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Guaranteed Rate is a nationwide mortgage lender with an easy-to-use website and competitive rates on home loans. Guaranteed Rate helps remove some of the obstacles to homeownership by offering flexible loan programs designed to accommodate people with less-than-perfect credit, and those who need to make a smaller down payment. Also, Guaranteed Rate's mortgage application technology is robust and user friendly, which makes it easy to apply and manage your application all the way through to closing.
Check out our full Guaranteed Rate mortgage review to decide whether this is the right mortgage lender for your next home loan.
Best for: Down payment assistance
Guaranteed Rate Mortgage
Guaranteed Rate does a great job with ease of usability, offering comprehensive loan information during your research phase, plus the option to securely upload and digitally sign loan documents when you're ready to apply.
Min. Credit Score Minimum Credit Score 580 FHA 600 VA and FHA 620 Conventional
Min. Down Payment
Fixed Rate Terms
Adjustable Rate Terms
This lender is a good fit for: Rate shoppers doing preliminary research before talking with a loan officer. Guaranteed Rate also helps you research neighborhoods, an unusual feature for mortgage lender websites. It's also a great lender for borrowers looking into down payment assistance programs.
Guaranteed Rate's website is extremely customer-friendly -- it's easy to navigate and find information. In very few clicks, you can find out which loans and terms are available, what loan might be right for you, and what today's mortgage rates are.
Guaranteed Rate offers a helpful feature that not all lenders provide. On its mortgage rates page, you can see how much your loan will cost with zero discount points vs. one discount point. A mortgage discount point is prepaid interest. You pay a fee up front and the lender lowers the interest rate. A point usually costs 1% of your loan amount, and the discount is typically one eighth to one quarter of one percent off your mortgage rate. The discount lasts for the life of the loan on a fixed-rate mortgage, or until the first rate adjustment on an adjustable-rate mortgage. If you don't keep the loan for at least a few years, paying for mortgage discount points might not make sense.
Guaranteed Rate mortgage offers robust digital mortgage technology that can make the loan process easier and faster. Most loan documents can be signed online, and you can arrange to provide any required ink signatures in the location of your choice. Because so much can be completed in advance, the actual loan closing can be as brief as a few minutes.
Guaranteed Rate is also the Editors' Choice for Best Mortgage Lender App in 2022, an award issued by The Motley Fool's editorial team.
Guaranteed Rate participates in several low down payment programs designed to help borrowers get a home loan even if they can't make a 20% down payment. Those programs include:
Guaranteed Rate doesn't facilitate other down payment assistance or home buyer grant programs, which are typically available at the local, county, and state levels.
If you're otherwise ready for homeownership, don't think that a lower credit score will necessarily prevent it. Guaranteed Rate offers mortgage loans that require a minimum credit score as low as 580. One is the VA loan (for service members, veterans, and some spouses), and the other is the FHA loan (for anyone).
Guaranteed Rate can help you learn more about the neighborhoods you're interested in. Click "Market research" from the dropdown menu on Guaranteed Rate's website to go to the "Know your neighborhood" page. Enter a zip code or city name to find out what letter grade the area earns. The website returns detailed results, including market trends, population trends, and school data that can help inform your home search.
If you buy a newly built home before it's built, you'll need to make two housing payments -- one for the new home and one for the place where you'll live during construction. A common solution for this is a construction-to-permanent loan, which Guaranteed Rate offers. During construction, you only have to make interest payments, and only on the amount that has been disbursed to the builder. When the home is complete, Guaranteed Rate converts the loan to a traditional mortgage, and then you will begin making full payments.
Guaranteed Rate offers the most common types of mortgages but doesn't appear to offer mortgage loans for people who don't fit into those traditional boxes. For example, if you're self-employed, you might not have the income verification documentation needed to qualify for a conventional or FHA loan. You'll have to do some digging to find out if Guaranteed Rate can find you a mortgage.
Guaranteed Rate only makes mortgage loans. If you're considering a cash-out refinance, a home equity line of credit (HELOC), or a home equity loan, you'll need to research other mortgage lenders.
Caliber Home Loans considers nontraditional credit data for customers who can't qualify based on a traditional credit report, and it offers a rate discount to customers who sign up for automatic monthly mortgage payments.
PNC Bank Mortgage home buyers considering a cash-out refinance may also want to shop for a HELOC, and you can get one at PNC. This lender also offers some options that Guaranteed Rate mortgage does not, such as the doctor loan.
Caliber Home Loans
PNC Bank Mortgage
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
4.5 starsOur ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
Rating image, 4.0 out of 5 stars.
4.0 starsOur ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
|Min. Down Payment||
You need a 620 FICO® Score for a conventional loan at Guaranteed Rate mortgage. For a jumbo loan, your credit score must be at least 700. You may qualify for a VA or FHA loan with a credit score of 580.
Like most mortgage lenders, Guaranteed Rate charges higher interest rates to people with lower credit scores. On a $250,000 loan, a rate of 2.25% vs, 3% saves you more than $35,000 over the life of a 30-year loan. Follow our tips to improve your credit score before applying to help you qualify for a competitive interest rate.
Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) should be no higher than 43% for most loans, but if it is higher, Guaranteed Rate mortgage may have an alternative loan that's appropriate for you.
To calculate your DTI, divide your monthly debt obligations (such as credit card payments and car payments) by your monthly pretax income, then multiply by 100. If the number you get is over 43, you might need to pay off some debt or look at alternative loans.
Like many lenders, Guaranteed Rate charges a little more to refinance a mortgage compared to a purchase loan. But the rates are still extremely competitive and about the same as the national average. When we checked, Guaranteed Rate's refinance mortgage rate was about one tenth of a percent higher than the lowest rate for a purchase.
Guaranteed Rate's mortgage rates trend lower than the national average, even without paying for any mortgage discount points. If you are willing to pay for points, you could make an already low rate even lower. The low rate also carries over to FHA loans, and the VA loan rate is even a little lower.
Guaranteed Rate mortgage is a great choice for borrowers who want to conduct financial business online, including on mobile, from anywhere. Guaranteed Rate was an early pioneer in digital mortgage technology and remains at the front of the pack. The convenience factor is very high. And if you want the option to talk to someone in person, Guaranteed Rate has branches in most states and Washington, D.C.
Guaranteed Rate is extremely competitive on pricing. The rates are among the lowest we've seen.
Yes. Guaranteed Rate has tools in place to help you get a mortgage, with pricing that compares well to other options.
Yes, Guaranteed Rate's rate for refinance loans is about the same as the national average.
You'll need a 620 credit score for a conventional loan and a higher score for a jumbo loan. If your score is lower, you might qualify for an FHA loan. If you're struggling to come up with a down payment, you can apply for financial assistance and a special loan program designed to help you become a homeowner.
Guaranteed Rate offers many types of mortgage loans, including:
Our Mortgages Expert
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