Bankrate Review StaffApr. 01, 2020

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In a Nutshell

Bankrate has a strong reputation as a financial industry educator, helping borrowers of all types of loans find answers. It offers mortgage and refinance loans with a range of calculators to assist users in getting the right rates.


  • Compare loan alternatives in one single place
  • Excellent variety of loan repayment terms
  • Extensive educational resources


  • Works better for customers with higher credit
  • Little information on loan amounts and rates

Bankrate at a Glance

Loan types – Mortgage and refinancing loans

Loan amount – Varies by lender

Repayment Terms – 10- to 40-year fixed-rate, 1- to 10-year adjustable-rate

Top Pro –Comprehensive educational resource

Top Con – Does not originate loans, so cannot offer specific terms

Best for – Customers looking to compare different mortgage options while learning about the lending process.


Originally established as “Bank Rate Monitor” in 1976, Bankrate has gone from a print publication for the financial industry to one of the most widely-read financial services assessments available online. The company offers information and loan comparisons in several different industries, including mortgages, refinancing, personal loans and auto loans. Bankrate places a high premium on education; it hosts a comprehensive knowledge base and guides related to personal finance topics, applying for credit, and even understanding credit scores. With an extensive list of well-known lending partners and an impressive reputation behind it, Bankrate is one of the strongest names in mortgage lending.

Best for?

  • People who prefer to compare their alternatives

One of Bankrate’s biggest strengths is that it gives prospective borrowers the ability to shop around for mortgages in an obligation-free environment. This includes helpful overviews of lending partners.

  • Customers looking to learn about the lending and mortgage process

In general, a company like Bankrate is incredibly useful for first-time homeowners and other customers who may not be informed or educated on the mortgage process. 

Bankrate also has an extensive library of articles, guides, and other tutorials designed to cover personal finances, credit, and financial services.

Loan Features

The company is not directly a lender, instead connecting customers to the right mortgage provider efficiently. Customers can take advantage of the company’s marketplace model, where they can evaluate a variety of mortgage options depending on their desired terms and rates based on their financial circumstances. Additionally, they can learn about mortgages in one of the most well-rounded educational centers available in the industry, which includes a wide range of articles and guides, and a variety of calculators such as mortgage repayment, housing prices, and amortization. Apart from its educational focus, the company’s partners provide a variety of loan types for both purchasing and refinancing, including Federal Housing Administration loans, VA loans, and HARP loans. The company also lists all of its partners in an easy-to-navigate page that includes loan terms and monthly payments, letting users easily determine which offer would best fit their needs.

Highlights for Bankrate:

  • An expansive educational center for first-time borrowers
  • An easy-to-use comparison tool for mortgage shopping
  • A wide variety of loan alternatives and repayment terms
  • A broad range of calculators to help you find the right loan amount
  • Assessments of every loan partner in Bankrate’s network
  • Both adjustable and fixed-rate loans - Purchasing and mortgage refinance loans available
  • Jumbo loans accessible for larger home purchases

The Application Process

Unlike many marketplace lenders, Bankrate stands out because it connects borrowers to lenders instead of taking an active role in the application process. The company does not have an application and will show potential loan options to any visitor. Bankrate sets a limit on credit scores, offering loans to customers with better credit scores who are likely to receive final approval. As such, the company’s comparison tool shows options that start with credit scores as low as 660. Specific application requirements will vary from lender to lender depending on the option selected by the borrower. It’s important to note that because Bankrate is not directly a lender, it does not list the specific borrower requirements for each of the individual mortgage lending partners listed on their website.

Loan Terms – A Marketplace Filled With Education

As a marketplace, Bankrate does not originate any of the loans listed on its website. Because of this distinction, it cannot guarantee any of the terms listed by the lending partners taking part in the market. However, it does show an impressive range of loan alternatives thanks to its extensive network, and most customers that meet the credit score requirements can find an applicable option that fits their needs well. The company’s comparison tool is also incredibly useful. Instead of requiring an application, customers can simply select the terms they would like along with their credit score range and a few other criteria before being shown representative deals and potential terms from Bankrate’s partners.

Another aspect that separates Bankrate from its competition is the company’s dedication to educating its customers. The mortgage portal includes several advice sections for both first-time and veteran homeowners, and guides on a variety of topics like federally-funded loan programs, various aspects of the mortgage process, and even subjects covering credit scores and creditworthiness. Furthermore, potential borrowers can visualize the full impact and possibilities of a mortgage thanks to several calculators underlining potential repayments, amortizations, how much customers can afford, and more.

Repayment Terms

Prospective borrowers can select from an impressive range of repayment terms when shopping for a mortgage through Bankrate’s marketplace. The company’s partners offer both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate terms while providing a great degree of flexibility for borrowers. Fixed-rate mortgages can be 10-, 15-, 20-, 30-, and 40-year durations. Adjustable rate mortgages come in 1, 3/1, 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1 alternatives. Some partners also offer interest only mortgages, which come in 3/1, 5/1, and 7/1 adjustable rates, or 30-year fixed, 0-point varieties. Keep in mind that the repayment terms listed on Bankrate’s website are only representative. Not all the company’s partners may offer these rates and terms and not all customers may be eligible to receive them due to the criteria set by individual lenders.

How Safe is It?

One of the biggest areas where Bankrate stands out is customer security. Because accessing the marketplace does not require an application or any sort of registration, customers do not have to share any sensitive data or financial information. Bankrate is strictly a hub that has built a network of lending partners, and as such, it does not require any information from curious borrowers. It does collect some non-identifiable information, but it is used mostly for operational purposes and improving overall levels of service.

Help & Support

Customers can contact Bankrate via an email ticket on the company’s website or through a toll-free number. The support service center responded to calls quickly and with minimal wait times. We found that the staff was able to answer our questions effectively and professionally. Email requests were also replied to very quickly, with wait times generally between one and two business days. For customers seeking their own answers to commonly asked questions, Bankrate’s website hosts an impressive collection of information that is able to satisfy most inquiries.

Deep Dive into Pros and Cons

We found some areas where Bankrate could improve its services:

  • The company could list more information regarding representative loan amounts offered as well as interest rates
  • The company works more exclusively with customers that have higher credit scores
  • Bankrate does not feature an FAQ section for customers to find quick answers to common questions

Even with some minor drawbacks, Bankrate shines in several areas:

  • The marketplace page delivers an impressive comparison tool for customers to make an informed and responsible borrowing decision
  • Bankrate offers an extensive number of educational resources and calculators to help educate first-time home buyers
  • Partners offer a vast range of loan terms available in both adjustable and fixed-rate alternatives
  • Customers can compare loan alternatives without an application and no obligation

So, Should you Borrow with BankRate?

Bankrate is one of the best-known names in education and mortgages for a good reason. The company offers customers an impressive comparison tool that requires no application and no obligation, making it easy to shop around and find the right borrowing solution. In addition, its extensive library of educational resources lets borrowers feel comfortable with their decision and fully understand the impact of their choices before applying for a mortgage. With outstanding support to go along with these value-added features, Bankrate provides prospective borrowers with one of the more unique and reliable ways to uncover the best available mortgage options.

Physical Address

1675 Broadway, 22nd Floor

New York, NY


BankRate customer testimonials

GreatReviews 484
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  • author
    Jul 12, 2020
    I have been able to build my passive…

    I have been able to build my passive income without stress in the past few months with smart Their trading experts are very professional and have amazing customer support. You also get to enjoy a free trading bonus as a first time sign up. Thank me later


  • author
    Apr 02, 2020
    They promised a gift card and never sent it...

    I closed a refinance using a bankrate referral last year. Bankrate promised a giftcard as an incentive for using their service after closure of the refi. I followed their instructions after closing (to include joining Bankrate) and then received confirmation that the application for the giftcard was received. They never sent it. In response to my first email to customer service they said it was in process. They have ignored my second and third inquiries. It has been 5 months. Well past the 10 weeks they said it would take. I believe they made the offer in bad faith. I wont use Bankrate again. I suggest you avoid them. UPDATE: In response to Bankrate’s response below - your request for my address (in order to send the card) was made only last week, five months after closing, AFTER three inquiries to customer service (beginning in early February), and ONLY after publishing this post and making inquiry to the CFPB. While I appreciate your sudden responsiveness , I will reserve further judgement until such time as I actually receive the card - which I am told could take several more weeks.


  • author
    Carolyn Nguyen
    Mar 23, 2020
    I gave my info to refi my mortgage and…

    I gave my info to refi my mortgage and all of a sudden, I'm attacked by automatic phone calls and emails of all these small mortgage brokers who I've never ever heard of. I decided to go with a guy from San Diego and gave him all my info and he sent me a contract with all of these incorrect #s and raised some serious flags. Moose told me this was a no-cost loan to re-fi my house and then after he ran my credit, I got this contract to sign papers with around $8k to close but the credits that was suppose to be given to me was also in the amount of the mortgage that I wasn't going to pay for a month or 2 while the loan "resets" itself. The average cost to re-fi is around $4k. He gave me $8k. The value of my properties were also off (very high), which raised more red flags. He kept calling me while I was working during the day and that bothered the hell out of me. Everything was URGENT AF. I didn't want to do business with him after I saw that the bank I got approved for had VERY BAD REVIEWS and things could get mangled in the process and seeing he inflated my property values by A LOT. Moose assured me the mortgage would be sold as it is typical, but just I had to go with my gut and not do business with him after doing some research on his name and business. Bottom line is that doesn't do it's part on whether these are good people or bad people to work with. I'm sure Bankrate got lots of money for advertising his link. Just don't go with Bankrate's advertisers - use a local mortgage broker so at least you can go into their office...


  • author
    Feb 21, 2020
    Submitted review never posted

    I've submitted review, confirmed my email address, but have yet to see my review posted. It was a negative review so possibly they only publish the good reviews.


  • author
    Diego Fernandez
    Jan 04, 2020
    locked out forever

    Cross your fingers for never inserting a wrong password when logging in. You may be locked out forever and lose all data in your account. Customer service can’t help with that (what is a shame). Website is bugged and will never send you a reset password email. Bankrate should hire better website coders.