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Caliber Home Loans Mortgage Review 2023

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Caliber Home Loans at a glance

Lender rating: 3 out of 5

  Minimum credit score: 580 to 620

  Minimum down payment: 0% to 3.5%

  Available loan products and programs: Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, renovation and non-QM

  Our verdict: Caliber Home Loans is a good match for borrowers that prefer all the traditional loan programs with extra flexibility on credit standards for VA loans, as well as specialty programs for self-employed and real estate investors.

ProsCons

  Offers a wide variety of standard purchase and refinance programs

  Extra options for borrowers that need flexibility beyond regular mortgage requirements

  One of few lenders that offers the 5/5 adjustable-rate mortgage

 Doesn’t not publish rates or fees online

 No online application

 Doesn’t offer home equity loan or home equity line of credit products

Caliber Home Loans, Inc. (Caliber) was founded in 2008 and is a nationwide lender operating in all 50 states. The company is headquartered in Coppell, Texas, and offers a robust variety of loan options including a line of non-qualified mortgage products for borrowers that don’t fit into traditional lending guidelines.

Caliber Home Loans mortgage products

Conventional

Higher credit score borrowers can choose from the following conventional loan options:

  • Purchase loans. Good credit and stable employment borrowers will find terms ranging from 10 to 30 years for Caliber’s fixed-rate loan offerings. Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) options include the 3/1, 5/1 and 7/1 ARM. Caliber is one of very few lenders that offers a 5/5 ARM loan — which means the rate adjusts every five years after the initial low rate period ends, versus every year like most other ARM products.
  • HomeReady loans. The Fannie Mae HomeReady™ is for low- to moderate-income borrowers and only requires a 3% down payment. Borrowers must meet income limits to qualify and may also be restricted to buying in select neighborhoods.
  • Home Possible. The Home Possible program is offered through Freddie Mac approved lenders and like the HomeReady loan, it only requires a 3% down payment. Borrowers that need a little extra help are allowed to add the income of someone not living in the home to qualify.
  • HomeOne. The Freddie Mac HomeOne℠ program only requires a 3% down payment and unlike other Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac homebuyer programs, there are no income limits or geographic limitations.
  • Renovation loans. If you need fixer-upper financing, Caliber offers the HomeStyle Renovation® loan, which allows you to pay for renovation projects as part of a purchase or refinance loan. Fixed and adjustable-rate mortgage options are available.

FHA

Borrowers with spotty credit may benefit from a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). FHA loan options offered by Caliber include:

  • Purchase loans. Borrowers can qualify for a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate FHA loan with a credit score of 620 and a 3.5% down payment. A variety of property types can be financed including two- to four-unit homes, modular homes and condominiums.
  • FHA 203(k) renovation loans. The 203(k) loan is a government-backed renovation loan program that offers two different options: a limited version for small remodeling and fixer-upper projects and a standard program for bigger jobs that include structural repairs.
  • FHA streamline refinance. Homeowners with an FHA loan may be able to save money without the hassle of income documents or an appraisal with an FHA streamline. You might even be able to roll in the cost of some energy-efficient improvements.

VA

Caliber offers loans guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help military veterans, active duty service members and eligible widowed spouses with mortgage financing.

  • Purchase loans. Military borrowers can buy a home with no down payment with credit scores as low as 580. Caliber may even approve high-balance VA loans up to $2.5 million dollars in expensive parts of the country. VA borrowers with scores as low as 580 may qualify as long as they are buying a one-unit single-family home.
  • Streamline refinance. More commonly known as the interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL), this refinance is for homeowners with a current VA loan. Like the FHA streamline, no appraisal is required and you can skip the income documents.

Home equity

Jumbo

  • Caliber offers specialty jumbo loans (which are mortgages that exceed the conforming loan limits) for VA borrowers and borrowers eligible for their Smart Series products, which we’ll cover in the “special programs” section next.

Special programs

USDA

If you meet the income limits for a home backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), you may qualify for no down payment financing to purchase a home in a rural part of the country. Some suburban areas may qualify, so check the USDA-eligible neighborhoods in your area.

Non-qualifying mortgages (non-QM)

If you’ve been told you don’t meet standard mortgage guidelines, Caliber offers three non-QM

loan options that may help your homebuying or refinancing plans.

SmartEdge

If you’ve had recent credit issues or want to buy a condominium that doesn’t meet traditional lending requirements, you may qualify for a loan up to $3 million with a credit score as low as 660. You may also qualify for fixed and adjustable-rate interest-only options.

SmartSelf

Self-employed borrowers with complicated tax returns may find it easier to document their income with 12 to 24 months’ worth of personal or business bank statements. Income is average based on deposits into your accounts, and loan amounts are available up to $3 million.

SmartVest

Experienced real estate developers and investors may qualify for a loan based solely on the rental income of property they purchase. Qualified borrowers can up to 20 financed properties (the standard limit is 10), and choose from fixed rate and adjustable-rate, interest-only options.

Caliber Home Loans mortgage rates and fees

Caliber doesn’t publish current mortgage rates online, but does provide a detailed explanation that breaks down all the factors that go into a rate quote. The website doesn’t post its fees either, although it indicates total closing costs may range between 2% and 7% of the home’s purchase price.

Mortgage rates published online?
Rate information updated daily or weekly?
Lender fees disclosed?

Caliber Home Loans application experience

Clicking on the “Apply Now” button takes users to a NewRez landing page with a contact form to get a call back. There is also a phone number featured, but there doesn’t appear to be an option to complete a full online loan application.

Customers can check the status of a loan once it’s in process, and upload documents through the portal that is created as part of the loan approval process. Caliber also advertises its Caliber Mobile Application for borrowers who prefer to track their loan status on a smart device. The website describes a traditional closing experience with documents delivered for signing.

Caliber Home Loans customer service experience

Caliber offers two links on its “Connect” button that allows new customers to speak to a loan consultant in their area, or existing customers to reach a Caliber representative about their current loan.

How does Caliber Home Loans compare to other lenders?

Caliber Home LoansRocket MortgagePenFed
Lender rating
Minimum credit score580 to 620580 to 620620 to 650
Minimum down payment0% to 3.5%0% to 3.5%0% to 3.5%
Loan products and programs
  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Renovation
  • Non-QM
  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • Jumbo
  • Home equity loans
  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • Jumbo
  • HELOC

How we rated Caliber Home Loans

LendingTree’s mortgage lender rating is based on a five-point scoring system that factors in several features, including digital application processes, available loan products and the accessibility of product and lending information.

LendingTree’s editorial team calculates each rating based on a review of information available on the lender’s website. Lenders receive a half-point on the “offers standard mortgage products” criterion if they offer only two of the three standard loan programs (conventional, FHA and VA). In some cases, additional information was provided by a lender representative.

Caliber Home Loans scorecard: 3/5

  Publishes rates online

  Offers standard mortgage products

  Includes detailed product info online

  Shares resources about mortgage lending

  Provides an online application

  = 0 points ⭕= 0.5 points   = 1 point
 

Today's Mortgage Rates

  • 5.95%
  • 5.76%
  • 3.31%
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