So Fi is one of few lenders that can consolidate both federal and private student loans.
Plus, as a member, you’ll have access to a whole lot of perks: career strategy services, customer support seven days a week, invites to So Fi events, and more.
Private loan refinancing may involve consolidating various loans but differs from federal loan consolidation, which converts the interest rates to a weighted average.Students eager to refinance their loans through a private lender may run into a challenge – but it's a good kind of challenge.They'll have to select a student loan servicer through which to refinance.That's especially daunting as an increasing number of institutions, from traditional banks to investor-funded startups, enter the student loan refinancing market.Federal borrowers angling for a better interest rate through a private group should keep in mind that refinancing federal loans into private debt carries risk, including giving up federal loan protections, such as deferment and certain federal loan forgiveness programs.
"A government loan is an easy loan you can work with," says Leslie Tayne, director and managing partner of Tayne Law Group, a New York-based firm, and author of "Life & Debt: A Fresh Approach to Achieving Financial Wellness." "Take a little bit of time to make a good, informed decision about whether refinancing makes sense for you today – and tomorrow." Some, such as Wells Fargo, are familiar companies.
"We've been helping our customers refinance and consolidate for over 10 years," says John Rasmussen, head of education financial services at Wells Fargo.
Since the bank issues new student loans, current Wells Fargo borrowers can refinance for better terms but stay with the bank.
Some borrowers may do the rest of their banking at Wells Fargo, and moving loans over to the bank will allow them to manage their finances in one place, says Rasmussen.
Others, such as So Fi, are relatively new, investor-backed startups, with a focus on customer service and community.
The company offers a temporary repayment reprieve and job search assistance for eligible borrowers who lose their jobs, and a chance at loan deferment and mentorship for aspiring entrepreneurs.