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Bay Equity Home Loans mortgage review

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You don’t have to have perfect credit to be approved, but the website is lacking in clarity and it’s not available in all states.

Bay Equity Home Loans is available seven days a week for first-time homebuyers and people looking to refinance. And unlike other lenders, it’s willing to underwrite certain loans with greater credit score flexibility — but it’s not licensed in all states and finding the online application can be difficult compared to other lenders.

Details

Loan products offeredConventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Home Equity/HELOC, Reverse, Refinance
Minimum credit scoreConventional: 620
Jumbo: 680
VA/USDA: 640
FHA: 580
Minimum down payment3%
State availabilityNot available in: AK, DE, IA, NJ, NY, OH, PA, WV, DC
NMLS #76988

Bay Equity Home Loans Requirements

To determine your eligibility, Bay Equity considers your personal and financial information, including:

  • Credit score
  • Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio
  • Length of your credit history

Documentation

For employed persons:
  • Pay stubs for the past month
  • W-2s for the past two years
  • Bank statements for the past two months
For self-employed persons:
  • Two years of federal tax returns

Costs and fees

You’re required to pay a processing fee, underwriting fee and a credit report fee. Other third-party fees include appraisal, attorney and state recording fees. For FHA, USDA and VA loans, you’ll also need to pay specific loan type fees, such as:

  • FHA mortgage insurance fee — 1.75% of the loan amount
  • USDA guarantee fee — 1% of the loan amount
  • VA funding fee — 2.4% of the loan amount

How to apply for a mortgage with Bay Equity Home Loans

To apply, you’ll need to find a Bay Equity loan officer in your state. You can either call a loan officer directly or select one from the website and start a loan application from a specific lender’s page. From there, you’ll be asked to provide the necessary documentation to start the preapproval process.

To get started:

  1. Find a Bay Equity loan officer in your state. To search for loan officers in your state, go to the Bay Equity homepage and type your state name or abbreviation in the search box. This will pull up a list of the branches and loan officers available in your state. Lenders are available in every state except Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. It’s also not available in Washington DC.
  2. Contact a loan officer. Choose a branch office or individual loan officer to contact. Depending on the listing, you may see a phone number to call, a button to send a message or a button to start an application online. If you’re having a hard time finding the online application button, it only appears once you select a loan officer.
  3. Get preapproved for your home loan. You’ll be asked to provide documents to your loan officer, such as your identification, bank statements and income and asset statements.
  4. Select your loan program. For first time homebuyers, Bay Equity can also help you find a buyer assistance program to help reduce your down payment or closing costs.

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What types of mortgages can I get through Bay Equity Home Loans?

  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Jumbo
This company accepts mortgage refinance applications.

Other mortgage products offered by Bay Equity Home Loans

  • Home-equity line of credit (HELOC). A HELOC lets you borrow against your home’s equity for debt consolidation and other financial needs.
  • Reverse mortgage. This mortgage allows you to tap into your home’s equity to supplement your monthly income. Available to individuals 60 and older (62 in TX and NC).

How Bay Equity Home Loans’ mortgage products compare to other lenders

Compared to other lenders, Bay Equity offers a standard range of popular mortgage options, including reverse mortgages. Bay Equity may be more flexible with credit scores, potentially approving buyers with scores as low as 580 during a time when some lenders are tightening requirements.

Bay Equity also offers same-day preapproval, which they’ve dubbed “One Day Certainty.” If you’re interested in pursuing this option, you have to grant the lender permission to access your financial and tax accounts online.

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Bay Equity Home Loan reviews and complaints

As of December 2020, Bay Equity Home Loans had a 5 out of 5 rating on Zillow from over 7,000 customers and two complaints registered with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Customers report being happy with the service, the communication and the knowledge of the loan officers, as well as the speed of closing times.

However, Bay Equity Home Loans is not registered with the BBB, and three negative reviews on the site mention a lack of service and communication.

Pros and cons of Bay Equity Home Loans

Pros

  • Flexibility. Bay Equity has less stringent underwriting standards than other mortgage companies, potentially approving buyers with credit scores of 580 and up.
  • Technology. By linking to your online financial and tax accounts, Bay Equity can give you optional same-day preapproval. However, this feature is not mentioned on the homepage.
  • Turnaround time. The Bay Equity team works seven days a week, including loan officers and underwriting teams.

Cons

  • Website. The Bay Equity website is somewhat unclear. It doesn’t state that you need to select a loan officer to begin a loan application, and it doesn’t mention the same-day preapproval option.
  • Online account credentials are required for same-day approval. Though security measures are provided, you may not want to allow access to your online accounts.
  • Not nationwide. Bay Equity is licensed in 42 states only. Not available in AK, DE, DC, IA, NJ, NY, OH, PA, WV.

What is Bay Equity Home Loans?

Bay Equity was founded in San Francisco’s financial district in 2007 and is family owned and operated. It is currently located in Corte Madera, CA and is licensed in 42 states, with retail branches in 27 states. The company processes one billion dollars in loans every month and is a supporter of the Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station.

Frequently asked questions

Expert review

Kat Aoki

Review by


Kat Aoki is a mortgage writer at Finder. Since 2011, she’s helped consumers make better financial decisions with their home loans, credit cards, insurance and more. As a business writer for the real estate, mortgage and personal finance industries, she’s written hundreds of helpful, informative articles for some of the leading brands around the globe that include iSelect, InfoChoice, realestate.com.au, GE Money and Amex. Kat earned a BS in Marketing from California State University, Sacramento. She enjoys travel, hiking and photography in her spare time.

Expert review

Bay Equity offers some advantages for borrowers, including availability seven days a week, greater underwriting flexibility and supportive technology such as eSign and eClosing. Together, these benefits can help borrowers get loan preapproval in hours or days, not weeks.

However, if you want to take advantage of Bay Equity’s same-day approval (a feature that’s not advertised on the website), you should contact a loan officer for more information. Also, we were informed that to use this feature, you’ll need to provide login credentials to your online financial and tax accounts.

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