SoFi is a nationally chartered, online-only bank that offers customers a high 4.60% on savings, an interest-earning checking account, and a host of other benefits for being a member. The bank currently has more than 5.5 million customers, which it calls members, and has an extensive rewards system in place to help your money go further and grow faster.
Our SoFi Bank review will explain why SoFi is a top-rated bank, as well as one of the fastest growing financial technology companies offering loans, an investment platform, and a rewards credit card.
SoFi at a Glance
SoFi became a nationally chartered online bank in early 2022, following the fintech’s acquisition of Golden Pacific Bancorp. SoFi started as a company that provided student loan refinancing, and evolved to provide checking and savings accounts, various loans, credit cards, investment accounts, and more.
Its status as a national bank enables the fintech to help even more people. “This incredible milestone elevates our ability to help even more people get their money right and realize their ambitions,” said SoFi CEO Anthony Noto in a press release following the acquisition.
Today, the online bank offers a variety of products to help American consumers meet their financial goals. The parent company, SoFi Technologies, is the parent company of SoFi Bank, Member FDIC. Products and services include:
- SoFi checking and savings accounts
- SoFi personal loans
- Credit card
- Private student loans and student loan refinancing
- Auto loan refinance
- Investment and retirement products
- Auto insurance, life insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance, and cyber insurance
Find out how these products compare to competitors in the industry in our SoFi reviews below.
SoFi Checking and Savings Account
SoFi offers a combined checking and savings account to customers. You cannot open one without the other, but this provides tremendous benefits and an incentive to save. Currently, when you open a SoFi checking and savings account, you can earn up to $250 when you set up direct deposit within the first month.
That’s in addition to all the other perks, including an account with no monthly maintenance fees, no overdraft fees (for qualifying customers), and no minimum balance requirement. Plus, deposits are FDIC-insured up to $2 million through SoFi’s network of partner banks, which exceeds the federal limit of $250,000 per account holder, per account type.
Your SoFi checking account comes with a cash back debit card that pays up to 15% cash back on debit card purchases when you shop at local businesses. Your SoFi debit card also offers fee-free access to more than 55,000 AllPoint ATMs for cash withdrawals, cash deposits, and balance transfers. You can also check account balances at any ATM for free.
Your SoFi checking account also has many other benefits you may not find in a traditional bank account. Besides not having any monthly fees, you can get paid two days early with early direct deposit. Plus, you’ll earn 0.50% annual percentage yield (APY) on checking balances.
If you enable overdraft protection, SoFi will pull from your savings account to cover checks, debit card purchases, and ACH withdrawals, including online bill payments, loans, and P2P payments. It will not pull from savings you have designated in vaults for specific purposes.
SoFi Savings Account
Your SoFi savings account offers a 4.60% APY, which is one of the highest available for online savings accounts. Be aware that to earn this high rate, you’ll need a qualifying direct deposit. Otherwise, you’ll earn 0.50% on all savings balances. However, there’s no minimum direct deposit amount required.
The savings account also helps with cash management by offering automatic savings features and savings vaults. You can designate a specific amount of each ACH direct deposit or cash deposit to go directly into your savings account or into a specific savings vault. Unlike many traditional banks, there is no limit on savings withdrawals or transfers.
It’s important to note that SoFi does not offer CDs, a money market account, or any other type of savings account aside from the high yield savings account.
SoFi Pros and Cons
SoFi’s online bank account has a number of desirable features that make it one of the best online savings and checking accounts for many people.
- High 4.60% APY on savings account
- 0.50% APY on checking account balances
- Early direct deposit
- No monthly account fees
- No ATM fees
- Overdraft protection for qualifying customers
- No CDs
- No money market accounts
- No branches for in-person service
SoFi Membership Features and Additional Perks
SoFi members who open a fee-free combined checking and savings account also qualify for other benefits. There is no minimum opening balance or minimum balance requirements to be considered a SoFi member.
Some of the membership benefits include:
- 15% off estate planning
- Free access to career coaching
- Free financial planning services
- Member events that can help with money management
SoFi Member Rewards
A few of the SoFi member benefits stand out, including the SoFi Member Rewards program. To join, download the SoFi app. You will earn points when you take actions like:
- Using your debit card
- Checking your credit store
- Saving money
As you earn points, you can convert those points to cash deposited into your SoFi bank account. You can then redeem points to help may loan payments, convert points into fractional stock shares through SoFi Active Invest, or even cash in points for a statement credit.
SoFi Referral Program
SoFi’s Rewards don’t stop with actions you take within your account. If you share SoFi with friends using your unique link, you’ll earn additional points you can cash in.
Currently, SoFi offers 2,000 rewards points for every person you refer who opens a SoFi checking and savings account with at least $10. You will also earn 2,000 points for friends who open a credit card, SoFi Credit Score Monitoring Account, or fund a Lending Product within 90 days of registering for SoFi using your link. Your friend will also earn 2,000 points.
SoFi Stadium Perks
You might not think of SoFi as a travel or entertainment rewards card, but SoFi’s Stadium Perks program does provide unique benefits for Los Angeles residents and tourists. SoFi members earn 25% cash back on purchases at SoFi Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, when you use your debit or credit card.
Plus, gain access to the exclusive SoFi Member Lounge and fast and easy entry to the stadium through the SoFi Member Express Entry line. If you need to check your bag, SoFi will reimburse the fees to your checking account or credit card.
SoFi Plus: Premium Membership
SoFi Premium members earn even more perks. Unlike many premier programs, SoFi Plus does not require an additional monthly purchase or subscription fee. To qualify, just set up direct deposit with your checking and savings account. When your first direct deposit clears, you’ll gain access to all the premium benefits.
Qualifying direct deposits for SoFi Plus must reach $1,000 per month or more to gain access to all the features of SoFi Plus. This includes no-fee overdraft coverage and rate discounts on SoFi loans. Other features, including the 4.60% APY, 2X rewards points, and preferred access to IPOs through SoFi Invest, apply to all SoFi Plus members.
How to Open a SoFi Account
Opening an account online is easy. You’ll need to provide some information, including your address and Social Security number. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to qualify.
There is no minimum opening deposit, but you’ll want to fund your account to take advantage of the competitive interest rates and access to all the benefits. You can deposit cash or checks to fund your account for the first time through:
- ACH direct deposit
- Mobile check deposit
- a GreenDot debit card
- Instant Funding
To take advantage of Instant Funding, link your existing Visa or Mastercard debit card to your SoFi account. Click “Transfer Instantly” and you can transfer up to $500 into your account in minutes. To use this method, you must be a new SoFi customer and deposit a minimum of $50.
SoFi Credit Card
The SoFi credit card lets you maximize the points you can earn. The card delivers 2% cash back rewards on every purchase and has no annual fees. To qualify, you’ll need a “good” or “excellent” credit score.
The card has a standard variable annual percentage rate (APR) of between 17.74% up to 29.74% based on your credit history. Cash advances carry an APR of 31.74%.
The card carries fees comparable to other top-tier rewards cards, including a late payment/returned payment fee of up to $39, and balance transfer or cash advance fees of $10 or 5% of the transaction amount, whichever is greater.
You can redeem your cash back as a statement credit, cash back into your checking or savings account, or as a deposit for investing through SoFi Invest.
SoFi is not just an online bank, but a full-fledged financial services firm that includes planning, management, and investing. The online stock trading app provides automated investing or hands-on options. You can trade:
- Fractional stocks
- IPOs (for qualified SoFi Plus members only)
SoFi Investing at a Glance
SoFi offers active investing for stocks, ETFs and even IPOs. You can start investing in some of the highest market cap companies on the S&P 500 and other stock indexes with as a little as $5. SoFi does not charge commissions on trades. When you open an Active Investing account with at least $10, you could win a bonus of stocks valued at up to $1,000 by playing the “Claw Game” promotion.
If you prefer not to engage in active investing, you can set up an automated investing account with as little as $1. Invest a set amount one time or set up automated recurring payments to watch your investments grow.
You will need to answer some questions so that SoFi can determine your risk tolerance and choose the right portfolio for you. SoFi automatically rebalances your investments quarterly and keeps your portfolio diversified based on your goals and risk tolerance.
SoFi also gives investors access to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Dogecoin, Solana, and 25 other popular cryptocurrencies. When you make your first crypto trade with a $10 minimum, you will earn a $100 bonus in Bitcoin within seven days. SoFi charges a mark-up of 1.25% on all crypto transactions.
SoFi Retirement Accounts
In addition to active and passive investment services through stocks, bonds, and ETFs, SoFi’s investments include Roth, SEP, and Traditional IRAs for retirement. You can choose active or automated investing. SoFi financial planners can help you create a retirement strategy that will work for you.
SoFi Invest Pros and Cons
As with all investment platforms, SoFi Invest has many benefits and a few drawbacks.
- Active or automated investing
- Investments in crypto, stocks, ETFs
- Fractional shares permitted
- Options investing
- Intuitive app
- Options investing may require advanced knowledge
- Not every investment will earn money
- Odds of winning a $1,000 stock bonus are slim
SoFi Student Loans
Unlike many online banks, SoFi offers student loan refinancing with fixed interest rates as low as 4.99%. To qualify for the lowest interest rate, you will need to set up autopay for your loan payments.
SoFi can help you pay down your student loans faster with fixed APRs of 4.99% up to 9.99% or variable APRs of 5.74% to 9.99% APR. You may qualify for a SoFi student loan if you are gainfully employed, starting a job within 90 days of your loan application, or have sufficient income from various sources. You should also show a solid financial history and monthly cash flow indicating you can make the SoFi loan payments.
SoFi offers a broad range of mortgage products, including:
- Conventional mortgages
- Jumbo loans
- Home equity loans
- Cash-out refis
- Short-term bridge financing for investment properties
With interest rates rising, SoFi’s “Lock and Look” feature lets you lock in today’s rates for up to 90 days while you shop for your dream home. Checking for your rate won’t affect your credit score.
First-time homebuyer loans may require as little as 3% down, while other home mortgages require just 5% down. Mortgages with a loan-to-value ratio greater than 80% will require private mortgage insurance.
SoFi offers conventional, fixed-rate mortgages with terms ranging from 10 to 30 years. If you take out a 30-year mortgage, you may qualify for a 0.25% pricing special or interest rate discount. To qualify for the lowest rates, you’ll want to have a strong credit history and a low debt to income ratio.
SoFi Personal Loans at a Glance
SoFi may offer one of the top-rated online checking accounts today. But SoFi was founded as an online loan company in 2011, providing personal loans with no fees and loan amounts from $5,000 to $100,000. You can check your rates quickly with a soft credit inquiry.
SoFi Personal Loans Review: Members-only Perks and Competitive Rates
A SoFi personal loan offers low fixed rates based on your credit history. Repayment terms range from two to seven years, while loan amounts run from $5,000 up to $100,000. SoFi borrowers pay no origination fee. You won’t suffer a prepayment penalty if you want to pay off your loan early. You can receive loan funds as quickly as the same day you apply.
SoFi personal loan interest rates range start at 8.99% according to the SoFi website. Secure the lowest rates with automatic payments directly from your SoFi account. SoFi Plus borrowers with qualifying monthly direct deposits may receive a rate discount as well.
SoFi offers unemployment protection for borrowers, which can help with cash flow if you lose your job. You can modify your SoFi personal loan payments while you look for a new job. SoFi’s career coaching can even help you find new work.
Best for Fee-Free Debt Consolidation Loans
As one of the top online lenders today, SoFi can help you save money by consolidating high interest credit card debt into one, low, monthly loan payment. SoFi personal loans have no origination fee. Debt consolidation can help you get out of debt faster and make it easier to pay your bills with one monthly payment directly from your account.
If you are planning to consolidate debt through a SoFi personal loan, you can choose Direct Pay. Loan proceeds will go to your credit card companies directly, saving you time and hassle. You’ll also earn an interest rate discount with Direct Pay, making SoFi a great choice for debit consolidation.
SoFi Personal Loans: Pros and Cons
SoFi loan products have numerous benefits compared to other online lenders. Let’s look at the pros and cons of a SoFi personal loan.
- No origination fees
- Unemployment protection
- Receive funds the same day you are approved
- No prepayment fees
- Loan amounts up to $100,000
- Must be a U.S. citizen-permanent resident
- Risk of charging up credit cards again after debt consolidation loan
- Excellent credit scores required to qualify for the lowest rates
- Hard credit pull to obtain a loan may reduce your credit score temporarily
What You Can Use SoFi Loans For
You can use SoFi loan money for virtually anything, including home improvements, debt consolidation, family planning and IVF, or even luxuries like weddings and travel. With competitive rates, easy automatic payments, and unemployment protection, a SoFi personal loan might make sense to pay for one-time events where you might normally use a credit card.
How to Apply for a SoFi Personal Loan
Applying for a personal loan is easy. You may want to check your credit report first to ensure that all the information is accurate. A solid financial history can help you secure the best loan rates and highest loan amounts.
You will first want to open your online bank account and set up direct deposit as well. SoFi Plus members can get interest rate discounts and even earn reward points for their loan. Once you are ready, visit SoFi.com, select personal loans from the drop-down menu of products, and click “View your rate.”
You’ll need to submit some information, including your name, address, Social Security number, loan amount, and income.
SoFi Money encompasses all the banking, lending and investing services SoFi bank offers. SoFi ranks as one of the best online banks, with excellent customer service and a wide range of products.
You can reach SoFi customer service via email, using the online virtual assistant chatbot, or by phone. Hours vary depending on the service you need. A wide range of financial products, low rates, and FDIC insurance up to $2 million for deposits set SoFi apart from competitors.