Caliber Home Loans mortgage review
This lender claims it can close your loan in 10 days, but it has engaged in dubious practices and many customer reviews are negative.
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 much longer than expected to close a loan.
In April 2019, Caliber Home Loans agreed to pay a $2 million settlement with the state of Massachusetts over allegations that it violated the state’s Act Preventing Unlawful and Unnecessary Foreclosures.
According to the lawsuit, Caliber offered loan modifications with interest-only payments to struggling homeowners. The modifications temporarily lowered borrowers’ payments but caused them to shoot up higher than before, leading to unfair foreclosures. This was done even though more stable and permanent modifications were available.
Caliber Home Loans requirements
To find out if you meet the requirements for a Caliber Home Loans mortgage, visit the website to find a loan officer in your area.
Basic eligibility for a mortgage with Caliber Home Loans includes:
- Two years’ history of employment
- A FICO credit score of 620 or higher
- No history of bankruptcy for at least two years
Here’s what you need to apply for a mortgage from Caliber Home Loans:
- Driver’s license or passport
- Social Security number
- Paystubs for the last 30 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
- Other documentation
Costs and fees
What fees you need to pay will depend on which mortgage type you choose. Caliber displays a full list of its fees online, which include:
- Title search
- Prepayment penalty
- Other fees
How to apply for a mortgage with Caliber Home Loans
To apply for a mortgage with Caliber Home Loans:
- 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?
Other mortgage products offered by Caliber Home Loans
Caliber Home Loans 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.
How Caliber Home Loans’ mortgage products compare 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 people with lower credit scores. Caliber Home Loans 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 and complaints
As of March 2021, Caliber Home Loans has a 5 out 5 rating on Zillow from over 6,200 customers. Caliber Home Loans has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2014 and has an A+ business rating with a customer rating of 3.83 out 5 and 386 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 PMI not being removed on time.
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.
Katia Iervasi is a staff writer who hails from Australia and now calls New York home. Her writing and analysis has been featured on sites like Forbes, Best Company and Financial Advisor around the world. Armed with a BA in Communication and a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance topics for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).
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, and we advise calling the company if you’re interested in applying.
And while the company has an A+ business rating with the BBB, many customer reviews are negative. Frustrating customer service, an unclear application process and billing mistakes are recurring issues, according to many. Caliber has also been accused of unfair loan modifications that led some borrowers to unnecessary and avoidable foreclosures. If choosing this lender, you may want to proceed with caution.
Visit out our mortgage guide to compare other lenders and find the best deal for your situation.