Lower
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Lower

 4.8/5 (74 ratings)
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Lower
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Written by Jennifer Schurman
Edited by Cassidy McCants

About Lower

Lower (NMLS #1124061) is an online mortgage lending company providing options for buying, selling, insuring and saving for a home. The company’s home purchase options include conventional, FHA, VA, USDA and jumbo loans. It also offers refinancing, including rate-and-term and cash-out loans. You can get pre-qualified without a hard credit check. Lower is available in 44 states and Washington, D.C.

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Pros

  • Pre-qualify without a hard credit check
  • Publishes fees online
  • No refinance lender fees after initial loan
  • Support available via text

Cons

  • Not licensed in all states
  • No physical branches

Bottom Line

Lower offers home purchase and refinance loans, as well as home equity lines of credit. It’s available in most states, and you can apply and pre-qualify online without a hard credit pull. Lower publishes some rate info on its site.

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified

Wonderful experience working with Lower and Jacob ** throughout my refinance process. Super easy communication and support along the way! Jacob was always a quick text away with t...

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified

I would absolutely recommend Lower.com for anyone looking to refinance.. … The process was quick and easy. Liam made sure that I understood the entire process and was always avail...

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Rates

Lower publishes rates for 15- and 30-year fixed-rate conventional loans on its website daily. Both rates are for loans of $200,001 with a 75% loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.

For rates based on your individual situation, contact Lower Mortgage for a customized quote. When comparing rates, make sure to note the difference between interest rate and annual percentage rate (APR) — both represent costs of borrowing, but the APR includes interest plus fees.

Lower offers both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). As mortgage rates rise, many borrowers are interested in ARMs because they typically start with a lower fixed rate than conventional mortgages. You might consider an ARM if you plan to sell your home or refinance your loan before this period ends and the rate resets.

In recent years, Lower’s average home purchase rates have remained pretty close to the national average. In 2021, its average for this type of mortgage was 0.04% higher than the average in the U.S.

Lower average home purchase rate vs. national average

YearDifference from national average
2021+0.04%
2020-0.02%
2019+0.18%
Information pulled from public Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. Rates reflect noncommercial home purchase loans only.

Application process

Lower Mortgage offers an online application. You can begin the pre-qualification process by responding to a few short questions and authorizing a soft credit check that won’t affect your credit score. Loan advisors are available by phone or text to answer your questions about the application process.

After you get pre-qualified, the next step is preapproval. You’ll need to upload financial documentation (like W-2s and bank statements) to Lower Mortgage’s online loan portal at this point. Once Lower has all your documents, you can expect to receive a preapproval letter within one business day.

Lower application features

FeaturesAvailability
Online application
Mobile document upload
Physical branchesX
Publishes minimum rate on website
Rate lock15 to 360 days
Pre-qualification (no hard credit pull)
Certified approval letter

Loan types

Lower offers a variety of mortgage products, including conventional loans, jumbo loans, FHA loans, USDA loans, VA loans and combo loans. You can also refinance your home loan with Lower, whether you’re aiming to cash out or change your rate or term. Lower finances loans for first and second homes and investment properties with term lengths of 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years.

In 2021, Lower received 15,937 home purchase applications. It opened loans for 11,140 (about 70%) of these and denied 1,361 (about 9%).

Loan applications for home purchases only by year

202120202019
Home purchase applications15,9379,4835,851
Home purchase loans closed11,1407,2054,562
Home purchase applications denied1,361757532
Home purchase preapprovals denied000
Information pulled from public Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. Includes conventional, USDA, VA and FHA mortgages.

Refinancing

A majority of the mortgages Lower Mortgage financed in 2021 were refinances (38.33%) and cash-out refinances (24.03%) rather than home purchase loans (37.65%).

In 2021, 35.73% of reported mortgage loans in the U.S. were home purchase loans; 37.89% were used for refinancing, and 19.89% were for cash-out refinancing, according to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data.

Home purchase vs. refinance loans by year

202120202019
Home purchase loans37.65%35.99%47.98%
Refinance loans38.33%49.03%30.4%
Cash-out refinance24.03%14.98%21.62%
Information pulled from public Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Data. Includes conventional, USDA, VA and FHA mortgages.

HELOC and home equity loans

If you’re already a homeowner and interested in cashing in on your equity in the property, you might consider a home equity line of credit (HELOC) from Lower. It allows you to borrow up to 95% of your home equity (up to $350,000). Lower doesn’t offer home equity loans.

Requirements

Lower requires a 620 credit score for a conventional loan; FHA loans require a credit score of at least 500. Jumbo loans require higher credit scores  — at least 680.

The down payment you’ll need also depends on the type of loan. A conventional loan often requires at least a 3% down payment, while an FHA loan requires a 3.5% down payment. VA and USDA loans don’t require a down payment.

Lower generally looks for a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 36% or lower for conventional loans and 43% or below for FHA loans.

National mortgage requirements by type

Min. credit scoreMin. down paymentCompare with other lenders
ConventionalTypically 620Typically 3%Mortgage lenders
FHA5003.5% with 580 credit scoreFHA lenders
VASet by lender (often 580)0%VA lenders
USDASet by lender (often 640)0%USDA lenders

Cost and fees

Origination fees and closing costs vary with Lower Mortgage, ranging from $0 to 3% of the loan amount. Lower lists the following possible fees with its loans:

  • Application fee
  • Appraisal fee
  • Credit report fee
  • Discount points
  • Escrow deposit for property taxes
  • Flood certification fee
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Pest inspection
  • Processing fee
  • Recording fees
  • Survey fee
  • Title search fee
  • Transfer taxes
  • Underwriting fee

One feature of note from Lower is its “Free Refi for Life.” Once you get a purchase or refinance loan from Lower, it covers lender fees on all future refinances with the company. Lower says you can expect to save $1,500 on each future refinance loan.

FAQ

How does Lower work?

If you’re looking to purchase a home or refinance an existing loan, start with the Lower pre-qualification process. The questionnaire asks for some general information, including your credit score, how much you want to spend on a home, your down payment amount and income info. If you want to refinance, Lower asks about your goals (e.g., lowering your interest rate, getting cash out) and details about your current loan.

Lower can then give you an idea of what you qualify for after a soft credit pull. Once you’re ready to purchase or refinance with Lower, the lender does a hard credit check.

The entire application process can be done on Lower’s website or mobile app. This includes uploading documents. If you have any questions during the process, there are loan advisors available to help by phone and chat.

Is Lower legit?

We like that Lower has a variety of loan options and publishes rates on its website. You can contact the company by phone or text to get help from a loan advisor. If you’re researching lenders for buying a home or refinancing your current mortgage, add Lower to your list and compare it with other companies to find the best offer.

Where is Lower available?

Lower is available in 44 states and Washington, D.C. Lower is not available or licensed in Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island or Vermont at the time of publishing.

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How do I know I can trust these reviews about Lower?
How do I know I can trust these reviews about Lower?
  • 4,008,098 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
  • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
  • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
  • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.

Page 1 Reviews 0 - 5
Rated with 4 stars
Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: July 20, 2022

Lower seemed to be the best value for us. I dealt with a mortgage representative for a few weeks. And customer service, specifically, only when we were doing our appraisals. He led the whole thing. He would liaise for us between any of the people that we needed to talk to. So, it went very smoothly. The rate bumped up a bit, but that's because we took some money out. So, we had a bunch of equity in the house. We took a bit more money out. We were able to do some remodeling with that. So, it was expected. It was the best rate that I got out of all of the options that I got from the mortgage thing I originally went to. There were a couple of things that went not so good. One thing was Lower had quoted us for the appraisal, and when the appraisal ended up coming back, it was higher than what they had quoted us. But I ended up talking them into giving it to us for the quoted price. But that was the only hassle that I had.

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    Rated with 4 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: July 16, 2022

    When I talked to Lower, they said, "Look, your interest rate's gonna go up, but you're not going to have that insurance." So, I said, "Maybe I should do it," and I did. They were quick and really good. They had somebody come to my house and she closed me out. I gave her a canceled check then to set up my direct withdrawal for my payments. When it went in and they went through the whole process, they said, "Well, you need to set up your direct payments online." So, I did. I started having two payments coming out each month. That wasn't good. So, they fixed it. Then, they didn't pay my house insurance and I kept calling. I ended up paying it myself because they ended up sending me a check directly instead of paying it to the insurance place. Everything's been resolved. Would I recommend them? Yes. Everybody has a hiccup. Everybody's trying to do the best they can right now. Their website is pretty friendly and I can pull stuff.

    They put the money back in my account, which was fine. They didn't have to do that because I happen to have two months in there and I just wanted them to apply for the next month, but I got charged a $5 transfer fee from my bank because of all this crap. Am I gonna fuss about five bucks? No. The representatives have been awesome. One of them really stuck with us to make sure that it got taken care of and I appreciate that. When you call their customer service, it takes a while to get to somebody. I don't like that, but that's anywhere you go.

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    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: July 15, 2022

    It was a very easy experience with Lower. The process was done online. Everything was user-friendly. The online application had a place to upload all of my documents. I was able to take pictures with my phone and upload documents directly online. Everything took approximately six weeks. The rep I worked with was very friendly. He stayed in constant contact with me, answered all of my questions, was very responsive to all of my needs, sent me information and complete instructions, and then reached out.

    This is not the first home that I've purchased or refinanced. I've owned many homes. What impressed me was there had been many times I've purchased a home, and I didn't hear anything for weeks. I was left hanging until it was time to close. But the loan officer at Lower reached out to me at least once a week to let me know where we stood in the process and what was going to happen next. I was never left to wonder.

    I didn't have any problems with Lower until after closing. Prior to closing, I submitted documentation regarding my insurance carrier on the property. When the insurance premium came due, they did not pay it, and sent me a notice that they were putting different insurance on the loan, and they were going to pay that policy. I called them and reached out to them. I didn't hear back from them. But they had my insurance company reach out to them. They immediately changed it back to my policy and went ahead and overnighted a check to my insurance company. They immediately fixed their mistake.

    Also, during the time when the housing market was moving so quickly, Lower ensured that I was able to refinance my house when the interest rate was low, and was able to complete the process in a timely manner so that I didn't lose any money and made sure that the process was simple for me, and made sure that everything was done completely. There were no re-dos on any documents. Not only did they lower my house payment, but they also reduced my monthly budget by over $700 a month.

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    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: July 11, 2022

    Sunny, the rep, was a great communicator. My husband and I were going to do the loan but we decided to get divorced and Sunny was incredible with rolling with it and making sure we had everything we needed. we got so caught up with switching from a joint loan to just me. it was going to be a VA loan and then we switched to a USDA loan. But when it came time to closing and having everything ready, we closed on time. Everything was prepared.

    I bought a house right after the interest rates started going up. But it's still a lot lower than it is now. So I am very grateful that I got it when I did. Sunny locked me in and made sure I got the rate I was promised, which I'm very grateful for. He was absolutely fantastic and if we decide to refinance, I definitely will use Lower and Sunny because he's incredible. He even came to the closing. It was great. The only issue I've had is Lower has sent mortgage insurance offers but they're in my husband's name and he's excluded from the loan. So he was asking why he had mortgage paperwork and he was not even on it. I told him it was spam and not to worry. It was just a little bit annoying.

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    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: June 30, 2022

    It was an extremely smooth experience from the day I had my first phone call until the end of the process. They were able to get me a very good mortgage in terms of the rate. Based on today's market, the rate was very competitive, and the loan-to-value ratio was very high. Plus, the communication was very good all the way through. My rep Steve explained the whole process to me. He made sure that I got a good loan even in the middle of the process when there was a misunderstanding where they were supposed to charge me a certain fee that they hadn't disclosed in the beginning. Steve made sure that they did not end up charging that fee to me. I saved a substantial sum because of that. He made sure that I had all of the documents ready at the right time and reassured me that things were going to work out.

    There was some information that they needed urgently during the last two days. That's when they needed a commitment to close and they could not proceed without a missing piece of information. I was able to provide it to them immediately but it was something that they could have asked for three weeks beforehand. They waited until the last minute to ask me for that so it became urgent.

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    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: Sept. 12, 2022

    I wanted to apply for a HELOC while the market is hot in Columbus, Ohio and Kyle helped the process seem easy & painless. Him and Lower were able to give me the very best rate + money amount than any other lender! If I ever need a refi, etc. I will definitely be returning to use them.

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    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Sept. 9, 2022

    Miles ** has been great to work with not just with our purchase but with equity options well past the time of our purchase. His knowledge and experience is why he’s our go-to mortgage guy. Keep doing what you do Miles!

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    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: Sept. 9, 2022

    Morgan ** was great to work with! He was available to answer all my questions! We had some hiccups and he helped work through everything. I will definitely recommend him! I look forward to the next 6 months in hopefully refinancing and getting a lower interest rate.

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    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: Sept. 9, 2022

    Darwin was very helpful in guiding us in thr best path to take for our needs. He is personable, professional, and keeps in contact throughout the process. We are looking forward to finally be able to perform the repairs and remodeling needed in our home. Thank you, Darwin!

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    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: Sept. 8, 2022

    The whole process was much easier and faster than I had expected - we closed in 20 days! They assigned a Loan Advisor, Sam **, that was available every step of the way and answered every question I had. I really liked the personal attention that Sam gave to me and how I could reach out to him at any time. He always kept me informed of where we were in the process and kept in contact with me the whole time. Lower.com and Sam seem to genuinely care about providing exceptional service.

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    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, “HMDA Dataset Filtering.” Accessed Aug. 25, 2022.

    Lower Company Information

    Company Name:
    Lower
    Company Type:
    Private
    Address:
    8131 Smith's Mill Rd
    City:
    New Albany
    State/Province:
    OH
    Postal Code:
    43054
    Country:
    United States
    Website:
    www.lower.com