Zillow Home Loans Pros and Cons
- Easy to use online interface
- Access to a dedicated loan officer from start to finish
- Access to plenty of online resources
- Only offers conventional and FHA loans
- Sometimes has higher qualifying requirements than other lenders
- No rate transparency
What Mortgages Does Zillow Home Loans Offer Consumers?
Zillow offers the basic rundown of mortgage programs that most borrowers need, including:
- Conventional Loans – Borrowers with good credit and low debt ratios choose conventional loans for their competitive rates and low fees.
- FHA Loans – Borrowers with less-than-perfect credit, high debt ratios, or a need for flexible underwriting for other reasons opt for FHA loans. You can qualify with a credit score as low as 580 and a DTI up to 43%.
- VA Loans – Veterans of the military, Reserves, or National Guard can get a loan with no down payment requirements and flexible underwriting guidelines with the VA loan.
Zillow Home Loans Mortgage Rates
Zillow Home Loans isn’t transparent with its mortgage rates. They don’t advertise the rates online. Instead, you must talk to a loan officer to get more details.
However, Zillow offers lower than average interest rates and closing fees based on data from previous borrowers.
Zillow Home Loans Fees and Terms
Zillow Home Loan fees vary by loan and even by person. They base their fees on the complexity and riskiness of the loan.
Like all lenders, you can pay a higher interest rate and lower fees or vice versa. It depends on your long-term goals with the home, which makes more sense.
Zillow Home Loans offers loans in typical terms of 15, 20, and 30-year terms. They only offer conventional, FHA, and VA loans, so if you’re looking for a niche product, you won’t find it here.
How Zillow Home Loans Works
Even though Zillow Home Loans advertises itself as a digital mortgage provider, the process starts digitally but ends with an in-person consult to put you into the right loan.
When you apply for a loan, you’ll answer simple questions and provide your identifying information.
Zillow passes this information on to a loan originator who calls you to discuss your home loan needs and options.
Once a loan officer contacts you, it’s time to prepare your documentation. Most borrowers must provide:
- Proof of income with paystubs and W-2s
- Bank statements
- Tax returns and P&L if self-employed
- Gift letter if you’re receiving gift funds for a down payment
- Proof of any paid collections or other issues on your credit report
Most borrowers upload their documentation into the Zillow portal, decreasing the time necessary to underwrite and close the loan.
Your loan officer will inform you of the loan’s status, any documents needed, or any steps you must take to finalize your loan.
How to Qualify for a Zillow Home Loan
Since Zillow offers conventional, FHA, and VA loans, your qualifying requirements vary based on the chosen loan program. But here are the basics:
- Minimum 580 credit score for FHA loans and 620 for conventional or VA loan
- Maximum 43% debt-to-income ratio; there may be some flexibility if you have other compensating factors
- Stable income and employment
- No recent bankruptcies or foreclosures
- Proof you’ll occupy the property as your primary residence for FHA or VA loans
Zillow Home Loans Features and Benefits
Committed to Transparency
Even though Zillow doesn’t advertise their rates online, they are transparent with the entire loan process, telling borrowers upfront what to expect. They don’t hide their fees or make the process seem easier than it is – they are upfront and real with you.
Low Down Payments
You can get a loan with Zillow Home Loans with as little as 3% down, or if you’re a veteran, no down payment.
The required down payment varies by loan and your qualifying factors. But it’s nice to know you have the option to make minimal down payments and still get approved.
Great Customer Service
Zillow offers the best of both worlds. You get the digital convenience but still work closely with a loan officer.
Because of this, most people rate the Zillow customer service rather high. You have someone to ask questions to and who can lead you through the home loan process, but you also get the speed that online lending allows.
How Does Zillow Home Loans Compare to Other Mortgage Lenders?
#1. Zillow Home Loans vs. Better Mortgage
Better Mortgage is a mostly online lender. They stake the claim to the ‘lowest rates and fees in the industry,’ and they close fast.
Better Mortgage charges no origination fees and offers mostly conventional loans but recently added FHA loans to its lineup.
Better Mortgage doesn’t offer niche loans, much like Zillow Home Loans. You should have straightforward qualifying factors, and lending needs to use Better mortgage.
#2. LoanDepot vs. Zillow Home Loans
LoanDepot is another online lender, but they have opportunities for in-person service too. LoanDepot stakes the claim to the ‘fastest closing process’ in the industry and goes as far as saying they’ll close loans 50% faster than the average lender.
Unlike Zillow Home Loans, LoanDepot offers more loan options, including conventional, FHA, VA, and jumbo loans.
#3. Zillow Home Loans vs. Rocket Mortgage
Rocket Mortgage is the sidekick of Quicken Loans, giving borrowers an all-digital experience. You can get a purchase or refinance loan with little to no interaction with a human with Rocket Mortgage.
They offer conventional, FHA, and VA loans at competitive interest rates.
Rocket Mortgage has won customer service awards for the last 11 years in a row, and they offer the simplicity of underwriting, closing, and servicing your loan.
You won’t get confused wondering where your loan is – it’s with Rocket.
>> More: Rocket Mortgage Review
Is Zillow Home Loans a Good Choice for Mortgages?
If you have a simple loan request and don’t have complicated qualifying factors, Zillow Home Loans can be a great choice for mortgages. If you need something more complex (like a HELOC, Home Equity Loan, USDA Loan) or even need a VA loan, though, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Does Zillow Home Loans Offer Mortgage Refinance?
Borrowers can buy a home or refinance an existing mortgage with Zillow Home Loans. If you have an interest rate higher than the market offers right now or want to change your loan term, Zillow Home Loans provides many options for loan refinancing.
Is it Safe to Use Zillow Home Loans?
Always use caution when sharing your financial information, especially online. Zillow Home Loans takes security seriously and encrypts all data using bank-level security, but you should always make sure you’re using a secure connection and not sharing your information with anyone else.
What Credit Score Do You Need to Qualify for a Zillow Home Loans Mortgage?
The minimum credit score required varies by loan. If you’re applying for a conventional loan, you’ll need at least a 620, sometimes higher.
If you’re looking for government-backed financing, like an FHA loan, you can get away with a credit score as low as 580.
Where Is Zillow Home Loans Available?
Currently, Zillow operates in 43 states. They don’t offer loans in:
- New Jersey
- New York
- West Virginia
Who Is Zillow Home Loans Best For?
Zillow Home Loans can be a good option if you’re looking for a conventional, FHA, or VA loan or don’t have complicated factors.
I like it for borrowers who need that human touch while having the convenience of digital loan processing.
You get the best of both worlds with Zillow but watch out because they often require higher credit scores than other lenders.
Bottom Line: Zillow Home Loans Review
If you’re using Zillow to find your home and you think you have a straightforward file, Zillow Home Loans offers affordable loan options.
They don’t have the large selection you’ll find at the best mortgage lenders, but they do provide a dedicated loan officer despite its digital dashboard and uploading process.
Zillow Home Loans is worth including in your search for the best home loan, but don’t make it your only stop.