Just six years after student loan refinancing company SoFi splashed on the scene, it is now one of the nation’s largest fintech companies, funding $14 billion in refinanced student loans, personal loans, and mortgages to date and boasting savings to its members to the tune of $1.45 billion.
SoFi started off refinancing student loans for qualified student borrowers who could qualify for a lower interest rate and new repayment term, but it has since branched into refinancing mortgages, originating new home loans, and providing personal loans to its legions of customers. According to Crunchbase it has raised $1.38 billion in venture funding in six rounds that includes 21 investors.
Not satisfied helping the countless borrowers in the U.S., SoFi is setting its sights on Australia, a country that hasn’t been plagued with the same student loan debt as the United States.
But it isn’t student loan refinancing SoFi may be interested in for Australia. According to a report in the Financial Review it is gearing up to take on the traditional mortgage lenders in the country, recently advertising in LinkedIn for a manager of mortgage operations for a new Sydney office.
It’s also looking for an operations manager and marketing manager, according to the report. Sydney would mark the first office SoFi opened up outside of the U.S. In the advertisement SoFi reportedly said it’s looking for a mortgage operations manager that would be in charge of building out an in-house mortgage customer service and underwriting business to service its new mortgage business line.
SoFi’s focus on mortgages comes at a tough time for marketplace lenders who struggled during 2016 with investments drying up. Last week SoFi said in a report that it obtained a mortgage license to operate in New York and that origination volume reached $1 billion in October. SoFi expects big growth in its mortgage business, with the company expecting the fastest growth of all its lending products to come from home loans.
For banks in Australia, a push by SoFi to encroach on their mortgage lending territory will be closely watched since mortgages account for most of Australian banks’ assets. No other fintech company has directly targeted the mortgage market like SoFi, often preferring to go after lower hanging fruit in the banking market.
Author: Dave Rathmanner
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