Lower Mortgage Review 2023
Lower at a glance
Lender rating: 4 out of 5
Minimum credit score: 580
Minimum down payment: 0% to 3%
Available loan products and programs: Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Jumbo, HELOCs
Apply for preapproval or submit a mortgage application online
Receive customer service via text message and after hours
Refinance a Lower mortgage as many times as you like without paying lender fees
No in-app dashboard to track your application or loan status
Lender fees aren’t disclosed online
Doesn't offer FHA streamline refinances
Lower is an online-only direct mortgage lender headquartered in New Albany, Ohio. In addition to a wide variety of mortgage products, Lower offers interesting perks like fee-free refinances for life, the ability to text with your mortgage loan advisor and even a courier service so you don’t have to travel to sign paper documents. Other tools provided by Lower include a real estate agent matching service and an online tool for comparing homeowners insurance quotes from more than 35 different carriers.
Lower mortgage products
- Purchase loans are available with 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year fixed-rate terms. For those seeking an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) option, Lower also offers a 5/5 ARM.
- Rate-and-term refinances are available to help lower your monthly payments or get you out from under your mortgage faster.
- Cash-out refinances are available for homeowners who want to free up cash by borrowing against their home equity.
- Purchase loans from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) are available to buyers who may need more flexible qualification requirements, like a minimum 580 credit score.
- Rate-and-term refinances are an option for homeowners looking to reduce their monthly mortgage payments or change their loan terms.
- Cash-out refinances from Lower may be a good choice for homeowners who want to tap their home equity to put cash toward other financial goals.
- Purchase loans are available for qualifying military borrowers.
- Streamline refinances, also known as interest rate reduction refinance loans (IRRRLs), are available for borrowers who already have mortgages from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
- Cash-out refinances are available for VA borrowers who have built sufficient home equity and want to convert it to cash.
- Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) through Lower allow you to borrow up to a 95% loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, but if you want to access those higher LTVs, you must use a HELOC “combo” loan, which means taking out the credit line and refinancing your mortgage in the same transaction.
- Jumbo loans are available for buyers who want to buy a high-value property that exceeds conforming loan limits.
- High-LTV “combo” loans (sometimes called piggyback loans) are also an option and can be used to lower your down payment on a jumbo loan.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans are offered to qualifying buyers purchasing single-family homes in rural areas.
Lower mortgage rates and fees
Lower advertises its lowest rates on both its homepage and its “Finance” and “Refinance” pages. According to the fine print, the rates quoted include a discount point charge and are based on a 30-year fixed-rate $200,001 loan with at least a 25% down payment.
Lower provides a list of the origination fees and other loan-related closing costs it may charge online but doesn’t provide amounts and warns that the list is “not comprehensive.”
|Mortgage rates published online?|
|Rate information updated daily or weekly?||* |
*Rates aren't updated on a regular schedule
|Lender fees disclosed?|
Lower’s application experience
You can apply for a Lower mortgage or HELOC online and submit your application within minutes. It’s also easy to get preapproved online, and all of these processes are streamlined by the ability to upload documents from your phone and Lower’s willingness to bring physical documents to you for signing. You can also choose an eClosing for your loan or go for a hybrid option.
Lower’s customer service experience
Lower’s customer service is available by phone at 833-920-2273 Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST, and even has a dedicated number for 24/7 text messages: 855-293-1776. Support by email is available at [email protected]. Lower offers an app, but it’s aimed primarily at customers using its savings account product, not mortgage customers. It doesn’t contain a dashboard for applicants to track their application’s status.
How does Lower compare to other lenders?
|Minimum credit score||500||620 to 650||580 to 620|
|Minimum down payment||0% to 3%||0% to 3.5%||0% to 3.5%|
|Loan products and programs|| |
How we rated Lower
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.
Lower’s scorecard: 4/5
Publishes rates online
Offers standard mortgage products
Includes detailed product info online
Shares resources about mortgage lending
Provides an online application