How To Get A Mortgage

How To Get A Mortgage

Top Mortgage Lender in the United States

Guaranteed Rate is the Top 3 mortgage lender in the United States. One of the reasons that they are Top 3 is because they provide really low rates, great products, and fair fees. Their technology is very user-friendly. There's a lot of options to look at rates, look at monthly payments, see what the value of your home is.

Why work with Guaranteed Rate?

Why work with Guaranteed Rate

  • They have a fast and transparent mortgage process.

Kaitlin shares how her team has closed loans in 14 days.

  • They have in-house underwriting and closing

They underwrite and fund the loan and the turn time is 24 to 48 hours. Once they've gathered all of your documents, they put it into the underwriter - the ones that are dotting the eyes making sure that everything is per guidelines. They have a quick turn time for that so there's not too much waiting.

  • They have a full-product offering with top lending institutions

They have about 50 different lenders that they are able to go to, to look for rates and to look for programs. They are able to reach out to many different products to make sure that they can help you.

  • They have a full renovation loan department

They have a full renovation department. With Covid-19 and with people being home, people wanted to redo their office in the house and Guaranteed Rate can offer renovation loans. 

GRaffordable Loan Finder


  • It gives you personalized loan options based on your specific life situation.
  • It gives a borrower the full picture of what's happening when they are buying a home. It gives all of the options that they're looking for. 
  • It gives you the opportunity to play with all of the different scenarios. It will ask you for a little information about what is your estimated credit score, what's your estimated down payment, but you can go through all of the different scenarios so you have a little bit of understanding as to what the home buying situation is.

Digital Mortgage

An online site where their clients input all of their information to get mortgage approval letter.

An online site where their clients input all of their information such as work history, residence, credit score, etc. And then, that gives the Guaranteed Rate the opportunity to review everything and be able to issue their pre-approval letter.

5 Steps to a Perfect Loan

What are the steps to get a mortgage?

Step 1: Apply for a loan using the Digital Mortgage and get pre-approved.

It is as simple as going to their online site providing them with the information they need and some simple documents to verify everything.

Step 2: Shop for your new home. 

Once you're pre-approved, you're going to go out with your realtor to see the houses. 

“Once they have found that house that they want to put the offer in I like to do a pre-approval that's specific to that property. So if they're putting an offer in for $500,000 to 123 Main Street, my pre-approval will say $500,000 123 Main Street, it's not gonna be generic. It's not gonna say the maximum that your pre-approved for is actually $800,000. It will be specific so that we can make sure that the people seeing it only sees the information that they need.”

Step 3: Sign your contract

Once you sign the contract, they are going to lock in your rate. 

“Throughout the whole process, I do discuss rates because it is part of qualifying. Now if I talk to a borrower and then a month goes by and they haven't purchased the house, there's a chance that rates have changed. I can't lock a rate until we have the sales contract but I will do everything that I can to make sure that they get the best and the lowest rate”

Step 4: Obtain conditional approval

Behind the scenes, they are ordering the appraisal with the realtor and ordering the title with the attorney. They will do everything that they need internally put all of that into underwriting so you can get the conditional approval.

Basically, it means that Guaranteed Rate has committed to purchasing and selling the loan, getting you the funds that you need for closing so that you can move into that awesome house that you just got.

Step 5: Close the deal

You get to the closing table and you close the deal.

Q&A with Kaitlin

Q: Where are the rates today and is there a trend? 

A. The rates are fluctuating. They are still historically low. The 30-year fix we're looking in the low 3s. I'm seeing them kind of from 2.875 to 3.125 just depending on the specific scenario but they're still significantly low.

Q: How do you go about qualifying somebody who is a commission-only earner?

A. There are just a few questions that I would ask that person. So if you are commission-only,  in order to use that commission-only income, we would need to have a two-year history of it and then I take a look at your tax returns. With Covid, the guidelines have changed a little bit. Self-employed borrowers, we do need a profit and loss and their business bank statements but if they don't have business bank statements then we just compare their personal bank statements to the profit and loss and I review their tax return. It's essentially a two-year history and then a review of their current status in the business.

Q: If you're going to pay down the mortgage a little bit early with the accelerated multi-pay, does that have to be pre-defined in the mortgage ahead of time or if can the person just make the multi-payment?

A. Absolutely. They can definitely make the multiple moments so if you feel comfortable taking the 30-year because you like that monthly payment, but you know every once in a while you get a nice little bonus and you want to pay it towards the principal or you attack on a few extra hundred bucks to each monthly payment to bring that amortization down. There's no pre-payment penalty. You can do that and even if you do it like bi-weekly or weekly.


Customer Service is very important with Guaranteed Rate, making sure that their clients, the borrower, feels comfortable. They understand that purchasing a house whether first, second, or third is still a big investment. The buying process has completely changed especially when the pandemic happened and Guaranteed Rate makes sure that the borrower understands exactly what is happening, what the next steps are, what their monthly payments are going to be so that when they come to the closing table there are no surprises.

ABOUT Kaitlin Shala

Kaitlin Shala has been with Guaranteed Rate for the last eight years. As a residential mortgage lender, she assists you with the low-cost home purchases and refinancing of your mortgage! 

She is a Licensed Sales Assistant providing her clients with the best customer service by guiding them with ease through the mortgage process. She works with them to outline their needs, elevate their wants, and provide in-depth expertise to support the whole home buying or refinancing experience.

Learn more about Kaitlin here.

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