SoFi Review

Top10.com Staff

In a Nutshell

Social Finance Inc, known as SoFi, is an online lender based in San Francisco. It offers mortgages through its subsidiary SoFi Mortgage. SoFi is best-known for its innovative underwriting process, best in class educational tools and resources, assistance, and easy to use applications.

pros

  • Minimum 10% down payment
  • No hidden fees or pre-payment penalties
  • 100% digital applications

cons

  • No FHA or VA loans
  • Not licensed in all states

SoFi at a Glance

Loan typesPurchase, refinance
Featured loansConventional, jumbo
Repayment terms15- to 30-years
Minimum down payment10%
Minimum credit score660
Best forTransparent, digital application and low down payment options

Visit SoFi

Overview

SoFi was founded in 2011 by 4 Stanford Graduate School of Business students who wanted to come up with a model that would compete with the traditional underwriting process used by banks. By tapping into the latest Silicon Valley technology, SoFi is able to evaluate borrowers on their financial responsibility rather than simply relying on their credit score. SoFi’s model has been very successful. It holds the mark for the fastest independent online lender to $1 billion worth of originations, achieving the feat in 14 months. By the end of 2017, it had issued more than $25 billion worth of home loans, personal loans, and student loan refinancing and currently has over 700,000 clients, who they call members. 

Best For?

This service is intended for people who have decent—but not necessarily excellent—credit and may not have the standard amount to put down. 

Types of Loans

SoFi specializes in conventional loans, offering a choice between fixed rates and adjustable rates. Here are some of the characteristics of a SoFi mortgage:

  • 100% online applications, from first rate quote through to closure
  • Borrower must be at least 18 years old, a US citizen or permanent resident, and live in one of the states where SoFi is licensed to offer its services (see Pros and Cons for excluded states)
  • Option of getting a jumbo loan of up to $3 million
  • Minimum down payment of 10%, which is half the standard 20% down required by most lenders for conventional loans
  • Borrower's debt and professional history are looked at along with an applicant's credit. 

The Application Process

SoFi’s online application form is a little longer than the standard mortgage application form, but with good reason: it looks at the applicants’ overall financial picture and doesn’t just evaluate a candidate on their credit score.

The good news is that SoFi’s powerful online underwriting system quickly looks over all your information to get you pre-qualified within a couple of minutes. It also automates much of the process, saving you the time of uploading dozens of pieces of documentation manually.

Each applicant is assigned a dedicated loan officer to guide them through the application process. The applicant can monitor the approval process in real-time through SoFi’s digital platform.

Here are the steps to applying for a SoFi mortgage:

  • Register for an account and log in using the verification code sent to your email address
  • Enter personal information: Includes name, email, phone number, current home address, whether you own or rent, and your monthly mortgage or rental payments.
  • Enter details about the property you’re looking for: Purchase or refinance, location, primary/secondary home or investment property, how long you plan to live there, type of property, estimated purchase price, estimated down payment, and consent to a soft pull of your credit (which does not affect your credit score). 
  • View pre-qualified rates and terms.
  • Enter employment information: Begin by authorizing SoFi Mortgage to run a credit check, then fill in Social Security number, date of birth, employment status, employer name and contact details, and monthly income.
  • Enter details about any assets: Choose whether to retrieve assets electronically or add assets manually. SoFi requires details about checking and savings accounts, life insurance, vehicles, stocks and bonds, retirement plans, business assets, and other assets.
  • Enter details about any other properties under your ownership.
  • Declare any outstanding court judgments against you, bankruptcies, foreclosures, lawsuits, loan delinquency, alimony or child support. State whether you’ll be borrowing any money to make your down payment.

Pros and Cons

SoFi stands out from other mortgage lenders for 2 reasons: borrowers with less-than-excellent credit have the opportunity to get approved for the minimum rate; and borrowers may pay down as little as 10%. The minimum 10% down payment is a particularly big deal. Most lenders will only agree to a 10% down payment on FHA, VA, or USDA loans—government-backed loans that come with all sorts of other requirements. SoFi lets you take out a conventional loan with 10% down.

The main drawback is that SoFi doesn’t offer its services in a number of states. If you live in one of those states, sorry but SoFi cannot offer you a mortgage.

Rates and Fees– The Bare Basics


RateAPRComments

30-Year Fixed

4% to 5%

4% to 5%

Lower monthly payments

15-Year Fixed

4% to 5%

4% to 5%

Fastest way to pay off loan

7/1 ARM

4% to 5%

4% to 5%

Fixed rate for 7 years, then adjusts annually

5/1 ARM interest-only

4% to 5%

4% to 5%

Interest-only for first 5 years, then principal and interest for rest of term

The above table shows the latest rates according to SoFi’s website. APR incorporates interest rates as well as most fees.

Repayment Terms

SoFi offers repayment terms of 15, 20, 25, or 30 years on each of its loan options.

Help & Support

Although SoFi is a mainly digital business, it does offer phone support. When you begin your mortgage application, SoFi appoints you a loan officer to guide you through the process.

How This Company Compares


SoFi MortgageQuicken LoansJ.G. Wentworth

APRs start from

4.214%

Varies

3.40%

Min. Credit Score 

620

620

620 

Min. Down Payment

10%

20%

20%

Max Debt to Income

50%

50%

45%

Terms

15-30 years

10-30 years

15-30 years

Best For

Low rates with less-than-perfect credit

Range of home loan options

Lowest rates

The above table compares conventional loans from SoFi Mortgage to conventional loans from other lenders. While other lenders offer government-backed loans, SoFi is in the rare position of offering conventional loans with less than 20% down payment.

Summary

SoFi is an excellent option for borrowers who meet its minimum credit requirements but don’t have what the credit bureaus deem to be an “excellent” credit history and are looking for low down payment options. A SoFi mortgage is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a digital lender and do not have the traditional 20% for a down payment

SoFi FAQ

Q: What is the difference between SoFi and SoFi Mortgage

A: SoFi is the parent company. SoFi Mortgage is a subsidiary created in 2018 to exclusively offer mortgages.

Q: Will SoFi run a credit check when assessing my application? 

A: Yes, SoFi does run a credit check of its applicants, and yes, this will affect your credit score. 

Q: Where is SoFi based?

A: SoFi’s headquarters are in San Francisco. It also has a large office in Cottonwood Heights, UT.

Physical Address

SoFi Mortgage LLC

1 Letterman Drive, Building A

San Francisco, CA 94129

Visit SoFi

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