Students looking for tuition loans or seeking to refinance or consolidate student loans in the past have known SoFi as a reputable lender with great rates, but it’s surprising to note that the financial group is also known for its numerous social functions. Times and how SoFi does business with its clients, are changing.
Surprisingly, Social Finance, SoFi, has held over 300 different social events over the past year in order to drawn in young people who need private loans, refinancing of student loans, personal loans, or mortgages. The company calls its customers Members, and has goals to invest in their members with more than just money.
CNN recently noted that their trendy and fun approach seems to be working. Over 8,000 different people have attended these happy hours, brewery tours, cooking classes, bowling sessions, and game nights. All of these events are free of charge and people in need of financial assistance and consultation are beginning to take notice of them.
When SoFi first began in 2011, they only gave refinancing to Stanford graduates. These particular students were pegged as safe ventures, and unlikely to default on their loans. Within the next year, Social Finance began to branch out with new services. Now SoFi will give refinancing aid to any graduates from accredited schools. It wants to re-define banking, banking operations, and to have fun at the same time with events such as skydiving.
In summer of 2016, over half of the loans issued now come from new SoFi products utilized by over 150,00 members. The new products offered go beyond student loans and student loan refinancing and can be assistance such as mortgages or personal loans. The growth is at about 10,000 new SoFi members each month. The end result is staggering at one billion dollars in funding issued last year alone.
The company has many different options. You can combine your federal loans with a private loan. The career strategy and customer support will help you to take your various loans, consolidate them, and then to refinance at a lower rate with SoFi. The company is also known for giving a six-month grace no pay benefit after graduation for those who use their company.
It packages and sells its loan to third party lenders on Wall Street, then uses than gained capital to then issue new loans. This lending approach is relatively normal in the banking business; SoFi just seems to have a good time while doing it.
The variable rate option will run from 2.15% APR to 5.95% APR and the fixed rate runs from 3.50% to 7.74% APR. And the whole process is just plan fun. Recent client, Andy Beltran refinanced his student loans and lowered his rate by three percentage points. He gets bi-weekly updates and counseling with his career coach and he enjoys the social functions. He says, “It’s like a mix of a therapy session, a career coach, and somebody that just helps expand your perspective on yourself. So it’s been pretty helpful.”
Along with the fun social events such as yoga and Zumba, the financial group is also known for personal care and continued counseling. More than 150,000 Millennials are taking advantage of these things.
College graduates are leaving school with more debt that ever and it grows by the minute. The most recent figure was $1.3 trillion dollars in debt with over 43 million borrowers. Those numbers as of July 2016 could mean that a graduate owes an average of $24,000 dollars or more. Many people simply can’t attend school without financial assistance. These young people are weighted down with the obligations and the stress of the obligations owed due to student loans.
At events such as the ones SoFi holds, those who owe money or have money concerns can connect with others in similar situations, relax, get career counseling, and possibly refinance the loans they hold. They can have a cold beer, eat a snack, make a friend, and find a loan solution. These groups of people want more from their banking institutions, and are working with groups such as SoFi who are willing to give them exactly what they want and need.
The Vice President of Community and Member Success, Dan Macklin, SoFi, wants to help these young people, and embraces the social aspect as well when he says, “We know people have been on dates after meeting at SoFi events, and we’re embracing that. The company even envisions adding a connections app soon to bolster the connection between those with loans and SoFi.”