Personal Loans: How Much Should Your Interest Rate Really Be?

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SoFi, short for Social Finance Inc., is a California-based online personal finance company and bank. Headquartered in San Francisco, SoFi provides financial products, including student and auto loan refinancing, mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, investing, and banking through mobile app and desktop interfaces. The fintech giant offers loans to a select group of consumers at a range of rates. However, North Carolina consumers have noticed the company’s interest rates are not always compliant with state law.


The company was founded in the summer of 2011 by Stanford business students Mike Cagney, Dan Macklin, James Finnigan, and Ian Brady to provide an alternative to traditional student loan options. As a startup, SoFi offered loans to a wealthier subset of students backed by donations from alumni. Today, the premise of their business remains similar, on a larger scale.

SoFi’s revenue continues to originate primarily from its student loans, but the company offers a range of products. Their financial offerings include mortgages, personal loans, banking services, credit cards, and investing options. The company now funds its loans through multi-billion dollar venture capital firms.

SoFi, unlike other lenders in North Carolina, requires borrowers to qualify for a credit score of 680 or higher. These borrowers are considered “responsible” and may have a lower risk of defaulting on loans. Additionally, the company considers age, income, and existing lines of credit. SoFi’s website lists a range of rates for personal loans between 8.99% – 25.81% nationally. However, each state has its own regulations on maximum interest rates. In North Carolina, this rate is governed by N.C. General Statute 24.

Personal Loan Interest Rate Maximum

No federal law sets the maximum interest rate on consumer loans. North Carolina General Statute 24 specifies that the interest rate for more than $10,000 personal loans cannot exceed 16%. Violators of this regulation may be required to repay double the amount charged to the consumer for the unlawful loan and, in some cases, forgiveness of debt.

Consumer Allegations

Consumers online have an array of complaints against SoFi. The company’s Better Business Bureau profile, while rated an A+, is not accredited and has more than 1,200 complaints and a 1.23-star rating by customers. The company has also faced a slew of lawsuits in the past decade, ranging in topics.

A recent case alleges SoFi charged a North Carolina consumer a nearly 20% interest rate for a loan exceeding $10,000. This rate flagrantly disregards the state maximum of 16%. The lawsuit claims SoFi misrepresented the legality of the loan and that the company is profiting unjustly from the interest rate.

Experienced Consumer Representation

SoFi’s lending practices have generated millions in revenue over the past 12 years, extending loans to a select group of borrowers. However, online reports and lawsuits suggest the company uses unfair and illegal practices to exploit consumers. If you believe you have paid an illegal interest rate to SoFi or any other lender, contact us today.

Submit a message through our contact page, or call our Raleigh office at (919) 526-0450. We take most consumer cases on contingency, meaning you don’t owe anything unless we win. A member of our intake team will ask for background information and assess your potential case. If our attorneys are not able to assist you, we will provide a reliable referral to another local law firm.