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loanDepot Mortgage Review

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loanDepot

loanDepot is a nationwide mortgage lender headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, which is located south of Los Angeles. Despite being on the West Coast, loanDepot is licensed to originate mortgages and other lending products in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. loanDepot provides a variety of different loan options to customers, including fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), VA loans and FHA loans.

loanDepot was founded in 2010, so it's relatively new to the mortgage space, especially when compared to the many nationwide banks that offer home loans. According to the company's website, it claims to be the fifth-largest retail mortgage lender in the U.S., as well as the second-largest non-bank originator of retail mortgages.

Today's Rates

National Average Rates

Product Today Last Week Change
30 year fixed 3.27% 3.29% -0.03
15 year fixed 2.33% 2.35% -0.01
5/1 ARM 2.76% 2.78% -0.02
30 yr fixed mtg refi 3.16% 3.24% -0.08
15 yr fixed mtg refi 2.32% 2.33% -0.01
7/1 ARM refi 2.60% 2.78% -0.18
15 yr jumbo fixed mtg refi 2.65% 2.62% +0.03

National Mortgage Rates

Source: Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, SmartAsset Research

Regions Served by loanDepot

Does loanDepot Operate in My Area?

If you live in the United States, you're in luck with loanDepot. The company operates and originates mortgages in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. While it doesn't have branches in every single state, there are more than 500 physical loanDepot locations around the country, according to the NMLS. In fact, you'll find branches in every state aside form Delaware, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, Vermont and Wyoming.

What Kind of Mortgage Can I Get With loanDepot?

According to its website, loanDepot provides access to a handful of mortgage types. Here's a breakdown of each:

Fixed-rate mortgage: Perhaps the most common and popular type of mortgage is the fixed-rate mortgage. With this type of loan, you'll have reliable monthly payments that aren't subject to change. In fact, your interest rate won't change for the duration of the mortgage, unless you refinance down the road. While most will opt for a 30-year mortgage, you can also get 20-year, 15-year and 10-year fixed-rate terms.

Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM): Another popular mortgage option for those who aren't planning on staying in a home long-term is an adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM. With an ARM, you'll have a set interested rate for a shorter period of time, and then your rate is subject to change every year thereafter. loanDepot offers 3-, 5-, 7- and 10-year ARMs.

VA loan: VA loans are backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which is why they're known as VA loans. These types of mortgages are for current and former members of the military. They come in ARM and fixed-rate variations, and have added benefits like no-down payment options and lower interest rates.

FHA loan: FHA loans are offered through the Federal Housing Administration. Theses types of loans come with a minimum down payment of just 3.5% and are available to those with less than stellar credit. FHA loans typically come in 15- and 30-year terms. FHA 203(k) loans to help you renovate your home are also available through loanDepot.

Jumbo loan: In 2021, the conventional loan limit in most of the U.S. is $548,250. However, in some higher-cost areas of the country, conventional loan limits can be up to $822,375. Jumbo loans through loanDepot allow customers to borrow more than these traditional limits. Remember that jumbo loans usually come with more stringent acceptance requirements than a conventional loan due to their size, though.

Refinance loans: If you already have a mortgage and are looking to refinance, you can do so with loanDepot. Refinancing can help lower your monthly mortgage payments by lowering your interest rate. It can even help you access the equity you currently hold in your home. Refinancing can be done through loanDepot with fixed-rate loans, ARMs, VA loans and FHA loans.

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What Can You Do Online With loanDepot?

loanDepot was only founded about a decade ago. In turn, it's been crafted during the internet age, making it a fully fleshed out online lender. You'll have access to customer support online and over the phone. To get a quote, you'll just need to enter some information about your location, your financial history and the home you're looking to get a mortgage for.

loanDepot's online interface is straightforward and easy to use. You'll always also have the option to visit a branch and work in person, though. But if you choose, customers have access to start-to-finish functionality online, leaving many people able to get approved for loanDepot mortgages without needing to visit a branch at all.

Would You Qualify for a Mortgage With loanDepot?

While loanDepot doesn't reveal their minimum credit scores for a mortgage approval, you'll typically need a minimum credit score of 620 to be approved for a conventional loan. When it comes to FHA and VA loans, you may be able to get approved with a lower credit score. For instance, the minimum credit score for an FHA loan is just 500, though you'll need at least a 580 credit score to take advantage of the minimum 3.5% down payment option FHA loans offer.

When it comes to the size of your mortgage, loanDepot adheres to conventional loan limits of $548,250 in most counties. In high-cost areas that are independently designated by the FHFA, the loan limit can reach up to $822,375. If you're looking for a loan above your county's limit, you'll have to consider a jumbo loan. While loanDepot does offer jumbo loans, the rules surrounding these loan products are more demanding of the applicant.

What’s the Process for Getting a Mortgage With loanDepot?

When it comes time to actually get a mortgage from loanDepot, you have plenty of options since the mortgage lender has such a large number of physical branches, along with a fully operational online approval process. loanDepot's online mortgage approval process is called "mello smartloan™." Through the platform, potential customers can upload documents and other information, as well as review their application status.

Although the online mortgage origination process is probably the simpler option, you don't have to go that route to work with loanDepot. You're always free to visit an agent in person at one of the lender's hundreds physical branches. You can also combine an online experience with support over the phone or in person.

Once you've zeroed in on a house you're ready to buy, the process for attaining a mortgage is fairly similar to any other lender. You'll make an offer that includes information about the down payment amount, loan amount, home location and any other terms and conditions. Once the underwriter receives and verifies all the proper information and you've opened an escrow, your loan will be funded and the money will be disbursed.

How loanDepot Stacks Up

loanDepot is one of the largest mortgage lenders in the country, and it's grown quite quickly in recent years. It certainly competes with the major mortgage lending players in the space, especially due to the fact that you can work with the company online, over the phone and in person. While some mortgage lenders offer the same suite of services, many newer companies operate primarily or entirely online. This may be the route many go, but loanDepot gives its customers a complete set of options.

loanDepot also stands out because it operates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Although there are certainly other lenders that operate in every state, there are a surprising amount that leave a handful of states or more out. Avoiding a headache like that with loanDepot could be a blessing depending on where you're looking to buy a home.

Tips for Finding the Best Mortgage

  • Taking on a mortgage can be intimidating, so it can pay to have someone in your corner. A financial advisor can help you include a home purchase in your long-term financial plan. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors in your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • When getting a mortgage, people often overlook closing costs. It's important to factor these fees in with your decision-making, as they can stack up depending on your specific situation. Check out SmartAsset's closing costs calculator today.
Mortgage Type Options
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