SoFi Mortgage Review 2020
Editor’s note: The overall conclusions, recommendations and opinions are the author’s alone. The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.
Social Finance, Inc., popularly known as SoFi for short, is a nonbank lender that offers a range of financial products, including student loans, personal loans and home loans. SoFi was founded in 2011, is headquartered in San Francisco and became the first company in 2012 to offer student loan refinancing for federal and private student loans. The company began offering mortgages in 2014.
Working with SoFi
SoFi is licensed to lend home loans in the following 42 states, plus the District of Columbia:
SoFi’s online-only model means borrowers can manage their entire homebuying process digitally through the website or mobile app. They can also reach out by phone to speak with a loan officer on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. PT, for more assistance.
SoFi borrowing requirements
The lowest credit score SoFi accepts is 660, which is higher than the minimum 620 credit score many conventional lenders require. To qualify for a jumbo loan, you’ll need a significantly higher minimum credit score – likely 740. SoFi’s minimum down payment amount is 10%, and the maximum debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is 50%.
SoFi offers mortgages on primary residences and second homes for the following property types:
- Single-family homes
- Multifamily homes (two units only)
- Co-ops (jumbo loans only)
- Planned unit developments
SoFi mortgage products
- Conforming (conventional) loans. Repayment terms from 10 to 30 years.
- Jumbo loans. Repayment terms from 10 to 30 years.
SoFi offers purchase mortgages with fixed rates.
- Rate-and-term refinance loans. Maximum 90% loan-to-value ratio.
- Cash-out refinance loans. Maximum 80% loan-to-value ratio.
SoFi offers home equity loans through its partner, Spring EQ, with loan amounts up to $500,000 and repayment terms up to 30 years.
SoFi special mortgage programs
SoFi offers a student loan cash-out refinance program that allows you to eliminate your student loan debt while getting a new mortgage with better terms. Instead of receiving a lump sum from the home equity you cash out, those funds are sent directly to your servicer to pay at least one outstanding student loan balance in full.
The mortgage application process
- How to apply. Borrowers can complete the mortgage application process online or by phone. Loan officers are available by phone to walk you through the process, if necessary. There’s a two-minute prequalification process to determine what mortgage rate and terms you may qualify for, which involves a soft credit pull. Once you’ve decided on a loan, SoFi performs a hard credit pull, which can temporarily drop your credit score by a few points, and you go through the mortgage preapproval process.
- Disclosure process. Borrowers can exchange all info with SoFi through the online portal, where you can review, upload, download and e-sign all documents.
- Submitting loan for approval. You’ll go through the underwriting process, where a loan underwriter verifies your information and submitted documents. They will also request additional documentation as needed.
- Final approval. Once you’ve put in an offer on a home and have completed important tasks such as a home inspection and appraisal, your loan will go through the final approval process. At this point, you’ll be cleared for closing if all goes well. You may also lock your mortgage rate for 45 days – once a seller has accepted your home purchase offer.
- Closing. You’ll schedule your mortgage closing day, which may need to happen in person depending on local laws. Once it arrives, you’ll pay your down payment and closing costs, sign documents and receive your house keys. SoFi says it typically takes about 30 days for home loans to close.
Communication during the process
During the homebuying experience, borrowers can expect to communicate with SoFi reps through a combination of phone calls, emails and SoFi’s online portal. You’ll have an assigned loan officer, from the initial application through the preapproval and rate lock, to help guide you through the process. If you need additional help, member specialists are also available to answer additional questions.
Pros and cons of a SoFi mortgage
- Offers a fully digital application process
- Offers 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year loan terms
- Provides a student loan cash-out refinance program
- Provides several perks and experiences for members
- No available low-income home loan options
- No FHA, USDA or VA loan options
- No lending options for three- and four-unit homes
- No physical branches
- Website lacks information on loan servicing after closing