Editor’s note: The Bankrate Score considers a mortgage lender’s products and services only; it is not a reflection of a lender’s internal operations or practices. We continuously evaluate each lender we review to ensure the Bankrate Score is consistent with this methodology. If you'd like to consider other lenders, visit Bankrate's lender review hub.
Better is a direct online lender established in 2016 that provides a completely online process where rates, loan preapprovals and resources are available 24/7. The lender offers a variety of mortgage options, including conventional and jumbo fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages and bridge loans. The lender also offers rate-and-term and cash-out refinancing and a first-time homebuyer program.
With Better, you’ll be able to secure a preapproval in as little as three minutes and can close a mortgage in as few as 21 days, although 30 to 45 days for a purchase is typical. Notably, borrowers who are also Chime customers can currently save $500 on closing costs when getting a mortgage with the lender, and some American Express cardholders can get an up to $6,000 credit to their statement. For both promotions, you’ll need to meet certain parameters to qualify.
Around-the-clock support and speed
- Rate-and-term and cash-out refinancing
- Bridge loans
Better doesn’t charge any lender fees, including an origination, application or processing/underwriting fee.
Better displays mortgage rates on its website and updates them several times a day. To use the rate tool to obtain a personalized quote, however, you’ll be prompted to sign up for emails from the lender that contain mortgage news and promotions.
Better has 4.3 out of five stars from Trustpilot, indicating “Excellent” reviews. The lender ranked above-average in J.D. Power’s 2021 mortgage origination survey for customer satisfaction.
As an online-only lender, Better accepts applications and facilitates preapprovals through its website, and the lender’s live customer support is available 24/7 by phone. Better’s website also features many resources for borrowers, including home affordability, amortization and refinance calculators, to help you weigh different loan scenarios. In addition, you’ll be able to sign most of your closing documents via e-signature, which can save time on the route to closing.
Minimum borrower requirements
Better adheres to the conforming loan requirements for mortgages approved by government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For conventional loans, these key requirements include good credit (typically a FICO score of 620 or higher) and a minimum down payment of 3 percent. However, anything less than 20 percent down will trigger a requirement for the borrower to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). Borrowers must also have a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of no more than 50 percent.
Refinancing with Better
For borrowers interested in refinancing, Better offers options including rate-and-term and cash-out. While the lender doesn’t charge an origination fee (or any other lender fees), your refinance will come with other closing costs from third parties, such as the appraisal fee.
Not sure if Better is right for you? Consider these alternatives
Breakdown of Better overall review score
- Affordability: 5/5
- Availability: 5/5
- Borrower experience: 5/5
To determine a mortgage lender’s Bankrate Score, Bankrate’s editorial team rates lenders on a scale of one to five stars based on a variety of factors relating to the lender’s products and services. Bankrate’s partners compensate us, but our opinions are our own, and partner relationships do not influence our reviews. Here is our full methodology.