Mortgage SimpleScore Methodology

We’ve created the SimpleScore to help you objectively compare products and services here at The Simple Dollar.

Our editorial team:

  • Identifies five factors to compare across each brand
  • Determines the rating criteria for each factor
  • Calculate an average of those five factor scores to get one SimpleScore

We break down each of these five factors and their rating criteria for our review of the best mortgage companies.


Mortgage lending companies that provide more perks receive a higher score from us.

Aspect Score 1 2 3 4 5
Perks N/A 1 perk 2 perks 3 perks 4 perks

Hard/Soft credit checks

We know that credit checks affect your score –– that’s why we favor companies that offer soft credit checks or hard credit checks when you want to see your pre-approval rates.

Aspect Score 1 2 3 4 5
Hard/Soft credit checks N/A N/A Hard + Application Hard + No Application Soft

Customer satisfaction

We use the J.D. Power 2019 Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study℠ to find out how customers rate their experience with each company. (If a company is not included in J.D. Power’s study, we skip this rating factor and average the remaining factor scores.)

Aspect Score 1 2 3 4 5
Customer satisfaction 1 circle 2 circles 3 circles 4 circles 5 circles

Product variety

Mortgage lenders that offer more products for their home loans are given higher scores.

Aspect Score 1 2 3 4 5
Product variety 2 or less other products 3 other products 4 products 5 products 6+ products


Fees can add up fast. Companies that don’t require as many fees for your home loan receive a higher score with us.

Aspect Score 1 2 3 4 5
Fees 4 + fees 3 fees 2 fees 1 fee No fees

Why do some brands have different SimpleScores on different pages?

Some brands like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase have different SimpleScores because they offer more than one financial solution — like home loans, auto loans, personal loans and more.

For instance, in our Bank of America Mortgage Review, we give the company a 3.8 out 5 based on our five rating factors for mortgages. In our Bank of America Auto Loans Review, we give the company a 4.4 out of 5 based on our rating factors for auto loans. By tailoring our SimpleScore to each financial solution, we’re able to give you a more accurate view of a brand’s services and how it compares to competitors’ services.

→ Save time. Save paperwork. Save dollars. Esurance ←