Using an Offer Letter as Proof of Income for Graduate Student Loans

By Jamie Cattanach · June 01, 2023 · 4 minute read

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Using an Offer Letter as Proof of Income for Graduate Student Loans

Typically, when you apply for a loan, the lender wants proof of income, aka proof that you can pay them back. For graduate students, this can pose a catch-22 since they are going to school in order to become gainfully employed. The customary workaround: having a cosigner on the private graduate student loan.

But some graduate students, perhaps MBA, law school, or computer science students about to start their final years, may have offer letters of employment for when they graduate. Wouldn’t it be great if they could submit those offer letters as proof of income — a practice used in mortgage lending?

How Common Is the Practice of Using an Offer Letter as Proof of Income?

Certainly, accepting offer letters as part of graduate students’ applications is not standard. Luckily, for graduate private student loans, SoFi now accepts an offer letter as a form of income for eligible borrowers.

When a loan applicant can submit an offer letter as proof of income, a cosigner may no longer be needed. Read on for more ways an offer letter may strengthen the loan application and empower the funding process for the student.

Using an Offer Letter as Proof of Income

Given how much a student likely already has on their plate, chances are they want the student loan application process to be as straightforward as possible. Needing to supply an additional document might sound like an extra hassle, but there can be plenty of benefits to using a job offer letter as proof of income on a student loan application.

Qualifying Without a Cosigner

A student loan cosigner is a second person who signs a loan along with the borrower and who is therefore also responsible for the debt should the borrower fail to repay. In the case of student loans, cosigners are often parents or guardians, though other relatives and even friends can be cosigners, as well.

In many cases, it can be hard for graduate students to qualify for additional student loans without a cosigner, particularly if they’re young and newly graduated from college — which probably means their credit histories are short and their income is limited.

Recommended: 10 Strategies for Building Credit Over Time

Because a job offer letter demonstrates the applicant’s individual earning potential, using one in a student loan application may empower students to be able to qualify without a cosigner (if the loan company doesn’t expressly require one).

Increasing Approval Chances

Even if a graduate school student loan applicant does still elect to have a cosigner, using an offer letter as proof of income may help increase the chances of approval. When it comes to borrowing large amounts of educational funding, every little bit of qualification can help.

Potentially Qualifying for a More Favorable Rate

With or without a cosigner, additional income validation in the form of a job offer letter may be able to qualify you for a more favorable interest rate, which may potentially mean savings over time. It is important to remember that this is just one of the many factors that lenders take into account when determining what rate you qualify for.

What’s the Process of Using a Job Offer Letter?

To use a job offer letter as part of your student loan application package, the applicant will need to include the letter in their application materials.

Depending on the loan company’s process, the letter may be uploaded directly online or a copy included in a mailed-in application. Offer letters typically include a start date and pre-tax pay rate so the lender can accurately assess how the offer augments the application.

Funding a Graduate Education with SoFi? Your Offer Letter Could Help

Students may already know that SoFi offers a range of private student loans for undergraduates, graduates, and parents. The loans carry competitive interest rates and are free of origination, late, or insufficient funds fees, and they’re getting even better.

SoFi now allows graduate, law, and MBA students to use a job offer letter as proof of income in addition to, or instead of, adding a cosigner to their application.

While students should exhaust all their federal student aid options before considering a private student loan, sometimes additional assistance is necessary to handle the expense of graduate or professional graduate programs.

SoFi members can also qualify for perks like rate discounts on additional loans, career services, financial advisors, and more. With competitive rates and multiple repayment options, SoFi Private Student Graduate Loans might be just the thing for you and your budget.

See if you prequalify for a private graduate loan with SoFi in just two minutes.

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