United Wholesale Mortgage Lender Review 2021: Fast Closing Timeline, But You’ll Need to Search for a Lending Partner

An image to accompany a review of United Wholesale Mortgage Illustration/NextAdvisor

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Headquartered in Pontiac, Michigan, United Wholesale Mortgage is a wholesale lender, not a direct lender. United doesn’t lend directly to borrowers — instead, it funds home loans originated by independent mortgage brokers across the U.S. While loan terms and fees vary based on the lender you ultimately choose, you’ll need to fit United’s eligibility requirements to qualify for a home loan. Here’s what to know if you’re working with one of United Wholesale’s partner lenders.

Pros and Cons of United Wholesale Mortgage 

Pros

  • Can close purchase and refinance loans within 16 or 17 days on average

  • Available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

  • Funds a full lineup of mortgages, including conventional purchase loans, government-sponsored purchase loans, and several refinance options

Cons

  • Doesn’t lend directly to borrowers

  • Working with a mortgage broker may be needlessly complicated

United Wholesale Mortgage: Loan Types and Products

To apply for a mortgage, you’ll need to head to FindAMortgageBroker.com and check out lenders and mortgage brokers in your area. From there, you can apply for a mortgage. Loan options depend on the lender, but United Wholesale funds the following:

Homebuyers have an option between taking out a fixed-rate mortgage, in which the rate never changes, and an adjustable-rate mortgage, which comes with a fixed rate only for a certain amount of time. Once the fixed period is over, the ARM rate may go up or down based on market conditions. United Wholesale funds ARMs with terms of 5/6, 7/6, or 10/6. With a 5/6 ARM, for example, the rate is fixed for the first five years then adjusts every six months for the rest of the loan term. There’s a 1% rate cap at each adjustment.

This lender also funds jumbo loans, which are home loans that exceed a certain dollar amount called the conforming loan limit. For 2021, that limit is $548,250 in most parts of the U.S. United Wholesale Mortgage will fund jumbo loans up to $3 million.

United Wholesale Mortgage Transparency

Because United Wholesale Mortgage doesn’t originate mortgages, you won’t find specific information about lender fees and mortgage rates on its website. But you’ll find several homebuying guides and calculators on the lender’s Find A Mortgage Broker website. These tools can help you estimate your housing costs and understand the purchase or refinance process.

Once you start working with a lender, look for these signs the company is helpful and transparent:

  • The website is easy to navigate, clearly labeled, and includes contact information.
  • The website includes several tools and resources—such as blog posts, videos, and calculators—to help you understand the mortgage process. 
  • You can call or email a loan officer or representative to ask questions, get preapproved, or start a loan application.
  • You can compare mortgage rate quotes on the lender’s website or ask a representative for a customized quote.
  • The lender clearly discloses and explains any borrowing costs you’ll pay. These include down payment requirements, closing costs, lender fees, and discount points. They should also help you calculate third-party fees and prepaid costs, such as homeowners insurance and property taxes.

United Wholesale Mortgage: Rates and Fees 

On its website, United Wholesale Mortgage doesn’t advertise mortgage rates or lender fees you might pay at closing. But when you start working with a lender or gathering quotes, ask about the following types of fees: 

United Wholesale sets minimum down payment and credit score requirements for the loans it funds, based on the mortgage program. Here’s what you might need to qualify for one of United Wholesale’s home loans: 

Loan typeMin. credit scoreMin. down payment
VA loans6200%
Conventional loans6403%
FHA loans6403.5%
Jumbo loans68010%
Source: United Wholesale Mortgage Website

One major reason you might want to work with one of the lender’s partners is the closing timeline. United Wholesale tends to close purchase and refinance home loans within 16 or 17 days, which is much faster than the industry standard. In June 2021, all mortgages closed within 49 days on average, according to ICE Mortgage Technology. A short closing timeline could help you win a bidding war on a home, if the seller wants to move quickly. 

Refinancing With United Wholesale Mortgage 

If you have an existing mortgage, you can refinance with one of United Wholesale’s partners using one of these options:

  • Cash-out refinance, which allows you to take out a home loan for more than you owe, pay down your current mortgage, and keep the extra cash. Then you’ll repay the new, larger loan over time and can use the cash for any type of expense.
  • Rate-and-term refinance, which allows homeowners to change their loan terms, interest rate, or both. This can help you save money on your monthly mortgage payments, get rid of private mortgage insurance, or accelerate your payoff timeline.
  • VA interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL), which helps you refinance an existing VA loan to get a lower interest rate or switch from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate. 
  • FHA streamline refinance, which allows you to refinance an existing FHA loan to save money and skip a lot of the paperwork usually associated with refinancing. To qualify, you’ll need to show a perfect on-time payment history.

United Wholesale Mortgage Compared to Other Mortgage Lenders

United WholesaleFairway Independent Mortgage Corp.New American Funding
Minimum credit score640 for conventional loans; 680 for jumbo loans; 640 for FHA loans; 620 for VA loans 620 for conventional loans; 660 for jumbo loans; 600 for FHA loans; 600 for VA loans580
Minimum down payment3% for conventional, 10% for jumbo, 0% for VA and USDA loans0% to 5%0% to 5%, depending on the mortgage program
Where does the lender operate?All 50 states and Washington, D.C.All 50 states and Washington, D.C.Washington, D.C., and all states except New York and Hawaii
Major loan typesConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinance, FHA streamline refinance, VA IRRRL refinanceConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, various renovation loans, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinance, reverse mortgages, home equity loans, home equity lines of creditConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, renovation loans, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinance, reverse mortgages, home equity lines of credit

How to Shop Around to Get the Best Mortgage Rate

The best thing you can do is shop around if you’re looking to save money on a home loan. According to a Freddie Mac survey, borrowers save about $3,000 on average if they get at least five rate quotes

And you might be able to save even more if you negotiate. After getting quotes from multiple lenders, compare those offers and send the best deal to another lender. Ask them to beat the interest rate or closing costs — or both. Lenders might be willing to compete for your business, especially if you have a high credit score or substantial down payment. 

To see how small differences in rate quotes matter, take a look at one example. Say you want to buy a home worth $200,000 with a 20% down payment and 30-year mortgage term. You receive quotes from two different lenders and use an online mortgage calculator to figure out your potential savings:

Interest rateMonthly interest and principal paymentInterest saved
3.5%$718
3.25%$696$22 per month or $7,920 over the loan term

With a 3.5% interest rate, the monthly principal and interest payment comes out to $718. But with a 3.25% interest rate, you save $22 a month on interest costs. That might not sound like much, but it adds up to $7,920 in savings over 30 years.

Bottom Line

United Wholesale Mortgage won’t directly originate your home loan, but it will connect you with mortgage lenders or brokers who can help you through the mortgage process. This might be a helpful option if you live in an area where it’s hard to find a lender, or you want help comparing mortgage companies and loan options.