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SoFi Mortgages review

SoFi is a super-fast, digital-only loan solution that manages to create an unrivalled community spirit too.

SoFi
(Image: © SoFi)

Our Verdict

SoFi offers a high-speed mortgage and refinance platform with member benefits and services at its core that make it feel like more of a community than a loan provider. Setting up, form-filling and information finding might be a little trickier than with some of its peers, but a swift response can be expected.

For

  • Super-fast pre-qualification process
  • Member community is excellent
  • No hidden or unnecessary fees

Against

  • No physical store
  • Fairly tight lending regulations means it's not easily available to everyone

SoFi Mortgages has secured its status as one of the best refinance mortgage companies - and a top mortgage lender overall - thanks to its ability to offer affordable loans fast, while retaining a commitment to top-notch support.  

Key to this support is the membership platform that SoFi has to offer, a feature designed to save you money if you join the company as a member, and also offers an array of extra benefits, including discounts on loans and access to financial advisors. 

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As to getting a mortgage loan itself, everything is online and your application results will be available in a matter of minutes. The Home Loan Help Center should also have all the answers to your credit score and paperwork queries. 

That said, SoFi does fall down slightly when it comes to trying to find out detailed information about its various packages, while the initial information gathering process is not as simple and straightforward as it could be. The minimum credit score requirement of 680 means some borrowers will not be able to find a loan with SoFi too. 

The platform offers conventional loans, including jumbo mortgages, but not government-backed mortgages. Fixed rates are available for 15 and 30 years, and there are adjustable rate mortgages that offer lower interest rates, although an expectation that borrowers have a 10% down payment for 7/1 and 25% down payment for 5/1 can make it an unaffordable option for some. If you want to refinance your home, you will need at least 10% equity.

SoFi Mortgages review: Application process

SoFi Mortgages: Key features

Application process: Online, accessible after initial admin
APR: Dependent on loan
Fees: No unnecessary fees
Calculators, service and support: Mortgage calculator, online help center and additional community driven support

  • Designed to be digital-only process 
  • Slow at first, then excels

The entire mortgage application process with SoFi can be completed online, with phone assistance available from its mortgage loan officers and member specialists should you so need. However, that said, the process can prove a bit more intimidating than other platforms, with the promise on their website that home loans are “just clicks away” perhaps worthy of a little adjustment. 

High-end security powers the basic forms and applications and you’re expected to digitally sign acceptance of various terms of use and policy agreements before you can even start the process. Compared with the simplicity and clarity of Credible and Reali Loans, this can make the SoFi platform seem a little unwelcoming at first. 

A soft credit pull is used to get your rate, with the website blurb claiming that it takes just two minutes to get pre-qualified online. You then move onto pre-approval, which understandably takes more time and will require you to have documents including W-2, tax returns, pay stubs, bank account statements, and asset and retirement paperwork.

Stick with it, though, and once you’ve registered and become a part of the SoFi ecosystem, you’re in for a digital treat. It is solid, secure and feels really trustworthy as you navigate through the different options. 

SoFi Mortgages review: Credit score requirements

  • Conventional loans minimum 660
  • Jumbo loans 720 or more

The credit score requirements of SoFi are higher than some of its competitors, with a minimum score of FICO 660 needed for a conventional loan. Jumbo loans will require a score of 720 or better. The soft credit check required to check rates and terms to see if you qualify in the first instance doesn't impact your credit score; it is only once you choose a product and provide your consent that a full credit report will be requested. 

SoFi Mortgages Review

(Image credit: Future)

SoFi Mortgages review: Other requirements

  • Age of majority in state
  • Minimum 10% down payment 

As well as a decent credit score, mortgage and refinance loan eligibility depends on a number of additional factors, including monthly income and expenses, assets, and employment status and history. You must be at least the age of majority in your state and a U.S. citizen (or an eligible permanent resident alien or non-permanent resident alien). The property you are purchasing or refinancing will have been your primary residence or second home for at least 12 months, and not an investment property. As there are nine states in which mortgage loans are not available, you’ll need to check the SoFi website to make sure they cover where you live. 

In terms of down payment, SoFi offers conventional and jumbo mortgages for as little as 10% down, although this will ultimately depend on the loan amount. Refinance is also available at 10% down too. 

SoFi Mortgages review: Interest rates and initial charges

  • Rates revealed on pre-qualification
  • Processing fee of $1,495

SoFi does not reveal general mortgage rates on its site, so you will need to do some form-filling to find out the terms that are available to you. 

As well as the usual appraisal, title and credit report fees, SoFi has a home loan processing fee of $1,495, although this will be reduced by $500 if you have a SoFi personal loan, student loan or a balance of at least $50,000 in a SoFi investment account. 

SoFi Mortgages review: Other potential fees

  • No hidden fees
  • May need home insurance

As a digital-only platform, SoFi keeps overheads low, and so can follow in Reali’s footsteps by removing unnecessary costs from its overall offering. While there are no hidden fees as such, it is worth pointing out that for mortgages with a loan to value ratio greater than 80%, SoFi does require borrower paid mortgage insurance, so include that in your budget if you need to. 

SoFi Mortgages: Service

  • Wide variety of information
  • Excellent member community

Few mortgage lenders can compare with the variety of services that SoFi has to offer. The Home Loan Help Center has all the information you should need around credit scores, home loans, and understanding the various terminology used by most home loan platforms.

Even more impressive are the benefits unlocked when you become a member, including career guidance, discounts on loans, networking opportunities, unemployment protection, and access to financial advisors. The exclusive online community promises much too, from “money hacks to surprise swag giveaways”.

On the downside, some of the more important rate and fee information is difficult to find and the FAQ section could benefit from more detailed answers to some questions. The absence of a live chat option is also maybe a little puzzling for an online-only platform, although customer service support over the phone is available from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. most week days. 

SoFi Mortgages review: Calculators

SoFi mortgage calculator

(Image credit: SoFi)

The SoFi mortgage calculator provides all the functions you would typically expect, while there is a neat amortization chart to go with the usual figures. 

SoFi Mortgages review: What users say

  • Trustpilot score of 4 stars
  • ConsumerAffairs score of 2.2 stars

 SoFi has been rated by Trustpilot, which aggregates user reviews, as a 4 stars out of 5. This is based on over 2,400 reviews at the time of publishing which gets it a rating of "great" overall. That comes from 81% excellent reviews, 7% great, 3% average, 2% poor and 7% bad.

Overall ratings on ConsumerAffairs are less favorable, at around 2.2 stars out of 5, based on 240 ratings submitted in the past year. It is worth noting, however, that SoFi is one of the few companies to reply to customer comments on the platform. 

Should you use SoFi Mortgages?

Get past the initial form-filling and SoFi offers a very fast and streamlined mortgage and refinance application solution. Everything can be done online, including pre-qualification and pre-approval, while the Home Loan Help Center should have most of the answers you’re looking for. Really making SoFi stand out, however, is membership of its community, which offers invaluable support in a wide number of forms and paves the way to discounted fees too. 

The credit score requirements will be too much for some, but if you qualify, the down payments required are eminently achievable, and there are no hidden fees to fear either. While SoFi claims it takes two minutes to initially apply, we admit that it did take us three. No matter, it was, on the whole, an extra minute well spent.  


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