Over the past year, SoFi (SOFI 0.12%) stock has dropped as much as 80%. However, the fintech has rapidly added customers, increased product sales, and posted excellent growth across its businesses.

Not only that, but it's also ready to weather headwinds from a weakening economy and come out the other end stronger. Here's why investors can be optimistic about the fintech.

How the federal government forced SoFi to pivot its business

SoFi is a full-service financial company offering loans, credit cards, cash management, and investment brokerage accounts. But it wasn't always that way.

Founded in 2011, SoFi initially offered student loan refinancing and later expanded into personal and home lending. SoFi faced a significant challenge in the past couple of years -- the student loan moratorium, which was put in place in March 2020, paused most federal student loan payments.

Before the pandemic, student loans were SoFi's bread-and-butter business. But the moratorium forced the fintech to rethink its business. One move it made was to acquire Golden Pacific Bancorp, giving it a banking charter and flexibility to expand its business. The $22.3 million acquisition closed in February and has helped the company achieve sigbificant growth across its product lines. 

Through nine months this year, SoFi's net revenue has grown 57%, and its net loss has narrowed from $373 million to $280 million. Its 56% revenue growth in the third quarter alone crushed analysts' estimates, and when you drill into the details, you can see why investors are optimistic.

Stellar growth across its key metrics has investors hopeful

You can see SoFi's stellar growth across several of its key metrics. In the third quarter, the company added 424,000 new members, bringing the total number of members to 4.7 million -- up 61% from the year before. 

A chart shows SoFi's membership growth over the previous three years.

Image source: SoFi investor presentation.

Deposit growth was solid as well, up 86% to more than $5 billion thanks to its acquisition of Golden Pacific Bank. Owning a banking charter and increasing deposits matters to SoFi because it gives it a low-cost source of capital to fund its loans. 

Loan origination volume, or the total amount of loans made, was up modestly by 2% during the third quarter. Home loans plummeted, down 73%, while student loans were down 53% in the quarter. However, personal loan volume was a record for the company, up 71% from last year. 

According to credit rater Experian, the number of personal loan accounts this year has grown 16% to 25.1 million. Experian notes that borrowers are refinancing expensive credit card debts and consolidating them into loans at fixed rates, helping lenders like SoFi. Indeed, SoFi's growth has outpaced the broader market. The company credits its investments in technology that automate and accelerate the application-to-approval process for qualified borrowers while maintaining high credit quality.

Looking forward

SoFi has done an excellent job of pivoting its business and raised its full-year guidance for the third consecutive quarter despite the student loan moratorium. The company relies less on these loans and has found stellar growth in personal lending.

The acquisition of Golden Pacific Bancorp was a solid move by the fintech that provides it with low-cost funding, which is crucial at a time when many investors are pulling back from buying personal loans. This has weighed heavily on companies like Upstart Holdings, which relies on selling some of its loans to investors.

SoFi has achieved solid growth this year and is improving its financial position with every quarter. Next up for the fintech will be converting its personal loan customers into full-blown customers across its suite of products to realize its vision of becoming a one-stop financial services company.