loanDepot Review: Home Equity and Refinance
loanDepot is a leading online mortgage lender, offering a wide range of home loans and home refinancing plans. Options include home equity loans and government-backed loans. Based in Southern California, it’s been around since 2010 and operates in all 50 states. The company also maintains more than 200 physical branch offices. In this loanDepot review, we’ll take a closer look at the company’s home equity and refinance options to help you decide if it’s a good fit for you.
Pros and Cons of loanDepot
- No-steering policy = no hard sell from loan officers
- Efficient application process that’s entirely online
- Excellent perks for veterans and military service members
- Crunch your numbers with free mortgage calculators
- Must contact a loan officer for mortgage rates
- Income statements may be required for certain loan details
What Does loanDepot Offer?
loanDepot offers a complete range of mortgage options for first-time buyers and homeowners. In this loanDepot review, we’re going to focus on home equity and refinance loans.
Refinance Loans and Home Equity Loans
Typical examples of borrower goals when refinancing a mortgage include:
- Securing a lower interest rate
- Lowering monthly payments
- Accessing built-up home equity
Home equity loans are another way to tap into your home’s equity. While they can be used for a variety of expenses, some common uses for home equity loans include:
- Home improvements
- Debt consolidation
- Education expenses
Fixed-Rate vs. Variable Rate Mortgages
loanDepot’s options include fixed-rate and variable-rate loans. With a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate is locked in for the entire lifetime of the loan. It will never change, no matter what happens in the financial markets. On the other hand, variable-rate mortgages work differently. Their rates can change from time to time, going up when market rates rise and sliding down when they fall.
loanDepot offers detailed assistance to potential customers having trouble deciding which type of loan is best for them. So, you can discuss your goals and needs with a licensed loan officer in order to pick the right option for you.
Down payment requirements do not apply to refinance and home equity loans, so you don’t need to worry about them. However, loanDepot does impose some other criteria that apply to its refinancing plans:
- Borrowers must have a FICO credit score of at least 620
- Your debt-to-income ratio must be 45% to 50% or less
- loanDepot prefers borrowers with lower debt-to-income ratios, and you may qualify for better rates and terms if you have one
What To Expect on the Site
If you’re interested in refinancing your current mortgage through loanDepot, then click on the “Refinance” button. On the other hand, click on the “Home equity” button if you’re interested in that type of loan.
At this stage, you can enter your estimated:
- Credit score
- Home value
- Remaining mortgage balance
- Cash-out goal
Then, loanDepot asks for your contact information. After that, click on the “Get Rates” button. If you decide to proceed, you will follow these next steps:
- Choose your preferred plan, based on offers you receive after submitting a prequalification application
- Get approved by the loan underwriter with the assistance of a licensed loan officer
- Submit the necessary supporting documents
- Close your new loan
loanDepot boasts that it has a smooth and simplified evaluation method that automates some back-end aspects of the application process. This can save borrowers time, but even so, the company states that refinancing plans can take 45 to 60 days to complete, depending on how complex they are.
The ultimate cost of your mortgage refinance or home equity loan depends on several factors, including your financial situation and the terms of your loan. For instance, the length of your repayment period impacts how much you end up paying over the life of your loan.
Additionally, loanDepot doesn’t publish its rates. Instead, you can contact a loan officer or complete an online application to get customized rates. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long to get personalized offers with loanDepot.
As an added benefit, loanDepot offers a Lifetime Guarantee on future refinances. So, if you refinance with loanDepot again, the company will waive lender fees. Plus, loanDepot will reimburse appraisal fees. Of course, this policy is subject to certain conditions. You can talk to a loan officer to learn more.
What People Are Saying About loanDepot
As of June 2021, loanDepot has an average Trustpilot score of 3.5 out of 5 stars. This score is based on ratings from more than 3,000 customers who shared a loanDepot review:
- 69% of customer reviews give loanDepot 5 out of 5 stars
- 77% of customer reviews give loanDepot at least 4 out of 5 stars
Additionally, loanDepot is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ BBB rating. On the BBB website, nearly 1,800 customers left a loanDepot review. Based on feedback from those customers, loanDepot has a customer reviews score of 3.67 out of 5 stars.
The Bottom Line
loanDepot has earned a reputation as an efficient, fair lender with trustworthy advisors. Since it has a smooth online application process, it can save time and headaches. Plus, because the company’s loan officers don’t work on commission, you can rest assured that they aren’t giving you the hard sell.
As a result, it’s worth including loanDepot in your search for top mortgage refinance lenders and home equity lenders.