Finding the right mortgage lender for your needs is critical to maximizing savings when financing a home. The wrong lender could cost you tens of thousands over your loan term in extra fees and interest rates alone.
This in-depth review provides an insider analysis of national lender Guild Mortgage’s loan offerings, technology, underwriting, and customer service. Read on for deep insights before choosing them for your next purchase or refinance.
An Overview of Guild Mortgage Loans and Operations
Founded in 1960 by former Governor of California Ed Reinecke, Guild Mortgage brings over 60 years of experience originating residential home loans across the United States. With over 250 branches today, they facilitate mortgages in 47 states while servicing borrowers nationwide.
As a full-service lender, Guild Mortgage offers a extensive mix of home financing options including:
- Conventional loans – Including fixed & adjustable-rate mortgages
- FHA loans
- VA loans
- USDA loans
- Jumbo loans
- Renovation loans
Paired with cash-out and rate/term refinancing, they provide options tailored for most homebuyer and homeowners situations.
Let’s explore their main purchase and refinancing loans more closely.
Guild Mortgage Products for Home Purchase Loans
For homebuyers, Guild offers a complete range of mortgage loans for financing a home tailored to your financial scenario and down payment availability.
Guild’s bread and butter are conventional fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages. Their conventional loans come with competitive interest rates and flexible terms from 10 to 30 years.
Down payments start as low as 3% for first-time buyers but expect private mortgage insurance (PMI) until they reach 20% equity.
Guild’s FHA program helps borrowers with lower credit scores and incomes buy with a minimum 3.5% down payment. While interest rates run slightly higher than conventional loans, they require lower minimum credit scores starting in the 500s.
VA and USDA Loans
As a top VA lender, Guild carries specialized VA loans helping military families buy zero down. They also offer zero-down USDA home loans for properties in rural/suburban areas.
For luxury financing above $650,000, Guild provides fixed and adjustable jumbo loan options tailored for higher net worth buyers. Expect higher credit/income requirements and minimum 25% down payments on jumbos.
Guild’s specialized “Bridge to Permanent” program bundles the purchase price plus funds securing a fixed-rate mortgage once renovations complete into a single loan. This simplifies financing home improvement projects.
Across products, Guild streamlines approvals using an upfront pre-approval process assessing your finances before shopping homes. This gets buyers qualified to make competitive offers sooner.
Now that we have covered main purchase mortgages, let’s examine refinancing.
Refinancing Your Mortgage with Guild
Beyond purchases, recent data shows that 26 million homeowners can still benefit from refinancing. Guild offers both cash-out and rate/term refinancing options to consolidate higher-rate debts or access equity, respectively.
This most common option lets you refinance an existing mortgage for lower interest rates or shorten the repayment timeline to build equity faster. Requirements typically involve 720+ credit scores and at least 15%-20% homeowners equity already.
A cash-out mortgage refinances your current home loan at a higher amount than owed to take funds out against equity for other purposes like debt consolidation or home improvements. This trades higher debt for lower rates. Requirements range from 680+ credit scores to 55% loan-to-value ratios.
Determine if refinancing makes sense for your situation by inputting a few datapoints into Guild’s customized refinance calculator.
Interest Rates and Fees Offered by Guild
Let’s break down current rates as well as origination, appraisal and other fees buyers can expect from Guild across common loans:
As a benchmark, Guild currently offers 30-year fixed rates of around 6.5%—on par with top national lenders like Rocket Mortgages and LoanDepot as of late 2022. Expect pricing segments above regional banks but below mortgage brokers and smaller lenders.
Adjustable rate mortgages run discounts about 0.5% lower to start while government-backed FHA and VA loans trade marginally higher baseline rates for low down payment benefits.
Jumbo loan rates incur premiums around 0.25% on top of conventional financing. Always compare Guild’s latest published rates against competitors like Quicken, United Wholesale Mortgage, loanDepot and others while shopping.
Origination & Underwriting Fees
Buyers pay a 1% origination fee when closing Guild home loans. On a median priced $350,000 home, this totals $3,500. Additional third party fees apply for appraisals ($550), credit reports ($30 per borrower), tax services ($80) and flood zone determination ($10).
Overall, Guild’s origination fees average around industry norms per recent data. However niche lenders focused on specific demographics like first-time buyers or veterans often undercut with additional closing credits, so always compare total costs against alternatives tailoring to your situation.
The Guild Mortgage Underwriting & Pre-Approval Process
Strong backend underwriting stands vital for securing smooth mortgage approvals with reliable lenders. Here is an overview of what to expect navigating Guild’s underwriting process:
The approval process scrutinizes income sources, requiring recent paystubs, W-2s, proof of assets, and minimum 2-year employment history or tax returns for self-employed borrowers. Plan to provide 12+ months of liquid asset reserves accounting for a downpayment.
Minimum credit scores vary from 640 for FHA loans up to 740 for jumbo mortgages. Conventional loans require a 680 FICO score at minimum. Looser debt-to-income ratios near 50% do incur pricing hits.
A strong 740+ score, low DTI and liquid reserves streamlines approvals. Those not meeting minimums may still qualify by adding co-signers.
Guild offers pre-approval letters locking rates for 60 days once creditworthiness and incomes get verified upfront, shortening purchase timelines. Still expect final approval only after identifying an actual property and completing appraisal/underwriting.
Now that we have covered products, rates and underwriting, let’s examine customer feedback.
Guild Mortgage Reviews & Ratings
Guild earns largely positive customer feedback across major home loan review sites like Google and Consumer Finance Protection Bureau:
CFPB – 4.0/5.0 Based on 100+ customer reviews, Guild Mortgage scores 4.0/5.0 on CFPB – on par with top lenders. 76% give the maximum 5/5 rating.
Positive feedback cites great customer service, efficient underwriting, and competitive rates. Complaints mention poor communication and delays in responding to application issues for specialized loans.
Google – 4.7/5.0 With over 530 Google reviews, Guild earns a strong 4.7 overall rating. 82% of customers rate them a perfect 5 stars.
Praise notes local branches provide customized guidance from application through closing. Complaints cite uneven underwriting rigor across different loan officers.
For additional endorsements, Guild Mortgage won Mortgage Executive Magazine’s coveted EMPOWER award recognizing top ethical practices across the industry.
The Pros and Cons of Using Guild Mortgage
Based on their product lineup, technology, and reviews – here are the top pros and cons using Guild Mortgage:
- Wide variety of mortgage programs
- Competitive interest rates
- Strong customer service marks
- Cutting-edge online mortgage tools
- Mixed feedback on specialized/niche loans
- Higher denied loan odds than smaller lenders
- Only physical branches in 47 states currently
For most borrowers, Guild delivers great interest rates with efficient closing support and helpful web tools facilitating mortgage shopping and ownership. Only those requiring highly unique niched offerings may fare better with specialized brokers.
Final Verdict: Guild Mortgage Earns Our Recommendation
With over 60 years of experience spanning nearly 50 states, Guild Mortgage delivers expertise handling loans from routine purchases to complex jumbo products. A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau and on par with top lender customer satisfaction nationally, you can expect knowledgeable guidance combined with leading mortgage rates when financing or refinancing with Guild.
Unless requiring an ultra niche loan scenario likely better served by smaller specialist lenders, Guild Mortgage stands fully recommended for meeting common home financing needs across a wide borrower demographic.
Next Steps Towards Getting Pre-approved
Ready to check rates and pre-qualify with Guild? Take these next steps:
1) Determine your budget – Estimate the mortgage amount and down payment you can finance.
2) Check your credit score – Aim for the 720+ range before applying to maximize approval odds.
3) Find a local loan officer – Connect with a Guild rep in your state to discuss products fitting your scenario.
4) Get pre-approved – They will issue a pre-approval letter to strengthen purchase offers once credit is verified.
Guild Mortgage provides all the tools and expertise needed whether buying your first home or refinancing investment properties. Get started now to determine your potential savings.