Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Review

Disclaimer: This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation (at no cost to you) when you click on links to those products. Read our Disclaimer Policy for more information.

Although online mortgage lenders have grown in popularity since the pandemic began, the idea of a mortgage originating online isn’t a new idea. 

Guaranteed Rate Mortgage was one of the first companies to offer their mortgage products online and continues to do so today.

Read on to find out why millions of Americans turn to Guaranteed Rate to find an affordable and competitive mortgage.

Best Online Mortgages Overall
Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Reviews
Guaranteed Rate mortgage
  • NMLS#
    2611
  • Min. Credit Score
    580
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Overview

Guaranteed Rate mortgage is a titan of the mortgage industry. These pioneers of the online mortgage application were founded in Chicago in 2000.  They offer a variety of mortgage products and operate in every state in the US.

While Guaranteed Rate is typically thought of as an online mortgage broker, they do have a rather large in-person footprint as well.

They have over 850 physical branches, so if you’re looking for a mortgage in or near a major metropolitan area, there’s a good chance you’re near one of their branches!

Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Pros and Cons

While Guaranteed Rate Mortgage offers a great product, it’s not perfect. We’ve put together a list of the benefits and drawbacks to working with Guaranteed Rate Mortgage if you’re thinking of working with them to purchase your next home:

Pros:

  • Highly transparent rates
  • Available across the country, in all 50 states
  • Pre-approvals take as little as 15 minutes
  • The mortgage process can be done entirely online

Cons:

  • Income and credit score requirements are high for their best loan offers
  • With only 850 physical branches across the whole country, going through the mortgage process in person may be difficult if you’re not near a city
  • If you don’t have great credit and a sufficiently high income, the rates you get may not be competitive

Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Loan Types and Products

Guaranteed Rate Mortgage offers just about every type of mortgage you can think of. They offer conventional and adjustable-rate mortgages, along with jumbo mortgages and refinances.

They also offer federally backed loans, like Federal Housing Authority (FHA), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgages.

Unfortunately, though, they do not offer any sort of home equity loans (second mortgages) or lines of credit.

This makes it much more difficult to leverage the equity in your existing house with Guaranteed Rate.

Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Rates and Terms

Guaranteed Rate offers mortgage rates that are competitive with both the national average and the big banks, like Chase and Wells Fargo.

They advertise their rates (updated daily) on their site and show them plotted on a graph, so customers can see which way rates are trending. They also offer the ability to purchase points (rate discounts) by paying higher up-front costs.

When it comes to loan terms, Guaranteed Rate offers the typical 15-, 20-, and 30-year conventional mortgages and 5-, 7-, and 10-year ARM mortgages.

Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Features and Benefits

Guaranteed Rate has countless features that make the mortgage application process simple and easy for their customers.

We’ve outlined some of their greatest features below:

Online Convenience

Like many of the competitors in the mortgage industry, Guaranteed Rate mortgages can be closed partially or entirely online if you desire. However, if you would prefer an in-person closing, you can still do so.

Straightforward Application

The Guaranteed Rate application is simple and easy to fill out. All you need is the details regarding your financials and any other pertinent information that would be used to fill out a credit application, like your date of birth, social security number, address, etc.

Pre-Approval Letter

The whole application process should take around 15 minutes. Once you submit your application, they can almost immediately tell you if you prequalify for your mortgage, thanks to their automated pre-approval and underwriting process!

Technology + Human Touch

As we have mentioned before, Guaranteed Rate offers the best of both worlds when it comes to closing on your mortgage.

They have harnessed the power of technology to offer customers pre-approvals in as little as 15 minutes and entirely online closings.

However, if you want to talk to a representative face to face in a physical branch, you can still do that!

Refinancing Mortgage with Guaranteed Rate

Most of the information regarding the costs of refinancing with Guaranteed Rate isn’t made publicly available on their site.

They do, however, have several calculators that will help you get an idea of how much your new payments will be, among other things.

Although the associated closing costs aren’t displayed on their site, they do keep an up-to-date database of the rates they’re charging for mortgage refinancing.

How Does Guaranteed Rate Compare to Other Mortgage Lenders?

We know that there are countless options out there when it comes to mortgage brokers.

So, to bring some clarity, we’ve compared Guaranteed Rate Mortgage to some of the most popular mortgage brokers below:

#1. Guaranteed Rate vs. Better Mortgage

Both Guaranteed Rate and Better Mortgage have great products overall.  However, Better Mortgage’s fee structure is a bit better than Guaranteed Rate.

Better Mortgage is structured so that there aren’t any fees that the borrower has to pay to the mortgage broker.

Instead, borrowers can put that money towards their down payment, other home purchasing-related fees, or just keep it for themselves!

It is important to note that although there aren’t any fees from Better Mortgage, borrowers will likely incur fees from other entities in the home buying process, such as real estate agents, inspectors, etc.

>> More: Better Mortgage Review

#2. LoanDepot vs. Guaranteed Rate

LoanDepot and Guaranteed Rate are both leading lenders in the online mortgage space. However, if you are looking to speak to a person face to face, it may be a bit more difficult to do so with LoanDepot.

With only 200 physical branches across the US, going to a branch will likely be difficult if you don’t live in a major metropolitan area.

However, LoanDepot does have some interesting offers that few in the industry offer. Their proprietary “Mello Smartloan System” is claimed to cut closing times by 50-75%.

They also have the “Grand Slam Package,” designed to help the buyer with every aspect of the home buying process, including finding an agent, procuring the title, and homeowners insurance, alongside the mortgage itself!

>> More: LoanDepot Mortgage Review

#3. Guaranteed Rate vs. Guild Mortgage

Guild Mortgage is another competitor in the mortgage space. Those who find that they’re not fitting the Guaranteed Rate’s mortgages’ criteria may find Guild Mortgage to be a better fit.

Guild Mortgage is tailored more towards first-time home buyers and buyers who could benefit from a little flexibility in the underwriting process.

They understand that buying a home is difficult, and they offer a wide range of products and services for those who might have a tough time getting a loan with other brokers.

>> More: Guild Mortgage Review

Is Guaranteed Rate a Good Choice for Mortgages?

Guaranteed Rate is a great choice for a mortgage, especially if you have a high credit score and are looking for a mortgage that can be processed entirely online.

Frequently Asked Questions

We know that going through the mortgage application process can be incredibly confusing. To bring some clarity to the situation, we’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions about Guaranteed Rate Mortgage below:

How Do Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Rates Compare to the National Average?

Although mortgage rates are constantly changing, Guaranteed Rate can keep up with the pack.

Their rates are on par with the national average and the big banks in the mortgage lending business, such as JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.

What Types of Mortgages Does Guaranteed Rate Offer?

Guaranteed Rate offers conventional, adjustable-rate (ARM), department of veteran affairs (VA), federal housing administration (FHA), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Jumbo loans, just to name a few.

They have a wide variety of loan products that will suit almost any borrower’s needs.

What Credit Score Do You Need to Qualify for a Guaranteed Rate Mortgage?

Guaranteed Rate mortgages have similar minimum credit score requirements when compared to most of the other big mortgage lenders out there.

You can be approved for a mortgage with Guaranteed Rate with a FICO score of 620; however, you won’t be eligible for their most competitive rates.

Guaranteed Rate really rewards those with high credit scores and incomes, reserving some of the industry’s best rates for those that fit that criteria.

Where Are Guaranteed Rate Mortgages Available?

Guaranteed Rate mortgages are available in all 50 states. However, if you’re looking to apply for a mortgage in a physical branch, you may run into some difficulties with Guaranteed Rate.

They have offices in 46 states, but they only have a handful of branches in most states.

This means if you live outside of the metropolitan areas in those states, you may be hard-pressed to find a Guaranteed Rate branch.

Bottom Line: Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Review

When the time comes to start looking and applying for a mortgage, Guaranteed Rate is a great option.

The ability to be preapproved in as little as 15 minutes and the option to go through the entire mortgage process online makes Guaranteed Rate a great choice for those who simply don’t have time to sit in a mortgage broker’s office.

Their low-cost mortgage insurance makes them an excellent choice for those looking to put down less than 20% as well.

Zach Hewke
Zach Hewke
Zach was born and raised in the mountains of Upstate New York, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University. He is a personal finance expert that loves educating others on the topic.