Guild Mortgage Review – Top Lender in Customer Satisfaction

Guild

Guild Mortgage is one name you may have come across lately while searching for a mortgage. They’re a rapidly growing independent mortgage banker with over 300 physical branches nationwide.

They also recently tied Quicken Loans for the number one spot in customer satisfaction for primary mortgage originations by J.D. Power, which is a big deal given Quicken’s hold on the top spot.

Let’s learn more about this privately held company to determine if they might be a good choice for your home loan needs.

Guild Mortgage Started in San Diego

  • Originally known as Guardian Mortgage
  • Offered FHA loans and financing for homes built by American Housing Guild
  • Now a top-10 mortgage lender nationwide
  • That offers all types of home loans

Originally known as Guardian Mortgage, the company began in 1960 in San Diego, California, founded by Martin Gleich.

In the beginning, they offered FHA loans to first-time home buyers and home purchase loans to buyers of homes built by American Housing Guild.

Today, they are a top-10 mortgage lender by purchase loan volume that offers everything from conventional loan programs to USDA loans and jumbo loans, and everything in between.

They are also a correspondent mortgage lender with banking relationships in 47 states, and a major home loan servicer with a loan portfolio worth nearly $40 billion.

In 2017, the non-bank mortgage lender did $15.9 billion in loan volume, and now services nearly 200,000 mortgage loans. That means they keep many of the loans they originate.

Guild Mortgage Co. has grown a staggering 16X from 2008, making them one of the fastest growing mortgage companies around.

They’ve also acquired smaller companies along the way, with the most recent being Cornerstone Mortgage out of St. Louis, Missouri.

Guild is one of the top mortgage lenders in the Northwest, including Portland and Seattle, and also has a growing presence in places like Austin, Texas, Columbia, South Carolina, and Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada.

What Guild Mortgage Offers

  • Conforming loans
  • Conventional loans
  • Jumbo loans
  • FHA loans
  • VA loans
  • USDA loans
  • 1% down loans
  • Renovation loans
  • FHA Solar

Guild Mortgage offers all types of home loans, including government and non-government mortgages, along with both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages.

You can get a purchase loan, or a refinance loan, including a rate and term refinance or cash out refinance, and also streamline refinances.

You can apply for a home loan online or visit a local branch, of which there are many (338 at last count).

In the fixed-rate loan department, you can get anything from a 10-year fixed mortgage to a 30-year fixed up to 97% LTV. And they also let you choose your own loan term if you’re looking to refinance without extending the term of your mortgage.

They also offer a 1% down mortgage via their 3-for-1 equity program whereby Guild provides a 2% grant.

When it comes to ARMs, you can choose between 3-, 5-, 7- and 10-year adjustable terms, up to 95% LTV.

If a conforming loan amount isn’t large enough to suit your needs, you can also get a jumbo loan from Guild, including a loan amount as high as $850,000 with just 5% down payment known as the Guild Mortgage Elite Jumbo Program.

They also offer the full spread of government loans, including FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans, the latter two of which offer no down payment mortgages.

Today's Rates

And while many of these loan options allow for very low credit scores, Guild seems to require higher scores than most competitors.

For example, they want a minimum credit score of 600 for a VA loan, though they allow loan amounts as high as $1 million. Their minimum score for a USDA loan is 620.

You can also get an FHA 203k renovation loan via Guild if you’re buying a fixer-upper.

Guild Mortgage recently launched a loan program called “FHA Solar” that allows borrowers to finance their home and solar panels in one transaction.

Like normal FHA loans, the minimum down payment is 3.5%, which is based on the purchase price of the home before the panels are added to the total cost of the mortgage.

If you’re looking to finance something other than a single-family home, it might be possible to get a mortgage on a non-warrantable condo, something not all lenders offer.

Lastly, Guild offers the Unison HomeBuyer program, which allows home buyers to borrow a down payment in exchange for future home price appreciation. It is available for properties in Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington.

Guild Mortgage Rates

  • Guild mortgage rates aren’t publicized
  • Unlike some of the other major banks out there
  • Hard to know if they’re good, bad, or average
  • Without getting a quote and comparing it to other lenders

In terms of mortgage rates, it’s hard to say what their current rates are because they don’t advertise them on their website, nor do they have a ratesheet available to the public.

This counters other major lenders like Wells Fargo and Chase, which both advertise their daily mortgage rates on their respective websites.

Of course, advertised mortgage rates make a lot of assumptions, and aren’t necessarily the rates you’d receive anyway. To that end, it might not matter.

My guess is they’re probably on par with or close to what other major home loan lenders offer, though I can’t be sure without seeing them.

As always, take the time to shop around with other lenders to see how they match up. And factor in the closing costs as well when you do.

Mortgage rates aren’t everything (customer service and the ability to close loans also matter a great deal), but they’re certainly very important.

Why Choose Guild Mortgage?

  • The number one reason seems to be customer satisfaction
  • They recently matched Quicken atop the J.D. Power rankings
  • Guild also offers lots of different home loan options
  • And their loan officers may be better educated than the competition thanks to GuildU

There are lots of options when it comes to obtaining a mortgage. So why choose Guild Mortgage?

Well, as noted, they’ve got a variety of home loan programs available, including some unique offerings, so they’ve probably got you covered in most situations.

This is especially true if you have little or nothing in the way of a down payment, though they may require higher credit scores than other lenders.

They are also one of the top rated mortgage companies in terms of customer satisfaction, matching Quicken Loans in the most recent rankings from J.D. Power.

That doesn’t guarantee a good loan experience, but it means something compared to other large lenders that rank below them.

Part of that might have to do with their GuildU corporate university that educates its loan officers in an effort to make them more knowledgeable than the competition.

But loan officer quality can vary within a single company, especially at a large one with thousands of employees.

Guild Mortgage also has a helpful website, complete with tips and a variety of mortgage calculators to help guide your decisions.

All in all, they’re certainly worth including in your home loan search seeing how popular and large they’re becoming. My guess is they’ll be a household name in the near future.

Lastly, because Guild Mortgage is a major home loan servicer, they may not sell off your loan to another company, which can be nice to avoid any confusion in making future monthly payments.

(photo: Sean O’Neill)



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