Guaranteed Rate Lender Review for 2021


Teri Oppenheimer
Military VA Loan contributor

The Bottom Line

4/5 stars

Since its founding more than 20 years ago, Guaranteed Rate has grown into a nationwide lender It’s licensed in all 50 states with more than 400 local branch offices and 9,000 employees.

This consumer-centric company has redesigned the mortgage lending process to be easier, less expensive and more efficient for home buyers and existing homeowners throughout the country.

Guaranteed Rate is best suited for consumers seeking quick loan decisions and competitive interest rates. The company takes pride in its high level of customer service and created a digital application platform to expedite all aspects of the mortgage application and documentation processes. Consumers seeking a conventional, VA, FHA or Jumbo mortgage to purchase or refinance a home will find a robust menu of fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgage loans available from Guaranteed Rate.

Ready to buy your dream home? Start here.

Pros and Cons of Guaranteed Rate

With more than $70 billion of loans originated, Guaranteed Rate’s mortgage system leverages a “Proactive Mortgage Pod” using a team of highly-trained mortgage specialists to help their customers through every step of the process. Supporting their lending teams is a state-of-the-art technology platform designed to minimize unnecessary paperwork and accelerate the timeline for lending decisions.

Guaranteed Rate offers potential customers the ability to compare interest rates right on their website. After entering a few basic details, a consumer can get an estimate of interest rates, fees and terms for several loan programs. The company’s commitment to high quality customer service has resulted in 96% of their customers saying they would recommend Guaranteed Rate to family and friends.

Pros of Guaranteed Rate

  • Dedicated home loan experts in more than 400 branch offices throughout the United States, available to help customers match their financial goals with the best available mortgage loan to meet their needs.
  • Online tools available 24/7 to facilitate all aspects of the mortgage process, including TransferSafe, a portal for the safe, secure transfer of financial documents between the borrower and mortgage lender.
  • Wide variety of home loan programs, including VA, FHA, Conventional and Jumbo loans for both home purchase and refinancing, at competitive interest rates. Loan programs include Fixed Rate, Adjustable Rate and Interest-Only.
  • An easy and efficient online application platform to accelerate underwriting time and minimize the collection of unnecessary documentation.
  • Home buyer resources including online mortgage calculators to help estimate monthly payments, closing costs, and home affordability. Tools are also available to compare the costs of owning to renting, to estimate savings from making extra payments on a loan, and to determine how much interest can be saved by refinancing an existing mortgage loan
  • Buyers shopping for a new home will benefit from Guaranteed Rate’s “Digital Mortgage,” which provides an automated underwriting review of a mortgage application in just minutes. Once a borrower is approved they can shop for a home with confidence and have the ability to make an offer with the knowledge they’ve already qualified for a loan.

Cons of Guaranteed Rate

  • Guaranteed Rate does not offer traditional home equity lines of credit. However, personal loans are available through a partnership with Goldman Sachs.
  • A limited number of branches. Five states have no locations and several states have only a few.
Speak with a VA mortgage specialist today.

How To Get a Mortgage With Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate’s application process has been streamlined to maximize efficiency. It begins with a borrower completing an application either online or with a mortgage loan professional by phone or in person.

Once an application is submitted, Guaranteed Rate’s Digital Mortgage platform facilitates the next steps, including the review of an applicant’s employment and credit history, income, assets and liabilities. If an appraisal of the property is required then Guaranteed Rate will order it at this point.

After an applicant’s loan is reviewed and approved, Guaranteed Rate will offer several loan options for the borrower to consider – including fixed rate, interest-only and adjustable rate loans. Approved loan applicants will then select the interest rate, points, and fees best suited to meet their needs. Any additional supporting documentation for the mortgage loan can be submitted through TransferSafe, a secure online portal.

In addition to providing a team of mortgage loan professionals, Guaranteed Rate also offers mortgage applicants tools to help borrowers through the process. Guaranteed Rate customers have access to several online calculators, including one to help determine an affordable monthly payment, and others to help calculate closing costs, compare owning to renting, and estimate the impact of making extra payments on an existing mortgage loan.

Buying a House With Guaranteed Rate

Home buyers are often faced with a fast-paced, competitive real estate market. That’s why it pays to have a lender to provide customers with fast loan decisions in person, online and by phone. Whether buying a primary residence, a second home or an investment property, Guaranteed Rate offers a wide selection of mortgage loans to meet the needs of home buyers along with a streamlined underwriting process and competitive interest rates. Loan experts assist mortgage applicants through every step to make the process as quick and smooth as possible.

Guaranteed Rate’s home buying mortgage products include:

  • Conventional Loans: A good option for buyers with good credit scores and low levels of personal debt.
  • VA Loans: Designed for U.S. Veterans and active military personnel. Benefits include zero down payment and no private mortgage insurance. Guaranteed Rate also offers VA Construction Loans and VA loans for manufactured homes.
  • FHA Loans: Very popular with first time, lower-income, and/or lower-credit home buyers.
  • Jumbo Loans: For buyers seeking to borrow more than the amount permitted for conventional loans (greater than $548,250 in most areas).

Guaranteed Rate also provides its customers with access to research and information to educate them about the home buying process, including real estate market overviews, market trends and even neighborhood information by zip code.

A speedy mortgage approval can empower home buyers to move faster and compete more effectively in a hot housing market. In addition to helping borrowers through the application and approval processes, Guaranteed Rate has developed FlashClose, a proprietary technology system that allows borrowers to sign many documents online from a computer, tablet or smartphone and reduce the loan closing time from hours to minutes.

Refinancing a House With Guaranteed Rate

Millions of existing homeowners are taking advantage of historically low interest rates in order to refinance their existing mortgages and lower their monthly payments.

Guaranteed Rate offers refinancing options to help homeowners achieve their objectives, with streamlined documentation programs available. Mortgage loan professionals are available to provide customers with assistance in selecting the best loan option online, in person at more than 400 branch offices, and by phone.

Guaranteed Rate’s refinance mortgage options include VA, FHA and Conventional loans with a wide variety of terms (fixed rate, adjustable rate, 30-years, 15-years, etc). For VA homeowners, Guaranteed Rate offers a 100% VA cash-out, VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRL) with no income/no asset and no appraisal options.

Once a refinance loan application is approved, borrowers can determine where and when they would like to close their loan and Guaranteed Rate will work with them to schedule a loan settlement at the borrower’s convenience.

Special Perks for Veterans With Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate provides a high level of customer assistance to VA loan applicants. Credit help, discounts and down payment assistance may be available for VA-eligible borrowers.

VA borrowers may also be eligible to take advantage of the VA’s seller concessions policy, allowing home sellers to contribute larger amounts of funding toward closing costs. Eligible veterans and their family members may also qualify for exemption from the VA’s funding fee or for grants for disabled veterans.

Community Involvement

Guaranteed Rate established the Guaranteed Rate Foundation to help people in need. The mission of the foundation, to provide customized financial support to those working to overcome extraordinary hardship, is driven by the company founder’s philosophy: “We’re only on Earth for a short time. While we’re here, we believe it’s important that we make a positive difference in the lives of as many people as we can.”

To date, more than $4.6 million has been donated to more than 380 families in need of financial assistance.

Guaranteed Rate Summary

As a customer-centric mortgage lender, Guaranteed Rate offers a fast, hassle-free process to home buyers and existing homeowners seeking a new mortgage loan. The company takes great pride in providing their customers with outstanding service through a network of 400+ offices and 9,000 dedicated mortgage professionals. With competitive interest rates and a wide variety of lending programs, Guaranteed Rate should be considered by anyone in the process of buying or refinancing a home.

Ready to buy your dream home? Start here.