SoFi is an online lender offering the largest personal loans available to consumers with good credit. With loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000, SoFi offers both fixed and variable interest rates and loan terms of two to seven years. Sofi has an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau, with 115 complaints in the last three years. It is also facing a case brought by the FTC that alleges Sofi made false statements in advertising.
SoFi, which offers personal, student and even home loans, is a “very sophisticated lender with better criteria, higher-end larger loans, mostly intended for professionals and providing better interest rates than the competitors,” said Michael Bovee, co-founder of debt resolution company Resolve. “This is good for them and the borrower. They also have strict lending guidelines and offer loans for large balance consolidation.”
What if you become delinquent on my Sofi account?
If you are behind on your loan payments, SoFi’s collection practices will differ from those of credit card companies in several ways:
1. Earlier charge-off
Your personal loan with SoFi can be charged off after 120 days of nonpayment. This means SoFi reports it as a loss, negatively affecting your credit score. It also means that you may begin hearing from a contingency debt collector or a debt buyer soon, so you’ll need to determine quickly how you will resolve this debt.
2. Does not participate in debt management plans (DMPs)
Your debt resolution options are slightly more limited with online lenders as they typically don’t participate in DMPs. While credit card companies will work with a credit counseling agency to adjust interest rates for your repayment plan, SoFi won’t. It may allow you to include your payment to it through your plan, but this is just for convenience and not a concession on interest.
3. Unlikely to sue
While credit card companies and banks may work with collection law firms and eventually sue you for delinquency, it’s not common with online lenders, which tend to be concerned with their reputation. “SoFi actually was suing for a time,” Bovee said, “but decided in 2018 they don’t want to be known that way so instead package debt and sell it to debt buyers.”
4. Doesn’t tend to settle
While Bovee has seen consumers negotiate good settlements on their SoFi loans, it is typically after they are sold to debt buyers. Debt buyers generally buy accounts for far less than the face value of your loan balance and may be motivated to settle because it doesn’t take much for them to turn a profit on your account.
5. Offers unemployment protection
If your challenges in keeping up with payments result from losing your job, and it was through no fault of your own, SoFi allows you to apply for a forbearance. This pause on paying your loan can be granted in three-month increments and for up to 12 months total for the life of the loan. It also offers free career coaching to members.
If none of these options helps you resolve your debt, you can also consider bankruptcy. If you are approved for Chapter 7, all your unsecured debt, including your SoFi personal loan, will be discharged.
To learn more about online lenders and ways to manage your account if you’ve fallen behind on payments, read our article “Online Lenders Collect Differently Than Banks.”
If you’ve become delinquent on your SoFi loan, now may be the time to consider your debt resolution options. You can access the Resolve financial management platform and receive guidance from our experts for free. Get started here.