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Better.com

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Better.com (also known as Better Mortgage) entered the digital mortgage market in 2016. The company's mission is to completely redefine the homeownership process and make it simple, fast, and affordable — for everyone. 

As far as mortgage options, Better.com offers the following:

  • Conventional mortgages
  • Adjustable-rate mortgages
  • Jumbo loans
  • FHA loans
  • Refinancing (conventional and FHA)
  • First-time homebuyer programs

Unlike traditional mortgage lenders, consumers can expect to get a personalized quote and be pre-approved in just a few minutes.

Better.com is a direct lender.

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The Good

  • Application 100% Online
  • Simple, Straightforward Process
  • Loan Officers Don't Earn Commission
  • No Lender Fees
  • Additional Resources

Application 100% Online

Better.com's mortgage application is 100 percent online. This means you can apply, lock in a rate, and get your mortgage funded without ever leaving your home. 

Simple, Straightforward Process

Consumers should appreciate Better's straightforward process. To get started, all you need to do is select whether you're buying a home or refinancing.

If you choose the 'buy' option, you'll need to fill out some general information — things like whether you're just looking or if you plan on making an offer. 

If you choose the 'refinance' option, be prepared to fill out some information regarding your property. 

Filling out the online application should only take a few minutes, and once that's done, Better.com presents you with the amount you can borrow or how much you potentially can save (with a refinance). 

Overall, the process is straightforward. Just be sure to have your personal information and property information (if you're refinancing) on hand. 

Loan Officers Don't Earn Commission

Better.com is unique because its loan officers don't earn a commission — this is not entirely unheard of in the industry but it's uncommon. 

According to Better.com, mortgage loan officers generally receive about one percent of the total loan amount. If your mortgage loan officer gets you a $500,000 loan, they get $5,000 in commission. 

Generally, the bigger the loan, the bigger the commission. 

This creates a problem for consumers, as many loan officers are tempted to stick you with a considerable loan amount so they'll receive a larger commission for themselves. 

To make sure there is no conflict of interest, Better Mortgage loan officers are never paid commission. 

No Lender Fees

Better.com doesn't charge any lender fees. There are no origination, application, processing, or underwriting fees. 

How is this possible?

Better explains that it makes money by selling loans to investors in the secondary market. 

The company boasts it has developed relationships with over 25 of the largest mortgage investors in the world — this includes large banks, investment funds, and government-sponsored entities. This sets Better Mortgage apart because most other lenders only work with a few investors, limiting their pool of buyers. 

Using its technology, Better matches borrowers with investors interested in buying their loans and paying a reasonable price for them. This then allows Better to offer low rates to its borrowers. 

Additionally, Better's rates are lower because of the company's dedication to streamlining the mortgage process. 

Additional Resources

Better's website is filled with helpful information and resources. You can easily view mortgage rates. There is a loan comparison calculator, and the company's blog is packed with valuable articles that are great for everyone — no matter where you are in the home-buying process. 

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The Bad

  • No Home Equity Loans or HELOCs
  • No VA or USDA Loans
  • Not Available Nationwide

No Home Equity Loans or HELOCs

Currently, Better.com does not offer home equity line of credit (HELOCs) or second mortgages. HELOCs can be beneficial as they are secured loans backed by your home. With HELOCs, you are given access to a credit line (similar to a credit card) and only charged interest on the amount you use. HELOCs can be used to remodel your home, pay off student and other debt, or fund a vacation (there are no restrictions on how HELOCs can be used).

No VA or USDA Loans

Better.com does not offer VA or USDA loans at this time.

Not Available Nationwide

Better.com offers its services to more than 40 states but still is unavailable in some states.

Although Better.com notes it has plans to become available nationwide soon, it's not quite there. 

That said, if you live in the following states, Better.com is currently not an option:

  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Nevada
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The Bottom Line

Better.com is the perfect solution for those who prefer to house shop from the comfort of their home. Starting the process is as simple as clicking a button. Next thing you know, you're receiving a personalized quote in just a few minutes. Plus, you never have to worry about whether your loan officer has your best interest in mind. Better.com loan officers are never paid commission, so that is never an issue. 

Just remember Better.com doesn't offer home equity loans and lines of credit, VA loans, or home improvement loans.

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