HomeLight mortgage review
A competitive digital lender with no lender fees and a 21-day close guarantee, though limited to nine states.
HomeLight simplifies the mortgage process with its fully digital platform, speedy application process and upfront underwriting. Although most customer reviews suggest an overall positive experience, getting in touch with HomeLight customer support has proven difficult. So if you prefer a more responsive customer support when trying to secure a mortgage or simply favor doing business in person, you might want to look elsewhere.
|Loan products offered||Conventional|
|Minimum credit score||Conventional: 620|
|Minimum down payment (Conventional)||3%|
|State availability||Only available in: AZ, CA, CO, FL, OR, PA, TN, TX, WA|
If you’re thinking about applying for a home loan with HomeLight, you need to meet the following criteria to get approved.
- Be a US Citizen or permanent resident
- Be at least 18 years old
- Provide supporting documents to verify your income, assets and employment
- Have a credit score of 620 or higher
To receive final approval for your home loan, you need to provide the following:
- Submission of a full credit application, including a full credit check
- Submission of all necessary supporting documentation, such as bank statements, income documentation and tax returns
- A valid sales contract for the property
- A valid appraisal and title commitment
Costs and fees
HomeLight doesn’t charge lender fees, allowing you to put more of your money into buying your new home. Many traditional lenders charge between 1% to 3% of the loan’s value for originating your mortgage. Keep in mind that you’ll still be responsible for paying other third-party fees associated with buying a home, such as appraisal fees, homeowner’s insurance and closing costs.
How to apply for a mortgage with HomeLight
Since HomeLight is a digital lender, you’ll need to apply online through HomeLight’s website. First, you’ll need to get preapproved. Here’s how to get a preapproval with HomeLight.
- Go to HomeLight’s website, select Home Loans from the navigation menu, then choose Get Started.
- Answer a few questions about the type of loan you’re looking for, when you plan to buy a home and your current stage in the homebuying process. Depending on your responses, HomeLight will recommend either a HomeLight Pre-Approval or a HomeLight Conditional Approval.
- Provide information about yourself, your finances, the property and the type of home you’re considering. You’ll also need to create an account at this point.
- Have your credit score reviewed. HomeLight will run a soft credit check for a HomeLight Pre-Approval or a hard inquiry for a HomeLight Conditional Approval.
- Wait for HomeLight to verify the information you provided and any required supporting documentation, such as bank statements, income verification, a valid sales contract and an appraisal.
Preapproval is instant once you provide all necessary information, and you’ll receive a digital letter detailing the preapproval amount. If you decide to apply for a HomeLight Conditional Approval, HomeLight will typically fully underwrite your financials and credit within 24 hours of submitting your application.
What types of mortgages can I get through HomeLight?
Other mortgage products offered by HomeLight
HomeLight only offers home loans at the moment. However, the company states on its website that it plans to offer refinance loans soon.
How HomeLight’s mortgage products compare to other lenders
HomeLight prides itself on its overhauled mortgage experience, so there are several noticeable differences compared to most traditional mortgage lenders. For instance, HomeLight offers full upfront financial underwriting within 24 hours of completing your application, a 21-day close guarantee with a maximum $100,000 earnest money reimbursement if HomeLight causes you to miss your closing date and no lender fees. All these perks are designed to make you a much more competitive homebuyer in today’s market.
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HomeLight reviews and complaints
As of May 2021, HomeLight has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and review sentiment is right on par. Reviewers on the site have rated HomeLight 4.8 out of 5 stars with a total of 599 customer reviews.
Satisfied customers praise the platform’s smooth and efficient process and its ability to connect buyers with trusted, experienced realtors. Most of the negative reviews focus on poor customer service and heavy-handed solicitation, primarily the abundance of phone calls and emails HomeLight sends out once you show you’re interested and begin the mortgage process.
Pros and cons of HomeLight
- Streamlined pre-approval process. Fully online preapproval application process that takes only 5 – 30 minutes to complete.
- Upfront underwriting. Full financial underwriting within 24 hours of submitting your application.
- Zero lender fees. All traditional lender fees are eliminated, which are generally between 1% – 3% of the loan value.
- Speed of closing. HomeLight provides a 21-day close guarantee. This can make you a more competitive buyer, especially when competing against all-cash offers.
- Earnest money protection. HomeLight will reimburse your lost earnest money up to $100,000 if you can’t close on time and HomeLight is the cause.
- Limited operation. HomeLight originates mortgages in select states only. Although the company plans to expand to additional states, not everyone is able to take advantage of a HomeLight home loan quite yet.
- Limited home loan products. HomeLight doesn’t yet offer refinance loans, home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), so only those interested in a conventional home loan will likely find this service useful.
- Fully digital. Since HomeLight offers an entirely online experience, you won’t have the chance to meet with a loan officer in person.
- Unresponsive customer support. HomeLight provides a phone number and a chat feature to get in touch. But each time we’ve used the chat feature, no one responded. Eventually, a bot told us to enter our email so that the team has “a way to reach” us. No response via email either. When we tried calling during regular business hours, it went to voicemail.
What is HomeLight?
HomeLight is a San Francisco-based real estate technology platform that connects buyers and sellers with top real estate agents in their area. Aside from its real estate agent referral service, HomeLight operates as a digital mortgage lender and loan originator.
Founded in 2012 by tech entrepreneur Drew Uher, HomeLight has since helped nearly 915,000 clients buy and sell a home, supporting over $1 billion of real estate transactions every year on its platform.
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.
HomeLight offers a modern, streamlined mortgage process that can be a good option for both first-time and experienced homebuyers. Its transparent and cost-effective approach to mortgage lending simplifies the homebuying process, and its upfront underwriting gives homebuyers a more competitive edge.
But if prompt customer service and the ability to deal face to face with a loan officer is important to you, you might want to look elsewhere. Plus, HomeLight currently only operates in a handful of states. So depending on where you live, HomeLight might not even be an option at the moment.