Lower is an online-only lender with hubs in New Albany, Ohio and Columbia, Maryland. In addition to offering mortgages, Lower allows borrowers to deposit savings toward a down payment and helps them secure homeowners insurance. Lower preapproves qualified borrowers typically within one business day of applying, and closings generally occur in under 30 days. Lower also offers prequalifications. Notably, existing borrowers qualify for the “Free Refi For Life” program, which waives the lender and application fees, and the lender matches down payment savings up to $1,000 for existing depositors.
Borrowers looking to maximize their down payment savings and a fast closing timeline
- Rate-and-term, cash-out and streamline refinancing
- Home equity line of credit (HELOC)
- Home equity loan
- Investment property
For purchases, Lower charges a flat $995 fee, and for refinances, a flat $1,695 fee. One big perk: That $1,695 fee is waived for existing borrowers.
Lower publishes mortgage rates on its home page, and those are updated daily.
Lower is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but has a B- rating on the organization’s website. Trustpilot ranks Lower three out of five stars, based on three reviews.
Borrowers interested in Lower can apply online, and the lender offers both preapproval and prequalification. Customer support is offered both by email and phone. Lower’s website has various education and planning tools, and its app is designed to assist borrowers with planning and saving for their mortgage. Lower also offers e-signature for documents.
Minimum borrower requirements
Lower follows Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s underwriting guidelines, so borrowers with credit scores of 620 or higher can put down as little as 3 percent on a conventional mortgage. Borrowers can have a maximum debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of 50 percent with certain loan products. Lower does not accept alternatives to traditional credit scores, like history of rent payment.
Refinancing with Lower
Lower offers mortgage refinances for a flat fee of $1,695, although that cost is waived for existing borrowers. The lender’s refinance rate was below the national average as of July 9, 2021. Refi candidates can apply online.
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Breakdown of Lower overall review score
- Affordability: 14.75/15
- Availability: 13/15
- 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.