Better Mortgage Review

Better is a great fit if you’re tech-savvy and don't need a USDA or VA loan

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Better Mortgage logologo

Better Mortgage

Investopedia’s Rating
4.2

Our Take 

Though Better Mortgage offers a streamlined online application process, borrowers will only find conventional, jumbo, and FHA loans. 

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • No lender fees

  • Streamlined pre-approval process

  • Ability to see customized rates easily

Cons
  • No offline options available

  • Limited loan types available

  • Limited appraisal guarantee

Key Takeaways
  • Better Mortgage was founded in 2014 and features a completely online application process.
  • The lender is licensed to offer mortgages nationwide.
  • Applicants can see rates they may qualify for but will need to sign up to see more personalized terms.
Company Overview

Better Mortgage was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in New York City. The lender offers mortgages online nationwide—there are no in-person branches—and takes an average of 32 days to close on loans.

Below you’ll find company details for conventional loans.

  • Minimum Credit Score 620
  • Maximum Debt-to-Income Ratio 50%
  • Minimum Down Payment Not disclosed
  • Average Days to Closing 32 days

Better Mortgage operates nationwide and offers conventional (both fixed- and adjustable-rate), FHA, and jumbo loans. The lender operates fully online and offers assistance throughout the application process.

Applicants can get pre-approved easily, in most instances within 24 hours. Better Mortgage’s eligibility requirements are pretty standard for the loan types it offers, and it provides certain benefits for first-time homebuyers as well.

Pros Explained

  • No lender fees: Better Mortgage doesn’t charge any commissions or origination fees.
  • Streamlined pre-approval process: Borrowers can get a pre-approval letter as soon as 24 hours after submitting their application. 
  • Ability to see customized rates easily: Interested borrowers don’t need to submit their personal details before looking at the rates and terms they may qualify for. 

Cons Explained

  • No offline options available: Better Mortgage isn’t a good fit for those who prefer to apply at an in-person branch.
  • Limited loan types available: Better only offers conventional, jumbo, and FHA loans; VA, USDA, HELOC, and home equity loans aren’t available, among other types. 
  • Limited appraisal guarantee: The promise that the loan won’t change if the appraisal comes in lower than expected is only available to those who work with Better real estate agents.

Looking for loan types Better doesn’t offer? Take a look at our list of the best mortgage lenders to find a company that can meet your needs.

Types of Mortgage Loans Offered by Better Mortgage

Better Mortgage offers the following types of loans:

  • Conventional loan: Conventional mortgages have a minimum credit score requirement of 620 and a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 50%. There are no lender fees; borrowers will need to contact Better Mortgage to determine a minimum down payment amount. 
  • Jumbo loan: This type of mortgage exceeds the limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)—$647,200 for most of the country. Borrowers can begin the application process or contact Better to learn more about its jumbo loan requirements
  • FHA loan: Applicants must pay a down payment of at least 3.5% if their credit scores are above 580, or at least 10% for scores of 500 579. Debt-to-income ratios can be as high as 43%. You can check the requirements set by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for more details as well.

Better Mortgage Features and Benefits

Better Mortgage’s service includes the following features and benefits:

  • First-time home buyer programs: Applicants can qualify for programs such as Home Possible loans, which are backed by Freddie Mac—qualification requirements include an income equal to or less than 80% of your area median income (AMI), completing a qualifying homeownership class, and occupying the home as your primary residence.
  • Discount points: Points are an upfront amount you pay to lower your mortgage rate. In most cases, a point costs 1% of your loan amount and can lower the rate by a fraction of a percent. 
  • Appraisal guarantee: If an appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price, many lenders may not approve the loan, or the loan terms will change. However, those who work with a Better Mortgage real estate agent won’t have their loan details changed even if the appraisal comes in lower. 

It may be tempting to work with a Better real estate agent to qualify for the appraisal guarantee. However, it’s a smart idea to speak with a few agents from several companies before deciding on the one you want to work with.

How to Apply for a Better Mortgage Loan

Follow these steps to apply for a mortgage loan with Better Mortgage:

  1. Select the “Get started” button on the lender’s website.
  2. Fill in details such as the locations where you want to purchase a home, and select whether you want to get pre-approved, find a real estate agent, or submit an application.
  3. During the pre-qualification stage, you’ll be able to see the mortgage rates and terms you qualify for. Within 24 hours after submitting the required information, you should receive a pre-approval letter.
  4. You can also submit a full loan application during the above step by providing the required documentation during the underwriting process. You’ll need proof of income, bank statements, and tax returns, among other documents. 
  5. Look over Better Mortgage’s closing documents and complete any other requirements before closing on your home loan. 

Customer Service

Customers can contact Better Mortgage by the following methods: 

  • Phone: (415) 523-8837
  • Email: hello@better.com

You can contact your loan officer if you have any questions about your loan application. 

Customer Satisfaction

In Investopedia’s customer satisfaction survey, Better Mortgage received a 6.15 out of 10, the third highest in our rankings. 

The lender has received around 157 Consumer Financial Protection complaints in 2021—mostly around loan closing and applying for a new loan.

Account Management

Better Mortgage has a secure online portal where applicants can track their loan process, see status updates, and upload required documentation.

After closing, borrowers will be notified on how to make their first loan payment. You can manage your loan account online through the same portal, and you can use that to contact customer service if you have any questions.

Alternative Choices

The only way to find the right loan is to shop around with multiple lenders. Consider the following lenders along with Better Mortgage. 

  Better Mortgage Wells Fargo Rocket Mortgage
Minimum Credit Score  620 (conventional)  620 (conventional)  620 (conventional) 
Maximum DTI  50% (conventional) Varies 50% (conventional) 
First-Time Homebuyer Programs  Yes Yes  Yes 
Rates  Not disclosed Varies  30-year fixed: starting at 6.533% APR 15-year fixed: starting at 5.932% APR
Fees  None Varies Not disclosed 
Types of Loans  Conventional, FHA, Jumbo Conventional, VA, USDA, FHA, Jumbo, interest-only  Conventional, VA, Jumbo
Average Time to Closing  32 days 60 days  26 days 
Availability  Nationwide Nationwide  Nationwide 

Though Better Mortgage doesn't charge lender fees, it may not have the lowest rates. It’s best to shop around with several lenders and compare APRs before deciding on the one you want to go with. 

Compare lenders based on criteria like the following: 

  • APR: The APR (annual percentage rate) of a mortgage includes interest and fees. It's a more accurate comparison when looking at the cost of loans between lenders. 
  • Down payment requirements: Down payment requirements will affect how much you need to pay upfront for a mortgage; check this factor to help determine whether an offer is affordable for you. 
  • Discounts: Points help to lower your interest rate, and lenders usually charge 1% of your loan amount for each point you purchase. 
  • Loan terms: Some lenders offer more than the usual 15- and 30-year terms to help borrowers afford monthly payments.
  • Penalties: Most lenders don’t charge prepayment penalties, but it’s worth making sure your lender of choice doesn’t, either.
Final Verdict

Better Mortgage’s main advantage is a fully online, streamlined pre-approval and application process—it’s a great fit for tech-savvy borrowers who aren’t interested in working with someone in person. The ability to get a pre-approval within 24 hours can be a great advantage, especially for those who are looking to purchase a home and want to be competitive with other buyers. 

Though Better Mortgage doesn't charge lender fees and is available nationwide, the downside is that it doesn’t offer VA or USDA loans. Still, it’s a lender worth considering if you’re interested in conventional or FHA loans, given its streamlined process and its other advantages.

How We Review Mortgage Lenders

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of mortgage lenders. We rated 45 mortgage lenders and collected nearly 1,500 data points, including information about the following:

  • Quality of service (customer experience, online applications, benefits/grants, etc.)
  • Operational features (state licensing coverage, number of loan officers, etc.)
  • Loan types offered (fixed-rate, FHA, USDA, etc.)
  • Accessibility (days to closing, minimum debt-to-income ratio, etc.)

We also conducted a survey of 1,195 mortgage borrowers to learn about the most important features from a customer perspective and how satisfied customers are with various lenders. Mortgage lenders were rated objectively in the categories above to help readers make informed decisions about home loans.

Read more in our full mortgage lender review methodology.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Better Mortgage. "Mortgages that don’t feel so complicated." 

  2. Better Mortgage. "Is my credit score too low to apply?"

  3. Better Mortgage. "FHA Loan Requirements." 

  4. Freddie Mac. "Home Possible." 

  5. Better Mortgage. "What are points and credits?

  6. Better Mortgage. "Better Appraisal Guarantee Terms and Conditions." 

  7. Better Mortgage. "How long does it take to get a pre-approval letter?

  8. Better. Mortgage. "Contact Us." 

  9. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Consumer Complaint Database." 

  10. Better Mortgage. "How do I set up an account for payments?