SoFi vs. DRB: Which Option is Better For Student Loans and Loan Refinancing?

SoFi vs. DRB

SoFi and DRB are two of the biggest names in the student loan world, and they handle millions of loans each year. There are a lot of similarities between the two companies, so you might think it’s just a matter of choosing one. But there are actually some big differences between the two that might make your choice a little easier.

For people worried about their credit score, it’s often no trouble checking interest rates with multiple companies. While it is true that checking a SoFi interest rate will cause a “soft pull” on credit, people usually won’t get dinged with another because they decided to check their interest rate with DRB too. The credit companies have computer algorithms that can tell when people are “shopping around.”

More About SoFi and the Advantages of a SoFi loan

  • One Letterman Drive, Building A, Suite 4700, San Francisco, CA 94129
  • (855) 456-SOFI (7634)

SoFi stands for Social Finance. The company was founded in August of 2011, and has their current headquarters in San Francisco. Their current interest rates are around 2.3% for most loans. One of the biggest advantages of Social Finance is their job placement program. When students get a loan with SoFi, they work with a team of specialists dedicated to helping them find a job, whether they’re just out of school or they’ve been out of school for a while. Any unemployed person who has a student loan with SoFi can get job search help.

Of course, SoFi wants to make sure their loan holders have jobs to make sure their loans are paid back and SoFi makes their money. But the fact that getting their loan holders working is a huge plus for Social Finance. Another great advantage of SoFi is their $100 bonus they have for new signups. That’s not a whole lot when compared to the life of a college loan, but if it’s a matter of getting it or not getting it, $100 is better than nothing. For a while, SoFi had this bonus while DRB didn’t, but DRB has since included a $100 signup bonus of their own.

More About DRB and the Advantages of a DRB student loan

  • 1001 Post Rd Darien, Connecticut 06820
  • (855) 245-0989

DRB stands for Darien Rowayton Bank. Their headquarters are in Darien, Connecticut, and for most of their loans, the interest rate is just under 4%. One of the biggest things DRB has going for them is that they’re a regular bank, not just a loan company. Many student loan consolidation options that have super low rates are just online companies. So if you want a bank as well to handle other financial transactions, consider DRB. And even though they’re a bank, DRB has student loan rates that are much lower than other banks.

One of the biggest advantages DRB has over SoFi is their programs that are geared towards specific borrowers. The special program they’re most known for would be the DRB medical school loan program. People in the medical field with a DRB loan (specifically doctor fellows and residents) only have to pay $100 a month to their loan during the whole time they’re in residence. This extends to six months after fellowship or resident training, when normal payments take effect. This benefit is probably the single biggest plus for DRB, because it makes paying for  medical student loans much easier. The DRB medical student loan program also helps because it takes in to account that a lot of people in the medical field do have financial troubles right after they graduate. A DRB loan also allows for refinancing as soon as loan repayment begins, helping people save a lot of money on interest.

Which is better: SoFi or DRB?

For most loans, SoFi is going to have a little bit of a lower interest rate. It may only be a small percentage point, but that equals out to a lot of money when a student loan is carried out over several years. When you add in SoFi’s job placement program, it just makes more sense to get a loan through SoFi because of the money it will save in the long run… remember to Get your $100 welcome bonus when you register and apply through this link

The one major advantage Darien Rowayton Bank has over SoFi would be their special program for people in the medical field. For someone getting a medical loan, that may tip the scales a little towards a student loan refinance with DRB.

Looking at online reviews, it seems like SoFi has a much better customer rating than DRB. Many people compare talking to DRB customer service like dealing with the cable company. So people who have a short temper when it comes to talking to customer service would probably be best avoiding a student loan refinance with DRB.  SoFi’s customer service facility is located in California, so when people call to speak with someone about their loans, they’ll have an easier time.

DRB has a physical presence, and it is important for some people to be able to walk into their loan company and talk to someone, for the normal student today, SoFi will be the better choice.

It’s recommended for people to apply for prequalification for both SoFi and DRB to see what interest rate they can get, as even just a percent or two can add up to thousands of dollars over the life of a loan. And when it comes down to it, it’s almost always best to choose the student loan that will save the most money.


  1. I have refinancing experience with 3 lenders: SoFi, DRB, and Citizens Bank. I have had good experiences with CB and SoFi and an awful experience with DRB (I’m not alone in this either. Look up reviews for DRB and you’ll see a lot of “I’d rather deal with Comcast” – yikes!)

    Before I get into my experiences, here’s my situation. I graduated in May 2014 with a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from a large state university. When I got out I had $35k across 7 Stafford loans with interest between 3.15% and 6.55%. I also had a PLUS loan around $18k at 7.65%, a Discover loan of $23k at 8% and a Citizens Bank loan at $22k at 10.25%. Ouch. I managed to get a job in September making about $65k a year and my deferment ended in November 2914.

    In June 2015 I tried refinancing with DRB first as they have the straight up lowest rates. They approved me and asked for a bunch of documents and kept changing what they wanted over the next month and every time I uploaded something it took at least a week before I got a response. After a month they ended up denying me even though my documents supported my application so I called to ask why I was denied. The first time I called I got someone (Dave I think?) who’s sounded like he absolutely did not want to be talking with me even though I was calm and patient. He was no help so I hung up and called back. This time I got a woman who at least was much more pleasant to talk to.

    To sum up what she told me, DRB basically makes up your financial information when you apply which led to me getting denied. I live with family and therefore pay no rent, but they added a $1000 mortgage payment anyway when they did my debt to income calculation because “that’s their policy” and they refused to remove it. Also when doing my DTI calculation, they said if I was approved for their loan I’d be paying $1500/month which was above their threshold. When I asked how in the world they got that number when all calculations I did were showing ~500/mo on their 20 year plan, they said “well we might not approve you for that so we’re putting you down for the 5 year plan.” I’ve never heard of only being approved for certain terms. Every loan I’ve ever applied for gave me all the available terms. F- for DRB, avoid like the plague.

    Next I applied for Citizens Bank around late June/early July, but this time only asking to refinance my Discover and Citizens Bank loan because their rates weren’t as good so I’d end up paying more on my Stafford loans and also they also don’t refinance PLUS loans. The morning after I applied I was called and emailed by a woman (Brittany I think – I’m terrible with names) who guided me through the process and asked me to email all documents directly to her. She took care of everything immediately and within one week I was approved at 4.9% variable and had my old loans paid off. A++ for Citizens Bank.

    I had some financials events come up so I waited until early September 2015 and applied at SoFi to refinance my PLUS loan. They approved me at 5% variable (just about the worst rate they offer but still better than 7.65, plus I was getting the loan out of my Dad’s name which I really wanted to do for him). Every time they asked for something it took about 6-7 business days for them to act on it but the few times I called/emailed them they were friendly and helpful. I’d give them an A-. If they could improve the speed of their application process I’d bump them up.


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