Today we’ll check out “Cake Mortgage Corp.,” which as the name implies wants to make the home loan process a piece of, well, cake.
They believe cake isn’t just for birthdays, but for life, aka a full 30 years on your fixed-rate mortgage and beyond.
Despite being around for only a few years, Cake has already funded billions in home loans and accrued nearly a thousand excellent reviews from their customers.
The story behind the company is driven by the founder’s disdain for predatory lending, which cost his mother her home during the Great Recession.
That means you should experience a transparent, hassle-free loan process and hopefully snag a low rate in the process.
Cake Mortgage Fast Facts
- Direct-to-consumer mortgage lender
- Offers home purchase loans and mortgage refinances
- Founded in 2018, headquartered in Chatsworth, CA
- Formerly known as Millennial Home Lending
- Licensed to do business in 42 states and Washington D.C.
- Funded more than $3.5 billion in home loans since inception
Cake Mortgage Corp. is a direct-to-consumer mortgage lender based out of Chatsworth, California, which is a suburb of Los Angeles.
The company got its start in 2018, but has already funded more than $3.5 billion in home loans.
Cake was launched by David Abelyan, a former top producer at PennyMac who decided to branch off on his own after witnessing what he viewed as “absurd fees” being charged to a veteran.
He originally started Millennial Home Lending in September 2018 with just one other employee, and later rebranded as Cake Mortgage Corp. in November 2021.
Today, the company has more than 150 employees and has funded more than 11,000 home loans for its customers.
At the moment, they appear to be licensed in 42 states and the District of Columbia. They don’t lend in Alaska, Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, Utah, or Vermont.
How to Apply with Cake Mortgage
To get started, you can call them up directly or simply visit their website. You can also chat with a loan rep online.
From there, you can compare mortgage rates right on their website without signing up or being subject to a credit check.
Simply enter in some basic details and you’ll see a big list of interest rates. There’s an “Apply Now” button next to each rate.
Click it and you’ll be prompted to sign up to begin your formal home loan application. They say the process takes about 15 minutes.
Their digital mortgage application allows you to fill out forms electronically, eSign disclosures, and upload supporting documents via a secure portal.
After you apply, you’ll receive an answer from underwriting within 24 hours in most cases, at which point you can order an appraisal and finish processing your loan.
You’ll be able to log in to the borrower portal throughout the process to check status and/or get in touch with your lending team (CAKE Concierge).
Cake says the average time to close a loan is about 24 days, which is pretty quick. And sometimes even faster than that.
Loan Programs Available at Cake Mortgage
While Cake Mortgage doesn’t list all their loan programs online, I assume they stick mostly to the basics that are popular for the majority of homeowners out there.
This includes mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, also known as conforming home loans.
They don’t appear to offer jumbo loans, and it’s unclear if they offer government-backed loans such as FHA loans and VA loans.
If you’re a home buyer, you can take advantage of their so-called “Cake Signature Purchase,” which might include actual cake when you close.
And prospective home buyers can generate a “Cake Cash pre-approval certificate” in about six minutes to show home sellers they mean business.
If you’re an existing homeowner, you can apply for a “Cake Express Refinance,” which is designed to be fast, easy, and mostly electronic.
Both rate and term refinances and cash out refinances are available to homeowners, so if you want to tap equity it’s an option.
With regard to specific loan programs, they seem to only offer fixed-rate mortgages, though in a wide variety of terms.
From what I saw, you can get a 10-year fixed, 15-year fixed, 20-year fixed, 30-year fixed, and even custom loan terms in between.
Cake Mortgage Rates
One plus to using Cake Mortgage is their transparency when it comes to mortgage rates and fees.
You can compare daily rates right on their website without the need to share your precious contact information.
Simply enter in a few details and you’ll see a huge list of mortgage rate and fee combinations to choose from.
This gives you the option to pay discount points if you want to buy down your rate, or take advantage of a lender credit if you don’t want to pay anything out of pocket (no cost refinance).
In terms of lender fees, there isn’t an application fee, but they appear to charge a $1,495 underwriting fee, which as mentioned can be offset by a lender credit.
If you like what you see, you can click “Apply Now” next to the corresponding rate and begin the loan application online.
All in all, their pricing appears to be competitive to other online lenders, though always take the time to gather multiple quotes.
Cake Mortgage Reviews
On Google, Cake Mortgage has an excellent 4.8-star rating out of a possible 5 from about 900 reviews.
Most of the reviews talked about how fast and easy the loan process was, along with the low rates offered.
Over at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website they have a similar strong 4.78/5 rating from about 75 reviews.
The company is also an accredited business with the BBB and has been since 2020.
At Yelp, they have a slightly lower 4-star rating from roughly 25 reviews, with a few negative ones in the mix.
In terms of critiques, some customers felt they had to reach out to the company for help, instead of receiving proactive assistance, while others didn’t like their marketing efforts.
To sum things up, Cake Mortgage is generating mostly positive reviews and has a very snazzy website to boot.
Their transparency with regard to mortgage rates and lender fees is a big plus, as is their digital mortgage technology.
Assuming you also get paired with a responsive human being and have a fairly straightforward loan scenario, they could be a good option to consider if the price is right.
Cake Mortgage Pros and Cons
- Can apply for a home loan online in 10 minutes
- Say they close in an average of 24 days
- Offer a paperless, digital application mortgage
- Publicize their mortgage rates and fees online (no need to sign up)
- Excellent customer reviews from past customers
- A+ BBB rating, accredited business since 2020
- Easy-to-use website with a mortgage calculator and mortgage glossary
The Perhaps Not
- Not licensed in all states
- No physical branches
- Limited product menu
(photo: Sue Thompson)