loanDepot Review for 2022

LoanDepot has made its name in tech-first mortgage lending and refinance. Many customers love this model, but as with any lender, there are pros and cons.

loanDepot
Minimum down payment3.5%
Minimum credit score580
Loan Products Offered

Conventional mortgages
Jumbo mortgages
FHA mortgages
VA mortgages
FHA 203k loans

Best Features

  • Innovative mortgage technologies may help you close quickly
  • Good range of mortgage products offered
  • High levels of customer satisfaction

Drawbacks

  • Rates and closing costs are about average
  • You have to apply to see any mortgage rates
  • No USDA loans

Overview

In an industry of financial giants, loanDepot is something of a new kid on the block. It's only been around since 2010.

In that time, though, loanDepot has grown to become one of the largest home mortgage lenders in the U.S.

It's known for deploying innovative mortgage technologies that make the home financing process smoother and faster for customers — especially those that are willing to conduct business online.

Overall, loanDepot is a strong contender if your main objective is to land a mortgage or refinance with minimum hassle.


loanDepot mortgage rates

loanDepot does not show current mortgage or refinance rates on its website, loandepot.com. Home buyers will have to ask for a quote to see loanDepot’s mortgage rates, which requires you to add personal details and contact information.

However, we did get a sense of how loanDepot rates stack up by looking at average 30-year mortgage rates from 2021 (the most recent data available).

On average, it seems that loanDepot mortgage rates are a little bit lower than the competition, while its lender fees are middle of the line.

Average mortgage rates at major lenders

Better MortgageRocket MortgageWells FargoFreedom Mortgage
Avg 30-Yr Interest Rate, 202112.99%3.00%3.14%2.66%
Median Total Loan Costs, 20211$4,390$4,670$3,600$3,880
Median Origination Fee, 20211$1,600$2,430$1,330$0

Average rate and fee data sourced from public rate and fee records required by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

Mortgage interest rates have risen since 2021, and the rates you’ll get today will likely be higher, too. But this data can still help you compare rate offerings between mortgage providers.

LoanDepot mortgage review for 2022

Despite being a relatively new mortgage company, loanDepot has quickly grown into a serious player.

From its headquarters in Foothill Ranch, California, loanDepot is licensed to operate in all 50 states and has almost 200 branches or “lending stores.” It’s also one of America’s largest mortgage lenders according to data filed under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

So, what’s loanDepot’s secret to success? Many borrowers choose the company for its innovative technology and good customer support.

From loan application to closing, your entire loan process can be managed online. Furthermore, loanDepot says it “matches borrowers through technology and high-touch customer care with the credit they need to fuel their lives.” That makes it sound like a dating website for money, which isn’t a bad analogy.

The company’s main proprietary technology, called “mello smartloan,” pairs borrowers with loans based on their income, employment, and assets — all of which happens online. Ideally, this should make the process of getting a home loan simpler and faster.

But with loanDepot’s decision not to post rates online, you’ll have to commit to a preapproval application in order to learn whether it’s the cheapest lender for you.

Working with loanDepot

Unless you happen to live near one of loanDepot’s few branches, you’ll likely end up handling the majority of your home financing online, backed up by phone calls with one of the company’s thousands of licensed loan officers.

Of course, this digital-first method won’t be a drawback for the sort of tech-savvy customers loanDepot means to attract.

The loanDepot website feels modern and welcoming. It lets you apply online, upload documents securely and check your application’s status. Ultimately, you’ll be put in touch with a loan officer to finish the process.

What is mello smartloan?

loanDepot’s Mello smartloan digitizes and automates many of the steps involved in processing a loan application.

It verifies your income, assets, and employment; checks your credit; organizes your appraisal, title insurance, and flooding status; and lets you close online. The company estimates its technology could shave up to 17 days off normal closing times.

loanDepot customer service reviews

Customers are generally satisfied with their loanDepot mortgage or refinance experience.

The company scored 856 out of 1,000 points on J.D. Power’s most recent customer satisfaction survey and has fewer than one complaint per thousand customers registered with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

CFPB Complaints, 20214Complaints Per 1,000 Mortgages, 20215J.D. Power Satisfaction Score, 20216
loanDepot2130.38856/1,000
Rocket Mortgage3760.24876/1,000
Wells Fargo4880.58832/1,000
Freedom Mortgage2620.35829/1,000

Mortgage loan products at loanDepot

loanDepot has a broader range of mortgage programs than some of its competitors. That means different types of home buyers and homeowners should be able to find a fitting loan — from those with low down payments and challenging credit to multi-million dollar borrowers.

loanDepot offers the following types of mortgage loan programs:

  • Conventional loan: This loan option conforms to loan limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are currently $ in most parts of the country. In some instances, home buyers can qualify for a conventional mortgage with as little as 3% down payment and a FICO score of 620
  • FHA loans: Backed by the Federal Housing Administration, this type of loan lets you borrow with down payments as small as 3.5% of the purchase price and have more flexible credit requirements. FHA loans are popular with first-time home buyers, but they are available to all. Note that mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) are required for the life of the loan
  • VA loans: This loan program is backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and it allows eligible service members and veterans to borrow with zero down payment, no continuing mortgage insurance payments, and easier credit hurdles
  • FHA 230(k) loans: These are special loans for fixer-upper homes that let you finance up to $35,000 more than the home’s value for necessary repairs
  • Jumbo loans: This type of loan offers a higher cap than conforming loans, generally for mortgages over $. LoanDepot lets you borrow loan amounts up to $3 million
  • Fixed-rate mortgages: Most borrowers opt for a 30-year mortgage with a fixed rate, though fixed-rate loan options are available with 10-, 15- or 20-year loan terms
  • Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs): Offers a lower rate, which is fixed for an initial period of 3, 5, 7, or 10 years, and a floating rate for the rest of the loan term

If you can’t decide which home purchase loan will suit you best, a loanDepot loan officer can help you choose.

loanDepot home improvement financing

At the time of writing, loanDepot didn’t offer home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). Although the company announced plans to offer a HELOC sometime in 2022.

However, it does have a few types of home improvement financing including FHA 203k renovation loans, cash-out refinancing, and personal loans.

The FHA 203k combines a home mortgage and renovation costs into a single loan. It’s a great option for people buying older homes or fixer-uppers that will need major improvements right off the bat. You can also use an FHA 203k from loanDepot to refinance.

Cash-out refinancing is another way to finance home improvements. Using a cash-out refinance, you can tap your home’s equity and put the cash to work however you choose. You can also lock in a lower mortgage rate if rates have fallen since you first took the loan out.

loanDepot also offers personal loans, which can be used for home improvements. Personal loans might be a good option if you don’t have enough equity in your home to use a cash-out refinance.

However, interest rates for personal loans are typically a lot higher than mortgage rates. So weigh your options carefully.

Refinancing with loanDepot

Homeowners who do not want to cash out home equity can still use a rate-and-term refinance loan to lower their interest rates or mortgage payments.

Refinancing is when a homeowner gets a new mortgage loan to replace their current one. The new loan should help them save money or meet another financial goal.

Keep in mind that a mortgage refinance involves going through the loan application process again and paying another round of underwriting fees and closing costs. However, those with an FHA loan can avoid appraisal fees when using an FHA Streamline Refinance with loanDepot.

loanDepot lifetime guarantee program

LoanDepot claims that with its Lifetime Guarantee homeowners will not pay underwriting fees when their original mortgage is a loanDepot loan. Plus, it will reimburse any appraisal fees when refinancing.

From its website:

“After you finance with us the first time, we'll waive our lender fees and reimburse your appraisal fee when you refinance your home with loanDepot in the future.”

Where can you get a loan with loanDepot?

NMLS ID: 174457

LoanDepot has over 200 branch locations across the U.S. You can also apply online for a loanDepot mortgage or refinance online in any state.

Overall, the company seems geared more toward tech-savvy borrowers than those who prefer a traditional experience.

That’s not to say you’ll be on your own, adrift in cyberspace. LoanDepot employs thousands of licensed loan officers, and you’ll have one assigned to your mortgage application to help you through the loan process.

Is LoanDepot the best mortgage lender for you?

If you’re gung-ho about getting the whole mortgage process done online, loanDepot is likely a good place to start.

With such a large volume of customers and consistently high satisfaction scores, it’s a safe bet your mortgage or refinance process with loanDepot will go smoothly.

Just remember that rates and costs vary by customer. Make sure loanDepot’s convenience comes hand in hand with a low rate and reasonable closing costs before signing on.

That means checking interest rates from at least three to five lenders before you settle on a mortgage. Comparison shopping often saves borrowers hundreds or thousands of dollars, so don’t skip this step!

Sources:

  1. Average mortgage rates and fees sourced from self-reported data mortgage lenders are required to file under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Rates and fees shown reflect the previous year’s data and may not align with today’s mortgage rates
  2. Monthly principal and interest payments calculated using TheMortgageReports.com mortgage calculator. Payments shown are based on a $200,000 loan amount and assume a “very good” credit score. Property taxes and homeowners insurance are not included. Your own monthly payment will vary
  3. Number of mortgage originations for the previous year sourced from self-reported data mortgage lenders are required to file under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act
  4. CFPB Complaints reflect the number of mortgage origination or closing-related complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for the previous year
  5. Complaints per 1000 mortgages reflect the number of official complaints filed against a lender with the CFPB for the previous year, compared to the lender’s total number of mortgage originations for the previous year
  6. JD Power Rating reflects the company’s customer satisfaction score according to JD Power’s most recent Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. Survey respondents score their lenders in four areas: application/approval process, communication, loan closing, and loan offerings