As federal, state, and local governments continue to respond to the pandemic caused by COVID-19, we want to keep you up to date with what these responses mean for your mortgage and our business. We understand that the effects of this pandemic are widespread and are ever-changing but we remain committed to helping people obtain home financing and save money on their mortgages, especially during this time.

We will use this page to provide the latest updates on COVID-19 and any potential impacts on mortgage rates, homebuying, and how Better Mortgage will continue to help borrowers.

Better’s response to COVID-19

Better Mortgage and our borrowers

Better Mortgage Corporation is a direct lender. All rights reserved. NMLS #330511 © 120 Broadway, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10271. Loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Finance Lenders Law License. Not available in all states.

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COVID-19 Newsroom

Reach out to your Mortgage Expert or email us at hello@better.com 

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Mortgage and economic news

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We’re here for you

Our phones are being answered and our Mortgage Experts are available to provide agents and customers with answers and solutions without long wait times.

We are actively partnering with Government Sponsored Entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and State Governments to develop solutions to crisis challenges, such as in-person appraisals and closings for some loans. Find out more about how appraisals and closings are being affected.

We’re looking for ways to help

We are actively hiring sales and operations team members to meet the expanding demand for our services. See our open positions here.

Our team is recruiting

To get a better understanding of how the spread of COVID-19 has impacted the US economy and its effect on mortgage rates impact, read more here.

How COVID-19 is affecting mortgages

Federal rates ≠ mortgage rates

Federal rates apply only when banks and credit unions lend to each other. They have little to no bearing on loans between banks and homeowners. Read more about the difference here.

Rates are fluctuating and there’s no telling if they’re going to stay as low as they are or for how long. If you like what you see, lock in your savings instantly online.

If you see a rate you like, lock it

We are working diligently with federal agencies and partners to roll out alternatives to in-person appraisals where we can, such as a drive-by appraisal where an appraiser only does an exterior inspection of the house, or a desktop appraisal which does not require a physical inspection. These measures may vary based on the loan, so your Mortgage Expert can help you discuss your options.

Are there alternatives to in-person appraisals?

We are awaiting guidance from federal agencies and our partners on whether we can close remotely in your county. We will let you know if or when exceptions can be made.

Can I close electronically or remotely?

Will there be delays to closing?

Because of our online loan process, we're still able to accept new applications and it's easy to lock in rates at anytime.

Recent government efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 at the local level may result in some delays to appraisals and closings. However, at this point, we are still able to offer loans to customers in all states where we are licensed. If there are any delays to your loan, we will be sure to communicate that to you promptly and work together to find the best path forward.

We are working with federal agencies and our partners to institute alternatives to verbal verifications of employment where needed. Your Processing Expert will be able to walk you through your options.

My employer's operations have changed — are there alternatives to verbal employment verification?

Supporting Hospitality Workers when it matters most

As we plan to hire an additional 1,000 people for teams across all of our offices by the end of 2020, we are pledging to focus on hiring hospitality professionals. Hospitality workers understand the importance of creating meaningful experiences and we aim to bring that spirit to our customers. See job openings here.

Can I still get a mortgage with a shelter-in-place order?

The short answer is, maybe. In many areas of the country, the mortgage process - including inspections, appraisals, and closings can still occur under the shelter-in-place order. And we’re even finding new ways to complete the process, without having anyone enter your home such as a drive-by appraisal where an appraiser only does an exterior inspection of the house, or a desktop appraisal which does not require a physical inspection. 

The best way to know with certainty is to contact your Better Mortgage Expert who can walk you through your options at this time and the best way to lock your rate and secure your mortgage.

Given one of our key values is transparency, we want to share with you how COVID-19 could affect your ability to lock in a Better Mortgage in these uncertain times.

Factors that could affect your mortgage during COVID-19:

Because of the economic uncertainty and movement restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve made some adjustments to our offerings and eligibility. These changes are happening industry-wide and we’re hoping things will go back to normal soon.

Better Mortgage Offerings and Eligibility Requirement Modifications: 

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  • We've increased our minimum FICO credit score requirement for cash-out refinance loans to 680. If you're interested in a loan for purchase or rate-and-term refinance, our minimum credit score requirement remains 620.
  • We have restricted some of our Jumbo loan offerings, and are unable to complete a Jumbo loan with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio over 80%.

As a digitally-based company, we are fully ready, able, and committed to fulfilling our customers and our partners’ mortgage financing needs nationwide in these challenging times. Our process is 100% digital, allowing customers to lock in their financing needs 24/7 without leaving the comfort of their homes.

In the meantime, we are requiring notaries that work with Better.com to observe social distancing standards according to CDC guidelines (e.g., stay home if sick, keep distance, don't touch things unnecessarily).

In the meantime, we are requiring appraisals that work with Better.com to observe social distancing standards according to CDC guidelines (e.g., stay home if sick, keep distance, don't touch things unnecessarily).

We’re offering relief for our borrowers experiencing hardship as a result of Coronavirus and these uncertain times. We are offering loan forbearance, waiving late and overdraft fees, and suspending foreclosures for all borrowers whose loan we service and suspending credit reporting for borrowers in a forbearance plan consistent with Fannie Mae guidelines. Please call your sub-servicer, The Money Source (866-867-0330) or Loancare (800-274-6600), for guidance and more information.

Is Better Mortgage offering any mortgage relief to borrowers?

If you’re in the process of finding or buying a home, you may be wondering whether it’s a good idea to follow through.  Here are some things to consider before making the decision.

Is buying a home right now a good idea?

As we get new information, we’re compiling updates with the latest information to inform your homebuying and refinancing decisions.  Find our resources here.

Stay up to date with mortgage and economic news

  • We are unable to originate Co-op loans (New York state only) due to the higher turn times associated with this product and the increased risk.

For more information or questions, please complete your application and schedule time with a Mortgage Expert. We’re doing everything we can to continue serving our customers.

How have self-employment requirements changed?

COVID-19 has caused a few minor changes to the way we verify self-employment income. We’ll need to gather a bit more information, but not much else has changed.

This means we may need to ask for extra documentation, like an audited year-to-date profit-and-loss statement, or an unaudited statement along with two business depository account statements. We may also ask a few questions about how COVID-19 may have impacted your business, such as:

  • What products and services does your business provide?
  • Has your business closed for any period of time?
  • Has your business been classified as "essential?"
  • Have you received the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or other loans/grants as a result of COVID-19?