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Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Review

Updated May 02, 2023   |   7 mins read

Key Points:

  • The variety of Guaranteed Rate lending options allows you to choose a mortgage that fits your needs.
  • It offers options that give you ways to reduce your monthly payments so you can afford a more expensive home. 
  • It provides an easy-to-use online application process. 

Guaranteed Rate Fixed-Rate Mortgage

Guaranteed Rate
Editorial Rating

Guaranteed Rate Fixed-Rate Mortgage

Editorial Rating

What we like:

Low down payment options.

Minimum Credit ScoreNot disclosed (580 estimated)
Minimum Down Payment3%
Loan Terms15 or 30 years
Other Loan TypesARM, Jumbo, FHA, VA, Interest-Only, Refinance. Credit requirements and terms may vary.
See how Guaranteed Rate stacks up against top mortgage options

A mortgage is a long-term commitment, so it’s important to choose the right lender. You have a lot of options available from online and traditional banks and lenders. 

Guaranteed Rate is a Chicago, Illinois-based lender that is particularly appealing to borrowers who have a solid credit score and income but who can’t make a large down payment.  

This Guaranteed Rate mortgage review will cover everything you need to know to decide whether a Guaranteed Rate mortgage is right for you.

In this review:

Guaranteed Rate mortgages: By the numbers

  Minimum credit score Minimum down payment Loan terms
Fixed-rate Not disclosed (580 estimated)3% 15 or 30 years
ARM 580 Not disclosed5/1, 7/1, 10/1
Jumbo Not disclosedNot disclosedUp to 30 years
FHA loans 580 3.5%Up to 30 years
VA loans Not disclosed (580 estimated) 0%Up to 30 years

Which mortgage loans does Guaranteed Rate offer?

Guaranteed Rate offers these loan products:

You can click the links above or scroll down to read about each loan type.

Fixed-rate loans

Fixed-rate mortgages lock in your interest rate over the life of your loan. That means you’ll always pay the same amount every month, and your rate won’t go up, even if the Fed rate increases. 

The benefit of a fixed-rate loan is certainty around your payments. The downside is potentially paying more in interest to lock in your rate. 

Guaranteed Rate offers a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage with an option of just 3% down. 

Jumbo loans

Jumbo loans are loans for amounts that are more than you can borrow for a mortgage backed by the U.S. Federal Housing Administration (conforming loans). You can get a fixed-rate or an adjustable-rate loan via a jumbo mortgage. 

Jumbo loans have more stringent credit requirements than conforming loans. Guaranteed Rate offers jumbo loans for up to 30 years

Adjustable-rate loans

An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is a loan that allows you to lock in a low interest rate for a number of years. After that, the rate can either increase or decrease annually depending on the market. 

ARM loans are attractive for people who don’t plan on staying in their home for long and want to lock in a low rate for the years they do live there.

Guaranteed Rate offers the following ARM loan terms: 5/1, 7/1, 10/1

FHA and VA loans

FHA loans and VA loans are loans that are backed by the U.S. Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veteran Affairs, respectively. They are often easier to qualify for, have lower interest rates, and require low or no down payments

Guaranteed Rate FHA loans

Guaranteed Rate participates in the first-time home buyer program that allows you to borrow an FHA loan with a credit score of 580 and a down payment of just 3.5%

You can also borrow with a score of just 500 if you make a 10% down payment. FHA loan limits vary by county. 

Guaranteed Rate VA loans

A VA loan is for current or former military service members and their families. VA loans require no money down, and you don’t need private mortgage insurance (PMI) on your loan. 

VA loans are easier to qualify for than a typical mortgage, because they typically require a credit score of just 580, require no down payment, allow for a higher debt-to-income ratio, and give you 4% help with closing costs. 

>> Read more: Best VA Lenders: 0% Down for Veterans


An interest-only mortgage allows a borrower to cover just the interest payments for the first years of a mortgage. This allows you to reduce your monthly payments early on. 

With an interest-only mortgage, you could potentially buy a more expensive home or buy a home sooner, because you need less money initially.

However, an interest-only mortgage pushes back the amortization schedule by around five to 10 years, increasing your overall costs. 

In another version, the interest-only payments are for the duration of the loan with a larger payment due at the end of the loan term.  

Mortgage refinancing

A home refinance loan can help you get a new mortgage at a lower interest rate or with a longer repayment term. You can also use a refi to access your equity to fund renovations, sending your kids to college, or starting a business. 

>> Read more: Best Mortgage Refinance Companies

Pros and cons of Guaranteed Rate mortgages


  • Offers a number of lending options and terms 
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Options to help you lower your monthly payments
  • High customer satisfaction and few customer complaints 
  • Offers options with low minimum down payments


  • Requires a relatively high credit score for many loans
  • Low down payments and interest-only loans could cause financial difficulties for borrowers down the line  

Eligibility & application requirements

The lender primarily serves those who are looking for a home but don’t have a lot of cash for a down payment. Here’s what you need to apply:

  • A strong credit score; lenders typically look for at least 620, but Guaranteed Rate accepts a minimum of 580 on some loans.
  • A down payment of at least 3% on most loans.

How to apply for a Guaranteed Rate mortgage loan

To apply, create an account through to the Guaranteed Rate Digital Mortgage Platform, and select Explore Loan Options

Once you input your information, you’ll be able to see your loan options with estimated rates and terms. You can speak with a loan officer online or by phone at 866-934-7283 and can forward any documents to finalize the loan application.

Once approved, choose your loan and closing date. You can get full approval in as little as four hours.

Other info you’ll need to apply

  • Personal information
  • Tax information (including Social Security number)
  • Information about military status
  • Information about the existing real estate if you’re refinancing your home
  • Employment information

Guaranteed Rate alternatives

Shopping around is particularly important for a mortgage. Saving even a few percentage points in interest could help you save hundreds or thousands of dollars over time or give you a smaller monthly payment. 

Before you decide on a mortgage lender, compare rates. Check out our list of the best mortgage lenders, and get prequalified quotes from several before you make a decision. 

How we rated Guaranteed Rate Mortgages

LendEDU ranks mortgage lenders based on the weighted average of 12 data points, including:

  • BBB Rating (10%)
  • Trustpilot Rating (5%)
  • States Available (5%)
  • Lender Fees (10%)
  • Application Fees (10%)
  • Number of Branches (5%)
  • Number of Licenses and Registrations (5%)
  • Number of Regulatory Actions (5%)
  • Number of Mortgage Loan Originators (5%)
  • Customer Support (20%)
  • Zillow Rating (10%)
  • Other Rewards and Extra benefits (10%)