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The Best Home Loan Providers

Where Can You Find the Best Rates and Service for Your Home Loan?

There's never been a better time to buy a house, with historically-low interest rates and plenty of lenders who want to help you afford the home of your dreams. With so many lending companies eager for your business, it's worth your time to carefully consider the possibilities - ensuring that you get the home loan that meets your needs and your budget.

Although you may be tempted to go the "easy route" and get a mortgage from your local bank, it's probably not your best option. Why not? You aren't as likely to get the most competitive rates and terms: your banker relies on your familiarity with them as a lender and isn't likely to work very hard to get you the lowest possible interest rate or to negotiate on your closing fees.

Wednesday, January 27th

2021 Home Loan Provider Reviews

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Better Review 5 Star Rating

Better

5 Star Rating TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Sometimes, the "new kids on the block" are the best choice - and that certainly holds true when it comes to home loans. Better doesn't have the longevity enjoyed by some of the lenders in our review, but they've quickly established themselves as the best choice for mortgages and refinancing. Offering "digital convenience with a human touch", this platform makes it easy to see today's rates, lock them in, and close on your home loan in record time.

Stress-free Mortgage

Working with Better makes the whole process of securing a mortgage stress-free. There are no hidden fees or tricky fine print, and our experience was flawless and friendly every step of the way. You can believe them when they promise a preapproval and locked-in rate within just a few minutes, with a closing up to two times as fast as their rivals in the home lending marketplace.

Fast Qualification

Start the process with Better by inputting the information they ask for: it's all of the typical details you'll need when applying for a home loan anywhere, like information about the property you hope to buy (if known), contact information, mobile phone and last 4 digits of your SSN for identity verification. Better will perform a soft pull on your credit history, so you'll actually see your credit score on the next screen - along with confirmation of your ability to proceed with your home loan with Better, assuming that you qualify.

Check It For Accuracy

After that initial qualification, you'll get into the nitty-gritty of your financial situation, like income and assets. Your credit history (from the previous step) may mean some of those pieces are automatically filled in for you, but check them for accuracy.

Real Time Loan Options

At the end, you'll be taken to the part of Better you'll really love: real-time loan options. Select "find your loan" to see all of the possible combinations of terms, rates, and points/credits that apply to you. For an even better estimate, be sure to use the "Loan Preferences" option to indicate if you'll be holding any funds in escrow for taxes and insurance (if you know that information). This isn't a commitment, but rather information that will be used to populate your Loan Estimate page and provide you with a rough estimate for a closing date.

Helpful Rate Chart

The rate chart defaults to all of the combinations available for a 30-year fixed mortgage, with a tab you can select if you'd rather see 20- or 15-year fixed options for home loans. You may have the ability to get an ARM if you prefer - there's some great information on the Better site about adjustable-rate mortgages, so we assume they make them available - but you'll need to reach out to a Better rep if you're looking for something beyond those conventional, fixed-rate options.

Best Home Loans

Full Transparency

Transparency is the hallmark of using Better for a home loan. We didn't find any other lender that pulls back the curtain completely and shows you all of the options. Maybe you're willing to pay more in points to secure the lowest possible interest rate - or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, you're okay with a higher interest rate if it means you don't have to bring as much money to your closing. Your chart will probably display a least a half-dozen choices for each loan term; when you spot one that looks like the right fit, click on it and hit "continue" to apply it to your Loan Estimate page. This isn't a set-in-stone choice; it just lets you see all of the fees, monthly payments and assumptions made for your mortgage if that winds up being the loan you lock and close.

Handy To-do List

You'll also see a Tasks list on the left side of the page. Think of it as your to-do list for rounding up all of the paperwork and signatures necessary to finalize your home purchase. Once you've gotten to that stage, you'll probably get a phone call from a Better rep. They will walk you through the steps of the process, answer any questions you have, and make sure you know what you need to do next. You can do as much or as little as you like with your rep; we didn't find our rep to be anything but helpful and definitely not pushy.

No Origination Fees

One of Better's top ways of saving you money is their lack of origination fees. We were also able to get a price match over the home loan offered by our local broker: we simply emailed his Loan Estimate to our rep at Better, and got a total cost to close that beat the local person's by $1000. It might be worth your time to get a competing offer from another lender, because Better definitely wants your business!

Choose Your Title Company

Another way you might be able pay a little less is by choosing your own title company. Better can provide one, but if you already know of one near you and they're willing to negotiate on the closing costs, you can go with them instead. Just use the Loan Estimate on your Better dashboard to discuss fees with the title companies you contact.

Fantastic Reputation

Across the board, Better is tops when it comes to reputation. The BBB gives them accreditation and an "A+" rating, and we found numerous 5-star reviews from happy clients and industry experts alike. It was hard finding anyone with something negative to say about their impressions of the Better home loans experience! Plus, with backing from heavy hitters like Goldman Sachs and American Express, Better has what it takes to continue their upward trajectory as an excellent option in the mortgage marketplace.

Ideal Choice

Better is the ideal choice for a home loan. With a refreshing level of transparency in their mortgage rates and fees, lightning-fast approvals and closings, and a superb level of attention to customer satisfaction, this company is the obvious winner among providers of mortgages.

Quicken Loans Review 4.5 Star Rating

Quicken Loans

4.5 Star Rating

Let's face it: no two homebuyers are the same. Some want the convenience of 24/7 access to their application and a 100% online experience, while others need the reassurance of a face-to-face, personal relationship with a home mortgage expert - or even a combination of the two. Quicken Loans does it all.

Upfront Rate Information

This is one of the few lenders in our review that provide rate information without anything from you: no initial application, no personal details, nada. Simply navigate to the Mortgage Rates tab at the top of the site and you'll find today's rates in the dropdown.

Lots Of Helpful Resources

There are also lots of helpful resources throughout the Quicken Loans site. You might benefit from reading their Home Buyer's Guide for step-by-step advice on the homebuying process, or from using their Mortgage Calculators to estimate your monthly payment based on today's rates.

Multiple Pathways To Your Home Loan

As mentioned previously, this lender gives you multiple pathways for securing your home loan. Their all-online platform is known as Rocket Mortgage, which is where you'll be redirected if you click on the "Buy a Home" button. Alternately, you can live chat with Quicken Loans' representatives or call the toll-free number at the top of the site, if you'd rather start the process with a person and not a computer.

Online Loan Application Example

Let's say you decide to go the online route - either just to start the process before working with a rep or to do your entire home loan application on the web. You'll answer a series of questions about the type of home you want to purchase, how the property will be used, timeframe for buying the home, whether or not you're a first-time buyer, and so on. These preliminary details will determine whether you are eligible to secure a home loan through Quicken Loans/Rocket Mortgage, and you'll be asked to create a user account at the end if you've been approved to continue.

Best Home Loans

Opt Out Of Sharing Your Personal Information

Keep an eye out for a little blue checkbox at the bottom of the account creation page. Why? Quicken Loans is the only lender we reviewed that actually lets you opt out of having your personal information shared with their third-party affiliates. Fantastic!

Fast Turaround Time

One really compelling reason to choose the Rocket Mortgage application process is the super-quick turnaround time. Industry experts like TechCrunch and NerdWallet, as well as tech writers for the New York Times, all give the Rocket platform big props for their proprietary system for verifying assets and income, which gives you the ability to receive a conditional preapproval of your home loan in a matter of minutes, not days or weeks.

Convenient Closings

Another plus of getting a mortgage with Quicken Loans is the convenience of their closings: you get to schedule it for the date and time that meets your needs. If you've ever closed on a home before, you already know how frustrating it can be when your lender or title office set your appointment right in the middle of your work day, halfway across town, with little advance warning. Quicken Loans puts that control solidly in your hands.

Rock-solid Servicing

The last big perk you'll get here is rock-solid servicing after you close on your mortgage. Many sources of home loans sell off your debt to other banks after closing, leaving you at the mercy of the lender to match you with a decent servicing company afterwards. In contrast, Quicken Loans retains 99% of the loans they close - and they've been awarded J.D. Power's customer satisfaction recognition for many consecutive years, both on origination and servicing. In other words, you get the same quality service during the application process and for the years you're making the payments on your mortgage.

A+ Rating From The BBB

And, for what it's worth, the Better Business Bureau concurs. They've given Quicken Loans an "A+" rating and accreditation.

One Of The Best

You'll have a hard time finding a lender that makes it easier or more affordable to get a home loan. Quicken Loans, and particularly their Rocket Mortgage platform, earns one of our highest recommendations for borrowers looking to quickly secure a great rate on a mortgage.

loanDepot Review 4 Star Rating

loanDepot

4 Star Rating

loanDepot wants to make the process of getting a home loan as friendly and fast as possible. Since its start in 2010, the company has funded nearly $250 billion in loans and currently serves more than 25,000 customers each month across all 50 states.

How To Get Your Loan

What's the overall process for getting a home loan through loanDepot? They describe it like this:

  • Talk to one of their licensed lending officers
  • Define your goals: your budget, the "needs" and "wants" for your new home, etc.
  • Choose the loan that is the best match; loanDepot offers fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, jumbo and government loans
  • Get approval for the loan you want
  • Submit all required documents, such as pay stubs, mortgage statements, employment history, and so on
  • Close on your loan

Getting Started

If you'd like to get some preliminary work done before speaking with a loanDepot representative, click on the purple "Get Started" button. You'll be asked to provide information about yourself: contact details, the home you're hoping to purchase, and so on. As you get deeper into the online form, you'll see that many of the questions allow you to skip them without answering - so if you aren't ready with certain details or don't want to provide them yet, you can still continue with the process. For example, you can either use their portal to securely sign into your bank account for asset verification or enter the info manually, depending on what you're comfortable with at the time.

Best Home Loans

Financial Information Eventually Needed

But, you will need to enter those details at some point, to get quotes tailored to your financial situation and, of course, to eventually close on your home loan. One very important difference with loanDepot, compared with other lenders and referral services in our review: when you provide your Social Security number here, it is a hard pull on your credit history, which does affect your score. However, you can submit your preliminary application without taking that step and still access the client portal, if you want to wait until you're sure that you're going with loanDepot for your mortgage.

No Steeering Policy

As you work with loanDepot to choose the home loan that's right for you, you can rest assured that their interest is in helping you get what works for you - and not lining their own pockets. This lending service has a strict "no steering policy", which means they have no incentive to push you towards one mortage over another. That seems obvious, but we know of at least one rival service that comes right out and says that they do prioritize the loans they show based on what will be better for their own bottom line. loanDepot is clearly a better option in that regard!

Positive Customer Feedback

And, the Better Business Bureau agrees, giving this company accreditation and an "A+" rating. In fact, there are more positive reviews than complaints on the BBB listing for loanDepot: a rarity across multiple industries. People who have gotten their home loans here say that the rates were the lowest they found, the experience was simple and came with no nasty surprises at any step of the process, and that their closings happened right on time.

Ranks High

It's easy to see why loanDepot ranks high among mortgage lenders: fantastic rates, excellent customer service, and a no-pressure approach to the application process. We recommend making loanDepot one of the first sites you visit in your search for the right home loan.

AmeriSave Review 3.5 Star Rating

AmeriSave

3.5 Star Rating

AmeriSave is not a newbie in the mortgage industry. Their track record over the last 20 years includes home loans on over 228,000 properties, with a total of $55 billion funded. This lender services homes in every state, with the exception of New York.

Find Today's Home Loan Rates

When a lender publishes their current rates on home loans, it always scores points in our book. That's one thing we appreciate about the AmeriSave service: you can find today's numbers right under the Rates heading on their site. Of course, those rates are based on certain assumptions about the loan term, the credit history of the buyer, and so forth, but those are all clearly spelled out as well. Although this part of the site only references fixed loans of 15 and 30 years, AmeriSave offers VA, FHA, USDA and jumbo loans too. Not sure what those are? You'll find plenty of helpful information in the Loan Options section of the homepage, as well as in the AmeriSave Knowledge Center.

Getting Started

But, if you're ready to get a home loan quote specific to the property you're considering, click on the Get Started button and select Home Purchase. AmeriSave asks for your name and current address; whether you own or rent there (or live rent-free); and if you've identified the property you want to purchase.

A Few Bumps In The Road

You'll also be asked for your mobile number, in order to send a code to verify your identity. We had some challenges getting that to work: the first number we entered came back as "not appearing to be valid", and that we'd have to reach out to AmeriSave via toll-free number to continue the process. When we used an alternate number on a different carrier, we were able to continue - so keep in mind that it might take a few tries to get things to go through for you.

Soft Pull Of Credit History

The home loan quote process here requires a "soft" pull of your credit history: you can't self-report your credit score range or skip that part of the pre-application process. You'll eventually have to provide that information to any lender you choose for your mortgage, and at least this lender gives you a ballpark idea of their rates right on their website without ever having to give them your contact info or financial details.

Good Reputation

This lender has a good reputation, shown by an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, and many positive reviews on the BBB site. Clients say that AmeriSave usually delivers on their promise to help you close "in days, not weeks".

Non-refundable $500 Fee

However, looking through the not-so-positive comments left by clients, we learned that this lender has a non-refundable $500 application fee. Many providers use that fee if an appraisal is needed or for other expenses, and you get it back if you decide not to continue with your home loan application. AmeriSave doesn't give you that out: if you start the official mortgage application (not the prequalification or a rate inquiry) and decide to go with another home loan provider, or your application is denied, you don't get that $500 back. You also won't see that spelled out until you reach the "Advance Application Fee" section on the home loan application.

Reasonable Choice

We encourage you to visit the AmeriSave website if you want a quick, no-hassle way to see what today's mortgage rates are. If you decide to use this service for your home loan, chances are good that you'll have a solid experience and get a mortgage that meets your needs. Unfortunately, AmeriSave's non-refundable fee and insistence on getting an SSN early on in the quote process keep this lender from earning a higher ranking among providers of home loans.

Morty Review 3.5 Star Rating

Morty

3.5 Star Rating

Morty launched in 2016 as a portal for helping homebuyers streamline the home loans process by educating them early on in the process as to what they can afford, and thus minimizing the time required to actually close on the mortgage. The platform aims to offer cutting-edge technology for an easy, hassle-free online borrowing experience.

Homebuyer Requirements

What requirements does Morty have for homebuyers? Here are several:

  • A minimum down payment of 3% for a first-time homebuyer, 5% for a repeat buyer, 15% on two-unit properties (like a duplex) and 20% on 3- or 4-unit properties.
  • FICO credit score of 680+
  • No more than one 30-day past due payment in the previous 12 months
  • No more than $2000 in non-medical collections or charge-offs
  • At least 2 years of employment in the same line of work, with no gaps of employment longer than 60 days

Selective Reach

As you can see, that limits Morty's potential borrowers somewhat. This lender also has a few limitations of their own. They only offer conventional and jumbo loans: no VA or FHA options here. Morty isn't licensed in all 50 states, either. At the time of this review, residents of Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii, Texas, North and South Dakota, Missouri, Louisiana, West Virginia, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island were ineligible for home loans with this lender.

Starting Your Home Loan Application

But, if you live in one of the 31 states where Morty operates, what happens when you click on the "Get Started" button? First, you'll have to indicate whether you're looking for a pre-approval letter, personalized loan options, or you're ready to get your mortgage right away. No matter which one you choose, the next step is to enter the address of the property and confirm some of the basic details like property type and if it'll be your primary residence. Finally, enter your contact information and choose a password to create an account with Morty.

Discrepancies Exist

Let's say you're looking for personalized loan options. On the screens that follow, you'll set the purchase price and down payment amount, and select your credit score range. We were surprised that the form wouldn't let us set a down payment amount of less than 5%, considering we were never asked if we were first-time homebuyers (and their requirements said that there would only be a 3% minimum).

See Real Home Loan Rates

We really loved the fact that, on the next screen, we were able to see real rates and options for 15-, 20-, and 30-year fixed mortgages - without having to enter our SSN. Of course, our actual rates would change based on our credit score, when we locked our rate, and so on, but it was great to see the possibilities clearly spelled out. We were able to see our estimated loan costs, credits/points, the total cash needed to close, and an estimated closing date just a month from when we made the inquiry. All of this was "based on what we know so far". You can also opt to customize your options: this is what you'll just if you want a 10/1, 7/1, or 5/1 ARM, or if you want to see how paying more in points (or taking more credits) will affect your home loan terms.

Costs Vary Based On Lender

Morty doesn't really come right out and say it, but one thing that can affect your fees and rates is the lenders with which they match you. Morty doesn't fund your mortgage, their partners do. Those lending partners can have differing costs for appraisals, premiums for PMI, and so on. However, Morty doesn't charge any underwriting or itemized origination fees, which is a big plus.

Growing Reputation

As you'd expect with a newer company, Morty's reputation isn't well-established yet. They've got an "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau, but no accreditation or reviews there. We also found just over two dozen client ratings elsewhere; it's encouraging that those were extremely positive, so we can at least say that Morty seems to be off to a good start.

Promising Future

But, with so many states not currently eligible for Morty's services, they can't quite compete with our highest-ranked home loan brokers and lenders. We hope to continue to see good things from them in the future - especially more coverage nationwide - but until then, Morty will remain in the middle of the pack among online providers of home loans.

LendingTree Review 3 Star Rating

LendingTree

3 Star Rating

If you're looking for a one-stop shop to compare home loan rates from several lenders, LendingTree is a decent resource. They've been around since 1997 and serve as "the nation's largest lending marketplace" for everything from credit cards to personal loans and mortgages.

Offers From Up To 5 Lenders

When you submit your information to LendingTree, you'll see offers from up to five partners in their lending network. These partners range from larger banks and credit unions to smaller companies you may have never heard of. The good thing is that each lender has ample reviews from previous clients, so you'll have no worries that you're being matched with some fly-by-night business that's going to take your money and run.

More Effort Than Others

But, this referral structure also means that you'll have to do a lot of the legwork yourself - filling out the complete application, reading the fine print about requirements and fees, and so on. Compared with the lenders in our review that do everything from start to finish, LendingTree requires a little more effort on your part.

Starting Your Home Loan Application

To get started, select "Home Purchase" as the type of home loan that interests you. You'll be asked to provide information about the property you're buying:

  • Type of property (single family, condo, and so on)
  • Usage (primary, secondary, or rental)
  • City and state
  • If you already have a specific home in mind
  • If you're working with a real estate agent
  • When you plan to buy: under contract already, making an offer, shopping with a few options in mind, or next couple of months
  • Estimated purchase price range
  • Down payment percentage (LendingTree recommends at least 6-20% for more loan offers)
  • If you're a first-time homebuyer
  • If you'll have a co-borrower
  • Annual income and employment status
  • Credit score range
  • Birthdate
  • Any military service
  • Any bankruptcies and/or foreclosures in the past 7 years
  • Name, address and phone number
  • SSN if you want more personalized rates; doesn't affect your credit score and is used for identity verification only

More Information Means Better Offers

In order to get rate quotes specific to you, you'll need to provide as much information as possible. Otherwise, you'll get a generic list of possible lenders - or none at all. We also were surprised that with a 10% down payment, we were told that our loan-to-value (LTV) was too high, and that we'd need to increase the down payment to qualify. We think most people would prefer to know that from the get-go, since there are plenty of lenders out there that don't require a minimum of 20%.

Compare The Offers

Once all of your information lines up and LendingTree is able to match you with home loan offers. You'll be matched with anywhere from one to five partners in their network. It's up to you to consider the terms of each mortgage in the list. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that these are the best possible home loan rates for which you qualify - LendingTree determines which offers to show you and in what order based upon their own internal calculations.

Easily Review Each Lender's Information

On a more positive note, each offer you get comes with plenty of information and reviews from previous clients, so you can see for yourself how each lender does in terms of reputation, servicing, fees, and so on. By comparing this information, you can get a good home loan from a reliable lending partner, like thousands of others who have used this service.

A+ Rating, But Lender Contacts Can Be Tiresome

While the Better Business Bureau gives LendingTree an "A+" rating and accreditation, there were more than 200 complaints registered with the BBB. Almost all of them referred to the seemingly endless stream of phone calls, emails and texts that consumers got after providing their contact information - many of which having nothing to do with securing a home loan.

Good Reputation

If you like the idea of being able to comparison shop your mortgage and see competing offers from different lenders, LendingTree can help. The service has been around for a long time, and overall it has a good reputation. However, you might have to make a bigger down payment than you were expecting to qualify for a home loan with their partners, and you'll still have to do the application legwork with whichever lender you ultimately choose.

SoFi Review 3 Star Rating

SoFi

3 Star Rating

SoFi is short for "social finance": although they offer many of the same products you'd find at a traditional bank, this platform is based around principles similar to what you'd find with a credit union. You'll see terms like "members" describing the people who work together to help "get their money right" and take control of their financial futures. SoFi has been offering mortgages as part of this package since 2014, and they have much of the same types of financial oversight and regulation as regular lenders.

Only Primary And Secondary Home Loans Here

Before you get too far down the track, you should know that SoFi does not originate mortgages for properties in the following states: Alaska, Hawaii, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota or West Virginia. Plus, their home loans are only available on purchases of primary homes or second residences that will be lived in for at least 12 months. In other words, if you're looking for a mortgage on an investment property, you'll need to look elsewhere.

Exclusively Fixed Rate Loans

All of the home loans offered by SoFi are fixed: 10-, 15-, 20- or 30-year terms. You're required to put down at least 10% as your down payment, and if your loan-to-value ratio is less than 20%, your mortgage will have a mandatory fee for PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). SoFi doesn't offer any sneak peek of the rates and fees you can expect with their mortgages: you'll have to create an account right off the bat.

Starting The Process

Next, you'll provide the information required for your home loan. Some is used for identification, like your birthdate and phone number. The rest is based on your current situation (for example, citizenship, whether you currently own/rent/live with relatives or friends, and so on).

What's Your Timeframe

And, of course, SoFi needs to know that you're taking out a home loan for a purchase, not as a refinance, and what your timeline looks like: immediate need, next 30 days, or just looking.

Credit History Soft Pull

At that point, you'll have a "soft pull" of your credit history, so make sure that you've provided accurate information. Otherwise, you won't be allowed to continue with the home loan process.

Good Information Resource

There's a lot to like about the next page: all of the possible loan terms for your mortgage. Not only will you see interest rates, APRs, monthly payment estimates and any discount points, you'll also see what your break even point is and total interest over the life of your loan. We were given four rate/points combinations for each loan length (10, 15, 20, 30 years).

Talk To The Rep

But, from that point onward, we were directed to contact a SoFi rep for the remainder of the application. We weren't able to go back in and see the rates again, and without completing the official application (including a hard pull on our credit, impacting our score), we couldn't see the Loan Estimate of the fees required to close. That's a big downside compared with many of the lenders we evaluated.

Exclusively Fixed Rate Loans

SoFi has an "A" rating from the Better Business Bureau. As a relatively new company on the home loan market, they're still trying to build their reputation. We hope to see a more streamlined application process, and better home loan options in the future.

Freedom Mortgage Review 2.5 Star Rating

Freedom Mortgage

2.5 Star Rating

Freedom Mortgage is a trusted name in the mortgage industry, providing many types of home loans and refinancing options in all 50 states, plus DC, Puerto Rico, and USVI. With over one million active borrowers and 30+ years in operation, it's easy to see that this is a reputable lender for your home loan needs.

Wide Range Of Mortgages

Some banks limit the kinds of mortgages they offer, but Freedom Mortgage covers the full spectrum: primary, secondary and investment homes; fixed and adjustable rates; conventional/jumbo, VA and FHA loans, and so forth. Right from the start, you'll have access to useful tools like the Home Affordability Calculator, to give you a clear picture of how much you can afford when buying a house. There's also a nice step-by-step explanation of the home-buying process, from determining your eligibility for the different types of loans, to getting pre-approved for a mortgage, and even getting quotes for homeowner's insurance.

Easy To Start Your Application...

To get started with Freedom Mortgage, you'll need to select the type of home loan you need (for example, purchasing a new home, not a refinance) and then enter your contact information. You won't be asked for your Social Security number or any other financial details at this time, just your name, address, phone number and email address.

...but Then You Hit A Wall

However, that's as far as you can go - until a representative reaches out to you. You won't be able to see the types of loans you could get, an estimate of fees, or even a ballpark range of interest rates without speaking with a Freedom Mortgage home loan expert. Compared with other lenders who make it much easier to get those kinds of details, this company comes up extremely short. No convenient, 24/7 access to today's interest rates here!

A+ Rating, But Lots Of Complaints

On a more positive note, the BBB gives Freedom Mortgage an "A+" rating and their accreditation. We did spot a note in the company's listing there that described a $2 million penalty for having intentionally reported inaccurate information about their applicants' race, gender and ethnicity over a three-year period. That's not very encouraging. There were also over 1,000 complaints filed against Freedom Mortgage on the BBB site alone. While it's true you'll find quite a few 5-star reviews on their own site, Freedom Mortgage qualifies them with the disclaimer that those customer comments have been "screened...prior to publication". In other words, they're probably not letting you see the complaints, just the praise.

Inconvenient At Best

Freedom Mortgage is a good fit for borrowers who want a more traditional lending experience, working directly with a representative and not doing much (if any) of the process online. But, for the vast majority of today's home-buyers, this lender doesn't offer the digital convenience or upfront information about rates and fees that they're looking for. Combine that with our concerns about the penalties described by the BBB and it's easy to see why Freedom Mortgage winds up near the bottom of our rankings among providers of home loans.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

On the other hand, there are a number of established, trustworthy online lenders who make it possible to close on your home loan without even setting foot in a brick-and-mortar office! From start to finish, your application can be completed online, your closing scheduled for the date and time of your choosing, and mortgage payments set up to automatically debit from your preferred account. It doesn't get any easier! And, shopping around for your home loan online could save you tens of thousands of dollars in the long run: lower interest rates and closing fees keep that money in your pocket.

However, not all online sources of home loans work the same way. Some serve as a referral service, connecting you with multiple lenders and giving you an idea of their rates - but ultimately leaving it up to you to vet each one and apply for your mortgage. Others actually fund and service the loans themselves, simplifying the process and eliminating some of the hassle.

How can you decide which company to use for your home loan? Here are several important factors to keep in mind as you begin your research:

  • Ease of Use. You want to use a home lending expert that makes it easy to gather information, to apply, and to ultimately close on your mortgage.
  • Transparency. Does the lender tell you upfront what their rates are, even if it's just a ballpark? Can you readily find details about their fees? How much personal information will you need to provide to get a quote for your home loan?
  • Reputation. Have other home buyers had a good experience using the lender for their mortgage process? Has the company been rated (and preferably accredited) by the Better Business Bureau?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best services and lenders for home loans today. We hope this information helps you find the perfect mortgage for your new home!

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The Best Reviews of Home Loan Providers