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Watermark Home Loans mortgage review

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This online lender offers lender credit to help offset closing costs, but customer service is lacking.

Watermark Home Loans may be a solid option for first-time homebuyers with its government-backed options and borrowers looking for jumbo loans of up to $10 million. But watch out for surprise fees at closing.


Loan products offeredConventional, Refinance,Jumbo, VA, USDA, Reverse
Minimum credit scoreFHA: 580
State availabilityNot available in: IL, IA, KS, MO, MT, NY, ND, RI, SD, WV

What types of loans does Watermark Home Loans offer?

  • Conventional. Fixed-rate loans with terms up to 40 years and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs).
  • FHA. Government-insured loans with low down payments and lower credit restrictions.
  • VA. Qualified military personnel and veterans can purchase a home with 0% down. Veterans can purchase and refinance loans up to $1.5 million .
  • Jumbo. Home loans for high-value properties up to $1 million.
  • USDA. Mortgages with no down payment for low- to moderate-income borrowers in designated rural areas.

Other loans offered by Watermark Home Loans

  • Refinance. Get a new mortgage that replaces your existing mortgage with a new interest rate and loan term. Loan options include VA and jumbo refinances.
  • Reverse. Tap into your home equity without income or credit qualifications.
  • Interest-only. Get a low monthly payment by paying only the interest for a set term, before you are responsible for paying the principal.
  • Investment. Finance a second home or an investment property with one to four units.

Watermark Home Loans fees

Watermark Home Loans doesn’t publish all of its fees online. But its website advertises that it doesn’t charge an application fee. It charges a $1,499 origination fee, but claims to offset it with a lender credit of up to $1,499.

You should still expect to pay third-party fees, such as appraisal fees and title report fees. Speak to a loan officer for details about fees for your loan product.


Although Watermark Home Loans doesn’t list out its requirements for its loans, most lenders want to see:

  • Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of up to 96.5% for an FHA loan and 97% for a conventional loan.
  • Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of up to 43%
  • Credit score minimum of 580 for an FHA loan and 620 for a conventional loan. Borrowers with a credit score of 760 can qualify for the best rates.


During the loan process, you’ll need to submit the following documents:

  • Driver’s license or passport
  • Social Security number
  • Most recent two years of W-2 statements
  • Last two years of tax returns
  • Last two years of business tax returns (for self-employed borrowers with more than 25% ownership)
  • Last two consecutive months of asset and bank statements
  • List of debts, such as credit card bills
  • Paystubs covering the most recent 30 day period

How to get a home loan with Watermark Home Loans

To apply for a loan with Watermark, start by filling out its online form to get a rate quote. You don’t need to share your Social Security number, but a loan officer uses your personal info to contact you to complete an application. Start your application:

  1. Go to the Watermark Home Loans website.
  2. Click Apply Now.
  3. Fill out the loan purpose, property type and loan type.
  4. Detail the property use — for example, owner-occupied, second home or investment property.
  5. Select your credit score.
  6. Fill in the loan amount and estimated purchase price.
  7. Give your name and contact information as well as your state and ZIP code.
  8. Click Get a Free Quote.

Watermark Home Loans reviews and complaints

Watermark Home Loans is an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A+ rating. Many customers comment about Watermark Home Loans’ competitive rates. But a few customers complain that loan amounts were lower at closing than what they were promised. That meant the lender credit did not fully cover the origination fee, and they had to pay the difference in cash.

Pros and cons of Watermark Home Loans


  • Piggyback HELOC. These 80-10-10 loans help you avoid PMI when you don’t have 20% to put as a down payment.
  • Loans for poor credit. Watermark Home Loans offers government-backed loan options for those with credit scores as low as 580.
  • May consider alternative credit data. In some situations, Watermark Home Loans will consider alternative credit data in addition to your credit report. But you’ll need to submit a completed loan application first.


  • Outdated website. Speak to a loan officer to get up-to-date info about its rates, fees and offers.
  • Slow customer service. This online
  • lender doesn’t offer in-person support or brick-and-mortar locations. But when we tried multiple times to contact customer support via email and phone, the response was slow.
  • Not available in all states. Watermark is not licensed in 10 US states.

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What is Watermark Home Loans?

Watermark Capital Inc. operates under the name “Watermark Home Loans.” It’s an NMLS mortgage lending company that was founded as a small mortgage brokerage in 2006. This direct, nonbank nationwide lender is headquartered in Irvine, California.

Frequently asked questions

Expert review

Kimberly Ellis

Review by

Kimberly Ellis is a writer at Finder. She hails from New York City with a BA from Queens College and a New York State teaching certificate. After teaching in both public and private schools, Kimberly decided to take the world by storm and dive into the media industry — where she covers everything from home loans and investing to K–12 education and shopping. She’s also an aspiring polyglot, always in a book and forever on the hunt for the perfect classic red lipstick.

Expert review

Watermark Home Loans has a full suite of loan options with competitive rates for a variety of borrowers, including those with poor credit. But customer experience has been less than stellar. We had trouble connecting with a loan officer despite multiple requests by phone, website and email. And many users complain about underwriting delays, which forced them to extend their rate lock for a fee. Although Watermark Home Loans advertises $0 closing costs, users inexplicably ended up having to pay out of pocket for some origination fees.

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