loanDepot Review: Online Refinancing That Meets the Moment

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loanDepot is one of the most well-known names in the mortgage industry, particularly in the area of refinancing. Although it might make sense for millions of Americans to refinance at current rates, which are still hovering near their all-time lows, many have been reluctant to make the move. Currently, historically low rates for a 30-year fixed loan remain available, but that may not be the case much longer, as the economy is growing and the Fed has indicated it may begin raising rates soon. If you’re considering refinancing, take a look at what loanDepot has to offer and see if it meets your needs.

See: Should You Refinance Now With the Low Interest Rates?

Overview

loanDepot has a wide range of mortgage products available, but its refinance program is particularly well-suited for the current market environment. Offering an online or phone-based experience with easy access to customer service and competitive rates with more than $325 billion in loans funded, loanDepot might be a solution for American homeowners who have yet to refinance their higher-rate mortgages.

loanDepot Refinance Products

loanDepot offers a variety of refinance products, some include:

  • 30-year fixed mortgage
  • 15-year fixed mortgage
  • Adjustable-rate mortgages
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Most borrowers refinance their existing 30-year fixed mortgages into new 30-year loans, but you have the option with loanDepot to adjust your term and style of mortgage to fit your needs.

Benefits

loanDepot has a wide range of benefits that can make it the right lender for many Americans looking to refinance. The highlighted features of working with loanDepot include:

  • Lifetime Guarantee — After you refinance with loanDepot once, it will waive lender fees and reimburse appraisal fees on any future refinance with the company1
  • Expertise — loanDepot has offered online and phone-based mortgage loans since 2010, and have funded more than $325 billion in loans
  • Digital application process — The loanDepot portal allows borrowers to upload their documentation and fill out forms online, which may trim days off the approval and funding timeline
  • Customer service — Phone representatives are available on Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. EST, and on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST

Which benefit is most important to you will depend on which type of borrower you are. However, loanDepot offers all of the primary benefits that most customers would want, from good customer service and loan experience to an expedient online process with competitive interest rates.

Check Out: What To Consider When Choosing a Mortgage Lender

loanDepot Refinance Process

The loanDepot refinance process can be broken down into six primary steps:

  1. Talk to licensed loanDepot lending officers
  2. Define your goals
  3. Choose the loan that’s right for you
  4. Get approved for the loan you want
  5. Submit your documents
  6. Close your loan
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Each of these steps has several sub-steps, but the process essentially involves picking the type of refinancing loan you want (e.g., 30-year fixed, ARM, etc), submitting your financial records and qualifying for the loan, and responding to requests from loanDepot lending officers. Once all of your paperwork is in order and you qualify for the loan you want, you’ll just wait for loanDepot to process it all and get you on to closing your loan.

How To Apply

Applying for a mortgage refinance is faster and easier with loanDepot’s online portal. Qualification requirements for refinancing are more or less the same with all lenders, including loanDepot. You’ll have to show enough personal income, a moderate-to-high credit score and sufficient home equity in order to refinance your existing mortgage. The main difference with loanDepot is that you may complete this process online.

The online application process consists of six initial steps, as follows:

  • Provide your address
  • Indicate how much is remaining on your existing mortgage
  • Classify your credit as poor, fair, good or excellent, with excellent starting at 720
  • Supply the name of the borrower(s)
  • Give your phone number
  • Provide your email address

Explore: 15 Mortgage Questions to Ask Your Lender

Drawbacks

One of the biggest drawbacks to working with loanDepot is that there is no option to check current refinancing rates on its website without beginning the application process. Unlike some other lenders that publish all of their lending rates on the home page of the website, loanDepot requires you to provide it with some information before it will display its available refinancing rates. 

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Another potential disadvantage — which many customers actually view as a benefit — is that the loanDepot experience is primarily conducted online. Although phone representatives are available, the entire process is geared towards rapid online fulfillment. This can be a bit unsettling for more traditional mortgage borrowers who are used to sitting across a table from a physical loan officer. However, loanDepot does have more than 200 physical locations across the country, so customers who live near a branch have the option to conduct business in-person.

Who This Product Might Be Best For

The loanDepot mortgage refinancing process is tailor-made for tech savvy individuals or those who prefer an online experience over an in-person one. The digital nature of the process can make closings faster for those that are comfortable preparing and uploading necessary documents in a rapid fashion. Those looking for a long-term relationship with a lender will enjoy loanDepot’s Lifetime Guarantee1, as it will save them money on any future refinancings on the same property. 

Final Considerations

All in all, loanDepot offers an easy-to-use online mortgage refinancing process with competitive rates and a number of attractive features. While those looking for a traditional, in-person relationship with a mortgage lender might balk at loanDepot’s primarily online experience, it would be worth the effort for anyone searching for low rates, good service and a faster, all-digital2 process to check out loanDepot.

1loanDepot Lifetime Guarantee (“Guarantee”) — Subject to the conditions and contact requirements outlined below, the Guarantee applies to the refinancing of an outstanding loan originated by loanDepot that is secured by the same property upon which that borrower previously received from loanDepot a loan and “loanDepot Lifetime Guarantee” certificate. The Guarantee is non-transferable and does not apply to loans obtained to purchase a new property, new loans that result in the creation of a separate lien on the current property (i.e., a “home equity loan”), renovation loans, bond loan programs and down payment assistance programs. The Guarantee also does not apply to loans applied for through third parties (e.g., Lending Tree) or originated through loanDepot’s Wholesale division. The Guarantee may only be used by submitting an application directly to loanDepot.

For Guarantees issued on or after January 1, 2019, the Guarantee may not be redeemed within 12 calendar months of the Date Issued. The ability to redeem the Guarantee in part or in whole also is subject to future changes in Federal or state law, or investor or guarantor restrictions on refinancing the existing loan. loanDepot cannot guarantee that the borrower will be approved for a future loan, the interest rate for a future loan, or the future appraised value of the home. The borrower’s ability to qualify for a future loan will be subject to the loan program terms and conditions available at that time. For future loans meeting the above requirements and which are successfully closed, the appraisal fee will be reimbursed at the closing of the loan transaction and no lender fees will be charged. “Lender fees” do not include discount points associated with the loan transaction. “Appraisal fee” includes only the fee associated with the first appraisal on the loan transaction and does not include any ancillary appraisal fees that may be charged in connection with the loan transaction (e.g., second appraisal fee, appraisal re-inspection fee, appraisal recertification fee, etc.). Terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.

Future applicants must contact loanDepot directly via the website: www.loandepot.com/MyGuarantee or via telephone (877-395-7381) to qualify for the Guarantee. Applying for a loanDepot loan indirectly through a third party (e.g., LendingTree) makes the borrower ineligible for this Guarantee.

2 Results may vary. Conditions apply.

About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.

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