Most student loan lenders approve or deny loans. They may offer students help with figuring out college finances. SoFi is the first of what may be a new type of lender, to go above and beyond this traditional role. The company, started in 2011, is targeting millennial borrowers with value-added extras such as mixers, free cocktail hours, and yoga classes. Due to several relationships that started at their mixers, the company is even working on a new dating app.
SoFi has also expanded their loan offerings from student loan refinances to include mortgages and personal loans. The company began small, offering graduates from Stanford University the chance to refinance. After many Stanford alumni offered the company financial backing, SoFi began expanding and is now a nationwide company.
SoFi Vice President of Community and Member Success Dan Macklin said that one of the governing policies of the company is to be more to borrowers than a loan statement received in the mail each month. People expect more, he continued, and it appears that millennials in particular do want more from their lenders.
Those with a large amount of student loan debt appreciate extras such as access to career coaching. No college graduate facing stiff competition in the job market will turn down an event with free food. While SoFi is currently the only lender like offering these services, it's possible that more will follow their model.
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