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Guaranteed Rate mortgage review

Home loans are available in all 50 states, but your loan is sold after closing.

finder.com’s rating: 3.7 / 5.0

★★★★★

Guaranteed Rate has gone from a startup to one of the top mortgage providers in the country in less than 20 years. But it sells your loan after closing, so the quality of customer service you receive will depend on which company acquires your mortgage.

Details

Loan products offeredConventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Home Equity/HELOC, Refinance
Minimum credit scoreConventional: 620
Other mortgages: As low as 580, depending on type
Minimum down payment (Conventional)3%
State availabilityAvailable in all states
NMLS #2610

Our take on Guaranteed Rate

If you’re looking for a top-rated lender that combines technology with human support, Guaranteed Rate might be a good choice. The company comes highly rated by past customers, who rave about the professional, helpful and “above and beyond” service from their loan officers.

The company also has a near-perfect rating on Zillow from thousands and thousands of customers, with relatively few complaints registered on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website as compared to other lenders.

However, the company sells its loans after closing. While this may not be a big deal for some people, others may prefer to stick with the same lender for the life of their loan.

But if great service during the lending process and competitive rates are important to you, Guaranteed Rate may be worth checking out.

Guaranteed Rate requirements

To find out if you meet the requirements for a Guaranteed Rate home loan, get preapproval online or speak with a loan officer directly.

Basic eligibility for a mortgage with Guaranteed Rate includes:

  • Two years’ history of employment
  • A FICO credit score of 620 or higher
  • No history of bankruptcy for at least two years

Documentation

Here’s what you need to apply for a mortgage from Guaranteed Rate.

For employed persons:

  • Last two pay stubs
  • Personal Tax returns and W-2s for the past two years
  • Most recent two months’ asset account statements — checking, savings, stocks, IRA, 401k, etc.
  • Information about any additional properties you own
  • If purchasing, the sales contract from the new home, insurance information, etc.
  • If refinancing, your current mortgage statement, insurance information, etc.

For self-employed persons:

  • Most recent two years’ K1s
  • Most recent two years’ business tax returns

Costs and fees

Guaranteed Rate has many of the same fees you’ll find with most mortgage companies. Expect to pay about 2% to 5% of your home’s total cost in fees and other closing costs, although lender credits up to $1,200 may be available.

How to start the mortgage process with Guaranteed Rate

Here’s how to get preapproved with Guaranteed Rate:

  1. Go to Guaranteed Rate’s website and select Get Started.
  2. Choose if you’re looking to Buy a Home or to Refinance.
  3. Choose if you’re still shopping, ready to make an offer or if you’ve signed a purchase contract.
  4. Select the type of home, then enter the location, purchase price, down payment, credit score, your military status and contact information, then hit Next.
  5. Enter your personal information including marital status, number of dependents, current address and monthly expenses. Choose Next.
  6. Choose if you want to add a coborrower and add their info. Hit Next.
  7. Enter information about your current employment, income and assets, then select Next.
  8. Answer some legal questions, consent to the disclosures and choose Next.
  9. Enter your Social Security number and answer a few other questions about your application. Afterward, you’re eligible to receive a preapproval letter with your available rates.

What types of mortgages can I get through Guaranteed Rate?

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

Other mortgage products Guaranteed Rate offers

Guaranteed Rate also offers these specialized types of mortgages.

  • Interest-only loans. Pay only interest for a set time, helping to lower your monthly payment and free up cash for other needs.
  • Mortgage refinance. Can help lower your interest rate, shorten your loan term or be used to consolidate debts and pay off expenses.

Alternatives to Guaranteed Rate mortgage

Guaranteed Rate is a highly-rated fintech lender that combines technology and human support for a smoother lending experience. But the company sells its loans after closing, making it hard to know the service levels you’ll receive afterwards.

While selling loans is a common practice in the mortgage industry, you may prefer to stay with the same lender after closing. If you fall into this category, Axos Bank, Mr. Cooper, Quicken Loans or Rocket Mortgage may be a better option.

Like Guaranteed Rate, these companies offer technology-based lending processes, but continue to service the majority of loans after closing. This means you can expect the same service levels throughout the life of your loan.

Regardless of which company you go with, comparing lenders and lender marketplaces is the best way to find the right match and best deal for your situation.

Name Product Loan products offered State availability Min. credit score
Rocket Mortgage
(NMLS #3030)
Rocket Mortgage
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, Refinance
Available in all states
620
Streamline your mortgage from quote to final payment — all from your computer or phone.
AmeriSave
(NMLS #1168)
AmeriSave
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Refinance
Not available in: NY
620
Great customer reviews and customized rate quotes in three minutes with no SSN needed.
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.
Better
(NMLS #330511)
Better
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, Refinance
Not available in: HI, MA, MN, NV, NH, VT, VA
620
Online preapproval in minutes and no origination fees with this direct lender.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Guaranteed Rate reviews and complaints

As of December 2021, Guaranteed Rate has a 4.96 out of 5 rating on Zillow from over 18,400 customers. Guaranteed Rate has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2009 and has an A- business rating with 102 customer complaints closed in the last three years.

Customers who report positive experiences express being thrilled with their loan officers’ service and knowledge, as well as the interest rates they received. Complaints with the company revolve around the loan servicer not receiving forwarded payments and incorrectly applied payments.

While customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive, the company has an outstanding government action on the BBB site related to false claims to government mortgage loan programs.

Guaranteed Rate pros and cons

Pros

  • Helpful website. As an online lender, Guaranteed Rate offers a well-designed website, mortgage calculators and a digital loan application you can access 24/7.
  • Excellent reviews. The company has a 5- out of 5-star rating on Zillow, with thousands of customers reporting excellent service from the company.
  • FlashClose. A technology designed to shorten closing appointments to minutes, with support for virtual closings.

Cons

  • Doesn’t advertise rates. To see your available rates, you’ll need to fill out the online application or call and speak to a loan officer.
  • Slow in-person service. Customers report that doing business at an office can be time-consuming.
  • Loans are sold. Guaranteed Rate sells your loan after closing, so the quality of customer service will depend on the new provider.

What is Guaranteed Rate?

Guaranteed Rate is a residential mortgage company founded in 2000 with headquarters in Chicago. Its original goal was to disrupt the mortgage market with innovation and focus. It works to deliver low rates and full fee transparency.

The company has grown to become the seventh-largest retail mortgage lender and has funded over $120 billion in home loans since its founding. Guaranteed Rate has bought a number of local mortgage companies around the country and now has more than 300 offices.

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