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Can You Refinance Defaulted Student Loans?

Editor's Note: For the latest developments regarding federal student loan debt repayment, check out our student debt guide.

Student loan debt is at an all-time high, with more students graduating with debt than ever before. Consider this: Almost 44 million borrowers have federal student loan debt and they owe, on average, $37,338. As recent graduates begin their careers, it can be overwhelming to figure out how to make monthly student loan payments.

Ignoring your payments may seem like an easy way out, but student loan default can have extreme consequences. If you’re struggling with student loan payments or are already in default, there are ways to recover. For instance, you could consolidate defaulted student loans. Or you could refinance them. This guide will help you figure out your best option.

What Is Student Loan Default?

If your student loan is in default, it means you have failed to make payments on your student loans for several months in a row. However, there are a few steps that occur before defaulting on student loans.

Federal student loans are considered delinquent once you miss a student loan payment. After 90 days of delinquency, your loan servicer can report the missed payments to the three major credit bureaus. Generally, after 270 days of nonpayment, your loan will go into default.

If you have private student loans, they can go into default even sooner. Typically, after you miss three payments or 120 days, your private student loans go into default. Different lenders have different terms when it comes to default, however, so be sure to check with yours to get the specifics.

How Common Is Defaulting on Student Loans?

Defaulting on student loans is fairly common. The latest data from EducationData.org finds that one in 10 student loan borrowers has defaulted on a loan. In fact, roughly 4 million student loans go into default every year, and about 7% of loans are in default at any given time. As of 2021, the median loan balance among delinquent and defaulted borrowers was $15,307.

What Are the Consequences of Student Loan Default?

Defaulting on your student loans can have some steep consequences. For starters, the entire balance of your student loans could become due in full.

If you default on your student loans, your lender may eventually turn your debt over to a collection agency who will usually start calling, emailing, and even texting you to try and collect on your debt. You may even have to pay collection fees on top of everything else.

If you default, you may lose eligibility for programs that could help you manage your debt, such as deferment, forbearance, or Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Once your student loans are in default, your loan servicer or collection agency will report your default to the three major credit bureaus, which will negatively impact your credit score.

And if your servicer can’t collect the money you owe on your federal student loans, they can ask the federal government to garnish a portion of your wages or your tax refund.

💡 Quick Tip: Get flexible terms and competitive rates when you refinance your student loan with SoFi.

How Can You Recover From Student Loan Default?

If you failed to make payments on your student loans and they’ve gone into default, you don’t have to let it ruin your financial future. Here are some steps you can take to get back on track.

Loan Rehabilitation

One option for getting out of student loan default is student loan rehabilitation. To rehabilitate your loan, you work with your loan servicer and agree in writing to make nine reasonable and affordable monthly payments over a period of 10 months.

In order to rehabilitate a Direct Loan or FFEL program loan, your monthly payments must be no more than 20 days late. Your loan servicer will determine the new monthly payment, which is 15% of your discretionary income.

When you have successfully rehabilitated your loan, the default may be wiped from your credit history. Note that any late payments reported to the credit bureaus before the loan went into default will remain on your credit reports.

Private student loans are not eligible for rehabilitation.

Repaying Your Loan in Full

Another option to get out from under the shadow of student loan default is to repay your loans in full. Of course, if you had the funds to do so, you probably wouldn’t have defaulted in the first place. That said, you could look into ways to cover the balance due, such as borrowing from a family member or close friend.

Options for Private Student Loans

If you have private student loans that are in default, you can contact your lender and see what possibilities are available. Some lenders may have hardship options similar to the federal programs. As mentioned, the time it will take for your unpaid private loan to go into default depends on the lender — but the timeframe could be relatively short, even just 120 days.

However, if you’ve only recently missed a payment, you can start making payments again (and repay the missed payment) to try to prevent your loan from going into default.

Is Refinancing an Option for Defaulted Student Loans?

If your student loans are currently in default, refinancing your loans can be difficult. When you refinance your student loans, you take out a new loan with a private lender to pay off the existing loans. When you apply for a refinancing loan, lenders will use your credit score and financial history, among a few other factors, to determine if you qualify.

If your loan is already in default, your credit score has likely decreased significantly and will likely impact your ability to get approved for a new loan. If you have a family member or friend who is willing to cosign the loan, however, you may be able to refinance your student loans that way.

Another possibility for refinancing your student loans would be to rehabilitate your loans first. A lot of lenders might turn you down for having a defaulted loan on your credit history, but others might be willing to look past that and onto your education and income potential to approve you for a loan.

Can you Consolidate Defaulted Student Loans?

Another way to recover from student loan default is to consolidate your student loans in default. If you have federal loans, you can pursue defaulted student loan consolidation with the Direct Consolidation Loan program. This program allows you to combine one or more federal loans into a new consolidation loan.

To be eligible, you must either make three full, on-time, and consecutive payments on the defaulted loan or agree to make payments on an income-driven repayment plan.

Private student loans aren’t eligible for Direct Consolidation Loans. However, you can consolidate these loans with a private lender by refinancing.

Tips for Consolidating Defaulted Student Loans

Wondering how to consolidate defaulted student loans? To consolidate federal student loans, first gather all the documents you need. This includes your personal information such as your name, address, email, Social Security number, and FSA ID; financial information such as your income; and details about your loans, including amounts, account numbers, and loan servicers.

Next, go to studentaid.gov to fill out the Direct Consolidation Loan application. You’ll need your FSA ID to log in. Specify the loans you want to consolidate.

Then, choose one of the income-driven repayment plans if that’s the option you prefer. Review the plans in advance to determine which one is the best option for you.

Filling out the application typically takes less than 30 minutes.

Pros and Cons of Student Loan Consolidation

Choosing to consolidate defaulted student loans has advantages and disadvantages you’ll want to weigh before you move forward.

Advantages include:

•   One loan and one monthly bill. This means there will be less for you to keep track of.

•   Lower payments. When you consolidate, you can choose an income-driven repayment plan or to lengthen the term of your loan, which could lower your monthly payments. (Note: You may pay more interest over the life of the loan if you refinance with an extended term.)

•   Fixed interest rate. You’ll get a fixed interest rate for the life of your loans with Direct Loan Consolidation. The new rate is a weighted average of all your federal loan rates, rounded to the nearest eighth of a percent.

•   Access to forgiveness programs. With a Direct Consolidation Loan, you might be able to get access to programs you weren’t eligible for previously, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Disadvantages include:

•   Longer repayment period. You could end up repaying your loans for an extra year or two, which will cost you more overall.

•   Pay more in interest over the life of the loan. With consolidation, the outstanding interest on your loans is added to the principal balance, and interest may accrue on that higher balance.

•   Possible loss of benefits. Consolidating loans other than Direct loans could mean giving up perks you have with those loans, such as rebates or interest rate discounts.

This comparison chart of the pros and cons of student loan consolidation can be helpful as you consider the question of should you refinance or consolidate your loans.

Pros of Student Loan Consolidation Cons of Student Loan Consolidation
Simplified payments with just one bill to pay each month. Longer repayment period means paying more overall.
Monthly payments may be lower. Pay more in interest over the term of the loan.
Fixed interest rate. Could lose benefits associated with current student loans.
Possible access to certain forgiveness programs.

How to Manage Student Loans Without Going Into Default

If you’re struggling to make student loan payments but haven’t yet defaulted on your loan, taking action now could help prevent financial issues in the future. Here are some options that could help you take control of your student loan debt and avoid going into default.

Take Advantage of the Temporary Grace Period

Federal student loan payments and interest accrual has been paused since March 2022 in order to alleviate some of the financial challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic. However, the latest debt ceiling bill officially ended the payment pause, requiring interest to begin accruing again on Sept. 1. and payments to resume on October 1.

The Department of Education understands that restarting student loan payments after such a long pause will put many borrowers in a difficult financial position. So to prevent struggling borrowers from facing the harsh penalties of defaulting on their loans, there will be a 12-month ramp-up period to help borrowers adjust to repayment.

During this period, which takes place from Oct. 1, 2023 to Sept. 30, 2024, federal student loan borrowers who don’t make their payments on time and in full will not be reported to the credit bureaus, have their loans placed in default, or be referred to debt collectors.

Forbearance or Deferment

If you’re unable to make payments on your student loans due to a sudden and temporary economic change, you might consider applying for student loan deferment or forbearance. Both allow you to temporarily pause your loan payments.

If your loans are in forbearance, which is granted for 12 months at a time, you will be responsible for paying accrued interest during the forbearance period. If your loans are placed in deferment, which can last up to three years, you may not be responsible for accrued interest during the deferment period, depending on the type of loan you hold.

While your loans are in deferment or forbearance, you do have the option to make interest-only payments on the loan. If you choose not to, the accrued interest on most loans will be capitalized, or added to the principal balance. You’ll then be charged interest based on the larger loan amount.

Applying for Income-Driven Repayment (IDR)

Another option to help manage your student loans is income-driven repayment. There are four income-driven repayment plans available to federal student loan borrowers. Depending on the type of plan you qualify for, your monthly payments will be anywhere from 10% to 20% of your discretionary income. (Beginning in July 2024, the new SAVE plan will adjust payments to 5% of discretionary income.)

Income-driven repayment plans also stretch out the repayment term of the loan to either 20 or 25 years, depending on the specific plan. This means that while you could pay less per month, income-driven repayment could cost you more in interest over the life of the loan. The good news is that if you have any remaining debt at the end of the term, it will be forgiven (but you may need to pay income taxes on the canceled amount).

Consolidating Your Loans

Even if you’re not in default, you can consolidate your federal loans through the Direct Loan Consolidation program. As mentioned, the new interest rate will be the weighted average of the existing loans, rounded to the nearest eighth of a percent. So you won’t lower your effective interest rate, but you’ll only have to keep track of one monthly payment.

Refinancing Your Loans

If your monthly student loan payments are difficult for you to manage, you could consider refinancing with a private lender. If you have a combination of private and federal student loans, you could refinance both types into a single, private loan.

Refinancing can give you an opportunity to qualify for a lower interest rate or lower monthly payments, and you’ll only have to worry about tracking one payment each month. You may also be able to customize your repayment term — either lengthening or shortening the term.

By lengthening the term, you could reduce your monthly payments, but you may end up spending more money in interest over the life of the loan. To see how refinancing could impact your student loans, plug your numbers into this student loan refinance calculator.

It’s important to note that if you’re thinking of taking advantage of any federal programs such as income-driven repayment or Public Service Loan Forgiveness, refinancing may not be a good idea, as you’ll lose your eligibility for these programs.

Looking to lower your monthly student loan payment? Refinancing may be one way to do it — by extending your loan term, getting a lower interest rate than what you currently have, or both. (Please note that refinancing federal loans makes them ineligible for federal forgiveness and protections. Also, lengthening your loan term may mean paying more in interest over the life of the loan.) SoFi student loan refinancing offers flexible terms that fit your budget.

With SoFi, refinancing is fast, easy, and all online. We offer competitive fixed and variable rates.


Does consolidating student loans remove default?

No. When you consolidate your student loans, the record of the default will stay on your credit history. Another option is loan rehabilitation, which removes the default from your credit history.

Can you consolidate defaulted student loans?

Yes, you can consolidate defaulted student loans. If you have federal loans, you can consolidate them with Direct Loan Consolidation. To be eligible, you must either make three full, on-time, and consecutive payments on the defaulted loan or agree to make payments on an income-driven repayment plan. You can fill out an application at studentaid.gov. You can consolidate private student loans with a private lender.

Can you refinance student loans that are in default?

You can refinance student loans that are in default, but it may be difficult. That’s because your credit score has likely decreased, which may impact your ability to get approved for refinancing. If you have a family member or friend who is willing to cosign the loan, you may be able to refinance your student loans that way. Or, you could rehabilitate your loans first, which could help improve your odds of being approved for refinancing.

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Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Student Loan Refinancing
If you are a federal student loan borrower you should take time now to prepare for your payments to restart, including the opportunity to refinance your student loan debt at a lower APR or to extend your term to achieve a lower monthly payment. (You may pay more interest over the life of the loan if you refinance with an extended term.) Please note that once you refinance federal student loans, you will no longer be eligible for current or future flexible payment options available to federal loan borrowers, including but not limited to income-based repayment plans, such as the SAVE Plan, or extended repayment plans.

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Buy Side vs Sell Side What Is The Difference_780x440: When you buy something, you hand over money and get a product or service in return. When you sell something, you’re the one collecting the cash for that product or service.

Buy Side vs Sell Side

The buy side and sell side are two fundamental aspects of the financial markets. As it sounds the buy side refers to investment companies (including pension funds, hedge funds, money managers) that buy securities for their clients. The sell side is involved in the creation, selling, or issuing of the securities that the buy side then purchases.

Within the buy side and sell side there are different roles and dynamics at play.

What Is the Buy Side?

The buy side is the part of the capital market that buys and invests large quantities of securities as part of money management and/or fund management. On the buy side, professionals and investors invest in securities, including common shares, preferred shares, bonds, derivatives, and other products that are sold — or issued — by the sell side.

Think of the buy side as the firms that purchase investment securities for their own funds or accounts or for investors.

For instance, a fund management or asset management firm might run a fund or set of funds. Naturally, they look for assets that match the fund’s objectives. A buy-side portfolio manager might learn of a new tech product that sounds promising. After doing research on the company and determining whether it was a wise investment, the PM might purchase shares of that company.

💡 Quick Tip: Before opening an investment account, know your investment objectives, time horizon, and risk tolerance. These fundamentals will help keep your strategy on track and with the aim of meeting your goals.

What Is the Role of a Buy-Side Analyst?

Both the buy side and the sell side employ ranks of analysts that in some ways do similar work — but with different aims.

Buy-side analysts do extensive research before recommending whether their firm should purchase a certain security. The goal of a buy-side analyst is to be right as often as possible — because being correct corresponds to profit for their firm and their clients.

In addition to gathering their own information and conducting analysis on a given sector, buy-side analysts get to know the best analysts on the sell side whose research is relevant and reliable.

The relationship between buy-side and sell-side analysts can be seen as mutually beneficial. The more trustworthy a sell-side analyst’s research is, the more likely the buy-sider will be to recommend purchasing securities from the sell-side firm. Thus the buy-side indirectly plays into the sell-side’s compensation.

Buy-Side Goals

The goal of the buy side is to beat their benchmark indexes, and generate financial returns for clients.

Buy-siders put capital to work. They typically have a pool of funds they use to invest in securities. Professionals on the buy side typically work in portfolio management, wealth management, private equity, hedge funds and sometimes venture capital. Buy-side companies work to identify and buy underpriced, undervalued, or high-potential securities for clients in order to make the highest profit on their trades.

Buy-side investors can place large-scale transactions to keep trading costs low. They also have access to a wide variety of trading resources to help them identify, analyze, and quickly make a move on investment opportunities, often in real time. Buy siders must disclose their holdings in a document called a 13F, and this information is available publicly each quarter.

What Happens on the Buy Side

The role of the buy side is to:

•  Make decisions about investments (whether to buy, sell, or hold securities)

•  Do research on investment opportunities

•  Recruit investors and their capital

•  Conduct valuations and financial modeling

•  Get the best return on capital in order to grow assets under management

What Is the Sell Side?

The sell side of finance deals with creating, promoting, and selling securities that can be traded to the public. The sell side handles all activities related to selling securities to the buy side. That can include underwriting for initial public offerings (IPOs), providing clearing services, and developing research materials and analysis.

Professionals on the sell side represent companies or entities that need to raise money. They do it by selling or issuing securities. The sell side is made up primarily of advisory firms, banks, or other kinds of companies that facilitate selling of securities for their client companies.

What Happens on the Sell Side

The role of the sell side is to:
•   Advise corporate clients on large transactions and financial decisions
•   Help clients raise capital, be it debt or equity
•   Advise clients on corporate mergers and acquisitions
•   Market, promote, and sell securities
•   Provide research on listed companies (called equity research)
•   Conduct valuations and financial modeling
•   Create liquidity for securities that are listed

Sell siders keep close track of the performance of specific companies they track, keep track of stocks, and model and project future financial performance and trends. They come up with research recommendations and target prices and sell ideas to clients.

Sell siders spend a lot of time analyzing balance sheets, quarterly results, and any other data they can find on a company. Sell-side analysts aim to give deeper insights into trends and projections; they issue reports and recommendations which are used to make investment decisions for clients.

Professionals focused on the sell side often have jobs in investment banking, sales and trading, equity research, market making, and commercial or corporate banking.

💡 Quick Tip: It’s smart to invest in a range of assets so that you’re not overly reliant on any one company or market to do well. For example, by investing in different sectors you can add diversification to your portfolio, which may help mitigate some risk factors over time.

What Is the Role of a Sell-Side Analyst?

The job of a sell-side analyst is to vet different stocks or other assets and sell them to the buy side. In that sense, sell-siders are an essential part of the marketing of different securities.

Typically a sell-side company employs many analysts who help shape the security offerings across sectors and industries. An analyst who covers a certain sector goes deep in that area, talking to a range of people who are knowledgeable about each company and its products — including customers, suppliers, competitors — and building models that help assess a company’s status.

Sell-side analysts are the ones who rate a company’s stock as buy, sell, or hold. It’s generally taken as an evaluation of the stock’s performance rather than the company’s.

An analyst’s success hinges to a large degree on their access to the best and most useful information about a stock, its price target, and their estimates about the stock’s performance. Taken together, the estimates of different analyses are sometimes called the consensus estimate. That’s how buy-siders evaluate the merits of different securities and whether to buy.

Sell-Side Goals

Sell-side companies make money through fees and commissions earned when they sell — which means the more deals they make, the more buy-side firms earn. Market making firms are part of the sell side and help provide the liquidity the market needs to make transactions happen.

Investment banks tend to dominate the sell side of the financial markets; they underwrite stock issuances, sell to institutions and individuals and take proprietary positions in securities.

The most high-profile sell side activity is underwriting IPOs, acting as a buffer between companies going public and the investing public set to buy IPO shares.

Buy Side vs. Sell Side: Key Differences

Buy side and sell side are like two faces of the financial and capital markets coin, but there are some key differences between the two.

Buy Side

Sell Side

Buy-siders do their own research, but their reports are proprietary and only available to buy-side clients. Sell-siders do their own research and reports and make them publicly available.
Buy-side research analysts tend to build a list of sell-side analysts in relevant sectors from which to get reports, technical analysis, and information they rely on. Sell-side analysts dig deep in their research, get narrow in their focus, and typically develop an area of strong expertise.

How Do the Buy Side and Sell Side Earn a Profit?

Because buy-side firms raise money from wealthy investors and institutions and invest on their behalf, buy-siders profit from management and/or performance fees.

Meanwhile, sell-side firms earn money from the commissions they get from facilitating deals, and from marketing, selling and trading securities.

The Takeaway

The capital market is made up of the buy side and the sell side. Whereas the buy side aims to get the best value from investments in order to bring in greater returns for clients, the sell side aims to help clients raise capital through the sale of securities.

Ready to invest in your goals? It’s easy to get started when you open an investment account with SoFi Invest. You can invest in stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and more. SoFi doesn’t charge commissions, but other fees apply (full fee disclosure here).

Invest with as little as $5 with a SoFi Active Investing account.


Is the buy side more lucrative than the sell side?

Careers on the buy side are generally considered higher paying than on the sell side. This is in part due to the amount of risk a buy sider takes on when selecting securities, and the premium placed on making a profit.

Do people move from the buy side to the sell side?

People do move from one side to another, but the more common transition is from the sell side to the buy side, owing to the allure of higher compensation and in some cases better hours.

Are traders on the buy or sell-side?

Traders are on the sell side. Traders are considered market makers in that they provide liquidity in the markets.

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Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.


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A Guide to Unsecured Personal Loans

A Guide to Unsecured Personal Loans

Unsecured personal loans are loans provided by banks, credit unions, and online lenders that do not require any type of collateral. They provide an opportunity to borrow funds without putting any of your assets (like your home or car) at risk. The funds can be used for virtually any purpose, including debt consolidation, home improvements, and large purchases.

How do you know if an unsecured personal loan is the right choice for you? We’ll dive into exactly what an unsecured personal loan is, the benefits of an unsecured personal loan, and how to choose the best loan for your situation.

What Is an Unsecured Loan?

An unsecured loan is a loan that is not backed by collateral, such as your home, bank account balances, or vehicle. To have a loan “backed” by an asset means that a bank or lender has the right to take that asset in the event of default on the loan.

Loans backed by collateral (such as mortgages, home equity loans, and auto loans) generally pose less risk to lenders — if the borrower defaults, they can recoup the balance due by seizing the collateralized property. Because unsecured loans pose a higher risk, they tend to have higher interest rates and come in lower loan amounts compared to secured loans.

Some borrowers, however, prefer unsecured loans, since they don’t require you to put your home, car, or other personal assets at risk. You qualify for an unsecured personal loan strictly on your ability to repay the borrowed amount. Lenders assess this by looking at your income, credit scores, and borrowing history.

💡 Quick Tip: Some personal loan lenders can release your funds as quickly as the same day your loan is approved.

What Are Common Uses for Unsecured Personal Loans?

Unsecured personal loans can be used for a wide array of purposes. Here are some of the most common reasons why people take out unsecured personal loans.

Credit Card Payoff

Credit cards tend to have high annual percentage rates (APRs). Currently, the average credit card interest rate is 28.02%. Personal loans, on the other hand, charge an average interest rate of 11.31 (if you have a high credit score, you may be able to get a lower APR).

Using a personal loan to pay off credit card debt can potentially help you save money on interest. You can get an estimate of the potential savings of using an unsecured personal loan to pay off a credit card balance by using a personal loan.

Debt Consolidation

If you make many different credit card (or other debt) payments every month, it can be difficult to keep track of all the due dates and minimum amounts owed. If you miss a payment or don’t pay at least the amount due, you can get hit with late fees and your credit could be negatively affected.

Debt consolidation is the process of taking out an unsecured personal loan and using it to pay off multiple debts, leaving you with just one monthly payment. This simplifies repayment and, if you get a loan with a lower interest rate, could also help you save money.

Medical Expenses

Unsecured personal loans can be used to pay for a range of medical treatments, including elective procedures, fertility treatments, prescriptions, surgeries, dental procedures, and more.

A number of lenders, including certain banks, credit unions and online lenders, offer personal loans that can be used for medical expenses. Though interest expenses will add to the total cost of treatment, this can be a less expensive option than putting the medical expense on your credit card.

Home Projects

Whether you’re thinking about updating your kitchen or renovating a bathroom, you may be able to use an unsecured personal loan, also called a home improvement loan, to obtain funding for the project.

An unsecured personal loan can be especially useful if you need cash quickly for critical repairs or emergencies. It also provides an alternative to taking out a home equity loan or line of credit for remodeling or repairs, both of which are secured loans and require equity in your home.

What Are Some Different Types of Unsecured Loans?

The most common types of unsecured loans include:

•   Personal loans Personal loans are typically unsecured, though some lenders offer secured options. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $50,000, with repayment terms of two to seven years. Interest rates are typically fixed.

•   Personal lines of credit A personal line of credit is a revolving loan, which means the loan can be spent, repaid, and spent again, similar to a credit card. While some credit lines are secured, many lenders offer unsecured options. Personal credit lines typically have a variable interest rate.

•   Student loans Education loans are used to cover the cost of college tuition and expenses. Both federal and private student loans are unsecured. However, student loans usually carry more restrictions and payback instructions than other types of unsecured loans.

•   Credit cards Like a personal credit line, credit cards are a type of revolving loan that lets you access money up to a certain limit as you need it and only pay interest on the amount you borrow. While secured credit cards are available, most consumer cards do not require collateral.

Why Choose an Unsecured Personal Loan?

Here’s a look at some of the benefits of unsecured personal loans.

•   Fast processing time It often doesn’t take long to get the lump sum of money in your hands — often just a few days or so.

•   Consistent payments Personal loans are a type of installment loan, which means payments will be fixed and follow a set schedule.

•   Less costly than credit cards With good credit, interest rates on unsecured personal loans are typically lower than interest rates on credit cards.

•   Flexibility An unsecured personal loan can be used for almost any purpose, including credit card consolidation, a large purchase (like an appliance), a wedding, travel, medical expenses, home repairs, and more.

•   No collateral You don’t need to put anything of value at risk of repossession in order to secure the loan.

Applying for an Unsecured Personal Loan

Before you apply for an unsecured personal loan it’s a good idea to check your credit score, since it will play a role in your loan eligibility and interest rate.

Next, you’ll want to research and compare lenders, including banks, credit unions, and online lenders. It can be a good idea to compare loan amounts, interest rates, terms, and fees. Also check loan requirements, if they are available. Some lenders have a minimum credit score or income requirements.

In some cases, you may be able to pre-qualify for a personal loan, which lets you see the loan terms you may qualify for. This involves a soft credit check, which won’t impact your credit.

Once you find a loan you like, it’s time to officially apply. Often, you can do this online, though some lenders may require you to apply in person. Either way, you’ll need to provide personal and financial information (such as your name, home address, and employment information). In addition, you may need to provide the following documents:

•   State-issued ID

•   Proof of residence

•   Proof of income (like a bank statement or pay stub)

•   Tax return

Once you submit your application, you may receive a decision within a few minutes or a few days, depending on the lender.

💡 Quick Tip: Just as there are no free lunches, there are no guaranteed loans. So beware lenders who advertise them. If they are legitimate, they need to know your creditworthiness before offering you a loan.

The Takeaway

For some of life’s many curveballs — or opportunities — the occasional need for an unsecured personal loan might come up. Unlike a secured loan (like an auto loan, mortgage, or car title loan), an unsecured personal loan doesn’t require you to provide anything of value to guarantee it. You qualify based only on your ability to repay the borrowed amount to the lender.

Think twice before turning to high-interest credit cards. Consider a SoFi personal loan instead. SoFi offers competitive fixed rates and same-day funding. Checking your rate takes just a minute.

SoFi’s Personal Loan was named NerdWallet’s 2023 winner for Best Online Personal Loan overall.

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SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


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Jumbo Loans for the Self-Employed: What to Know

Buying a house is an exciting milestone, but it can also be stressful — especially if you’re self-employed and have to jump through extra hoops to secure a loan. Self-employed borrowers may have even more difficulty when applying for a jumbo loan for a more expensive house.

Below, we’ll walk through jumbo loans for the self-employed: types of loans available, typical requirements, and what the lending process is like.

What Are Jumbo Loans for the Self-Employed?

Each year, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) sets a maximum limit on the dollar amount of mortgages that government-sponsored Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will purchase. Loans within those limits are called conforming loans.

But what if you want a more expensive house and need a larger mortgage? That’s where jumbo loans come in. Jumbo loans, also called non-conforming loans, pose a higher risk to the lender and thus come with stricter requirements for borrowers.

Self-employed individuals can get conforming mortgages just like any other borrowers, though they may be asked for additional documents to prove their income. (The same is true when it comes to personal loans for the self-employed.) But what about jumbo loans for self-employed individuals? Are those possible?

Many lenders allow self-employed individuals to apply for and secure a non-qualified mortgage, also called a non-QM loan. Lenders enable borrowers to qualify for a non-qualified mortgage using alternative methods, particularly for income verification. Some examples of non-QM loans include 1099-only loans, bank statement loans, and investor cash flow loans.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.

1099-Only Loan

A 1099-only loan is just what it sounds like. Self-employed individuals typically receive 1099s, not W-2s, at tax time. Though lenders usually review an applicant’s W-2s, a self-employed individual may be able to apply for a jumbo loan by showing 1099s from previous years. Loan requirements will vary by lender.

Why not just look at previous tax returns? All 1099 income appears on your tax return, after all. However, self-employed workers write off business expenses to lower their taxable income and reduce their overall tax burden. An individual who brings in good money but has a lot of write-offs may have a harder time qualifying based on their tax return, which shows adjusted gross income, but could qualify based on their 1099.

Bank Statement Loan

Another route that self-employed individuals can take to get a jumbo mortgage loan is through bank statements alone. Again, requirements will vary by lender, but lenders offering bank statement mortgages will often approve self-employed individuals for jumbo loans with just recent bank statements (personal or business) demonstrating income, rather than with traditional tax documents.

Investor Cash Flow Loan

Self-employed individuals who want to diversify by purchasing an investment property may be able to get a jumbo loan with no income verification at all. Instead, with an investor cash flow loan, borrowers can get a loan by using the anticipated cash flow from the rental property.

💡 Quick Tip: One answer to rising house prices is a jumbo loan. Apply for a jumbo loan online with SoFi, and you could finance up to $2.5 million with as little as 10% down. Get preapproved and you’ll be prepared to compete in a hot market.

Challenges Faced by Self-Employed Borrowers

These non-QM loan options for self-employed borrowers address typical challenges that self-employed borrowers face when applying for a mortgage, particularly a jumbo mortgage. For instance, self-employed borrowers:

•   Can’t produce W-2s to verify their income or employment.

•   May have a lot of write-offs on their tax return that make it look like they earn less.

•   May otherwise need to provide a lot of complicated business documents for underwriting.

Recommended: Benefits of Being an Entrepreneur

Jumbo Loan Underwriting Guidelines

Jumbo loans may allow you to buy a more expensive home, but you’ll have to meet a lot of strict requirements, self-employed or not. Below are the core underwriting guidelines that lenders use when considering jumbo loan applications:

•   Credit score: Credit score requirements for jumbo loans will vary by lender, but expect to need a higher credit score than you’d need for a more traditional loan. A credit score of 700 or above should do the trick, although some lenders will have more lenient standards, while some may have tighter restrictions for a second home or investment property.

•   Debt-to-income ratio: Lenders may have varying income requirements for jumbo loans, but they’ll also look at your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. If you have significant monthly debt obligations compared to your monthly income, you may not qualify for a jumbo loan.

•   Cash reserves: For certain loans and certain applicants, lenders may require you to have mortgage reserves — liquid assets (money in a bank account or certificate of deposit, stocks and bonds, or vested retirement funds, for instance) set aside to cover a certain number of months’ worth of housing costs. The money you’ll spend on your down payment and closing costs is not considered part of your cash reserves. For a jumbo loan, it’s possible you’ll need to have six to 12 months’ worth of reserves.

Tips for Increasing Chances of Approval

As a self-employed borrower, it’s crucial that you work on your credit score, reduce your monthly debts, and have strong evidence of solid monthly income before trying to qualify for a mortgage, particularly a jumbo loan. Here are a few tips to increase your chances of approval:

•   Work on your credit score first: Having a high credit score is one of the major requirements for approval. If you’re right beneath the 700 threshold, it may be worth it to wait a few months if you’re actively working on maintaining a good credit score.

•   Pay off outstanding debts: An easy way to decrease your DTI (and thus increase your chances of approval) is to pay off debts before buying a house. Stop accruing new credit card debt, and work on paying off existing debts before applying. If you’re able to knock out your credit card debt or pay off your car before applying for a jumbo loan, you may have a better shot.

•   Collect all the documentation you can: Having documentation of your income and employment is key. As a self-employed individual, it might be worth it to work with an accountant to compile all the paperwork.

Understanding the Jumbo Loan Process

The jumbo loan process is similar to the standard conforming loan process, but it may take longer. Here are the general steps for getting a jumbo loan:

1.    Make sure you’re qualified: Review your credit score, DTI, and cash reserves to make sure you’re likely to get approved for a jumbo loan. Gather all the necessary documents.

2.    Find a lender: Not every lender offers jumbo loans to self-employed borrowers. Do some research to find out which lenders will offer you the best chances. Loan terms and interest rates will vary depending on the lender, the current market, and your finances. Get preapproved for a loan.

3.    Make an offer on a home: Once you have funding approved, find a house you love and put in an offer.

4.    Get an appraisal: As with a conforming mortgage, the lender will require a home appraisal to ensure the home is worth what you’re borrowing.

5.    Close on the home: Because jumbo loans are larger, expect to need a larger down payment. Closing costs will also be higher. Because jumbo loans pose more risk to lenders, the timeline between the offer and closing may take longer than for a traditional home loan.

💡 Quick Tip: To see a house in person, particularly in a tight or expensive market, you may need to show the real estate agent proof that you’re preapproved for a mortgage. SoFi’s online application makes the process simple.

Pros and Cons of Jumbo Loans for Self-Employed Individuals

Jumbo loans are possible for self-employed individuals, but there are also some drawbacks to consider. Self-employed borrowers should keep the tough requirements in mind when considering purchasing a home above the FHFA conforming loan limits, but if they really want that more expensive home, it could be worth the effort.

Here are the pros and cons to consider:


•   Higher loan limits: Self-employed individuals who make enough money to justify buying a house priced above conforming loan limits can get jumbo loans to finance their dream home.

•   Flexible underwriting: By using non-QM loans, self-employed borrowers can use documentation like 1099s or bank statements instead of W-2s and tax returns to demonstrate their income and employment.


•   Higher interest rates: Jumbo loans may have higher interest rates because they pose a greater risk to the lender.

•   Stricter qualification criteria: Anyone applying for a jumbo loan should be prepared for stricter qualification criteria, but self-employed borrowers may have even more hurdles to clear. Lenders might want to see multiple years’ worth of income — and the income, credit score, and DTI thresholds may be higher than for a conforming loan.

Recommended: What to Consider When Choosing a Mortgage Lender

The Takeaway

Self-employed individuals may have a tougher time getting approved for a jumbo loan, but it’s not impossible. Having a strong credit score and low DTI are important, but having the proper documentation to demonstrate stable income is also crucial.

When you’re ready to take the next step, consider what SoFi Home Loans have to offer. Jumbo loans are offered with competitive interest rates, no private mortgage insurance, and down payments as low as 10%.

SoFi Mortgage Loans: We make the home loan process smart and simple.


How many years of tax returns do I need to provide for a jumbo loan?

Typical borrowers will need to provide at least two years of tax returns to get a jumbo loan. Self-employed individuals, however, may need to provide additional documentation to get approved for funding.

Can I use 1099 income to qualify for a jumbo loan?

Some lenders allow you to use 1099 income to qualify for a jumbo loan. Self-employed individuals who don’t receive any W-2 income may want to consider lenders that offer 1099-only loans.

What is a 1-year self-employed mortgage and how does it work?

Lenders typically want to see at least two years of stable income. Borrowers who have been self-employed for just one year, however, may be able to get a mortgage from specific lenders.This mortgage can be more challenging to get: Lenders will need borrowers to demonstrate the stability of their income, the financial strength of their business, and a promising business outlook. Usually, the self-employed borrower needs to have been in the industry longer than a year, even if they’ve only been self-employed in said industry for a year.

Are there any special requirements for 1099 home loans?

Each lender will have its own requirements for a 1099 home loan, like minimum credit score, maximum DTI, and loan limits. Check a lender’s requirements before applying.

What is the minimum credit score required for a jumbo loan?

Credit score requirements for jumbo loans vary by lender, but typically, you’ll need at least a 700 score to qualify. Before applying, ask potential lenders what their minimum credit score requirements are. Some lenders may approve loans for borrowers with scores below 700, but interest rates may be higher.

How much of a down payment do I need for a jumbo loan?

Down payment requirements for jumbo loans vary by lenders. Many lenders require that you put at least 20% down for a jumbo loan, but in some cases, lenders may approve jumbo loans with as little as 5% down.

Photo credit: iStock/SeventyFour

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Terms and conditions apply. Not all products are offered in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.


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Finding Jobs That Pay Off Student Loans

Jobs that help pay off a portion of student loans are becoming more common and for a good reason. The average federal student loan borrower has over $37,000 in student loan debt, while borrowers with private student loans owe nearly $55,000, on average.

Companies that help to repay a portion of student loans are in the minority, so you may have to do some research to get student loan assistance as a benefit. To help you, here’s what to know about what’s available, companies that offer this perk, and what you can do to try and negotiate for it.

Types of Job-Based Student Loan Assistance Programs

There are two types of student loan assistance you may receive through an employer: repayment assistance programs where your employer is a participant and repayment assistance benefits your employer offers directly.

Repayment Assistance Programs

Depending on your career field, you may be eligible to receive student loan assistance through a federal or state program. There are several programs for those working in public service careers, like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Teacher Loan Forgiveness programs, which cancel existing balances for eligible borrowers who meet certain requirements.

That said, these programs typically require you to commit to working in a specific job or a certain area (such as medicine, law, or military service, for example) for a set number of years, which can be challenging if you don’t enjoy the job or want to pursue a different career path somewhere else.

But if you fulfill your service obligation, you may get as much as your full student loan balance is forgiven.

Recommended: A Guide to Military Student Loan Forgiveness

Repayment Assistance Benefits

At the start of 2022, about 7% of employers in the U.S. offered student loan repayment assistance as a benefit, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. The terms of repayment assistance benefits can vary by employer. For example, some may offer to match a portion of the employee’s payments and others may simply pay a set amount toward an employee’s loan balance each month.

The amount you receive from a repayment assistance benefit may be less than what you might get through a government repayment assistance program. But you may not need to commit to a service obligation to qualify, and you may be able to negotiate how much you’ll receive.

💡 Quick Tip: Get flexible terms and competitive rates when you refinance your student loan with SoFi.

Types of Jobs That Offer Student Loan Forgiveness

In order to qualify for certain types of loan forgiveness, borrowers may need to meet certain employment requirements. Here are some of the jobs that could potentially allow someone to qualify for federal student loan forgiveness programs.

1. Federal Agency Employee

The federal student loan repayment program exists for employees of the federal government, and allows a portion of their federal student loans to be paid off each year. The benefit permits for up to $10,000 in payments each calendar year, not to exceed a total of $60,000 for any one employee.

In order to qualify for this student loan repayment assistance, the employee is required to sign onto a minimum three-year contract with the agency. If they leave the agency early, they’ll need to repay any benefits received.

2. Public Service Worker

If you work full-time in the public service sector for a qualifying organization, such as the government or a non-profit, you may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

To pursue PSLF, borrowers need to have Direct loans and be enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan. (If you have other types of federal loans, such as Perkins loans, you’ll need to consolidate them into a Direct loan to qualify.) Forgiveness is awarded after making 120 qualifying payments and certifying all employers.

3. Medical Field

The Association of American Medical Colleges maintains a database with information on loan assistance programs for doctors by state.

Medical professionals who work in certain underserved areas may also qualify for loan forgiveness through the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program. In this program, medical professionals must commit to working for at least two years at an NHSC-approved site in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).

Refinancing medical school student loans may be another option to consider for medical professionals who are not pursuing any loan forgiveness programs. While refinancing would eliminate loans from any federal forgiveness programs, it could potentially allow borrowers to secure a more competitive interest rate.

4. Automotive Professionals

Professionals in the automotive industry may qualify for loan forgiveness through the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Loan Forgiveness Program. To be eligible, you must work for a SEMA member business and have at least $2,000 in outstanding debt, among other qualifications.

5. Lawyer

In addition to PSLF, there are other lawyer-specific programs that provide assistance to lawyers paying off student loan debt. These include the Department of Justice Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program or John R. Justice (JRJ) Program.

6. Teacher

Student loan forgiveness for teachers is available. Teachers who work in special education are considered highly qualified teachers or work in underserved areas may qualify for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. The amount of loan forgiveness available is dependent on the teacher’s area of specialty and can be either up to $17,500 or up to $5,000.

7. Peace Corps

Peace Corps volunteers may be eligible to defer their loans or pursue PSLF. Additionally, while on a qualifying repayment plan, payments could be as low as $0 per month while volunteering.

8. Veterinarian

Veterinarians who work in underserved areas may qualify for up to $25,000 in student loan repayment assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program. Eligible veterinarians must agree to serve in a NIFA-designated veterinarian shortage situation for a period of three years to qualify.

15 Major Companies that Repay Student Loans

Hundreds of large and small employers offer jobs that pay off student loans, but it’s not always easy to find out which ones provide the benefit. To help you get started, here are 15 well-known companies that repay student loans.

1. Abbott Laboratories

The company’s Freedom 2 Save program functions a bit differently than other repayment assistance benefits in that it combines efforts to pay off student loan debt and save for retirement.

Full- and part-time employees who qualify for the company’s 401(k) plan and contribute at least 2% of their eligible pay toward student loan repayment will receive a 5% contribution to their 401(k) account. Employee contributions to their 401(k) contributions aren’t required to receive these funds.

2. Aetna

In addition to a tuition reimbursement program, healthcare company Aetna also matches student loan payments for eligible employees who meet certain requirements. For full-time employees, the program matches student loan payments up to $2,000 per year, with a lifetime maximum of up to $10,000 for qualifying loans. For part-time employees, the program matches up to $1,000 a year, with a lifetime maximum of $5,000.

3. Ally Financial

Financial services company Ally provides $100 per month toward student loan payments, with a lifetime maximum cap of $10,000. The company also reimburses tuition up to $10,000 per year to help employees keep educational debt to a minimum.

4. Chegg

Education company Chegg has paid out more than $1 million toward employee student loan debt through its Equity for Education benefit. For entry-level employees through manager level, those who have worked at the company for at least 2 years receive up to $5,000 annually. Employees at the director or vice-president level can receive up to $3,000 annually.

5. Estee Lauder

The beauty company provides employees with $100 per month in student loan assistance, up to a lifetime maximum of $10,000.

6. Fidelity

As an employee of the investment brokerage firm, you may be eligible to receive up to $15,000 toward your student loan payments.

7. Google

Google matches up to $2,500 in loan payments per employee each year.

8. Hulu

Streaming service Hulu pays up to $1,200 a year per employee to match their student loan payments.

9. Live Nation

Entertainment company Live Nation Live Nation matches employee contributions of up to $100 per month, or $1,200 a year. The lifetime maximum is $6,000 in benefits. Employees must be employed with the company for at least six months to qualify.

10. New York Life

New York Life’s student loan assistance program, Vault Pay, contributes $170 per month over five years toward student loans that are in good standing. In other words, employees can receive up to $10,200 while enrolled in the program.

11. Nvidia

If you’ve graduated within the last three years, Nvidia will match your student loan payments dollar for dollar up to $3500 per month. The lifetime cap is $30,000 in assistance. To be eligible, you must be a full-time or part-time U.S. employee working 20 hours or more per week.

12. Penguin Random House

New York Life’s student loan assistance program, Vault Pay, contributes $170 per month over five years toward student loans that are in good standing. In other words, employees can receive up to $10,200 while enrolled in the program.

13. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

As a participating associate or senior associate, you can receive $1,200 in student loan payments each year. The company estimates that this benefit can help to reduce student loan principal and interest by up to $10,000, and shorten loan payoff by up to three years.

14. SoFi

As an employee with SoFi, you’ll get $200 each month in student loan repayment assistance. The company also provides free financial classes.

15. Staples

Eligible employees for the Staples student loan assistance program include active, full-time U.S. associates with at least one outstanding loan obligation. Participants must also have obtained or are in the process of receiving a degree from an accredited institution. The company pays $100 per month toward loan principal for 36 months.

How Is Student Loan Assistance Taxed?

If you receive student loan assistance or cancellation, it’s important to understand the tax consequences. Depending on the situation, you could be responsible for a tax bill.

The IRS typically considers canceled debt to be taxable income. That includes most student loan debt forgiveness or discharge, except for PSLF. However, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 exempts borrowers who are working toward loan forgiveness from having their forgiven balances taxed if their loans were discharged between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2025. This only applied to federal taxes, though, and some states may still require forgiven student loans to be taxed as income.

As for employer-sponsored assistance programs, a temporary pandemic-era provision allows employers to contribute up to $5,250 per year in tax-free funds toward qualified education costs for employees. Any contributions above that amount are considered taxable income for the employee. However, this special tax treatment expires December 31, 2025, after which any amount of employer payments or reimbursements for education expenses or student loan repayment will be taxed as income.

💡 Quick Tip: Refinancing could be a great choice for working graduates who have higher-interest graduate PLUS loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and/or private loans.

Negotiating a Student Loan Repayment Benefit

If you’re looking for a job, keep an eye out for companies that repay student loans as an employee benefit. If you can’t find one, you can still try to negotiate the benefit into your total compensation. Here are some ways to do it.

Doing Your Research

Resources such as Payscale and Glassdoor can help give you an idea of the salary and benefits that may be available from various companies. Look at what the company you’re interested in typically offers as well as what you might get with a similar position somewhere else.

If anything, this process can give you a better idea of what you’re worth. But it will also give you a benchmark that you can use to negotiate for student loan repayment benefits, along with other aspects of your compensation.

Making Your Interests Clear

Helping a potential employer understand why student loan repayment is important to you can help set the stage for the entire conversation.

In addition to salary, employers can consider several other factors to make up your total compensation. So knowing what’s most important to you can help them make a more attractive offer.

Asking for a Signing Bonus Instead of Monthly Payments

While a signing bonus isn’t specifically designed as a student loan repayment benefit, you can use it that way. In fact, making a lump sum payment toward your student loans could help you accelerate your student loan debt repayment timeline.

Recommended: How to Negotiate Your Signing Bonus

Asking for the Opportunity to Revisit the Request in the Future

If you can’t manage to persuade a potential employer to provide you with student loan assistance, that may not be the end of it. You could ask for the chance to talk about your compensation again in six months or a year.

During that time, you may be able to prove to your employer that it’s worth the investment on their part. Or you may have planted a seed for the employer to create a student loan repayment benefit for all employees.

Making Student Loan Repayment a Priority

Whether or not you can find jobs that pay off student loans, you can still make it a priority to eliminate your student debt as quickly as possible. A student loan repayment assistance benefit can help you achieve that goal, but it can’t do it on its own.

As such, it’s essential to consider other options to save money, such as refinancing your student loans. While refinancing can be a helpful option for some borrowers, it won’t make sense for everyone. If federal student loans are refinanced, they’ll lose eligibility for federal programs and benefits, such as PSLF or income-driven repayment plans.

If you qualify, you may be able to reduce your interest rate or your monthly payment. With a lower interest rate you could potentially save money over the life of your loan.

The Takeaway

Many companies offer student loan repayment assistance as a part of their employee benefits package. Some jobs might also offer the opportunity for the borrower to apply for student loan forgiveness. For example, there are programs available for medical professionals, teachers, and those that work in the government or non-profit sector.

Another opportunity for managing student loans is refinancing, which could allow qualifying borrowers to lower their interest rates — making the loan more affordable in the long run. If you’re interested in refinancing, consider the options available at SoFi.

Looking to lower your monthly student loan payment? Refinancing may be one way to do it — by extending your loan term, getting a lower interest rate than what you currently have, or both. (Please note that refinancing federal loans makes them ineligible for federal forgiveness and protections. Also, lengthening your loan term may mean paying more in interest over the life of the loan.) SoFi student loan refinancing offers flexible terms that fit your budget.

With SoFi, refinancing is fast, easy, and all online. We offer competitive fixed and variable rates.


What careers pay off student loans fastest?

High-paying jobs may help borrowers repay their student loans quickly. However, some jobs may allow borrowers to pursue a loan forgiveness program. While these programs may not expedite the repayment process, they could help make student loan repayment more manageable.

What companies pay off student loans?

Companies including SoFi, Fidelity, Penguin Random House, and Nvidia all offer student loan repayment assistance programs. Specific benefits vary by company.

What kind of jobs qualify for student loan forgiveness?

The type of job that qualifies for student loan forgiveness may vary depending on the program. Jobs in the government or non-profit sector may qualify a borrower for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Teachers may qualify for Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness programs. Some medical professionals may qualify for programs such as the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

Student Loan Refinancing
If you are a federal student loan borrower you should take time now to prepare for your payments to restart, including the opportunity to refinance your student loan debt at a lower APR or to extend your term to achieve a lower monthly payment. (You may pay more interest over the life of the loan if you refinance with an extended term.) Please note that once you refinance federal student loans, you will no longer be eligible for current or future flexible payment options available to federal loan borrowers, including but not limited to income-based repayment plans, such as the SAVE Plan, or extended repayment plans.

Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For information on licenses, see NMLS Consumer Access (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org ). The Student Debt Navigator Tool and 529 Savings and Selection Tool are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser. For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal housing lender.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.


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