Guaranteed Rate moves beyond mortgage

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Guaranteed Rate is looking to diversify its product mix amid the mortgage downturn. The mortgage lender has rolled out its first personal loan product.

Customers can apply for personal loans in 10 minutes and receive funds between $4,000 and $50,000 within hours, the firm said Tuesday. The unsecured loan, which doesn’t have origination fees, late fees, nor non-sufficient funds fees, has flexible repayment options from one to five years, according to Guaranteed Rate. Standard fixed rate loans range from 5.74% APR and 19.99% APR.

“Personal loans are a really smart way for customers to reduce the cost of high-interest credit card debt or to help finance unexpected purchases,” said Anand Cavale, executive vice president and head of unsecured lending product at Guaranteed Rate.

The introduction of a personal loan product follows the hiring of three executives last month, including Cavale, which the firm said was an investment to “rapidly develop end-to-end digital solutions to serve customers across a diverse array of financial products beyond mortgages.” 

The personal loans could also be a good source of leads for mortgages down the road.

Chicago-based Guaranteed Rate this week also rolled out a new underwriting program for its clients to better compete against cash buyers and institutional investors.


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Dubbed “PowerBird Approval,” Guaranteed Rate said the program speeds up full underwriting approval to less than 24 hours in some cases, according to the firm.  

“PowerBid Approval’s priority turn times mean borrowers get our fastest approval, often in less than 24 hours,” the company said in a statement. “Less thorough approvals that aren’t fully underwritten often lose out in competitive bidding situations. It’s fast and easy to apply from anywhere, on any device, and a 90-day lock gives borrowers the time they need to find the home they really want.”  

The program requires the customer to provide income, employment, asset and credit, all of which can be digitally validated or sourced from customer documentation for immediate review, said Paul Anastos, chief innovation officer. The approval is completed with an address or after having found a home so customers can compete with cash, he added.

In January, Guaranteed Rate closed its third-party wholesale channel, Stearns Wholesale Lending, a year after it acquired the lender from Blackstone Group. In acquiring Stearns for an undisclosed amount, the company had sought to boost retail loan originations, scale its joint venture platform and develop new multi channel capabilities. 

Guaranteed Rate was the seventh-largest purchase mortgage lender in America in 2021, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. It originated $56.64 billion in purchase mortgages, just behind Rocket Mortgage, the nation’s largest overall mortgage lender.