Investing Checklist: Things to Do Before the End of 2022

Investing Checklist: Things to Do Before the End of 2023

There are numerous things that investors can and perhaps should do before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, such as maxing out retirement or college savings account contributions, and harvesting tax losses.

Read on to find out what should probably be on your investing checklist for the end of the year, what to consider tackling before your tax return is due in April, and how some simple moves this December can help set you up nicely for 2023 and beyond.

End-of-Year vs Tax-Day Deadlines

Before diving into the year-end investing checklist, it’s important to remember that there are a couple of key distinctions when it comes to the calendar. Specifically, though the calendar year actually ends on December 31 of any given year, Tax Day is typically in the middle of April (April 15, usually). That’s the due date to file your federal tax return, unless you file for an extension.

As it relates to your investing checklist, this is important to take into account because some things, like maxing out your 401(k) contributions must be done before the end of the calendar year, while others (like maxing out your IRA contributions) can be done up until the Tax Day deadline.

In other words, some items on the following investing checklist will need to be crossed off before New Year’s Day, while others can wait until April.

7 Things to Do With Your Investments No Later Than Dec. 31

Here are seven things investors can or should consider doing before the calendar rolls around to 2023.

1. Max Out 401(k) Contributions

Perhaps the most beneficial thing investors can do for their long-term financial prospects is to max out their 401(k) contributions. A 401(k) is an employer-sponsored retirement account, where workers can contribute tax-deferred portions of their paychecks.

There are also Roth 401(k) accounts, which may be available to you, which allow you to preemptively pay taxes on the contributions, allowing for tax-free withdrawals in the future.

You can only contribute a certain amount of money per year into a 401(k) account, however. For 2023, that limit is $22,500, and will increase to $23,000 in 2024. For those over 50, you can contribute an additional $7,500 in 2023, for a total of $30,000 in 2023. In 2024, the contribution limit rises to $23,000, with a $7,500 catch-up provision if you’re 50 and up, for a total of $30,500.

So, if you are able to, it may be beneficial to contribute up to the $22,500 limit for 2023 before the year ends. After December 31, any contributions will count toward the 2024 tax year.

2. Harvest Tax Losses

Tax-loss harvesting is an advanced but popular strategy that allows investors to sell some investments at a loss, and then write off their losses against their gains to help lower their tax burden.

Note that investment losses realized during a specific calendar year must be applied to the gains from the same year, but losses can be applied in the future using a strategy called a tax-loss carryforward. With 2022 having been a particularly rough year in the markets, this may be a beneficial tactic for investors to add to their year-end To Do list. Again, though, tax-loss harvesting can be a fairly complicated process, and it may be best to consult with a professional

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3. Consider 529 Plan Contributions

A 529 college savings plan is used to save for education expenses. There are a few different types, but the main thing that investors should focus on, as it relates to their year-end investing checklist, is to stash money into it before January as some states allow 529 contributions as tax deductions.

There is no federal contribution limit for 529 plans in 2022 — instead, the limit is set at the state level. Gift taxes, however, may apply, which is critical to consider.

4. Address Roll-Over Loose Ends

Another thing to check on is whether there are any loose ends to tie up in regard to any account roll-overs that you may have executed during the year.

For example, if you decided to roll over an old 401(k) into an IRA at some point during the year, you’ll want to make sure that the funds ended up with your new brokerage or retirement plan provider.

It may be easy to overlook, but sometimes checks get sent to the wrong place or other wires get crossed, and it can be a good idea to double-check everything is where it should be before the year ends.

5. Review Insurance Policies

Some employers require or encourage employees to opt into certain benefits programs every year, including insurance coverage. This may or may not apply to your specific situation, but it can be a good idea to check and make sure your insurance coverage is up to date — and that you’ve done things like named beneficiaries, and that all relevant contact information is also current.

6. Review Your Estate Plan

This is another item on your investing checklist that may not necessarily need to be done by the end of the year, but it’s a good idea to make a habit of it: Review your estate plan, or get one started!

Your estate plan includes several important documents that legally establish what happens to your money and assets in the event that you die. If you don’t have one, you should probably make it an item on your to-do list. If you do have one, you can use the end of the year as a time to check in and make sure that your heirs or beneficiaries are designated, that there are instructions about how you’d prefer your death or incapacitation to be handled, and more.

7. Donate Appreciated Stocks

Finally, you can and perhaps should consider donating stocks to charity by the end of the year. There are a couple of reasons to consider a stock donation: One, you won’t pay any capital gains taxes if the shares have appreciated, and second, you’ll be able to snag a tax deduction for the full market value of the shares at the time that you donate them. The tax deduction limit is for up to 30% of your adjustable gross income — a considerable amount.

Remember, though, that charitable donations must be completed by December 31 if you hope to deduct the donation for the current tax year.

3 Things for Investors to Do by Tax Day 2024

As mentioned, there are a few items on your investing checklist that can be completed by Tax Day, or in mid-April 2024. Here are the few outstanding items that you’ll have several more months to complete.

1. Max Out IRA Contributions

One of the important differences between 401(k)s and IRAs is the contribution deadline. While 401(k) contributions must be made before the end of the calendar year, investors can keep making contributions to their IRA accounts up until Tax Day 2024, within the contribution limits of course.

So, if you want to max out your IRA contributions for 2023, the limit is $6,500. But people over 50 can contribute an additional $1,000 — and you’ll have until April to contribute for 2023 and still be able to deduct contributions from your taxable income (assuming it’s a tax-deferred IRA, not a Roth IRA).

Further, the limit will increase to $7,000 in 2024, with the same $1,000 catch-up provision, and some taxpayers may be able to deduct their contributions, too, under certain conditions.

2. Max Out HSA Contributions

If you have a health savings account (HSA), you’ll want to make sure you’ve hit your contribution limits before Tax Day, too. The contribution limits for HSAs in 2023 are $3,850 for self-only coverage and $7,750 for family coverage, though depending on your age and a few other factors, there may be some additional things to consider. For 2024, the contribution limits are $4,150 for self-only coverage and $8,300 for family coverage. People over 55 can contribute an additional $1,000 in both 2023 and 2024.

3. Take Your RMD (if Applicable)

If you’re retired, you may need to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from your retirement account by the beginning of April next year, if it’s your first RMD. But if you’ve taken an RMD before, you’ll need to do so before the end of 2023 — so, be sure to check to see what deadline applies to your specific situation.

This generally only applies to people who are in their 70s, but it may be worth discussing with a professional what the best course of action is, especially if you have multiple retirement accounts.

The Takeaway

Doing a year-end financial review can be extremely beneficial, and a checklist can help make sure you don’t miss any important steps for 2023 — and set you up for 2024. That investing checklist should probably include things like maxing out contributions to your retirement accounts, harvesting tax losses in order to manage your tax bill, and possibly even taking minimum required distributions. Everyone’s situation is different, so you’ll need to tailor your investing checklist accordingly.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that you may have until Tax Day in April to get some of it done — though it may be good practice to knock everything out by the end of the year. If you’re only beginning to invest, keeping this list handy and reviewing it annually can help you establish healthy financial habits.

You can also start next year off strong by opening an investment account with SoFi Invest, and using SoFi’s secure, streamlined app to buy stocks, ETFs, and more.

Start investing today!


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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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How Much Does it Cost to Refinance a Mortgage?

How Much Does It Cost to Refinance a Mortgage?

Expect to pay 2% to 5% of the new mortgage amount in closing costs when you refinance your mortgage.

If you have sufficient equity in your home and you’re tempted by a rate-and-term refinance or cash-out refi, here’s what you need to know.

What Is the Average Cost to Refinance a Mortgage?

Refinancing isn’t free because you’re taking out a new home loan and paying off your current one, and doing so brings on a host of costs, though not as many as purchase loans incur.

The main difference between average closing costs for refinances vs. home purchases is that owner’s title insurance and several inspection fees common for purchases are not typically required for refinances, according to ClosingCorp, a provider of residential real estate closing cost data and technology.

Closing costs to refinance single-family home loans averaged $2,375 in 2021, excluding any type of recordation tax or other specialty tax, according to ClosingCorp.

That is less than 1% of the average refinance loan amount of nearly $305,000 at that time, even though a general rule of thumb is that a refinance usually costs 2% to 5% of the loan amount.

Common Mortgage Refinance Fees

Some fees to refinance are flat fees that vary by lender. Other fees are based on a percentage of the loan amount.

Then there are recurring closing costs like homeowners insurance and property taxes. Six months of property taxes are usually due at closing.

Here are common fixed closing costs, though in some cases, a borrower may not need an appraisal.


Typical Fixed Refinance Closing Costs
Fee Average cost
Loan application $75 to $300
Credit report $10 to $100 per borrower
Home appraisal $300 to $700
Document prep $50 to $600
Lender’s title search and insurance $400 to $900

And here are common percentage-based closing costs. Not all borrowers will need mortgage insurance (PMI or MIP: private mortgage insurance for conventional loans, and mortgage insurance premium for FHA loans).

PMI is usually needed for a conventional loan exceeding an 80% loan-to-value ratio.

An FHA loan can be refinanced to another FHA loan or to a conventional loan if the borrower meets credit score and debt-to-income requirements for a nongovernment loan.

USDA and VA loans can also be refinanced.

Typical Percentage-Based Refinance Closing Costs
Refi cost Average amount
Loan origination fee 0% to 1.5% of loan amount
Mortgage points 1% of the mortgage amount per point
Mortgage insurance Varies by type of loan

Are You Eligible to Refinance?

Most mortgage lenders want a homeowner to have at least 20% equity in the house in order to refinance, although those numbers are not universal.

What is home equity? Here’s an example. If your home is worth $350,000 and the current mortgage balance is $250,000, you have $100,000 in equity. The loan-to-value ratio is 71% ($250,000 / $350,000). This scenario fits the parameters of many lenders for a refinance to take place.

You’ll typically need a minimum FICO® credit score of 620 to refinance a conventional loan and 580 to refinance an FHA loan. A score of 740 or above often ushers in the best rates.

Besides credit score, lenders normally review recent credit applications, on-time payments, and credit utilization.

Check to see if your current mortgage has a prepayment penalty. These days they’re fairly rare.

Recommended: 7 Signs It’s Time for a Mortgage Refinance

Benefits of Refinancing a Mortgage

The most common type of refi is a rate-and-term refinance, when you take out a new loan with a new interest rate or loan term (or both). Some people will choose a mortgage term of less than 30 years when they refi, if they can manage the new monthly payment.

Then there’s cash-out refinancing, which provides a lump sum to the homeowner.

In general, refinancing may make sense if interest rates fall below your current mortgage rate. Here are some times when a mortgage refinance could be beneficial.

If You Can Break Even Within a Suitable Time Frame

Calculate how long it would take to recoup the closing costs. Find the break-even point by dividing the closing costs by the monthly savings from your new payment.

Let’s say refinancing causes a payment to decrease by $100 a month. If closing costs will be $2,500, it would take 25 months to recoup the costs and start to see savings.

If you plan to sell the house in two years, refinancing may not be the right strategy. If you intend to stay long term, it may be an idea to explore.

If You Can Reduce Your Rate Even a Smidge

You might read or hear that refinancing is worth it if you can reduce your mortgage rate by 1% or 2%. But for a big mortgage, a change of just a quarter of a percentage point, or half of one, could result in significant savings, especially if you can minimize lender fees.

Again, consider the break-even point and how long you plan to keep the home.

You’d Like to Tap Home Equity

With a cash-out refinance, a percentage of your equity can be issued in a lump sum for any purpose. You will need to have at least 20% equity remaining after the transaction.

Be aware that the higher loan amount of a cash-out refinance usually results in higher closing costs.

(If your main goal is to access cash and not to change your rate or term, a home equity loan or line of credit may be less expensive than paying the closing costs on a cash-out refinance. With a home equity product, how much home equity can you tap? Often 85%.)

An ARM’s Teaser Rate Is Appealing

Refinancing a fixed-rate mortgage to an adjustable-rate mortgage could make sense for a homeowner who plans to move before the initial rate adjustment.

A 5/1 ARM, for example, will come with a rate for five years that is lower than that of most fixed-rate mortgages.

In other rate environments, it could make sense to refinance an ARM to a fixed-rate mortgage.

You Want to Reduce Your Repayment Term

Some people may decide to enjoy a lower rate and shorten their mortgage term, say from 30 years to 15. Monthly payments may well go up, but a lower rate and a shorter term mean paying much less over the life of a loan.

The amortization chart of this mortgage calculator shows how much interest may be saved.

You’d Like to Get Rid of FHA Mortgage Insurance

FHA loans come with MIP that costs the typical borrower $850 per year for every $100,000 borrowed. Unless you put down more than 10%, you must pay those premiums for the life of the loan. The only way to get rid of the MIP is to get a new mortgage that isn’t backed by the FHA.

Tips to Lower the Cost of a Mortgage Refinance

When preparing to refinance, the most important action is to shop around.

Comparison Shop and Try to Negotiate

You need not apply for a refinance with just your current lender — and doing so would be a missed opportunity, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau notes. Then again, your current lender may offer loyalty incentives.

Apply with as many lenders as you wish; you’ll receive a loan estimate from each. Compare the costs, including those of the lender’s preferred vendors.

Ask potential lenders which fees can be discounted or waived. Remember, each lender wants your business.

Typical non-negotiable closing costs found under Section B of each loan estimate include credit reports and appraisals.

Keep Your Credit Shipshape

Having at least a “good” credit score can help you get a more attractive rate, and if your credit score has improved since the initial mortgage was taken out, that could be a reason to refinance all by itself.

A good FICO score on the credit rating scale of 300 to 850 falls in the range of 670 to 739. VantageScore®, a competitor developed by Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, considers a score between 661 and 780 good.

If your credit profile could use some polishing, consider ways to build credit over time.

Use the Same Title Insurance Company

Save money on the lender’s title insurance policy by asking for a reissue rate from the title insurance company that was used for the original loan.

Consider a Streamline Refi for Government Loans

If you have an FHA, USDA, or VA loan, you may want to see if you’re eligible for an FHA Streamline, USDA Streamlined Assist, or VA interest rate reduction refinance loan. The programs charge a lower mortgage insurance fee than regular government refinance programs and do not require an appraisal.

Think About a ‘No Closing Cost Refi’

A no closing cost refinance allows borrowers to roll the closing costs into the mortgage or accept a slightly higher interest rate on the new loan.

Rolling the closing costs into the refinance loan will increase the principal and total interest paid. But if you’re going to keep the loan for more than a few years, this move could be worth it.

Accepting a slightly higher rate could work for borrowers who can skip the upfront payment and who plan to keep their new loan for only a few years.

Recommended: Guide to Buying, Selling, and Updating Your Home

Mortgage Refinancing With SoFi

No matter your reasons for refinancing your mortgage, SoFi may be able to help. SoFi offers competitive rates on a traditional mortgage refinance or cash-out refinance.

FAQ

Is refinancing your mortgage free?

No. A whole new loan must be approved and processed.

Is refinancing a mortgage worth the closing costs?

It might be. You’ll want to calculate your break-even point: Divide your closing costs by whatever your monthly savings will be to find the number of months it will take you to break even. Beyond that point, the refinancing benefits kick in.

Is it worth refinancing to save $100 a month?

Refinancing to save $100 a month could be worth it if you plan to keep your home long enough to cover the closing costs. Divide your closing costs by 100 to calculate how many months it will take you to break even.

Will refinancing cost me more in the long run?

If you get a new 30-year mortgage several years into your original 30-year loan, you are, in essence, lengthening the term of your loan, and that can cost you. It makes more sense to shorten the term to 20 or 15 years.

Is it cheaper to refinance with the same bank?

Your lender might offer a slightly lower rate, but it’s a good idea to still see what competitors are offering by comparing loan estimates.

Can you negotiate closing costs when refinancing?

Yes. Many lender fees and third-party vendor fees are negotiable. On each loan estimate, Section A lists the lender charges. Try to negotiate the lowest total lender charge, keeping the rate in mind. And third-party fees in Section C are negotiable.


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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.


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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graduate from behind

How To Handle Student Loans During a Job Loss

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

Getting laid off? Not great. Getting laid off with student loans? Even worse. Although the payment pause for federal student loans has been extended well into 2023, now is a good time to plan ahead and rethink your payment plan.

Fortunately, there are options for borrowers to lean on when they lose their jobs or experience another change in circumstances.

While many of these repayment plans can increase the amount you pay over time, including interest, they can make your student loans more affordable during a temporary period of financial hardship.

How COVID Affected Student Loans

COVID-19 led to pretty major derailments for some of us. Whether you were just starting your career or had a rapidly growing resume, there’s a good chance your job situation looks different now than before the pandemic.

Unemployment filings reached a record high at the end of March 2020, meaning a slew of people wondered how to pay their student loans with no job. Educational debt can be difficult to keep up with under the best of circumstances, let alone in the midst of a crisis. Fortunately, the government made some moves to offer federal student loan borrowers some solace.

The Trump administration suspended both principal and interest payments on federal student loans through January 2021. President Biden then extended the forbearance several times, most recently until the second half of 2023. Payments automatically stopped on March 13, 2020, and the suspension doesn’t affect the borrower’s eligibility for student loan forgiveness programs.

To be clear, the ruling doesn’t affect privately held student loans, like the ones through lenders like Sallie Mae® or smaller providers. However, private loan holders may still have options that can help keep their loans from becoming financially overwhelming.

Recommended: How Do Student Loans Work? Guide to Student Loans

Talk to Your Student Loan Servicer

If your loans haven’t been automatically suspended, you can still reach out to your student loan servicer about a modified repayment agreement if you’ve lost your job or are otherwise experiencing trouble with your current plan.

Sallie Mae, for instance, has “instituted additional options for customers experiencing financial difficulty” due to COVID-19. The company invites borrowers to contact them via online chat or phone to discuss alternatives and assistance.

No matter who your lender is, there’s a good chance they can offer you a temporary solution if you’re unable to make your payments. You may be able to pause your payments, for instance — though you’ll probably still accrue interest during the pause.

Either way, it’s worth reaching out to lenders to update them on your situation and hear what they might be able to offer.

File for Unemployment

Unemployment insurance — commonly referred to simply as “unemployment” — is a joint federal-state benefit that offers cash relief to eligible workers who lose jobs through no fault of their own.

Each state has its own requirements and filing processes, which you can learn more about by selecting your state in the drop-down menu .

Unemployment benefits may offer you enough cash flow to make some payments toward your student loans, especially if you were able to modify your payment plan with your servicer. But if not, there are alternatives to consider.

Options for Paying Off Student Loans While Unemployed

Life moves in unexpected ways. Student loan servicers know that, which is why most have specific protocols in place for borrowers whose plans change in one way or another.

Here are some that might be helpful in the case of sudden joblessness.

Forbearance

Student loan forbearance allows borrowers to pause student loan payments or make a smaller payment for a set period of time. It’s available for both federal and private student loans, and it can take a big load off your monthly budget.

In many cases, it’s worth exploring other options before turning to forbearance. You may still be accruing interest during the forbearance period, which can drive up your total debt quickly.

You also may not be making any progress toward potential student loan forgiveness programs.

Recommended: Will Pausing Payments Affect My Credit Score?

Deferment

Another option that may be right for you is student loan deferment, which works similarly to forbearance: You won’t be required to make payments for a temporary period, but you’ll still be responsible for the interest that will accrue during that time.

The main difference between forbearance and deferment is that deferments are usually granted in response to a certain life change, such as going back to school at least half-time or actively serving in the military, whereas you can always apply for forbearance (though it may not be granted).

Losing your job is another life change that may make you eligible for student loan unemployment deferment. Again, it’s important to understand that you’ll likely still be responsible for the interest generated during the deferment period, which could mean you pay more for your loan overall.

Certain types of federal student aid may not incur interest during the deferment, such as Direct Subsidized Loans, but you’ll want to double-check with your servicer before you make any decisions.

Income-Driven Repayment Plans

If you have federal student loans, you can look into income-driven repayment programs, which allow borrowers to adjust their payments based on what they can afford.

The government offers a variety of income-driven repayment plans, including the Pay As You Earn Plan (PAYE), the Income-Contingent Plan (ICR), and the Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR).

Income-driven repayment plans generally reduce your payments to 10% of your discretionary income, which could bring your payments down to $0. The plans adjust once you’re making money again, ensuring that your payments are affordable. But because they might extend your overall repayment period, you can also end up paying significantly more interest in the long run.

In August 2022, President Biden proposed changes to some income-driven repayment programs as part of his forgiveness plan. Payments for undergraduate borrowers would be reduced to 5% of discretionary income instead of the current 10%.

Recommended: REPAYE vs PAYE: What’s the Difference?

Student Loan Forgiveness

A variety of programs allow certain borrowers to have their student loans forgiven, canceled, or discharged if they meet certain requirements.

In many cases, you will be required to have made a certain number of qualifying monthly payments on the loan and meet the terms for the specific forgiveness program you’re considering.

Many student loan forgiveness programs are contingent on the borrower being employed in a specific industry or by a nonprofit organization. That means this option might not help you during unemployment. But it’s worth keeping in mind over the life of your student loan. You might want to bookmark our guide to student loan forgiveness.

Dealing With Late Student Loan Payments

When you’re late making a federal student loan payment, your account quickly becomes past due or “delinquent.” You’ll likely face a late fee, which is usually a percentage of the missed payment.

If you cannot make the payment, it’s important to call your loan servicer right away to make arrangements, such as deferment, forbearance, or a new repayment plan. Otherwise your account will remain delinquent, even if you continue to make subsequent payments on time.

If you are delinquent on your federal student loan for 90 days or more, your lender will report it to the three major national credit bureaus. Your credit score will take a hit, making it more difficult to qualify for good terms on loans and credit cards.

After 270 days, your loan will go into default. Defaulting on your student loan has serious consequences. First, the entire amount you owe on your loan, including interest, becomes due immediately. You won’t be able to take out any other student loans, and you’ll no longer qualify for deferment or forbearance. The government may take your tax refund and federal benefits and garnish your wages to pay off your loan.

Terms and fees for private student loans vary by lender, but the fallout from missed payments is essentially the same.

All you have to do to avoid delinquency and default is talk to your lender or loan servicer as soon as you can. The worst thing you can do is ignore the problem and hope it goes away.

Paying It Off: New Jobs, Side Hustles, and More

Although COVID led to layoffs, furloughs, and hiring freezes, many companies are now actively recruiting again. If you’re back at work but still struggling to make payments, consider ways to bring in some extra money each month.

That’s where the side hustle comes in. Many people have turned their crafting hobby into a small business on Etsy. Others are delivering groceries or pre-made meals with a service like Instacart. Check out our roundup of 9 ways to pay off student loans.

Once you’re back on your feet, refinancing student loans is one way to reduce your debt burden. It can be difficult to refinance while unemployed: Income is one of the factors lenders look at when assessing potential borrowers. But when you’re ready, refinancing private student loans, or a combo of private and federal loans, can lower monthly payments, the interest rate, or both. And that can make loans more affordable in both the short and long term.

It is important to remember that if you refinance your loans with a private lender, you forfeit all of federal benefits, including student loan forgiveness and deferment.

The Takeaway

After a job loss, student loan borrowers have options. Deferment and forbearance allow you to pause payments during times of financial hardship. Just be aware you’ll still be responsible for the interest that accrues during the payment pause. Income-driven repayment plans are another option that can lower your monthly loan bill to as little as $0. Talk to your lender as soon as you foresee a problem paying your bill. That way you can protect your credit score and reduce the stress that comes with loan delinquency or default.

Hoping to get a handle on student debt? Refinancing with SoFi can help lower your payments or save money over the long term.



*If you become involuntarily unemployed, deferred payments may be applied for a maximum of 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. Additional terms and conditions apply; see SoFi.com/faq-upp for details.
SoFi Student Loan Refinance
If you are a federal student loan borrower, you should consider all of your repayment opportunities including the opportunity to refinance your student loan debt at a lower APR or to extend your term to achieve a lower monthly payment. 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 or extended repayment plans.


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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.


Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

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.

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.

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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What Does Private Banking Offer?

What Does Private Banking Offer?

Private banking refers to a range of banking products and services that are offered to certain clients, typically individuals who have a high or ultra high net worth. These aren’t necessarily free-standing banks. Traditional banks can offer access to private banking alongside personal, small business, commercial, and corporate banking services.

When you open a private bank account, you can enjoy certain benefits, including access to a dedicated banker. Whether private banking is something you need or want, however, can depend on your financial situation and goals.

Here, you’ll learn more about private banking and whether it might be right for you, today or in the future. Read on to find out:

•   What is private banking?

•   How does private banking work?

•   What are the minimum requirements for private banking?

•   What is the difference between a private and a public bank?

What Is Private Banking?

Private banking describes a division of retail banking that caters to individuals who have significant assets. Again, that typically means high net worth individuals who have substantial disposable assets.

The private banking minimum requirements can be quite steep. For instance, you may need anywhere from $50,000 to $10 million to enroll in private banking, depending on the bank.
Banks, brokerages, and other financial institutions can offer private banking as a concierge service to people whose needs go beyond regular personal banking. As noted, you may need to meet minimum account-opening requirements in order to take advantage of private banking features.

Private banking is sometimes grouped together with wealth management, though they mean different things. While private banking can encompass a variety of banking services, wealth management deals largely with investing and financial planning.

A dedicated banker can help with your private bank account while a wealth management advisor might offer advice on retirement planning or estate planning.

Quick Money Tip:Typically, checking accounts don’t earn interest. However, some accounts will pay you a bit and help your money grow. An online bank account is more likely than brick-and-mortar to offer you the best rates.

How Does Private Banking Work?

The exact details of what’s included with private banking typically depends on the bank. Generally speaking, private banking is designed to provide a more personalized banking experience that’s focused on your financial goals, needs, and situation.

For example, some of the features and services you might have access to include:

•   Premium checking, savings, money market, and certificate of deposit (CD) accounts

•   Foreign currency exchange services

•   Specialized financing

•   Real estate lending

•   Specialty services for people who work in specific industries

•   Interest rate discounts on loans

•   Enhanced interest rates on deposit accounts

•   Fee waivers

•   Investment advice, if your private banking service extends to wealth management

•   Estate, trust, and insurance planning

•   Business management services

•   Charitable giving services

•   Personalized customer service

In other words, you’re getting much more than just a checking and savings account when you sign up for private banking. However, all of that added value may come at a higher cost, as banks may charge more for things like monthly maintenance fees if you don’t maintain a certain minimum balance.

Recommended: 5 Ways to Achieve Financial Security

Private Bank vs Public Bank

The term “public bank” can refer to banks that are owned by government entities rather than shareholders. Public banks operate to serve or fulfill a mission that’s designed to benefit the greater good. For example, a public bank might operate in order to generate revenue that could be used to pay for public works projects like new roads or schools.

When you’re talking about private banking and how it compares to other forms of banking, it’s more appropriate to use traditional banking as the benchmark. Traditional banking is the kind of banking you might use everyday. For example, you’re using traditional banking services when you open a checking account at a branch of a local bank.

Private banking, as described above, typically offers more personalized service and a suite of offerings in addition to the usual checking and savings accounts.

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account with direct deposit and get up to a $300 cash bonus. Plus, get up to 4.60% APY on your cash!


Who Are They For?

Traditional banking and private banking can meet very different needs. In terms of which one is the better option, it depends on your personal situation.

Traditional banking is designed for people who:

•   Are looking for a safe, secure place to keep their money

•   Need basic money management tools, like checking and savings accounts

•   Want to have access to their money through online and mobile banking, branches, or ATMs

•   Don’t necessarily need wealth or asset management services.

Meanwhile, private banking is suited for people who:

•   Need more than just a checking or savings account

•   Want to work one-on-one with a banker, financial advisor, or team of financial professionals

•   Have sufficient assets to qualify for opening a private bank account

•   Are interested in comprehensive financial planning services

The biggest distinction is the range of services offered. Private banking, overall, is substantially more comprehensive in its approach to money management.

Banking Services

As discussed, private banking can span a much wider range of banking and financial management services. For instance, you might be able to meet with your private banker or wealth manager to open a new checking account, establish a trust, and create a plan for tax-efficient charitable giving.

At a traditional bank, you’re more often doing basic things like opening new accounts, applying for loans, or depositing funds.

Banking Access

Private banking and traditional banking may both offer the same degree of access, in terms of depositing or withdrawing money or paying bills. You might be able to manage your accounts online, via mobile banking, at a branch, or an ATM. There may, however, be different limits on how much you can withdraw, spend, or deposit each day with traditional vs. private bank accounts.

Banking Fees

Both traditional and private banks can charge fees. Some of the most common fees include monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, excess withdrawal fees for savings accounts, and returned payment fees. Opting for private banking doesn’t mean you’ll escape those fees, though some banks do offer fee waivers when you meet a higher minimum balance requirement.

Private vs Traditional Banking: Pros and Cons

Both traditional and private banks have advantages and disadvantages to consider before opening an account. Here are some of the main pros and cons of using private banking vs. traditional banking.

Private Banking

Traditional Banking

ProsComprehensive banking services that can include wealth management, estate planning, and insurance planning

Private banking clients may have access to a dedicated banker, allowing for a more personalized banking experience

Private bank accounts can include premium features, such as optimized interest rates, fee waivers, and specialty banking services

A traditional bank can offer a safe, secure way for people to manage the money that they spend and save

Traditional banking is easily accessible for most people, with relatively low minimum-deposit requirements in most cases

You might be able to unlock added features, such as relationship rates or interest rate discounts for accounts in good standing

ConsMinimum investment requirements may be high

Banks may charge higher monthly maintenance fees if you fail to meet minimum balance requirements

Traditional banking doesn’t offer as many bells and whistles

Traditional banks can charge steep fees, making online banks a more attractive choice for some people

Many banks that offer traditional banking services also offer private banking services. For example, some of the biggest banks that have both traditional and private banking include:

•   Bank of America

•   Chase

•   Citi

•   U.S. Bank

•   Wells Fargo

These are all well-known names in the banking industry. While online banks have yet to dive into the private banking pool, it’s possible that as the online banking industry expands you may see more premium products and features offered.

Recommended: Different Ways to Earn More Interest on Your Money

Private Banking Minimum Requirements

As mentioned, private banking is generally available only to people who can meet certain requirements. Financial institutions that offer private banking services may use net worth or liquid assets as the baseline for determining who can open an account. There may be additional minimum deposit requirements you’ll need to meet once you open your account.

Not all private banks state upfront the amount of money needed to be considered a private client. Typically, the figure is around $250,000 in banking assets. However, it can be more or less.

•   Chase offers private client banking to those with a daily average of $150,000 in Chase investments and accounts.

•   At Citi, Citigold private clients must keep at least $1,000,000 in eligible linked deposit, retirement and investment accounts.

While you can open traditional checking accounts or savings accounts online, that usually isn’t an option for private banking. Instead, you might be directed on the bank’s website to call or send a secure message to request an initial meeting with a private banker to discuss your eligibility. The banker may ask for information about your income, assets, and debt to determine whether you meet the net worth guidelines.

If you get the green light to open a private bank account, you’ll need to fill out the appropriate paperwork, which is no different from opening any other bank account. You’ll also need to make a minimum deposit. Depending on how much money you’re depositing, you may need to obtain an official check from your current bank or brokerage or arrange a wire transfer.

The Takeaway

Private banking isn’t necessarily right for everyone, and if you don’t currently have a high net worth, you may not need these services. However, it’s a good idea to understand what private banking involves if you’re focused on building wealth and eventually want to take your banking to the next level.

3 Money Tips

  1. Typically, checking accounts don’t earn interest. However, some accounts will pay you a bit and help your money grow. Online banks are more likely than brick-and-mortar banks to offer you the best rates.
  2. If you’re faced with debt and wondering which kind to pay off first, it can be smart to prioritize high-interest debt first. For many people, this means their credit card debt; rates have recently been climbing into the double-digit range, so try to eliminate that ASAP.
  3. When you feel the urge to buy something that isn’t in your budget, try the 30-day rule. Make a note of the item in your calendar for 30 days into the future. When the date rolls around, there’s a good chance the “gotta have it” feeling will have subsided.

Ready to bank smarter? Come see the difference a SoFi account with super competitive interest rates and no fees can make. Plus, SoFi recently announced that deposits may be insured up to $2 million through participation in the SoFi Insured Deposit Program1


Photo credit: iStock/mapodile

1SoFi Bank is a member FDIC and does not provide more than $250,000 of FDIC insurance per legal category of account ownership, as described in the FDIC’s regulations. Any additional FDIC insurance is provided by banks in the SoFi Insured Deposit Program. Deposits may be insured up to $2M through participation in the program. See full terms at SoFi.com/banking/fdic/terms. See list of participating banks at SoFi.com/banking/fdic/receivingbanks.

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.

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


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21 Fun Facts About Money

21 Fun Facts About Money

We may not stop to think about money because it’s a part of our everyday life, but there are lots of fascinating facts about currency. Learning some interesting tidbits may change how you think about money and even come in handy the next time trivia night rolls around.

Read on for 21 fun facts about money that may just blow your mind.

Surprising Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Money

Maybe you already know only two non-Presidents grace the front of U.S. bills (Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill and Benjamin Franklin, the $100 bill). But did you know our paper currency isn’t really made out of paper? And that no living person can appear on a U.S. coin or dollar bill? It’s true! Here, learn more intriguing money facts you can spout to wow your friends.

1. Each Dollar Amount Has Its Own Lifespan

Money doesn’t last forever, but some dollar bills have a longer life cycle than others.

According to the U.S. Currency Education Program, a $10 bill has the shortest lifespan while a $100 bill has the longest. Here’s the estimated lifespan of the different denominations:

•   $1: 5.8 years

•   $5: 5.5 years

•   $10: 4.5 years

•   $20: 7.9 years

•   $50: 8.5 years

•   $100: 15 years

2. A Banknote Can Be Folded 4,000 Times

Our currency is pretty durable. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the sole producer of U.S. paper currency, says it would take 4,000 double folds, forward and backwards, for a dollar bill to tear. It might be because paper money isn’t actually made of paper. It’s actually a blend of 75% cotton and 25% linen with tiny blue and red synthetic fibers of various lengths evenly distributed throughout the bill.

3. There’s a Reason US Dollars Are Green

Dollar bills weren’t always green. Colonial money for example, was tan with black or red ink. It wasn’t until the Civil War the government started using green ink to print paper money where it got the name greenbacks. The color was selected because the ink didn’t fade or easily decompose, which protected against counterfeiting.

4. A Coin Can Last Around 30 Years

Coins stay in circulation for about 30 years, which is when they become too worn to use. At that time, the Federal Reserve takes them out of circulation and melts them down to use for other purposes.

Recommended: How Do Federal Reserve Banks Get Funded?

5. The Highest Bill Denomination Issued by the US Was $100,000

Printed in 1934 and featuring President Woodrow Wilson, this $100,000 bill was a gold certificate currency that was never intended for public use. Instead, it was meant only for official transactions between Federal Reserve Banks. The last time this banknote was printed was in 1945, and it can’t be legally held by collectors.

💡 Quick Money Tip: Signing up for your paycheck to be directly deposited in an online bank account is a great way to help you pay your bills on time. After all, if your check is being deposited like clockwork, you can schedule bill payments ahead of time.

6. A Penny Costs More to Make than It’s Worth

A recent report from the U.S. Mint says it costs 2.1 cents to make a penny. Why the increase? Part of the rise could be the higher prices of copper and zinc, both of which are used to make pennies.

7. Money Is Dirtier Than You Think

Both paper currency and coins can carry viruses and bacteria that can live on the surfaces and easily transfer to your skin or onto other objects after touching it. Research has found physical currency changes hands at least 55 times a year or almost once a week. One recent study found banknotes made with cotton or linen fibers, such as U.S. dollar bills, present increased areas for germs and the capacity to retain moisture, which can make it an easier place for bacteria to thrive.

8. The Dollar Sign Was First Used in 1785

Here’s another fun money fact: The official adoption of the dollar sign in the U.S. can be traced back to 1785, when it evolved from the Spanish symbol for pesos. It’s believed the $ originated from the abbreviation PS, which was used to indicate Spanish pesos in the Americas. Gradually the “S” came to be written over the “P,” eventually morphing into the dollar sign we know today.

9. Martha Washington Is the Only Woman to Appear on a US Bill

America’s first First Lady, Martha Washington, is to this day, the only woman to have her likeness on a U.S. paper currency note. Her image appeared on the $1 Silver Certificate, first issued in 1886 and discontinued in 1957. It was the country’s second-longest issued paper money.

10. America Isn’t the Only Country that Uses the US Dollar

Besides the United States and its five inhabited territories, 11 countries in the world also use the U.S. dollar, the world’s reserve currency, as their official currency: The British Virgin Islands, Timor-Leste (or East Timor), Bonaire, Ecuador, El Salvador, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, Panama, Turks and Caicos, and Zimbabwe.

Recommended: Examining the Value of the U.S. Dollar

11. You Can Make Your Money Crisp by Ironing It

Ready for a surprising money fact that involves a little bit of fabric know-how? If you’ve got a creased, crumpled, or wrinkled dollar bill, you can make it look new by pressing it with your iron. As mentioned earlier, U.S. dollars are 75% cotton and 25% linen, so it’s actually fabric. To iron the money, dampen the dollar bill slightly with a spritz bottle, sprinkle water by hand, or use the spray function on the iron itself. Set the iron to a low heat, put a towel under the bill and another on top of it, then iron the money in a circular motion. Set aside to air dry. Presto! You should have a nice flattened bill.

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account with direct deposit and get up to a $300 cash bonus. Plus, get up to 4.60% APY on your cash!


12. The Oldest Currency Still in Use Is the British Pound

The British pound dates back to 775 AD and was called the pound sterling, when Anglo-Saxon kings used silver pennies, or sterlings as money. Today, this foreign currency is the fourth most traded in the foreign exchange market, after the U.S. dollar, the euro and the Japanese yen.

Recommended: Here’s What You Can Do with Leftover Foreign Currency

13. There Are 1.4 Billion $2 Bills Still in Circulation

The first $2 bills were printed in 1862. Although they originally featured Alexander Hamilton, they were later redesigned to feature Thomas Jefferson. The bills are still in circulation – 1.4 billion of them in fact – and are considered to be the rarest currency denomination in the U.S. Some people believed $2 bills were bad luck and would rip off the corners of the bill to “reverse the curse,” making them unusable.

14. The First Universal Credit Card Was Introduced in 1950

Credit cards originated in the U.S. back in the 1920s, but were issued by individual firms, such as oil companies and hotel chains, to their customers, specifically for purchases made at company outlets. It wasn’t until 1950 when Diners Club founders Ralph Schneider and Frank McNamara issued a card that could be used at a variety of establishments. The Diners Club card sparked the modern credit card era. Others soon followed, such as American Express, which debuted their card of this type in 1958.

Recommended: 10 Credit Card Rules You Should Know

15. There’s an ATM on Every Continent on Earth

One interesting money fact involves how we access it. There are more than 3 million cash machines around the world today. You can get or deposit cash at ATMs in the most remote of places including Easter Island, central Australia, and two at McMurdo Station in Antarctica!

16. The Secret Service Originally Fought Counterfeiting

Today we typically think of the U.S. Secret Service as protection for certain political leaders, including the President and Vice-President and their immediate families. But the agency was founded for a very different reason. By the end of the Civil War, fake money was a significant problem, with nearly one-third of all U.S. paper currency in circulation being counterfeit. As a result, the financial stability of the country was in jeopardy, so in 1865, the Treasury Department established the Secret Service to suppress the counterfeiting. They didn’t start protecting the President until 1901, after the assassination of President William McKinley.

17. Most Americans Hoard Their Spare Change

One recent survey by MyBankTracker.com found 55.5% of people do nothing with the loose change they’ve accumulated. Interestingly, 60.3% of the male respondents said they’re more likely to leave their extra coins untouched compared to 51% of the female respondents.

Another survey from Coinstar says people estimate they’ve got an average of $113 worth of coins in and around their homes.

Recommended: Spare Change Savings

18. Only 8% of the World’s Currency Is Physical Money

Interesting money fact: With mobile banking and electronic payments becoming more and more common, people are earning and spending money without having to even touch it. Economists estimate only 8% of the world’s currency is literal cash with the rest existing on computer hard drives in electronic bank accounts.

19. Coins Didn’t Always Say “In God We Trust”

The original American penny, reportedly designed by Benjamin Franklin, features a motto he popularized, “Mind Your Business.” The message wasn’t literally telling people not to be nosy. Instead, it was meant as a literal instruction about business and commerce, to keep focused on your livelihood.

20. US Airports Make Big Money from Loose Change

According to the Department of Homeland Security, airline passengers leave behind thousands of dollars in coins each year at U.S. airport screening checkpoints. In the most recent year studied, the Transportation Security Administration collected $517,978.74 in unclaimed money (mostly coins) from passengers who emptied their pockets while going through the security line. These funds get deposited into a special fund so that collection and spending can be easily tracked. After a period of time, this money is used for civilian airport security expenses.

21. This Century Is Transforming Money

The 2000’s ushered in a new way for us to pay for things: mobile payment technology like Venmo, PayPal and Google Pay. Approximately 25% of people worldwide use mobile and digital wallets, ahead of credit cards (22.4%), debit cards (22.3%), and cash (20.5%), says Moneytransfers.com. Globally, the mobile-payment market was worth $1.97 trillion in 2021, up 27.9% from the year prior.

Recommended: Mobile Wallets: How They Work & Their Benefits

The Takeaway

Learning fun facts about money reminds us there’s more to it than its face value. Finding out some fascinating money trivia might even change the way you think about it. These facts can enrich your understanding of the history of our currency system, how it’s evolving, and its place in the global market.

Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.


Photo credit: iStock/bob_bosewell

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.

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


SOBK1022001

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