CashCall Review: An Average Lender With Limited Loan Products
Acquired in 2015 by Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc., CashCall Mortgage is an online lender headquartered in Irvine, California. It provides lending options for borrowers in need of conventional or government-backed loans.
While CashCall’s competitive rates and online lending conveniences are a hit with tech-savvy borrowers, its limited packages have pulled its ratings down in previous years. In this CashCall Mortgage review, you’ll learn more about what loan products the company has to offer and whether they’re worth the trouble.
What To Look For In Mortgage Insurance Companies
Before we get into the specifics of CashCall Mortgage, let’s first review the five factors that might influence your decision.
Policy And Coverage
Below are a few standard mortgage loans that you’ll commonly find on the housing market:
Conforming Loans: These popular loans adhere to regulations set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. You cannot exceed a specific borrowing amount, which differs per state. Qualifying for a conforming loan often requires a minimum credit score of 620 and a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio below 50%. However, these eligibility criteria will vary from lender to lender.
FHA Loans: FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration and are specifically tailored to borrowers with a poor credit rating and high debt-to-income ratio. Through an FHA loan, borrowers can make a down payment of 3.5% with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of up to 96.5%.
VA Loans: Military service members can apply for a VA loan that’s backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. These loans are popular for having no down payment requirement or mortgage insurance, although you need to be an active service member, veteran, or military spouse to apply. Veterans can also use this loan to refinance an existing mortgage or purchase a second property.
Keep in mind that no two mortgage lenders are the same. Each will have a different interest rate, application process, loan terms, and more.
Applying for home loans isn’t as speedy as most people think. If you’re a first-time homeowner, it can take up to 45 days to close your mortgage. If you’re looking into non-traditional approval or need to save up for a down payment, it may take even longer.
If you are applying for a mortgage for the first time, work with a loan officer who can expedite the process. A dependable mortgage company will provide you with the resources you need from pre-approval to final closing.
If you can’t meet with a mortgage broker in person, many companies provide fully-online services. In some cases, you might be able to estimate your mortgage rates on a company’s website.
Interest rates vary depending on different factors. To better predict your mortgage rate, you must consider the following:
The Housing Market: When the housing market isn’t in-demand, your state’s mortgage interest rate falls. Similarly, it rises when the economy improves and promotes consumer spending.
Your Financial History: Your financial health can have a significant impact on your mortgage rate. The lower your credit score and DTI ratio, the higher your rates. 1 out of 4 Americans have an error in their credit report, so you’ll want to make sure your information is accurate. You can increase your credit score by paying off credit cards and other debts.
Property Cost & Borrowing Amount: Lenders assess your borrowing risk by dividing your loan amount by the property price. This number results in your loan-to-value ratio – the higher your LTV ratio, the higher your mortgage rate.
Down Payment: While some mortgage loans don’t require a down payment, covering at least 20% can significantly decrease your mortgage rates. By putting down this amount, you can also eliminate private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Do you want to get a better idea of what your mortgage rate might be? Use our financial calculator!
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Applying for a mortgage is a taxing procedure. Working with a company known for excellent customer service can help lessen the burden of paperwork and confusing processes.
We evaluate how well a company performs by looking at mortgage reviews. We also look at ratings on Google and other third-party agencies such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and we especially put a premium on BBB-accredited companies.
When researching a mortgage company yourself, look at social media reviews and whether they satisfactorily resolved any negative responses. Also, consider how accessible a lender is – are they reachable by hotline, email, or online chat? How quickly can you contact a business representative? The best lenders are always available to help.
CashCall Mortgage Review
CashCall Mortgage was founded in 2003 and has since become a part of Impac Mortgage Corp. It is ideal for borrowers in good financial health and seeking low-interest loans, with products available to borrowers from all 50 states.
CashCall is reputed for its high-balance conforming loans, though it also offers the following mortgage products:
Common Sense loans
If you are self-employed or don’t have traditional income documentation, CashCall also provides alternative methods of approval.
However, in terms of variety, CashCall Mortgage has a relatively limited loan selection. It lacks FHA, jumbo, adjustable-rate, and home equity loans. The company is also not BBB-accredited and has an average rating of 2 to 3 stars out of 5.
Policy And Coverage
CashCall has a meager selection of home loans. Currently, it only offers the following loan types:
CashCall offers 10, 15, and 30-year fixed-rate loans – ideal for borrowers who prefer predictable mortgage financing. This loan is a sensible option for those looking to keep their homes for at least a decade.
Common Sense Loans
Common Sense mortgages are unique to CashCall and help applicants previously rejected by other conventional lenders. Through a Common Sense loan, a borrower can qualify via alternative methods of determining income, such as bank statements or payslips. Real estate investors can use an investment property as income.
CashCall works directly with the VA to provide these affordable loans to military service members. Service veterans and spouses can also avail of this mortgage without a down payment or mortgage insurance.
High-Balance Conforming Loans
CashCall is most famous for its 15 and 30-year high-balance conforming loans. However, unlike jumbo loans, high-balance mortgages are conforming and may have a lower interest rate. They are also more lenient regarding your credit score and DTI ratio.
You can refinance an existing loan with CashCall’s rate-and-term or cash-out options. If you have an existing VA loan, you can choose between a VA cash-out refinance or an interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL).
CashCall Mortgage provides additional services such as an escrow account, where borrowers can hold property taxes and home insurance until paying them off.
CashCall Mortgage advertises its rates as competitive, with a flat fee of $995 for most of its products. However, this flat fee is only available for products used to refinance. If you are unsure whether this mortgage loan fee applies to your chosen product, you can contact a loan officer via CashCall’s hotline.
Compared to the median amount of lenders reporting under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, CashCall Mortgage provides only marginally better rates. If you want to lower your monthly mortgage payment, you can buy discount points upon closing.
Recently, CashCall experienced controversy regarding its mortgage loan rates. In September of 2018, the California high court found CashCall’s interest rates to be “unconscionable.” Evidence found that between 2004 and 2011, CashCall was charging rates between 96 and 136 percent. Since then, it has dissolved its consumer personal loans, continuing to offer home loans.
Before applying for a loan product, you can determine your loan rate using CashCall’s online calculators. You can also estimate the property price you can afford, how its value will increase over time, and the credit score you need to qualify.
CashCall Mortgage borrowers can go through the application process online or over the phone. If you need someone to walk you through the process, you can request a callback.
Upon application, you’ll have to provide identification. Below are some of the government-issued IDs that CashCall accepts:
Social security number
Taxpayer ID number
Alien ID card
Foreign passport number
Three days after receiving your application, CashCall Mortgage will give you a loan estimate. After accepting or negotiating your closing costs, you then move on to the underwriting process. Your loan agent must document your assets, income, and credit score for approval during this stage.
If you don’t have traditional forms of income documentation, CashCall lenders accept the following:
Your lender will then determine home appraisal fees to calculate your LTV ratio. If necessary, your lender might request additional information to finalize your applications. Recent reviews state that CashCall Mortgage is notorious for prolonging the underwriting process due to constant requests for further documentation.
Finally, you will be cleared to settle closing costs and given a disclosure form documenting your loan terms and mortgage rates. You can monitor your loan approval status throughout the underwriting process via CashCall’s in-house loan servicing department.
CashCall Mortgage approves a minimum credit score of 680, though it favors applicants with a score of at least 760. You can improve your credit rating by paying off existing debts, such as those on your credit cards.
Its debt-to-income maximum is 36%. However, it will accept a DTI ratio of up to 43% for applicants with excellent credit (above 760).
Depending on the type of loan product you apply for, CashCall requires a minimum down payment of 5% on your potential home.
Customer Satisfaction And Service
CashCall Mortgage has received mixed reviews regarding its customer service.
On its website, agents are advertised as a message, email, or call away. However, several reviews have listed instances of unresponsiveness or unfactual information. People have cited the need to provide additional information as a recurring problem and noted that it significantly delayed the underwriting process.
On BBB, CashCall has a rating of 1 out of 5 stars and has resolved 9 complaints in the last three years. TrustPilot, on the other hand, rates the business 8.7/10 stars.
Provides alternative income documentation methods: If you are self-employed and have difficulty collating tax returns as proof of income, you can submit your bank account number and W2 forms instead.
Offers multiple online conveniences: The online loan process, updates, and e-signature capabilities make it easy to apply for a loan without leaving your home. Customer service agents are also available via online chat or hotline.
Rates are accessible and transparent: CashCall makes its resources and information as accessible as possible. You’ll find everything you need on CashCall’s official site and can use its calculator to determine your monthly mortgage rate, loan origination fee, and more.
Covers specific costs for borrowers: Depending on the type of loan you apply for, CashCall may cover third-party closing costs such as appraisal and title insurance fees.
Offers a flat origination fee: Unlike other lenders, CashCall provides a fixed origination fee of only $995.
Lacks in loan variety: While CashCall Mortgage offers the essential purchase and refinance loans, it doesn’t provide options for FHA, adjustable-rate, or home equity loans.
It doesn’t have any physical branches: CashCall caters primarily to online users, with an option to transact over the phone. It doesn’t provide options for borrowers who prefer to conduct the loan transaction in person.
Customized rates aren’t available without providing additional contact information: While CashCall’s rates are relatively transparent, you can only receive a customized quote by contacting an agent or starting an application.
Flat fee only applies to refinance products: While CashCall’s origination fee is lower than most in the loan business, it only applies to refinance products.
Reputation is questionable: Due to recent controversies, CashCall’s reputation has taken a hit in the mortgage division. While it remains in business, it isn’t a go-to for many potential homeowners.
The Bottom Line
If you’re struggling to qualify for a conventional home loan, CashCall Mortgage may help you qualify with alternative documentation. Through CashCall, you can also easily secure a VA or refinance mortgage.
However, it’s lacking in variety of loan products and customer service. If you’ve read at least one review on the business, you might already be setting your sights on another more reputable lender.
Are you still on the hunt for the right home loan? If so, you can contact the experts at Wesley Mortgage, LLC or check out the rest of our blog for more information. We provide resources, tools, and information on mortgage products that will get you a step closer to your dream home.