LenderFi mortgage review: An online lender for straightforward loans

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Updated April 22, 2021

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Written by: Clint Proctor

LenderFi mortgage loans at a glance

  • Conventional loans: Yes
  • FHA loans: No
  • VA loans: No
  • Refinancing: Yes
  • Jumbo loan: No
  • Adjustable rates: Yes (5/1 and 7/1 ARMs)
  • Fixed rates: Yes (10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years)

LenderFi is an online mortgage lender based in Delray Beach, Florida. Since its founding in 2006, the company says it has funded billions of dollars in home loans. It offers a 24/7 online mortgage experience that’s designed to accommodate fast closings. The company offers conventional purchase and refinance loans, including low down payment options.

Pros

  • Offers a streamlined online mortgage experience
  • Provides customized rate quotes without requiring personal information

Cons

  • Doesn’t currently offer any government-insured loans
  • Doesn’t lend in some states

3 things to know about a LenderFi mortgage loan

LenderFi is a direct lender that can provide ongoing servicing in addition to mortgage origination. If you’re considering a LenderFi mortgage, here are a few things you should know.

1. Streamlined online mortgage process

You don’t have to visit a branch or pick up the phone to apply for a mortgage with LenderFi. Instead, you can start the process by filling out an online loan application, which should take about 15 minutes to complete.

Once you’ve submitted your application, LenderFi says that you’ll receive an underwriting decision within 24 hours. In fact, some borrowers may be able to receive an instant mortgage preapproval letter at any time of the day or night.

Once you’ve locked in your mortgage rate, LenderFi says that its goal is to close within two weeks. To accomplish this, the company tries to eliminate unnecessary paperwork. And the documents that potential borrowers are required to provide can be submitted via LenderFi’s online application system.

2. Limited loan options

LenderFi doesn’t offer any government-insured loans (FHA, VA or USDA), which can be popular with first-time homebuyers.

LenderFi does offer the Fannie Mae HomeReady® and Freddie Mac Home Possible® conventional loan programs, though — both of which may appeal to people with limited income or cash. Each program accepts down payments as low as 3%, and the cash can come from multiple sources (including gifts and grants).

LenderFi’s President and CEO Ryan Scholer says that a jumbo loan offering is in the works, but it’s not available as of March 2021. Cash-out refinance loans are available, but home equity loans and HELOCs are not.

3. Straightforward pricing

With LenderFi, you can check your potential mortgage rates quickly without having to provide any personal information. While the process is anonymous, you can still customize your rates by your credit scores, zip code, house price and down payment amount.

LenderFi says that it doesn’t charge any lender fees, and quotes are transparent about the effects that points or credits can have on your interest rate and closing costs. In our test, LenderFi provided 17 different options for a 30-year loan, with the lowest interest rate requiring about $4,500 worth of points purchased and the highest rate providing nearly $4,000 in credits.

Rate Watch is another LenderFi feature that may attract mortgage shoppers. After signing up and selecting your loans of interest, LenderFi will notify you by email or text whenever rates drop. If you decide to sign up for Rate Watch, know that LenderFi will ask you to provide your first and last name.

Who is a LenderFi loan good for?

LenderFi could be a good option if you want a conventional mortgage loan and are comfortable with an online-first mortgage experience. If you fit that description, LenderFi offers transparent pricing and quick preapproval letters.

But LenderFi’s options for first-time homebuyers are limited. While it does offer the HomeReady and Home Possible programs, FHA and VA loans are unavailable. Speaking of unavailable loans, LenderFi will also be a no-go if you’re looking to take out a jumbo loan or home equity loan.

LenderFi also won’t be a good choice if you’d like to sit down in person with a loan officer. You can speak with a loan consultant over the phone, but there are no local branch offices. Finally, you should note that LenderFi doesn’t lend to residents of Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, New York or Utah.

How to apply for a LenderFi mortgage

You can start the mortgage process with LenderFi online or over the phone with a loan consultant. After your loan application has been received, LenderFi will send you an email requesting the following documentation:

  • Two years’ worth of W-2s and tax returns
  • Two most recent bank account statements
  • Recent pay stubs (from the past 30 days)
  • Driver’s license
  • Accepted contract and/or short sale agreement
  • Contact info for your real estate and settlement agents

If all home loan documents are promptly received, LenderFi says it aims to close your loan within two weeks. But if your loan takes longer to close, your preapproved interest rate should still be safe. All approved applicants receive a 30-day rate lock, which can be extended for up to 30 additional days by purchasing an extension fee of 0.25 to 0.625 in points.

Not sure if LenderFi is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you’re shopping for a mortgage, you have a window of time where multiple credit inquiries are only counted as one for your credit scores. You typically have 14 days — though it could be longer depending on the scoring model.

  • Better Mortgage: Better Mortgage also has a simplified online mortgage process and offers FHA loans.
  • LoanDepot: LoanDepot could be a good choice if you want access to more loan types such as VA, jumbo or home equity loans.

About the author: Clint Proctor is a freelance writer and founder of WalletWiseGuy.com, where he writes about how students and m… Read more.