Better Mortgage Review
Better Mortgage is an online mortgage service that is disrupting the $15 trillion mortgage lending industry.
Better.com uses technology to match borrowers directly to lenders rather than taking the traditional approach, which usually includes working with a bank and loan agents, who often charge commissions.
The goal is to make homeownership more accessible by simplifying the mortgage-lending process and lowering the associated fees.
I’ve reviewed quite a few mortgage lending services over the years, but I’m excited to cover Better Mortgage because they are so new and unique and seem to cater toward tech-savvy millennials (compared to the age-old tradition of applying for a mortgage through a traditional lender).
In This Article:
What is Better Mortgage?
Better Mortgage was founded in 2014 with a vision of transforming the mortgage shopping process. The company quickly focused on building out its technology, developing an algorithm that automatically connects borrowers with lenders.
In 2015, the company funded its first mortgage—without the need for a single phone call or in-person meeting.
The Better Mortgage name launched in 2016 and a large funding round came a little bit later, which helped them expand and get approved as a Fannie Mae loan servicer. Additional funding would follow suit, including a $160 million round in 2019.
Headquartered in New York City, the company now serves tens of thousands of customers and has funded over $7 billion in mortgage loans. Talk about the fast track to success!
Now that we’ve painted the broader picture, let’s take a look at the services Better Mortgages offers.
Better Mortgage Features
Better Mortgage is currently operating in 44 states and offers several mortgage options.
The company claims to be able to offer lower rates because they don’t charge lender fees, and their agents don’t get paid a commission.
The company finances single-family homes, multi-family homes (up to four units), townhouses, condos, and planned unit developments.
Types of Loans Offered:
- Conventional Fixed-Rate Loans
- Adjustable-Rate Loans
- Jumbo Loans
- FHA Loans
Types of Loans NOT Offered:
They also don’t offer loans for mobile homes, multi-family structures with more than five units, mixed-use properties, or co-ops.
Better Mortgage Rates
If you’re in the market for a new mortgage, Better Mortgage offers competitive interest rates and flexible loan term options.
Using the example below of a 20% down payment on a $400,000 home in the Chicago area, here are the current interest rates available at the time of this writing:
|30-Year Fixed||3.500% / 3.552%||$1,578||$1,437|
|20-Year Fixed||3.375% / 3.409%||$512||$1,835|
|15-Year Fixed||3.125% / 3.167%||$502||$2,229|
Keep in mind the above monthly payment amounts DO NOT include your costs for taxes or home insurance, so your actual monthly payment will be higher.
Considering the national average interest rates on a 30-year fixed loan is around 3.8%, and a 20-year loan is around 3.56%, Better’s rates above look pretty appetizing.
Of course, the actual rate you’ll pay depends on a wide variety of factors, including your income, your credit score, how much money you are planning to spend on the down payment, your employment history, the location of your home, and more.
At a glance, though, Better Mortgage appears to have some of the lowest rates in the industry.
Better Mortgage Refinancing Rates
Refinancing your mortgage is a common strategy that homeowners use to get a lower interest rate on their loan or to lower their monthly mortgage payment.
Better Mortgage offers competitive refinancing rates for existing homeowners.
Using the same Chicago home as above with a $320,000 loan amount, here are the current refinancing rates that the company offers:
|30-Year Fixed||3.375% / 3.423%||$1,456||$1,415|
|20-Year Fixed||3.250% / 3.294%||$794||$1,815|
|15-Year Fixed||3.000% / 3.057%||$861||$2,210|
Better Price Guarantee
Better Mortgage is so confident that their algorithmic-approach will get you the best deal that they offer a Better Price Guarantee.
If, within three days of securing your new mortgage loan (or refinancing loan) from Better Mortgage, you’re able to find a better price from a competitor, Better will pay you $1,000.
This is the first time I’ve seen a lender put their money down and guarantee something, which is pretty neat.
Signing Up and Getting Started
To sign up for a new mortgage loan, click on the green Continue button underneath “I’m buying a home”.
Next, you’ll be asked how far along you are in the home-buying journey, where you plan to buy a home, and when.
Then, it’s time to indicate what type of residence you’re looking to purchase.
The company asks for your email address on the next step to save your information.
To get a pre-approval letter, Better Mortgage needs to perform a soft credit check. This doesn’t impact your credit rating as much as a hard pull would, but you will have to consent in order to proceed.
At this last step, you enter your personal contact details, including your first name, last name, phone number, address, and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
After that’s done, Better Mortgage pairs you with the available loan options. You may have to enter your full Social Security number in order to apply, but that’s it.
I have to say that it was very easy to sign up and get a basic pre-approval letter from Better Mortgage.
Better Mortgage Security
Better Mortgage uses leading encryption technology on its web platforms. They also have several security measures in place to ensure your information is safe.
Customer Service and Support
The Better Mortgage website is available 24/7, which the company claims is an advantage over a traditional bank’s working hours.
If you’d like to speak with a customer support agent, you can call 1-415-523-8837 from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. On weekends, they’re available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. You can also send them an email anytime at email@example.com.
Pros and Cons of Better Mortgage
- Easy-to-navigate online process
- Takes just a few minutes to secure a preliminary quote
- Competitive refinance and mortgage interest rates
- The platform makes the mortgage process more simple and transparent
- Only available in 44 states
- No mobile app available at this time
- Home equity loans, VA loans, and USDA loans are not offered
Alternatives to Better Mortgage
When it comes to innovative online mortgage lending alternatives that are similar to Better Mortgage, some of the companies that come to mind are:
Better Mortgage FAQs
Who Owns Better Mortgage?
Better Mortgage is an independent, privately-owned company. It isn’t owned by any larger holding companies or corporations.
How Does Better Mortgage Make Money?
The company is a little unclear about exactly how they make money. But it appears that Better Mortgage earns a commission on the loans it offers to customers.
Is Better Mortgage a Direct Lender?
Yes. Better Mortgage is a direct lender.
Is Better Mortgage Right for You?
If you’re a first-time homebuyer who is comfortable signing up for a mortgage online, Better Mortgage seems like a good choice. You can get a pre-approval letter in as little as 24 hours, and overall, the sign up process is much easier than I’ve seen at traditional banks and mortgage lenders.
However, if you’re looking to get a VA loan, a USDA loan, or a home equity loan—or if you live in one of the states that Better Mortgage doesn’t cover—you’re going to have to look elsewhere to get a mortgage. You’ll also probably want to look elsewhere if you prefer to work with someone in person or with a more traditional institution, like your bank.
I will say that if I were a first-time homebuyer or was shopping around for mortgage quotes, I would definitely see what kind of rate Better Mortgage has to offer. Backed by their Price Match Guarantee, you’re most likely going to get a very good deal.
Signing up for a mortgage can be one of the most stressful processes that you go through. But, thanks to disruptors like Better Mortgage, it doesn’t have to be.
Here’s to finding the right mortgage for your home and to paying off your loan sooner rather than later so you can truly be financially free.
- Easy To Use
- Quick Quotes
- Competitive Rates
- No Mobile App
- Limited Loan Options
Better.com uses technology to match borrowers directly to lenders rather than taking the traditional approach, which usually includes working with a bank and loan agents, who often charge commissions. The goal is to make homeownership more accessible by simplifying the mortgage-lending process and lowering the associated fees.