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Monday, June 21, 2021
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Lower.com Mortgage Review 2021 | US News

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Founded in 2018, Lower.com offers a completely digital experience for financing or refinancing your mortgage. The company began by offering mortgage loan originations and has since expanded to offer other home-related services including a savings account called HomeFund, and a real estate and insurance matching service.

Headquartered in New Albany, Ohio, Lower.com operates in 40 states plus Washington, D.C.

Best Features

  • The entire mortgage application process can be completed online.
  • Prequalification is available for borrowers shopping around – that means no hard pull on your credit until you officially apply.
  • Lower.com matches every dollar saved in its app (up to $1,000) as HomeCash, which can be used for fees and other closing costs.

Drawbacks

  • Lower.com is not available in all 50 states.
  • It’s hard to find detailed mortgage information on the site without sharing your information first.
  • Lower.com was founded in December 2018, and some borrowers may prefer a more well-established lender.

What Types of Mortgage Loans Does Lower.com Offer?

Lower.com offers most major home loan options, including:

  • Fixed-rate and adjustable mortgages
  • Jumbo mortgages
  • Veterans Affairs mortgages
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture mortgages
  • Federal Housing Administration mortgages

First-time homebuyer loan options include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs, 3% down conventional loans, and Fannie Mae HomeReady and Freddie Mac Home Possible programs, which help low-income borrowers.

For homeowners, Lower.com also offers:

  • Mortgage refinancing
  • Home equity lines of credit
  • Home equity loans
  • Cash-out refinancing

How Does Lower.com Work?

Homebuyers or those looking to refinance an existing loan can start the process by filling out a prequalification questionnaire online. It will ask general questions about your income, job history and credit.

This will allow you to get an idea of the rates you may qualify for without generating a hard inquiry on your credit. If you do decide to move forward with an actual application, you will then give Lower.com permission to pull your credit.

Everything from that point forward can be done digitally, too, from uploading documentation to signing paperwork. You can text or email with your point of contact, or speak to the representative by phone if you choose. The time to close is comparable with other lenders and may even be slightly quicker because of the streamlined process.

Lower.com has a $999 origination fee on all mortgages, regardless of program, loan size or state. For refinances, there is a $1,695 origination fee. The company boasts lower interest rates than competitors (hence the name), but borrowers should always be mindful that rates vary based on location and personal finances.

Users saving for a home in the Lower app can earn up to $1,500 in HomeCash. Lower.com will match each dollar saved up to $1,000, and then there are opportunities to earn bonus rewards for activities like setting up a recurring deposit, referring friends and family, or using a referral code. These earnings will go toward fees and other closing costs. Discounts for items like autopay may be available in the future, a company spokesperson says.

How Can You Qualify?

Lower.com follows the guidelines that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FHA and other programs set forth.

What Credit Score Do You Need?

Minimum credit scores for Lower.com applicants are in line with the general guidance of the major loan programs:

  • For FHA/VA loans: 580-620 minimum FICO credit score
  • For conventional loans: 620 minimum FICO credit score

Where Does the Lender Operate?

Lower.com operates in 40 states and the District of Columbia, including: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Mortgage Calculator

Is your dream home within reach? U.S. News’ mortgage calculator will show you how much house you can afford.

Lower.com is not yet rated by the Better Business Bureau or Trustpilot. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau did not receive any complaints about Lower.com in 2020.

How Is Lower.com’s Customer Service?

Lower.com offers phone customer service Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Eastern Time. Customers can also ask questions via email or text at any time.

The lender also tries to accommodate customers. For instance, in the event that something must be signed in person, Lower will send someone to your home or job at a time convenient for you.

What Are Some of Lower.com’s Online Features?

Lower.com prides itself on its digital services. During the application process, you can upload documents directly from your smart device. For refinance loans, you can even do the entire closing online via Remote Online Notary. Purchase loans must close in person, however.

Lower.com does not require a phone call and has completed many loans completely over text, email, its online portal and the platform HelloSign to sign documents. Some borrowers may prefer to speak to a representative, but they are not required to do so.

Customers can pay their mortgages online. Lower.com’s app is focused on the savings account HomeFund, but according to a representative, there are app features in development that will allow you to manage payments.

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