Guaranteed Rate overview
Guaranteed Rate is one of the biggest names in the mortgage market. The Chicago-based lender was founded in 2000 and today has more than 10,000 employees spread across all 50 states. In 2020, Guaranteed Rate — along with its subsidiaries, which include Guaranteed Rate Affinity and Proper Rate — funded over $73 billion in loans. Notably, the lender can issue a preapproval in as quickly as 15 minutes.
Borrowers with strong credit who prefer an all-digital experience
- Rate-and-term and cash-out refinancing
Guaranteed Rate’s GRaffordable calculator allows you to see a full snapshot of loans available with a line item for lender fees. In most cases, the lender appears to charge $1,290 in fees. Those fees are waived on VA loans.
Guaranteed Rate regularly updates its mortgage rates online with real-time estimates based on hypothetical scenarios of costs based on credit score, location and type of property. These include estimates of closing costs and monthly mortgage payments. It’s a relatively painless process that doesn’t require handing over your information or reaching out to a loan officer.
Guaranteed Rate is a Better Business Bureau-accredited company with an A- rating. The lender has a poor rating on Trustpilot, although the rating is based on a small sample of less than 10 reviews. Guaranteed Rate ranked among the top 10 lenders for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study, although scored 832 out of 1,000, which is below the industry average.
Guaranteed Rate’s online loan process is designed to appeal to tech-savvy homebuyers. You can receive a preapproval letter in around 15 minutes online, and the lender’s website includes plenty of handy calculators to help you determine how much you can afford to spend, estimate your closing costs or figure out whether refinancing would be a smart financial move. If you want to apply from your phone, the lender’s mobile app is a helpful tool that includes real-time rate updates, comparison tools and the capability to instantly connect with a loan officer via email. The online approach continues all the way to the time when you actually become a homeowner, too: Its FlashClose tool helps some borrowers handle all the closing duties of signing paperwork from home.
Minimum borrower requirements
Guaranteed Rate adheres to the conforming loan requirements for mortgages approved by government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the lender also offers jumbo loans that exceed those limits. A credit score of 620 is required for approval on most loans, except for VA loans, which can be had for a score as low as 580.
Refinancing with Guaranteed Rate
Guaranteed Rate doesn’t share a detailed list of costs for refinancing, as these will vary based on borrower. However, there is a helpful calculator tool on its website to help you estimate your new payments and breakeven point. The lender also regularly updates rates for refinancing.
Not sure if Guaranteed Rate is right for you? Consider these alternatives
- Rocket Mortgage review: This lender has an equally-massive lending presence with comparable digital tools and competitive rates.
- Better.com mortgage review: While government-backed loans are not available here, Better.com offers a similar tech-savvy experience.
- Homefinity mortgage review: This lender has a slightly smaller footprint (not available in Nevada or New York), but it offers online applications and a mobile app.
- LowRates.com mortgage review: This online lender offers several different types of loan products and the ability to easily view rates right on its home page.
Zillow Home Loans review: The mortgage lending arm of Zillow, this lender can help you with virtually all aspects of the homebuying or selling process.
Breakdown of Guaranteed Rate overall review score
- Affordability: 14.75/15
- Availability: 12/15
- Borrower experience: 8/10
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.