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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.
Pros & Cons
- Pre-qualify without a hard credit check
- Publishes fees online
- No refinance lender fees after initial loan
- Support available via text
- Not licensed in all states
- No physical branches
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.
Top Lower Reviews
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...Read full review
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...Read full review
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
|Year||Difference from national average|
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
|Mobile document upload|
|Publishes minimum rate on website|
|Rate lock||15 to 360 days|
|Pre-qualification (no hard credit pull)|
|Certified approval letter|
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
|Home purchase applications||15,937||9,483||5,851|
|Home purchase loans closed||11,140||7,205||4,562|
|Home purchase applications denied||1,361||757||532|
|Home purchase preapprovals denied||0||0||0|
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
|Home purchase loans||37.65%||35.99%||47.98%|
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.
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 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|
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.
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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We got a conventional loan from Lower and the process was easy and smooth. Filling out and getting approved took a day. The rate was good. We shopped around and we got the lowest interest rate with them. The reps were very receptive and answered all of our questions. Someone always answered the phone and they were there when we needed them. They were very helpful in the whole process. It was a good experience and I would refer Lower to people.
Lower wasn't on my radar when I was looking for a home. I already had a pre-qualification from another loan officer and it ended up that the house that we shortlisted was through Opendoor. They’re affiliates, which is why Lower could offer me a good deal and I went with them. It took not even an hour or two to get pre-qualified. It happened quickly and then, I ended up putting down that offer with the pre-qualification and it got accepted. It went through and the closing time was 21 days. We could have done a few more days earlier, but we had to wait for the closing date. Everything else was done.
The reps were helpful and communicative. They were always letting me know what was happening and any time I had any questions, Dane, one of the reps, talked to me. He was fantastic. I couldn't have asked for anything more than just be available for my questions and he responded within a few minutes. The rate was reasonable and lower than the best one I had gotten. But other than that, everything else was a fixed 30-year which I was looking for so that was good. The interest rate was what eventually sealed the deal. I like that Lower has an easy-to-use website too. So, I have never had issues with anything I needed. Everything was available online. I would recommend Lower because my experience has been easy and painless. I've recommended that to some of my friends.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
I previously had a loan through Lower and it seemed simple. I gave them all our paperwork and they look at it. Lower this time wasn't as easy the first time. They asked me a bunch of strange questions that I wouldn't have normally associated with buying a house. They claimed it was due to new federal regulations that tightened up requirements. What my lifestyle is shouldn't pertain to what I could afford for a house.
The application took 35 days, which was longer than I hoped. The rep said it was the underwriters and not his fault. But I got misleading statements from him, which made me a little mad. He initially told me that they would hold on to my loan because when they sell it, I have to change all of my payment information. And it was a pain. But they immediately sold mine to somebody else. So my first month payment was a cluster. It went to Lower and got delayed in going to the actual company who they sold it to because of this transaction. I'm pissed that they possibly jeopardized my credit because of that when I was told they wouldn't do that. Also, Lower has this advertising point that if you refinance with them on any subsequent loans, you don't pay closing costs. But now that they sold it to somebody else, that's false advertising. I don't support doing business with companies that false advertise.
Hello Chris, Thank you for providing your feedback. We want to apologize for any unmet expectations. We do also get frustrated with the several federal and state guidelines that we need to follow. You are still eligible for our free refi, even though your servicing is done by a different company. We have shared your experience with the appropriate parties. If you would like to provide more information, please contact us at your earliest convenience at email@example.com. Thank you - Lower.com Customer Care
We applied with Lower and were closed within 30 days. They were great. It was a daily phone call if I didn't hear anything. I would use them again if I need to.
Lower’s service was great and they were easy to work with. The approval process was quick. The reps were responsive morning, noon, night and weekend. They gave their cellphone numbers. They were very encouraging and knowledgeable about the process. We did an FHA mortgage and the rate was a little bit higher than I liked, but we're in an interesting time, so it was either keep renting or go with the rate and refinance later. People should use Lower. It’s not gonna hurt.
Lower was there for me and my wife. They communicated with us. I'm thankful that they were able to help us out. We tried with a lot of different people, but it was a headache. With Lower, everything was smooth. I'm satisfied.
I applied for a pre-approval through the website, and I got ahold of Chris who was phenomenal. He made sure I knew everything that I was getting myself into and walked me through the process. He also allowed me to start shopping for houses quickly. The rate was good and the mortgage was as well. The amount borrowed was lower than I was expecting, but it was flexible and it still afforded me to be able to be competitive within the market.
But I had the rates changed once I was ready for the final mortgage loan rate, so I had to, unfortunately, buy points. But Chris was able to kind of negotiate where if I bought so many points, then Lower would match it, allowing me to be in that original rate that he offered me. Also, within a week, my mortgage was sold to another company. I would have preferred that Lower kept it for at least x amount of days for me to get used to making mortgage payments and making sure my ducks are in a row. Other than that, everything was good. Check Lower out.
- 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:
- Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, “HMDA Dataset Filtering.” Accessed Aug. 25, 2022.
Lower Company Information
- Company Name:
- Company Type:
- 8131 Smith's Mill Rd
- New Albany
- Postal Code:
- United States