SoFi is probably the best-known student loan refinancing company due to its size and ubiquitous advertising.
College Ave is starting to generate a lot of attention and offers a student loan refinance service that is definitely worth considering.
Today we will look at how these lenders stack up and the key differences between the two services.
The Basics: SoFi vs. College Ave
SoFi and College Ave both offer pretty competitive interest rates. Variable-rate loans currently start at 2.25% with SoFi and 2.94% with College Ave. On the fixed-rate loan side of things, SoFi starts at 2.74% and College Ave starts at 2.99%. As loan length gets progressively longer, SoFi takes the lead in the interest rate comparison.
As far as repayment length, the companies have some key differences. SoFi has repayment lengths of 5, 7, 10, 15 and 20 years. College Ave recently added a 20-year repayment plan, and they are now advertising a total of 16 different loan terms between 5 and 20 years.
Additionally, College Ave will allow for interest-only payments for the first two years of a new loan. College Ave probably has more flexibility, but for the average borrower, we don’t necessarily see a particular advantage to the many options.
Digging Deeper: SoFi and College Ave Differences
If you look out our student loan consolidation rankings, right now SoFi checks in at 5th place while College Ave is in 9th place.
The interest rate and repayment differences only partially explain the differences in the rankings for these two companies.
SoFi gets a boost in our rankings because they actually have a career services department dedicated to helping SoFi borrowers who are underemployed or unemployed. The calculation here seems to be that SoFi thinks they will be better off financially if they help their borrowers get a good job instead of spending money on debt collection. We see this consumer-friendly approach as a big plus.
Borrower Bonus Information
SoFi currently offers $150 to new customers who sign up for their services. The extra money probably shouldn’t sway you in one direction nor another because interest rates are a much more important consideration. However, it is a nice little perk for new customers.
CollegeAve is not currently offering a bonus, but borrowers can check the rates offered by CollegeAve here.
There are a few reasons that SoFi gets an edge over College Ave in this comparison. However, the true test for most consumers will be the interest rates. Because the rate ranges of these two companies overlap, it is entirely possible that College Ave offers a rate better than SoFi. It is for this reason that both companies should be considered. In fact, the more student loan consolidation companies you apply to, the better you can feel about the rate that you eventually find. A full list of the major lenders is available here.