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Bay Equity Home Loans mortgage review

You don’t need 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 compared to other lenders, finding the online application can be difficult.

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Details

Loan products offeredConventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Reverse, Refinance
Minimum credit scoreConventional: 620
Jumbo: 680
VA/USDA: 640
FHA: 580
Minimum down payment (Conventional)3%
State availabilityNot available in: AK, DE, IA, NJ, NY, OH, PA, WV, DC
NMLS #76988

Our take on Bay Equity Home Loans

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. That said, many other online lenders provide preapprovals within minutes.

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.

Bay Equity also doesn’t advertise its rates and fees online, which makes things difficult for homebuyers who are shopping around for a lender. It also makes you question why it isn’t up front about its rates and fees.

In short, if Bay Equity is available in your state, it’s worth the consideration. It offers online applications and most home loan types and has a ton of positive reviews from customers on Zillow. But we’d like to see Bay Equity be a little more transparent about its rates and fees to make the process easier for homebuyers.

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

Since Bay Equity doesn’t post its rates and fees online, we reached out to a loan officer. You’re required to pay a $450 processing fee and a $995 underwriting fee. These are both lender fees, and the amounts are standard for lenders that charge flat fees instead of a percentage of the total loan amount.

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. 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 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 most states across the US.
  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).

Bay Equity Home Loan reviews and complaints

As of July 2022, Bay Equity Home Loans has a 4.98 out of 5 rating on Zillow from over 8,200 customer reviews. This is both a lot of reviews and a lot of positive reviews for a mortgage lender. Customers report being happy with the service, the loan officers’ communication skills and expertise, as well as the speed of closing times.

Reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are sparse, with only four customers rating the lender 1 out of 5 stars. Dissatisfied customers cite a lack of service and communication. Bay Equity has been accredited since 2017 and holds an A+ rating.

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, the homepage doesn’t mention this feature.
  • Turnaround time. The Bay Equity team works seven days a week, including loan officers and underwriting teams.
  • An abundance of positive reviews. Bay Home has gathered more than 7,800 reviews on Zillow, most of which are 5 stars.

Cons

  • Misleading website. The Bay Equity website is somewhat unclear. It states that you can apply online, but it doesn’t mention 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 and isn’t available nationwide.
  • No mention of rates and fees. Home Equity doesn’t publish its rates and fees online, which makes it difficult to compare lenders when you’re shopping around.

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’s located in Corte Madera, California and is licensed in 42 states, with retail branches in 27 states. The company processes one billion dollars in loans every month and supports the Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station.

4 ways to contact Bay Equity mortgage support

If you have questions or need assistance, reach out to Bay Equity through these channels:

  • Phone. 855-259-0467
  • Twitter. @BayEquity
  • Email. servicingdesk@bayeq.com
  • Contact form. Found on its website

Alternatives to Bay Equity Home Loans

Bay Equity offers a range of home loan types, but the lender won’t be right for everyone. It’s not available nationwide, and it could be more transparent regarding its rates and fees.

If you’re looking for a similar suite of home loan options and haven’t decided in which state you’ll be purchasing a home, consider Axos Bank. It offers a range of mortgage products and is available nationwide. Plus, it publishes its rates and fees online.

Another option to narrow down lenders is to use a lending marketplace like Credible or LendingTree. Both these marketplaces take your basic financial information and provide quotes from the top lenders, allowing you to compare lenders in one central location.

Similarly, compare top brands by home loan type, state availability and credit score. Select See rates to provide the lender with basic property and financial details for personalized rates.

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Name Product Loan products offered State availability Min. credit score
Rocket Mortgage
(NMLS #3030)
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Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, Refinance
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620
Streamline your mortgage from quote to final payment — all from your computer or phone.
Morty
(NMLS #1429243)
Morty
Conventional, Jumbo
Not available in: AZ, HI, MA, MO, NV, UT
620
Preapproval in minutes and closing in as little as 3 weeks with no origination fees.
LendingTree
(NMLS #1136)
LendingTree
HELOC, Home Equity loans
Available in all states
620
Connect with vetted lenders quickly through this free online marketplace.
Veterans United
(NMLS #1907)
Veterans United
Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Jumbo, Refinance
Available in all states
620
Veterans United stands out from other lenders for its focus on serving the military community.
Freedom Mortgage
(NMLS #2767)
Freedom Mortgage
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Refinance
Available in all states
620
A lender that excels in FHA and VA loans, offering low down payment options to borrowers.
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