Lower Mortgage Pros and Cons
- High-tech, digital mortgage process
- No lender fees on refinances for existing borrowers
- Prequalify with no hard credit check
- Reasonable purchase loan and lender fees
- Borrow up to 95% of your home’s equity with a HELOC
- Uses AI technology and data to make personalized mortgage recommendations
- Not available in every state
- High refinance fees for new customers
- Lower doesn’t list all their fees or qualifying guidelines online
- As a newer business, it’s a less-established lender than many competitors
Lower Mortgage Overview
Lower.com began in 2018 by offering mortgage loans and a high-tech borrowing experience. As an online lender, they provide a nearly 100% digital mortgage and refinance experience.
Though, unfortunately, they’re only licensed to lend in 42 states and Washington, D.C. as of the time of writing.
To start, their artificial intelligence algorithms recommend the perfect loan that suits your needs based on a quick questionnaire.
And with document uploads, e-signing, and a streamlined closing process, you can sign on the dotted line in as little as two weeks.
Since 2018, Lower has also expanded into various home-related services. For example, you can sign up for a Lower HomeFund account that boasts up to 0.75% APR to help you save a larger down payment. Lower will even match up to $500 with their “HomeCash” program!
Additionally, Lower offers tools to match you with a real estate agent and even homeowners’ insurance to start your homebuying experience off right.
How Does Lower.com Work?
The Lower website is clean-cut, no-frills, and easy to navigate. Borrowers can start by viewing the daily purchase and refinance rates on the home page.
You can also get qualified with no hard credit check or start your search for the perfect realtor or homeowners’ insurance policy. Most qualified borrowers are preapproved within one business day.
Plus, loan advisors are available to answer your questions or give a preliminary quote without impacting your credit.
Or you can check out the Lower Learn blog to read up on the housing market, the home buying process, and crucial homeowning tips.
When you’re ready to get started, Lower offers options like their “Jump start,” “Quick apply,” and text-based mortgage applications.
The paperwork only takes a few minutes, after which Lower will do a hard credit check and determine what you qualify for.
Then, you can take the next steps by uploading and e-signing documents, emailing a loan officer, and tracking your progress online.
After the underwriting process is complete, you’ll schedule your closing appointment to sign your documents and finalize your mortgage.
What Types of Mortgages Does Lower Offer?
With Lower, you can select from a substantial loan menu of purchase and refinance loans, including:
- Fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages
- Conventional loans
- Jumbo loans
- FHA, VA, and USDA loans
- Refinance loans
Moreover, this lender participates in a variety of first-time homebuyer, low-down-payment, and low-income mortgage programs.
And unlike some of its competitors, Lower also originates home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) worth up to 95% of your home’s equity.
Lower Mortgage Qualification Requirements
Lower.com doesn’t post their qualification guidelines online, but they do note that they follow the underwriting standards set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
That means eligible borrowers will need a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) under 50% and a credit score of 580 for government loans and 620 for conventional loans. You may also qualify with a down payment as low as 3%.
However, unlike many of its competitors, Lower doesn’t accept alternative credit data.
Lower Mortgage Rates and Fees
Lower charges a flat-rate $995 fee for purchase loan originations and $1,695 for refinance loans.
The company also shows sample daily purchase and refinance rates right on the front page of its website, with rates often trending lower than its competitors.
Refinancing Mortgages with Lower.com
Lower offers refinancing on a variety of loans for a flat fee of $1,695. (Though current borrowers can waive this fee under their “Free Refi for Life” program.) Depending on your needs, you can select from:
Homebuyers can start by getting prequalified online without a hard credit check to see what Lower can do for you.
Lower Mortgage Features and Benefits
Lower purports to provide a low-hassle, tech-driven mortgage experience, and streamlined closing process.
With AI recommendations, “Quick apply” features, and even a text-based application process, you can get the right mortgage on your terms.
One-Stop-Shop for All of Your Home Needs
Lower.com doesn’t just offer mortgages; they can help at multiple stages of the home buying process with their:
- High APY “HomeFund” savings accounts to help build your down payment
- Real estate agent matching service
- And homeowners’ insurance comparison tools
Free Refi for Life
One of Lower’s best features is their “Free Refi for Life” program, which saves you up to $1,500 in lender fees each time you refinance your Lower-originated loan with the company.
Extended Customer Services Hours
Lower offers phone customer service Monday-Thursday 9 am-6 pm and Fridays 9 am-4 pm ESET. Customers can also email or text anytime, with loan officers after bank hours and on weekends. These are just a handful of reasons why Lower is one of the best mortgage lenders.
Not Available in Every State
Lower only originates mortgages in 42 states as of 2021. If you’re outside their operating range, you’ll have to select another lender.
Lower.com offers fantastic customer service hours for busy borrowers. Unfortunately, many customers report negative experiences such as extended closing delays, a lack of contact and callbacks, and an overwhelmed site.
No BBB Accreditation
Lower isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau, despite having a B- rating on the organization’s website.
How Does Lower Compare to Other Mortgage Lenders?
#1. Lower Mortgage vs. Quicken Loans
Quicken Loans is an online lender that boasts a sleek digital lending experience from application to closing.
They offer digital and phone-based customer service, an information-packed learning center, and e-closing in all 50 states.
Unfortunately, Quicken Loans may charge higher-than-average interest rates and conduct a hard credit check before providing a rate quote.
>> More: Quicken Loans Mortgage Review
#2. Rocket Mortgage vs. Lower.com
Rocket Mortgage is the digital mortgage lender operated by Quicken loans. They originate mortgages in all 50 states for borrowers who prefer to apply and proceed through to closing online (though phone support is available).
You can receive a preapproval in just minutes and take advantage of 90-day rate locks and Rocket Mortgage’s asset retrieval system.
That said, this lender doesn’t offer second mortgages and may take 45 days or more to close on your loan.
>> More: Rocket Mortgage Review
#3. Lower Mortgage vs. Better Mortgage
Better.com is an online mortgage lender that offers features such as 24/7 customer service, 14-day closing periods, and an average of $3,000 in loan savings.
Borrowers can qualify for a loan even with unusual financial circumstances, such as self-employment or freelance income, student loan debt, and more.
Most people are preapproved in under an hour for a range of conventional, jumbo, and refinance loans, though their menu is somewhat limited.
>> More: Better Mortgage Review
#4. Guild Mortgage vs. Lower Mortgage
Guild Mortgages originates mortgages in 48 states and claims to close on your loan in as little as two weeks.
You can use their online tools to expedite the process, including calculators, asset retrieval, and e-closing features.
Guild also partners with over 500 down payment assistance programs to help homebuyers purchase their dream property.
>> More: Guild Mortgage Review
Lower Mortgage FAQs
Is Lower a Good Choice for Mortgages?
Lower is a good choice for mortgages if you need to build up your down payment savings, plan to refinance in the future, or want the power of AI recommendations on your side. They also offer HELOCs, which let you pull cash out of your house after you’ve built up some equity.
How Do Lower Mortgage Rates Compare to the National Average?
Lower offers purchase and refinance rates that often trend below the national average. But your exact rates may vary based on your location and financial situation.
Does Lower Offer Mortgage Refinance?
Lower does offer mortgage refinances for new and returning customers. If you’re an existing Lower borrower, you may even qualify for their “Free Refi for Life” program.
What Credit Score Do You Need for a Lower.com Mortgage?
Lower requires a credit score of 580 for government home loans and 620 for conventional loans.
Does Lower.com Charge a Mortgage Origination Fee?
Lower charges a mortgage origination fee of $995 for purchase loans and $1,695 for refinancing.
Bottom Line: Lower Mortgage Review
Lower.com is a great lender if you’re in the market for a one-stop-shop online mortgage lender.
With their HomeFund savings accounts, AI-backed recommendations, and extended customer service hours, they have everything you need to get a mortgage with “lower” hassle than the competition.