Choosing Between a Mortgage Recast and a Mortgage Refinance

Choosing Between a Mortgage Recast and a Mortgage Refinance

If your monthly mortgage payment no longer fits your lifestyle or financial goals, you may be able to change it with mortgage refinancing or recasting. Recasting and refinancing are two ways a borrower can save on mortgage costs — sometimes a jaw-dropping amount. To understand which might be best for you, it helps to understand the difference between them and the pros and cons of each.

Key Points

•   Mortgage recasting involves making a large payment towards the principal and recalculating monthly payments on the remaining balance.

•   Refinancing replaces an existing mortgage with a new one, potentially with different terms and rates.

•   Recasting keeps the original loan’s term and rate but lowers monthly payments due to the reduced principal.

•   Refinancing can lower interest rates and monthly payments, and may allow for cash-out options.

•   Both options aim to reduce mortgage costs, but the best choice depends on individual financial situations and goals.

Recasting vs Refinancing

Recasting is the reamortizing of an existing mortgage, meaning the lender will recalculate your monthly payments. Refinancing involves taking out a completely new mortgage with a new rate, and possibly a new term, and paying off your old mortgage in the process.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


Recasting

If your lender offers mortgage recasting and your loan is eligible, here’s how it works: You make a large lump-sum payment — $10,000 might be required — toward the principal balance of your mortgage loan. The lender recalculates the monthly payments based on the new, lower balance, which shrinks the payments. The lender may charge a few hundred dollars to reamortize the loan.

Mortgage recasting does not change your loan length or interest rate. But because your principal amount is lower, you’ll have lower monthly payments and will pay less interest over the life of the loan.

If you were to put a chunk of money toward your mortgage principal and not recast the loan, your payments would not change, though the extra principal payment would reduce your interest expense over the life of the loan.

Who might opt for mortgage recasting? Someone who has received a windfall and wants to put it toward the mortgage might like this option. Sometimes it’s someone who has bought a new home but hasn’t sold the previous one. Once the old home is sold, the homeowner can use some of the proceeds to recast the new mortgage.

Another fan of recasting might be someone who wants to use the lump sum to pay their loan down to 80% of the home’s value so they can stop paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

FHA, VA, and USDA loans are not eligible for mortgage recasting. Some jumbo loans are also excluded. If you want to change the monthly payments on those types of mortgages, you’ll need to refinance your loan.

Refinancing

When you seek refinancing, you’re applying for a brand-new loan with a new rate and terms and possibly from a new lender. Most people’s goal is a lower interest rate, a shorter loan term, or both.

While finding a competitive offer might take some legwork, refinancing could help you save money. A lower interest rate for a home loan of the same length will reduce monthly payments and the total amount of interest paid over the life of the loan.

A homeowner who refinances to a shorter term, say from 30 years to 15, will pay much less total loan interest. Fifteen-year mortgages also often come with a lower interest rate than 30-year home loans.

Equity-rich homeowners who’d like to get their hands on cash may find cash-out refinancing appealing.


💡 Quick Tip: Lowering your monthly payments with a mortgage refinance from SoFi can help you find money to pay down other debt, build your rainy-day fund, or put more into your 401(k).

Pros and Cons of Recasting

Mortgage recasting lowers your monthly mortgage payments and lets you save on total loan interest while keeping the same interest rate. Since you recast your mortgage with your existing lender, the process is pretty straightforward, and the cost could be as low as $150.

There are some potential drawbacks to mortgage recasting, however. Making a large lump-sum payment means you could be trading liquidity for equity, and creating financial instability if unexpected expenses arise or if the housing market takes a downward turn.

If you have other debts with higher interest rates, you may want to avoid mortgage recasting. It could make more sense to use the money you would put toward the principal to pay down your higher-interest debt first.

Recommended: Cash-Out Refinance vs HELOC

Pros and Cons of Refinancing

If you are eligible to refinance, you won’t need a large cash source in order to lower your mortgage payments. Instead, your main goal is to qualify for a lower interest rate. If you succeed, you will save a lot of money in interest over time.

With a cash-out refi, you can use that money for whatever you need: pay down higher-interest debt, add to the college fund, or remodel your kitchen.

Refinancing involves what looks like a bummer: closing costs, which could range from 2% to 6% of the remaining principal. You’re taking out a new mortgage, after all. Some lenders will let you roll closing costs into your loan.

A lower rate could make it all worthwhile, though. It’s a good idea to calculate the break-even point, when interest savings will exceed closing costs. Everything beyond that break-even point will be savings.

Reducing your loan term with a refi could result in a higher mortgage payment but tremendous interest savings over the life of the new loan.

Refinancing may make sense for homeowners who are planning to stay put for years; those who want to switch their adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate one; and borrowers with FHA loans who want to shed mortgage insurance premiums (MIP), on a loan they’ve paid down or a home that has appreciated. Most FHA loans carry mortgage insurance for the life of the loan.

No matter the home financing topic, find a lender willing to provide transparent answers to your mortgage questions.


💡 Quick Tip: Generally, the lower your debt-to-income ratio, the better loan terms you’ll be offered. One way to improve your ratio is to increase your income (hello, side hustle!). Another way is to consolidate your debt and lower your monthly debt payments.

The Takeaway

A mortgage recast vs. refinance: different animals with similar aims. A recast requires a lump sum but will shrink payments and total loan interest. A mortgage refinance may greatly reduce borrower costs and sometimes free up cash. Which one is right for you will depend on your current loan terms and your available cash, among other factors.

SoFi can help you save money when you refinance your mortgage. Plus, we make sure the process is as stress-free and transparent as possible. SoFi offers competitive fixed rates on a traditional mortgage refinance or cash-out refinance.

A new mortgage refinance could be a game changer for your finances.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


*SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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What Is an IPO?

What Is an IPO?

An IPO, or initial public offering, refers to privately owned companies selling shares of the business to the general public for the first time.

“Going public” has benefits: It can boost a company’s profile, bring prestige to the management team, and raise cash that can be used for expanding the business.

But there are downsides to going public as well. The IPO process can be costly and time-consuming, and subject the business to a high level of scrutiny.

Key Points

•   An IPO, or initial public offering, is when a privately owned company sells shares of the business to the general public for the first time.

•   Companies typically hire investment bankers and lawyers to help them with the IPO process.

•   Reasons for a company IPO include raising capital, providing an exit opportunity for early stakeholders, and gaining more liquidity and publicity.

•   Pros of an IPO include an opportunity to raise capital, future access to capital, increased liquidity, and exposure.

•   Cons of an IPO include costs and time, disclosure obligations, liability, and a loss of managerial flexibility.

How Do IPOs Work?

To have an IPO, a company must file a prospectus with the SEC. The company will use the prospectus to solicit investors, and it includes key information like the terms of the securities offered and the business’s overall financial condition.

Behind the scenes, companies typically hire investment bankers and lawyers to help them with the IPO process. The investment bankers act as underwriters, or buyers of the shares from the company before transferring them to the public market. The underwriters at the investment bank help the company determine the offering price, the number of shares that will be offered, and other relevant details.

The company will also apply to list their stock on one of the different stock exchanges, like the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq Stock Exchange.

IPO Price vs Opening Price

The IPO price is the price at which shares of a company are set before they are sold on a stock exchange. As soon as markets open and the stock is actively traded, that price begins to go up or down depending on consumer demand, which is known as the opening price.

💡 Quick Tip: The best stock trading app? That’s a personal preference, of course. Generally speaking, though, a great app is one with an intuitive interface and powerful features to help make trades quickly and easily.

History of IPOs

While there are some indications that shares of businesses were traded during the Roman Republic, the first modern IPO is widely considered to have been offered by the Dutch East India Company in the early 1600s. In general, the Dutch are credited with inventing the stock exchange, with shares of the Dutch East India Company being the sole company trading in Amsterdam for many years.

In the U.S., Bank of North America conducted the first American IPO, which likely took place in 1783. A report claims investors hiding cash in carriages evaded British soldiers to buy shares of the first American IPO.

Henry Goldman led investment bank Goldman Sachs’ first IPO — United Cigar Manufacturers Co. — in 1906, pioneering a new way of valuing companies. A challenge for retail companies at the time was that they lacked hard assets, as other big businesses like railroads had at the time. Goldman pushed to value companies based on their income or earnings, which remains a key part of IPO valuations today.

Why Does A Company IPO, or “Go Public”?

Defining what an IPO is doesn’t explain why a company “goes public” — an important detail in the process. Because an IPO requires a significant amount of time and resources, a business probably has good reason to go through the trouble.

Raising Money

A common reason is to raise capital (money) for possible expansion. Prior to an IPO, a private company may procure funding through angel investors, venture capitalists, private investors, and so on.

A company may reach a size where it is no longer able to procure enough capital from these sources to fund further expansion. Offering sales of stock to the public may allow a company to access this rapid influx of investment capital.


💡 Quick Tip: Keen to invest in an IPO? Be sure to check with your brokerage about what’s required. Typically IPO stock is available only to eligible investors.

Exit Opportunity

An IPO may be a way for early stakeholders, such as angel investors and venture-capital firms, to cash out of their holdings. Venture-capital firms in particular have their own investors that need to provide returns for. IPOs are a way for them to transfer their share of a private company by selling their equity to public investors.

More Liquidity

Venture-capital firms and angel investors aren’t the only ones who may be seeking more liquidity for stakes in companies. Liquidity refers to the ease with which an investor can sell an asset. Stocks tend to be much more liquid assets than private-company stakes.

Hence, employees with equity options can also use IPOs as a way to gain more liquidity for their holdings, although they are usually subject to lock-up periods.

Publicity

From the roadshow that investment banks hold to inform potential investors about the company to when executives may ring the opening bell at a stock exchange, an IPO can bring out greater publicity for a company.

Being listed as a public company also exposes a business to a wider variety of investors, allowing the business to obtain more name recognition.

Pros and Cons of an IPO

As with any business decision, there are downsides and risks to going public that should be considered in conjunction with the potential benefits. Here’s a look at a few:

Pros

Cons

An IPO may allow a company to raise capital on a scale otherwise unavailable to it. It can use these funds to expand the business, build infrastructure, and to fund research and development. Public companies must keep the public informed about their business operations and finance. They are subject to a host of filing requirements from the SEC, from initial disclosure obligations to quarterly and annual financial reports.
After an IPO, companies can issue more stock, which can help with future efforts to raise capital. Companies and company leaders may be liable if legal obligations like quarterly and annual filings aren’t met.
IPOs increase liquidity, which allows business owners and employees to more easily exercise stock options or sell shares. Public companies must consider the concerns and opinions of a potentially vast pool of investors. Private companies on the other hand, often answer to only a small group of owners and investors.
Public companies may use stock as payment when acquiring or merging with other businesses. Public companies are under more scrutiny than their private counterparts, as they’re forced to disclose information about their business operations.
IPOs can generate a lot of publicity. Going public is time consuming and expensive.

Participating in an IPO: 3 Steps to Buying IPO Stock

steps to buying IPO stock

1. Read the Prospectus

IPOs can be hard to analyze: It’s difficult to learn much about a company going public for the first time. There’s not a lot of information floating around beforehand since when companies are private, they don’t really have to disclose any earnings with the SEC. Before an IPO, you can look at two documents to get information about the company: Form S-1 and the red herring prospectus.

2. Find Brokerage

If you want to purchase shares of a stock in an IPO, you’ll most commonly have to go through a broker. Some firms also let you buy shares at the offering price as opposed to the trading price once the stock is on the public market.

3. Request Shares

Once a brokerage account is set up, you can let your broker know electronically or over the phone how many shares of what stock you’d like to buy and what order type. The broker will execute the trade for you, usually for a fee, although many online brokerages now offer zero commission trading.

Who Can Buy IPO Stock?

Not everyone has the ability to buy shares at the IPO price. When a company wants to go public, they typically hire an underwriter — an investment bank — that structures the IPO and drums up interest among investors. The underwriter acquires shares of the company and sets a price for them based on how much money the company wants to raise and how much demand they think there is for the stock.

The underwriter will likely offer IPO shares to its institutional investors, and it may reserve some for other people close to the company. The company wants these initial shareholders to remain invested for the long-term and tries to avoid allocating to those who may want to sell right after a first-day pop in the share price.

Investment banks go through a relatively complicated process in part to help them avoid some of the risks associated with a company going public for the first time. It’s possible that the IPO could become oversubscribed, e.g when there are more buyers lined up for the stock at the IPO price than there are actual shares.

When Can You Sell IPO Stock?

Shortly after a company’s IPO there may be a period in which its stock price experiences a downturn as a result of the lock-up period ending.

The IPO lock-up period is a restriction placed upon investors who acquired company stock before it went public that keeps them from selling their shares for a certain period of time after the IPO. The lock-up period typically ranges from 90 to 180 days. It’s meant to prevent too many shares in the early days of the IPO from flooding the market and driving prices down.

However, once the period is over, it can be a bit of a free-for-all as early investors cash in on their stocks. It may be worth waiting for this period to pass before buying shares in a newly public company.

Things to Know Before Investing in an IPO

An IPO, by definition, gives the investing public an opportunity to own the stock of a newly public company. However, the SEC warns that IPOs can be risky and speculative investments.

IPO Market Price

To understand why investing in an IPO can be risky, it is helpful to know that the business valuation and offering price have not been determined not by the market forces of supply and demand, as is the case for stocks trading openly in a market exchange.

Instead, the offering price is usually determined by the company and the underwriters who negotiate a price based on an often-competing set of interests of involved parties.

Post-IPO Trading

Purchasing shares in the market immediately following an IPO can also be risky. Underwriters may do what they can to buoy the trading price initially, keeping it from falling too far below the offering price.

Meanwhile, IPO lock-up periods may stop early investors and company executives from cashing out immediately after the offering. The concern to investors is what happens to the price once this support ends.

Data from Dealogic shows that since 2010, a quarter of U.S. IPOs have seen losses after their first day.

IPO Due Diligence

Investors with the option to invest in an IPO should do so only after having conducted their due diligence. The SEC states that “being well informed is critical in deciding whether to invest. Therefore, it is important to review the prospectus and ask questions when researching an IPO.”

Investors should receive a copy of the prospectus before their broker confirms the sale. To read the prospectus before then, check with the company’s most recent registration statement on EDGAR, the SEC’s public filing system.

IPO Alternatives

Since the heady days of the dot-com bubble, when many new companies were going public, startups have become more disgruntled with the traditional IPO process. Some of these businesses often complain that the IPO model can be time-consuming and expensive.

Particularly in Silicon Valley, the U.S. startup capital, many companies are taking longer to go public. Hence, the emergence of so many unicorn companies — businesses with valuations of $1 billion or greater.

In recent years, alternatives to the traditional IPO process have also emerged. Here’s a closer look at some of them.

Recommended: Guide to Tech IPOs

Direct Listings

In direct listings, private companies skip the process of hiring an investment bank as an underwriter. A bank may still offer advice to the company, but their role tends to be smaller. Instead, the private company relies on an auction system by the stock exchange to set their IPO price.

Companies with bigger name brands that don’t need the roadshows tend to pick the direct-listing route.

SPACs

Special purpose acquisition companies or SPACs have become another common way to go public. With SPACs, a blank-check company is listed on the public stock market.

These businesses typically have no operations, but instead a “sponsor” pledges to seek a private company to buy. Once a private-company target is found, it merges with the SPAC, going public in the process.

SPACs are often a speedier way to go public. They became wildly popular in 2020 and 2021 as many famous sponsors launched SPACs.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is collecting small amounts of money from a bigger group of individuals. The advent of social media and digital platforms have expanded the possibilities for crowdfunding.

The Takeaway

Initial public offerings or IPOs are a key part of U.S. capital markets, allowing private businesses to enter the world’s biggest public market. Conducting an IPO is a multi-step, expensive process for private companies but allows them to significantly expand their reach when it comes to fundraising, liquidity and brand recognition.

For investors, buying an IPO stock can be tempting because of the potential of getting in on a company’s growth early and benefiting from its expansion. However, it’s important to know that many IPO stocks also tend to be untested, meaning their businesses are newer and less stable, and that the stock price can fluctuate — creating considerable risk for investors.

Whether you’re curious about exploring IPOs, or interested in traditional stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), you can get started by opening an account on the SoFi Invest® brokerage platform. On SoFi Invest, eligible SoFi members have the opportunity to trade IPO shares, and there are no account minimums for those with an Active Investing account. As with any investment, it's wise to consider your overall portfolio goals in order to assess whether IPO investing is right for you, given the risks of volatility and loss.


Invest with as little as $5 with a SoFi Active Investing account.

Explore the IPO Series:


SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Investing in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) involves substantial risk, including the risk of loss. Further, there are a variety of risk factors to consider when investing in an IPO, including but not limited to, unproven management, significant debt, and lack of operating history. For a comprehensive discussion of these risks please refer to SoFi Securities’ IPO Risk Disclosure Statement. IPOs offered through SoFi Securities are not a recommendation and investors should carefully read the offering prospectus to determine whether an offering is consistent with their investment objectives, risk tolerance, and financial situation.

New offerings generally have high demand and there are a limited number of shares available for distribution to participants. Many customers may not be allocated shares and share allocations may be significantly smaller than the shares requested in the customer’s initial offer (Indication of Interest). For SoFi’s allocation procedures please refer to IPO Allocation Procedures.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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Flex Loans: Benefits and Drawbacks

Flex Loans: Benefits and Drawbacks

If you’re looking to borrow money quickly and without going through a lengthy application process, flex loans can be an appealing option. A flex loan is a line of credit that is unsecured (meaning no collateral is required). It allows you to withdraw funds as needed up to a predetermined limit. As you pay down the balance, you can continue to borrow from the credit line, similar to a credit card.

While flex loans are usually easier to qualify for than more traditional lending products, they typically come with higher annual percentage rates (APRs) and fees. Here’s what you need to know about flex loans, including how they work, how much you can borrow, and the pros and cons of using a flex loan for fast cash.

What Is a Flex Loan?

Despite the name, a flex loan isn’t actually a loan — it’s an unsecured personal line of credit. Most commonly, you can find flex loans through cash advance companies, though some select credit unions, banks, and online lenders offer them.

Flex loans allow you to withdraw funds from a credit line up to a preapproved limit. You can use the funds in any way you wish. As you pay down the balance, you can continue to borrow from the credit line, similar to a credit card.

Because flex loans typically don’t require a credit check, they can be an attractive option for those who have a poor or limited credit history. But keep in mind: Because lenders assume additional risk by not checking credit, flex loans typically have higher APRs than other lending products, including personal loans, personal lines of credit, and credit cards. You may struggle to make payments if interest and fees continue to accumulate.


💡 Quick Tip: Some personal loan lenders can release your funds as quickly as the same day your loan is approved.

How Do Flex Loans Work?

A flex loan works similar to a credit card in that it’s a revolving line of credit. Once approved, you’re given a certain credit limit and can borrow up to that amount. As the balance is paid down, that money is once again available to be borrowed.

You’ll receive regular statements showing how much you’ve borrowed and the interest owed and typically need to make minimum monthly payments. Like a credit card, you may choose to only pay the minimum, or you can pay more. The more you pay each month, generally the less interest you’ll accrue.

Some flex loan lenders charge fees in addition to interest. This may include a flat fee when you take out the loan, as well as periodic fees, which may be daily, monthly, or each time you draw funds from the loan.

How Much Can You Get With a Flex Loan?

The exact amount you’ll be approved for will depend on the lender, as well as where you live, since state laws regulate credit limit amounts. You may be able to borrow anywhere from $100 to several thousand dollars with a flex loan.

Borrowers often turn to flex loans to cover immediate financial needs, emergencies, or hardships, but you can use the loan funds for almost any reason. However, due to the high APRs, it’s generally a smart idea to draw funds from a flex loan only when necessary.

Recommended: The Problems with Online Payday Loans and Fast Cash Lending

Will a Flex Loan Hurt My Credit?

Getting a flex loan may not require a credit check so applying for one won’t necessarily affect your credit score. But lenders assume extra risk when they don’t do a credit check, so they might charge higher interest to make up for that.

A flex loan may hurt your credit if you don’t manage it responsibly. As with other types of debt, making late payments or missing payments on a flex loan may adversely affect your credit score. It’s a good idea to budget carefully to ensure you’re not borrowing more than you afford to pay back.

Recommended: 11 Types of Personal Loans & Their Differences

Benefits of Flex Loans

Flex loans may be beneficial for some borrowers. Here’s a look at some of the advantages of flex loans.

Application Process

In many cases, you can apply for a flex loan and receive a lending decision within minutes, especially if you apply online.

Access to Funds

You may receive access to your funds on the same day as your flex loan approval. Once approved, you can then make withdrawals from your credit line as needed. Funds are typically directly deposited into your bank account.

Credit Score

Most flex loan lenders won’t subject you to a credit check, making it less burdensome to qualify for a flex loan even if you don’t have good credit.

Requirements

In many cases, flex loans have more lenient requirements compared to other types of loans. In addition to giving the lender your personal details, you may only have to provide proof of employment and income.

Recommended: Typical Personal Loan Requirements Needed for Approval

Flexible Payment Terms

Each month or billing cycle, you can pay the minimum due or more. There are typically no penalties for paying down your debt faster.

Dangers of Flex Loans

Flex loans may be an attractive borrowing option because even those with poor credit can borrow money quickly. However, flex loans can present potential dangers.

Interest Rates

Flex loans typically carry much higher APRs than traditional lending products like personal loans and credit cards. If you can get a flex loan through a credit union, APRs can range from 24% to 28% or higher. If you get one from a cash advance company, the APR on a flex loan can reach triple digits.

Minimum Payments

You have the option to pay only the minimum payments on your flex loan. But if that’s all you pay, fees and interest will continue to grow your debt, making it increasingly harder to pay off the entire balance.

Excessive Debt

It can be tempting to borrow money repeatedly with a flex loan, but doing so can come at a high cost. If you continue to borrow money and don’t have a plan to pay down the amount you owe, a flex loan can lead to a cycle of debt that can be hard to break out of.

When Should You Take Out a Flex Loan?

A flex loan may be worth considering if you need quick access to cash and don’t want to go through a lengthy application process or can’t qualify for more traditional lending options. A flex loan may also be an option for those who want to have a backup source of funds in case of an emergency, like an unexpected car repair or dental bill.

However, because of the high APRs and added fees, you generally only want to consider a flex loan after exhausting other borrowing options, such as personal loans.

When to Apply for a Flex Loan

There may be other ways to get needed cash without paying interest rates as high as flex loans tend to offer. But if you’ve exhausted all other options, even a loan from a pawn shop, and you have a plan to repay the loan at the lowest possible cost to you, it may be an option you could pursue.

Alternatives to Flex Loans

Before applying for a flex loan, you may want to consider the following alternatives.

•   Credit cards: Like flex loans, credit cards are a form of revolving credit you can draw from on a recurring basis. While interest charges for credit cards can be high, they tend to be lower than flex loans. Depending on the card, you may also have an annual fee and other fees based on your use of the account.

•   Personal line of credit: If you have healthy credit, a personal line of credit may be a worthy alternative because of its typically lower interest rates. However, you will be subject to a credit check and the application process may take longer compared to a flex loan.

•   Personal loan with a guarantor: If you’re unable to qualify for an unsecured personal loan due to a poor or limited credit history, you might consider asking a friend or family member to help you get a guarantor loan. A guarantor is legally responsible for the repayment of the loan if the borrower defaults, but has no legal claim to any property the funds were used to purchase.



💡 Quick Tip: Generally, the larger the personal loan, the bigger the risk for the lender — and the higher the interest rate. So one way to lower your interest rate is to try downsizing your loan amount.

The Takeaway

Before taking out any type of loan, you’ll want to consider the benefits versus the costs. If you need cash for an emergency, it can be a good idea to look at all your borrowing options before settling on a flex loan due to the high interest rates and fees associated with these loans. Shopping around is a good way to see what you may qualify for and help you find a lender you feel comfortable working with.

Think twice before turning to high-interest flex loans or credit cards. Consider a SoFi personal loan instead. SoFi offers competitive fixed rates and same-day funding. Checking your rate takes just a minute.

SoFi’s Personal Loan was named NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Personal Loan overall.

FAQ

What is a flex loan?

A flex loan is a form of revolving credit that allows you to withdraw funds up to a certain credit limit. As you pay down your balance, the funds become available to borrow again.

How much can you get with a flex loan?

Borrowing limits for flex loans will depend on the lender and where you live, since state laws regulate credit limit amounts. You may be able to borrow anywhere from $100 to several thousand dollars with a flex loan.

Will a flex loan hurt my credit?

Applying for a flex loan typically won’t affect your credit because lenders typically don’t do a credit check when you apply for the loan. However, lenders may report your borrowing activity to the major consumer credit bureaus. As a result, any late or missed payments could negatively affect your credit.


Photo credit: iStock/PeopleImages

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may 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 and may affect your credit.

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What Are Mortgagors, What Do They Do, and How Do They Differ From Mortgagees?

What Are Mortgagors, What Do They Do, and How Do They Differ From Mortgagees?

“Mortgagor” is just another word for someone who is borrowing money from a mortgage lender (the “mortgagee”) to purchase real estate. It’s not every day that you see the term “mortgagor” and it doesn’t roll off the tongue easily. You might even think perhaps it’s misspelled. But when it comes to financial matters, half the battle is understanding the jargon. In this case, the good news is that even if you have never heard of a mortgagor, it’s just another word for being the borrower on a home loan.

The Function of a Mortgagor

The mortgage universe can be a bit complex and it’s helpful to understand the basics of mortgages. So let’s take a closer look at the mortgagor’s role. The mortgagor makes monthly payments to the mortgagee as specified in the loan agreement. The terms of a mortgage can vary widely. For example, depending on the applicant’s credit history, the interest rate may be higher or lower than the average.

A mortgagor may choose from different types of mortgage loans. Some loans have a fixed interest rate and a term of 30 years, though many lenders offer loan lengths of 20, 15, or 10 years. A fixed-rate mortgage has an interest rate that remains the same during the life of the loan. A variable-rate mortgage is one in which the interest rate moves up and down with the market.

The bottom line: Mortgagors must pay back the loan in a timely fashion. If not, mortgagees can force foreclosure of the home or other real estate — the collateral for the loan.


💡 Quick Tip: Buying a home shouldn’t be aggravating. SoFi’s online mortgage application is quick and simple, with dedicated Mortgage Loan Officers to guide you through the process.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


How a Mortgagor Gets a Mortgage Loan

A mortgagor applies to a mortgagee for a mortgage. Conventional mortgage loans are originated by private lenders like banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies. Certain private lenders also originate FHA, VA, and USDA loans; those loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Government-backed loans are often easier to qualify for and may have more lenient terms and lower interest rates.

No matter what kind of mortgage loan you seek, expect to jump through some hoops and produce much documentation to prove you are creditworthy and have the means to pay back what you borrow. A prospective lender will do a hard credit inquiry into your credit scores and credit history. So it’s helpful to understand what makes up your credit scores. Important factors include your credit history, how long you’ve had your lines of credit open, your payment history, and debt-to-income ratio, which is the total amount of your monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income. If your debt-to-income ratio is high, that may be a no-go in the eyes of a lender, who may see you as tapped out with no real wiggle room to take on a mortgage.

To purchase a home, buyers often take on a mortgage loan for the price minus any money they put forth as a down payment. While you may be able to get an FHA loan with 3.5% down, or a VA loan with no down payment at all, the median down payment is around 13% of the value of the home.

Contractual Obligations of Mortgagors

A deal is a deal is a legally binding deal. Once the ink dries on that mortgage, you’re locked into your commitment to pay as you said you would. If you veer off course, you’re at risk of losing the home, as there is a lien on the real property as collateral for the loan. At the very least, late or missed payments will cause your credit score to dip, which could be problematic the next time you need to show your credit score, be it for a car loan or maybe even to a potential employer.

Equity of Redemption

If this phrase sounds important, it is. You’ll be thankful for it if you have gotten behind on your mortgage. Equity of redemption, also called right of redemption, will give you a chance to get caught up and keep your home before a foreclosure sale.

When you miss payments, the mortgagee can start the foreclosure process. The lender can take back the house and sell it at auction to pay off the debts. If this process has begun, you may be able to redeem the mortgage using equity of redemption. Understand that you’ll need to come up with the money to pay off the principal, interest, and expenses under equity of redemption. Realistically, if you’re in financial trouble, a funding source to pay off the loan is unlikely.

Some states have a law that gives mortgagors the right to redeem the home for a period of time after the foreclosure sale. With the statutory right of redemption, usually the borrower must pay the bid price, plus interest and fees, to the buyer of the property at the foreclosure sale.

Rights of Mortgagors

While it doesn’t have to be a battle royal, when it comes to mortgagee vs. mortgagor, the mortgagee holds the keys to the kingdom. The lender puts up the money, and if the borrower can’t make the mortgage payments, the lender has the right to take the house. That’s not to say you are without a few good things in your back pocket, like the aforementioned rights of redemption. You can also ask that your mortgage be transferred to a third party, but only if the mortgagee is not in possession of the property.


💡 Quick Tip: Not to be confused with prequalification, preapproval involves a longer application, documentation, and hard credit pulls. Ideally, you want to keep your applications for preapproval to within the same 14- to 45-day period, since many hard credit pulls outside the given time period can adversely affect your credit score, which in turn affects the mortgage terms you’ll be offered.

Mortgagors vs Mortgagees

To lessen any confusion, here’s a quick look at who does what.

Mortgagor

Mortgagee

Makes monthly payments Receives payments
Meet all terms of the mortgage Sets loan terms, including length of loan, payment due dates, and interest rate, and communicates them clearly
When the loan is paid in full, gets the deed Can seize property if mortgagor stops paying

The Takeaway

Understanding the lingo can help you be more confident as you embark on your homebuying journey. Do your research, pull together your financial documents, find a home you love and soon you, too, could become a mortgagor.

Looking for an affordable option for a home mortgage loan? SoFi can help: We offer low down payments (as little as 3% - 5%*) with our competitive and flexible home mortgage loans. Plus, applying is extra convenient: It's online, with access to one-on-one help.


SoFi Mortgages: simple, smart, and so affordable.


Photo credit: iStock/fizkes

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SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


SoFi Mortgages
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*SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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