Better Mortgage Review

About Better.com

Better.com

Better Mortgage is a direct lender dedicated to providing a fast, transparent digital mortgage experience backed by superior customer support. From our offices in New York City, we're using technology to change the way people finance their homes, for the better. With Better Mortgage, you can apply for a pre-approval online, 24/7 without ever paying loan officer commission. With Better Mortgage, you're in control. Your entire application is on one platform and help is only a click away.

review breakdown

Recommended
88%
Interest Rates
Fees & Closing Cost
Customer Service
Responsiveness

What they're saying about Better.com

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Working with Better Mortgage

Better Mortgage is licensed to lend in many states and districts, including Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Washington, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, California and Washington, D.C.

Better Mortgage focuses on the speed of its approvals, saying borrowers can expect a Loan Estimate within seconds. (Lenders must issue Loan Estimates to borrowers within three days of receiving your application.) This focus on speed comes from the founder’s own personal experience buying a home and the frustration he felt waiting for loan approvals, phone calls and eventually losing the house he wanted to buy to another bidder.

The end result of the founder’s lost opportunity is Better Mortgage, which has a simple, focused website that’s easy to navigate and extremely transparent. Information is easily found on its comprehensive FAQ and Resources pages. Rates are displayed quickly based on whether you’re purchasing or refinancing. And while the founder might not have been happy about all the phone contact necessary during his homebuying experience, Better Mortgage has optional phone availability for those who would prefer it. Through the website, you can schedule appointments to speak to a loan consultant between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Eastern any day of the week. You can also call them directly or reach out to the company via email.


Better Mortgage products

Better Mortgage has a limited number of loan options.

Purchase

  • Conventional
    • 15-year fixed
    • 20-year fixed
    • 30-year fixed
    • 5, 7 and 10-year ARMs with annual interest-rate changes after the fixed term
    • FHA
  • Jumbo

The company does not offer construction, VA, or USDA loans.

Refinance

The company doesn’t have any options for HELOCs or home equity loans. Better Mortgage also does not offer cash-out refinance mortgages in Texas.


The mortgage application process

When you’re interested in a home loan, Better Mortgage has a few options for applying and preapproval. The first is to get a basic preapproval online when you’re thinking about buying a home, which the company estimates will take about 3 minutes. When you are actively shopping for a home, the company has a verified preapproval process that takes roughly 20 minutes online, assuming you have quick access to all the information needed. Finally, once you’ve found a home you want to buy, you can apply online, work with a loan consultant and lock your rate, all within 30 minutes. Communication with the loan consultant/officer can take place on the phone, via email and through chat.

As mentioned in the start, Better Mortgage is a leader when it comes to a digital mortgage experience, but the company isn’t alone as big names like Bank of America enter the digital mortgage scene. A digital mortgage is one that allows borrowers to apply online, to upload identification and financials, to start, stop and save applications, and to digitally sign documents. The goal is to automate and digitize as much as the process as possible, which can mean prefilling applications and forms with data collected, automating underwriting approvals and follow-ups for added documentation, and digitizing signatures. As you can imagine, this is vastly different from the traditional process of visiting a loan officer and applying on paper.

For refinancing, the company has three online application options:

  • Refinancing to get a better rate
  • Refinancing and taking cash out
  • Refinancing to consolidate debt

The company estimates that each one takes about 3 minutes to apply for.


Fees

One of the things that makes Better Mortgage stand out is that it’s very upfront about the fees it charges. The company boasts no commission charges and no origination fees. Further, it has no application fee or underwriting fees. Better Mortgage does, however, require that third-party fees, like appraisals and title fees, be paid by applicants.

For refinances, Better Mortgage estimates closing costs between $1,500 and $3,500.


Pros and cons of a Better Mortgage Loan

Pros

  • No origination, application, underwriting or commission fees. Limited closing and origination fees add an important way of reducing the overall costs of a mortgage.
  • No loans with prepayment penalties. Even when the loan is sold to another servicer, the borrower has the option to pay it off early without penalty.
  • Fast approval. While responses are fast, borrowers should keep in mind that all approvals are subject to underwriter review. Also that rates and fees can change.
  • Personalized process with loan consultant. For some buyers, having a single point of contact throughout the approval process is a major benefit.

 

Cons

  • Your loan will likely be sold. On its FAQ, Better Mortgage mentions that its investors pay a one-time fee when purchasing loans. That means you may not have Better Mortgage servicing your loan for long, which can result in some hassles when setting up payments.
  • No automatic payments. Because Better Mortgage transfers ongoing servicing to partners and investors, the company does not set up automatic payments.
  • Limited mortgage options. In addition to not offering VA and USDA loans, Better Mortgage does not offer mortgages for manufactured homes, mixed-use properties or multi-family homes of five or more units.

Editorial Note: Parts of this article were reviewed by a lender to ensure accuracy prior to publication. The overall conclusions, recommendations and opinions are the author’s alone.