SoFi Mortgage Review 2021

Good for: borrowers seeking an entirely digital application process for conventional purchase mortgages or refinancing.

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Our Take

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

SoFi excels in online convenience for conventional loan borrowers, but to see customized mortgage rates, you must create an account.

SoFi

at SoFi

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

5%

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Fixed, Adjustable

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Provides an entirely digital mortgage application.
  • SoFi members may qualify for a $500 discount on mortgage fees.
  • Mortgage rates tend to be on the low side, according to the latest available data.

Cons

  • Does not offer government-backed loans, such as FHA or VA.
  • Requires users to create an account to see customized mortgage rates.
  • SoFi mortgages are unavailable in four states.

Compare to Other Lenders

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

5%

Min. Down Payment

3%

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Fixed, Adjustable

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA

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Full Review

The coronavirus pandemic introduced some new challenges to getting a mortgage. Many lenders facing high loan demand and staffing issues increased their fees, adjusted minimum required credit scores or temporarily suspended certain loan products. While some products and business practices have returned to pre-pandemic levels, you might still find delays and limited options. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For information on how to cope with financial stress during this pandemic, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

SoFi at a glance

SoFi (short for "Social Finance") is a digital personal finance company that offers a suite of products, including student loan refinancing, personal loans, cash management and investment accounts, as well as home loans. The company's mortgage arm, SoFi Lending Corp., was among the first home loan lenders to offer an all-digital application.

Here’s a breakdown of SoFi's overall score:

  • Variety of loan types: 3 of 5 stars

  • Ease of application: 5 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 3 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 3 of 5 stars

SoFi mortgage loan types

SoFi offers conforming conventional mortgages with a minimum down payment requirement of as little as 5%. Options include 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year fixed mortgages. SoFi says it temporarily stopped offering jumbo mortgages due to market conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Jumbo loans accounted for about 2% of SoFi's total loan volume in 2020, according to federal Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data.

Borrowers looking for government-backed mortgages, such as FHA loans and VA loans, will have to go elsewhere. SoFi doesn't offer those products or connect borrowers with state housing finance agency down payment assistance programs.

SoFi offers purchase and refinance mortgages for primary and second homes that you will own for at least 12 months. The lender also offers mortgages for investment property.

SoFi considers nontraditional income for self-employed borrowers with Schedule E tax forms.

You can't borrow more than 80% of the property value for a SoFi cash-out refinance or 95% for other mortgage refinancing. Another option is a student loan cash-out refinance, in which home equity is used to pay off student debt.

The lender originates mortgages in most states and Washington, D.C., but not in Hawaii, Missouri, New Mexico or New York.

Getting a mortgage through SoFi or using any other product through the company qualifies you for SoFi membership. Benefits of membership include access to networking events, complimentary financial planning and career coaching through a partnership with Korn Ferry. Members can also get rate discounts on other types of SoFi loans.

» MORE: Use our mortgage calculator to find out your monthly mortgage payment.

SoFi mortgage ease of application

SoFi can give you an upfront mortgage preapproval online if you qualify for a loan. Preapproval shows sellers that you've been vetted as a qualified buyer with the financial ability to purchase a home.

Once you choose and get approved for a specific mortgage product, you'll work with a SoFi loan officer who will shepherd your application through underwriting, answer your questions and guide your loan to the closing table.

SoFi's digital platform features electronic employment verification, importing of asset statements from U.S. financial institutions, online document exchange, e-signature and loan process updates.

SoFi does not have branches for in-person service. Mortgage loan officers and representatives provide help throughout the process online and by phone.

SoFi mortgage rates and fees

One of the most important considerations when choosing a mortgage lender is understanding what the loan will cost. In order to provide consumers with a general sense of what a lender might charge, NerdWallet scores lenders on two factors regarding fees and mortgage rates, according to the most recently available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data:

  • SoFi earns 2 of 5 stars for average origination fee.

  • SoFi earns 4 of 5 stars for offered mortgage rates compared with the best available rates on comparable loans.

Customers who have a SoFi personal loan or student loan or a balance of at least $50,000 in a SoFi investment account can get a $500 discount on the loan processing fee for their first mortgage with SoFi.

Borrowers should consider the balance between lender fees and mortgage rates. While it's not always the case, paying upfront fees can lower your mortgage interest rate. Some lenders will charge higher upfront fees to lower their advertised interest rate and make it more attractive. Some lenders just charge higher upfront fees.

You can decide to buy discount points — a fee paid with your closing costs — to reduce your mortgage rate.

Deciding whether to pay higher upfront fees is a matter of considering how long you plan to live in your home and how much cash you have to apply toward closing costs when you sign the loan paperwork.

SoFi mortgage rate transparency

SoFi publishes a few general mortgage rates on its site. To get a customized rate quote, you'll need to fill out an online form with your personal information. SoFi will conduct a soft credit check — one that doesn't impact your credit score — to check rates and terms to see what you qualify for. After you choose a product and continue the application, SoFi will request a full credit report from one or more of the consumer credit reporting agencies.

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