Guild Mortgage Review 2020
Editor’s note: The overall conclusions, recommendations and opinions are the author’s alone. The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.
Guild Mortgage was founded in 1960 and is one of the largest independent mortgage lenders in the U.S. The company is headquartered in San Diego. Over its 60-year history, Guild has specialized in government-backed loans, created its own in-house IT system and now offers smartphone apps and web-based technology to keep customers up-to-date on their loan status.
Working with Guild Mortgage
Guild Mortgage originates mortgages and has branches in the following 31 states:
In 2019, Guild Mortgage originated $21.71 billion in mortgage volume.
Guild Mortgage borrowing requirements
The website does not provide information about the availability of manual underwriting, minimum acceptable credit scores or acceptable property types.
Guild Mortgage products
- Conventional loans. Qualified homebuyers may purchase a home with a down payment as low as 3% (or 5% down for a conforming high-balance loan), and choose from fixed- and adjustable-rate options.
- FHA loans. Borrowers with scores as low as 600 and a 3.5% down payment may be eligible for a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
- VA loans. A loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs gives eligible military borrowers a chance at homeownership with no down payment or private mortgage insurance (PMI) requirement.
- USDA loans. If your dream home is in a rural area, you may be eligible for a loan backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with no down payment and a credit score as low as 600. Income limits apply.
- Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). With lower initial fixed-rate periods of three to 10 years, an ARM may be a good short-term savings option if you plan to move or refinance within a short timeframe.
- Fixed-rate loans. Borrowers who prefer the stability of a fixed rate can choose terms running from 10 to 30 years.
- Renovation loans. Guild offers both conventional and FHA 203(k) renovation loans, allowing homeowners to buy or refinance a fixer-upper home and roll the costs of home improvements and the purchase price into one mortgage.
- Down payment assistance (DPA) loans. First-time homebuyers may have access to DPA programs that include grants and loans, depending on their income and the county they are buying in. Guild works with counties nationwide to offer over 500 down payment assistance programs.
Guild’s website provides general information about the refinancing process, but no information about specific refinance programs.
Home equity products
Home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). Guild does not offer home equity loans or HELOC products.
Reverse mortgage. Guild offers reverse loans to borrowers who are 62 years old or older and have substantial equity in their homes. A reverse loan allows borrowers to convert their home equity into retirement income or even to buy another home with no monthly mortgage payment.
Guild Mortgage special mortgage programs
Borrowers with unique properties may benefit from Guild’s specialized mortgage programs.
- MH Advantage. Qualified buyers can take out a manufactured home loan to buy both a manufactured home and land with a down payment as low as 3% and a 620 credit score.
- Lock & Shop. Typically, you need to have a home picked out to lock in a mortgage rate with most lenders. However, Guild Mortgage offers Lock & Shop, a program that allows buyers to lock in their rate for 90 days while they shop for a home.
- Non-warrantable condos. Guild offers condominium mortgages for properties that don’t meet standard conventional or government-backed loan requirements.
The mortgage application process
- How to apply. Customers can fill out an online application, call or check Guild’s website for information about local branches with in-house loan officers.
- Disclosure process. Guild provides borrowers with a loan estimate within three business days of receiving an application.
- Submitting loan for approval. Guild’s MyMortgage portal provides customers with a digital mortgage experience. All documents can be submitted electronically and the loan status can be tracked with a mobile device.
- Final approval. The MyMortgage platform is tied to Guild’s loan operating systems, allowing for faster turn times on approvals and closings.
- Closing. Guild’s eClose system allows borrowers to instantly view all documents when they’re released and sign closing paperwork electronically.
- Servicing. Guild services its own mortgages. In 2019, its servicing portfolio grew to $49.43 billion.
Communication during the loan process
You can reach Guild Mortgage customer service representatives a number of ways:
For existing loans:
- By phone at (800) 365-4441, Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST (excluding certain holidays)
- By email for the status of an existing application at [email protected]
- By email for delinquent loans or loan modification questions at [email protected]
For new loans and refinancing:
- By phone at (800) 283-8823, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST (excluding certain holidays)
- By email for new home loans or refinancing at [email protected]
- By visiting a local branch
Pros and cons of a Guild Mortgage loan
- Offers a wide variety of traditional and government-backed purchase loan programs
- Offers specialized loans for borrowers who are buying unique properties
- Offers a 90-day mortgage rate lock program to help borrowers lock in their rate before they’ve found a home
- Doesn’t list specific refinance programs on its website
- Doesn’t offer home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) options
- Doesn’t provide detailed information about manual underwriting, minimum acceptable credit scores or acceptable property types on its website