SoFi Mortgage Review 2020

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

Barbara MarquandOctober 12, 2020
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Our Take

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: SoFi excels in online convenience for conventional loan borrowers, but the website requires creating an account to see mortgage rates.

SoFi

at SoFi

Min. Credit Score

660

Conventional:

660

Min. Down Payment

10%

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Fixed, Adjustable

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Provides an entirely digital mortgage application.

  • May consider vested restricted stock units as income.

  • SoFi members may qualify for a $500 discount on mortgage fees.

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 eight states.

Compare to Other Lenders

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Min. Credit Score

660

Conventional:

660

Min. Credit Score

620

Conventional:

620

FHA:

620

VA:

620

Min. Credit Score

620

Conventional:

620

Min. Down Payment

10%

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

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Full Review

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, getting a mortgage may be a bit of a challenge. Lenders are dealing with high loan demand and staffing issues that may slow down the process. Also, some lenders have increased their fees or temporarily suspended certain loan products. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For the latest information on how to cope with financial stress during this pandemic, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

SoFi mortgages 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 for mortgages:

  • Variety of loan types: 3 of 5 stars

  • Variety of loan products: 1 of 5 stars

  • Online convenience: 5 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 3.5 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 1 of 5 stars

SoFi mortgage loan types and products

SoFi offers conforming conventional mortgages with a minimum down payment requirement of as little as 10%. Options include 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year fixed mortgages. SoFi says it has temporarily stopped offering jumbo mortgages, due to market conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Jumbo loans accounted for about 22% of SoFi's total loan volume in 2019, 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.

To qualify for a mortgage with SoFi, the property you're purchasing must be your primary or second home for at least 12 months. SoFi does not offer mortgages for investment property.

When evaluating a borrower's income, SoFi considers restricted stock units as income once the units have vested. Technology employers commonly grant RSUs as stock-based compensation to employees, but not all lenders count them as income when making loan decisions.

SoFi also considers nontraditional income for self-employed borrowers with IRS K-1 or Schedule E tax forms. The lender says it allows those borrowers to use business funds for down payment and closing costs.

You can't borrow more than 80% of the property value for a SoFi cash-out refinance or 90% 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 Alaska, Hawaii, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota or West Virginia.

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 online convenience

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:

  • A lender's average origination fee compared with the median of all lenders reporting under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. SoFi earns 3 of 5 stars on this factor.

  • A lender's offered mortgage rates compared with the best available on comparable loans. SoFi earns 4 of 5 stars on this factor.

Customers who have a SoFi personal loan, 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 does not publish general mortgage rates on its site. To get a 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.

More from NerdWallet

NerdWallet’s star ratings for mortgage lenders are awarded based on our evaluation of the products and services each lender offers to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The five key areas we evaluated include the variety of loan types and products offered, online conveniences, online mortgage rate information, and the rate spread and origination fee lenders reported in the latest available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. To ensure consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Mortgages team.