Planet Home Lending mortgage review
Good for borrowers who need nontraditional credit standards and don’t mind digital lending.
Planet Home Lending provides an alternative to big banks, offering both conventional and government-backed loans. Its willingness to work with nontraditional credit histories may help some borrowers, but only if they’re comfortable going without in-person lending support or live close to one of its limited branch locations.
|Loan products offered||Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Refinance|
|Minimum credit score||Conventional - 620|
|Minimum down payment (Conventional)||5%|
|State availability||Not available in: HI, MA|
Planet Home Lending requirements
Planet Home Lending doesn’t advertise its exact lending requirements. Instead, it encourages you to reach out for a custom quote.
That said, we know a few things:
- Fannie Mae HomeReady loans require at least 3% down payment and a credit score of at least 620.
- Some refinance loans don’t require a credit check.
- VA loans don’t require a minimum credit score.
- FHA loans require a 10% minimum down payment for all credit scores below 580.
Personal and financial documents required to apply include:
- Social Security number and valid government ID.
- Proof of income, such as pay stubs or tax returns.
- Proof of assets and liabilities, such as bank accounts and other financial portfolios.
- Credit authorization form for a full credit check.
Costs and fees
Like many lenders, Planet Home Lending isn’t transparent about the origination, application and other fees associated with its mortgages. But you can expect to pay the following as part of your closing costs:
- Origination fee
- Discount points
- Commitment fee
- Appraisal cost
- Transfer taxes
- Attorney’s fees
- Title insurance premiums
How to apply for a mortgage with Planet Home Lending
You can’t apply for a loan online, but you can get a quote based on basic information and connect with a Planet Home representative by following these steps.
- Navigate to the Planet Home Lending home page and select Buy a Home.
- Follow the prompts to enter your state, estimated loan details and your contact information, selecting Next after each page.
- Answer whether you are already working with a loan officer and if you were referred by someone. Select Get Your Free Rate Quote.
- Wait for a Planet Home Lending representative to contact you to complete the application.
What types of mortgages can I get through Planet Home Lending?
Other mortgage products Planet Home Lending offers
You won’t find many of these mortgage products advertised on the website, but you can call for details on the following:
- Non-qualifying mortgages (Non-QM). These loans offer more flexible guidelines and allow you to use alternative verification, such as bank statements to prove credit history or liquid assets as collateral on your home.
- Rental property loans. Allows you to finance a property occupied by a tenant, and often requires you to have a set amount of liquid reserves on hand to qualify.
- Self-employed and gig worker loans. You can use alternative paperwork to prove your income to qualify for a mortgage.
- State bond assistance. This lender works with state bond programs to provide homebuyers with downpayment and closing costs assistance.
- Mortgage refinance. Planet Home allows you to refinance your home to cash out on your home’s equity, lower your interest rate or change the terms. It also offers FHA and VA streamline options.
How Planet Home Lending’s mortgage products compare to other lenders
Planet Home offers a small list of mortgage products with no real stand-out items. If you’re looking for a conventional or government-backed mortgage, this lender provides all the standard options and finances Jumbo loans up to $3 million.
But it doesn’t offer any home equity products. And without transparency regarding rates, it’s difficult to compare costs and terms with other lenders.
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Planet Home Lending reviews and complaints
Planet Home Lending is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) as of July 2021, though it earns a rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars from 210 reviews. The BBB gives the lender an A+ rating for answering 139 complaints over the last three years.
Many customers complain of spotty customer service, including problems with Autopay. But most reviewers praise the good communication of their loan officers.
On Trustpilot, the lender earns a TrustScore of 3.2 out of 5 stars based on 875 reviews. Positive reviews praise individual loan officers and a smooth, quick process. Poor reviews cite issues in the transition after Planet Home sold their loans to other lenders or their loans were sold to Planet Home.
Pros and cons of Planet Home Lending
- Generous credit requirements. Planet Home reviews your entire credit profile and may consider nontraditional credit history, such as your rental history and utilities and insurance payments.
- Eco-friendly policies. Planet Home strives to be an environmentally conscious lender first by using digital tools to remove paper waste in their process, and it supports the National Forest Foundation and the Farmlink Project.
- Mortgage options unclear. Planet Home doesn’t offer any home equity products, and it’s difficult to find a complete list of its mortgage products on the website.
- Limited in-person help. Despite operating in 46 states, Planet Home Lending only has branches in 21 states, 13 of which have one branch for the entire state.
What is Planet Home Lending?
Planet Home Lending is not a bank. Rather, it’s a lending institution that only handles mortgages and government-backed refinancing. Founded in 2007, Planet Home Lending employs more than 1,200 people and is headquartered in Connecticut.
The Planet part of its name refers to its Planet with a Purpose program, which commits to planting trees and reducing waste through its mortgage process.
Heather Petty is a personal finance writer at Finder specializing in home loans, banking and insurance. After falling victim to a disreputable mortgage broker when buying her first home, she’s on a mission to help readers avoid similar experiences when managing their own finances. A self-proclaimed word nerd, her writing has been featured on MSN, Credit.com and MediaFeed.org, among others. Heather previously worked as a technical writer and editor for the casino systems industry and is an internationally published young adult mystery author. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Planet Home Lending can be a good choice for people looking for more traditional mortgage options and who would rather work with an independent lender than a large bank. But borrowers must be comfortable with online and phone support because this lender has limited branch locations. And its lack of transparency can make researching its products, rates and terms difficult.