When you’re choosing a personal loan, there are a laundry list of factors to consider: How much do you need to borrow? What’s your credit standing? How soon do you need the money? How much are you willing to pay in interest? Perhaps the easiest way to compare lenders’ offerings head to head is by breaking them into lists of pros and cons, then choosing the lender with the most applicable pros and fewest applicable cons.
Here's an example of breaking personal loans from a given lender — in this case SoFi — down into a list of key pros and cons meant to help with that decision.
SoFi Personal Loans: The Pros
Let’s start with some of the notable advantages offered by SoFi loans in particular.
Large loan amounts
Bankrate gives SoFi 4.6 out of 5 stars, citing large loan amounts as one of the biggest reasons why. SoFi offers personal loans starting at $5,000 and going all the way up to $100,000, which is higher than many lenders on the market. For borrowers looking to borrow a lump sum for a large project, like major home renovations or serious credit card debt consolidation. On the flip side, borrowers looking for a small loan of just a few thousand dollars will have better luck elsewhere.
Low interest rates for qualified buyers
SoFi loans start just north of 6 percent and range through just shy of 19 percent APR, making them competitive in the world of personal loans. Borrowers who set up automatic payments can also earn an additional 0.25 percent off their interest rate, as Business Insider points out.
Offers temporary unemployment protection
One of the most difficult things to predict when taking out a loan is whether your financial situation will suddenly change, making it difficult to keep up with payments. SoFi does offer unemployment protection, which gives borrowers in good standing the ability to apply for forbearance for a few months (up to a year) while getting back on their feet.
Another upside: You won’t find origination fees, late payment fees or prepayment penalties when you work with SoFi.
SoFi Personal Loans: The Cons
Every personal loan lender under the sun has both advantageous and disadvantageous qualities. So, cons aren’t necessarily dealbreakers, but they are still important to factor into your decision.
Strong credit score required
Remember those desirable interest rates we mentioned above? The catch is that SoFi requires borrowers to have strong credit scores to qualify. According to SoFi reviews from Bills.com, the absolute minimum credit rating required is 680 — although it’s very common for borrowers who apply to have a score of 700 or higher. Ultimately, this means borrowers with credit lower than 680 will need to keep searching.
Can take a few days to get funds
It’s also worth noting SoFi can take a few business days to deliver their funds after approving a borrower for a loan. How big of a drawback this is depends on how you plan to use the funds and your timeline for doing so. If you need funds urgently, another lender may be able to deliver them faster. If waiting for a few days is no big deal, then this feature will likely not deter you from working with this company.
To review: SoFi is generally an option for borrowers with credit ratings ranging from good to excellent who need a personal loan for a large amount. SoFi is typically not an option for borrowers who need small loans less than $5,000, those who have poor credit or those who need their money by the next day.