Better Mortgage Review 2022

Good for: tech-savvy borrowers who prefer an online experience.

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Better provides a seamless and easy-to-navigate application process and generally offers lower mortgage rates than average. However, VA and USDA loans aren't available.

Better
Great for: digital convenience
Min. credit score
620
Min. down payment
3%
Loan types and products
Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA
Learn more

at Better

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers a program allowing qualifying buyers to make cash offers.
  • Makes it easy to see customized mortgage rates.
  • Average interest rates are on the low end compared to other lenders, according to the latest federal data.
  • Offers a cash guarantee that qualifying mortgages will close on time.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer VA or USDA loans.
  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

Compare to Other Lenders

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score

620

Min. credit score

620

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Min. down payment

3%

Min. down payment

3%

Loan types and products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA

Loan types and products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA

Loan types and products

Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

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Full Review

What borrowers say about Better Mortgage

NerdWallet’s lender star ratings assess objective qualities, including rates, fees and loan offerings. To assess borrowers’ subjective experiences with lenders, NerdWallet has gathered customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power and Zillow.

  • Better Mortgage receives an 859 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power’s 2021 Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. The industry average for origination is 851. (Mortgage origination covers the initial application through closing day.)

  • Better Mortgage receives a customer rating of 4.4 out of 5 on Zillow, as of the date of publication. The score reflects more than 850 customer reviews.

Better Mortgage review: variety of loan types

  • 4 of 5 stars

Better offers a variety of fixed- and adjustable-rate purchase and refinance loans, including conventional loans with 3% down payments and 10%-down jumbo loans. Better doesn't offer USDA or VA mortgages, or home equity loans or lines of credit.

However, Better has partnered with Notable Finance to offer the "Better Home Card," a credit line of up to $50,000 for use on home-related purchases or home improvements. Customers who closed a purchase or refinance mortgage with the lender may be eligible.

Better guarantees and cash offer program: The lender offers a guarantee that your purchase loan will close on time; if it doesn’t — in most cases — Better will pay you $2,000. This guarantee is available in the states where Better originates loans, except for New York.

Better also offers a program that enables prospective home buyers in certain markets to make cash offers. To take advantage of the program, a buyer needs to get preapproved for a mortgage with Better. After the mortgage is underwritten, a buyer works with the agent to make an all-cash offer on a home. When a seller accepts the offer, Better pays cash for the home, and the buyer can move in while the mortgage is being processed. Once the home loan is finalized, the buyer purchases the property back from Better at the original sale price. Buyers save on fees if they work with a Better real estate agent and finance the purchase with a Better mortgage.

Better Mortgage review: ease of application

  • 5 of 5 stars

Better offers a fully digital application with 24/7 support by email or phone. The process begins online by clicking a button on the Better homepage. Choosing the "buying" option brings up a page with various scenarios, such as "I’m just researching" and "I'm making offers." For refinancing, you'll enter some brief information about the property, then submit your email address before continuing.

Completing the full loan application is a "dynamic Q&A" process that adjusts with the information you provide, prompting you for additional information relevant to your situation. Better claims a borrower can get preapproved in as little as three minutes.

Better Mortgage review: rates and fees

  • 4 of 5 stars

  • Better earns 3 of 5 stars for average origination fee.

  • Better earns 5 of 5 stars for average mortgage interest rates.

Borrowers should consider the balance between lender fees and mortgage rates. While it's not always the case, paying upfront fees can lower your mortgage interest rate. Some lenders will charge higher upfront fees to lower their advertised interest rate and make it more attractive. Some lenders just charge higher upfront fees.

Better says it doesn’t charge any lender fees, including application, underwriting and origination fees, though the latest Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data indicates that Better charges some fees for the loan process.

Better says it will give qualifying loan borrowers a $2,000 closing cost credit if they choose to work with a Better-referred real estate agent. The offer doesn't apply to refinances.

Better Mortgage review: rate transparency

  • 5 of 5 stars

When you are shopping for a mortgage rate, Better can provide a few options. Better posts today's generic national rates on its homepage. You can also get customized rates according to your location, credit score, purchase price, down payment, and type of loan and property by selecting "Personalize rate."

Alternatives to Better Mortgage

Here are some comparable lenders we review that borrowers can consider.

NASB offers a similar digital experience, and PNC Bank offers options for first-time home buyers.

Getting ready to buy a home? We’ll find you a highly rated lender in just a few minutes.

Enter your ZIP code to get started on a personalized lender match.

 

More from NerdWallet

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Methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for mortgage lenders are evaluated based on four major categories: variety of loan types (purchase, refinance, fixed and adjustable, for example), ease of application, rates and fees and rate transparency. Among the factors we consider when scoring these categories are options to apply for and track loans online, the level of detail about mortgage rates on lender websites and our analysis of the rates and fees lenders reported in the latest available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. These scores generate ratings from 1 star (poor) to 5 stars (excellent).