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Lower Mortgage Review 2022

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.

Lower is an online direct mortgage lender founded in 2018. It is headquartered in New Albany, Ohio. In addition to a wide variety of mortgage products, Lower offers savings accounts to help boost down payment savings, a real estate agent matching service and an online tool for comparing homeowners insurance quotes from different carriers.

Who is this lender for?

Lower is a good fit if:

  • You want to apply for, process and close your loan entirely online.
  • You need to borrow up to 95% of your home’s value with a home equity line of credit (HELOC).
  • You need access to loan officers during non-banking hours.

10/10 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 based on a review of information available on the lender’s website. Lenders receive a half-point on the “standard product offerings” criterion if they offer at least two of the four standard loan programs (Conventional/FHA/VA/USDA). In some cases, additional information was provided by a lender representative

Here’s how we scored Lower: 

  = 1 pt    = 0 pts

  1.   Online application link
  2.   Ability to upload financial documents securely online
  3.   Interest rates listed online
  4.   Helpful articles about mortgages and homebuying on website
  5.   Offers all standard mortgage products (Conventional/FHA/USDA/VA)
  6.   Special programs available for homebuyers
  7. Information about how to qualify for products offered on website
  8.   E-closing options available
  9.   Licensed in at least 35 states
  10.   After-hours and weekend access to loan officers

Pros and cons of a Lower mortgage

Pros

  You can choose an entirely online mortgage experience.

  You can borrow up to 95% of your home’s equity with a Lower home equity line of credit (HELOC).

  You can reach a Lower loan advisor after regular banking hours and on weekends.

Cons

  You won’t find the product or qualifying guidelines on Lower’s website.

  You may not find a Lower branch operating in your state (they are licensed in 42 states and the District of Columbia).

  You won’t find fixed-rate home equity loans or reverse mortgage options at Lower.

Lower.com borrowing requirements

Minimum credit score620 Conventional 580 FHA and USDA and VA
Minimum credit score
  • 620 Conventional
  • 580 FHA and USDA and VA
Minimum down payment
  • 3% Conventional
  • 3.5% FHA
  • 0% USDA
  • 0% VA
Loan products and types
  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • USDA
  • VA
  • Jumbo
  • HELOCs
Special programs offered
  • “Free Refi for Life” program for repeat customers
  • Down payment savings account
  • Homeowners insurance comparison tool
  • Real estate agent matching service

Lower mortgage rates and fees

Lower advertises its lowest rates on both its “Finance” and “Refinance” webpage. According to the fine print, the rates quoted include a discount point charge and are based on a 30-year, fixed-rate $200,000 loan with at least a 25% down payment.

Lower doesn’t list origination fees or other loan-related closing costs online.

Lower mortgage products

Purchase and refinance

Lower offers conventional loans as well as loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). They also offer a combo (piggyback) loan option and jumbo loans.

Loan terms include 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year fixed-rate options. Lower also offers a specialty 5/5 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), which we describe in the “special programs” section below.

First-time homebuyers can choose conventional loans with a 3% down payment, as long as they have at least a 620 credit score. Borrowers with scores from 580 to 619 may qualify for an FHA loan with a 3.5% down payment; with 10% down, FHA borrowers may be eligible for approval at a score as low as 500.

Eligible military borrowers don’t need a down payment if they have enough VA entitlement for a VA loan. Low- to moderate-income borrowers usually need a 640 score for a USDA loan if they buy a home in a USDA-designated rural area.

Special programs

Lower offers a home equity line of credit that allows borrowers to access up to 95% of their home’s value, which means you can borrow 10% more than most HELOC programs permit. HELOCs work like credit cards secured by your home — except you can only charge and pay them off during a set time, called a draw period. The draw period usually lasts about 10 years, after which you’ll pay the remaining balance off in installment payments.

Borrowers looking for extra short-term savings on their mortgage payment may want to check out Lower’s 5/5 ARM product. The initial rate is typically lower than a 30-year rate for the initial five-year period and then adjusts every five years — giving you more time without worrying about another rate change (most ARMs adjust annually after the initial fixed-rate period ends).

Repeat customers may be eligible for the Lower’s “Free Refi for Life” program with savings of up to $1,500 in lender fees each time a customer refinances again with Lower.com.

Lower also features unique products to help homebuyers save or earn extra money on their homeownership journey.

  • HomeFund account. You may be able to build your down payment savings faster with a Lower HomeFund account. The FDIC-insured account may pay a higher annual percentage yield than institutional savings accounts.
  • Get matched with a Lower real estate agent. If you’re looking for a real estate agent to help you buy or sell a home, Lower may be able to connect you with an agent in your area.
  • Shop homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance is the last “I” in the PITI (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) of your monthly mortgage payment, and Lower may help you shop a lower premium with their homeowners insurance comparison tool.

How does Lower compare to other lenders?

Lower Better Mortgage Fairway Independent Mortgage
Minimum credit score 
  • 580 VA, FHA and USDA
  • 620
  • 600 (FHA)
Minimum down payment 
  • 0% VA and USDA
  • 3%
  • 0% (VA & USDA)
Loan products and types 
  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Jumbo
  • HELOCs
  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • FHA
  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Jumbo
Special programs offered 
  • “Free Refi for Life” program for repeat customers
  • Down payment savings account
  • Homeowners insurance comparison tool
  • Real estate agent matching service
  • Real estate services
  • Title insurance products and services
  • Homeowners insurance shopping tool
  • Reverse mortgages
  • Physician loans
Lender ReviewBetter MortgageFairway Independent Mortgage

 

Today's Mortgage Rates

  • 5.95%
  • 5.76%
  • 3.31%
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