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Loan Depot

LoanDepot is ideal for borrowers looking to get approved for a mortgage online or mostly online with support from a loan officer.

APR
Undisclosed

J.D Power
3/5

Fees
1-5% of loan

SimpleScore
4 / 5.0
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SimpleScore

Loan Depot



4

  • Perks
    3
  • Credit Impact
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    3
  • Product Variety
    5
  • Fees
    4

Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, loanDepot is an in-person and online lending institution with over 150 branches nationwide. LoanDepot offers an impressive range of financial products like adjustable-rate mortgages, conventional mortgages, VA and FHA loans, refinancing options and even personal loans. This lender is best known for its mello smartloan product, which gives borrowers a completely online mortgage process and reduces closing time by 17 days. A loanDepot home mortgage is a convenient option for borrowers who have strong credit, but the absence of published fees and rates until you’re well into the process could be a drawback for some.
Full review

Our Two Cents — LoanDepot offers borrowers a wide range of financial products, but the lack of transparency around its interest rates and fees is major a drawback. However, for consumers looking for efficiency above all, this lender can still provide serious convenience and help demystify the mortgage process.

LoanDepot Mortgage at a glance

Lender Loan Amounts APR Range Terms Key Benefit
loanDepot Undisclosed Undisclosed Fixed: 30, 20, 15, 10-year terms

ARMs: 10, 7, 5, 2-year terms

Fully online mortgage process

What we like about it

LoanDepot offers tons of positive features like it’s no steering policy, designed to make sure borrowers receive the right financing option for them. If you prefer in-person service, you can visit one of the brick-and-mortar locations. But you can also opt for an online or over-the-phone service. In fact, loanDepot’s end-to-end online financial product, the mello smartloan, delivers a fully virtual mortgage experience, including all documentation verification.

This lender offers a lifetime guarantee on loan refinance fees, meaning borrowers who decide to refinance their existing loanDepot loan will get their appraisal fees reimbursed and won’t need to pay lender fees.

Things to consider

The lack of transparency around loanDepot mortgage rates is potentially a cause for concern for prospective homebuyers who want an overview of rates before getting too involved with a lender and speaking with a live rep. The only way you can get a loanDepot mortgage rate estimate is after you enter personal information on the website.

Although VA and FHA loans are available, USDA loans are not offered, another popular government-backed loan. In addition, loanDepot doesn’t offer home equity lines of credit since it’s a non-bank lender.

What you need to know

As previously mentioned, APR ranges for mortgages aren’t published on loanDepot’s site, and neither are loan ranges. To get a rate estimate, you’ll have to give loanDepot some of your personal information and fill out its web form. However, term lengths are available in the following ranges:

  • Fixed-rate mortgage term lengths: 30-year, 20-year, 15-year and 10-year terms.
  • Adjustable-rate mortgage term lengths: 10-year, 7-year, 5-year and 2-year terms.

Unless you have a loanDepot branch near you, you’ll need to start the mortgage process with a phone call. On the Mortgage Preapproval page, you’ll answer basic questions like if you’re looking to purchase or refinance a loan. Then, you’ll input the loan amount and the home’s estimated value, along with the property’s location. At this point, a loan officer will give you a call and give you a personalized interest rate estimate.

You can also opt to use the mello smartloan service for a more virtual process.

  1. Head to the mello smartloan page.
  2. Fill out the basic personal information pages.
  3. Digitally connect your income, employment information and assets for data verification.
  4. Proprietary loan engines will deliver a series of loan options that prioritize time-saving and/or cost-saving factors.
  5. A state-licensed loan assistant can then help you make the best decision based on your personal financial circumstances with no obligation to commit.

As for customer support and customer satisfaction, loanDepot reviews are overall positive, and contacting LoanDepot is a fairly easy process.

[Read: 15-Year or 30-Year Fixed Mortgage: Which Is Right for You?]

Collateral and criteria

Just like its mortgage rates, loanDepot does not publish its eligibility requirements on its website. That said, both VA and FHA mortgages typically have less strict credit and down payment requirements compared to traditional mortgages.

Minimum credit scores required vary based on the loan.

  • Conventional: 620
  • FHA: 580
  • VA: 620

To qualify for a home loan with loanDepot, you’ll need to submit documents verifying your income and employment like pay stubs, verifiable employment history, bank account information, investment statements, evidence of funds for your down payment and tax forms. LoanDepot provides a handy documentation checklist on its Home Purchase page.

LoanDepot vs. Quicken Loans

If you’re interested in online mortgage lenders, you’ll likely come across Quicken Loans. At Quicken Loans, you can choose from purchase loans, refinancing, jumbo loans, fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages, FHA loans, VA loans and USDA loans. One major difference between the two lenders is that Quicken Loans is more transparent about its fees. Its loan origination fee is around 0.50% of the total loan amount, and its lender fees aren’t usually more than 1% of the total loan amount. If you’re a borrower who wants a better idea of the fees you’ll be charged upfront, Quicken might offer a less murky look.

LoanDepot vs. SoFi

Another great online mortgage lending option is SoFi. SoFi members can receive a one-time $500 discount on their loan processing fee, which is a nice membership perk. Although you can do the entire mortgage process without talking to anyone, SoFi’s mortgage loan officers can help at any time to guide you through the application. SoFi offers fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages, refinancing and jumbo loans. However, a major drawback is that it doesn’t offer any government-backed loans like FHA or VA loans. If you can afford at least a 10% down payment and have great credit, SoFi can be a viable option. But for borrowers looking for government-backed loans, it’s better to go with loanDepot.

Too long, didn’t read?

If you’re fine with the unknown fees and rate at the beginning of the process, loan Depot can still offer borrowers serious convenience. However, loanDepot makes it difficult to shop and compare with its lack of disclosed fees and rates. If nothing else, loanDepot ratings are evidence that it still has the support of many satisfied customers, so it’s a good bet for borrowers who want an online mortgage loan.

Keep reading

Methodology

The SimpleScore is our proprietary scoring metric to compare products and services at The Simple Dollar in a transparent, evidence-based way. Our editorial team identifies five quantifiable aspects to compare for every brand, determines the rating criteria for each aspect score, then averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore. For mortgage loans, we compared perks, credit impact to check rates, customer satisfaction, product variety and fees for every major lender. Our ratings are meant to be a directional tool to help you in the process of choosing a mortgage loan provider. Be sure to continue your research and shop around for the best mortgage loan that fits your specific needs.

We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the mortgages we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

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