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The Best Mortgage Refinance Companies

Where is the Best Place to Refinance Your Mortgage?

While it might be tempting to go with a local mortgage broker or even your community bank, you're not likely to get the lowest rates or ideal terms that way. Why? They usually work with their preferred partners instead of negotiating or "comparison shopping" to get you the best deal. You're paying for convenience and familiarity, but that's it. Fortunately, there are many reputable online lenders that make it quick and easy to get low rates and great terms, all from your laptop or even your mobile phone!

With interest rates at historic lows, it's worth your while to consider mortgage refinancing. Whether you want to shave years off your current mortgage and lower your interest rate or get cash out from your established equity, there's no better time than now. Using an online lender lets you compare rates, complete the application, and finish the entire process without ever leaving home: some services send a mobile notary to you for the final steps of signing the paperwork! Otherwise, you can often choose a local title company if you prefer to go the more traditional route.

Thursday, June 24th

2021 Mortgage Refinance Company Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Better Review 5 Star Rating

Better

5 Star Rating Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Better is one of the newest mortgage brokers online, but you'll quickly see why they've risen to the top of our rankings for mortgage refinancing. They describe their services as "digital convenience with a human touch", and we couldn't agree more!

Fast, Friendly, And Flawless

Everything about our experience with Better was fast, friendly, and flawless from start to finish. The company doesn't exaggerate when they say that they can get you a preapproval letter and lock in your rate in a matter of minutes, and close up to twice as fast as most of their competitors.

Getting Started With Your Refinance

You'll get started with Better by entering all of the information you'd expect: property address and type, estimated home value, plus your mobile phone and last 4 digits of your SSN for identity verification (which does a soft pull of your credit). The very next screen will show your credit score and whether or not you qualify to proceed with your mortgage refinancing with Better.

Income And Goals

From there, Better asks about your annual income, co-borrower details, current mortgage payments (which will autofill from your credit history), your goals in refinancing your mortgage, and assets.

Real-time Loan Options

Once you've submitted all of those details, you'll get to our absolute favorite part of using Better: real-time loan options. Click on "Find your loan" to see all of the possibilities for your refi. Under Loan Estimate preferences, you can indicate whether your taxes and insurance will be held in escrow or be paid directly. This is just for purposes of your Loan Estimate page and not a final commitment to one or the other. You'll also see an estimated closing date, but that's not set in stone either. (The date it gave us was about 45 days out.)

Easy To Use Chart

Next, you'll see a chart that defaults to all of your choices for a 30-year fixed mortgage; click on the tabs if you would rather shop for a 20-year or 15-year fixed. Better gives some great advice on their site with respect to ARMs, but they only display fixed mortgages - which is reasonable, considering 98% of borrowers choose them. Be sure to talk with your Better rep if you know you're looking for an adjustable-rate refi or another special loan type like jumbo or FHA.

See It All

Very few lenders show you ALL of the possibilities, from interest rates to points, but Better definitely lets you see it all. It's up to you if it's worth it to pay points for a lower rate - or to get a credit at closing for taking a slightly higher one - but you'll have no problem seeing how it'll affect your monthly payments either way.

Best Mortgage Refinance

No Hidden Fees

When you spot a combination of APR and points (or credits!) you like, click on it (and then the "continue" button) to have it applied to your Loan Estimate page. That serves merely as a placeholder: you can change it any time before you officially lock your rate. Now you'll be able to see your Loan Estimate in the links on the left side of the page. There are no hidden fees or sneaky costs when getting your mortgage refinanced with Better. You can even get started on rounding up all of the documentation to verify your assets and schedule an appraisal (if needed); you'll find your to-do list under the Tasks link.

100% Online Application, And Help When You Need It

While your application will be 100% online, you'll still be able to get personal help if you need it. In fact, after we had finished entering our preliminary information, we got a phone call later that day asking if we had any questions and walking us through Better's process for mortgage refinancing. The representative was patient and knowledgeable, but there was no pressure to lock in our rate.

Set Your Contact Preferences

Don't want to be inundated with calls, texts, or emails? Better lets you specify how you'd prefer to be contacted. Set your preferences in your profile - or, easier yet, wait for the preapproval letter in your email inbox and then use the link there.

No Origination Fees

One of the ways that this lender saves you money is by not charging origination fees. We were also impressed with Better's offer to beat our local broker's best offer - and they were able to offer a total cost to close that was $1,000 less. All we had to do was email the PDF of our Loan Estimate to our Better rep.

Choose Your Title Company

Also, while Better can select a title company for you, you're welcome to shop around and find one that will give you the best package on your refi closing. (For example, if you already have a survey for your property or if you work with the title company that did the original closing on your home, you probably will pay less in fees).

Stellar Reputation

Better enjoys a stellar reputation no matter where you look. Starting with the Better Business Bureau's "A+" rating and accreditation and moving on to the hundreds of 5-star reviews from clients and from experts in the mortgage industry, you'll have a hard time finding anyone with complaints about the experience with this lender.

Highest Recommendation

Backed by such notable partners as American Express and Goldman Sachs, and praised by publications from Forbes to Fortune, Better has what it takes to earn your business for your refi. For low rates, the easiest process, and best overall service, this should be the first site you visit. Better earns our highest recommendation among providers of mortgage refinancing.

Quicken Loans Review 4.5 Star Rating

Quicken Loans

4.5 Star Rating

Cutting-edge technology from a mortgage refinancing lender that's been around for nearly four decades? Quicken Loans delivers. This company is the ideal mix of tried-and-true with all-things-modern, so no matter what style makes you most comfortable, you'll find it here.

No Personal Information Required

We love that there's absolutely no personal information required to see what rates you might get on your mortgage refi through Quicken Loans. Just go to the tab at the top of the site that says Mortgage Rates and click on the first link in the dropdown. Voila!

Helpful Knowledge Resource

Be sure to check out Quicken Loans' refinance guide if you need to do some learning before you jump into the process. It covers some of the reasons that you might consider a refi, what you need to evaluate about your situation (your credit score, how much your home is worth, and so on), and includes a calculator to see what your new monthly payments might be at today's rates.

Multiple Ways To Apply

You've got multiple ways to apply for your mortgage refinancing with Quicken Loans. If you want 100% online, you'll use their Rocket Mortgage service. Otherwise, you can start the process online and then speak with one of their home loan experts, or you can go directly to a representative. The choice is yours. (Side note: Quicken Loans' Rocket application was the only one we found that actually let us opt out of having our data shared with affiliates. Love that!)

Lightning-fast Verification

If you go the online route, be prepared for your refinancing to be done in record time. NerdWallet, the NYT, and TechCrunch all praise the Rocket service for its lightning-fast verification of income and assets, which not only saves you time and hassle but also gives you a conditional approval for your loan in just a few minutes.

Best Mortgage Refinance

Schedule Your Closing

One big perk of choosing Quicken Loans for your refi is the ability to schedule your closing for the time and place you prefer. We know from personal experience how exasperating it can be to wait until the last minute to find out when and where a closing will happen, having to rearrange schedules and drive halfway across the county at a moment's notice. You won't get that here!

Quicken Services 99% Of The Loans They Close

Also, this company services 99% of the loans they close. Unlike many mortgage brokers who use wholesale lenders to close your mortgage refinancing - and who ultimately sell off your loan to one of the bigger banks - Quicken Loans takes most of their customers from start to finish.

Very Positive Reputation

Quicken Loans enjoys a very positive reputation within the industry. Not only are they "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB, they also earned the J.D. Power awards for customer satisfaction for both origination (the application process) and servicing (everything that comes after your mortgage loan is funded) - for 7-10 consecutive years!

No FHA, VA, Or Jumbo Loans Online

In fact, the only downside we could find with Quicken Loans is that they don't refinance FHA, VA or jumbo loans through their Rocket service. Fortunately, that's not a problem for the vast majority of homeowners looking for a refi today - and you may be able to access those loan types through their non-online platform. We encourage you to reach out to their customer service team if this applies to you.

Great Choice

There are very few companies that make the mortgage refinancing process as customer-friendly as Quicken Loans. For great service before AND after closing, look no further than this service for your refi needs.

loanDepot Review 4 Star Rating

loanDepot

4 Star Rating

loanDepot got its start in 2010 and quickly grew to be one of the largest retail mortgage lenders in the industry, with more than $248 billion in loans funded over the last 10 years. They employ a nationwide team of more than 8,000 licensed loan officers to serve 25,000+ customers every month.

Simple Refinance Process

The process for getting your mortgage refinanced through this company is simple:

  • Talk to one of their licensed lending officers
  • Define your goals: getting a lower rate, taking cash out, 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 select
  • Submit all required documents, such as pay stubs, mortgage statements, employment history, and so on
  • Close your refi

Getting Started

Click on the purple "Get Started" button to begin the process with loanDepot. You'll be asked all of the typical, basic questions about you, your home, your phone number and email address. From there, you'll be taken to a form that asks essentially the same questions; there's no direct explanation for why you have to do it twice, but the fine print at the bottom says they're necessary to submit an online application. If you'd rather not give them those details online, loanDepot requests that you contact them via their toll-free number instead.

Skip Fields If You're Not Comfortable

Helpfully, on this second series of questions, you can enter only the details you're comfortable sharing - just hit "skip" on anything you'd rather give over the phone (like your Social Security Number). We really like being able to either securely sign into our bank account for asset verification or enter it manually; with many mortgage refinance services, you're required to use one or the other.

Best Mortgage Refinance

Enter All The Information To Get The Quotes

Keep in mind that you won't be connected with quotes until you have entered all of the requested information, especially your SSN. It wasn't spelled out until we clicked on the blue question mark on the "Let's Verify Credit History" page, but loanDepot explains that this inquiry will be a hard pull on your credit score. You can submit your preliminary application without it, though, and you'll still be able to access your client portal.

Lifetime Guarantee

loanDepot has some great features that set them apart from comparable refi referral services. First, you'll get a "lifetime guarantee". What does that mean when talking about refinancing? Let's say that you're going to live in your home for a long time - long enough that you might see rates drop significantly more than once and you need a second refi to take advantage of the savings, or you want to get some cash out from your home's equity. On any subsequent mortgage refinancing transactions, loanDepot will waive all lender fees and reimburse your appraisal costs. Granted, this probably doesn't apply to very many homeowners, but it's still a nice touch.

No Steering Policy

Another, more behind-the-scenes perk of getting rate quotes from loanDepot is their "no steering" policy. That means that you won't get nudged in the direction of the loan that would make them more money. Compare that with one rival service that explicitly states in their disclosure that they absolutely will prioritize the loans they show you based on what's best for their bottom line, and it's easy to see why you might want to use loanDepot instead!

High Praise From Customers

This service gets plenty of praise from customers, demonstrated by their "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau as well. It's rare to find a company that has more compliments than complaints on the BBB site, but loanDepot does. Clients say that they had a flawless experience from start to finish, the process was explained clearly, rates were extremely competitive and the refi was closed very quickly.

Solid Choice

For all of these reasons, loanDepot earns one of our highest recommendations among mortgage refinancing providers. You'll get phenomenal customer service, a no-hassle application process, and some of the best rates on the market. This is definitely a site to consider if you're looking for an easy way to refinance the mortgage on your home!

AmeriSave Review 3.5 Star Rating

AmeriSave

3.5 Star Rating

AmeriSave has been in the mortgage lending business for nearly two decades, with over $55 billion in home loans on 228,000+ properties. However, AmeriSave doesn't service residences in the state of New York. That cuts out a significant portion of homeowners in the US, but you can still use this company if you live in one of the other 49 states or Washington DC.

See Current Mortgage Rates

We always appreciate it when lenders are open with current mortgage rates, instead of making people jump through hoops or complete a preliminary application first. You'll find them under the Rates heading on the AmeriSave website, along with all of the assumptions made for the interest rates and terms they feature. The only loan types featured there are 15- and 30-year fixed, but this lender does offer VA, FHA, USDA and jumbo options as well.

May Take Some Trial And Error

Of course, if you want a quote specific to the mortgage you want to refinance, you'll need to click on the "Home Refinance" button to get started. You'll be asked for basic details like name and property address, and then for your mobile number for purposes of identity verification. However, when we entered ours, we were told that our number "does not appear to be valid", and the only way to continue with the process was to call AmeriSave's toll-free number. When we tried a number on a different mobile carrier, it went through - so be aware that it may take some trial-and-error or a phone call to move things along.

Soft Credit Check

You'll also have to agree to a "soft" credit check, instead of self-reporting your score range. Unlike many of the mortgage refinancing providers we evaluated, AmeriSave doesn't let you proceed without it. There's no "skip" button, no access to a portal or dashboard unless you agree to that "soft pull" online or call their toll-free line to speak with a representative. But, no matter which company you use for your refi, eventually you'll have to provide that information - so it might be worth it, if AmeriSave can give you a detailed quote and help you close "in days, not weeks" as they promise.

Good Reputation

AmeriSave fares relatively well when it comes to their reputation as a mortgage lender. They've earned an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, and we found plenty of positive reviews on the BBB site (which is unusual, given that most people go there to file a complaint, not a compliment!).

Non-refundable Application Fee

On the other hand, reading through the negative reviews and comments, we discovered that this service charges a non-refundable application fee of $500. If you start the official application process to refinance your mortgage and decide to go with another lender, or if your refi application is denied, you won't get that money back. You'll find that explained in the "Advance Application Fee Agreement" portion of your application.

Helpful Knowledge Resource

We also found several comments that mentioned a rate match guarantee - but we weren't able to find that discussed in any detail on the AmeriSave site.

Good Choice, But Be Aware Of That Fee

AmeriSave is a decent choice for refinancing your mortgage. You can easily get an idea of a ballpark range of interest rates on the two most common loan types, and the company has a solid track record in the industry. But, the $500 non-refundable fee and the inability to set up an account without entering a SSN keep AmeriSave from ranking higher among mortgage refinancing providers.

LendingTree Review 3 Star Rating

LendingTree

3 Star Rating

LendingTree is one of a small number of services we evaluated that allow you to receive and compare quotes from multiple lenders. That means that your mortgage refinancing won't actually be funded by LendingTree itself, and you'll still have to go through all of the application steps required by the lending partner you select from the quotes you get. (In fact, some of their lenders are included in our reviews here!)

Enter Your Information

To begin, select "refinance" as the purpose of your loan and then provide the information requested at each step:

  • Type of property
  • Usage (primary, secondary, or rental)
  • Purpose for your refi (e.g. lower your payments, pay off faster, cash out, change from an ARM to fixed, or just browse current rates)
  • ZIP code
  • Estimated property value
  • Remaining balance on current mortgage
  • Whether or not the property has a second mortgage
  • How much cash out, if any
  • Estimated credit score
  • Birthdate
  • Any military service
  • Any bankruptcies and/or foreclosures in the past 7 years
  • Name and phone number
  • SSN if you want more personalized rates; doesn't affect your credit score and is used for identity verification only

Generic Results List

If you decide not to provide LendingTree with the information they need to verify who you are, you'll get a generic results list showing "today's mortgage rates" and no specific offers. Our results showed rates from NBKC Bank and RockBottom Mortgage LLC.

Matched With Up To 5 Lenders

If you opt to get quotes tailored to your situation (specific to your credit score, residence, and so on), you'll be matched with up to 5 lenders in the LendingTree network - but their disclosures say that they aren't necessarily the best ones available to you. Why not? The compensation that LendingTree receives "may impact how and where products appear on this site". In other words, if they'll make more money for referring you to one bank or lender than another, chances are good that you'll see those partners first.

See What Other Customers Have Said

You can see for yourself what other clients have said about each of the lenders from whom you receive offers. Just because LendingTree is making money from their partners doesn't mean you won't still get a great deal on your mortgage refinancing. Just do your due diligence before you sign on any dotted lines.

Customer Feedback Is Mixed

LendingTree has an "A+" rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. That's a good sign. Customer feedback is mixed, however. Because LendingTree works by matching you with other companies for your refi, it should come as no surprise that you'll be consenting to have your contact information passed along within their network. The vast majority of the 200+ complaints received by the BBB center around the numerous calls, texts and emails that people got after using the LendingTree platform.

Trusted Resource

Overall, this is a trustworthy resource to use if you want to get an idea of what various lenders might offer on your mortgage refinancing. Providing LendingTree with your personal details could land you on some mailing/phone lists that are hard to get out of, but it won't impact your credit score to make the inquiry. But, because you'll still have to work with a lender directly - and vet them individually, check their rates and fees, and so on - this site only serves as a first step towards your refi.

Freedom Mortgage Review 2 Star Rating

Freedom Mortgage

2 Star Rating

Freedom Mortgage has been in the mortgage refinancing and other home loans industry for over 30 years. They serve all 50 states, as well as Washington DC, USVI and Puerto Rico, with more than one million active borrowers.

All Types Of Refinances Supported

When it comes to refinanced mortgages, this lender offers all types: primary, secondary, and investment homes, fixed rate and adjustable rate, and both traditional and cash-out refinancing. To get started, you'll provide the basic information of the type of refi you're looking for, plus your name and contact information.

Wait For A Phone Call

Unfortunately, from that point onward, you'll be waiting for a Freedom Mortgage representative to contact you. Unlike most of their competitors, this company doesn't even give you a peek at what your rates might be, the terms they offer, and so on.

Not As Convenient

For most borrowers looking to refinance their mortgage online, this is a huge downside - why not just go with a local mortgage broker if you're going to have to talk with a representative over the phone anyway? It's definitely a minus for Freedom, when considering all of the options out there that make it a breeze to see rates and terms with just a few steps.

Helpful Checklist Feature

Something they offer that we found helpful was the Checklists feature under the Resources heading. Whether you do a mortgage refinance online or through a more traditional route, you'll need to have lots of documentation at the ready: pay stubs, two years of W-2 forms and federal tax returns, and more. You can use Freedom Mortgage's suggestions to gather the paperwork you'll need - even if you decide to work with a different lender for your refi.

Calculator Tools

You can also get useful information from the Calculators heading. Not sure if you should refi into a 30- or 15-year mortgage? Want to know how much you'd save at today's rates, or when your break-even point would be (when you would recoup the money you'll spend on fees to refinance)? You can use those tools without committing to Freedom Mortgage as your lender.

$2 Million Penalty

How about reputation? According to the Better Business Bureau, Freedom Mortgage is accredited and has a rating of "A-". Those are usually good signs, but there was also a case against the company brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2019. Freedom wound up paying a penalty of nearly $2 million for intentionally recording inaccurate information about mortgage applicants' ethnicity, race and gender for three years. In addition to the 1000+ complaints filed with the BBB, that doesn't give the impression that Freedom Mortgage is fully committed to integrity in their business dealings - or to their customers. Yes, you'll find dozens of 5-star reviews on their own website, along with the disclaimer that they have been "screened...prior to publication". That screams "filtered" to us.

Online Experiences Are Better

If you're trying to refinance your mortgage and are more comfortable doing it in an "old school" way, Freedom Mortgage might be worth contacting. But, if you're like most homeowners, you probably want as much information as possible from the very start, including ballpark estimates of your rates, terms, and fees - and in that case, you'll likely prefer the online mortgage refi experience with one of the higher-ranked providers in our review.

SoFi Review 2 Star Rating

SoFi

2 Star Rating

"Social Finance" is where the lender known as SoFi gets its name. The company started out as a way of encouraging people to work together to make smart financial decisions, allowing investors and borrowers to reach their goals simultaneously. You'll find traditional products here, like personal loans and mortgages, but the structure has more of a credit union feel: clients are described as "members", for example. Rest assured, however, that SoFi still has plenty of oversight and regulation, and they've been around for nearly a decade.

Most States Covered

Before you start the process of applying for your mortgage refinancing, it's important to point out that SoFi does not originate or refinance mortgages for properties in the following states: Alaska, Hawaii, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota or West Virginia. Additionally, their mortgages are only available for properties that will either be a primary residence or a second home that will be occupied for at least 12 months: no investment properties are eligible for a refi here.

Create An Account To See The Rates

For your refinanced mortgage, all of your options with SoFi are fixed-rate, with terms ranging from 10-30 years. In order to even get a hint of what your rates and fees would be, you'll have to create a SoFi account. You'll be asked for personal details like birthdate and citizenship, as well as your estimated gross annual income.

Enter Your Information

Next, once you've selected "refinance" or "cash out refinance" as the reason for your application, SoFi needs more details about the property. You'll need the original purchase date, the estimated property value, current mortgage balance, the amount of any HOA dues, and your estimated credit score range.

Great Informative Charts

After we provided our SSN (with a soft pull on our credit score), we got a great chart showing us all of the possibilities for our mortgage refinancing: terms varied from 1-30 years, and we had four options in each term for points vs. interest rates. We really like how SoFi's chart also displays the break-even point for each option, as well as the total interest paid over the term of the new mortgage.

Grinding Halt

However, at that point, the application process came to a grinding halt: our dashboard said that we had to reach out to a specific broker to complete the application. We also weren't able to go back in and look at our rate options again, leaving us with the feeling that we were locked into whatever we had seen previously. We also weren't given any kind of Loan Estimate, leaving us in the dark about closing costs, fees, and so forth. That definitely puts SoFi behind most of the competition, if we have to submit to a "hard pull" on our credit in order to see those kinds of details.

Customer Issues

SoFi's reputation has some room for improvement. They have an "A" rating but no accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. On the BBB's listing for SoFi, there's an alert describing alleged misrepresentation of savings on home mortgage and student loan refinancing, which isn't very reassuring. There were also more than 150 complaints registered there. All of them seemed to have a reasonable response from SoFi, but when there are ample refi providers with far fewer negative comments, it makes it harder for this company to outrank them.

Room To Improve

At the end of the day, SoFi gives you a digital refi platform without many of the conveniences you'll get with a higher-rated lender. We'd like to see more transparency with closing fees and easier access to rates without having to create an account first. Sofi isn't our last choice for mortgage refinancing, but there are definitely other options that are more likely to inspire confidence in the process.

Figure Review 1.5 Star Rating

Figure

1.5 Star Rating

Figure describes itself as "the fastest and easiest way to refinance" your mortgage. They're one of the newer services on the market, with just 20,000 successfully-closed refis at the time of our review.

Limited Offering

Figure is somewhat limited with what they offer: strictly 30-year fixed mortgages on primary residences. The company is only licensed in 32 states; some notable exclusions are Illinois, New York and Texas, so if you live there or in the other 15 states where Figure isn't an option, you'll be better off starting your refinancing process with another lender. See the fine print at the bottom of the Figure site to see which states are included. You'll also need a minimum FICO score of 620. And, if you're solely self-employed, you won't qualify for a Figure mortgage refinance unless you can provide documented income from other sources.

Cash Out Or Traditional Refi

If you decide to give Figure a chance, what can you expect? First, you've got the option to do a cash-out refinance, up to $500,000. You'll have to indicate whether you want a traditional refi or a cash-out option at the start of the process.

Where's The Offer?

Next, you'll go through three steps to see your rate. Figure will ask for the property address, the estimated home value, and if you pay any HOA fees. Finally, once you've entered your contact information and created an account, you'll be taken to your account dashboard. The "getting your offer" screen took over a minute to load, and we weren't given an offer - just a message that our application was being reviewed.

20 Days To Receive A Decision

Figure says that while the application takes about 10 minutes, it can be as long as 20 days before you receive a decision. Then, if you're approved and select the terms of your refi, you have 30 days to complete the process.

Challenging Applicaton

One part of the process that could pose a challenge is the income verification. Figure requires you to log into your checking account through their portal - which isn't a problem if you bank with one of the larger financial institutions. However, if you use a smaller credit union or regional bank, it's possible that you won't be able to connect. Figure offers the ability to verify your income with tax returns as well, but we found a few customer complaints specifically about the lack of partnering with their particular bank (and that it caused problems for the funding of their refinance).

Failing Grade From The BBB

The main reason Figure earns our lowest ranking among companies offering mortgage refinancing is their "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau. The BBB showed that no one from Figure responded to complaints filed, and customer reviews there were mostly negative too. On the other hand, this service has a much better reputation outside of the BBB's listing. While we still found complaints from unhappy users of the platform, we also discovered more than 800 5-star reviews. Those clients said that the process was fast, and that customer service representatives were readily available if needed.

Potential Is There

Figure has the potential to become a strong option for mortgage refinancing, and we hope to see improvements from them in the future: more states in their eligibility list, options beyond a traditional 30-year fixed mortgage, and more banks in their network for easier income verification and disbursal of funds. We'd also prefer to see a much stronger reputation with the BBB. Until then, however, Figure will remain near the bottom of our rankings.

Refi Rate Guide Review 1 Star Rating

Refi Rate Guide

1 Star Rating

Refi Rate Guide is not a traditional mortgage lender or bank. Instead, it serves as a marketing tool operated by LeadPoint, connecting you with various lending partners that might offer you a loan for your mortgage refinancing.

Not Much Information

We found two different experiences when using this site, depending on which browser we used. One took us to a long list of partner lenders and sample rates, while the other jumped directly into asking us if we were looking to refinance or to purchase a home. The latter seems to be what most people get when navigating to the Refi Rate Guide site. Neither one gives prospective borrowers much information about the service beforehand.

Getting Started

To get started, click on "Refinance" and then select the property type: single family, multi-family, townhouse or condo. You'll then need to estimate your credit score - on this site, anything 680+ is considered "excellent", by the way - and the approximate value of the property. Use the slider to indicate the amount of the balance remaining on the current mortgage and its interest rate, and then click on the type of loan you're looking for (fixed, adjustable, or either).

Strange Questions

You'll also see a slider for specifying if you want any cash out on your refinance. Further questions ask about any bankruptcies/foreclosures/late payments in the past three years, whether or not you can verify your income, and military service. The last few questions were a little strange: "In need of a home improvement project? Speak with a local contractor today" and then a yes/no box; whether or not you have banking or credit accounts with a list of several major banks. Finally, you provide your address and contact information.

Optional Credit Pull

The next page is a "highly recommended next step": a link to get your credit score and report. But, you can click "continue to more offers" if you'd rather not, and that's what we did.

Huh?

Here's where it got weird: our "results" page didn't give us any quotes for refinancing. Instead, it asked us for more information so that we could "Find the Best Deal on Home Insurance". There was absolutely nothing on that page that let us get to any mortgage refinancing: no offers, no information, zero.

Watch The Spam

LeadPoint, the parent company of this service, is both accredited and "A+" rated with the Better Business Bureau. Those indicate that the provider is doing a good job of responding appropriately to customer complaints. What were those negative comments? They related almost entirely to spam mail, email and phone calls from LeadPoint and its affiliates. Some said they were completely unsolicited, while others signed up for information (sometimes through Refi Rate Guide) and found themselves inundated with offers not even related to their original inquiry (just like the home insurance quote form we got).

Don't Waste Your Time

Refi Rate Guide is our lowest-ranked site for getting mortgage refinancing. The reasons should be obvious: what good is a refi service that never actually connects you with a lender? Even an "A+" from the BBB isn't enough to salvage this site's last-place ranking. You'll be better off with literally any other provider in our review.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Not all online mortgage refinancing providers work the same. While some operate more like a regular bank, funding your loan themselves, others act as a referral service so that you can compare rates and offers from multiple lenders at once. Whichever site you choose, don't be afraid to take the quote you receive and ask other lenders to compete for your business! Some of the fees charged in the refi process are negotiable, so why not see who can give you the absolute best loan terms?

As you start the process of refinancing your mortgage, keep in mind the following criteria for each lender or service you're considering:

  • Reputation. What do other homeowners say about the company and the process of refinancing a mortgage? Is the service rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau?
  • Ease of Use. Does the site make it easy to apply, to get information about refinancing in general, and ultimately to close on your refi? Will you get multiple quotes from different lenders that you'll have to vet on your own? Is it difficult to get help if you have a question?
  • Transparency. How much can you find out without having to give your personal information? Does the service give you ample details upfront about their rates, terms and fees?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best services for mortgage refinancing available today. We hope this information saves you money by helping you find the best rates and terms when you refinance your mortgage!

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Mortgage Refinance Company FAQ

When you refinance your mortgage, you essentially take out a new loan on your current home. Your new lender pays off your balance with your previous lender, and you start a new mortgage. It sounds complicated, but the average homeowner refinances their mortgage every four years!
A refinance could be a great opportunity under several conditions. These include a significant reduction in your interest rate, minimizing risk by changing from an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed rate loan, or reducing the length of your mortgage (e.g from a 30-year fixed to a 15-year fixed).
There are three situations where it probably doesn't make sense to refinance. If you've had your current mortgage for a long time, most of your payments are now going towards the principal instead of interest; a refinance will put you back to paying more towards interest and cost you more money. Or, if your current mortgage has a prepayment penalty and the lender isn't willing to waive it, you could spend more in fees than you'll save by refinancing. Finally, if you're planning to move in the near future, you might not recoup the closing costs you'll pay to refinance before it comes time to sell your home.
A cash-out refinance lets you borrow against the equity you have built up in your home. Some people do a cash-out refinance to consolidate debts at a lower interest rate, to pay for college, or to remodel their home.
Absolutely. There are some highly-rated lenders whose primary focus is online home loans, both first mortgages and refinancing. Because these lenders often have less overhead than a local mortgage broker or bank, you may get lower interest rates and be able to negotiate on some of the fees to get the best possible terms.
You'll want to run the numbers to see if it makes sense for you. Will you be in the home long enough to recoup what you've paid in points to spend less on interest? Will it make a big enough difference in your monthly payments? Do you have the cash on hand or will you have to roll the cost of the points into the mortgage itself? The decision is ultimately yours, but do the math to see if it's a good option first.
Remember all of the paperwork it took when you got your current mortgage? Expect a refinance to be very similar. You'll have to provide proof of income and homeowner's insurance coverage, bank statements, and so forth. Your home will probably need a new appraisal, and you might have to dig up your documents from the first closing, like the property survey. The process will involve a hard pull on your credit, so don't be alarmed if you see your score dip temporarily.
That depends on how quickly you provide the required documentation, how fast your lender processes it, and several other factors. You can expect an estimated time to close ranging from 30-60 days.

Tips on Refinancing Your Mortgage

Record low interest rates are pushing people to consider refinancing their home mortgages. There are several reasons to consider refinancing your home.

  • Lower your interest rate. With decreasing interest rates, you can lower your monthly payment and the amount you pay in interest over time on the amount of your mortgage. Once you refinance, it's easy to want to refinance every time the interest rates drop. However, by doing so, in the long run you will end up paying more in closing costs. Consider only financing when you can save 2 percent or more in interest.
  • Get a different type of loan. Your current mortgage may no longer be suitable or financially viable. For instance, if you currently have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), you may want to switch to a Fixed Rate Mortgage to lock in low interest rates.
  • Rid yourself of a balloon payment. If your current mortgage requires payment of a large balloon payment at the end of a specified period of time, you may want to refinance and negotiate a different type of loan so that you're no longer required to pay a balloon payment.
  • Consolidate debt. With record low interest rates, now is an excellent time to refinance your mortgage and consolidate some of your other debt into a home loan with a lower interest. Other types of debt such as car loans, credit card bills and school tuitions, typically have higher interest rates than home mortgages. These, as well as other types of debt, can be rolled into your home mortgage allowing you to take advantage of the lower interest rates than what these loans have.
  • Cash in on home equity. You may want to refinance in order to get cash out of your home equity for large expenditures such as a child's college tuition, home remodeling projects or a new car purchase.

Homeowners may face many challenges in the refinancing process. Low credit scores and depreciating property values can keep you from getting the refinancing you desire.

Also, there are times when it is best not to refinance. For example, if you anticipate moving or selling your house before you experience significant savings from refinancing then it might not be the best time to refinance. On the same note, if you've paid into a 30-year mortgage for 15 years or more, and you're considering refinancing into another 30-year mortgage, refinancing may not be the right answer as this option may end up costing you more in the end.

Refinancing your mortgage can save you money. Be sure it's the right option for you by researching terms and interest rates online before you sign on the dotted line.

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