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Guide to Lenders Mortgage review

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Get multiple quotes from one website — but you'll need to give your information to a marketing company.

Guide to Lenders is an online marketplace that connects you with multiple lenders, giving you a hand in finding a mortgage. There’s no fee, but you may be handing out your personal information in return.

Details

Loan types Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Home Equity, FHA, VA, USDA
Minimum credit 680
Minimum down payment 3%
Origination fee N/A
Other fees Expect fees to include appraisal fees, title charges, closing fees, and state taxes.

Ask your loan consultant for the specific fees associated with your pending loan, and keep an eye out for additional fees in your loan documentation.

Pros

  • Quotes from multiple lenders.
  • Competitive rates.
  • No hard credit pull.

Cons

  • Owned by a marketing firm.
  • Loans for residential properties only.
  • Lender fees unknown until you apply.
Guide to Lenders isn’t rated or accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but its parent company, QuinStreet, Inc, is. QuinStreet is rated with an A+ and has been accredited since 2000. Note that with Guide to Lenders, you aren’t dealing directly with the company, but with the lenders it connects you with.

Some customers claim they were required to make payments using iTunes gift cards, although in at least a couple of cases it appears that they may have been scammed by someone with a different email address and domain pretending to be Guide to Lenders. Paying this way for a loan or for any other fee could be an indication of a scam. If a lender asks this of you, be wary.

Other customers complain that they started receiving unwanted phone calls and emails once they entered their information in the Guide to Lenders online form.

As of September 2019, Guide to Lenders has 4.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. However, most reviews are one-liners and come from customers who have never reviewed anything else. This may cause suspicion that these reviews are fake.

What types of loans does Guide to Lenders offer?

Guide to Lenders isn’t a direct lender. It’s a service that matches you up with lenders who might fit your needs.

Not all lenders will offer the same mortgage types, and if you’re looking for a specific type of mortgage, that can be a major determining factor in choosing a lender. Common mortgage types you may find through the site include:

Conventional

One of the most common loan types, conventional loans are available for up to $484,350 in most counties as of 2019 and can have fixed or adjustable interest rates.

Jumbo

A jumbo loan is any mortgage too big to be bought out by government lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As of 2019, that includes any loan over $484,350 in most counties.

FHA

Created for low- to moderate-income borrowers, FHA loans are available with as little as 3.5% down and tend to have more flexible lending criteria than conventional mortgages.

VA

Available to qualifying veterans, military service members and some spouses, VA loans are available with $0 down.

USDA

USDA loans are available for $0 down to buyers who meet income requirements and purchase a home in an eligible rural area. You can use the USDA website to check if your home qualifies.

Other loan types

  • Home equity. If you need to tap into the equity you’ve built up in your home, Guide to Lenders can help you find the right lender.
  • Refinance. Refinancing your home can help you get a new interest rate or shorter loan term.

Guide to Lenders‘s fees

Guide to Lenders charges no fees for a quote. Because this is a marketplace, and Guide to Lenders doesn’t directly fund your loan, the cost of your mortgage will vary depending on your lender, type of loan and other factors. Common fees you may have to pay include:

  • Application fee
  • Origination fee
  • Underwriting fee
  • Rate lock fee
  • Ongoing fees
  • Third party fees

Requirements

Since Guide to Lenders isn’t a direct loan provider, there aren’t any qualification requirements to get a quote. Once you fill out a questionnaire, you get offers from lenders that fit your financial situation.

Typically, most lenders look for a credit score of 680 or higher. If you qualify for a government-backed program like an FHA loan, USDA loan or VA loan, you may apply with a lower credit score. You’ll also need proof of steady income for the last two years.

Additionally, lenders look for a lower debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. A DTI of less than 40% is required in most cases.

Documentation

You won’t need any documentation to get a quote. But if you decide to apply, be prepared to provide:

  • ID such as a driver’s license
  • Proof of income with a 1099 form
  • Tax return 4506-T forms
  • Credit history
  • Bank statements
  • Rental history

Must read: How to spot a scam

In 2017, there were several reports online of customers being asked to submit iTunes gift cards to the email address guidetolenders@usa.com. This is not the email address associated with Guide to Lenders. All official emails should come from the domain @guidetolenders.com.

Always be cautious when giving out your information, and never give information or money to someone contacting you from an unknown email address. For more information on avoiding scams, check out the CFPB guide to mortgage scams.

How to get a home loan with Guide to Lenders

Once you know what kind of property you’re looking to buy and in which city, you’ll need to have an estimate of the property price and the down payment you can provide. Once you have that:

  1. Visit the Guide to Lenders website.
  2. Click Home Loan.
  3. Select a property type and choose your city and state.
  4. Enter the cost of the property and your down payment.
  5. Provide personal information such as your credit score, VA eligibility and any bankruptcies.
  6. Provide your email, full name and phone number.
  7. Receive mortgage loan quotes from lenders.

Pros and cons of Guide to Lenders

Pros

  • Quotes from multiple lenders. With quotes from up to five lenders, you can compare rates and offers quickly.
  • Competitive rates. According to the Guide to Lenders website, mortgage rates start at 4.95% APR.
  • No hard credit pull. You get mortgage loan quotes without a hard pull on your credit.

Cons

  • Owned by a marketing firm. It’s owner, QuinStreet Inc, shares your info with companies that may solicit you with phone calls and emails.
  • Loans for residential properties only. If you’re looking for loans for commercial properties, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
  • Lender fees unknown until you apply. Since you don’t know which lender you’ll end up with, you won’t know the fees until the process is underway.

Compare to other lenders

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Streamline your mortgage from quote to final payment — all from your computer or phone.
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Compare up to 4 providers

What is Guide to Lenders?

Founded in 2005, Guide to Lenders isn’t a mortgage provider or a broker. Instead, it matches customers with up to five lenders from its network of 150 partners. And according to its website, Guide to Lenders has helped to serve over $16 billion in loans.

Aside from home loans, this provider also helps match customers looking for personal loans.

Bottom line

If you want to compare multiple loan offers in one place, Guide to Lenders could help you find a mortgage to suit your needs. It’s connected with 150 lenders and you won’t pay fees to get a quote. But its relationship with the QuinStreet marketing firm may mean that your information will be shared and used for marketing purposes.

Not what you’re looking for? Check out other mortgage lenders and compare your options.

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