Banks & Credit Unions
Guaranteed Rate Companies is a U.S. residential mortgage company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 2000 by Victor Ciardelli, the company had $73 billion in funded volume in 2020. As of 2021, the company has more than 10,000 employees and more than 850 offices nationwide and is located in 50 states.
Guaranteed Rate was founded in Chicago in 2000 by Victor F Ciardelli III, a native of Oak Brook, Illinois who now resides in a $38 million Miami Beach mansion purchased in May 2021, serves as chairman and CEO. Through 2020, the company is the third largest retail mortgage lender in the US.
Guaranteed Rate has been named to the Chicago Tribune's Top Workplaces list every year from 2012 through 2018. In 2013, Guaranteed Rate was listed by Crain's Chicago Business as one of the fastest growing companies in Chicago. The company was listed by U.S. News & World Report in 2018 as Top Lender for Online Service. Shant Banosian of Guaranteed Rate in Massachusetts ranked number 1 in the Scotsman Guide 2018 Top Originators rankings, and again in 2019 and 2020. In 2020, Banosian also became Guaranteed Rate's first loan officer to originate over $1 billion in total loan volume in a year, followed a few months later by Ben Cohen. Risha Kilaru of Guaranteed Rate in California ranked number 1 in the Scotsman Guide 2018 and 2019 Top Women Originators rankings.
In 2013, Guaranteed Rate grew to more than $15.9 billion in residential home loans, an increase of $1.2 billion over 2012. This moved the company from the 12th-largest retail mortgage lender in the U.S. to the 10th.
In February 2014, Guaranteed Rate launched its first national ad campaign, featuring Ty Pennington. The company budgeted up to $10 million for the campaign, growing to as much as $15 million in 2015. A 2016 Guaranteed Rate Super Bowl commercial featuring Pennington aired in regional markets.
In 2015, Guaranteed Rate became the 8th largest retail mortgage lender with volume of more than $18 billion in home loans and was named Lender of the Year by Chicago Agent magazine.
In March 2016, Guaranteed Rate and one of its loan officers were found guilty in California of diverting loans from Mount Olympus Mortgage, and ordered to pay $25 million in damages to the Irvine, California-based company.
In 2017 the team and Guaranteed Rate teamed up to create the Guaranteed Impact program, which honors kids who make a positive difference in their community.
In 2017, Guaranteed Rate entered into a joint venture with Realogy Holdings Corp to form Guaranteed Rate Affinity. Guaranteed Rate will provide marketing services to Realogy's subsidiaries, including NRT and Cartus, and will take over some assets of its former joint venture partner, PHH Mortgage out of New Jersey.
In December 2017, Guaranteed Rate announced plans to sell a minority stake of the company to an affiliate of Boston-based private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners. The partial sale was finalized in June 2018.
In December 2017, a former loan officer sued Guaranteed Rate claiming that he was owed $2 million and that executives at the company were manipulating and misreporting financial information for their own benefit.
As of October 2018, Guaranteed Rate is one of the seven-largest retail mortgage provider in the US.
In January 2019, The Wall Street Journal revealed Guaranteed Rate's and other firms' efforts to boost their Glassdoor ratings. According to the article, the company "pressured employees to write positive reviews in order to raise poor ratings, according to interviews with current and former employees." Prior to these efforts, the company's rating on Glassdoor averaged 2.6 out of 5. As of November 1, 2021, the company is rated 3.3 out of 5 on Glassdoor.com.
In October 2019, Guaranteed Rate partnered with Notarize to launch a product allowing homebuyers to complete the entire closing process online. The company also announced a partnership with Marcus by Goldman Sachs to help customers consolidate debt and fund home improvement projects. In 2019, Guaranteed Rate launched a market research platform for potential home buyers to research neighborhood property trends, home prices, demographics, income levels, and school districts.
In April 2020, Guaranteed Rate was required to pay the federal government a $15 million fine to settle a lawsuit brought by a former employee whistleblower who alleged the company pushed its underwriters into endorsing ineligible loans for FHA and VA loan programs and making false statements to “induce the government” to extend insurance coverage. According to the Chicago Tribune, as part of the settlement, Guaranteed Rate admitted that it failed to adhere to self-reporting requirements and certified loans for government insurance that were not eligible. It also admitted to giving FHA underwriters commissions and gifts in violation of the rules.
In October 2020, the company became the title sponsor of a college football bowl game played at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. The bowl has used several names since 2015, being branded as the Cactus Bowl and then the Cheez-It Bowl before being rebranded as the Guaranteed Rate Bowl. Along with most other third-tier bowl games, the 2020 game was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Guaranteed Rate Bowl will return after a year off on December 28, 2021, pairing teams from the Big 12 and Big Ten.
In August 2020, the company signed a 12-race sponsorship deal with Roush Fenway Racing, to fund Ryan Newman's car through the remainder of the 2020 NASCAR season. They also sponsored Spanish racing driver Álex Palou. In 2020, the company partnered with the National Hockey League, US Figure Skating, and World TeamTennis as their official mortgage partner. They also sponsored US Figure Skating's National Get Up Day on February 1, 2021. On January 22, 2021, the company was announced as the title sponsor of the 2021 Professional Bowlers Association Tour. Guaranteed Rate ran a 60-second spot during the Super Bowl LV broadcast on February 7, 2021, featuring mixed martial artist Dustin Poirier, stock car racing driver Ryan Newman, and Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind man to climb to the top of Mount Everest.