With a name like LowRates, you would expect their mortgage rates to be, low, right? Well, that’s the hope at least.
The good news is they post their mortgage rates on their website and update them daily. So you won’t have to guess or call them first to see where they stand.
You may have come across them while comparing mortgage rates online as they tend to advertise quite a bit on comparison websites.
If you’re wondering who they are, the company is actually the techy division of a larger mortgage lender called Sun West Mortgage Co., based out of Buena Park, CA (near Knott’s Berry Farm).
LowRates Mortgage Fast Facts
- Retail direct-to-consumer mortgage lender
- Offers home purchase loans, refinance loans, reverse mortgages, and more
- Parent company is Sun West Mortgage Company, Inc.
- Founded in 1980, headquartered in Buena Park, CA
- Licensed to lend in 48 states, DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands
- Sun West originated roughly $2 billion in home loans last year via retail channel
- Also operates correspondent and wholesale lending divisions
While the LowRates name might be catchy, it’s actually just the consumer-facing online lender division of a much bigger company, Sun West Mortgage.
This is similar to Lower Mortgage, which is the online division of Homeside Financial.
Sun West Mortgage has been around a real long time, more than 40 years to be exact, but LowRates only seems to have come on the scene around 2013.
The parent company is located in Buena Park, CA (Orange County), while it appears LowRates is building out its corporate headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.
They operate as an online mortgage lender, meaning you can apply for a home loan remotely, whether you want to do so by phone or online.
Their loan menu appears to be vast, so you can get anything from a home purchase loan to a reverse mortgage and everything in between.
How to Apply for a Home Loan with LowRates
- You can apply for a mortgage by phone or online
- Once you fill out the application you’ll be matched with a loan officer
- This individual will discuss available loan options and pricing
- LowRates says it has fast turn times and can offer 20-day loan closings in some cases
LowRates says it offers a “24-hour loan center” for those who don’t have time to apply for a mortgage during regular business hours.
It’s unclear if this a human-staffed situation, or simply an online form that can be accessed at all hours. I’m going with the latter.
Anyway, your first step is to fill out the loan application, which can be done online or by phone.
If you visit their website, simply click on “Apply Now” to get started. This will send you to their online mortgage application, which requires you to provide personal and property information.
Once completed, you’ll be paired with a mortgage loan officer who will assess your financial situation and suggest loan options. They will also discuss loan pricing with you.
However, it might be better to get pricing first by calling them up, then only apply if you’re happy with what you see/hear.
While it’s unclear how the rest of their loan process works, they do have an online loan portal borrowers can use to manage their loan, upload required documents, and check status 24/7.
Additionally, they aim to close loans fast and say they’ve got some of the best turn times in the industry thanks to their embrace of technology, with 20-days closings possible in some cases.
Loan Programs Available at LowRates.com
- Home purchase loans
- Refinance loans: rate and term, cash out, and streamline
- Home renovation loans and new construction loans
- Conventional loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- Government-backed mortgages: FHA, USDA, and VA
- Jumbo home loans
- Fixed-rate mortgages: 10, 15, and 30-year loan terms
- Adjustable-rate mortgages:
LowRates appears to have a very complete lending menu, with everything from home purchase loans to construction/renovation and reverse mortgages.
You can get a conforming home loan backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or a jumbo loan that exceeds the conforming loan limit if the subject property is pricey.
They provide financing on primary residences, vacation homes, and investment properties, so you should be covered regardless of property type and occupancy.
You shouldn’t be limited in any way when it comes to mortgage loan choice, which is a plus.
LowRates.com Mortgage Rates
The good news is LowRates actually posts its daily mortgage rates online, which a lot of mortgage companies do not.
I suppose they kind of have to, given their name, but I’m glad they do because that boosts their transparency score.
Anyway, at the time of this writing, their mortgage rates appeared to be pretty competitive relative to other lenders across all loan types, including conventional, FHA, and VA.
Their conventional rates had the same interest rate and APR, meaning LowRates doesn’t charge lender fees, at least on those particular loan scenarios.
So taken together, their rates look pretty good, seeing that you don’t need to pay mortgage discount points or other fees to obtain them.
Either way, you can see their rates for yourself if and when you visit their website, then compare them to other lenders you’ve got your eye on.
Make sure you consider both the rate and APR to get an apples-to-apples comparison.
While LowRates doesn’t seem to tack on points to their loans, it’s unclear if they charge other things like a loan origination fee, underwriting/processing, and so on.
First off, their parent company Sun West has a very solid 4.8-star rating on Google from more than 1,600 customer reviews.
On Zillow, LowRates specifically has a 4.94-star rating out of 5 from roughly 125 customer reviews, which makes them close to perfect.
Additionally, a good portion of those reviews indicated that the interest rate was lower than expected, a good sign given their name.
On Bankrate, the company has a 4.6-star rating from about 65 reviews, which while not a large sample size, is at least very positive.
Their parent company is Better Business Bureau accredited and has been since 2018, and currently holds an ‘A+’ rating based on its history of customer complaints.
It’s also got a 4.69/5 rating on the BBB website, which is impressive since BBB customer reviews are often quite poor.
All in all, LowRates seems to have quality feedback from customers, though the sample size could be larger, and hopefully will grow over time.
They are backed by a billion-dollar mortgage lender and appear to have an extensive menu of loan programs available.
Assuming both mortgage rates and customer service are good, they could be a good choice for your home loan needs.
LowRates Mortgage Pros and Cons
- Presumably offer very competitive mortgage rates
- Their rates are advertised daily on their website
- Do not charge borrowers an application fee
- They offer 20-day loan closings (fast turn times)
- You can apply directly from their website without human interaction
- Offer a ton of different loan programs
- Excellent customer reviews
- A+ BBB rating for their parent company
- They service their home loans (as opposed to transferring them)
- Free mortgage calculators and home buyer’s guide on their website
The Maybe Not
- Not licensed in Georgia or Massachusetts
- Unclear what lender fees they charge
- Limited physical locations