Best USDA Mortgage Lenders January 2022 – Forbes Advisor

Guild Mortgage offers both in-person and online mortgage services. With office locations in 31 states, borrowers who prefer to do business face-to-face can visit a branch location. Conversely, borrowers in 48 states (not in New York and New Jersey) can apply online through its MyMortgage digital mortgage program.

Guild Mortgage is a great option for borrowers with lower credit scores, as its minimum requirement is 600—about 20 points less than what the average lender requires. Applying for a home loan through Guild Mortgage is also relatively easy and fast, making it an excellent choice for people who can’t afford to wait.

Tech-forward, Guild Mortgage provides services like auto-matching customers with down-payment help from state and local programs, which is ideal for people who might not have time to do the research themselves.

For buyers in a hurry, the lender offers a Homebuyer Express 17-Day Closing Guarantee program. This is considerably faster than the industry average of 43 days to close, according to Freddie Mac. The guarantee states that the lender pays $500 toward closing costs if the loan doesn’t close on time due solely to a Guild Mortgage delay.

Available in Most States

Guild Mortgage is available online everywhere in the U.S. except in New York and New Jersey. There are branch locations in 31 states, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

How to Apply

Guild Mortgage offers both branch locations and online access to borrowers who want to apply for a mortgage. Their paperless application process allows borrowers to send paperwork electronically as well as apply and keep track of the application process online.

Phone support is very limited, operating only Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT; the lender is closed on weekends.


Preapproval times are not as fast as other lenders, with a 1- to 3-day turnaround on preapproval letters. However, Guild Mortgage offers a 17-day closing guarantee, which can be attractive for borrowers who need to close quickly.

Credit Requirements

Guild Mortgage minimum credit score requirements differ depending on the mortgage. The lender offers loan options for buyers with credit scores as low as 600. The minimum requirements for each program are:

  • Down payment assistance: 620 (depending on program in each state)
  • FHA: 600
  • Conventional: 620
  • VA: 600
  • USDA: 600
  • Jumbo: 680

Loan Types Offered

Guild Mortgage Loans offers both mortgages for buyers and refinancers. Its product line includes fixed and adjustable-rate (ARMs) conventional and jumbo mortgages, FHA, USDA and VA loans. The lender’s MH Advantage program is tailored to borrowers who are purchasing a manufactured home. Per Fannie Mae guidelines, MH Advantage borrowers must have a minimum credit score of 620. Guild Mortgage also offers FHA renovation loans and reverse mortgages.

For new construction, the lender offers its StrongStart Program. StrongStart allows for a builder’s closing-cost credit to be used toward the interest on the first three months of a borrower’s monthly mortgage payments. This program is offered with FHA and VA financing (standard and high balance limits).

Guild Mortgage doesn’t offer home equity loans or home equity lines of credit.


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