Guild Mortgage Review 2021: Offers Quick Closings and Money-Saving Tools for Those Who Live Within the Lender’s Footprint

A photo to accompany a review of Guild Mortgage Illustration/NextAdvisor

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Founded in 1960, Guild Mortgage is now one of the fastest-growing mortgage companies in the U.S., with more than 4,400 employees and 200 branch locations spread across 32 states. Guild also services about 90% of the loans it originates — and for the past four years running, the lender has earned the Fannie Mae STAR Performer award in recognition of its customer service. 

You can apply online, over the phone, or in person at a brick-and-mortar branch, and you might even close on your home loan within 17 days in some cases. However, Guild doesn’t operate in New Jersey and New York. Here’s what to know about Guild Mortgage before applying.  

Pros and Cons of Guild Mortgage

Pros

  • Operates in Washington, D.C., and all states except New York and New Jersey

  • Offers all major types of mortgages plus several niche products

  • Lender says it can connect buyers to 1,000 programs that offer down payment and closing cost assistance

  • Says it can close on mortgages within 17 days if you’ve been pre-approved

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans or lines of credit

  • Doesn’t advertise interest rates on its website

Guild Mortgage: Loan Types and Products

Guild Mortgage has an extensive list of mortgage loans for borrowers looking to purchase, refinance, or renovate a home. Here’s what Guild offers right now: 

Borrowers can choose between fixed-rate loans, where the rate never changes, and adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans, where the mortgage rate may increase or decrease throughout the loan term. Guild offers ARM terms of 5/6, 7/6, and 10/6.

Renovation loans, which allow you to cover the purchase and costs of remodeling a home, are also available. Guild offers the Fannie Mae HomeStyle renovation loan, FHA 203(k) limited loan, and FHA 203(k) standard loan. 

And if you need to borrow a large amount, Guild can fund jumbo mortgage loans as high as $3 million for qualifying borrowers. 

Guild Mortgage Transparency

Guild’s website is easy to navigate and offers several mortgage calculators, educational guides that explain mortgage programs and the homebuying process, and a help center for post-closing assistance. You can even search for a builder, real estate professional, or title agent near you. 

The lender’s easy-to-follow digital application platform, MyMortgage, allows borrowers to quickly upload documents, verify assets, and reference personalized checklists from any mobile device. 

Guild Mortgage also offers a 17-day closing guarantee to qualifying borrowers, as long as the borrower has been pre-approved with the lender. This is considerably faster than the industry average for home purchases, which was 51 days as of March 2021. The fast turnaround could even sweeten the deal when you’re writing your purchase offer for a home. Plus, if Guild causes delays to that timeline, it promises to pay $500 toward closing costs. 

Guild Mortgage: Rates and Fees 

Guild Mortgage doesn’t advertise interest rates or lender fees on its website, but a Guild representative confirmed the lender charges no prepayment penalties on its loans. They also provided us with a list of credit score requirements, which vary by product type:

  • Conventional loans: 620
  • FHA loans: 600
  • VA loans: 600
  • Jumbo loans: 680

The company says origination fees vary by market, so you’ll need to contact a loan officer and request a pre-qualification or pre-approval for a rate quote and a breakdown of what you’ll pay to get a home loan. According to a closing cost worksheet we received separately, origination fees may include:

  • Funding fee
  • Processing fee
  • Tax certificate fee
  • Underwriting fee
  • Appraisal fee
  • Credit report fe
  • Document preparation fee
  • Title costs

You can also decide to buy discount points — a fee you pay at closing — to reduce your mortgage rate.

Guild offers several money-saving options for borrowers and applicants. Through Guild’s Homebuyer Protection Program, you can lock in your interest rate for free for up to 90 days while shopping for a home. If rates drop once you find a home, you can float down the rate for free. You can also lock in your rate once you apply for a mortgage for free — but a lock-extension fee does apply if you need to extend the rate lock.

Guild also offers a program called Credit Approval Protection. If you get to the end of the underwriting process and Guild ultimately denies your home loan application, it will pay up to $1,000 for inspections, appraisals, or relocation expenses you’ve incurred for the home purchase and up to $5,000 in earnest money. 

Homebuyers in this situation might consider taking steps to improve their credit before moving forward in the homebuying process. A stronger credit history and higher credit score could help you qualify for the best mortgage rates.

The lender says it can also connect borrowers with more than 1,000 programs that offer down payment and closing cost assistance, mortgage credit certificates, and shared equity programs. 

Pro Tip

Many homeowners struggle to save for a down payment or closing costs, but would be able to handle the monthly expenses that come with homeownership. If you’re in this situation, you might benefit from down payment assistance programs. These provide homebuyers with grants or low-interest loans that reduce the upfront costs on a home.

Refinancing With Guild Mortgage

Guild originated more than $35 billion in mortgages in 2020 alone, and about 40% of closings were for refinance loans

Homeowners can refinance most loan types, including conventional and government-backed loans. Although it doesn’t advertise a closing timeline, the industry average for refinance loans was 52 days in March 2021.

The fees you pay to refinance usually average 2% to 3% of the loan amount, but you’ll need to contact a loan officer to go over your options and get a breakdown of closing costs. The company says if it services your home loan and you refinance, you’ll receive a reduced interest rate. 

You can also minimize your upfront expenses by rolling the closing costs into your principal if you have enough equity.

Guild Mortgage Compared to Other Mortgage Lenders

Guild MortgageloanDepotMovement Mortgage
Minimum credit score620 for conventional loans; 600 for FHA, VA, and USDA loans; 680 for jumbo loans620 for conventional loans; 700 for jumbo loans; 580 for FHA loans; 620 for VA loans580 (some mortgage programs may require a higher score)
Minimum down payment0% to 3.5% on most loans; 15% on jumbo loans0% to 5%0% to 3.5%
Where does the lender operate?48 states and Washington, D.C.All 50 states All 50 states
Major loan typesConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, various renovation loans, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinance, energy-efficient mortgages, manufactured-home loans, bridge loans, reverse mortgagesConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, FHA 203(k) renovation loan, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinanceConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, various renovation loans, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinance, reverse mortgages

How to Shop Around to Get the Best Mortgage Rate

One of the easiest ways to save money on a home loan is by shopping around and comparing offers. But according to a 2018 study by Freddie Mac, nearly half of consumers stop at the first mortgage rate quote they receive. Applicants could save up to $3,000 over the life of the loan if they shop around and get at least five rate quotes. 

You could save even more if you negotiate your loan costs. After submitting several mortgage applications, the lender will provide you with a mortgage Loan Estimate. This is a standardized form, so it’s easy to compare offers and find the lowest costs. Send the best offer to another lender, and ask them to offer a lower interest rate or closing costs (or both). 

Bottom Line

Guild Mortgage is a good option if you’re looking to close quickly and need help coming up with money for the down payment and closing costs. However, you won’t be able to borrow from this lender if you live in New Jersey and New York. Like any financial product, your best bet is to compare mortgage lenders, ask for a quote, and review your offers. Finding the lowest mortgage rate may save you hundreds or thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.