I just tried to get a quote from SoFi ("Social Financing"), a servicer that consolidates student loans at a (hopefully) lower interest rate.
Unfortunately, I was declined, i.e., no offer could be made based on my income and credit score. As I've detailed elsewhere, I took a heavy hit to my credit a few years back during a bout of unemployment, and my score hasn't fully recovered yet: it's now around EXP 699 / EQU 689. I was very upset to see the decline notice. I think refinancing is basically the only responsible credit decision, and it's extraordinarily frustrating to see a good credit decision made impossible by a brief period of bad credit. But that's the way it works.
So, my question for you all is this.
Has anyone had any luck with SoFi? If so, what's the credit score range they're looking for? We now know that 699 is not enough.
Aside from SoFi, are there good loan consolidation options for someone with recovering credit?
Thanks in advance!
I'd like to know too. I know their site says the process takes 15 minutes. I've been waiting now over a week. My past experience with other lending institutions is that when something takes this long, the lender is on-the-fence about a decision and might be kicking the review through a couple of underwriters, which makes me nervous. As far as my history, my credit score (according to my Discover card statement) is 822. I've been with the same employer for the past four years, with a work history in my profession close to 30 years. Nothing in collections, no judgements, no lates. The amount I want to refi isn't outrageous; about 20K. If I get the rate that I am hoping for, I'll keep my payment about the same, but cut off about 42 months from the life of the loan. Wish me luck
Hi - thanks for that update. It makes me feel a bit better. Do you recall how long the process took?
Well, they finally got back to me. I am tentatlive approved, but not at their best rate. Their lowest rate for their 10-year term is 4.74% with autopay; they are offering me 5.49% - about 3/4 of a point above their lowest rate. Not sure why (I'm on hold hoping to ask a live person). I know my credit isn't perfect, but it's really not horrible - my FICO score is 822.
The next holdup is that they need additional documentation to prove that I am legal. In the application process, they asked for identity documents, which per their site could include: "any combination of the following documents that include SSN, date of birth, and legal name: Driver's License, Birth Certificate, Military ID, U.S. Passport, Social Security Card, Certificate of Citizenship, Certificate of Naturalization".
I provided My Driver's License and SSN, which between them have my SSN, Date of Birth and legal name, as required.
Apparently, that isn't enough. Now, they are asking for either a copy of a Residency Card (I was born here in the United States, so I don't have that); a passport (had one years ago, it expired years ago, I don't know where it is and it had a previous name on it); or my birth certificate (which I haven't needed in over a decade, and will probably have to send away for that if I can't remember where I put it). My birth certificate doesn't have my current last name, so I wonder on the value of that anyhow to prove much of anything at this point.
I started the process on the morning of July 11th. so now we are a full two-weeks into what is supposed to be a 15-minute process. The reason I'm still looking at this is that for about the same amount I pay each month at my current rate, I would shave off about 4 years on the life of the loan at the rate being offered. Shaving off four years for the same amount each month is worth some hurdles to jump.
I hope, anyhow.
Quick update: Yesterday, they sent me the documents to accept the loan. So, from loan application start to loan signing, it was literally twenty days. It can take up to ten days for the loan to fund and payoff my prior loans, which would put the full process at just about one month. I ended up with a rate of 5.74%, minus .25 if I autopay (yes), so that will give me a final rate of 5.49%. While I wish the process was faster, and that there was more transparency about how they set the rates within their tiers (I really thought that having a FICO of 822 would put me at a better rate - their lowest rate for the loan term I have is 4.74% - it's still an improvement for me in my long-term debt picture.
I refinanced some of my student loans (about $10,000) with SoFi a little over a year ago. At that time, they only offered a 10 year fixed rate at 5.99% (including auto pay). At the time, I had good credit (mid 700s), no credit card debt. The process was pretty quick - same as above, they needed to verify some documents and loan payoff amount, and then it was finished. From start to finish probably a couple of weeks and no real hiccups.
I only refinanced a small portion of my loans at that time because SoFi was still new, but after about 9 months I was happy with the service and went to refinance the rest of my loans (in the 6 figures). This time, despite the fact that my credit score was now in the high 700s and I was making slightly more money, I was declined. They wouldn't reveal their underwriting criteria ("trade secrets"), but told me that it had changed since the first time that I applied, and it was because my debt to income ratio was too high. I was really disappointed because I was already a customer. They reviewed it a second time, and I asked if I lowered the amount that I wanted to borrow if that would help, but they still rejected me. I was sad but at least I got some portion done.
Wow. Glad you were able to refi at least some. Maybe you should try again after another 9 - 12 months if your score is up and other debt is down. I have a hard time imagining that level of student loan debt, but everything is relative. I took on about $44k in student loan debt acquiring my MBA and in the past seven years (when the repayment period began), I've got it cut down to about $21k. My boyfriend can't believe I have that much student loan debt, but it doesn't seem that awful to me. Congrats that you don't have any credit card debt; I do have about $9k in credit card debt - most of it sitting on an new card with 0% interest until August 2015.
I just refinanced with SOFI and it took approximately three weeks for an approval, and then another week or so for the refinance loan to fund.
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