Interactive Mortgage Review: A Southern California Refinance Shop That Doesn’t Charge Lender Fees

Today we’ll check out a mortgage lender that says it’s faster, smarter, and simply better.

While that sounds like the name of a Daft Punk song, it’s actually the tagline for “Interactive Mortgage.”

The SoCal mortgage lender prides itself on transparency, an easy-to-use pricing engine, and painless transactions.

They say their loan process gives you the freedom to choose what’s best for you, including the ability to generate your own rate quote, upload your own files, and apply at your own pace.

Their use of technology and online tools saves them money, which is apparently passed onto its borrowers via low rates and lender-paid closing costs. Let’s learn more about them.

Interactive Mortgage Fast Facts

  • Direct-to-consumer, online mortgage lender
  • Specialize in mortgage refinances and home improvement loans
  • Founded in 2006, located in Orange, CA
  • Parent company is Winnpointe Corporation
  • Licensed to do business in AZ, CA, CO, NV, TN, and TX
  • Funded about $5 billion in home loans last year
  • Roughly 90% of total loan volume comes from California
  • Advertise low rates and do not charge lender fees

Interactive Mortgage is a direct-to-consumer mortgage lender that offers home improvement and refinance loans.

The company was founded back in 2006 and is located in Orange, California, which is close to Disneyland.

They don’t have physical branches, so for all intents and purposes are an online mortgage lender.

They are currently licensed in just six states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas.

Their bread and butter appears to be mortgage refinances to existing homeowners, which accounted for about 80% of their overall loan volume last year.

The rest of their volume was considered home improvement loans, which are also basically refinance loans.

This means they are best suited for customers who already own their homes/condos and are looking for a lower mortgage rate and/or cash out.

How to Apply with Interactive Mortgage

To get started, your best move might be visiting their website. There you can see daily mortgage rates and start a live chat to speak with someone.

You can also schedule a call and a “home loan expert” will get in touch at your desired time of day or night.

Those who are simply ready to go can click on “Apply for a Loan” and begin filling out a digital mortgage application online.

Once you provide all the basic information, a loan officer will reach out to discuss loan pricing and next steps.

Before you do that, you might want to check out their online loan officer directory and read bios to help narrow down someone specific to work with.

Their tech-enabled app is powered by ICE Mortgage Technology, formerly Ellie Mae, a leader in the mortgage fintech space.

Most of the loan process can be completed electronically, including the signing of disclosures, importing bank statements, and uploading paperwork.

They say the typical refinance takes about 30 days, which is pretty much in line with the industry average, though it does depend on how complex the particular loan is.

Once your loan is submitted, you’ll be able to log in at any time to check loan status, view documents like the Loan Estimate or home appraisal, or message your loan team.

All in all, Interactive Mortgage make it easy to submit a home loan and track it from start to finish.

Loan Programs Offered by Interactive Mortgage

  • Refinance loans: rate and term, cash out, streamline
  • Home improvement loans
  • Conforming loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • Jumbo home loans
  • FHA loans
  • Fixed-rate mortgages: 30-year, 15-year loan terms available

When it comes to available loan programs, Interactive Mortgage is pretty no-frills.

That being said, they have all the main stuff most homeowners would be looking for other than VA loans and USDA loans.

This means you can get your hands on a loan backed by Fannie/Freddie, a jumbo home loan, or an FHA loan.

You can get a home improvement loan or a refinance if an existing homeowner, which as noted appears to be their specialty.

In terms of specific loan programs, they only seem to offer fixed-rate mortgages in 30-year and 15-year loan terms.

Other loan terms in between may also be available, but they don’t appear to offer adjustable-rate mortgages.

They do lend on all property types, including single-family homes, condos, investment properties, vacation homes, and so on.

Interactive Mortgage Rates

When a mortgage lender specializes in refinances, it typically means they are aggressively priced.

After all, homeowners usually refinance their mortgages to obtain a lower mortgage rate. So if you don’t have low rates, it’d be tough to do a lot of business.

But we don’t need to guess – Interactive Mortgage does post some mortgage rates right on their homepage.

They list a conforming 30-year fixed, conforming 15-year fixed, and a jumbo 15-year fixed.

These rates are listed with the same APR, meaning they aren’t charging lender fees, which is a plus.

Instead, you’ll likely receive a lender credit to cover your closing costs, and possibly even third-party costs like escrow, title, and so on.

From what I saw, the rates advertised were pretty low, though the usual assumptions apply, like excellent credit, a low LTV ratio, and it must be a primary residence.

Still, they appear to be competitive relative to other banks and lenders out there.

As always, take the time to shop your rate with other lenders, especially if you have a straightforward loan scenario that any lender can handle.

Interactive Mortgage Reviews

On Zillow, Interactive Mortgage has a stellar 4.91-star rating out of 5 from nearly 300 customer reviews.

A good portion of the submitted reviews indicate a lower interest rate and/or lower closing costs than expected, which is good news.

On Yelp, they have a 4-star rating out of 5 from about 350 reviews. Those Yelp reviews can also be found in the loan officer directory on the Interactive Mortgage website next to the corresponding loan officer.

Their reviews drop off a bit from there, with a 3.3-star rating on Google from 125 reviews, and a worse 2.43-rating on the Better Business Bureau website.

However, they still managed to hold onto a ‘A-’ rating from the BBB based on how they handle customer complaints.

To sum things up, Interactive Mortgage might be best for those looking for a straightforward refinance transaction as they seem to be a discount mortgage lender.

In other words, a W-2 borrower with good credit who owns a single-family home as their primary residence.

They don’t seem to serve home buyers, and if you have a complicated refinance scenario, it might be better to look elsewhere.

Interactive Mortgage Pros and Cons

The Good Stuff

  • Offer a digital loan application powered by ICE Mortgage Technology
  • Can get started online without speaking to anyone
  • Openly advertise their mortgage rates daily
  • Appear to offer low mortgage rates
  • Do not charge lender fees

The Maybe Not

  • Only licensed in six states
  • Do not have physical branches
  • Do not offer VA loans or USDA loans
  • Mixed reviews from some past customers

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