How Does Tuition Reimbursement Work?

If you’re working and want to continue school but aren’t sure how to fund it, your employer may offer assistance.

Tuition reimbursement programs are offered by many companies. While each company has their own specific requirements, tuition reimbursement is when an employer pays for a portion of an employee’s continuing education costs.

Some employers may require employees meet certain requirements, such as working at the company for a specified time or maintaining a minimum GPA before approving their reimbursement.

Oftentimes, as the name suggests, employees will have to pay for the cost of tuition upfront and they will be reimbursed after the course is completed, so long as they continue to meet the program requirements.

What Is Tuition Reimbursement?

As mentioned, tuition reimbursement, or tuition assistance, is an arrangement where an employer pays for part or all of an employee’s continuing education.

Your employment contract may lay out the terms of the tuition reimbursement: how much of your tuition your company will cover, what courses qualify, any minimum GPA requirements, and the minimum time period of employment.

Tuition reimbursement is often offered as an employee benefit on top of a salary package, along with other benefits like health care, a 401(k), or transportation expenses.

This is different from student loan repayment assistance, when your company provides some amount of funding assistance for an employee’s existing student loans.

Not every company offers tuition reimbursement, but it is becoming an increasingly available benefit, as companies continue to compete for and retain skilled workers.

While this perk can help companies attract and retain employees, tuition reimbursement programs also benefit the company, since the courses you take may provide skills or knowledge you can put into practice back at work.

Some companies are upping their educational benefits as a way to stay competitive. SoFi at Work helps companies offer a range of benefits to their employees like student loan refinancing and student loan contributions.

How Does Tuition Reimbursement Work?

The specifics of each company’s education reimbursement policy may vary. The details are likely laid out in the employment contract or employee manual. If you have questions about whether your company offers tuition reimbursement, or the details of their program, head to HR. They’ll likely be able to help, or can connect you with someone who can answer your questions.

What Types of Classes are Covered?

It’s common for a company to offer tuition reimbursement only for courses related to your work. Sometimes they’ll reimburse classes pertaining to your current job description.

Other times, companies will approve courses focused on moving you into a management role or on gaining skills you can put towards other future roles or assignments.

For example, if you work in project management for a large corporation and are interested in learning how to use data visualization, you might be able to take community college courses in data production and visual graphics.

Eligibility Requirements

After understanding what courses qualify for tuition reimbursement, you could then consider looking over the other requirements. Some common requirements for tuition reimbursement programs include:

• Minimum GPA. Some may require a minimum grade point average before they issue a reimbursement. Others may offer reimbursement on a sliding scale, for example, a higher reimbursement percentage for better grades.

• Stipulations around how long you’ve worked or will work for the company. Some programs may require employees to work at a company for a certain amount of time. Others may require you to continue working there for a set amount of time after finishing school, since they’ve invested in your education and don’t want you to take those new skills to a competitor.

Paying for Classes

You’ll probably have to sign up and pay for the courses yourself first, so you’ll want to budget appropriately. In most cases you’ll need to pay for your courses out of pocket and then provide proof of completion and your grades in order to be reimbursed.

Is Tuition Reimbursement Taxable?

While you should always consult with a licensed tax professional regarding the current tax law, and in no way should any of this publicly-available information be considered tax advice, the IRS’ website currently states that employers can deduct the cost of tuition reimbursement (up to $5,250 annually). It’s a business expense for them.

The IRS website also states that the first $5,250 of tuition reimbursement isn’t considered taxable income. However, anything above that counts as part of your taxable wages and salary. Again, talking to a tax professional is always recommended.

The IRS does have some requirements on tax-free educational assistance benefits—which are not necessarily the same requirements your employer has. Typically, for the IRS to count your tuition assistance as tax-free, it should be used to pay for tuition, fees, textbooks, supplies, or equipment.

And typically, it can’t be used for meals, lodging, transportation, or any equipment you keep after the course. It’s also not applicable to sports, games, or hobbies—unless they’re a degree requirement or you can prove they’re related to your employer’s business. Again, consult with an accountant or tax attorney to get the complete picture.

What Are Other Options to Lower Education Costs?

The average cost of attending a four-year public college as an in-state student during the 2020-21 school year was $10,560 and that price tag only goes up for private schools and out-of-state students.

If you can’t get tuition reimbursement from your employer, there are other options that could be worth considering.

Federal Financial Aid

Depending on the type of course or program you are pursuing, federal financial aid may be an option. Federal financial aid, including scholarships, grants, work-study, and federal student loans, may be helpful as you cover the costs of going back to school.

To apply for federal financial aid, students are required to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) annually.

Private Student Loans

If you aren’t able to qualify for federal student loans, private student loans are another option to consider. They can fill in the gaps as you pay for tuition and school-related expenses. Private student loans don’t always offer the same benefits available to federal student loans—like income-driven repayment plans or options for deferment or forbearance—so they are generally only considered as a last resort.

Recommended: A Guide to Private Student Loans

SoFi offers no-fee private student loans with four different repayment options. (Again, private student loans don’t offer the same repayment benefits that federal student loans offer, so do your research.)

Refinance Existing Student Loans

If you already have student loans, when it comes time to repay you could consider refinancing those student loans at a lower interest rate. This could lead to cost savings in interest over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a lower monthly payment could help with budgeting in the short term, but may lead to more interest over the life of the loan.

If you choose to refinance your student loans, federal loan benefits will no longer be available to you, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), income-driven repayment options, or deferment or forbearance options.

The Takeaway

As defined above, when an employer offers to reimburse employees for a portion or all of their continuing education costs, this benefit is called a tuition reimbursement program. Again, even if your employer offers tuition reimbursement, you may still have to pay for the courses upfront. And if the cost of classes is higher than the amount offered, you may still need to pay the additional amount.

If you’re looking to refinance or borrow a private student loan, prequalifying online with SoFi takes just two minutes. SoFi offers student loan refinancing with no application or origination fees and no prepayment penalties. Plus, existing SoFi members may qualify for rate discounts.

Learn more about student loan options available with SoFi.


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Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

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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 Look at the Average Cost of Nursing School

Nursing is an extremely rewarding career, and it has the added benefit of being in high demand right now. Getting through nursing school takes a lot of hard work—and it can be fairly expensive.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2019, there were approximately 3 million people working as registered nurses in the U.S. And demand for the role is expected to increase by 7% from 2019 to 2029.

The average cost of nursing school can vary widely. The cost for a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) can be comparable to any other four year degree. According to U.S. News, the average cost of tuition for the 2020-2021 school year was $9,687 for a four year public school, and $35,087 for a four year private school. Some may pursue other pathways, such as an online RN to BSN program, which can sometimes be more affordable ranging between $25,000 to $80,000 in cost. While this may seem costly, the median annual salary for an RN in 2019 was $75,330.

Becoming an RN isn’t the only option. There are also CNAs (certified nursing assistants), or an LPNs (licensed practical nurse), and each degree comes with different costs. Understanding different nursing degrees, which nursing program makes sense for you, and what your payment options are will help set you up for success.

There are a number of routes to becoming a nurse or nurse’s assistant.

Becoming a CNA

Becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA), requires a high school degree, and you typically need to take 4-12 weeks of courses and pass a vocational exam. The requirements to become a CNA may vary widely by state. A CNA assists the nurses and doctors with things like admitting patients and taking vitals.

Becoming an LPN

A licensed practical nurse (LPN) is also known as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN). Both require a diploma from an accredited program, which can take 12 to 24 months to complete. You must then pass a licensing exam LPN work generally involves collecting samples, administering medications, and taking patients’ vitals and symptoms.

Becoming an RN

RNs (or registered nurses) need a bachelor’s or associate’s degree, and they must pass the NCLEX-RN exam. There are also opportunities for LPNs to continue their education and earn their RN credentials. RNs are responsible for a wider range of patient care and treatment, including assessing the patients and recommending prevention plans.

RNs with a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) are able to apply for higher-level jobs than those with associate’s degrees. A bachelor’s degree may also be required for managerial roles.

Becoming an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), or getting a master’s or doctorate in nursing is also an option for those who want to work as nurse administrators, nurse midwives, or enter the field of nurse education.

Need help after graduating nursing school? See what
SoFi student loan refinancing could do for you.

The Average Cost of Different Nursing Degrees

Choosing the right nursing degree depends on your goals. It’s also important to understand the time commitment and costs associated with each option.

CNA Costs

The cost of becoming a CNA can range depending on the state you test in. States may also have different requirements just to apply. Researching your state’s particular requirements and costs may help you gauge how much you can expect to spend.

LPN Costs

An LPN program takes 12 to 18 months to complete and generally costs around $10,000 to $15,000 total, though the costs may be more or less depending on location and other factors. In 2020, the median pay for an LPN was $48,820 annually according to the BLS.

RN Costs

Becoming an RN can take anywhere from two to four years depending on the path of study. Getting an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) takes about two years and costs can vary widely. In general, public, vocational, or community colleges offer the most affordable ADN programs.

Getting a BSN takes four years and generally costs the same as most bachelor’s degrees. Costs can vary widely, ranging anywhere from $40,000 to more than $200,000.

The annual costs depend on where you go to school, and whether you attend a private or public college. For RNs who already have an associate’s degree but would like their bachelor’s, there are RN to BSN bridge programs available. Some of these programs are available online, and are paid based on credit hour.

To compare nursing school costs, you’ll want to look at tuition, additional fees (housing, etc.), and how many credits you need. You’ll also want to look at exam pass rates and job placement rates.

Other Fees You’ll Encounter While Studying to Be a Nurse

In addition to nursing school tuition and books, there are typically lab fees each semester. Students may also need to buy scrubs ($30 to $50 a pair), a lab jacket, and miscellaneous gear like a stethoscope.

Some nursing schools may also require students to take out liability insurance and get all mandatory immunizations. There’s also licensing and exam fees, which vary by state but can cost as much as $300 for your initial license and $200 to take the exam.

How to Pay for Nursing School Without Going Broke

For those attending accredited nursing schools, taking out student loans is an option to help pay for tuition, room and board, and other student expenses.

Federal Student Loans

Federal student loans can be used to help pay for nursing school. Students can apply for federal student loans—other forms of federal aid—by filling out the FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This application is used to determine federal student aid including scholarships, grants, work-study, and federal student loans.

Scholarships and Grants

In addition to scholarships and grants offered by the federal government, there are private scholarships available to nursing students. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing also maintains a scholarship database for nursing schools. In some cases, students can have their nursing student loans forgiven or repaid if you work in underserved communities with the Health Resources and Services Administration and meet certain criteria.

Private Student Loans

If federal student loans and other forms of aid aren’t enough to pay for the cost of nursing school, private student loans could be one option to consider. Private student loans are available from private lenders and generally allow students to borrow up to the cost of attendance at their school. However, while federal student loans offer the option for loan forgiveness through certain federal programs, private student loans do not. As a result, private student loans are generally used as a last option after all other forms of financial aid have been exhausted.

The Takeaway

The cost of nursing school can vary dramatically depending on the type of nursing program you are enrolled in, the location of the school, and whether the school is a public or private university, a community college, trade, or vocational school.

Regardless, paying for nursing school doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There are federal aid programs, private scholarships, and grants available to help students finance their degrees. When those sources of funding aren’t enough. Private student loans can help fill the gap. SoFi offers no fee student loans with competitive interest rates for qualifying borrowers.

Check out SoFi’s private student loan options.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

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 or products 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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Source: sofi.com

Can You Get A Student Loan With No Credit History?

For many loans, including mortgages and credit cards, you at least need a credit history to prove to the lender that you are a reliable borrower. So, if you just graduated high school and are looking into borrowing student loans, you may be wondering if it’s possible to borrow one without credit history.

It is possible to borrow a student loan with no credit history. Federal student loans (outside of PLUS Loans) do not require a credit check. Private lenders do review an applicant’s credit history during the application process, among other personal financial factors. Potential borrowers who do not have a strong credit history may be able to add a cosigner to strengthen their application, but there are no guarantees.

Federal vs. Private Student Loans

First things first: there are various types of student loans available to student borrowers. They fall into two general categories, federal (offered by the government) and private (offered by banks and other lenders), but there are more options under each umbrella that range from differing eligibility requirements to fixed vs. variable interest rates.

Types of Federal Student Loans

Federal student loans are funded by the U.S. Department of Education and are based on education costs and your current financial situation, not your credit history.

The most desirable type of federal loan (because interest doesn’t accrue while you’re in school, like some federal student loans), the Direct Subsidized Loan, has relatively low fixed interest rates that are set each year by the government.

Subsidization means that the government will pay for any interest that accrues while you’re in school at least half-time as well as during your grace period and some deferral periods. Direct Subsidized Loans are awarded based on financial need and are only available to undergraduate students, but for those that qualify, they are a solid loan option.

The other type of no-credit-required federal loan is the Direct Unsubsidized Loan. It also typically has low interest rates, but no subsidy means the interest starts to accrue as soon as the money is loaned and borrowers are required to pay all the interest that accrues at all times. Unsubsidized loans are available to students at all levels of higher education and are therefore one of the most accessible types of student loans.

Recommended: Comparing Subsidized vs. Unsubsidized Student Loans

One advantage with both types of federal student loan is repayment flexibility, including deferment, income-driven repayment plans, or even forgiveness programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness. If you’re trying to build or improve your credit score—more on that later—repayment options that can help keep you out of default are key.

Private Student Loans

Students also have the option of applying for private student loans, which are available through some banks, credit unions,or private lenders. The terms can be vastly different depending on the type of loan, whether you choose a fixed or variable interest rate, and for better or worse, your financial history—which includes things like your credit score.

If you’re facing less-than-stellar credit, or not much of a credit history and income, you’ll likely need to apply with a cosigner, typically a family member or a close, trusted friend who guarantees to repay the loan in the event that you can’t. It should be someone not just with a solid financial history, but also someone with whom you have mutual trust. (Here are our tips for choosing a co-signer wisely.)

Applying for Student Loans With FAFSA®

The federal student loan application process starts by filling out the FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Filling out the FAFSA is completely free, and doesn’t commit you to accepting any type of loan. The FAFSA is also the tool used by many schools to determine a student’s full financial aid award, including scholarships, grants, work-study, and federal student loans.

Applying for Private Student Loans

To get a private student loan, potential borrowers will apply directly with the private lender of their choosing. Each loan application may vary slightly by lender as will the terms and interest rates. Private student loans do not have the same borrower protections that federal student loans offer, such as income-driven repayment plans or deferment or forbearance options. Therefore, they are generally considered as a last resort, after all other sources of aid have been exhausted.

Parent PLUS Loans

Students aren’t the only ones who can apply for federal financial aid. Parents of undergrad students that are enrolled at least half-time, can apply to receive aid on their behalf via the Parent PLUS Loan.

It’s another type of unsubsidized federal loan, but more restrictive in that both parents and children need to meet the minimum eligibility requirements . This type of federal student loan requires a credit check.

Like private loans, parents who don’t have optimal credit history may apply with a cosigner to guarantee the loan. And students are still able to seek additional unsubsidized loans for themselves to cover any gaps.

Tips for Building Credit

Entering college can be a smart time to start establishing credit. A borrower’s credit score can mean the difference between getting a good deal on a loan, or not getting a loan at all. Even a few points higher or lower can impact the interest rates a borrower may qualify for.

Thankfully, there are a number of sites that let you see your score for free and offer notifications if there are changes, so it’s easy to keep track of where you are.

Recommended: How to Build Credit Over Time

The number that signifies “good” credit is between between 670-739 , for FICO Scores®. These scores are determined by factors such as the number of credit accounts a person has and how they are managed. One way to start building credit is to open some kind of credit account, and then make regular payments.

Paying bills on time, credit mix, and credit utilization ratio may all play a role in determining a credit score. While everyone’s circumstances are unique, generally try to make payments on time and a rule of thumb to aim for is to keep the credit utilization ratio under 30%.

The Takeaway

Most federal student loans do not require a credit check and are available to borrowers with no credit history. Parent PLUS loans are one exception as they are federal student loans that do require a credit check. Private student loans do require a credit check. Students with a limited credit history may have the option to apply with a cosigner if they are interested in borrowing a private student loan, though as noted earlier, adding a cosigner does not necessarily guarantee approval for a loan.

As mentioned, private student loans do not have the same borrower protections as federal student loans. For this reason, they are generally considered after all other financing options have been reviewed. SoFi offers no-fee private student loans for undergraduate and graduate students, and their parents.

Learn more about private student loan options available at SoFi.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’swebsite .
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 or products 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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Source: sofi.com

Your 2021 Guide to Student Loan Forgiveness

Student loan forgiveness was a hot topic on the campaign trail—but is one that is largely plodding along.

While President Joe Biden has endorsed $10,000 of federal student loan cancellation, few Republicans support blanket student loan forgiveness.

In June, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer again urged Biden to cancel $50,000 in federal student loan debt for every borrower. Biden has asked the Justice Department and the Department of Education to assess whether or not he has the authority to unilaterally cancel student loan debt.

If the answer is “yes,” how much might he cancel? He has maintained that $50,000 is too much, especially given the relatively high incomes of graduates of high-tuition colleges.

Here are types of debt that have been canceled under Biden student loan forgiveness acts, and debt that may be forgiven in the future:

Loan Discharge for the Defrauded and Disabled

One major move Biden and his Education Department made in his first few months in office was discharging loans from for-profit institutions that defrauded students.

In March 2021, a decision was made to discharge nearly $1 billion worth of debt for 72,000 students. This was a continuation of a Trump-era policy, which had provided partial debt relief to those students.

payment pause is slated to expire on Sept. 30, 2021.

Advocates see the next few months as an opportunity for the Biden administration to act quickly in terms of reform. Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren have led the charge to urge Biden to continue the payment pause through at least March 2022.

But as of now, payments are on track to resume in October. This may be a good time for borrowers to plan how they will resume payments, look into forbearance or deferral programs if they are not in a position to do so, or consider refinancing with a private lender if they can get a better rate.

What Might the Education Department Cover Next?

On the campaign trail, Biden promised multiple student loan reforms. Some will likely have to be approved by Congress. They include:

Free community college. In April, Biden promised to make good on that promise with the American Families Plan, which also would increase the maximum Pell Grant by $1,400.

Overhauling the Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Candidate Biden said he would streamline the program to make it easier for borrowers to qualify. He suggested $10,000 of forgiven undergraduate or graduate debt for every year of working in a nonprofit or public sector job, for up to five years.

People who have had qualifying public service roles would qualify for the program. The Department of Education is looking into PSLF claims, and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has called the current rejection rate “unacceptable.”

Streamlining Pay as You Earn (PAYE) and Revised Pay as You Earn (REPAYE) programs. On the campaign trail, Biden promised to simplify and streamline these programs, at one point suggesting repayments of 5% of discretionary income for people making over $25,000, with any remaining debt discharged after 20 years. As of this month, the Biden administration is reviewing these programs.

Permitting student loan debt discharged in bankruptcy. Cases are circulating in the lower courts related to student loans and bankruptcy, challenging the status quo that student loans are rarely forgiven in a bankruptcy filing. But this month, the Supreme Court declined to review a case in which student loan discharge was denied.

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

Loan Forgiveness Plans Right Now

Federal student loan holders have forgiveness options if they meet certain criteria. The Education Department is likely to move forward on some reform fronts, but it may be challenging for certain acts to gain congressional approval.
In the meantime, here are some current programs:

Income-based plans. Income-driven repayment plans, which include PAYE and REPAYE, are meant to forgive any remaining student loan balance after 20 or 25 years of monthly payments that are tied to income and family size.

PSLF. Direct Loan borrowers working for a federal, state, local, or tribal government or nonprofit organization are to have any loan balance forgiven after making 120 qualifying payments. But debt discharge from PSLF has been notoriously challenging.

Disability discharge. Total and permanent disability relieves you from having to repay a Direct Loan, a Federal Family Education Loan, and/or a Federal Perkins Loan, or to complete a teacher grant service obligation.

“Undue hardship” alongside bankruptcy. While bankruptcy alone won’t keep a borrower from having to pay back federal or private student loans, a rare few may be able to prove that continuing to repay student loans imposes an “undue hardship” on them and their family.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. Those who teach at a low-income school or educational service agency for five years and meet other criteria may be eligible for up to $17,500 in federal student loan forgiveness.

Closed-school discharge. If your school closes while you’re enrolled or closed shortly thereafter, you may be able to get your federal loans discharged.

Discharge due to death. If the borrower dies, or the person taking out the loan dies, loans may be discharged. This also applies to Parent PLUS Loans if the parent dies or becomes disabled.

Borrower defense to repayment. This is the umbrella under which many borrowers received forgiveness under the Biden Department of Education for loans from for-profit institutions. Direct Loan borrowers may receive forgiveness if a school did something or failed to do something related to your loan or the educational services that your loan was intended to pay for.

An attorney who specializes in student loans can be helpful in ensuring that a borrower meets the requirements of certain forgiveness scenarios and can help ensure that any paperwork is in order.

Can Private Student Loans Be Forgiven?

When it comes to private student loans, cancellation happens rarely, if ever.

Some private lenders do offer certain protections, such as unemployment protection, in case you were unable to make payments.

If a borrower cannot pay a private loan, they may speak to their lender to determine what programs and paths may be available.

Right now, it is unclear whether broad student loan forgiveness, by the presidential or congressional act, could include private loans.

Recommended: What Is the Student Loan Forgiveness Act?

The Takeaway

Biden student loan forgiveness has totaled more than $2 billion for particular borrowers, but some advocates want to see much more. Will the student loan forgiveness 2021 story be one of sweeping or incremental change? Time will tell.

And as of now, the pause on federal student loan payments ends in September. Knowing your options to repay your student loans, which may include refinancing with a private lender—resulting in one new loan, with an eye toward a lower rate—will be helpful in creating a path forward.

If you refinance your federal student loans with SoFi, you can lock in your rate now, pay 0% interest until Sept. 20, 2021, and make no payments until October.

It’s easy to check your rate on a refi with SoFi.

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SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY 2022 DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

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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Source: sofi.com

Pros and Cons of Online School

When a course of study is offered virtually, it’s considered an online school. The ability to take classes virtually can offer benefits like flexibility and convenience to students. On the other hand, online learning can make it difficult for students to connect with their peers and professors and can make it challenging to teach concepts that require more hands-on learning.

What is Online School?

Online school is a format of education where classes are conducted virtually. Some colleges are designed specifically for online learning. Other colleges and universities may offer both in-person and remote learning options for students. Depending on the program, classes may be offered synchronously, where students attend via an online forum at a specific time; asynchronously, where lectures are recorded and can be viewed at a student’s leisure; or a hybrid model of the two.

Online learning is a nuanced topic that has had a niche position in higher ed for over a decade. And while detractors of online learning say that it can be a pale imitation of in-person learning, there are several key advantages, including convenience and cost. Here, how to consider the pros and cons of online school.

Recommended: Tips for Taking Online Classes Successfully

Pros of Online School

When schools pivoted to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the experience was generally set up ad-hoc and created to ride out the crisis. But many online programs have been constructed with online learning at the front of mind. This means that they may be thoughtfully constructed in a way that supports distance learning.

When considering online schools, make sure that the program is accredited by an organization recognized by either the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accredited. This can help students avoid any online scams.

Part of analyzing whether online school will be successful for you is knowing yourself. This past year allowed a lot of people to obtain deep insight into whether working remotely—either at work or school—was productive or even enjoyable. It has also given some people confidence that, even if in-person is preferred, online is doable and may not be as challenging as they may have thought in the past. That said, if you think online school might be right for you, here are some other factors to consider.

Cost and Affordability (Potentially)

No buildings and no in-person instruction means less expensive tuition, right? Not necessarily. While some institutions that specifically invest in online learning may be less expensive, you may find that online tuition is commensurate whether or not you go in person, depending on the program.

Recommended: How to Pay For Online College

If cost is the primary factor in pursuing online education, it may be a good idea to look at universities and degree programs that specialize in online learning, as they may create pricing based on an online-first business model.

More Convenient

A huge benefit to online school is that many programs are structured knowing that students may also be juggling career and family responsibilities. This can translate into asynchronous learning—lesson modules that can be done on your own time—rather than a mandatory lecture to attend.

Still, the time commitment to online school can be intense when you’re going to school and working. Even if you don’t need to be in class at a certain time, there will still be due dates, studying, and exams to contend with.

Self-Directed Course of Study

On a similar note, many fans of online courses like that the course can be more self-directed, allowing you to take control of your education on your own timeline. This may mean you need to be more proactive about scheduling office hours with professors, blocking out time to study, and making sure that assignments are turned in on time.

Cons of Online School

While some people thrive in an online environment, some people want to have in-person interaction. Here are some cons of online school:

Limited Hands-On Experience

Some degree programs that have a lab component may be harder to mimic online. Some degrees accept virtual labs, while other degrees may require a “wet lab” (aka a hands-on lab). Make sure you know what your degree needs, and confirm that all coursework can be done entirely online. It can also be helpful to speak with current students in the program to hear any of their frustrations.

Lack of Community

Some people find it hard to connect with classmates and may find group projects or virtual small groups to be much less engaging than they might otherwise have been if they had been in person.

Harder to Connect with Professors

Some professors maximize online interaction, while some may be harder to pin down and connect with. Heading to office hours, even if they are virtual, can help you build a connection and get to know the professor.

More Difficult to Access On-Campus Resources

If the online school you’re attending also has a brick-and-mortar campus, there may be resources for career development as well as on-campus events related to your department. It may be worth assessing how virtual students can tap into these resources and what resources are accessible to them.

Longer Timeframe

The flip side of a more convenient schedule means that courses may be more spread out. What could be a one or two-year program in a full-time setting could take several years if done virtually.

Additional Considerations for Online School

Being able to pursue higher education remotely can open up possibilities for many individuals. But it can be a good idea to consider how online school will fit into your life. These considerations can help you find your best fit.

Talk with Other Students

It can be helpful to speak with current students who are in a similar position as you. Talking with a student who is also juggling family or a career can help you see how the process plays out in real life.

Sit in on a lecture

Will the program allow you to virtually sit in on the lecture or see some course materials? Doing so can help you see how the program plays out in real life.

Take an Online Course

In some cases, online school can be an expensive undertaking. Prior to applying to an official degree program, consider taking a virtual course, either for fun or as a credit program towards your degree. Taking a virtual course without the pressure of a degree can help you take stock of the pros and cons for yourself, and assess whether or not online learning is right for you.

Talk with Your Employer

If you are planning to do a degree program alongside working, speak with your employer. It may be possible that they can subsidize the cost of the degree if it is relevant to your career.

Consider the cost and potential salary advancement you might get out of the program. Talking with the financial aid office, as well as the department, can help clue you into scholarships and grants, as well as filling out the FAFSA® and considering private student loan options can help you begin to get your finances in order as you figure out what your schedule may look like with online school.

The Takeaway

Going to school—whether it’s online or in-person—is a major decision. It’s important to consider pros and cons, including cost, as you assess whether it’s right for you. Speaking with people who’ve done the degree, people within your department and people in your career field or future career field can help you assess how this program could be successful for your career goals and aspirations.

Taking the time to do the research, and potentially dipping your toe into online learning with one or two courses, can help you decide how online school may fit into your life and career goals.

If you’re in the process of paying for school—online or otherwise—private student loans can help fill in any gaps between the cost of attendance and all other sources of funding like savings and federal student loans, grants, or scholarships. However, private student loans may lack many of the borrower protections that federal loans offer borrowers in case of economic hardship or unemployment.

Interested in learning more private student loans at SoFi? Find out what rate and terms you prequalify for in just a few minutes.

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SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

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 or products 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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Source: sofi.com

Full-time vs Part-time Student

Many schools allow students to tailor a schedule that aligns with their needs and lifestyle. However, the number of credits you take will determine whether you are enrolled full-time vs part-time. Schools generally have minimum credit amounts in order for students to be considered full- or part-time. In general, undergraduate students who are enrolled in 12 or more credit hours in a semester are considered full-time students.

A student’s status as full- or part-time could impact their financial aid package, academic workload, and the cost of attendance.

Here’s an overview of the key differences between enrolling as a part-time vs full-time student and how they might impact your education.

What is a Full-time Student?

As mentioned, schools set a minimum credit amount for full-time student status. Generally, undergraduate students are considered to be full-time when enrolled in 12 or more credit hours in a given semester. Schools that use a quarter or trimester system may have different credit thresholds to better reflect their typical course load.

For graduate school, students may take as few as nine credits to have full-time status. However, this can vary by institution, so it’s recommended to consult the department’s website or academic advisor.

Full-time enrollment may stipulate that credit-bearing courses qualify as either a major requirement, general education requirement, or eligible elective.

What is a Part-time Student?

Part-time students generally take less credit hours than their full-time peers. Most undergraduate programs define part-time status as taking fewer than 12 credits, though this can differ by institution, especially for graduate schools.

Typical college courses are three to four credits, so part-time students usually take three or fewer classes per semester. Some possible exceptions include half-semester courses or classes with both lecture and lab components.

Enrollment status is considered on a per-semester basis, meaning that students can fluctuate between part-time vs full-time college throughout their studies.

Difference Between Full-time and Part-time Students

On paper, the difference between full-time and part-time enrollment comes down to the number of credits. In practice, enrollment status can impact how students pay for their education.

Tuition Cost

Whether you study full-time or part-time will affect how much you pay for school. Typically, part-time students pay per credit hour. This allows part-time students to spread out the cost of their education over a longer period of time.

Meanwhile, full-time tuition is capped once a student reaches the credit threshold. Thus, a student may be able to pay the same in tuition for taking anywhere between 12 to 18 credits at the same institution.

Full-time students may be interested in stacking their schedules to reduce education costs. Maximizing credit hours while enrolled full-time can help stay on track or graduate early, but it’s worth noting that taking additional classes above this range can come with separate fees per extra credit hour. A more intensive course schedule could also translate to higher costs for books and materials in a given semester.

Recommended: What Is Cost of Attendance?

Financial Aid

Financial aid is another important consideration when deciding between enrolling as a full-time vs part-time student. For instance, some forms of federal student aid require students to be enrolled at least half-time (six or more credits) to qualify.

Pell Grants, which are awarded based on a student’s financial need, vary according to enrollment status. Full-time students may receive up to $6,495 for the 2021-2022 award year. Awards for part-time students are proportional to the number of credit hours a student takes. For example, a student taking nine credits would be eligible for 75% of the maximum award. Part-time students should keep in mind that eligibility for Pell Grants can’t exceed 12 academic terms.

Both full-time and half-time students can qualify for Federal Direct Loans and the Federal Work-Study program if attending a participating university for the latter. Interested students must indicate that they’d like to be considered for work-study on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Recommended: Types of Federal Student Loans

Since financial aid awards can vary by institution, it may be beneficial to check with your school to determine how enrollment status could impact your overall financial aid package.

Student Loan Repayment

Whether studying part-time or full-time, many students borrow money to pay for education expenses. Most federal student loans do not require repayment while the student is enrolled in school at least half-time. Part-time students have to repay loans once they drop below half-time enrollment.

Borrowers with Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, or Federal Family Education Loan, will also have a six-month grace period after graduation before loan payments are due. And if you return to half-time or full-time enrollment prior to the end of the grace period, you will be eligible for the full six-month period upon graduation. Interest on Direct Subsidized loans is covered by the U.S. Department of education while students are enrolled or during certain periods of deferment.

Graduate and professional students with PLUS loans may also receive a six-month deferment on repayment when falling below half-time status.

Borrowers with private student loans and certain federal loans may be expected to begin repayment immediately.

Scholarships

Scholarships can help pay for tuition and related educational expenses. Organizations may use a variety of criteria when awarding scholarships, including academic merit, financial need, quality of application responses, and enrollment status.

Some scholarships have eligibility requirements that require recipients to be full-time students. Still, opportunities exist for part-time students to secure scholarships.

Part-time students attending a SUNY or CUNY community college can apply for the New York State Part-time Scholarship to pay for the lesser of six credit hours or $1,500 per term. To qualify, students must take between six and 11 credits.

There are also scholarships available to help adult learners pay for college who may be studying part-time.

Recommended: Scholarships and Grants to Pay Off Student Loans

Tax Credit Eligibility

Enrollment status can have implications for your or your parents’ taxes. There are two main programs—the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC)—that can give tax credits for out-of-pocket education expenses.

The AOTC can provide an annual credit up to $2,500 per student, given they are enrolled at least half-time.

Meanwhile, the LLC is open to all students regardless of enrollment status. The maximum credit per return is 20% of eligible education expenses up to $10,000, or $2,000 total.

Schedule and Time Commitment

For many, the choice to be a part-time vs full-time student can often come down to scheduling.

As a general rule of thumb, students can expect between two to three hours of work per week for each credit they’re taking. This means that a three-credit course would require approximately six to nine hours of student engagement between class time, homework, readings, and studying.

Many students work while completing their degrees to help pay for education and living expenses. Part-time students also work according to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In October 2020, 41.5% of full-time students had some type of employment while nearly 82% of part-time students were employed.

To make their schedule more feasible, part-time students may consider taking online classes while working to reduce commute times and have access to a wider selection of academic programs.

Taking night classes is another option for students to study while working.

College Experience

Whether you are enrolled as a full-time vs part-time student could impact your success and experience as a student.

In 2019, the retention rate for part-time students at postsecondary institutions was just 46.5%, compared to 76.1% for full-time students.

Enrollment status could influence aspects of campus life and extracurricular activities as well. For instance, some schools may only allow full-time students to live in student housing on campus.

Student athletes must abide by NCAA regulations, including minimum coursework requirements, to be eligible to play. Division I athletes have to enroll in at least six credits to be eligible for the following term, whereas Division II and III athletes must take nine and 12 credit hours, each.

The Takeaway

Going to college is a serious commitment. Finding a schedule that works for your personal and financial needs could make the difference in making it to graduation. Full-time undergraduates generally take a minimum of 12 credits while those opting for part-time take fewer than 12 credits. Some scholarships are only available to full-time students but other forms of aid are open to both full- and part-time students.

Regardless of enrollment status, financial aid and scholarships may not be enough to pay for college outright. To bridge the gap, a private student loan could be a solution. Private student loans do not have the same borrower protections as federal student loans, like income-driven repayment plans, so are generally considered only after all other forms of aid have been exhausted.

SoFi offers no-fee private student loans for students enrolled full or half-time. Repayment plans are flexible, helping students find an option that works for their financial plan and budget.

Interested in learning more about private student loans with SoFi? Find out what rate you qualify for in just a few clicks.

Photo credit: iStock/Drazen Zigic


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change. SoFi Lending Corp. and its lending products are not endorsed by or directly affiliated with any college or university unless otherwise disclosed.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.
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. A hard credit pull, which may impact your credit score, is required if you apply for a SoFi product after being pre-qualified.
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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Source: sofi.com

What Is a Trade School and Is It Right for You?

High-paying, high-demand occupations don’t always require a degree from a traditional four-year college. What if you could dramatically increase your income with a certificate or two-year degree from a trade school?

If you’re considering trade school vs. a four-year college, here’s a factor to consider: with the training and education offered by a trade school, you could further your employment opportunities in an array of career paths while still potentially earning in the range of $50,000 to $90,000 a year (though this can vary greatly based on the type of trade school), all without the large price tag of a regular four-year university.

Here are a few thoughts to consider when determining whether or not a trade school is right for you.

Is College Necessary for Your Career?

It seems like there’s more and more emphasis on attending a traditional four-year college or university right after high school, but is it absolutely necessary for your career?

Depending on the type of career you plan to pursue, the answer might not be so clear. While traditional four-year schools offer a breadth of studies to dabble in, a trade school provides vocation-specific courses. Remember, selecting the right school is a big decision, so taking time to explore and research the best college fit for you might be a good use of time.

Understanding What a Trade School Is

A trade school, or vocational school, focuses its curriculum on specific skill-based vocations. But don’t let the name “trade school” fool you into thinking these schools are just for mechanics or electricians.

There are a wide variety of trade school programs specializing in careers in web design, entrepreneurship, culinary arts, film production, nursing, paralegal studies, and many other areas of study.

Pros of a Trade School

Trade schools can have plenty of advantages. Here are a few to consider.

Specific Course of Study

A trade school can be a solid option for those who know what career they want. Trade schools often have a more focused curriculum. Students generally won’t have to spend time filling general education requirements. Classes are curated to the student’s chosen field and some programs offer hands-on training.

It’s a refreshing take on classroom instruction. You won’t have to worry so much about choosing the right major. Trade schools cover specific areas of study, which can help you zero in on your career choice.

Less Time to Complete Than a Four Year Degree

Another pro of a trade school is it typically takes less time to complete your degree. Some programs take less than four years to finish, although they may require additional training or apprenticeship for certification or licensing depending on the chosen career field. For example, you could get a degree in media design technology from Southeast Technical Institute in just four semesters .

Faculty Attention

Attending a trade school can also mean more one-on-one attention from faculty. Generally, trade schools boast smaller class sizes than four year universities. This could mean more individualized attention from faculty.

If you study better with less distraction (and fewer people), a trade school offers a conducive learning environment. The Universal Technical Institute touts smaller class sizes, “which allows instructors to invest more time in students.”

Cons of a Trade School

While trades schools have many advantages, they’re not for everyone. Here are some cons to consider.

Extremely Focused Curriculum

For students who know what they want out of a career, the focused course of study is a pro. But for students who aren’t sure what they want to study, the narrow focus may be limiting.

Non-Traditional College Atmosphere

Things are done a little bit differently at a trade school versus college. If you end up attending a trade school, you might not have that traditional university feel of game day Saturdays, Greek life, or pulling an all-nighter at the library.

You most likely won’t be living on campus in a dormitory setting, either. This could be seen as a disadvantage if you’re craving a more traditional college atmosphere where students wear school gear daily.

Narrow Focus May Limit Career Options in the Long-Term

With a trade school degree, students specialize in a specific area. This can be great for job placement after graduation, especially as there is currently a skilled-labor shortage. However, over time, trade schools may not prepare students for changes in their chosen industry. A broader degree may lead to more flexibility and versatility in the workforce.

How Much Trade School Costs

So, how much does trade school cost? It depends on what program you apply for and how long the program takes to complete.

A two-year public school will run, on average, $3,760 in tuition per year . That translates to roughly less than $8,000 for a degree that could place you in a career in agriculture, business, health sciences, construction, and more. A two-year private not-for-profit school has a national average of $15,195 in tuition per year .

Keep in mind that there could be additional costs, such as licensing outside of school to get started on a career path.

At a traditional four-year program, Undergraduate tuition, fees, room and board at an in-state, public four-year university for the 2020-2021 school year was $10,560 per year .

Factor in extracurricular fees for any student athletic tickets, club and organization fees, and fees for joining the student recreation center. Tuition is even higher at a private nonprofit four-year college with CollegeBoard reporting an estimate of $37,650 in tuition, fees, room and board per year.

Trade school can be a more affordable option, and many schools offer financial aid and scholarships that could help further lower the overall cost.

Can You Take out Loans for a Trade School?

There are plenty of student loan options for traditional colleges and universities, but what about taking out loans for a trade school? Some private lenders may provide private student loans for trade schools or non-degree programs, but some, including SoFi, do not. Additionally, the lenders that do offer these types of loans will review your credit history and other factors before determining the type of financing you’ll qualify for.

Federal aid is also available for some trade schools, though you must meet certain requirements. For instance, you must be enrolled at least half-time in a program that leads to a degree or certificate.

One way to see if your trade school is eligible for federal aid is to check the College Navigator , which is run by the National Center for Education Statistics. Another option is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) and to look up the federal code for the school. The FAFSA is required for students interested in applying for federal financial aid.

The Takeaway

Trade school can be a smart choice for students who have a specific career path in mind. Generally, trade school is more affordable than a four-year college degree, and can take a shorter time to complete. Some schools may be eligible for federal financial aid.

SoFi doesn’t offer student loans for trade school programs, but does offer student loans for eligible graduate certificate programs. If you’re a college student interested in pursuing a certificate program, a SoFi private loan could be a tool to help you finance the program. While private student loans can help students pay for educational expenses, they lack borrower protections like deferment and income-driven repayment plans that federal student loans are afforded. For this reason, they’re generally considered after all other forms of aid have been exhausted.

With a SoFi private student loan, there are no fees and potential borrowers can find out if they pre-qualify in a few minutes online.

Learn more about private student loans from SoFi.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change. SoFi Lending Corp. and its lending products are not endorsed by or directly affiliated with any college or university unless otherwise disclosed.

Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products 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.
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. A hard credit pull, which may impact your credit score, is required if you apply for a SoFi product after being pre-qualified.

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Source: sofi.com