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Garden State Home Loans Review: One of the Highest-Rated Lenders I’ve Come Across

New Jersey sign

Today we’ll check out East Coast mortgage lender “Garden State Home Loans,” which says it has some of the lowest mortgage rates and most competitive fees in the industry.

They’re able to offer more attractively priced mortgages to their customers because they operate mostly online, meaning low overhead and a streamlined operation.

And their thousands of customer reviews appear to back that up, with excellent marks across all the major ratings websites.

Let’s learn more about them.

Garden State Home Loans Fast Facts

  • Mortgage broker that offers home purchase loans and refinances
  • Founded in 2011, headquartered in Cherry Hill, New Jersey
  • Licensed to do business in six states on the East Coast
  • Has funded more than $4 billion in home loans since inception
  • Aims to close most loans in 30 days or less (21.3-day average turn time currently)

Garden State Home Loans is a mortgage broker located in Cherry Hill, NJ that offers home purchase financing and mortgage refinances.

As a broker, they can shop your loan on your behalf with their wholesale lender partners to find the best pricing and most flexible programs available.

At the moment, the company is licensed in just six states, including Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Since inception, the company has originated more than $4 billion in home loans and says it’s able to fund loans very quickly, with an average turn time of just 21.3 days from submission to closing.

How to Apply with Garden State Home Loans

  • You can call, chat online, or visit their main office in Cherry Hill, NJ
  • They offer a digital mortgage experience powered by Blink
  • Allows you to run credit, eSign documents, and verify your income and assets
  • Online portal allows you to see exactly where you are in the loan process

To get started, you can call, chat online, visit their physical office if in New Jersey, or fill out a short lead form on their website.

They also have an online loan officer directory where you can see who works at the company and get in touch if you want to work with someone specific.

Once you do any of those things, you’ll be connected with a knowledgeable loan originator who will go over pricing and eligibility.

Assuming you like what you hear, you can apply for a home loan entirely online using their digital mortgage application powered by Blink.

It allows you to run credit, eSign documents, scan/upload paperwork, verify your income and assets by sharing your credentials, and track the status of your loan from start to finish via the online portal.

They’re also big on being available, with hours of 9am to 9pm EST, seven days a week. So even if you need help after hours, or on the weekend, they should be there to assist.

Loan Programs Offered by Garden State Home Loans

  • Home purchase loans
  • Refinance loans: Rate and term, cash out, and streamline
  • Home renovation loans: FHA 203k and Fannie Mae HomeStyle
  • Delayed Financing
  • Mortgages for self-employed borrowers
  • Reverse mortgages
  • Conforming loans
  • Jumbo loans
  • FHA loans
  • VA loans
  • USDA loans
  • Fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages in a variety of loan terms

One advantage to using Garden State Home Loans is their massive lending menu. They offer just about any home loan program you could possibly ask for.

Whether you need a home purchase loan, renovation loan, a refinance of any kind, or even a reverse mortgage.

They lend on all property types, including single-family homes, condos/townhomes, multi-unit investment properties, second homes, and more.

In terms of minimum credit scores, they have limited products for FICO scores down to 580, and that you’ll need at least a score of 640 FICO score for the majority of their loan programs.

But they also cater to self-employed borrowers and those who have experienced a recent credit event such as a foreclosure or bankruptcy.

Additionally, you can take advantage of the Delayed Financing program if you buy a home with cash and want to pull out some of your equity quickly thereafter.

You can get anything from a conforming loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to a jumbo loan or a government-backed loan, including FHA/VA/USDA options.

Both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options are available in a variety of different loan terms.

Simply put, you shouldn’t be limited when it comes to loan choice with Garden State as they seem to offer just about everything.

The only thing they might not have would be second mortgages.

Garden State Home Loans Mortgage Rates

While they say they’re big on transparency, you’ll need to get in touch with a loan originator first to see their mortgage rates.

You won’t find them displayed on their website, though they might appear on third-party mortgage comparison websites like Bankrate.

To request a rate from Garden State Home Loans, you can either fill out a short form on their website with your contact details, or simply call them up.

While they don’t publicize their rates, they do seem to have good feedback regarding pricing from their many reviews, so it could be quite favorable.

With regard to lender fees, they aren’t listed on their website either, so be sure to ask about them as well when getting pricing.

From what I saw, they might charge a $295 loan origination fee and a $1,055 underwriting fee.

It’s important to consider both the interest rate and fees to get the complete picture, then you can shop their mortgage APR with other lenders to see where they stand.

They’ll likely be able to structure your mortgage as a no cost loan either way if you want to limit or completely eliminate your out-of-pocket expenses.

Garden State Home Loans Reviews

On Zillow, Garden State Home Loans has a near-perfect 4.97-star rating out of 5 from about 1,000 customer reviews.

Aside from being almost flawless, lots of their reviews indicate that both the interest rate and closing costs were lower than anticipated, which is a good sign on the pricing front.

Be sure to check out individual loan officer reviews on Zillow if you want to work with someone super top notch (then find them via the loan officer directory on the Garden State Home Loans website).

They also have a 5-star rating on Bankrate from more than 300 customer reviews, with 99% of reviewers saying they’d recommend the company to others.

Over at Google, they have a very impressive 4.9-star rating from more than 1,000 customer reviews, which is even more meaningful given the large sample size.

Lastly, they are an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau (since 2012) and have an ‘A+’ rating based on customer complaint history.

In summary, they are scoring very high marks in customer satisfaction and have a ton of loan programs to choose from. They also claim to close loans fast using the latest tech.

This means they could be a good choice for both a new home buyer and an existing homeowner looking to refinance to a lower rate or tap into their home equity.

Garden State Home Loans Pros and Cons

The Good Stuff

  • Can apply for a mortgage directly online without assistance
  • Offer a digital home loan experience powered by Blink
  • Tons of loan programs to choose from
  • Lots of excellent reviews from past customers
  • Appear to offer low mortgage rates
  • A+ BBB rating, accredited company
  • Free mortgage calculators and tutorials on their website

The Maybe Not

  • Only licensed in six states on the East Coast
  • Do not publicize mortgage rates
  • Limited physical locations

(photo: Thomas Seymour)

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