Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Review for 2020

Lauded as the first digital mortgage, Guaranteed Rate has been around since 2000. This online mortgage lender focuses on efficiency throughout the funding process and has a strong track record of customer satisfaction. Although there are 170 branches throughout all 50 states, you can easily complete the entire mortgage process online, from start to finish.

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Find out what else makes Guaranteed Rate stand out as one of today’s top online mortgage lenders.

Mortgage Application Requirements

In total, the biggest factors for qualifying for a Guaranteed Rate mortgage are a good credit score, a positive credit history, and consistent income. To get an idea of where your credit needs to be, the minimum credit score is a 620. Nontraditional credit, such as rent payment history, is not considered in the decision process.

Guaranteed Rate runs a credit check as an early part of the application process. The benefit is that if you’re unsure about where your credit stands, you can see all three of your credit scores from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion through the online platform.

Types of Home Loans Available

Guaranteed Rate has a wide offering of loan products available, for just about every type of home purchase.

15-Year or 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgages

Guaranteed Rate offers two types of conventional fixed-rate home loans: one with a 15-year repayment term and one with a 30-year repayment term, which is the more popular option.

Though it comes with a slightly higher interest rate, the 30-year is recommended if you’re staying in your home for a longer period or if you want to keep your monthly payments as low as possible.

The 15-year may be better suited to a borrower who wants to pay less in interest over time and doesn’t mind a higher monthly payment. While you save money in the long run with this option, you’re paying down a lot more principal over a much shorter term.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages

To access some of the lowest rates available, you might consider an adjustable-rate mortgage. You get a lower rate for a fixed period of time, at which point your rate (and monthly payments) change depending on where the current market is at the time. While your rate could go up, Guaranteed Rate does offer a degree of protection with its mortgage rate caps.

FHA Loans

Guaranteed Rate’s FHA loan program comes with fewer credit requirements than its conventional offerings. Plus, the minimum down payment is just 3.5%. It’s a strong option for first-time home buyers and other individuals who may not qualify for a conventional loan.

VA Home Loans

This is another flexible loan option designed solely for veterans and active-duty service members. Like an FHA loan, the VA loan has less strict credit guidelines. Plus, there’s an option for a 0% down payment so you don’t need a ton of cash to qualify.

Jumbo Loans

Guaranteed Rate offers both fixed and adjustable-rate jumbo loans. This kind of mortgage lets you borrow more than the conforming loan amount, which is set at $453,100 in most (though not all) areas of the country. In order to qualify, however, you’ll need strong credit and a bigger down payment.

Interest Only Mortgages

This specialty product from Guaranteed Rate lets you pay interest only for a set period of time in order to begin your mortgage with lower payments. After that period ends (usually between 5 and 10 years), your principal is tacked on and your payments increase.

Guaranteed Rate recommends this mortgage for people whose incomes are expected to increase significantly in the next few years or those who want to keep cash liquid to invest in other opportunities, such as rental properties.

Choosing Your Mortgage

There certainly are a lot of mortgage options from Guaranteed Rate. While you can complete the entire application process online with helpful tools to guide you in your decision, a loan officer can help you compare your options to find the best fit.

Fees and Rates

Guaranteed Rate is confident in its low fees and tells potential customers to compare their offer to those of other mortgage lenders. While you may encounter lender and application fees, you also have the potential to qualify for lender credits to put towards your closing costs.

The good news is that you’ll receive a complete loan estimate early on so you know what costs to expect through each step of the way. The appraisal, for example, is usually paid by the borrower out-of-pocket as part of the loan process.

Guaranteed Rate’s Mortgage Process

Perhaps Guaranteed Rate’s greatest strength is its efficient online platform that leads to quicker closing times. When you’re exploring your mortgage loan options, Guaranteed Rate provides an extremely intuitive user experience through its loan finder tool.

You can sort all the different types of mortgages by these filters:

  • Lowest monthly payment
  • Lowest interest rate
  • Your preferred loan term

It’s basically like shopping for a mortgage through Amazon. Plus, you can get these quotes without having to input any personal information beyond your credit score range. It takes just a few minutes to get an idea of what kind of mortgages you could qualify for.

From there, if you want to move forward, you can choose either to complete the mortgage application process completely online, or you can always connect with a loan officer who can offer advice and answer questions at any point. You can talk to someone from Guaranteed Rate either by phone or online chat.

Through Guaranteed Rate’s loan platform, you can also digitally sign your loan application and upload all of your documents in a secure manner. You can even order your appraisal at the right time.

When everything is complete, you’ll receive your loan approval and close on your new home.

Special Features

Guaranteed Rate’s online loan finder is one of the most user-friendly resources out there. It truly lets you prioritize your own financial goals when comparing your loan options.

That’s a huge help in determining which is the right loan for you because you’re using your own criteria, not someone else’s. Even though there are a lot of options to choose from, you can easily navigate your way through the options with Guaranteed Rate.

There’s also a high level of customer service with this mortgage lender. Visit any review site and more often than not, you’ll see glowing testimonials. In fact, Guaranteed Rate states a 96% satisfaction rate from its home loan customers.

Bottom Line

If you value a truly digital experience, then Guaranteed Rate could be an ideal fit for funding your next home purchase. While some lenders let you complete the application process online, they still often require one or more phone calls with a loan officer.

This is certainly an option you can choose to take advantage of with Guaranteed Rate, but it’s not a requirement. For borrowers who like as much autonomy as possible, plus the ability to complete action items on their own timeline, Guaranteed Rate is a strong choice.