Author Topic: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi  (Read 60021 times)

kpd905

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My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« on: December 20, 2014, 03:14:21 PM »
I thought I'd provide a review of my experience refinancing my student loans with Sofi.  I just did it last week and was pleased with their customer service and the ease of application.

What you need

Scanned documents or screenshots of: loan billing statement, a recent paycheck, two forms of ID (driver's license and social security card worked for me)

Rates and Terms

You can choose either variable rate or fixed rate.  The variable rates are lower for the same length of repayment term, but they do have the risk of increasing.  However, they will tell you the maximum it can increase to.

For me, I refinanced my loans from a 6.55% rate with Great Lakes to 4.16% with Sofi.  This 4.16% is a variable rate, but the maximum amount it can increase is up to 6.6%.  So worse case scenario, I am back to square one.  But I would still be saving almost $100/month on interest until that happens.

You can choose a 5, 10 or 15 year term.  A five year term had the lowest rate, so I went with it.  I plan to pay them off in about 1.5 years, and I'll save almost $1500 in that time with the lower rate.  You also get a 0.25% rate drop for using autopay.

Currently their variable rates range from 2.66-5.035%, and their fixed rates range from 3.625-7.49%.

They will do a hard credit pull, and I believe the rate will be a result of both your credit score and income to loan ratio.

Just for data, my credit score was 775 when they pulled it, and my total amount of loans is currently 60% of my yearly salary.

Customer Service

I received two calls from their customer service about issues with the documents I gave them, and the issues were fixed within a few hours after I sent them a new document.  (Don't use a .docx file, use PDFs or JPEGs)  They also have a live chat feature on their site which is convenient for quick questions.

Bonus

Sign up through the MMM referral link and you'll get $300.

« Last Edit: December 16, 2015, 06:35:55 PM by kpd905 »
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Blonde Lawyer

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2015, 05:32:01 PM »
I was also thrilled with my SoFi experience, as indicated in my signature.  I just wanted to add to your review that they were great overcoming small obstacles that tend to trip up smaller companies.  My law school registrar was slow to respond to them that I had in fact graduated.  The SoFi rep just called me and asked if I had my diploma in my office.  I did.  He asked me to text him a cell phone pic of it.  That was good enough! I was impressed.

randymarsh

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2015, 04:10:25 PM »
I've gone back and forth on SoFi. I'd like to keep my monthly payment as low as possible (in case of job loss or something), but also would like a lower interest rate. Their 15 year fixed at 5.625% is lower than my parent PLUS loan...but really I want the variable 3.17%. I guess worst case the variable goes up to 8.95 (their cap). That's more than the current 7.9% I pay but LIBOR isn't going to explode overnight right...? I'd also save tons in interest until the rate rises.

Any downside I'm overlooking? I have a 40K parent PLUS that I currently pay $275/month. That's the extended graduated plan. So my payment goes up every 2 years and the term is 25 years. SoFi's 15 year variable would be $279 at 3.170%.
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kpd905

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2015, 05:52:07 PM »
I would message them first and make sure that they will accept a Parent Plus loan.  I don't have experience refinancing one of those.
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randymarsh

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2015, 10:14:04 PM »
I chatted with someone and they said parent PLUS loans are eligible! Assuming this is true, I'm not seeing a huge downside. Worst case I hit Sofi's cap and have to pay $404 which is at least what I was planning to pay anyway.
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kpd905

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2015, 06:38:39 AM »
That is the experience I had as well, the maximum rate on the variable loan is about what my rate was in the first place, so not a big problem if it does shoot up.
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themessenger

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2015, 04:11:40 PM »
Just wanted to let you know I signed up today to refi using your link.  I have about $23k in grad school loans at 6.55% and thinking with the 5 year variable I can get them down to ~3.75%.   Thanks for posting about Sofi, I've never heard of them and hope this goes through soon! 

kpd905

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2015, 05:38:45 PM »
Just wanted to let you know I signed up today to refi using your link.  I have about $23k in grad school loans at 6.55% and thinking with the 5 year variable I can get them down to ~3.75%.   Thanks for posting about Sofi, I've never heard of them and hope this goes through soon!

Thanks a lot, and good luck, I hope you get approved.

Also I've found that Sofi is a pretty cool company.  They are sending me free samples from some juice company they are affiliated with, as well as a free Sofi t-shirt. 
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Blonde Lawyer

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2015, 06:55:57 PM »
as well as a free Sofi t-shirt.
[/quote]

The t-shirt is great!! It is so soft and I sleep in it all the time.  They gave us a really cool wine bottle / beer bottle opener / swiss army knife contraption too.  I was impressed that they sent these things after the deal was done instead of to entice people to sign up.  Good luck "themessenger".  I really hope you get approved with favorable terms!

wannabfrugal

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2015, 08:11:26 AM »
How are they at applying additional principal payments?

I'm currently using AES and would happily make the switch as they are not transparent on how payments are applied and prepay interest etc...

I'd like to make a switch to someone that is transparent on additional principal payments and getting a lower interest rate would be a nice perk. :)

kpd905

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2015, 05:45:41 PM »
How are they at applying additional principal payments?

Looks like you are in luck. I just asked them via online chat:

Visitor
Can you tell me if additional payments are paid entirely to principal, or if they pay the loan ahead?

Samantha
Thanks for your question! Additional payments would be applied directly to principal. You would still need to make your minimum monthly payment every month.

Making additional payments will shorten the life of your loan, by paying off principal faster.
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themessenger

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2015, 10:00:49 AM »
Just wanted to let you know I signed up today to refi using your link.  I have about $23k in grad school loans at 6.55% and thinking with the 5 year variable I can get them down to ~3.75%.   Thanks for posting about Sofi, I've never heard of them and hope this goes through soon!

Thanks a lot, and good luck, I hope you get approved.

Also I've found that Sofi is a pretty cool company.  They are sending me free samples from some juice company they are affiliated with, as well as a free Sofi t-shirt.

I got approved finally yesterday!  Thanks on the info on the principal payments as well since our plan now is to have it all paid off by 1 year from today. 

kpd905

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2015, 05:54:15 PM »

I got approved finally yesterday!  Thanks on the info on the principal payments as well since our plan now is to have it all paid off by 1 year from today.

Good stuff, what rate did you end up getting?  Seems like the rates have dropped a bit in the last few weeks.
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themessenger

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2015, 11:08:50 AM »

I got approved finally yesterday!  Thanks on the info on the principal payments as well since our plan now is to have it all paid off by 1 year from today.

Good stuff, what rate did you end up getting?  Seems like the rates have dropped a bit in the last few weeks.

3.67% on a 5 year variable rate.  Not bad at all!

wannabfrugal

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2015, 06:47:19 AM »
How are they at applying additional principal payments?

Looks like you are in luck. I just asked them via online chat:

Visitor
Can you tell me if additional payments are paid entirely to principal, or if they pay the loan ahead?

Samantha
Thanks for your question! Additional payments would be applied directly to principal. You would still need to make your minimum monthly payment every month.

Making additional payments will shorten the life of your loan, by paying off principal faster.


Perfect timing :)  Thanks so much!


arebelspy

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2015, 05:24:49 PM »
Apparently Sofi doesn't lend in Nevada; anyone know a different company that might?
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kpd905

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2015, 06:04:26 PM »
ARS, this article shows a few of the most commonly used companies: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/5-banks-to-refinance-your-student-loans/

Looks like a lot of them are either limited to the type of degree you have, or be a graduate of certain schools.  Citizen's bank looks like it is the least restrictive.

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randymarsh

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2015, 06:37:52 PM »
Apparently Sofi doesn't lend in Nevada; anyone know a different company that might?

Darien Rowayton Bank lends in all 50 states. https://student.drbank.com/index.php

I have an application pending...
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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2015, 11:27:53 PM »
How long did it take you guys to get approved?

themessenger

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2015, 01:59:35 PM »
How long did it take you guys to get approved?

2 weeks max to get it approved and funded.  But I also gave them every screenshot and picture they asked for instead of them having to do their own research, which I heard isn't too quick.  If you help them out by providing the clearest info you can, it shouldn't take too long.

kpd905

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2015, 06:41:41 PM »
I have to say I was a bit nervous getting variable rate loans, but I just received a document in my account telling me that my interest rate has dropped.  My rate is now 3.93% after subtracting the auto-pay discount.

I figured they would change the interest rate whenever it would benefit them, but this is good to see.
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TrulyStashin

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2015, 11:17:02 AM »
How are they at applying additional principal payments?

Looks like you are in luck. I just asked them via online chat:

Visitor
Can you tell me if additional payments are paid entirely to principal, or if they pay the loan ahead?

Samantha
Thanks for your question! Additional payments would be applied directly to principal. You would still need to make your minimum monthly payment every month.

Making additional payments will shorten the life of your loan, by paying off principal faster.


Perfect timing :)  Thanks so much!

I also refi'd with Sofi in December and I couldn't be happier.  I routinely log on to make extra payments and it is just as easy as logging into my bank's site.  I scheduled an extra payment for a week out and then a day later changed my mine (a random expense came up).  I logged back on and was able to cancel it.   For the first time, I feel like I'm making progress on my SL's.  Jan. 1, I owed $157k.  It's now down to $152k which is still disgusting but progress is happening because most of my payment now goes to principle.
I refinanced my student loans with SoFi and dropped my interest rate from over 7% to 3.9%.

kpd905

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2015, 10:02:38 AM »

I also refi'd with Sofi in December and I couldn't be happier.  I routinely log on to make extra payments and it is just as easy as logging into my bank's site.  I scheduled an extra payment for a week out and then a day later changed my mine (a random expense came up).  I logged back on and was able to cancel it.   For the first time, I feel like I'm making progress on my SL's.  Jan. 1, I owed $157k.  It's now down to $152k which is still disgusting but progress is happening because most of my payment now goes to principle.

What were your interest rates before and after refinancing?  The interest savings must be insane on that big of a balance.
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TrulyStashin

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2015, 08:34:12 PM »

I also refi'd with Sofi in December and I couldn't be happier.  I routinely log on to make extra payments and it is just as easy as logging into my bank's site.  I scheduled an extra payment for a week out and then a day later changed my mine (a random expense came up).  I logged back on and was able to cancel it.   For the first time, I feel like I'm making progress on my SL's.  Jan. 1, I owed $157k.  It's now down to $152k which is still disgusting but progress is happening because most of my payment now goes to principle.

What were your interest rates before and after refinancing?  The interest savings must be insane on that big of a balance.

I had 9 loans -- 6 of the 9 were at 6.8% and the other 3 were at 7.6%.  Those 3 were really huge -- $28k to $33k each.  I was paying about $30 PER DAY in interest.   Almost $1000/ month just in interest and getting nowhere.

After refi'ing with Sofi, my rate is 3.91% (variable) and most of my $1583/ mo payment goes to principal.  On Jan. 1, my balance was $157,112.  Right now, it is $152,678.

I refinanced my student loans with SoFi and dropped my interest rate from over 7% to 3.9%.

kpd905

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2015, 06:07:19 PM »
I was paying about $30 PER DAY in interest.   

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TrulyStashin

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2015, 11:27:32 AM »
^^^^  Ha!   Love it.
I refinanced my student loans with SoFi and dropped my interest rate from over 7% to 3.9%.

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2015, 06:10:10 AM »

I also refi'd with Sofi in December and I couldn't be happier.  I routinely log on to make extra payments and it is just as easy as logging into my bank's site.  I scheduled an extra payment for a week out and then a day later changed my mine (a random expense came up).  I logged back on and was able to cancel it.   For the first time, I feel like I'm making progress on my SL's.  Jan. 1, I owed $157k.  It's now down to $152k which is still disgusting but progress is happening because most of my payment now goes to principle.

Good luck on tackling the beast! Please provide updates.

What were your interest rates before and after refinancing?  The interest savings must be insane on that big of a balance.

I had 9 loans -- 6 of the 9 were at 6.8% and the other 3 were at 7.6%.  Those 3 were really huge -- $28k to $33k each.  I was paying about $30 PER DAY in interest.   Almost $1000/ month just in interest and getting nowhere.

After refi'ing with Sofi, my rate is 3.91% (variable) and most of my $1583/ mo payment goes to principal.  On Jan. 1, my balance was $157,112.  Right now, it is $152,678.

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2015, 07:29:29 AM »
Here's the beauty of a variable interest rate . . . my rate just went DOWN from 3.91 to 3.80%.   Nice.
I refinanced my student loans with SoFi and dropped my interest rate from over 7% to 3.9%.

kpd905

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2015, 05:39:06 PM »
Here's the beauty of a variable interest rate . . . my rate just went DOWN from 3.91 to 3.80%.   Nice.

Yup, mine dropped a bit too.  I don't plan to be paying this loan for too long (2 years maybe), but if it swings the other way I might raid a bit of my emergency fund to drop the balance a bit.
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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #29 on: March 30, 2015, 06:38:20 PM »
Well, I refi'ed with SoFi and things are not going well. It's not SoFi - it's Navient. Basically, SoFi sent the payment to Navient. Navient ate it instead of applying it to my account. Navient is stupid and can't figure it out. They also won't talk directly to SoFi. At this point, they actually owe me money. Did I mention that Navient needs something like 5 days to cancel an upcoming auto-payment?

So, SoFi sent the problem to their funding dept and they're researching. They'll try to fix things on their own, but if they can't they'll call me and conference in Navient. If I'm on the line then Navient will talk to SoFi.

The SoFi people are being really nice and helpful with all this. Everyone I've spoken with has a good attitude and even a sense of humor! Hopefully everything thing will get sorted out tomorrow, but be aware that when things don't work you need to do some of the leg work.

kpd905

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2015, 06:48:18 PM »
Well, I refi'ed with SoFi and things are not going well. It's not SoFi - it's Navient.

Hmm, mine were sent to TruStudent, not Navient.  I just assumed that Sofi sent everyone to the same company, I guess not.

But I agree that the customer service at Sofi is pretty great in regards to helping you through any problems.
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Sibley

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2015, 06:51:38 PM »
Well, I refi'ed with SoFi and things are not going well. It's not SoFi - it's Navient.

Hmm, mine were sent to TruStudent, not Navient.  I just assumed that Sofi sent everyone to the same company, I guess not.

But I agree that the customer service at Sofi is pretty great in regards to helping you through any problems.

It depends on where the loans were to begin with. The loans are with Navient, so SoFi had to send the money to them to refi. In retrospect, it would have been better if they'd sent it to me and I'd paid Navient, but I don't know if they do that.

kpd905

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #32 on: March 30, 2015, 07:45:45 PM »
Ah ok, I didn't realize you were at Navient to begin with.  I thought you meant they moved your loans over to Navient.

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Blonde Lawyer

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2015, 09:08:58 PM »
The good news is that once you get things worked out w/ Navient your loans should go to TruStudent which, as far as student loan servicing company's go, has been the best I have worked with yet.  (I've used AES, Nelnet, FirstMark and EdFinancial).

Sibley

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #34 on: March 31, 2015, 07:38:02 AM »
The good news is that once you get things worked out w/ Navient your loans should go to TruStudent which, as far as student loan servicing company's go, has been the best I have worked with yet.  (I've used AES, Nelnet, FirstMark and EdFinancial).

The SoFi loan servicer is a different one than any you've mentioned - M- something (not on the personal computer so no records). No payment experience yet, but the website seems to work fine, which is better than Navient's!

Also, got an email today from Navient that the payment posted, so something worked. Yay! Technically, they should have posted it 2 weeks earlier than they did and thus decrease the interest, but I don't care enough to argue with them over a couple dollars. Now, the roughly $200 they owe me is another matter if there's any problems getting the money back.

TrulyStashin

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #35 on: March 31, 2015, 07:48:19 AM »
The good news is that once you get things worked out w/ Navient your loans should go to TruStudent which, as far as student loan servicing company's go, has been the best I have worked with yet.  (I've used AES, Nelnet, FirstMark and EdFinancial).

The SoFi loan servicer is a different one than any you've mentioned - M- something (not on the personal computer so no records). No payment experience yet, but the website seems to work fine, which is better than Navient's!

Also, got an email today from Navient that the payment posted, so something worked. Yay! Technically, they should have posted it 2 weeks earlier than they did and thus decrease the interest, but I don't care enough to argue with them over a couple dollars. Now, the roughly $200 they owe me is another matter if there's any problems getting the money back.

SoFi refinanced my loans but they're serviced by TruStudent.  Maybe SoFi uses more than one servicer...
I refinanced my student loans with SoFi and dropped my interest rate from over 7% to 3.9%.

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #36 on: March 31, 2015, 06:32:59 PM »
They must, or they changed. My servicer is Mohela.

I am happy to report that Navient finally posted the payment! So now they're supposed to send me a check for the credit balance.

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #37 on: March 31, 2015, 06:51:34 PM »
So now they're supposed to send me a check for the credit balance.

Tell them they owe you 6.8% interest.
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Sibley

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #38 on: March 31, 2015, 06:55:23 PM »
So now they're supposed to send me a check for the credit balance.

Tell them they owe you 6.8% interest.

Well, they are refunding some of the interest they charged.

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2015, 10:57:39 AM »
That's great that they are refunding the extra interest.  My loan payoff was overpaid as well but I had to return the balance to SoFi to apply to my principal.  I had read the fine print (cause I'm a lawyer) so I called it to their attention.  Their customer service staff were surprised and didn't seem like they had handled that before.  They called me back and told me I was right and sent me a pre-paid package to return it in.  I'm not sure if they would have ever noticed or cared if I had kept it.

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2015, 12:19:54 PM »
I'll use it for an extra payment when I get it. The excess is because Navient needs an excessively long notice time to cancel an auto-payment.

When the posted the payment, they posted it as of when they got it, which is correct. It just took them 2 weeks to do so.

kpd905

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #41 on: April 10, 2015, 06:20:58 AM »
I'll use it for an extra payment when I get it. The excess is because Navient needs an excessively long notice time to cancel an auto-payment.

When the posted the payment, they posted it as of when they got it, which is correct. It just took them 2 weeks to do so.

Makes sense.  At least they acknowledged it and you don't have to fight them for it.
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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2015, 01:47:25 PM »
Please see MMM recommendations page for Sofi information and link that will get YOU $300 and not someone else.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/mmm-recommends/
Like most financial companies, they have a referral program. I signed this blog up for it, but then renegotiated the terms so that $300 that would have gone to me, goes to you instead. And there is no origination fee.

Check out their rates at www.sofi.com/mrmoneymustache

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #43 on: April 14, 2015, 02:03:44 PM »
Please see MMM recommendations page for Sofi information and link that will get YOU $300 and not someone else.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/mmm-recommends/
Like most financial companies, they have a referral program. I signed this blog up for it, but then renegotiated the terms so that $300 that would have gone to me, goes to you instead. And there is no origination fee.

Check out their rates at www.sofi.com/mrmoneymustache

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kpd905

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #44 on: April 14, 2015, 06:45:50 PM »
Please see MMM recommendations page for Sofi information and link that will get YOU $300 and not someone else.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/mmm-recommends/
Like most financial companies, they have a referral program. I signed this blog up for it, but then renegotiated the terms so that $300 that would have gone to me, goes to you instead. And there is no origination fee.

Check out their rates at www.sofi.com/mrmoneymustache

Cool, pretty good deal.
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Blonde Lawyer

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #45 on: April 14, 2015, 07:10:35 PM »
Ah, her post quotes MMM.  I don't think she negotiated it.  Makes sense.  Otherwise, I was a little skeptical that a new poster would go through all of that trouble.  Just to clarify, the usual SoFi program is for the first few months after you refi you can refer people and the person referred gets $100 and the person doing the referring gets $300.  After those initials months, both people get $100.  If SoFi will let MMM offer $300 indefinitely that is really awesome. 

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #46 on: April 15, 2015, 01:00:06 PM »
I refi with sofi and it was one of the better loan experiences my wife and I have ever had.

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #47 on: April 15, 2015, 03:13:12 PM »
I just refinanced a large credit card debt that came from building our home.  It wasn't the fastest process in the world, but eventually, everything went through and my interest rate dropped in half.   I think that their online customer service and information is pretty poor; you pretty much have to contact customer service to find out anything!    Oh well, at least now we have a prayer of paying that large home-building hangover off. 

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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #48 on: May 01, 2015, 06:32:02 AM »
I refi with sofi and it was one of the better loan experiences my wife and I have ever had.

Same here.  I have saved around $1000 in accrued interest since I refinanced in December.  Pretty solid return for my time so far.
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Re: My Experience Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
« Reply #49 on: May 04, 2015, 05:49:40 PM »
I got an email today saying that my interest rate went up on my loans.  I immediately started regretting getting variable rate loans, basically panicking and wondering if I should take money out of my emergency fund to pay a bunch off.

Logged in and saw it increased by 0.01%.  Crisis averted.
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