College Ave and SoFi are two of the most well-known private student loan companies. Both lenders offer loans to undergraduates and graduates looking for money for college funding. Although both lenders offer a good range of loan amounts and repayment terms, they offer different benefits and unique features, especially for graduate students and returning borrowers. To find out which one is best for you, compare all lender features and get quotes to see your rates.
Take away key
College Ave is best suited for grad students looking for generous reimbursement options, and SoFi is best suited if you prioritize discounts or membership perks.
SoFi vs. College Ave
|Interest rate||1.89% to 13.17% variable, 3.47% to 12.55% fixed (with automatic payment)||0.94% to 12.99% variable, 3.22% to 13.95% fixed (with automatic payment)|
|Repayment Terms||5 to 15 years old||5 to 20 years|
|Loan amounts||$1,000 for the total cost of participation||$1,000 towards the total cost of participation ($150,000 maximum for some graduate degrees)|
|Advantages||No charges; member rewards program; career coaching and financial planning assistance||Quick initial application; long grace period for some loans; scholarship opportunities|
|Disadvantages||Bad rating on Trustpilot; possibility of high interest rates||Bad rating on Trustpilot; $150,000 loan limit for certain graduate degrees|
Details accurate as of June 16, 2022.
SoFi Student Loans: Pros and Cons
SoFi offers student loans for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as specific loans for MBA programs and law schools. It could be a good choice for students who want to take advantage of the SoFi membership program; here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of the business.
- No charges: You will not pay any fees with SoFi, even if you make a late payment.
- Career coaching and financial planning: Whether you’re looking for help with your resume or help planning your personal finance strategy, SoFi’s membership program provides access to career services at no additional cost.
- Protection against unemployment: If you lose your job, SoFi’s unemployment protection policy can make your life easier by adjusting your payments while you get back on your feet.
- Several discounts: In addition to a standard 0.25% discount for setting up autopay, borrowers can earn a 0.125% discount if they have a checking account, auto loan, or other financial product with SoFi.
- Potential for high interest rates: Interest rates at the high end of SoFi’s rate spectrum are very high – over 12%. For this reason, borrowers with poor credit could end up with an expensive loan.
- Bad customer reviews: SoFi has a poor ranking on Trustpilot, and many complaints from past customers are registered with the Better Business Bureau.
- Relatively short grace period: All of SoFi’s loans have a six-month grace period, which means you’ll need to start repaying your loan six months after you graduate or fall below half-time. Other lenders offer longer grace periods, especially for college loans.
College Ave Student Loans: Pros and Cons
College Ave’s student loan portfolio includes undergraduate loans, graduate loans, MBA loans, medical school loans, dental school loans, law school loans and loans for health professions. This wide range means that almost any type of student can find a suitable loan with College Ave, although it is always important to consider the pros and cons of the lender.
- Wide range of repayment terms: Borrowers can choose a repayment term of five, eight, 10, or 15 years, and some graduate students have an option for an additional 20-year repayment term. This gives borrowers flexibility and can help them find a monthly payment that works for them.
- Grace period extended for some borrowers: While most College Ave loans come with a standard six-month grace period, law school borrowers get a nine-month grace period, dental school borrowers get a grace period 12 months and medical school borrowers are granted a 36-month grace period before repayment begins. .
- Promotions and giveaways: College Ave runs regular promotions, such as college scholarships and textbook giveaways.
- Extremely low starting APR: Borrowers with great credit can take advantage of College Ave’s lowest rates, which are also among the lowest rates in the industry.
- Bad past customer reviews: While College Ave’s review pool on Trustpilot is small – under 60 – the ratings aren’t great. College Ave scores 2.6 out of 5.
- Potential for high interest rates: Some of the College Ave loans have interest rates as high as nearly 14%, which can make repayment much more difficult.
- Loan ceiling on certain diplomas: Borrowers who take out loans for dental school, law school, medical school or trade school will face a loan cap of $150,000. That should be enough for most students, but it’s a limitation that few other lenders impose.
Which is better: SoFi or College Ave?
SoFi and College Ave offer very similar loan experiences with a variety of repayment options and a wide range of loan amounts. If you have excellent credit or a co-signer with excellent credit, either company may offer you low interest rates to pay for your education. Deciding between the two hinges on a few questions.
Are you attending a specialized graduate program, such as medical school or dental school? If so, College Ave is a better fit, as the company has a 20-year repayment term for some graduate programs and grace periods of up to 36 months. Both of these options can make it easier and more affordable to pay off a lot of monthly debt.
Do you want a company with lots of bonus resources and discounts? In this case, SoFi is probably a better choice. The company’s career counseling and financial planning programs set it apart from other student loan companies, and borrowers who want to take out multiple student loans from the company — or other financial products — could significantly reduce their rates. interest through membership discounts.
If you have time, it’s a good idea to get quotes from both companies to see what interest rates and terms they’re offering you. Both companies offer a three-minute prequalification process, allowing you to compare offers with relatively little time and without impacting your credit score. By taking advantage of SoFi and College Ave prequalification, you are guaranteed to have all the information you need to make an informed decision about your student loans.