—originally known as Guardian Mortgage—was founded by Martin Gleich in San Diego, CA, in 1960. During the 1970s, Guild designed and built its own in-house information technology systems, which helped distinguish itself in the mortgage industry. Later that decade, Guild opened its first branch offices in western states.
Currently, the company has experts in government-backed loans to help first-time homebuyers secure mortgages quick and easily, with the company now being well known for its variety in mortgages offered—although many are aimed toward first-time home buyers, especially those who need support with down payments, although it has other products that help anyone looking for a home loan.
Guild Mortgages is America’s 19th largest mortgage lender, specializing in home and residential loans. Guild services customers across 250 branches in the U.S. Its mortgage servicing portfolio is nearly $50 billion, including everything from conventional loans to government-backed loan programs. The company has branches in 25 out of 50 states and initiates loans in 48 out of 50 states.
Guild Mortgage requires a minimum FICO score of at least 620 for its conforming loans and an “adequate” score for fixed-rate loans. An individual’s score can be as low as 580 for FHA loans and 600 for USDA loans, however. Fee wise, the average lender fees total just around $1,500, which includes a $500 processing fee, $275 document fee, $295 administration fee, and $350 for underwriting.
- The application process is all online and there’s no need to meet with a lender or fill out paperwork. They have a learning center as well that guides lenders toward the best product.
- Guild offers a large selection of loan products, which include conventional products, such as fixed-rate conventional loans, FHA, and VA loans, and special products for unique circumstances.
- The lender has more than 250 branches covering 25 states. However, it does business in 48 states. On the downside, they don’t offer other banking products, such as checking or investment accounts.
CURRENT INTEREST RATES
Current mortgages rates are unavailable online, where Guild cites the fact that they are subject to change and based on individual circumstances. To get current rates on mortgages, the company suggests connecting with a loan officer.
- Unique loan products, including renovation and short-term rental financings. Their property 3-2-1 program gives first-time buyers an option for three percent down loans.
- Easy application process with an all-online application.
- Robust online education tools to walk individuals through the best mortgage types.
- Guild is a mortgage-only company, meaning they don’t offer deposit accounts. Thus, there’s no opportunity for banking relationships or other financial products.
- Interest rates aren’t listed online, so to get an idea of the rates, the borrower must contact a loan officer.
- Lender fees can rack up quickly, with costs coming in at roughly $1,500, which includes charges for underwriting and document preparation. They offer little opportunity for saving on fees other than the 3-2-1 loan program.
The big benefit of Guild Mortgage is that it offers a large selection of mortgages. This includes a sizable selection for first-time home buyers, those looking to refinance, and investors. Specifically, they offer VA, FHA, USDA, jumbo, fixed-rate, and variable conventional loans, as well as refinancings and home equity lines of credit. Their jumbo loans go up to $3 million and offer down payments as low as five percent.
They also offer very specific types of loans that many lenders won’t consider, such as loans for manufactured homes and refinancings for short-term rentals. The bank also offers renovation loans for those that are looking to fix up a home, which can be great for fix-and-flip opportunities.
Guild Mortgage also offers non-qualified mortgage loans, also known as expanded loans. These offer flexibility and meet the needs of individuals that might not be considered “qualified” by typical standards—such as people with irregular income streams or with plenty of money in the bank but no income stream.
The list really is rather endless, as Guild also offers down payment assistance programs and lock-and-shop options that allow potential borrowers to lock in a rate for 90 days as they house-hunt.
Then there’s the low down payment option, called the 3-2-1. This allows borrowers to bring three percent down and get various benefits offered by Guild. This includes getting a $2,000 gift card to Home Depot and $1,500 toward closing costs. The 3-2-1 loans are reserved for first-time homebuyers, however. Gifts can be used as the down payment and the minimum credit score is 620.
Guild Mortgage and real estate investors
One of the best opportunities offered by Guild for investors is the renovation loan, which allows investors to find fix-and-flip homes and secure financing. The loan includes the cost of the home and necessary repairs. These loans can be conventional or government-backed FHA 203(k), which offer lower down payments.
Investors can also refinance short-term rentals if they Airbnb their house. The minimum credit score is 620, and they allow loan-to-value (LTV) as high as 97 percent. For cash-out refinances, the LTV can be as high as 80 percent for these properties.
Self-employed investors or those without a regular income source can take advantage of Guild’s expanded loans. These loans allow individuals to leverage other sources of income and offer flexible financing options. These loans can be up to $3 million and be interest-only.
Buyers can own up to 10 properties during consideration for a loan, although there are ways around this limitation, such as holding the property in a company or spouse’s name. Kerry Baird
, a rental property investor in Florida, said
Guild goes “as far as looking at who's name is on the note so I have 10 and my wife has 10 for a total of 20."
Guild Mortgage home loan process
Applying for a Guild mortgage is relatively straightforward and easily done online, which is a big checkmark in the ease and accessibility column. In 2017, they launched MyMortgage, which is an application to help homebuyers. Their application process is paperless and all requirements are listed online. The lender also offers a prequalification option, allowing individuals to prequalify online.
The information they request is akin to other lenders, including W-2s, tax returns, bank accounts, social security numbers, and addresses, as well as property details.
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