Caliber Home Loans mortgage review
This lender claims it can close loans in as little as 10 days, but it’s been accused of engaging in dubious practices.
finder.com’s rating: 3.3 / 5.0
Caliber offers a large variety of mortgage products, including those for borrowers with bad credit or low income. But it’s been accused of unfair loan modifications that led some borrowers to foreclosure, and customers online have complained about it taking longer than expected to close a loan.
|Loan products offered||Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Refinance|
|Minimum credit score||Conventional: 620|
|Minimum down payment (Conventional)||3%|
|State availability||Available in all states|
Lending requirements are standard
To find out if you meet the requirements for a Caliber mortgage, visit the website to find a loan officer in your area. Basic eligibility includes:
- Two years’ history of employment
- A FICO credit score of 620 or higher
- No history of bankruptcy for at least two years
The exact documents and information you’ll need to supply will vary depending on your unique financial situation, but some items you will need to apply for a mortgage from Caliber are:
- Driver’s license or passport
- Social Security number
- Paystubs for the last 30 days
- Bank and investment account statements for the last 60 days
- Most recent two years’ W-2 statements
- Last two years’ tax returns
- Homeowner’s insurance information
- List of credit cards, plus car, student or home loans
Costs are competitive
According to a Caliber loan consultant, the company charges a flat $995 origination fee. This is the only lender fee it charges, but as a homebuyer, you’re also responsible for any third-party fees associated with buying a home. Common third-party fees include appraisal fees, title fees and closing fees.
Caliber displays its list of fees online, but you won’t find any mention of its origination fee. This is usually a minor red flag, as it doesn’t convey transparency. We had to call a loan consultant to get this information. That said, Caliber’s $995 fee still comes in well below many of its competitors — we often see lenders charging origination fees in excess of $2,000.
4 steps to apply for a mortgage with Caliber Home Loans
To apply for a mortgage with Caliber:
- Visit the Caliber Home Loans website and select Get Started, then select Find Your Loan Consultant.
- Enter your zip code, address, city or state to search for branch locations in your area.
- Wait for a list of locations to appear and select an office location to view the names and phone numbers of the loan officers in that office. Depending on the location, there may be one or more officers to contact.
- Select the loan officer to visit their personal webpage. From there, you can find a phone number to call or request a call back using the form provided.
Alternatively, you can try to use the Apply Now feature on the website to apply for a home loan. We followed the steps to create an online loan application but ran into multiple snafus — including having to reset our password, being sent non-working OTP codes and being asked to link to an existing loan account before we set one up.
What types of mortgages can I get through Caliber Home Loans?
- New Construction
This company accepts mortgage refinance applications.
Other mortgage products offered by Caliber Home Loans
Caliber also offers these specialized types of mortgages:
- HomeOne. A Freddie Mac loan option geared toward first-time homebuyers that only requires 3% down.
- Home Possible. A Freddie Mac loan option for low-income buyers that requires 3% down and permits lowering your rate with temporary buydowns for the first year or two.
- HomeReady. A Fannie Mae loan option for low-income homebuyers that requires 3% down and allows friends and family to cosign the loan.
- HomeStyle Renovation Loan. A Fannie Mae program that can help finance renovation projects or improvements in your home, like adding a new bedroom or a pool.
- FHA Streamline Refinance. A refinance mortgage option for existing FHA loans that may not require a new appraisal.
- VA Streamline Refinance (IRRRL). A low-paperwork refinance mortgage option for existing VA loans with a low VA funding fee requirement of 0.5%.
- FHA 203(k) Home Loan. A single loan that helps pay for a new home, plus the cost of improvements. Eligibility requirements are similar to FHA loans.
Caliber Home Loans offers more mortgage products compared to other lenders
Compared to other lenders, Caliber offers a higher-than-average number of mortgage types, including multiple options for first-time homebuyers, refinancers and those with lower credit scores. Caliber also maintains a separate lending website exclusively for military members and their families, called CaliberMilitaryLending.com, where you can find in-depth information about VA loans and eligibility requirements.
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Caliber Home Loans reviews are mostly positive
As of September 2021, Caliber Home Loans has a 4.9 out of 5 rating on Zillow from over 6,400 customers. Caliber has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2014 and has an A+ business rating with a customer rating of 4.02 out of 5 stars and 403 complaints closed in the past three years.
Positive reviews from customers focus on the excellent and timely service from their loan officers. Complaints with the company are related to derogatory credit report entries, escrow funds being withheld, customer payments being mishandled and private mortgage insurance not being removed on time.
Altogether, Caliber has positioned itself above many of its competitors in terms of customer ratings and reviews. While it’s nearly impossible to please everyone, in large, customers look favorably upon Caliber.
Pros and cons of Caliber Home Loans
- Good for first-time homebuyers. Caliber Home Loans participates in low down payment programs and offers loans with flexible credit minimums.
- Refinance fees waived. Caliber Home Loans will waive its lender fees if your mortgage refinance is directly through the company.
- Support for military members. Has a separate website for military members seeking VA loans, with an educational curriculum designed to help its loan consultants meet the needs of military borrowers.
- Doesn’t list mortgage rates. You’ll need to do some digging to find interest rates, which can make it difficult to compare with other lenders.
- Limited customer service options. Agents are only available on weekdays during business hours. There is no live chat option available on the website for immediate requests.
- Difficult to apply online. While there’s an Apply Now option on the website, it presented us with a host of problems when trying to use it.
What is Caliber Home Loans?
Founded in 2008 as Caliber Funding, the company merged with Vericrest Financial in 2013 to become Caliber Home Loans, Inc. Caliber Home Loans focuses solely on home loans, which allows it to offer more mortgage types than most other lenders. In addition to its corporate, wholesale and correspondent divisions, the company also maintains a military lending division, which connects borrowers to VA loan consultants.
It’s worth noting that the assurance was for settlement purposes only. The company never admitted guilt, nor was it found to have violated the law.
Matt Miczulski is a personal finance writer at Finder. After paying off $30,000 in debt in a little more than a year, he applied what he learned as a writer at FinanceBuzz, where he specialized in finance news, banking, debt and travel. He has been featured on MSN, Best Company, Money Done Right and Recruiter. Matt is a proud military veteran, completing one tour in Iraq and earning a BA in History along the way.
Caliber Home Loans’ strength lies in its number of conventional and government-backed loan options for first homebuyers, foreign nationals, veterans and people with poor credit. But the company’s online application is lacking, so we advise calling the company if you’re interested in applying.
And while the company has an A+ business rating with the BBB and a majority of its reviews are positive, Caliber has also been accused of unfair loan modifications that led some borrowers to unnecessary and avoidable foreclosures. It was never found guilty of violating the law, but you may want to proceed with caution if choosing this lender.
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