LoanDepot Mortgage Review

Finding the fees and rates charged by loanDepot loans is like a scene from Casino Royale: if you want to see Bond’s hand, you’ll have to reveal your own.

Fixed APR
N/A
J.D. Power Rating
3/5
Fees
N/A
SimpleScore
4 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore Loan Depot 4
Perks 3
Credit Impact 5
Customer Satisfaction 3
Product Variety 5
Fees 4
  • A simple loan application process
  • Various finance terms and rates
  • Offers VA and FHA loans
  • Undisclosed APRs
  • Undisclosed fees

LoanDepot is like the Home Depot of mortgages — it provides a streamlined approach to mortgages, refinance loans and home equity loans. It boasts a two-week plus shorter turnaround time when compared to a traditional mortgage deal, even though this lender has only been around since 2010.

The Simple Dollar’s proprietary SimpleScore methodology compares interest rates, loan terms, customer satisfaction, customer support and fees to help you decide whether this lender is a good match for your needs.

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In this article

    LoanDepot Mortgage at a glance

    Available products
    • Adjustable-rate mortgage (40, 30, 20, 15 or 10-year purchase or refinance loan)
    • Fixed-rate mortgage (30, 20, 15 or 10-year options)
    • FHA loan
    • HARP loan
    • Jumbo loan
    • VA loan
    • 203k loan
    Minimum Credit Score620 (or 580 for veterans)
    Applicable Fees1 to 5%
    Best for…People who enjoy simple online applications
    Not for…People who need to compare lenders beforehand
    Standout featureEffortless application process from start to finishFully-integrated application processWide range of mortgage types

    [ Read: Is Now the Right Time to Get a Mortgage? ]

    What we like about LoanDepot mortgages

    mello smartloan™

    loanDepot loans take the fuss out of endless reams of paper (and even attachments!) by automating the application process. It features a document collection process that, with your permission, collects the information required to assess your application. You’ll have a response in minutes. When you browse the web for LoanDepot reviews, this is the product to beat.

    mello smartdecision™

    The mello smartdecision feature is another pro to using LoanDepot. This function is used to instantly determine whether you will require an appraiser at the property. If it determines you won’t need a new appraisal, you can save hundreds of dollars in appraisal fees. It also reduces the time it will take to close on your loan.

    Things to consider

    You’ll need to provide all of your info upfront to get info on the rates and fees.

    If you’re in the process of comparing LoanDepot with other mortgage lenders, you will need to disclose all your personal information upfront before getting the details you need, such as APR and fees. What makes this process more frustrating is that you can’t tell whether the rate your shown is the minimum or maximum rate, which leaves little room for negotiation.

    You’ll need a pretty good credit score — unless you’re a veteran.

    A credit score of 620 or more is required for new applications. However, it’s important that individuals with lower credit scores discuss their personal situations with a LoanDepot representative, especially if they’re existing customers. You may also want to consider a loan option for bad credit with another company.[ Read: How to Offset the New Mortgage Refinance Fees]

    LoanDepot vs. the competition

    LoanDepot vs. Rocket Mortgage

    Rocket Loans promises a “rocket fast” decision as well as quick access to your loan funds once you’re approved.

    J.D. Power Rating
    5/5
    Min. Credit
    620
    Min. Down Payment
    3%
    SimpleScore
    3.4 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore Rocket Mortgage 3.4
    Perks 4
    Credit Impact 4
    Customer Satisfaction 5
    Product Variety 3
    Fees 1

    Both LoanDepot and Rocket Mortgage offer fast application processes and speedy approvals. LoanDepot also offers home equity loans, and the entire application can be completed online. Rocket Mortgage offers its Verified Approval, which gives future homeowners better negotiating power when they go house hunting.

    LoanDepot vs. SoFi

    Great online lender

    J.D. Power Rating
    N/A
    Min. Credit
    660
    Min. Down Payment
    10%
    SimpleScore
    3.5 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore SoFi 3.5
    Perks 2
    Credit Impact 5
    Customer Satisfaction N/A
    Product Variety 3
    Fees 4

    Applicants are only required to make a down payment of 10% with SoFi, and there’s the inviting $500 fee discount to SoFi members. This lender also offers a cash-out refinance loan option which allows refinancing and a loan application at the same time. Where loanDepot might have a slight edge is with its government-backed loan options and the low down payment requirement of 3.5%.

    [ Read: This is the Best Time in 50 Years to Refinance a Mortgage ]

    How much will a LoanDepot mortgage cost? 

    As noted, LoanDepot isn’t upfront about fees on its site, which makes it hard for consumers to compare loans before choosing their mortgage lender. The loan origination fee on your loan can run between 1% and 5% of the loan amount.

    Potential costs involve: 

    • Origination fee
    • Appraisal fee (refundable in certain instances)
    • APR
    • Insurances
    • Property taxes
    • Upfront interest payments
    • Other closing costs

    But while LoanDepot isn’t transparent about its total costs, it makes up for it with its Lifetime Guarantee. This assures that once you’re a LoanDepot mortgage client, you’ll never pay lender costs with LoanDepot again.

    Cheaper alternatives to loanDepot mortgages

    If LoanDepot’s origination fee comes in around the 1% mark, it’s a pretty fair price — but it could fall between 1% and 5%, which is a pretty big jump. Compared to Chase’s late fee and $350 origination fee and SoFi’s $1,495 loan processing fee, the 1% origination fee could be a good deal, but it’s unclear what you’ll get from LoanDepot.

    There are a few factors that can affect the origination fee, such as your credit rating and existing relationship with the institution. These factors may also help you negotiate these fees.

    [ Read: Chase Mortgage Review ]

    LoanDepot in the news 

    In January 2020, Bloomberg reported that loanDepot failed to shake off the Robocall class action. It allegedly infringed on consumer rights by violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

    Compare top mortgage lenders

    Last updated September 11, 2020 — Updated editorial review of the brand.

    We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the mortgages we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

    Methodology

    SimpleScore

    We’ve created the SimpleScore to help you objectively compare products and services here at The Simple Dollar.

    Our editorial team:

    • Identifies five factors to compare across each brand
    • Determines the rating criteria for each factor
    • Calculate an average of those five factor scores to get one SimpleScore

    We break down each of these five factors and their rating criteria for our review of the best mortgage companies.

    Why do some brands have different SimpleScores on different pages?

    Some brands like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase have different SimpleScores because they offer more than one financial solution — like home loans, auto loans, personal loans and more.

    For instance, in our Bank of America Mortgage Review, we give the company a 3.8 out 5 based on our five rating factors for mortgages. In our Bank of America Auto Loans Review, we give the company a 4.4 out of 5 based on our rating factors for auto loans. By tailoring our SimpleScore to each financial solution, we’re able to give you a more accurate view of a brand’s services and how it compares to competitors’ services.

    Perks

    Mortgage lending companies that provide more perks receive a higher score from us.

    Hard/Soft credit checks

    We know that credit checks affect your score –– that’s why we favor companies that offer soft credit checks or hard credit checks when you want to see your pre-approval rates.

    Customer satisfaction

    We use the J.D. Power 2019 Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study℠ to find out how customers rate their experience with each company. (If a company is not included in J.D. Power’s study, we skip this rating factor and average the remaining factor scores.)

    Product variety

    Mortgage lenders that offer more products for their home loans are given higher scores.

    Fees

    Fees can add up fast. Companies that don’t require as many fees for your home loan receive a higher score with us.

    Reviewed by

    • Angelica Leicht
      Angelica Leicht
      Editor

      Angelica Leicht is a writer and editor who specializes in everything mortgage-related for The Simple Dollar. Her work has spanned topics that include lending product reviews, interest rate trends, racial biases in mortgage lending and the role of fintech in lending practices, and has appeared in publications such as Interest, Bankrate, The Spruce, Houston Press and VeryWell, among others.