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 quickly complete the entire mortgage process online, from start to finish.
Find out what else makes Guaranteed Rate stand out as one of today’s top online mortgage lenders.
Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Application Requirements
In total, the most significant factors for qualifying for a Guaranteed Rate mortgage are a good credit score, a positive credit history, and consistent income. The minimum credit score is 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 from Guaranteed Rate
Guaranteed Rate has a comprehensive offering of home purchase and refinance loans available for everyone.
15-Year or 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgages
Guaranteed Rate offers two types of conventional fixed-rate home loans: a 15-year repayment term and a 30-year repayment term, which is the more popular option.
Though it comes with a slightly higher mortgage 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 mortgage payments as low as possible.
The 15-year may better suit a borrower who wants to pay less in interest over time and doesn’t mind a higher monthly payment. However, 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 mortgage rates available, you might consider an adjustable-rate mortgage. You get a lower rate for a fixed period, 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.
Guaranteed Rate’s FHA loan program comes with fewer credit score requirements than its conventional offerings. Plus, the minimum down payment is just 3.5%. It’s a solid option for first-time homebuyers 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 FHA loans, the VA loans have 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.
Guaranteed Rate offers both fixed and adjustable-rate jumbo loans. This kind of mortgage lets you borrow more than the conforming loan amount. The loan amount is set at $453,100 in most (though not all) areas of the country. To qualify, however, you’ll need a strong credit score 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 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 who expect their incomes 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.
Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Rates and Fees
Guaranteed Rate is confident in its low fees and tells potential customers to compare their offer to other mortgage lenders’ offers. 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 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. In addition, when exploring your mortgage loan options, Guaranteed Rate provides a highly intuitive user experience through its loan finder tool.
You can sort all the different loan types 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 entirely 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 digitally sign your loan application and securely upload all your documents. 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.
Guaranteed Rate Mortgage 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 the right loan for you because you’re using your own criteria, not someone else’s. Even though there are many 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.
Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Reviews
One of the best ways to research mortgage lenders is by reading third-party reviews. You can discover what actual customers are saying about them before you choose to do business with them.
Guaranteed Rate currently has a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of B+, which indicates good customer service. They also have very few complaints. You can find more Guaranteed Rate reviews at other review sites as well.
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.