Guild Mortgage Review 2020

Good for: first-time home buyers and others who may need the flexibility of a low-down-payment loan program.

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Our Take

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Guild Mortgage has a generous selection of loan programs, but its rates and fees are higher than other lenders.

Guild Mortgage

Guild Mortgage: NMLS#3274

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

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

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers multiple online conveniences, including a full mortgage application, e-signatures and digital loan process tracking.

  • Offers a wide variety of loan products, including home improvement and manufactured home loans.

Cons

  • Does not offer home equity loan products.

  • Average interest rates and fees are higher than other lenders.

Compare to Other Lenders

Min. Credit Score

620

Conventional:

620

Min. Credit Score

640

Conventional:

640

FHA:

640

VA:

640

USDA:

640

Min. Down Payment

3%

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable

Loan Types and Products

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

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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.

Guild Mortgage at a glance

Guild Mortgage has a higher profile in the Western states, including Colorado and Idaho.

All told, Guild Mortgage has retail branches in 31 states. And while mortgage rates and fees aren’t available online or among the most competitive, according to NerdWallet analysis, Guild Mortgage does offer several online conveniences to smooth the application process.

Here’s a breakdown of Guild Mortgage’s overall score:

  • Variety of loan types: 4 of 5 stars

  • Variety of loan products: 5 of 5 stars

  • Online convenience: 5 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 2.5 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 1 of 5 stars

Guild Mortgage loan types and products

San Diego-based Guild Mortgage began its business one neighborhood at a time, initially offering loans only for homes built by the American Housing Guild. Founded in 1960, Guild Mortgage soon expanded beyond a single builder and quickly became especially proficient in the government-backed mortgages that are ideal for first-time home buyers, including government-backed FHA, VA and USDA loans.

That competency has served it well. With years of expansion beyond the West Coast, Guild Mortgage now serves much of the nation with a growing number of purchase and refinance mortgage options, including loans for manufactured homes and renovation loans. Home equity loan products are not available, however.

Guild Mortgage online convenience

Guild’s digital mortgage platform offers a paperless loan application, along with document upload and the retrieval of income and asset information from many employers and financial institutions. Consumers can also use the portal to keep track of their loan’s status.

Guild Mortgage offers a 17-day closing guarantee to qualifying borrowers, promising to pay $500 toward closing costs if delays are caused solely by the lender. You must be preapproved and provide any requested documentation in a timely manner to be eligible.

Guild 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 with the median of all lenders reporting under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Guild Mortgage earns 2 of 5 stars on this factor.

  • A lender's offered mortgage rates compared with the best available on comparable loans. Guild Mortgage earns 3 of 5 stars on this factor.

The company says its average origination charges vary by market and may include $350 for underwriting, $295 for administration, $275 for document preparation and a $500 processing fee.

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.

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

Deciding whether 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.

Guild Mortgage rate transparency

You won’t find mortgage rates on the Guild Mortgage website; you’ll need to speak with a loan officer for those.

More from NerdWallet

NerdWallet’s star ratings for mortgage lenders are awarded based on our evaluation of the products and services each lender offers to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The five key areas we evaluated include the variety of loan types and products offered, online conveniences, online mortgage rate information, and the rate spread and origination fee lenders reported in the latest available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. To ensure consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Mortgages team.