Better.com mortgage review
finder.com’s rating: 3.5 / 5.0
This lender gets rave reviews from past borrowers — even though it doesn’t service loans.
Thanks to its advanced technologies and algorithms, Better is able to provide fast, low-fee home loans. But once your loan is closed, it’ll hand it off to a different loan servicer.
|Loan types||Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, FHA|
|Other minimum credits||680|
|Minimum down payment||3%|
|Other fees||Better earns revenue by originating your mortgage — not by charging fees for commissions or service.|
|Available States||Not available in: HI, MA, MN, NV, NH, VT, VA|
- Quick online preapproval
- No origination fees
- No middleman - Better is a direct lender
- Only available in some states
- Limited loan types available
Both positive and negative reviews tend to focus on how automated the loan process is, with several reviewers comparing it to an assembly line. When everything runs smoothly, loans are completed on time and the process is simple. But when there’s an issue, some users complain that it’s hard to get any personalized help.
What types of loans does Better offer?
Better offers both fixed- and adjustable-rate conventional mortgages for single- and multi-family houses, condos, townhomes and planned unit developments.
A jumbo mortgage is a mortgage too big to be acquired by government lenders Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. As of 2020, loans over $510,400 will be considered jumbo loans in most counties.
Created for low- and moderate-income borrowers, FHA loans have more flexible lending criteria and are available with a 3.5% down payment to qualifying borrowers.
You can refinance your current loan with Better to get a new rate or different loan term.
Better doesn’t charge any lender fees, which means you won’t have to pay an application or origination fee. But you will still have to pay third-party fees.
To get an estimate of your third-party fees, you can visit the Rates section of the lender’s website and use the calculator to find out how much you’ll need to pay.
What is the Better Price Guarantee?
According to the company’s Better Price Guarantee, you’ll get $1,000 if Better doesn’t cost at least $1,000 less in closing fees than other lenders.
But that guarantee comes with a lot of fine print. The two loans need to have the exact same terms and interest rate — and with Better’s interest rates being rounded to the nearest thousandth of a percent, finding the exact same rate somewhere else isn’t likely, regardless of closing costs.
Even if you do find the same rates and terms with lower closing costs somewhere else, you’ll need to provide Better with a loan estimate before you take out the loan with a competitor, and then you’ll need to actually sign with that competitor and show Better the closing disclosure. And even if you manage all that, the guarantee is void if you got a rate lock with Better before finding another lender.
As with other lenders, Better looks at your credit score, employment history, tax statements, pay stubs and other relevant information to determine your eligibility for a mortgage. While the company doesn’t list specific qualifying numbers, most lenders want to see a credit score of at least 620 for conventional loans, unless you have a substantial down payment.
To find out if you qualify for a mortgage, fill out its online preapproval form and receive an answer within minutes.
Have these documents ready before you apply:
- Current identification, such as a US driver’s license, state ID or passport
- W-2 forms
- Pay stubs
- Tax returns
- Bank statements
Pros and cons of Better mortgages
- Quick preapproval. Get preapproved online in minutes.
- No origination fees. Unlike with other lenders, Better doesn’t charge to originate your mortgage.
- No middleman. Better is a direct lender — meaning it processes your application and underwrites, closes and funds your loan itself.
- Not available in all states. They’re working on expanding, but for now, you must live in select states to get a mortgage through Better. Services are not available in: HI, MA, MN, NV, NH, VT, VA
- Limited loan types. Better does not currently offer VA, USDA, construction or commercial loans.
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How to apply
- Go to Better’s website and hover over the green Get started button. Choose the Purchase option.
- Select the option that best fits your situation to be directed to the appropriate online form.
- Follow the instructions to complete the form, including uploading all requested documents.
- You should receive a preapproval decision within minutes after completing the form. If it needs additional information, you’ll be notified by Better customer service.
What is Better.com?
Better Mortgage Corporation, usually just shortened to Better, is a relatively new company. It was founded in 2014, and only launched Better.com in 2016. But by 2018, it had already funded $1 billion in loans, and the company is gaining recognition quickly.
The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and four out of five stars from customers on the site based on 214 reviews. It also has only 13 complaints closed in the last year, which is low for a company of its size.
Frequently asked questions
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Gabrielle Pastorek is a staff writer at Finder, helping readers to round up the best deals, coupons, retailers, products and services to make sound financial decisions. She's written more than 800 articles on the site and is a quoted expert in Best Company and DealNews. She earned an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, with essays and short stories published in The Collagist, Blue Monday Review, Blotterature and others. When she’s not writing, Gabrielle can be found out in the barn with her horse, Lucy.
Better mortgages is good for younger homebuyers looking for an easy, online process. While this company offers competitive rates and no hidden fees, it’s not for borrowers looking for VA, USDA, construction or commercial loans.