credible is not a lender. Instead, it can help you find the best interest rate from a variety of lenders.

SoFi

As of July 2022, SoFi’s refi interest rates are:

  • 3.49%-7.99% fixed APR with an autopay discount

  • 1.74% – 7.99% variable APR with autopay connected to your bank account

Eligibility

Credible

Anyone is eligible to use Credible for free. It shows you only the third-party loans that you actually qualify for.

Credible’s services are not available in the state of New York.

SoFi

You can pre-qualify for SoFi loans with a soft credit check that won’t impact your credit score. Eligibility requirements for SoFi include:

  • You must be a US citizen, permanent resident, or visa holder.

  • You must be at least 18 years old or the age of majority in your state.

  • You must borrow at least $5,000 to pay off or refinance qualifying education debt.

  • You must have sufficient income or an offer of employment starting within 90 days. If you have a cosigner, you may be able to dodge this requirement.

  • You must have a good credit score and debt-to-income ratio. You likely won’t qualify for a SoFi loan with credit under 600.

Note: Legal bar loans or medical residency loans cannot be refinanced by SoFi.

SoFi is not available in Hawaii.

Application Process

Credible

Using Credible’s free marketplace is simple. To sign up and find the most competitive rates, you have to answer a few questions:

  • Are you trying to lower your monthly payment?

  • Are you trying to maximize your total savings?

  • Are you trying to get out of debt faster?

  • Are you refinancing your own student loans or PLUS loans?

  • Where did you attend undergraduate school?

  • What’s your highest undergraduate degree?

  • Have you attended graduate school?

  • Are you employed full-time, part-time, self-employed, or other?

  • When did you start working at your current employer?

  • What’s your individual annual income before tax?

  • What’s your monthly rent or mortgage payment?

  • What’s your permanent address?

You don’t apply for actual refinance loans through this marketplace. Credible will transfer you to their third-party lenders’ sites to complete the application.

It’s important to remember that Credible can’t show all loan products in existence. They only display fixed and variable rate loans from their partner lenders, from whom they receive a small referral fee at no extra cost.

SoFi

SoFi will ask you many questions on your loan application, much like any lender would. The application takes about 30 minutes to fill out.

An official application will mean a “hard” credit check, which can slightly impact your credit score. A hard credit inquiry is standard for all lenders.

SoFi says it should take 3-10 days to process and approve your application, and most applications seem to be processed on the shorter end of that timeframe.

Once you accept the loan, it might take 4-11 days to receive the money or apply the funds to education expenses or your student loans.

Customer service reviews

Credible

Credible has good customer service reviews on Trustpilot: 4.6 out of 5.0.

Credible customers generally compare lender rates, then go to another third party. Since the only thing borrowers do with Credible is find low rates for loans, Credible is bound to get better reviews than a typical lender.

Credible has a low rating with the Better Business Bureau, mainly due to a few customers who weren’t approved for loans that Credible estimated they would qualify for.

SoFi

Many SoFi customers are happy with their experience, but some are confused by the application process or frustrated that they were not approved. SoFi’s Trustpilot score is 2.9 out of 5.0, but their Better Business Bureau score is even worse: 1.25 out of 5.0.

Customer service seems to be inconsistent with SoFi. Many are pleased with the help they received, while others are upset that they can’t be transferred to the representative’s superior to escalate problems.

Other pros of Credible vs. SoFi

Credible

No impact on wallet or credit score. It’s free to sign up for Credible and use their marketplace to compare personalized rates. Credible performs a soft credit check that doesn’t impact your credit score.

Multiple loan options. Credible brokers student loan refinancing, mortgages, private student loans, personal finance loans, and insurance plans.

SoFi

Forbearance options. SoFi’s Unemployment Protection Program includes 3 months of forbearance at a time in case you lose your job. This protection is more common amongst modern lenders.

Unique perks. It also offers customer loyalty perks, like discounts if you use its other products. You can request a one-on-one advisor to help with career coaching, a rare benefit with an online lender.

Online learning opportunities. SoFi hosts workshops and speaker series to broaden borrowers’ understanding of their debt.

No hidden fees. Unlike some lenders, SoFi does not charge hidden fees. SoFi has:

  • $0 application fee

  • $0 origination fee

  • $0 prepayment penalty

  • $0 late fees

No cosigner release. Unfortunately, SoFi does not offer a cosigner release like several other lenders.

How to contact Credible

Go to Credible’s website, sign in, and compare rates without any impact on your credit history.

If you have any questions, chat on their website or email them at support@credible.com. You can also message them on Facebook.

How to contact SoFi

On SoFi’s website, you can find their contact information:

Other options for student loan refinancing

  • Citizens Bank, for high student loan amounts

  • College Ave, for anyone with excellent credit scores

  • Earnest, for anyone with lower credit scores

  • Education Loan Finance, for lower interest rates

  • Lendkey, for flexible loan term options

  • PenFed Credit Union, for excellent customer support

  • RISLA, for federal loan-like benefits like IDR

  • Yrefy, for no minimum credit score requirements to qualify

Don’t get stuck in a student loan crisis. The student loan debt landscape is changing every day.

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