Just as SoFi has recently announced a series of new initiatives—planning an expansion in the loans it offers and a move into "fee-free" trading—it put to bed a complaint of deceptive advertising brought by the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC announced on Monday that it had finalized its settlement with the online financial services firm over claims of advertisements that misled customers. The final consent order, approved 5-0, resolves the allegations that SoFi inflated the actual dollar amount its customers saved after refinancing loans.
According to the government complaint, SoFi would selectively exclude large categories of consumers from the advertised savings it showcased to its potential customers. Most of those excluded from SoFi's advertised claims were actually paying more money than they had before working with SoFi, according to the complaint, with some paying thousands of dollars more on average over their lifetimes. Those excluded groups had loans with longer terms than the loans they had refinanced, a disclosure buried in the fine print, reported TechCrunch.
"We have always been committed to giving our current and prospective members clear and complete information with which to make smart financial choices," SoFi spokesman Jim Prosser said, "and are pleased to have this matter resolved."