Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Review for 2021

Guaranteed Rate has a reputation for great digital services and competitive interest rates. Learn more here.

Lending flexibility 4.0
Customer service 4.5
Ease of application 5.0
Online experience 4.5
Minimum down payment 3%
Minimum credit score 620
Loan Products Offered

Fixed-rate mortgage
Adjustable-rate mortgage
Jumbo mortgage
FHA mortgage
VA mortgage
USDA mortgage
Interest-only mortgage

Best Features

  • High customer satisfaction scores
  • Good deals for creditworthy customers
  • Excellent online and mobile services

Drawbacks

  • Higher credit score requirements
  • Some states have few or no branch locations

Overview

Guaranteed Rate aims to provide a smooth home buying or refinance process backed by digital application technology.

And it's been successful. Guaranteed Rate has quickly become one of America's biggest mortgage lenders. It's licensed to lend in all 50 states and has physical branches in 46.

Guaranteed Rate's customer satisfaction scores are strong, and its rates and fees are about average compared to other major companies. However, rates vary a lot by person.

This company has a wide selection of loan products, so if it offers the type of mortgage you need, it's worth checking personalized rates to see how competitive they are.


Guaranteed Rate mortgage rates

On average, Guaranteed Rate mortgage rates tend to be a little lower than the competition. Its origination fees and total closing costs are generally affordable, too.

But remember that interest rates and fees look different for every borrower.

You should get a custom quote from Guaranteed Rate, along with a few other lenders, to find the best deal for your situation.

Average mortgage rates at major lenders

  Guaranteed Rate Rocket Mortgage Wells Fargo Freedom Mortgage
Average 30-Year Interest Rate, 20201 3.17% 3.20% 3.62% 2.92%
Median Total Loan Costs, 2020 $3,950 $4,610 $3,370 $3,340
Median Origination Fee, 2020 $1,290 $2,950 $1,280 $0

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

Verify your new rate (Sep 23rd, 2021)

Guaranteed Rate mortgage review for 2021

There’s no denying Guaranteed Rate is an exceptional lender. Indeed, few have a bad word to say about it.

Borrowers often get good deals and the company’s online technology is easy to use. There’s good telephone support and those who live near a branch can have a face-to-face experience.

But, of course, nobody’s perfect.

If you are a borderline borrower — with an iffy credit score or high debt-to-income ratio (DTI) — you may find other lenders more sympathetic.

And if you prefer a face-to-face experience when setting up a mortgage, Guaranteed Rate’s 300 branches may not cut it, unless you happen to live near one of those.

However, if you’re a mainstream borrower who’s comfortable with technology, there’s much to like at Guaranteed Rate.

Working with Guaranteed Rate mortgage

Guaranteed Rate’s 300 branches are distributed well. But some states still have none or only one or two. So not everyone will have one within a reasonable drive.

Of course, that won’t be a problem for those who are comfortable with technology. Guaranteed Rate’s online services come with all the bells and whistles you could want.

After all, these are the people who claim to have come up with the world’s first digital mortgage, which can deliver a loan approval within minutes.

There’s also an intuitive “loan finder” tool to help you find your perfect mortgage, a mobile app, and a facility to upload your documents in a secure environment.

Guaranteed Rate mortgage customer service reviews

In J.D. Power’s Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study, Guaranteed Rate scored 832 out of 1,000. The was below the industry average of 856.

However, Guaranteed Rate gets fewer complaints per 100 mortgage customers than some other major lenders. Complaints are registered with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Customer service reviews at major lenders

  CFPB Complaints, 20204 Complaints per 100 Mortgages, 20205 JD Power Satisfaction Score, 20206
Guaranteed Rate 42 0.02 832/1,000
Rocket Mortgage 391 0.03 883/1,000
Wells Fargo 554 0.05 840/1,000
Freedom Mortgage 288 0.04 817/1,000

Mortgage loan products at Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate has a comprehensive range of mortgage products. With FHA, VA, and USDA mortgages, there are plenty of opportunities to get a low- or no-down-payment loan.

In addition, Guaranteed Rate is one of the few lenders we’ve reviewed that offers interest-only mortgages. This is a unique option that has lower, interest-only payments at the start of the loan term.

Guaranteed Rate’s full list of mortgage loan options includes:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) — America’s most popular home loan and often ideal for those planning on staying put for at least five years or so
  • 15-year FRM — You’ll pay much less in total than with a 30-year loan and will be mortgage-free sooner. But your monthly mortgage payments will be higher
  • Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) — Typically start with a lower rate than FRMs, which is fixed for 3-10 years. After that, your rate can go up or down with the markets
  • Jumbo loans — Let you borrow more than other mortgages (usually up into the millions). But expect to make a bigger down payment and to have to clear higher credit hurdles
  • FHA loan — You can put down as little as 3.5% of the purchase price. But you’ll have to pay mortgage insurance premiums each month until you sell or refinance
  • VA loan — Great for veterans, active-duty service members, and others who are eligible. Zero down payment, easier credit, competitive rates, and no private mortgage insurance
  • USDA loan — Available for low- to moderate-income borrowers in qualifying rural and suburban areas. USDA loans require 0% down and have competitive rates
  • Interest-only mortgage — This is a good loan choice in select circumstances. You’re only paying the interest, so you’ll owe the same at the end as at the beginning

With such a wide selection, many customers will be able to find the mortgage loan they’re looking for at Guaranteed Rate.

Where can you get a mortgage with Guaranteed Rate?

Guaranteed Rate NMLS ID: 2611

Probably most borrowers who engage with Guaranteed Rate will do so online.

The lender is licensed across all 50 states so anyone can start their mortgage application right at home.

And why wouldn’t you? The website offers exceptional functionality and, if you get stuck, there’s a knowledgeable loan officer at the end of a phone line.

Of course, some borrowers prefer a face-to-face relationship when making big financial decisions. To serve customers in person, Guaranteed Rate has over 300 branch locations peppered throughout 46 states, including:

  • AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WY

Some states — like California — have tons of branches, while others — like Louisiana — have just one.

But still, Guaranteed Rate’s branch network is better-spread than many other lenders and large banks. It’s worth checking where your nearest office is.

Is Guaranteed Rate the best mortgage lender for you?

To sum things up, there’s little not to like about Guaranteed Rate.

If it offers the loan type you need, it’s worth getting a mortgage rate quote to see what Guaranteed Rate could offer you.

Just be sure to get quotes from a few other companies, too. And compare them line by line.

Remember, things like discount points can make a loan look more or less attractive at face value than it really is.

Ready to get started?

Verify your new rate (Sep 23rd, 2021)

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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