Posted on October 21st, 2020
One mortgage lender that’s been around a while, but is beginning to shake things up is Loan Simple.
As the name suggests, they’re all about simplicity, whether it’s simple talk or a simple loan process.
They consider themselves a boutique mortgage lender, striving for relationships and quality customer service over sheer volume.
However, they still managed to fund half a billion in home loans in 2019 via the retail channel, with even more slated for 2020 and beyond.
One thing I like about Loan Simple is their effort to increase mortgage literacy by offering free classes powered by EverFi.
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So they actually want you to know more about mortgages before/when you apply, which is a rarity in this industry or any other for that matter.
Additionally, they donate to charities they care about each time a loan funds, including Feeding America, Water.org, and the World Wildlife Fund.
Loan Simple Quick Facts
- Direct mortgage lender located in Englewood, Colorado
- Founded by Roland Dozois more than 20 years ago (son Jason is current CEO)
- Licensed to lend in 30 states nationwide
- Launched a wholesale lending division in late 2020
- Donate to charities for each loan funded
- Also a licensed loan servicer
Loan Simple did about half a billion in loan volume last year, which makes them one of the smaller fish, but a growing one.
They did more than half their total loan volume in their home state of Colorado, so if you’re from the Centennial State, you’ve likely heard of them.
Another big mortgage lender in Colorado is Cherry Creek Mortgage, FYI.
A good chunk of their remaining volume came from the states of Arizona, California, and Texas, but they’re also expanding in other states nationwide.
About two-thirds of their loans were used to finance a home purchase, with the remaining mortgage refinances.
Aside from operating a retail lending channel, they also recently launched a wholesale lending division for mortgage brokers, and they service their own loans.
Where Is Loan Simple Available?
At the moment, they appear to be licensed to do business in 30 states nationwide.
Those states include Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Some notable missing states include Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina.
Hopefully they’ll continue to roll out to new states in the near future.
Getting a Mortgage with Loan Simple
To get started, you literally click on “Get Started” from their website. From there, you select a state where they do business and you’ll see a corresponding list of loan officers licensed there, along with any branch locations.
Once you select a loan officer, you can apply for a home loan right on their website. Like many other lenders, they utilize fintech company Blend for their digital mortgage application.
It allows you to complete most of the process online from your computer or smartphone in just minutes.
You can e-sign documents, scan and upload paperwork, see personalized mortgage rates, track loan progress, and receive status updates.
Loan Simple says they’re big on technology and their overarching goal is to keep things simple, hence their name and slogan, “The Simple Way to Home.”
So you should expect a fast and easy home loan experience if you choose to go with Loan Simple, complemented by a human touch.
Types of Mortgages Offered by Loan Simple
- Home purchase loans and mortgage refinance loans
- Conforming loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans
- Jumbo home loans
- Fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage options available
What’s somewhat strange is the lack of a lending menu on then Loan Simple website. They don’t appear to mention what types of loans they offer anywhere.
Perhaps they took this whole simple thing a little too seriously…
Fortunately, we can look at their HMDA data to see that they offer all the typical stuff you’d expect from a big mortgage lender like home purchase loans and mortgage refinances, likely including cash out refinances.
They appear to originate mostly conventional loans, such as those backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with jumbo loans that exceed the conforming limit. It’s unclear how high you can go in the jumbo department.
Most of their borrowers tend to go with the 30-year fixed, like most other lenders, though they also offer the 15-year fixed, 5/1 ARM, 7/1 ARM, and so on.
While it’s unclear if they offer construction or home renovation loans, there’s a good chance they do the latter at least.
They don’t seem to offer any sort of second mortgages, such as home equity loans or lines.
Hopefully they’ll update their website so we know exactly what they offer to their customers.
Loan Simple Mortgage Rates
Unfortunately, they do not publicize their mortgage rates on their website or elsewhere as far as we know.
As a result, it’s unclear how competitive their interest rates are compared to other lenders. The same goes for lender fees, which aren’t disclosed on their website.
The one hint we have about their pricing comes from their Zillow reviews, which are generally favorable, and many customers have remarked about rates/fees being lower than anticipated.
But you’ll need to get in touch with a loan officer in order to get pricing, then you can shop their rate and closing costs with other lenders to determine where they stand.
Loan Simple Reviews
On Zillow, they’ve got a 4.95-star rating out of 5, which is pretty darn close to perfection. It’s based on over 600 customer reviews.
Many customers indicated that the interest rate and closing costs were lowered than expected, and overall there a lot of positive comments.
They are accredited with the Better Business Bureau, and currently enjoy an A+ rating with the company.
At the moment, there are no customer complaints, but they have a 1-star rating based on five customer reviews. Typically, BBB customer reviews aren’t very good because they’re complaint-driven.
Loan Simple Pros and Cons
The Good Stuff
- Can apply for a home loan directly from their website
- Also have brick-and-mortar branches in select states
- Offer a digital loan process via Blend technology
- Excellent reviews from past customers
- A+ BBB rating
- Donation to a charity for every loan closed
- Offer free mortgage literacy classes
- They service their own loans
The Maybe Not-So-Good Stuff
- Not licensed in all states
- Do not publicize their mortgage rates or lender fees
- Website is a little too simple
- Lacks information regarding available loan types, calculators, etc.
(photo: Kevin Dooley)