Meet SoFi

Aug 6, 2015 | Finance

I rececently was made aware of SoFi and thought I would share with DDSmatch dentists…

So what is SoFi? 

Leading marketplace lender that helps early stage professionals accelerate their success with student loan refinancing, mortgages and refis, personal loans and MBA loans. SoFi was the first to offer refinancing of both federal and private student loans. Our unique approach to underwriting enabled us to offer personal loans and mortgages and become more of a full service lender to our borrowers.

What’s new with SoFi?

Recently surpassed $ 3billion in funded loans. Just launched a contest to pay off the student loan of one of our refi members.  More than 300 corporations and member organizations offer SoFi as an employee or member benefit – accounts for 1 in 4 of our members. With $1.3 billion valuation, recently named to Wall Street Journal’s Billion Dollar Start Up Club 200+ employees, with more than 150 in SF and Healdsburg offices. Ranks as one of the Largest Bay Area Financial Tech Companies 

What can you tell me about your typical customer?

– Prime to super prime; early stage professionals. $75,000 plus in income with a 700 FICO. 
– About 85% have a graduate degree
– About one fourth have medical degrees, about one fourth have law degrees, about one fourth have MBAs and a fourth is everything else
– Dentists in particular are a large segment
– On average the a dentist borrower saves over $35,000 in interest
-About 40,000 members; 1 in 4 come through a corporate partnership
– And through parent loans, we’re beginning to serve more of our borrowers’ parents

Do you have plans to go beyond prime and super prime? Or small business loans, for example?

Our priority hasn’t changed:  early stage professionals who are prime and super prime borrowers. To that end, we’re focused on delivering the best possible experience for our existing borrowers and new borrowers who fall within this segment.  We’re working with about 20% of the segment, which means there’s so much more opportunity for us – and so many more borrowers who deserve better options. 

Who’s on your management team? 

We have one of the most seasoned and experienced teams in the industry. They have diverse experiences including startups, banks, big brands and other industry verticals. Mike (Wells Fargo head and founder of Finaplex); Nino (Wells Fargo Treasurer, KKR Financial CEO, Goldman Sachs); Rob (Former GC of Sallie Mae) and Aimee (Virgin America, AppSense). 

What is your biggest challenge right now?  

Hiring enthusiastic, experienced loan origination and servicing professionals in SF; as a result, expanded to downtown Healdsburg in the heart of Sonoma County. Currently employ over 80 lending professionals in Healdsburg and growing every day.


What have you done so far?

We recently surpassed $3 billion in funded loans. For more specifics, I can I introduce you to another member of our team who’d be best suited to answer your questions.  

What are you planning to do?

This year we’ll likely double that figure, particularly as our mortgage and personal loan business begins to scale. 

Are you profitable?

Yes we are. For more specifics, I can connect you with one of my colleagues.


Why do you think Millennials and Gen Xers are attracted to SoFi?

A Viacom survey of more than 10,000 millennials, found that 71% of those aged 18-34 “would rather go to the dentist than listen to what banks are saying.” This is exactly what SoFi is solving for.  Banks are focused on our customers’ parents, not our customers. Our members know that we are rooting for them to succeed. 

Do you think you’re really all that different from other financial services providers?

We don’t think we’re different, we know we’re different.  Our members tell us all of the time. No other financial services provider is squarely focused on meeting the needs of early stage professionals. 


What sets you apart? 

Nontraditional underwriting approach that takes into account merit and employment history among other factors to provide unique financial and investment products.  SoFi is the first and only lending platform to secure investment grade A ratings from S&P and Moody’s for senior notes in a securitization.

Does that mean you don’t see other online marketplaces as your competition?

We have a lot of respect for companies like Lending Club. Keep in mind though, that our customer is very different from most online marketplaces, since we are squarely focused on prime and super prime Millennials and Gen X’ers.

While there are some very small lenders in the student loan refi space, none come close to SoFi’s size. And none have the deep relationships that we do, given our mortgages and personal loans; in fact, many SoFi members have more than one product with us. 

Interested?  CLICK HERE if you would like to learn more and start the process with SoFi and see if they can be of service.