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Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Review 2021

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In 2000, Victor Giardelli founded Guaranteed Rate to offer a digital mortgage experience to its customers. The company is headquartered in Chicago with 850 offices nationwide.

Who is this lender for?

Guaranteed Rate is a good fit if:

  • You want a completely digital loan experience from application to closing.
  • You want to check out interest rates and read helpful articles about getting a mortgage online.
  • You want access to a lender that operates in all 50 states (and the District of Columbia).

8/10 
LendingTree’s mortgage lender rating

LendingTree’s mortgage lender rating is based on a 10-point scoring system that factors in several features, including digital application and closing processes, available loan products and online and in-person accessibility. LendingTree’s editorial team calculates each rating.

  1.   Application online
  2.   Product info online
  3.   Rates listed online
  4.   Helpful articles about mortgages and homebuying
  5.   Standard product offerings (Conventional/FHA/VA/USDA)
  6.   Special programs
  7.   Info about how to qualify for products offered online
  8.   E-closing availability
  9.   Licensed in at least 35 states
  10.   After-hours and weekend access to loan officers

Guaranteed Rate pros and cons

Pros

  You can choose to start and finish your loan entirely online.

  You’ll have a wide variety of loan programs to choose from, including interest-only mortgages.

  You can learn about mortgages and homebuying from the articles available on the website.

Cons

  You won’t find after-hours or weekend support — based on published contact hours.

  You won’t find special first-time homebuyer programs.

  You won’t be able to get a loan unless your credit score is at least 620.

Guaranteed Rate borrowing requirements

Minimum credit score 
  • 620
Minimum down payment 
  • 0% VA and USDA
Available loan terms 
  • 15 and 30-year fixed-rate loans
  • 5-, 7- and 10-year adjustable-rate loans
Available loan types
  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Interest-only

Guaranteed Rate mortgage rates and fees

Guaranteed Rate’s website publishes current mortgage rates for conventional loans, as well as loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Quotes include options with and without mortgage points, which can be used to “buy down” a lower interest rate.

The rates displayed at the time of this review were for primary single-family homes in the state of Illinois with a 740 credit score for conventional loans and 680 for FHA and VA loans.

The lender doesn’t publish its fees.

Guaranteed Rate mortgage products

Purchase and refinance

Guaranteed Rate offers conventional purchase and refinance loans with terms ranging between 15 and 30 years. First-time homebuyers can choose the 3% down payment Fannie Mae HomeReady® loan or the Freddie Mac Home Possible® program if they meet the income requirements for their area.

They also offer adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) with lower initial fixed interest rates for five, seven and 10 years. After the teaser-rate period ends, the payment will adjust based on the chosen ARM program.

Eligible military borrowers can buy a home with no down payment or refinance up to 100% of their current home’s value with a VA loan. The VA interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL) allows qualified homeowners with a VA loan to save money on a refinance without an appraisal or income documents.

Borrowers with low credit scores may qualify to buy a home through the FHA loan program with a 3.5% down payment. If you’re a homeowner with a current FHA loan, the FHA streamline program gives you money-saving options without the hassle of verifying your income or getting an appraisal.

USDA loans give low- to moderate-income homebuyers a 0% down option for buying a home in designated rural areas.

If you’re buying an expensive home and need a loan that exceeds the conforming loan limit of $548,250 for a single-family home in most parts of the country, Guaranteed Rate offers jumbo loan options.

Interest-only loans may be worth considering if you want the lowest-possible payment for a short period of time. During a set time of usually five, 10 or 15 years, you just make the interest-only mortgage payments on the loan. However, once the interest-only period ends, your lender will require you to pay both principal and interest, which could mean a big jump in your monthly payment if you don’t refinance or sell your home.

How does Guaranteed Rate compare to other lenders?

Guaranteed Rate Rocket Mortgage Better Mortgage
Minimum credit score 
  • 620
  • 580 FHA and VA
  • 620 Conventional
  • 620
Minimum down payment 
  • 0% VA and USDA
  • 0% VA
  • 3% Conventional
  • 3.5% FHA
  • 3% Conventional
  • 3.5% FHA
Loan products and types 
  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Interest-only
  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • Jumbo
  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • FHA
Special programs offered 
  • None
  • Personal loans through sister company Rocket Loans
  • Loan programs with loan terms ranging from eight to 29 years
  • Real estate services
  • Title insurance
  • Homeowners insurance
Lender Review Rocket Mortgage Better Mortgage
 

Today's Mortgage Rates

  • 2.65%
  • 2.13%
  • 2.67%
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