loanDepot Lender Review | 2021
Military VA Loan Rating: 4/5
loanDepot has rapidly grown to become one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, with more than $248 billion in new loan originations since the organization’s founding in 2010. The company is committed to being a customer’s “Lender for Life,” with a lifetime guarantee to waive all lender fees and to reimburse customers for appraisal fees whenever they refinance with loanDepot. For home buyers and existing homeowners seeking a fast and hassle-free mortgage process, loanDepot offers a variety of loan programs backed by a team of 9,000 dedicated lending professionals and a nationwide network of branch offices.
Zillow Home Loans is the mortgage lending branch of Zillow Group. The company began offering loans in 2019 after acquiring Mortgage Lenders of America.
Zillow’s lending arm has more than 300 employees. According to its website, available mortgages include conventional, FHA, and VA loans for new purchases and refinances.
The website doesn’t provide information about other programs, such as USDA loans, jumbo loans, or home equity loans.
In addition, Zillow does not list current mortgage rates or minimum credit requirements. To get this information, you’ll need to complete a contact form and wait for a representative to contact you.
Zillow Home Loans mortgage rates
While many mortgage lenders advertise their rates online, Zillow Home Loans isn’t as transparent. Instead, you have to speak with a loan officer for rate information.
Based on data from 2020, the average 30-year interest rate offered by Zillow Home Loans was lower than some other major lenders.
Also, Zillow borrowers paid lower closing costs on average — about $2,900 in total loan costs in 2020, and $850 in loan origination fees.
Average mortgage rates at major lenders
|Zillow Home Loans||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||$2,900||$4,610||$3,370||$3,340|
|Median Origination Fee, 2020||$850||$2,950||$1,280||$0|
Average rate and fee data sourced from public rate and fee records required by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).
Zillow Home Loans review for 2021
Home loan programs vary, so it’s important to choose the right loan for your situation.
The good news is that Zillow has a variety of loan programs. These include government-backed mortgages like FHA and VA loans, as well as conventional loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
But unfortunately, Zillow Home Loans doesn’t provide loans for everyone.
Its website doesn’t provide any information about adjustable-rate mortgages, reverse mortgages, jumbo loans, home equity loans, or USDA loans.
Plus, the lender isn’t licensed in all 50 states. So you’ll need to confirm your eligibility with a representative before completing an application.
Keep in mind, too, some borrowers might view the lender’s lack of information as a disadvantage.
When shopping for a home loan, transparency about rates and requirements can point borrowers in the right direction. But unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of clarity in this area.
According to a customer representative, you must first fill out a contact form — providing your personal and financial details — then wait for a loan officer to contact you. From there, you can complete a mortgage application and ask questions.
Working with Zillow Home Loans
Zillow Home Loans does not have a wholly online mortgage application process.
When starting out, it can appear as if you’re completing a pre-qualification or pre-approval application online. You’ll provide details about the type of loan you’re looking for, your timeline for buying, and personal information.
But this isn’t a mortgage application. It’s only a contact form, which you must complete before proceeding.
You can’t complete a loan application or ask questions until after you’re contacted by a loan officer.
After completing an application you’re typically required to submit supporting documentation, including:
- W2s and tax returns from the previous two years
- Bank and/or retirement account statements
- A copy of your drivers license
- Year-to-date Profit and Loss statement (if you’re self-employed)
- Gift letter, if applicable
- Other documents requested by your lender
Zillow Home Loans offers mortgages in all but seven states, so you’ll likely email or upload your supporting documentation to an online portal. Your loan officer will provide specific instructions regarding pre-approvals, Loan Estimates, and closing.
You’ll likely receive a pre-approval after completing your application. And once you have a signed purchase agreement, you’ll receive a Loan Estimate with your “estimated” loan terms.
You’ll receive a Closing Disclosure form about three days before closing. This includes your “actual” loan terms, including the interest rate, monthly payment, and cash needed to close.
Zillow Home Loans customer reviews
Zillow Home Loans receives mostly positive reviews from its borrowers. The company has a score of 4.3 out of 5 on Trustpilot.
Both refinance and purchase borrowers spoke highly about the level of customer service, and they often described their loan officers as knowledgeable and friendly.
According to customer reviews, many borrowers closed on time — sometimes within weeks — and were satisfied with their mortgage rates.
Customer service reviews at major lenders
|CFPB Complaints, 20204||Complaints per 100 Mortgages, 20205||J.D. Power Satisfaction Score, 20206|
|Zillow Home Loans||1||0.00||Not Rated|
Zillow Home Loans doesn’t have a J.D. Power Satisfaction Score for 2020. However, the lender only received one complaint to the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau in 2020. This is considerably less than the number of complaints received about major competitors.
Mortgage loan products at Zillow Home Loans
Zillow has options if you’re looking for a new home purchase or to refinance an existing mortgage.
According to the lender’s website, you can apply for three types of home loans:
- Conventional loan — These mortgages are typically backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Zillow offers fixed-rate mortgages with 15-, 20-, and 30-year terms, but does not appear to offer adjustable-rate mortgages. The minimum down payment is 3%, and you’ll typically need a minimum credit score between 620 and 680 for a conventional loan
- FHA loan — These loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration. They require a minimum credit score of 580 and a minimum down payment of 3.5%
- VA loan — These loans are available to active-duty military members, veterans, reservists, National Guard service members, and eligible spouses. The VA doesn’t set a minimum credit score requirement, but many lenders require a minimum score of 580-620. VA home loans require no down payment, no private mortgage insurance (PMI), and have lower closing costs
The lender’s website does not provide information about USDA loans, jumbo loans, or home equity loans. And unfortunately, you must complete a contact form and start an application to confirm the availability of these products.
Where can I get a mortgage with Zillow Home Loans?
Zillow Home Loans is currently licensed in 43 states. The company is not available in:
- New Jersey
- New York
- West Virginia
In addition, you can find physical Zillow Home Loans branches in 10 states:
- New York
- Washington State
Borrowers without a branch location in their home state can work with Zillow Home Loans online and over the phone.
Is Zillow the best mortgage lender for you?
Based on customer reviews, Zillow Home Loans offers a fast, smooth lending experience. It’s also known to employ highly knowledgeable, friendly loan officers.
Despite the lender’s lack of transparency regarding mortgage rates, its costs appear to be lower than some major competitors on average.
Also, the lender doesn’t have many branch offices, so you should only apply if you’re comfortable managing the mortgage process online.
Since Zillow doesn’t openly advertise credit requirements, you’ll need to fill out a contact form and start an application to see if you’re eligible.
- Over 200+ Billion funded since 2010
- Refinance and Lower Your Monthly Payments
- Fast and Secure Data Verification Process
- Low Rates and Fast Approvals