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Zillow Home Loans Review 2022: Is It the Right Choice for You?

Zillow Home Loans has a selection of affordable, well-regarded mortgage and refinance loans. You can benefit from bonus programs and assistance from a personal agent.

8.5 / 10
Editorial Score
Andrea Miller
Senior finance writer and editor
June 21, 2022

Overview

Zillow Home Loans offers both home purchase and refinance loans, including zero-down-payment options such as FHA and VA mortgages. This lender does not have reverse, jumbo, or USDA mortgages.

You will need a credit score of 580 or higher to qualify for Zillow Home Loan mortgages. Its home loans have competitive interest rates, especially if you have good to excellent credit.

Zillow Home Loans could be for you if you’re looking for an affordable loan with a streamlined, hassle-free process. The unique savings programs and low down-payment options could be appealing if you’re a first-time home buyer. If you qualify, you can get approval within just a few days.

GREAT CHOICE 2022
8.5 / 10
Editorial Score
Zillow Home Loans
Quick view:
Editorial Score
8.5 / 10
Online Services
Applications, Quote management, etc.
8.0 / 10
Customer Service
2.0 / 10
Available in all states
8.0 / 10
Available loan types
9.0 / 10
Products
7.0 / 10

See Mortgage Loan Offers on Zillow

Products & Services

You can get a mortgage or refinance loan from Zillow Home Loans for a single-family home, townhouse, condominium, or mobile or manufactured home. Several common types of home loans are available.

Conventional Mortgage

Zillow Home Loans offers conventional mortgages with terms of 15, 20 or 30 years. It quotes a sample fixed rate of 3.375% on a 30-year conventional loan with good credit and a 3% down payment.

Fixed-rate conventional loans have a minimum down payment of 3%, although you have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) with a down payment of less than 20%. The cost for PMI varies depending on the size of the mortgage, the type of loan, and your credit score.

You cannot use Zillow to get an adjustable-rate conventional mortgage or a jumbo loan. Adjustable rate loans have an APR that changes over the life of the loan, while jumbo loans exceed the annual maximum threshold for conventional loans.

VA Mortgage

Zillow also lets you access government-backed loan programs such as a Veterans’ Administration mortgage. If you are a current military service member or veteran, you may qualify for a VA loan with a 0% down payment.

You can get a VA loan through Zillow without PMI if you qualify for this type of mortgage. As a result, you may have a lower monthly payment than with a conventional mortgage. VA loans also have lower closing costs than conventional loans and competitive interest rates.

FHA Mortgage

Zillow Home Loans also offers affordable mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration. You may qualify for an FHA loan even with less-than-perfect credit. However, unlike with a VA loan, you have to have at least a 3.5% down payment and you must pay PMI.

See Mortgage Loan Offers on Zillow

Refinance Loans

Zillow Home Loans offers cash-out, rate-and-term, and FHA streamline refinance options. With a cash-out refinance, you can borrow against the equity in your home, which will result in a larger mortgage balance. However, you can use the money for flexible purposes, such as renovations, travel, education, or debt consolidation.

Rate-and-term refinances allow you to change either your interest rate, the length of your mortgage, or both. If you qualify, you can pay off your mortgage sooner and decrease the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan.

See Mortgage Refinance Offers on Zillow

Rates and Terms

Although your individual rate will depend on your own financial situation, Zillow provides these competitive sample interest rates:

  • 2.2750% to 3.375% for a conventional loan
  • 3.329% to 3.603% for a VA loan
  • 2.625% to 2.750% for an FHA loan

These examples use a credit score of 740, but you might pay more if you have a lower credit score. Your exact rates depend on your personal financial situation. Unlike most competitors, Zillow requires a hard credit check to display personalized interest rates.

You can receive a $1,500 credit toward closing costs through Zillow Offers if you sell your home through the lender or purchase a property owned by Zillow. You can also save up to $7,000, or 1% of your transaction cost, by using a Zillow Premier Agent. Premier Agents are professional realtors who advertise with Zillow. You can find a qualifying agent with the site’s Agent Finder tool.

Application Process and Qualifications

To apply for a mortgage with Zillow Home Loans, use the buttons at the center of the home screen to choose whether you want to buy or refinance a home. Next, select your state. This lender offers mortgages in all states except West Virginia, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii.

After you take these steps, the application will guide you through the process of submitting your personal and financial information. After completing your initial application, Zillow will assign you a dedicated loan officer who will assist you throughout the process of obtaining a mortgage. You benefit from having a single point of contact so you can reach out to someone directly with questions and concerns.

If you would rather apply for a mortgage in person, Zillow Home Loans has offices in Arizona, Kentucky, Montana, New York, Texas, Washington, Tennessee, Nevada, Missouri, or California.

To complete your application, you will need to submit:

  • Proof of income for at least two years, including paystubs or profit and loss statements if you are self-employed
  • Tax returns and W2 statements for at least two years
  • Bank, investment, and retirement account statements for at least two years
  • A gift letter if you will use funds given by a family member for your down payment stating that the money is a gift, not a loan
  • Other documents depending on your financial situation, the loan type, and other factors

You must agree to a hard credit check to receive loan rates and terms through Zillow. Taking this step could lower your FICO score.

Zillow Home Loans does not publish information about its mortgage and refinance eligibility requirements.

Zillow Home Loans uses these general credit score guidelines:

  • Conventional mortgage: Minimum FICO score of 620 to 680
  • FHA mortgage: Minimum FICO score of 580
  • VA mortgage: MInimum FICO score of 580 to 620

Mortgage lenders also review your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. This metric illustrates how much of your monthly income goes toward existing debts. To find your DTI, divide your total monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income. Conventional loans generally require a DTI of less than 50% for approval.

Get Started with Zillow Home Loans

Approval Time

You will probably receive an approval decision from Zillow Home Loans within two business days. You may be able to close your mortgage or refinance in 40 days, which aligns with the average across the industry.

Customer Service

Zillow Home Loans offers a range of calculators and resources to help guide your home buying journey. You can calculate your expected monthly payment for a mortgage, figure out an affordable budget, or determine whether a refinance makes sense.

When you need more direct assistance, you can call a Zillow certified loan officer. When I dialed this number, I waited on hold for about 3 minutes before I was automatically transferred to voicemail. The message said I should expect a response to my recorded inquiry within 24 to 48 hours, but as of the date of publication, I have still not heard back.

The company also has an online contact form you can use to ask questions. Unfortunately, when I tried to use the form I was unable to get the Submit button to work on two different browsers.

Summary

Zillow Home Loans is best if you’re seeking a fixed-rate conventional, VA, or FHA loan and don’t mind a hard credit check to see your rates. Some of the benefits of working with this lender include low interest rates, variable loan terms, and access to online resources. You can also access credit toward closing costs and other incentives by using Zillow services.

If you’re just starting your mortgage loan search, I recommend choosing a lender that allows you to check rates without checking your credit, like LendingTree or Quicken Loans. If you use Zillow Home Loans, you must fill out an application to learn more about loan terms. Taking this step can have a negative impact on your credit score.

While I had trouble reaching Zillow customer service, many borrowers reported positive experiences when they needed assistance from this lender. You may also appreciate the ability to achieve a quick closing.

FAQ

Is Zillow a trustworthy site?

Zillow Home Loans is a legitimate mortgage lender. It has accreditation and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Does Zillow Home Loans require an appraisal?

Most mortgage programs through Zillow Home Loans require an appraisal. However, if you pursue a streamline refinance, the lender may waive the appraisal for qualifying loans.

Does Zillow know your mortgage balance?

If you own a home listed on Zillow, you may see a listing on the page for “estimated mortgage balance.” According to the lender, it arrives at this number based on the most recent sale date and transaction price for the property. The algorithm estimates how much of the mortgage you have likely paid off since your purchase.

Andrea Miller
Written by

Andrea Miller has been a writer and editor for more than two decades. She has previously covered financial topics for Solvable, Kabbage, and Credit.com. Outside of work, she spends most of her time with her husband, daughter, and son and enjoys hiking, yoga, and reading.

Pros:
  • Guidance from a certified loan officer assigned directly to your case
  • Opportunities to save money with Zillow Offers and Premier Agents
  • Robust online resources including application, calculators, and service
Cons:
  • Mortgages are not available in every state
  • No ability to view interest rates without completing a loan application
  • Limited loan types with no access to jumbo or USDA mortgages
Bottom Line

Zillow Home Loans is a quick and easy lender to work with for your mortgage or refinance, but offers fewer loan options than competitors. It has FHA, conventional, and VA loans but not USDA and jumbo loans. 

One thing that sets Zillow apart from other lenders is its incentives for using its partners and services. For example, you can get up to $7,000 in discounted transaction costs for using a preferred real estate agent. The company also offers $1,500 toward closing costs if you use its listing services to buy or sell a property.

Although Zillow offers competitive mortgage rates, you cannot view your terms without a hard credit check, which is a big disadvantage. 

Unfortunately, I struggled to connect with Zillow Home Loans support.. This could be a serious issue if you have a problem with your purchase or refinance. I would feel more comfortable with a lender that has open communication channels.