How to improve my credit?


Credit scores analyze a borrower's credit history considering numerous factors such as:

  • Late payments
  • The amount of time credit has been established
  • The amount of credit used versus the amount of credit available
  • Length of time at present residence
  • Employment history
  • Negative credit information such as bankruptcies, charge-offs, collections, etc. There are really three FICO scores computed by data provided by each of the three bureaus––Experian, Trans Union and Equifax. Some lenders use one of these three scores, while other lenders may use the middle score.


How to improve my score?


While it is difficult to increase your score over the short run, here are some tips to increase your score over a period of time.

  • Pay your bills on time. Late payments and collections can have a serious impact on your score.
  • Do not apply for credit frequently. Having a large number of inquiries on your credit report can worsen your score.
  • Reduce your credit-card balances. If you are "maxed" out on your credit cards, this will affect your credit score negatively.
  • If you have limited credit, obtain additional credit. Not having sufficient credit can negatively impact your score.


What is a mortgage loan?


A loan that is secured by property or real estate is called a mortgage. In exchange for funds received by the homebuyer to buy property or a home, a lender gets the promise of that buyer to pay back the funds within a certain time frame for a certain cost.


What is refinancing the house?


Refinancing is the process of obtaining a new mortgage in an effort to reduce monthly payments, lower your interest rates, take cash out of your home for large purchases, or change mortgage companies.


Will applying for a mortgage or mortgage refinancing affect my credit?


To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.


Will checking the rates and terms that I qualify for affect my credit?


To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.


What types of properties are eligible?


Mortgages are available for primary owner-occupied residences and second homes. This includes single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and PUDs in which borrower(s) is the primary occupant. Rental properties, tenancies-in-common (TICs), and co-ops are not eligible.


Who can apply for a SoFi mortgage?


All applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and be the age of majority in their state of residence. Applicants must also reside in one of our eligible states. Mortgage eligibility also depends on a number of additional factors, such as credit scores, income, employment status, and property eligibility. Please review SoFi’s mortgage eligibility criteria for further details.


What is the minimum down payment SoFi will accept?


We may require as little as a 10% down payment for well-qualified applicants. Maximum loan amount and program requirements apply.


Can I refinance an existing mortgage?


Yes, qualified applicants may apply for refinancing.


Do you require private mortgage insurance (PMI)?


No, we do not require PMI on any of our loans.


What is the difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval?


A pre-qualification is an estimate of how much you can borrow and the rates you may be eligible for (as determined using today’s rates), based on a preliminary review of your credit report and information you provided to us. With SoFi, there is no fee to get pre-qualified and we do a soft credit pull, which means it won’t affect your credit score. A pre-approval is a more formal offer, based on a complete credit check, evaluation of your employment history, income and assets, and the completion of the Automated Valuation Model (AVM) for the property you’d like to purchase. A pre-approval allows you to submit an offer with confidence that you are personally approved for a loan. Once you have identified a property to purchase, it must meet SoFi property eligibility standards.


Does SoFi require a property appraisal?


Yes, but unlike many traditional lenders, getting a mortgage with SoFi is usually not contingent upon how much the property is appraised for. This is because SoFi uses an Automated Valuation Model (AVM) as part of the pre-approval process to approve the value of the property for purchase. In most cases, as long as the purchase price satisfies the AVM, you will be able to get a mortgage for the amount determined as part of the pre-approval process. But, prior to final approval of the loan, a property appraisal with an interior and exterior inspection will still need to be completed to verify the property meets eligibility standards.


What is your rate lock policy?


SoFi may grant requests for a 30-day rate lock after receipt of a signed purchase contract or a fully completed refinance application. Otherwise, please note that mortgage rates may change on a daily basis


Do you charge loan origination fees?


No, we do not charge origination fees on our mortgage products. However, you will still be responsible for standard third-party closing costs as well as other fees like credit report and flood certification.


What are standard third-party closing costs?


Closing costs are costs associated with a new mortgage or a refinance of an existing mortgage. Typical closing costs include fees for appraisal, title insurance, title search, transfer taxes, settlement services, property taxes and hazard insurance premiums and government recording fees. These fees vary depending on the transaction type and the geographic location of the property.

Are there prepayment penalties?


No, you can pay off your loan early without incurring a prepayment penalty.