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Bankrate (NMLS # 1427381) originally started in 1976 as a print publisher for the banking industry. Now it’s an online publication matching individuals with financial services and providers. You will not be able to receive a mortgage loan directly from Bankrate; instead, it points you in the direction of partner lenders.
Pros & Cons
- Easy to use and compare multiple lenders
- Home equity loan and HELOC lenders
- Not a direct lender
- Can lead to spam
Bankrate is an online publication full of mortgage lender profiles and reviews, making it easy to learn about a company before requesting a quote. Compare rate estimates for a new home purchase or refinance.
Bankrate is a good place to start your home lender search. Although you won’t get a specific rate from Bankrate, you’ll be able to see varying offers from different lenders.
Before choosing a lender, you should know the difference between an interest rate and annual percentage rate (APR) since it affects how much you pay for your loan. Lenders typically advertise both. The interest rate represents the cost of borrowing money from that lender. The APR is the actual amount you will repay the lender after the fees are added in. When comparing rates, look at the APR rather than the interest rate for a better idea of the total cost of borrowing.
The first step to any home loan process is to shop rates. Bankrate makes that easy to do. Initially, you can answer a few quick questions about your home needs without any personal information to get matched to lender recommendations. From there, you should research and compare the companies through unbiased reviews before requesting quotes.
Bankrate can connect you with lenders that offer common home loan types. The most common home loan types include:
- Conventional loans: This is a good choice for borrowers with good credit. Homebuyers can put as little as 3% down, depending on the lender, but a down payment of less than 20% will result in private mortgage insurance (PMI).
- Jumbo loans: For those with excellent credit that need more financing than a conventional loan can offer, a jumbo loan is often the right option.
- Government-backed loans: FHA, VA and USDA loans are government-backed loans designed for borrowers such as first-time homebuyers, military members and veterans and those wishing to purchase a home in eligible rural areas.
Bankrate provides a chart that allows you to compare the estimated upfront and eight-year costs with different refinance lenders. These are good figures to help you determine if refinancing to a slightly lower interest rate will save you money.
HELOC and home equity loans
Bankrate does offer information on home equity line of credit (HELOC) and home equity loan providers. As with purchase and refinance mortgages, you start by answering a few questions about your needs, and Bankrate shows you rates from various lenders.
Bankrate is free to use to request quotes. You only need to put in basic home loan information, such as where you are in your home search process, your estimated credit score and desired loan amount to get a personalized list of recommendations.
Before you request a mortgage quote, it is ideal to know how much house you can afford. Aiming for a home purchase amount on the lower side of your budget range will keep your monthly mortgage payment manageable. Plus, having a lower loan-to-value ratio can help you lock in a better APR.
National mortgage requirements by type
|Min. credit score||Min. down payment||Compare with other lenders|
|Conventional||Typically 620||Typically 3%||Mortgage lenders|
|FHA||500||3.5% with 580 credit score||FHA lenders|
|VA||Set by lender (often 580)||0%||VA lenders|
|USDA||Set by lender (often 640)||0%||USDA lenders|
Costs and fees
Bankrate is free to use, but each lender suggested by Bankrate will have its own list of loan fees. As you compare mortgage rates, it is also important to compare closing costs and other fees. After you apply, a lender must provide a Loan Estimate, a form that breaks down estimated costs of a mortgage loan.
How does Bankrate work?
Bankrate is an advertising-supported service that allows you to compare offers for mortgages, credit cards and other financial products and services. Companies pay Bankrate for placement of their products and services and when you click on specific links on the Bankrate website.
Is Bankrate legit?
Bankrate is a legitimate company that matches users with lenders. Bankrate started as the Bank Rate Monitor, a banking industry print publisher, in 1976 and is free to use. According to the company, over 100 million people use Bankrate each year.
Where is Bankrate available?
Bankrate is available for customers online in all 50 states. It covers over 600 local markets throughout the U.S.
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The company sells your information to other loan brokers, my phone hasn't stopped ringing every few minutes for a week no (no exaggeration). Needless to say we did not go with anyone referred by this data selling company. Abusive and reckless data privacy practices.
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I've been interested in CDs and have been looking online for high APYs and good terms and I found bankrate.com. This site claims to find you the best online CD rates nationwide. What they mean is they give you the highest rates from the few sponsors bankrate.com has, not the highest rates from banks nationwide as this site leads you to believe. This site is still a good resource and most people are trained to seek out more than one source of information.
I was interested in doing a re-fi, and selected Bankrate to match me to the best rates. No sooner did I click the button, and I had 3 calls within a minute. Then the emails started. Had I known that sales people would immediately started inundation, I wouldn't have moved forward. I had 7 calls from 1 company in 4 hours, and they CONTINUE to call me to this day. I submitted the request almost a month ago. Massive text campaign also. Beware, either prepare yourself to be I immediately called by numerous people, or pick something else. It made my experience with Bankrate untenable.
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