SoFi Relay Review: This Might Be The Best Free Service Out There To Better Your Financial Life

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There aren’t many platforms out there that can help you better your financial life (and completely for free) but SoFi Relay* is one of them. The platform, available via SoFi’s app and its website, helps you look at your whole financial life in one place – how much money you have in various bank accounts, how much you have invested, how much debt you have, while also helping you keep track of your credit score over time, and helping you track your spending. And yes, we’ll say it again – it’s free.

This had us pretty intrigued to test SoFi Relay for ourselves to find out if the app lives up to the hype. In this comprehensive review, we’ll dive into SoFi Relay’s features, how to navigate it and make the best use of it, along with who we think it’s best for.

Keep reading to find out more about SoFi Relay.

What Is SoFi Relay

SoFi – the parent to SoFi Relay — is one of the most trusted fintech companies out there. The company was founded in 2011 and is considered one of the early entrants into the fintech space. It is even listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. SoFi, generally speaking, is known for its vast range of financial services offerings from student loan refinancing to investing to credit cards to personal loans. You name it, and SoFi probably does it.

SoFi Relay is one of its latest offerings – and it’s entirely free. Consider it your all-in-one money management app. See how much money you have along with your debts, all in one place. Track your spending, including breaking it down to the category level, so you can keep a close eye on what is going out and set targets. Set financial goals for yourself, simultaneously, as far as your spending goes. It also offers credit score monitoring – also completely for free – with ongoing guidance on how to improve your score.

What Are SoFi Relay’s Features

SoFi Relay has three main components – it’s a dashboard view of your net worth (your assets and liabilities), credit score monitoring, and spending tracking.

To give its users a complete picture of their net worth it offers users a single dashboard in which to view their entire financial life. Users can link all of their accounts from their checking to their savings to their investment accounts, credit cards, students loans, and more directly to SoFi Relay. While a lot of money management apps only allow for certain accounts to be linked to their platform, SoFi Relay allows for a complete picture to be built by enabling users to manually add things like their home, and even the model of the car they own to get that true financial big picture. Once a user has added everything, when they click into the SoFi Relay dashboard, they’ll instantly be able to look at their net worth at any given time as it gets instantly updated by SoFi Relay.

Second, it enables users to track their spending month to month, and look at category breakdowns of their spending. From there it enables users to set up monthly budget goals and spending targets for specific categories of their spending.

For instance, say a user wants to spend $250 on dining out for the month, they set that target, and SoFi will help them keep track of that target making it easier to reach the goal. The app tracks and displays upcoming recurring transactions, too, to help users plan ahead for monthly expenses. The helpful pie charts that show users’ debit and credit card transactions by category are another powerful tool to help people stay on target.

Third, SoFi Relay offers robust credit monitoring, enabling users to easily keep track of their credit score. Users will see a complete history of their credit score within the SoFi Relay dashboard, along with suggestions for how to improve it based on various factors that move the needle. SoFi Relay also sends its users weekly updates regarding changes to their credit score. And it does all of this by doing “soft pulls” on its users’ credit reports so as not to impact their credit score. Of note, SoFi Relay utilizes TransUnion’s VantageScore 3.0 credit score model to assess its users’ credit scores – that’s the score that is prevalent among credit agencies.

How Much Does SoFi Relay Cost?

The SoFi app, which gives users access to SoFi Relay is completely free to download and use. Within SoFi, SoFi Relay is also completely free. Users will occasionally see pop-up ads while using SoFi Relay, but considering this is a free product, while other similar products charge either a monthly subscription fee or yearly subscription fee, this isn’t something that is particularly bothersome.

Signing Up And Navigating SoFi Relay

SoFi is really easy to get started using. This is one of its big advantages as a money management platform.

Here are the immediate steps to take to start using it:

  1. First, you’ll need to become a SoFi user if you aren’t already — either via the web or the SoFi app. SoFi Relay is a free component of SoFi overall, and you’ll need to get started as a SoFi user to take advantage of it.
  2. Once you’ve done that, activate SoFi Relay. SoFi has a huge number of other offerings, but SoFi Relay is a great place to start within the SoFi ecosystem.
  3. Within SoFi Relay, you’ll want to connect all of your financial accounts to the SoFi Relay dashboard so you can see your net worth, plus credit monitoring and customized spending tracking. We highly suggest connecting all of your financial accounts when you do this, including adding things like your home and cars in order to get a complete financial picture.
  4. Once all of your accounts have been added, and SoFi begins to track your spending, you can start adding a monthly budget, and spending targets for various categories in order to fully stay on track and start reaching certain financial goals.

Overall, the interface of SoFi Relay is very intuitive, so you’ll easily be able to move between your account balances, your credit score monitoring, and the spending tracking sections.

Within the platform, when you log in to your SoFi account and head to the SoFi Relay dashboard, you’ll first see a list of your total balances including your bank accounts, credit cards, and any other loans you might have. This is also the section of the platform where you can add accounts, including manually entering other assets including your cars or anything else of import.

Next, within the dashboard, you’ll see a credit score monitoring section, with your current credit score highlighted. Click on that section, and you’ll be given much more detail on your credit score and how to improve it.

Within that section, you’ll find the different factors that make up your credit score sorted from most important to least important. The factors listed are:

  • Credit utilization
  • Payment history
  • The average age of credit
  • Total accounts
  • Inquiries
  • Derogatory marks

Items within the dashboard that are listed in green mean that you are in good shape for that category. Items listed in red mean that you have room for improvement.

Click on any of the categories – say, credit utilization – to see your summary for that particular category, and also how you compare to others for that category. This offers a good gauge of where you need to improve for a particular category in order to see your credit score go up.

There is also a tab within the credit score section that gives you access to your score’s history, so you can keep an eye on your progress over time.

Head back to the main menu, to access the spending tracking section. This is the section where you can keep an eye on your spending month to month by seeing exactly how much you’ve spent, upcoming expenses, and breakdowns by spending categories. This is also where you can set up spending targets, including on the category level (say, for dining out) to stay on track. And it will show you not only how much you are spending in categories, but how much you’ve usually spent in any given category in other months.

SoFi does categorize spending automatically so getting started is really easy, but you can also move things around to different categories in case it gets anything wrong. You can also set up transaction tags so everything gets categorized as you would like it.

Where SoFi Relay Shines

SoFi Relay shines in a couple of key ways: First and foremost, it lets you see your entire financial life all in one place. This isn’t just your debts or how much money you have in your checking account – it’s everything,. SoFi Relay even allows you to add things like your car for instance, which is really unique for a platform like this. It calculates its value and adds it to your net worth. We really like the ease in which you can log onto the SoFi Relay dashboard and quickly get access to a completely accurate net worth number at any given moment.

We also really like that users don’t have to do a whole lot to take advantage of SoFi Relay after they’ve linked all of their accounts because all of their accounts will get automatically refreshed in the SoFi Relay dashboard. After going through the initial signing up and set up process, you’ve done the heavy lifting.

Its credit score monitoring is another place where SoFi Relay really shines. Users get free credit score monitoring and insights on what they can do to improve their credit score in a way that is easy to understand and actionable.

While this isn’t the only budget tracker and financial dashboard out there, it is one of the best that is truly free to use.

On top of all of this, by signing up for SoFi in order to access SoFi Relay, you’ll have access to a number of other benefits including unemployment protection, college financing advice, access to SoFi’s partnerships with various insurance companies, and a lot more.

Is SoFi Relay Right For You?

Most people’s financial issues come down to a few common mistakes. The first is that they don’t have a good sense of what is going in and what is going out when it comes to their money. The second is that they aren’t setting up a proper budget to control their spending. SoFi Relay tackles these two problems – enabling users to see their full financial picture instantly, and also helping them set budget goals to move forward in their financial life.

Even if you are someone who has a pretty good handle on their personal finances, SoFi Relay is a great option just because of its ease of use. Its dashboard will give you instant access to your net worth at any given moment and access to your credit score – all completely for free.

For someone who values efficiency and wants to use a platform that is easy to integrate into their everyday life, SoFi Relay is a great option.

Final Thoughts

SoFi Relay is a great option for those looking to get access to their complete financial picture, without having to do a ton of work. It is also completely free to take advantage of and helps its users tackle three key components of their financial life – their net worth, their spending, and their credit score – all-in-one. It’s a great platform on its own, but for people who already use SoFi for other things (like an investment account or a bank account) its even more enticing because you’ll already have access to it within your SoFi account.

SoFi offers personal tools to view, aggregate, and manage your information from multiple accounts. The information compiled includes accounts held at SoFi and at external financial institutions, such as a bank account or a loan serviced by another institution. SoFi offers these tools under the product name brand of “Relay.” If you elect to connect an external account in Relay, you authorize SoFi to obtain information from the Connected Account external account and use it as described below (“Connected Accounts”). SoFi’s Relay tools are intended to only provide organizational services for your financial information. The SoFi Relay tools and services are not intended to provide any financial planning, investment, tax, or retirement planning services or advice. SoFi does NOT undertake any review of your account information to provide you with any advice or guidance. SoFi does not make any determination about the suitability or appropriateness of any transactions you might undertake at SoFi or elsewhere. If you elect to use Relay, you are fully and solely responsible for your accounts and agree SoFi’s only role is to aggregate compile data to information for presentment to you.
SoFi also offers you the opportunity to obtain your credit score from a single credit reporting agency for the purpose of allowing you to monitor your credit score. Obtaining the service also enables SoFi to offer you additional tools related to your credit information. When you elect to use credit score monitoring, you agree to the following terms and conditions:
You authorize and instruct SoFi to obtain your full credit reporting information from a credit reporting agency on a regular recurring basis (e.g., weekly) until such time that you terminate the Credit Score Monitoring. Please see FAQ’s for the process to terminate the service.
SoFi’s service includes your credit score and other elements in your credit report to you. SoFi does NOT undertake any responsibility to monitor your credit report for activity, identify theft, or any other actions. SoFi’s service enables YOU to monitor your credit score.
The credit score obtained by SoFi and presented to you is for your own use and for your education.
The credit score is obtained from a single credit reporting agency and may be different from the credit reporting information used by other institutions or lenders or creditors.
If SoFi provides any simulations or hypothetical estimates of credit score changes, these are for educational purposes only and are not a guarantee of any outcome.
SoFi will obtain and keep your credit reporting information and use it for the purposes permitted in SoFi’s Privacy Notice. SoFi’s uses of you information may include:
SoFi may use your credit information to serve targeted advertisements to you and other communication based on your information.
SoFi may present offers to you for other SoFi products and services using your credit information to identify if you are likely to be eligible or interested.
SoFi may use your credit information for statistical analysis to improve SoFi products and services.
You may obtain your own credit report without using SoFi. You have the right to a free credit report from the website or by calling (877)322-8228.
SoFi is not a credit reporting agency or a credit repair company. SoFi does not and will not undertake any credit repair on your behalf. To the extent SoFi offers you any suggestions regarding improving credit scores or any simulation of your score based upon assumptions, such information is for your education and consideration, and is not intended to be financial advice.
SoFi will obtain your account information. If you elect to connect an external account to SoFi, SoFi will obtain information from the Connected Accounts. The specific information SoFi obtains may vary by institution and account type. You should assume SoFi will obtain from the account any information that is available to you. For example, if you connect a bank account to SoFi’s Relay tool (described below), SoFi can collect any information from the account, including balance and transaction information, such as amount of payments, debits, and deposits. If you connect a loan account at an external institution, SoFi can collect loan balance, interest rate on the loan, and your payment history.
Use of Connected Information. If you elect to connect an account through any SoFi service, SoFi may use the information from the connected account for any purpose permitted by SoFi’s Privacy Policies, including use of the information to identify products and services that may be of interest to you, sharing information with affiliated companies to offer products and services to you, and identifying if you would be likely to be eligible for certain products and services.
Use of Plaid Services. To connect an account, SoFi requires you to use a service offered by Plaid Inc. (“Plaid”). By using this Services, you acknowledge and agree that Plaid’s Privacy Policy[1] will govern Plaid’s use of information it collects about you or that you provide to Plaid, and you expressly agree to the terms and conditions of Plaid’s Privacy Policy. Further, you expressly grant Plaid the right, power, and authority to access and transmit your information as reasonably necessary for Plaid to provide the Services to you. To the extent you previously utilized account linking and aggregation services through SoFi’s previous service provider, Quovo, Inc., you expressly authorize Quovo, Inc. to transmit any information or data in connection with those services to Plaid so that Plaid can offer you its account linking and aggregation Services.
To obtain information from Connected Account, SoFi Acts as Your Agent. If you elect to connect an external account to SoFi, SoFi will connect to the account and obtain information at your direction and as your agent. SoFi does not warrant that the information obtained from the external account is accurate, complete, or non-infringing.