Editorial Review

Caliber Home Loans Review 2020

Good for: first-time home buyers, veterans and those who may have credit challenges to overcome.

Kate WoodJune 25, 2020

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our Take

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Caliber offers a substantial array of both conventional and government-backed loans, and boasts many online conveniences. However, potential borrowers can’t shop its mortgage rates online.

Caliber

Caliber: NMLS#15622

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

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

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers extensive educational resources for military borrowers.

  • Provides digital tools for a streamlined application process.

  • Participates in some state down payment assistance and first-time home buyer programs.

Cons

  • No mortgage rates displayed online.

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

Compare to Other Lenders

BNC National Bank
Better.com
Min. Credit Score

640

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

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

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA

Full Review

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, getting a mortgage may be a bit of a challenge. Lenders are dealing with high loan demand and staffing issues that may slow down the process. Also, some lenders have increased their fees or temporarily suspended certain loan products. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For the latest information on how to cope with financial stress during this pandemic, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

Lender at a glance:

Caliber Home Loans boasts an impressive array of purchase and refinance products, and is one of the highest-volume lenders in the country. You can't shop rates online, but once you've begun the application process, Caliber offers considerable digital conveniences.

Here's a breakdown of Caliber's overall score:

  • Variety of loan types: 3 of 5 stars

  • Variety of loan products: 5 of 5 stars

  • Online convenience: 5 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 3 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 1 of 5 stars

Caliber Home Loans’ mortgage types and products

Caliber Home Loans is among the top 10 highest-volume mortgage lenders in America, according to the latest available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. It offers home loan services through its network of consultants, as well as independent mortgage brokers and loan officers.

Caliber offers a broad selection of home purchase and refinance loans, including fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages.

On the conventional loan side, Caliber’s mortgage selection includes low-down-payment options like HomeReady and Home Possible loans, and the HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage.

On the government loan side, Caliber offers mortgages from the Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Federal Housing Administration, including 203(k) renovation loans. Mortgages insured or guaranteed by these government agencies generally allow for lower credit scores, down payments and income.

In fact, Caliber appears to place special emphasis on serving military members through its VA home loans. On a separate website, CaliberMilitaryLending.com, it provides extensive details about VA loan options and eligibility requirements. The lender also claims to have created a “specialized, in-house educational curriculum” to help its loan consultants and branch managers meet the needs of military borrowers.

Caliber Home Loans’ online convenience

To get started with Caliber, just click or tap the blue "begin application" button. You'll create an account, then begin the fully online application via the online portal.

For borrowers on the go, Caliber offers a mobile app for Android and iPhone. The app also lets you access your account to upload documents, view the status of your loan application and easily contact your loan officer by phone, email or text message.

Not into the online thing? No problem. You can chat with a Caliber loan officer over the phone or in one of hundreds of branch locations across the country.

Caliber Home Loans’ mortgage rates and fees

One of the most important considerations when choosing a mortgage lender is understanding what the loan will cost. In order to provide consumers with a general sense of what a lender might charge, NerdWallet scores lenders on two factors regarding fees and mortgage rates:

  • A lender's average origination fee compared to the median of all Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reporting lenders. Caliber Home Loans earns 3 out of 5 stars on this factor.

  • A lender's offered mortgage rates compared to the best available on comparable loans. Caliber Home Loans earns 3 out of 5 stars on this factor.

Borrowers should always 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.

You can always decide to buy discount points, a fee paid with your closing costs, to reduce your mortgage rate.

Deciding whether or not you want to pay higher upfront fees is a matter of considering how long you plan to live in your home and how much cash you have to apply toward closing costs when you sign the loan paperwork.

Caliber Home Loans’ rate transparency

Mortgage interest rates, either general or customized, are not available on the Caliber Home Loans website. To find out the rate for which you might qualify, you’ll have to contact the lender. This makes it difficult to compare Caliber Home Loans with other lenders when you’re mortgage shopping.

More from NerdWallet

NerdWallet's star ratings for mortgage lenders are awarded based on our evaluation of the products and services that lenders offer to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The six key areas we evaluated include the loan types and loan products offered, online capabilities, online mortgage rate information, customer service and the number of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a percentage of loans issued. We also awarded lenders up to one bonus star for a unique program or borrower focus that set them apart from other lenders. To ensure consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Mortgages team.