Guild Mortgage Review
Guild, an online and brick-and-mortar mortgage lender, has been in the business since 1960 and operates more than 300 branches across 49 states. It offers several traditional mortgage loan programs, including conventional and government-backed mortgages, as well as unique options like bridge and reverse loans, along with mortgages for manufactured and renovated homes.
Guild’s conventional mortgage loans require a minimum credit score of 620 and a qualifying debt-to-income ratio. However, borrowers with lower credit scores may still qualify for other loan products with little-to-no down payment required. MoneyGeek’s Guild Mortgage review breaks down what you need to know about this lender.
At a Glance: Guild Mortgages
- Conventional Loans: 5% FHA Loans: 3.5% VA and USDA Loans: 0% Minimum Down Payment
- Conventional, FHA, USDA, VA, Renovation, DPA Programs, Fixed-Rate, Bridge, Adjustable-Rate, Reverse Mortgage, Manufactured Home, Lock and Shop, Energy-Efficient Mortgage, GreenSmart AdvantageLoan Products Offered
- Available in 48 states (except New Jersey and New York)States of Operation
- Yes Online Application
on Guild Website
Guild Mortgage Loan Types, Details and Requirements
When you are buying a home for the first time, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of information regarding mortgages. And even if you are refinancing your mortgage, you may still have a lot of questions regarding rates and the application process. MoneyGeek offers resources on everything you need to know about mortgage loans, including which type is best for you.
As for considering a specific mortgage lender like Guild, know that the application process and terms are unique to each lender. Even within Guild itself, some loan programs also have a unique application process. MoneyGeek’s Guild Mortgage lender review details the different loan programs, minimum requirements, rates and other fees.
Mortgage Types Offered
- Down Payment Assistance
- Reverse Mortgage
- Manufactured Homes
- Lock and Shop
- Energy-Efficient Mortgage Programs
- Greensmart Advantage Program
When applying for a Guild Mortgage loan, you can choose between fixed and adjustable rates.
A fixed-rate loan keeps rates the same over the life of the loan. This is a great option for homebuyers who plan to keep their home for 10–30 years. However, this requires an adequate credit score. Fixed rates are more predictable and best for those who prefer to allocate a fixed amount for their monthly mortgage payment.
For those who want to make lower initial monthly payments or those who have a lower credit score, an adjustable-rate mortgage may be a better fit. This is best for borrowers who are comfortable with rates fluctuating up and down based on the market. Adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARM, typically have lower initial interest rates than fixed-rate mortgages. Currently, Guild Mortgage offers seven-year and 10-year introductory fixed interest rates.
On top of the principal and interest, Guild charges additional fees when applicable for private mortgage insurance, hazard insurance and other property taxes. Closing costs can range from 2%–5% of your home’s value. To get an estimated cost, including the breakdown of charges and cash-to-close expenses, Guild has a free mortgage payment calculator.
Minimum Borrowing Requirements
The minimum borrowing requirements vary for specific Guild Mortgage loan programs. Find out if you meet certain credit score and down payment requirements below.
Conventional loans usually have the lowest interest rates for borrowers with a solid credit profile. You must have at least a minimum credit score of 620 and a qualifying debt-to-income ratio to qualify. Keep in mind that conventional loans from Guild are for borrowers who do not need to borrow more than their county limits. For this loan product, you can either choose a fixed or adjustable rate.
Homebuyers who cannot meet the above minimum credit score requirements and have a low-to-moderate income may be able to qualify for FHA loans. If you have a strong credit score, the lowest down payment offer from Guild can go as low as 3.5%. Though you could apply with a credit score as low as 540, know that credit scores under 580 are required to provide at least a 10% down payment.
If you live in a rural home or plan to purchase one in a location defined as rural by the USDA, you may be able to qualify for a USDA home loan, also called a Rural Development Loan, which finances up to 100% of your home’s purchase price. It offers better-than-average interest rates and 0% down payment options, as long as you can meet the minimum credit score requirement of 540.
Created specifically for veterans, as well as spouses of military members who died on active duty or have suffered a service-connected disability, the VA home loan program offers lower interest rates than traditional mortgages. Even those with a higher debt-to-income ratio can qualify. It offers to finance up to 100% of your home’s value with a no-down-payment option. It also does not require private mortgage insurance or PMI.
For those who plan to buy a new home that needs renovations or who want to make upgrades to an older home with the option to pay over time rather than all at once, Guild’s Renovation Loan program offers purchasing and refinancing renovation options that bundle your loan into one monthly mortgage payment.
Guild requires a minimum down payment of 3% for structural repairs and the addition of luxury items like a home theater or swimming pool. Regardless if it's a larger, more complex project or a minor cosmetic improvement, such as new flooring or appliance upgrades, a minimum 3.5% down payment is required.
Jumbo loans can be a good option for borrowers looking to buy expensive homes. Unlike conventional loans, jumbo loans refer to larger loan amounts that exceed the county limits. To qualify, individuals must have a strong credit score and financial situation backed by assets and income documents.
For borrowers who have found a new, better primary residence and plan to sell their old one, a bridge loan can be a great option that allows you to use the equity from your current home to buy the new one. Loan amounts for a bridge loan start at $40,000 and are capped at $300,000. However, take note that bridge loans from Guild must be repaid within six months.
Reverse mortgages, also known as home equity conversion mortgages (HECM), are for those who want to access their property equity and supplement their retirement income. In order to qualify for Guild’s reverse mortgage, the borrower must be 62 years of age or older and use the home as a primary residence. It should also be in good condition, with little left to pay on the existing mortgage, if anything. Borrowers considering this type of mortgage should consider reverse mortgage pros and cons and other alternatives.
Manufactured Home Loans
An affordable route to homeownership involves manufactured home loans. Guild offers mortgage solutions for non-conventional homes with financing options that include a fixed rate, credit score requirements as low as 600 and affordable down payment options as low as 0%–3%.
Other Unique Loan Programs
For individuals with incomes below the median level who have little money saved for a mortgage down payment, DPA programs provide down payment assistance in the form of a loan or grant money. Eligibility for such programs is based on income and the location of your property.
Lock and Shop
A lock-and-shop loan program benefits shoppers who are still searching for their next home but want to lock rates. This is ideal when searching for a home in competitive markets. Interest rates are protected for up to 120 days, and the property should be under contract by the 90th day. In case rates go even lower, Guild also offers a one-time rate float-down option.
Energy-Efficient Mortgage Programs
This green mortgage loan program from Guild lets you bundle the cost of energy-efficient appliances into your mortgage loan. It offers several energy-efficient mortgage options for different types of upgrades.
- GreenSmart Advantage Program - In partnership with The Home Depot, Guild offers to refinance up to 5% of the home’s appraised value into your FHA mortgage, requiring a 3.5% down payment and a minimum credit score of 580.
- FHA Solar - Bundle items such as a thermostat, solar systems and other sustainable home features for further savings.
- FNMA Solar - Install PV Energy systems and include them in your purchase loan or refinance.
- FHA Energy-Efficient Mortgage - This option funds owner-occupied purchases and rate/term refinances.
- VA Energy-Efficient Mortgage - This loan option finances heating and cooling systems, insulation, vapor barriers and other energy-efficient upgrades of up to $6,000 for veterans and their families.
Guild Mortgage Application Requirements
Applying for a Guild Mortgage loan requires the following documents:
Proof of identity, such as your driver’s license.
A Social Security number.
Proof of income, such as W-2 statements and pay stubs. Self-employed applicants must show additional income documents.
Debt information. For instance, if you have an existing car loan, you must show documentation.
Account statements of your assets (investment income, retirement savings, etc.).
Reverse mortgage loans require a different set of document requirements, including property taxes, homeowners insurance, basic home maintenance and homeowners association fees.
Is Guild Right for You?
Finding a mortgage lender can be tricky if you don’t know what you need. MoneyGeek identifies who Guild is best for and who should find a better choice elsewhere.
Who Guild Is Perfect For
Guild offers a wider selection of mortgage loans than other lenders, making it an ideal choice for many borrowers. Whether you are buying, refinancing or selling a home, there is surely a loan product from Guild that matches your needs.
First-time home buyers benefit from its flexible credit score requirements and various unique loan programs. Guild offers a no-down-payment option, making it perfect for individuals with low-to-moderate income. In addition, individuals with unique needs, like those with manufactured homes or reverse mortgages, may find this lender a suitable choice.
Who Should Not Choose Guild
If you need to take out another mortgage against your home through a home equity loan or home equity line of credit, you may need to find a different lender elsewhere. Guild also does not have loan products for commercial properties.
Individuals with a credit score of 540 and higher and a qualifying debt-to-income ratio are eligible to apply for any of the various Guild loan products. A credit score below this minimum requirement will most likely be denied.
Lastly, Guild also does not cater to borrowers who are from New York or New Jersey.
How to Apply for a Guild Mortgage Loan
Applying for a Guild Mortgage loan requires going through an application process before funds are disbursed. Here’s a step-by-step guide on Guild’s mortgage loan application process. Note that other loan products may have a different application process.
The prequalification process helps your lender determine how much you can afford by checking to see if you have a steady employment history, consistent increasing income over the past two years and good repayment history with creditors.
You may be required to provide information, including your gross monthly income and other monthly expenses like car payments, credit card minimums and any other monthly payments.
With Guild, your mortgage payment should be no more than 30% of your total gross monthly income, and the total monthly debt payments should not exceed 45% of your total gross income.
Fill Out Application Form
You can fill out an application form either by visiting one of the Guild Mortgage branches or completing it online. You can also discuss different financing options if you are planning to apply for energy-efficient, shop-and-lock or other programs.
Wait for Approval
You can then send the initial documents and wait for the approval. At this stage, your loan officer may need to clarify information or ask for additional documents when necessary.
Review Loan Agreement
After receiving your loan agreement, take the time to review all the details and read the fine print. Ask your loan officer all questions you may have about added charges, as sometimes the original rates will not be the same as the final fees.
Sign Loan Agreement
Once you find that you are satisfied with the terms and conditions, this is the only time you should sign your loan agreement.
Expect to pay fees such as closing costs when you meet with your closing agent. Be sure to keep all paperwork after closing, including your closing disclosure, deed of mortgage, appraisal report, purchase contract and homeowners insurance policy.
Lastly, you will need to make your mortgage payments based on the agreed date. You can set up a Guild account to access your payment records. Borrowers can either set up an automatic loan payment (ACH) or pay via Speedpay.
What to Do if You Are Rejected by Guild
There are several reasons why you could be denied a mortgage loan. Low credit scores, insufficient income and credit history are just some of the reasons your lender may refuse your application.
Giving them a call and asking for specific reasons for your rejection is the best option. This will let you know if there is an easy route to acceptance or if you need to make some serious changes to your profile. If you plan to apply to a different lender, it could help you work on certain criteria that you weren’t able to meet when applying with the previous lender.
Talking to your bank or financial advisor to give you advice on the best mortgage loan type and other useful information can help you go through a seamless application process. You may also want to consider talking to a mortgage broker who has access to a wider variety of loan products and could offer you a better rate than when you are working directly with a lender.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mortgages From Guild
MoneyGeek answers your questions about Guild Mortgage loans, from the types of properties it finances to the loan programs it offers.
- Guild. "Getting Pre-Qualified for a Mortgage." Accessed June 1, 2022.
- Guild. "Types of home loans to fit your life." Accessed May 31, 2022.
- Guild. "Home appraisals: 7 commonly asked questions." Accessed May 31, 2022.
- Guild. "Homebuyers Loan Guide." Accessed June 1, 2022.
- Guild. "Paperwork to Keep After Closing." Accessed June 1, 2022.
- Guild. "What is mortgage insurance?." Accessed May 31, 2022.
- Loan Limits. "2022 Conforming Loan Limits by County." Accessed May 31, 2022.