RateZip is an online marketplace for mortgages and other financial products. It exists to help users compare and qualify for the best rates from dozens of top lending institutions. Founded in 2007 by a former mortgage executive, RateZip now hosts more than 200,000 users per month.
The concept of an online mortgage marketplace is incredibly simple. You fill out a short application form and then RateZip scans through all its lending partners to find you the best real-time pre-qualified rates. Then, if you like one of the options, just click on it to proceed to that lender’s website.
Applying to RateZip is super easy. On the first screen, you get two options: just look at rates; or see live rates and pick a lender. Both options require you to enter personal information about yourself and your next home purchase. However, the first option requires slightly less information and gets you live rates in seconds.
- Lets you compare and pre-qualify to multiple lenders
- User-friendly and transparent website
- Displays real-time rates
- Limited number of partnering lenders
- Limited mortgage options, e.g. no HELs
There’s nothing new about the mortgage marketplace model, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a marketplace with a better user experience than RateZip. From the moment you land on the RateZip website, it’s obvious this is one marketplace that invests in its users. The platform is easy on the eye, easy to navigate, and the home page includes the latest minimum rates for each mortgage product.
While the platform is easy to use, it does come with some limitations. It appears RateZip works with fewer lenders and fewer mortgage products than the bigger marketplaces. This is good if you’re looking for the best rates from trusted and vetted lenders, but not as useful if your priority is a full market comparison.
From what we can gather, RateZip covers a wide range of loans, including conventional and government-backed loans.
- Fixed-rate conforming loan: Regular conforming loan with 20% down payment;
- Adjustable-rate conforming loan: Regular conforming loan, but with a rate that adjusts every year after a fixed introductory period of 3-10 years;
- Jumbo mortgage: For large loan amounts (varies by location, usually at least $500k);
- FHA loan: Government-backed loan for borrowers with 500-619 credit, with down payment of 3-10%;
- VA loan: Government-backed loan for eligible servicepeople, Veterans, and their families, with zero down payment and no private mortgage insurance;
RateZip is more than just a marketplace that helps you compare mortgage products. It is also a publisher of financial news and information on topics including mortgages and other consumer finance products.
Here are some of the top features:
- Mortgage marketplace. Helps users quickly compare and pre-qualify for mortgage products from vetted lending institutions, including: PenFed, Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank, Capital Once, Comerica Bank, Key Bank, TD Bank, Sovereign Bank, NBKC, USAA, Valley National Bank, and Union Bank.
- Additional marketplaces. Helps users compare and qualify for financial products such as business loans, personal loans, credit cards, and insurance products.
- Chat feature. Instantly connects users to live chat with a featured mortgage lender.
- Live rates. Displays real-time, updated rates for mortgage products from partners – so that you can quickly scan rates without having to fill out an application form.
- Educational resources. Includes a range of articles and how-to-guides for mortgage borrowers, on topics like “Getting the best service from your lender during the refinance boom”.
RateZip is more transparent than the average mortgage marketplace, with rates displayed prominently on the front page. At time of writing, the best rate displayed for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 3.108% - which is very good. Of course, your rate depends on your credit profile, which is why RateZip exists – to help you compare your best pre-qualified rates.
As for repayment terms, RateZip’s partners cover the full range from short 10-year mortgages to the longest option, which is 30 years.
RateZip doesn’t offer much in the way of customer support outside of the FAQs and educational resources on its website. There is a direct contact form on the RateZip website although we can’t guarantee that you’ll receive a quick response. RateZip is owned by Peklava LLC, a licensed mortgage broker and lead generation marketing firm based in New Canaan, Connecticut.
For a mortgage marketplace, we like RateZip for its transparency and the user experience. Searching for a mortgage can be hard work. With RateZip, you can quickly and easily compare and pre-qualify for mortgage products from top lenders. It’s a good place to start if you’re just beginning your mortgage search, and an even better place if you’re ready to see which top bank can offer you the best deal.