Lower Mortgage Review 2022: Long Mortgage Menu and Lending Fees Waived for Repeat Borrowers

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Lower Mortgage Review 2022
Lower Mortgage Review 2022
Editor’s Score: (4/5)
Lower Mortgage Review 2022
Editor’s Score: (4/5)
  • Minimum Credit Score:
    620 conventional; 580 VA and FHA
  • Minimum Down Payment:
    3% conventional; 3.5% FHA; 0% VA
  • Can Apply Online:
    Yes
  • Operates In:
    43

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Intuitive website and educational content provided online
  • Extensive mortgage menu including conventional, government loans, and home equity products
  • Free Refi for Life program can reduce closing costs for repeat customers
  • Borrowers can also use the company’s services for buying, selling, insuring, and saving for a home.
Cons
  • Mortgage loans not available in all 50 states
  • Difficult to find detailed fee and rate information
  • Phone call needed for a personalized rate quote
The Bottom Line

Lower Mortgage offers a wide variety of loan products, including conventional, FHA, USDA, jumbo, and home equity loans. Borrowers can also take advantage of the company’s other products and services to help with buying, selling, insuring, and saving for a home. Lower currently advertises a Free Refi for Life program where qualified borrowers can get lending fees waived on future refinances.

While the company’s website is fairly intuitive and easy to use, we did find it difficult to locate detailed information about fees and rates without calling and speaking to a representative. Additionally, while the majority of the process can be completed online, do expect to have to make the occasional phone call with one of their representatives. 

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.

Lower Mortgage Full Review 

As an online mortgage company, Lower Mortgage is licensed to lend in 43 states and may be perfect for those looking for a one-stop shop for their mortgage needs. In addition to offering mortgage financing, the company also provides products and services to sell, insure, and save for a home. For those looking to refinance or purchase a home, the company offers a wide variety of loan programs including conventional, FHA, USDA, jumbo, and home equity loans.

The company’s website is intuitive, making it easy for borrowers to find educational content to better understand the lending process, as well as identify loan programs for buying or refinancing a home. Lower Mortgage also provides some rather unique features for its repeat customers, such as a Free Refi for Life program, in which the lender covers lending fees on all subsequent refinances. If you’re considering this lender, here’s our full review of what you should know. 

Lower Mortgage: Mortgage Loan Types and Products

Lower Mortgage offers a number of loans for borrowers looking to refinance or purchase a new home:

In addition to offering a wide variety of mortgages, borrowers can also use the company’s services to sell a home, find home insurance, and find a realtor. 

Multiple loan programs are available for those looking to buy a first home, second home, or investment property, as well as both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options. Fixed-rate loans typically have higher interest rates but have the benefit of ensuring your rate and monthly payment will not change. Adjustable-rate loans, on the other hand, have a fixed rate for a shorter time frame, after which the rate could go up or down. 

Lower Mortgage: Mortgage Transparency

Lower Mortgage offers educational content on its website summarizing what to expect throughout the mortgage process. This includes a first-time homebuyer guide, how to save for a home, understanding mortgage terminology, and things to consider when refinancing

While the company’s website is easy to navigate and transparent about when a hard credit check would be conducted, we found it difficult to locate any information pertaining to what fees the lender charges. We submitted an application online agreeing to a soft credit pull, but were greeted with a message informing us to expect a phone call from one of their representatives. 

Similarly, detailed information on its rates was also difficult to find. The lender publishes select rates for some of its 15-year and 30-year programs, but beyond that, we were unable to find any rate information on other products or regarding options to pay discount points for a lower rate. 

Lower Mortgage: Mortgage Rates and Fees 

You’ll have to call the lender for any information regarding fees or rates not listed on the website, but borrowers looking to purchase a home can expect to pay a lender fee of $999. That fee increases to $1,695 for those looking to refinance.

One thing to keep in mind though is that Lower Mortgage offers a Free Refi for Life program. Borrowers who have previously bought or refinanced a home with the company will have lender fees waived on all future refinances. 

Outside of the specific lender origination fees that may be charged, here is a list of some third-party fees that may also apply:

Loan requirements such as credit score and down payment can vary greatly depending on a number of different factors. This can include things like loan program, loan amount, borrower qualifications, geographic location, property type, and more. We spoke with a loan representative and were told that for conventional loans, the lender typically looks for a credit score of at least 620, with a down payment of 3%-5% depending on other characteristics of your loan. 

Refinancing With Lower Mortgage

Lower Mortgage has a wide variety of refinance options:

  • Cash-out refinance: With a cash-out refinance, you can take advantage of the equity you have in your home to get cash for things like paying off debt, funding college expenses, or conducting home improvements. Your new loan will be larger than your current loan amount, and you’ll typically receive the difference as cash into your bank account. 
  • Rate and term refinance: If you’re just looking to change your loan term or interest rate, a rate and term refinance will allow you to do just that. Your new loan’s monthly payment will be determined on the interest rate and length of the term you choose. You can also choose between a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate loan. 
  • Streamlined refinance: Qualified borrowers for certain loans such as a VA or FHA loan can choose a streamlined refinance option. This allows for flexibility such as reduced documentation, and more relaxed credit requirements which can also help the loan close more quickly. 

Lower Mortgage Compared to Other Mortgage Lenders 

Lower MortgageGuaranteed RateAimloan Mortgage
Minimum credit score620 conventional, 580 for FHA and VA580 for FHA and VA; 620 for Conventional620 for conventional loans; 720 for jumbo loans
Minimum down payment3% conventional, 3.5% FHA,  0% VA0% for VA, 3.5% for FHA, 3% for conventional, 5% for jumbo5%
Where does the lender operate?43 statesAll 50 states and Washington, D.C.All 50 states
Major loan typesConventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, purchase, refinance, cash-out refinance, home equity loans, HELOCConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, renovation, construction, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinance, streamline refinance, home equity productsPurchase, refinance, cash-out refinance, conventional, jumbo, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate

How to Shop Around to Get the Best Mortgage Rate 

Before you choose a lender, it’s important to make sure you’re getting a competitive rate with as few fees as possible. You can do this by shopping rates at different lenders. You can consider different types of lenders, such as credit unions, mortgage brokers, and banks. To make comparisons among lenders easier, you’ll want to make sure you provide them with the same information on your loan scenario such as your loan amount, property type, down payment, and geographic location. 

It’s also important to get a written Loan Estimate, the document that ensures the final loan fees will not vary. You’ll want to compare not only the interest rate, but also the fees charged for the loan. Some lenders may offer a lower interest rate in exchange for additional upfront fees and discount points. To determine if it’s worth paying discount points for a lower rate, consider how long you plan on staying in the home, and then use an online mortgage calculator to determine your break-even point. 

Doing your due diligence at this stage can be well worth the tradeoff. Even a small difference in rates can add up to a significant amount over the duration 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.