LenderFi 2022 Mortgage Review: No Lender Fees and Transparent Pricing, but Limited Mortgage Menu

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Best Pricing Transparency
LenderFi 2022 Mortgage Review
LenderFi 2022 Mortgage Review
Best Pricing Transparency
LenderFi 2022 Mortgage Review
  • Minimum Credit Score:
    620 conventional
  • Minimum Down Payment:
    3% conventional; 3.5% FHA
  • Can Apply Online:
  • Operates In:
    45 States

NextAdvisor’s Take

  • Rate quotes can be obtained online without a credit check
  • Quick and easy to reach a loan representative by phone
  • Very friendly customer service
  • Does not charge lender fees
  • Super transparent pricing
  • Short list of loan types: No VA, USDA, or home equity loans
  • Loans are not offered in all 50 states
  • Company’s website has minimal educational content
The Bottom Line

As a 100% digital lender that conducts most of its business online, LenderFi is a good choice if you’re not keen on calling or having to walk into a physical branch location. The company’s website is very intuitive and easy to use, allowing customers the ability to obtain rate quotes without a credit check. There is, however, very limited educational content and no calculators on its website. If you’re unfamiliar with the mortgage lending process, you’ll have to call and speak with a loan representative to get your questions answered. 

When we called LenderFi, we were able to speak with a loan representative almost immediately, and customer service was friendly and knowledgeable. LenderFi offers only a handful of loan programs, but with no lender fees and a highly transparent lending process, this company could be a competitive choice if they offer your desired loan type. 

Editorial Independence

As with all of our mortgage lender reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information about our scoring methodology, click here.

LenderFi Full Review 

Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Calabasas, CA, LenderFi is a mortgage lender licensed to lend in 45 states and Washington, D.C. Loans are offered for those looking to purchase or refinance a home, and options include conventional, jumbo, adjustable-rate & fixed-rate, and FHA loans

LenderFi allows loan applications to be submitted online 24/7, so there’s no need to wait for normal business hours to get the process started. One standout feature about LenderFi is the company claims it doesn’t charge any lender closing fees. Thai gives consumers the ability to easily compare rates. Borrowers can obtain rate quotes online without the need to provide any personal information with instant online approvals. It was also extremely easy for us to call and speak with one of their loan representatives who explained the loan process to us.

If you’re considering LenderFi for a purchase or refinance, here’s some more information to help determine if they’re the right fit for you. 

LenderFi: Mortgage Loan Types and Products

If you’re looking to purchase or refinance a home, LenderFi offers a handful of programs that may be right for your situation:

Fixed-rate loans typically have higher interest rates than adjustable-rate loans but can provide peace of mind knowing that the interest rate will stay fixed for the duration of the loan. On the other hand, an adjustable-rate mortgage could be beneficial for borrowers who plan on selling the home prior to any rate adjustment. 

LenderFi also offers FHA loans, which can be helpful for home buyers looking to make a smaller down payment or have blemishes on their credit report. FHA loans require only a 3.5% minimum down payment, and also have more flexible criteria for credit reports and credit scores

LenderFi’s selection of loan programs, however, is somewhat limited. LenderFi does not offer home equity loans, VA loans, or USDA loans

LenderFi: Mortgage Transparency

LenderFi’s website does a great job of breaking down each rate quote. Each offer transparently shows how the possibility of lender credits and discount points affect the APR and monthly payment. The quote even estimates homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance (if applicable), and property tax costs, too. The company advertises that it does not charge lender fees as part of the closing costs. Each rate quote, instead, lists out all estimated third-party closing fees. We found this to be a unique feature compared to other lenders we’ve reviewed. Most lenders do not estimate closing fees until you officially apply, go through a credit check, and get a Loan Estimate. 

We found LenderFi’s website easy to navigate. Applications can be submitted through the website any time day or night. Borrowers are able to obtain rate quotes that include fee estimates without the need to pull credit. LenderFi also advertises that they can issue an instant approval online 24/7, along with the ability to request a rate lock.

While the company’s website is intuitive, there is almost no educational content provided as to what the mortgage lending process entails or what to consider when selecting a loan program. As such, borrowers unfamiliar with the mortgage lending process should be prepared to spend additional time on the phone with a loan representative. Fortunately, when we called, we were instantly connected to a friendly and knowledgeable loan processor who was willing to explain aspects of their lending process. 

The company had a below average complaint ratio logged with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): The number of consumer complaints per 1,000 loans originated. The CFPB is the agency responsible for collecting, monitoring, and responding to U.S. consumer complaints about financial services and products.

LenderFi: Mortgage Rates and Fees 

Besides the third-party fees, LenderFi does not typically charge any lender fees. Third-party and other miscellaneous fees may include:

LenderFi offers 30-day and 45-day rate locks. Due to this short time frame, borrowers must be able to provide requested documents in a timely manner. If the loan funding is delayed and extends beyond the initial rate lock period, rate lock extension fees may apply based on the company’s rate lock policy. Rate extensions cost 0.25 points for the first seven days, 0.375 points up to 15 days, and 0.625 points up to 30 days. Rate extensions are not allowed beyond 30 days.  

Borrowers can also obtain rate quotes for free online. These rate quotes do not require you to provide any personal information and can be done without a credit check. 

We called and spoke with a loan representative and were informed that conventional loans typically require a minimum credit score of 620 with a minimum down payment of 3%, while its FHA programs generally need a 580 credit score and a 3.5% minimum down payment. 

Requirements can vary for different loan programs depending on your circumstances though, so it’s best to speak with a loan officer to determine whether or not you meet the requirements for a specific loan program. 

There are also no prepayment penalties if you decide to pay off your loan more quickly. 

Refinancing With LenderFi

Borrowers looking to refinance can submit an application through LenderFi’s website 24/7. Depending on the characteristics of your loan, you may even be able to obtain an instant approval to request a rate lock. Once you submit an application, you’ll be able to upload and access documents through your online account portal. 

Whether you’re looking to refinance to reduce your monthly payment, lower your interest rate, or tap into your home’s equity, LenderFi offers several refinance options:

  • Rate and term refinance: This type of refinance allows you to replace your existing loan with a different interest rate and/or a new loan term. With a shorter loan term, you’ll be able to pay off your home more quickly as well as pay less in interest in the long run. 
  • Cash-out refinance: If you have sufficient equity in your home, a cash-out refinance allows you to borrow against the equity in your home so that you can have additional cash to pay for things like home improvements, fund college tuition, or pay off other higher interest rate debt.  

LenderFi Compared to Other Mortgage Lenders

LenderFiAimloan MortgageGuaranteed Rate
Minimum credit score620 for conventional 620 for conventional; 720 for jumbo580 for FHA and VA; 620 for conventional; 680 for jumbo
Minimum down payment3% for conventional; 3.5% for FHA5%0% for VA; 3.5% for FHA; 3% or more for conventional; 5% for jumbo
Where does the lender operate?45 states and Washington, D.C.All 50 statesAll 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Major loan typesConventional, jumbo, FHA, purchase, refinance, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, cash-out refinancePurchase, refinance, cash-out refinance, conventional, jumbo, fixed-rate, adjustable-rateConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, renovation, construction, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinance, streamline refinance, home equity products

How to Shop Around to Get the Best Mortgage Rate

To shop for the best lender, consider different types of companies. This can include credit unions, banks, and lenders that specialize only in mortgages. You’ll then want to obtain a written loan estimate from each that outlines fees and interest rates available. To make it easier to compare different banks and lenders, you can ask for a loan estimate using the same interest rate and loan program. 

Remember to review not only the interest rate, but also the fees charged by a particular lender. Some lenders may offer lower rates in exchange for additional fees in the form of discount points or additional origination fees. This does not necessarily mean it’s not a good deal, but you’ll want to make use of a mortgage calculator to determine your break-even point to determine if it’s worthwhile for your situation. Finally, make sure to provide each lender with the exact same loan scenario. This is because fees can vary based on things like your credit score, down payment, geographical location, loan amount, and property type. 

Take your time before deciding on any one lender. Choosing the best lender can not only save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in one-time fees, but can also save you money on a monthly basis by ensuring you get the best interest rate for your loan. Even a small difference between rates can add up over the life of the loan. 

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Editorial Independence

As with all of our mortgage lender reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information about our scoring methodology, click here.