- SoFi, commonly known as a student loan lender with student loan refinancing, is branching out to mortgage products. It is based in San Francisco, doesn’t currently have a physician’s mortgage program. They have mentioned this on their list of future products, however.
- If you’re looking for something comparable to a physician’s mortgage, it can be worth the call to inquire about what SoFi can offer you to help you purchase your home.
- SoFi currently offers down payments on traditional mortgages as low as 3%.
Buying a home can be a landmark moment. SoFi is a financial institution based in California that specializes in student loan refinance options, PLUS loans and flexible repayment terms. They don’t currently offer physician’s mortgages but does offer some good deals on home mortgages and student loan debt consolidation and says they may offer a doctor’s mortgage in the future. For these reasons, they’re included here.
Over 60% of Americans own their own home, with home ownership rates increasing steadily since the 1940s. SoFi offers perks of up to $9,500, low down payment options, and has a simple online application process.
Here’s some more information about SoFi mortgages and their benefits and drawbacks.
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Pros/Cons of SoFi mortgage loans
SoFi has several mortgage options to choose from that can allow you to jump into home ownership sooner than some major banks. Here’s an analysis of what they offer and how you could benefit.
Establishing a mortgage with SoFi presents numerous possible benefits.
Access to low down payments for first time home buyers. With a mortgage from SoFi, first-time buyers who qualify can provide a low down payment of just 3%, and all other borrowers can supply a down payment of just 5%. Many major banks require a down payment of 5-20%, and so, depending on your personal finances, you could potentially succeed in applying for a mortgage with a smaller amount of savings set aside if you go with SoFi.
A simple online application process. SoFi aims to make applying for a mortgage easy and doesn’t force you to search for a loan agent on your own or contact someone by phone to get the ball rolling. Almost all the information you need to make your decision is on their website including precise and current rates for fixed 30, 30, 15, and 10-year mortgages. You can calculate your estimated loan amount and any origination fees using their convenient online calculator for either the purchase or refi of a home.
You can start your application online by providing some basic personal information to discover personalized rates. Doing so won’t affect your credit score and it can provide you with the information you need to make your decision.
Various mortgage options. SoFi offers various mortgage year terms with no prepayment penalties including:
- 30-year fixed rate
- 20-year fixed rate
- 14-year fixed rate
- 10-year fixed rate
A fixed rate mortgage has the benefit of offering you access to a consistent interest rate that stays the same over the course of your mortgage loan term. This means the percentage rate won’t fluctuate up and down with markets like it does with variable-rate loans. While this means you could potentially pay more over the years, you could also pay some of the lowest rates, if markets swing quite high.
A fixed-rate mortgage allows you to budget more easily and make long-term projections with your personal finances because you always know how much your monthly bills will be when it comes to your mortgage, which can provide you with stability and security.
Chances to obtain cash back. SoFi also offers you the chance to earn between $350 and $9500 cash back when you buy or sell a home with HomeStory Rewards. These rewards vary depending on the price of your home but can help you earn and save.
Wide availability. Because SoFi is a digital, online personal finance company, its products are available across the country. The company is registered to do business in all 50 states. Sofi members are eligible for rate discounts such as autopay discounts if set up automatic payments via ACH from your bank account.
SoFi mortgages do come with a few drawbacks, as with any mortgage loans.
Potential higher monthly payments. If you get a conforming home loan with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of greater than 80%, SoFi will require you to obtain private mortgage insurance (PMI). This can add anywhere from 0.5% to 2% of your loan balance to your annual payments, adding up to a few thousand extra dollars each year in loan payments. This insurance protects lenders in case a client defaults on their loan.
Only fixed rate mortgages. Fixed-rate mortgages come with some benefits, as outlined above, but they also present some disadvantages. SoFi only offers fixed-rate mortgages and so, if the markets swing low and interest rates fall lower than the rate you signed for on your mortgage, you could potentially be paying more per month in interest than you would if you had obtained a variable-rate mortgage. In this way, a fixed-rate mortgage can cost you more money, in the long run.
The lower interest rates are only for first-time buyers. Sofi’s offer of a mortgage with just 3% down is only available to first-time buyers. In addition, this institution doesn’t have any mortgages for 0%, which is something physician’s mortgage programs at other institutions often offer.
How to apply
You can start your loan application directly on the company’s website. Certain state restrictions and conditions apply. Only available to U.S. citizens, permanent residents or visa holders.
The website will walk you through the eligibility process and you’ll see your options in just minutes. You’ll be asked to provide some personal information such as your:
- First, middle, and last names
- Phone number
- Email address
- Your date of birth
To qualify for a mortgage, you often also need to present the following to underwriting:
- Tax returns from recent years
- Detailed information related to your present debt (federal student loans, private student loans, personal loans, credit cards, etc.).
- Proof of your income
- Your social security number
- Your most recent bank statements (savings and checking accounts)
You can also reach a SoFi mortgage loan officer by calling: 833-943-7634.
Is using a SoFi mortgage a good idea?
SoFi Lending Corp is a private lender and is a smaller financial institution compared to the major banks in the US. Because of this, you may find you can be approved for a mortgage here if you’re having difficulty getting approved elsewhere. With just 3% needed for a down payment for first-time buyers, this can be an attractive way to go. If you already own a home and you’re looking to refinance it in order to renovate or pay off some loans, SoFi also offers refinancing and school loan repayment options so they could be worth contacting.
If you’re a practicing physician, medical resident or a medical student about to graduate medical school and are looking to explore physician mortgage loans in your state, check out our state-by-state guide to physician loans as a starting point in your search.
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Joshua Holt is a licensed mortgage loan originator (NMLS #2306824) and founder of Biglaw Investor. His mortgage expertise lies in the areas of professional mortgage loans, particularly for lawyers, doctors and other high-income professionals. Prior to Biglaw Investor, Josh practiced private equity mergers & acquisition law for one of the largest law firms in the country.