A few weeks back I wrote a few posts on student loan management and consolidation. Well I took my own advice and finally decided it was the right time to consolidate my private loans. I wanted to write this piece about my personal experience consolidating and why I chose the consolidation lender SoFi. I completed my Masters in Accounting almost 8 years ago to the day. I was very fortunate that I received scholarships and a graduate assistantship to pay entirely for my masters degree. The 4 years preceding that though, was almost entirely funded by student loans. A necessary evil I've come to terms with, because if not for those loans, I would not have received the education nor had the overall college experience I did. 8 years later and with the focus on financial security and independence, it was time to once again revisit my private loans and if refinancing was the right option. Enter SoFi :)
I began an application a few months back with SoFi as I like to periodically check to see if current interest rates offered are better than my current private loan lenders. Additionally, I also look at the monthly payment comparison to see would my monthly payment be lower refinancing. Up until now it never made sense because my current private loan lenders had me at good rates and no lenders could match the payments and rates. I received a call from Sarah from SoFi last week noting that I had a refinance application in progress and if they could be of any assistance in helping me complete it. I told them why it was outstanding and that I was looking not only for good rates, but also to lower my monthly payment. Sarah mentioned that given my application, the new interest rate and monthly payment would be pretty favorable and I should complete the application. I figured if the new loan didn't make financial sense, I didn't have to go through with the refinance. What did I have to lose?
The next day I completed the application thinking it would take a few days to process. Within 40 minutes, I'd completed the application, read through and signed my final loan disclosure documents, and was notified my current student loans would be paid off in the next 4 days. I opted for a variable interest rate loan because it made for the lowest monthly payment option, even at the highest variable rate (fixed rates might be better for others). I did extend the repayment terms to get the lowest possible payment, but since there's no prepayment penalty, I have the option to pay more than the minimum payment and the excess goes to principal repayment. Doing this cut my monthly payment in HALF! Also they gave me a $100 bonus for being referred by Gradible. Financial Win!!!
I wanted to share my experience because I know there are a lot of young professionals trying to wrap their arms around financial education decisions from the past. SoFi so far has been a great company that I think can be of assistance if you're looking to refinance and make better financial decisions today for tomorrow. Thanks SoFi!