SoFi Mortgage Pros and Cons
- Quick online prequalification
- Transparent rates and fee structure
- Discounts and perks for SoFi members
- Considers alternative income
- Offers unique refinancing options
- Not licensed to lend in Missouri, New Mexico New York, or Hawaii
- Requires a higher minimum down payment than some competitors
- No government-backed mortgages
- Home equity products only offered through partnerships
SoFi Mortgage Overview
SoFi Lending Corp. was one of the first mortgage lenders to provide an all-digital mortgage experience, starting in 2014. The lender offers a basic, no-frills loan menu including conventional and jumbo purchase loans and cash-out refinances.
But where SoFi really excels is its online lending experience. You can view sample rates right on the front page of its mortgage site with no discount points to skew the results. To get a personalized rate quote, you’ll have to create an account or call a loan officer. If you move forward, you can get preapproved in just minutes and complete the entire loan process online.
What Types of Mortgages Does SoFi Offer?
SoFi is a slightly unusual lender in that it only offers fixed-rate mortgages and requires at least 5% down. Borrowers can choose from loan terms ranging from 10 to 30 years and use loans to purchase primary, secondary, and investment properties.
SoFi does offer piggyback loans for borrowers who can’t front 20% down but want to bypass private mortgage insurance (PMI) requirements. With this arrangement, you’ll need to put 10% down and take out two loans: one for 80% of the home’s cost and another for 10%. Just be sure you can make two loan payments simultaneously!
Currently, SoFi doesn’t offer any type of government-backed mortgages, including FHA, VA, or USDA loans. Nor will the lender connect you with state down payment assistance to help you get into a home.
SoFi has also halted its jumbo lending for the time being, citing pandemic pressures and current market conditions. Pre-2020, jumbo loans accounted for around a quarter of the company’s total loan volume.
And though the lender says it offers home equity loans, members will actually be redirected to its lending partner Spring EQ for second mortgage products.
How Do SoFi Mortgages Work?
SoFi doesn’t have any physical branches to provide in-person service. Everything occurs online and over the phone, from mortgage preapproval (which takes just minutes) to e-closing. The average borrower can move through this process in about 36 days.
You can use the website portal or mobile app to shop rates and initiate your loan application. The digital platform includes features like electronic employment verification, asset retrieval, and document exchanges. Plus, you can track your application from start to finish.
Once you choose your specific mortgage product, you’ll connect with a SoFi loan officer who will guide you through the underwriting and closing process. And signing up for a SoFi membership qualifies you for rate and loan discounts, including up to $500 off the $1,495 flat mortgage origination fee.
SoFi Mortgage Rates and Fees
SoFi updates its online APRs daily for 10, 15, 20, and 30-year loans. Sample rates don’t include discount points which allows borrowers to see a truer representation of what they may qualify for. To get a personalized estimate, you’ll need to submit your personal information and sign up for an account.
SoFi does charge a flat-rate $1,495 origination fee on all mortgages, which it calls an administration fee. You’ll also have to pay third-party closing costs including title, credit, and appraisal fees.
However, members can qualify for $500 off with a free SoFi membership. Eligible borrowers may also qualify for relationship discounts and exclusive perks. And if you pay your loan off early, there’s no prepayment penalty.
Refinancing Mortgages with SoFi
SoFi services two basic types of refinancing for eligible borrowers. With a traditional refinance, you can qualify with just 5% equity in your home. For a cash-out refinance, you’ll need at least 20% equity and can only pull out 80% of your property’s value. Existing SoFi members can also save $500 on their refinancing costs.
SoFi also offers a student loan cash-out refinance product to help borrowers consolidate and refinance their student loans and mortgage into one bundle. Just remember that you’ll have to pay your mortgage interest rate on any student loans you add into the mix!
How to Qualify for a SoFi Mortgage
SoFi requires a credit score of at least 620 to qualify for a purchase or refinance mortgage. The lender also prefers a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of 43% or less, though borrowers may qualify with a DTI as high as 50%. Additionally, though SoFi doesn’t accept alternative credit data, it does consider unusual employment and income situations.
SoFi Mortgage Features and Benefits
Fast Online Application
SoFi excels as an online lender with near-instant prequalifications, a quick digital application, and even online funding.
You can reach out to your SoFi loan officer anytime for assistance completing your application. And with digital features like electronic employment and asset verification, you can go from rate shopping to approved same day.
As a fintech leader, SoFi is able to provide surprisingly competitive interest rates. The online mortgage lender also advertises rates with no discount points attached so you can see an accurate reflection of what a “typical” borrower may qualify for with 20% down.
Exclusive Member Discounts
SoFi members can qualify for tons of added perks with their free membership, including $500 off their mortgage costs upfront. Using SoFi’s other services, including their investment and banking accounts, may qualify you for other discounts.
You can also get rate reductions on non-home loans and participate in financial webinars and career networking activities. Plus, you’ll enjoy free access to credentialed financial planners, career coaches, and even estate planning services.
Tons of Extra Products
SoFi’s website comes packed with calculators, tips and insights into your local housing market, and articles that guide you through the homebuying process. Plus, as a fintech leader, SoFi provides a broad range of financial products, including:
- The lender’s extensive non-mortgage loan menu
- Student and auto loan refinancing
- Insurance products
- Investment and banking accounts
Plus, there’s SoFi’s expansive partnership menu to consider when searching for other financial products, including home equity loans.
SoFi Mortgage Drawbacks
Limited Loan Options
Despite its fintech status, SoFi Lending Corp. doesn’t offer many mortgages. There are no government-backed loans (such as FHA, VA, or USDA) available and only one low down payment program.
Plus, with no down payment assistance or adjustable-rate mortgage, lower-income borrowers may not find options to suit their needs.
Home Equity Partnerships
Though SoFi says it offers home equity loans, it actually refers you out to a third-party partner, Spring EQ.
No Automatic Rate Locks
Unusually, SoFi doesn’t offer automatic interest rate locks for qualified borrowers. In fact, the lender only entertains requests for 45-day rate locks after you sign a purchase contract or complete your refinance application.
How Does SoFi Home Loans Compare to Other Lenders?
#1. SoFi Mortgage vs. Rocket Mortgage
Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans is an online-only lender that services loans in all 50 states. With high DTI maximums, flexible terms, and near-instant preapprovals, borrowers from all walks of life can get started in minutes.
That said, you’ll have to contend with a limited loan menu and consent to a hard credit check to work with Rocket Mortgage. And if you’re in a hurry, their 40- to 45-day average closing time may not be for you.
>> More: Rocket Mortgage Review
#2. Better Mortgage vs. SoFi Home Loans
Like SoFi, Better.com is another online-only lender that provides a basic loan menu in the majority of (but not all) states.
Better’s claim to fame is their average $3,000 in borrower savings thanks to their lack of mandatory lender fees – though they do charge extra for features like rate locks.
Still, this speedy lender can close as quickly as two weeks on a range of conventional, jumbo, and refinance loans. Plus, they’re willing to work with borrowers in a variety of credit, debt, and income situations.
>> More: Better Mortgage Review
#3. NASB Mortgage vs. SoFi Mortgage
North American Savings Bank is an FDIC-backed bank and home loan lender with flexible borrowing requirements. This mortgage originator boasts a robust online portal to accompany its smattering of physical branches in the Kansas City, Missouri area.
Though it specializes in VA loans and conventional products, borrowers can also peruse its menu of specialty mortgages, including bank statement, FLEX, and bridge loans. That said, borrowers hoping for USDA, home improvement, or home equity products will have to look elsewhere.
>> More: NASB Mortgage Review
#4. SoFi Mortgage vs. Movement Mortgage
Movement Mortgage is a hybrid lender that operates in all 50 states and has an impressive 650 branches across the nation.
The lender services a robust loan menu including conventional, government-backed, and low credit score loans. Movement Mortgage also boasts an impressive 7-day closing time in 75% of cases, though you’ll need to fill out a form and wait for the lender to contact you to get started.
>> More: Movement Mortgage Review
What Credit Score Do You Need for SoFi Mortgages?
SoFi focuses less on your credit history and more on your employment, income, and assets for approving mortgages. That said, the lender prefers borrowers with at least a 620-credit score, as they don’t accept alternative credit data.
Is SoFi a Good Choice for Mortgage Refinancing?
SoFi offers competitive refinance rates on both its cash-out and rate-and-term refinance loans. Eligible borrowers may also bundle their student loans and mortgage into a single refinance loan.
Is SoFi Home Loans a Direct Lender?
Yes, SoFi is an online direct lender.
Is SoFi a Good Place to Get a Mortgage?
SoFi is a great mortgage originator if you have good credit and plan to use SoFi’s other services. Eligible members can qualify for additional discounts, and all members can access its impressive array of free perks and benefits.
How Do SoFiMortgage Rates Compare to the National Average?
SoFi’s mortgage rates fall roughly in line with the national average, though you may get a better rate with a higher down payment.
Bottom Line: SoFi Mortgage Review
SoFi is a great option if you want an online experience and plan to take advantage of SoFi’s exceptional free services.
Plus, the all-digital application and mobile app are incredibly convenient, and with fast prequalification, helpful loan officers on hand, and a modern lending experience to boot, SoFi tries to take the hassle out of getting a mortgage.