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.
|Loan products offered||Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Home Equity/HELOC, Refinance|
|Minimum credit score||Conventional: 620|
Other mortgages: As low as 580, depending on type
|Minimum down payment||3%|
|State availability||Available in all states|
Guaranteed Rate requirements
To find out if you meet the requirements for a Guaranteed Rate home loan, you can get preapproved 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
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:
- Go to Guaranteed Rate’s website and select Get Started.
- Choose if you’re looking to Buy a Home or to Refinance.
- Choose if you’re still shopping, ready to make an offer or if you’ve signed a purchase contract.
- Select the type of home, then enter the location, purchase price, down payment, credit score, your military status and contact information, then hit Next.
- Enter your personal information including marital status, number of dependents, current address and monthly expenses. Choose Next.
- Choose if you want to add a coborrower and add their info. Hit Next.
- Enter information about your current employment, income and assets, then select Next.
- Answer some legal questions, consent to the disclosures and choose Next.
- 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?
Other mortgage products offered by Guaranteed Rate
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.
How Guaranteed Rate’s mortgage products compare to other lenders
Guaranteed Rate offers a standard range of home loan products, including conventional and government-backed loans, jumbo loans and HELOCs. Guaranteed Rate doesn’t offer any specialized mortgage programs for first-time homebuyers.
However, eligible borrowers may qualify for lender credits at closing. For example, if you use a Guaranteed Rate-affiliated real estate agent or are employed by a Guaranteed Rate-affiliated company, you could receive up to a $1200 credit towards your loan processing and underwriting fees.
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Guaranteed Rate reviews and complaints
As of April 2021, Guaranteed Rate has a 5 out of 5 rating on Zillow from over 16,400 customers. Guaranteed Rate has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2009 and has an B+ business rating with 70 customer complaints closed in the last three years.
Customers who report positive experiences express being thrilled with the service and knowledge of their loan officers, as well as the interest rates they received. Complaints with the company revolve around payments not being forwarded to the loan servicer and payments not being correctly applied.
Pros and cons of Guaranteed Rate
- 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.
- 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, IL. Its goal at inception 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 7th 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.
Kat Aoki is a mortgage writer at Finder. Since 2011, she’s helped consumers make better financial decisions with their home loans, credit cards, insurance and more. As a business writer for the real estate, mortgage and personal finance industries, she’s written hundreds of helpful, informative articles for some of the leading brands around the globe that include iSelect, InfoChoice, realestate.com.au, GE Money and Amex. Kat earned a BS in Marketing from California State University, Sacramento. She enjoys travel, hiking and photography in her spare time.
Guaranteed Rate provides a smooth online experience, competitive rates and transparent fees. The loan officer we spoke with was friendly and helpful and provided more information than what’s on the website. So, if you’re interested in applying, it’s worth calling and speaking with someone about your options and any possible discounts.
And while the vast majority of customers report positive experiences and excellent service with the company, some customers have experienced problems with payments after closing. Keep in mind that if Guarantee Rate sells your loan after closing, the service you receive depends on the new service provider.