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Guaranteed Rate mortgage review

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finder.com’s rating: 3.7 / 5.0

★★★★★

Loans available in all 50 states, but you need good credit and a steady income to qualify.

Guaranteed Rate has gone from startup to one of the top mortgage providers in the country in less than 20 years. For well-qualified buyers with very good credit, it offers competitive rates and fees — but buyers with lesser credit will find approval difficult.

Details

Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, Home Equity, HELOC, FHA, VA, USDA
Minimum credit 620
Other minimum credits Government-backed loans: 580
Other loan types: 620
Minimum down payment 3.5%
Other fees Appraisal, credit report, flood certification, state taxes and title insurance
Available States Available in all states
NMLS 2610

Pros

  • Competitive rates
  • Positive online reviews
  • Online prequalification
  • Mobile app

Cons

  • Slow in-person service
  • Need good credit
Reviews on its site state that most of its customers recommend Guaranteed Rate to their friends or family. And its online reviews are mostly positive, with customers saying the site is easy to use and its agents and customer service staff were helpful. Many say they received a better than expected rate and lower fees than they were quoted elsewhere.

It has 4.5 out of 5 stars with the Better Business Bureau. Negative reviews tend to focus on customer service experiences with individual agents.

What types of loans does Guaranteed Rate offer?

You can find all of the standard mortgage types at Guaranteed Rate, plus home refinancing loans.

  • Conventional. Guaranteed Rate offers 15- and 30-year fixed mortgages, as well as adjustable-rate mortgages.
  • FHA. First-time homebuyers can qualify for FHA loans through Guaranteed Rate. The bank requires as little as 3.5% down and accepts credit scores as low as 580.
  • VA. For active-duty military or veterans, Guaranteed Rate offers VA loans with exclusive benefits, low down payments and credit requirements.
  • USDA. Lower-income buyers in rural areas can qualify for a USDA mortgage backed by the US government.
  • Jumbo. It offers both fixed- and adjustable-rate jumbo mortgages. Potential borrowers may need a larger down payment and require stricter credit guidelines.

Other loans offered by Guaranteed Rate

  • Home equity loans: Borrow against the equity in your home with a lump sum payout.
  • HELOC: Also a loan against the equity of your home, a home equity line of credit (HELOC) can finance renovations or ongoing projects.

Guaranteed Rate’s fees

Guaranteed Rate has many of the fees that you’ll find with most mortgage companies. Some of the fees you can expect from this lender are:

  • Appraisal
  • Credit report
  • Flood certification
  • State taxes
  • Title insurance
  • Recording fee

Requirements

Your credit score, income and debt-to-income ratio will depend on the loan you’re applying for. For government-backed loans, you need a minimum credit score of 580 and steady employment. But for the best rates and lowest mortgage payments, apply with a credit score of 620 or better and a low debt-to-income ratio.

Documentation

Have the following documents ready to get the process started:

  • Two months of paystubs or comparable self-employment documents
  • Two months of asset statements
  • Two years of federal tax returns
  • Verification of current employment

How to get a home loan with Guaranteed Rate

Here’s how to get preapproved with Guaranteed Rate:

  1. Go to Guaranteed Rate’s website and click Buy a home.
  2. Choose if you’re looking for a new home, ready to make an offer or if you’ve signed a purchase contract.
  3. Enter the purchase price, your down payment, credit and contact information, then click Next.
  4. Enter personal information like your marital status, date of birth and if you’re a service member or first-time home buyer. Click Next.
  5. Click if you want to add a coborrower and add their info. Click Next.
  6. Enter information about your current home and expenses, then click Next.
  7. Enter information about the home you want to buy and click Next.
  8. Next, enter info about your income, assets, demographics, review your application and create a profile.
  9. Once you enter your Social Security number and answer a few other questions about your application, a loan officer will call you to with your preapproval.

Pros and cons of Guaranteed Rate

Pros

  • Competitive rates. Conventional loans start at 3.3% if you have strong credit.
  • Positive online reviews. Reviewers say agents and customer service are responsive and helpful.
  • Online prequalification. Applying and preapproval take a few minutes with its streamlined application.
  • Mobile app. Manage your mortgage on your phone or tablet.

Cons

  • Slow in-person service. Customers report that doing business at an office can be time consuming.
  • Need good credit. It’s hard to qualify for even a government-backed loan with a credit score lower than 580.
Ready to compare lenders?
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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.

Frequently asked questions

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Expert review

Kelly Larson

Review by


Kelly Larson is a writer and editor at finder, where he currently spearheads the effort to make office sloths a thing. Prior to that all-important role, he led editorial newsrooms in the creation of award-winning content as a managing editor in the digital space.

Expert review

Guaranteed Rate provides competitive rates, transparent fees and helpful service according to customer reviews. Though if you have low credit or financial blemishes, you may have better luck qualifying elsewhere. Compare your options to see how it stacks up against other lenders.

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