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SoFi readies sixth student loan refi ABS


SoFi has entered the post-Thanksgiving pipeline with its sixth student loan refinancing transaction this year, in line with its plans to issue 12 securitizations in 2017.

The California-based online lender filed documents with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are the banks on the deal, according to the deal documents.

Deal watchers told GlobalCapital earlier this year that the company is aiming to price at least 12 ABS transactions from its student loan refi and consumer loan shelves in 2017.

Earlier this month, SoFi sold its sixth consumer loan ABS, which included loans made to borrowers living in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared disaster areas, including areas affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Despite these loans, pricing narrowed significantly compared to a deal the online lender priced in September, with the seniors pricing 8bp tighter and the ‘B’ notes grinding in by 35bp.

Unlike consumer credit, underwriting standards for student refinancing loans are normally higher, meaning that forbearance among student loan refi borrowers could remain low, according to a third-quarter tracker from DBRS on student loan refi securitizations.

“It should be noted that the sharp increase in third-quarter forbearance utilisation may be partially attributable to borrowers receiving temporary payment relief following hurricanes Harvey and Irma which have impacted large parts of Texas and Florida,” wrote the analysts, pointing out the 30bp jump from the average monthly forbearance utilisation rate experienced in the second quarter to 0.53%.

“It is expected that forbearance utilisation will remain low in the student loan refi sector because unlike with traditional student loans, refi lenders generally require borrowers to be employed with significant income and free cash flow before approving a loan,” the analysts added.

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