Churchill Mortgage has a unique reputation among creditors – it emphasizes “debt-free” mortgages and ensures its customers can pay off their loans as soon as financially possible. Given this altruistic ideal, many borrowers are curious about whether Churchill is the best choice for them. That’s where this review comes in.
Throughout this review, we discuss the six most important considerations when shopping around for lenders and how Churchill measures up. Read on to find out if Churchill is the best fit for you!
Choosing A Mortgage Lender
Lenders determine everything from the application process to how and when your debt can be paid off, so finding the right one is essential. Here are six things you should think about when finding the right mortgage lender.
Rates, Costs, And Fees
Cost is king when making a significant purchase, and homes are no exception. Each creditor has its own set of rules when assessing potential borrowers, which directly impacts the amount their client will be required to pay.
However, mortgage rates aren’t the only determiners of cost. Borrowers also need to consider their lender’s closing costs, origination fees, and other miscellaneous charges.
Home Loan Options
Beyond 15-year, 20-year, and 30-year loan terms, lenders have a diverse selection of home loans to suit almost every buyer, and each variation has its quirks and unique traits. For example, some mortgages may only be accessible by military personnel, while others help folks with low credit scores become homeowners.
Some options may vary based on their mortgage interest rate, but the “right” choice depends on what you need based on your specific financial circumstances. Here are some of the most common loan options that would-be homeowners should consider:
Conventional home loans are the most common no-frills setup. First-time homebuyers with good credit, stable incomes, and enough money on-hand to make a down payment usually get these products because of their relative accessibility.
This loan type usually comes in two variations: conforming and non-conforming. Conforming loans are mortgages bound by a loan limit, which the Federal Housing Financing Agency sets at $548,250 for one-unit properties.
On the other hand, non-conforming loans are mortgage products that exceed the loan limit – the most common being the jumbo loan. Because a typical creditor considers non-conforming products to be riskier than their conforming counterparts, they require borrowers to have an excellent credit score and robust cash reserves.
Government-insured home loans are unique products available to home buyers with unusual circumstances. Specifically, borrowers with lower-than-average credit, a history of military service, or a desire to own a home in a rural area are eligible. However, buyers must be aware that the government doesn’t supply these loan products out-of-pocket – instead, they provide insurance to the lending company you choose.
The mortgage application process can be quite strict. All borrowers will have to provide pertinent documents and information to prove their eligibility. Here are the different government-backed mortgage offers and their basic requirements:
Veterans Affairs (VA) Loans: These loans are exclusively available to military vets that want to purchase or refinance their homes. Unlike other government-backed mortgage products, VA loans may be available with zero down payment and no PMI. However, this varies based on your specific work information and circumstances.
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loans: FHA loans are designed to help borrowers with a relatively low credit score – sometimes as low as 500 – get a home that is both safe and affordable. Many lenders require applicants to pay upfront insurance on top of their existing interest rate throughout the mortgage life.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Loans: Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or looking to refinance your rural home, the USDA loan has you covered. However, buyers must meet credit score requirements and submit relevant documents and information, such as pay stubs and income statements.
A fixed-rate mortgage loan refers to products with a steady interest rate that remains the same throughout their lifetime. Generally speaking, a fixed-rate loan option best suits applicants on a tight budget because it’s predictable and easy to plan around.
Unlike fixed-rate mortgage products, adjustable-rate loans have interest rates that change over time – making them a riskier option for many borrowers. That said, the rate change is based on the general housing market and will fluctuate based on the average market rate.
Buyers that expect prices to fall in the near future may end up saving some money during the loan process, but predicting market movement can be challenging for even the most experienced buyers. That’s why we recommend getting in contact with a home loan specialist before closing an adjustable-rate mortgage.
Type Of Lender
Lenders determine the majority of your loan process, from how your contact information is collected to the available mortgage products to how much you’ll actually be paying at the end of the day. That’s why finding the best possible lender for your specific needs is essential.
Here are the two most common types of lenders most borrowers consider when they get started on their mortgage journeys:
A direct lender is any financial institution, credit union, bank, private company, or lending business that directly provides loans to its clients. Because all business transactions regarding your loan are done internally, working with a private lender may expedite the borrowing process – which can make or break your experience.
However, working with direct lenders may also mean that you get less leeway with your transaction. Borrowers are limited by their specific lender’s available products and protocols, meaning that you may miss out on more attractive mortgage options.
Unlike direct lenders, a mortgage broker is an independent loan specialist who works with several mortgage products from various lending companies. These lenders do business by handling your loan from first contact until it's closed, yet only serve as the middleman between you and the mortgage company.
Borrowers may choose to work with a mortgage broker if they’re pressed on time or prefer to have someone else shop around for them. Note that these independent agents take a commission from every loan they broker, which may mean more fees upon closing.
However, working with a single agent does mean that only one credit score check is triggered, resulting in a reduced impact on your overall score. We recommend reading individual reviews before exploring this option.
Whether you’re looking to purchase or refinance a home from an online lender or traditional bank, good customer support is essential. That’s because a lending company with excellent online, phone, and in-person support can save you thousands of dollars and ensure you get the best help possible.
But you may be thinking, what are the odds of something going wrong? Here are the facts: the mortgage process requires borrowers to provide official documents, undergo credit checks, and initiate locking in their rates for the next 90 days – that means there are hundreds of possible problems that can derail an otherwise smooth transaction.
Proximity And Accessibility
When you get started on your journey to homeownership, it’s best to find a lending company that fits your lifestyle and is easily accessible to you. If you’re the kind of person that prefers talking to their creditor face-to-face, then you should consider one with physical locations near your home.
On the other hand, folks that are comfortable with online transactions would find their best fit with lenders that specialize in doing business remotely. After-sale support is especially important in these cases, so borrowers should make time to read client reviews and check if their creditor has a working phone number.
Credit Score Requirements
Like any financial transaction, your credit score is one of the most significant deciding factors when it comes to qualifying for home loans. Almost every creditor will request a hard credit check when they process your application, and a lower credit score would result in higher mortgage rates or disqualification.
However, that doesn’t mean borrowers with a relatively low credit score are out of luck – they just need to find the right creditor.
Some companies consider alternate sources of income when assessing your credit – that means no credit card statements or FICO scores. Borrowers with unique credit histories should keep an eye out for creditors with flexible creditworthiness evaluations.
Churchill Mortgage Review
Founded in 1992, the Churchill Mortgage Corporation is an equal housing creditor that emphasizes its ideal of “debt-free homeownership”. That means their business focuses on finding the right mortgage so borrowers can pay off their debts as soon as possible. Additionally, Churchill Mortgage (NMLS ID 1591) offers a “no score loan”, enabling would-be borrowers with a limited credit history or low credit score to take out a mortgage.
But does this creditor live up to its generous ideals? Read on for our review.
Mortgage Rates, Costs, And Fees
There are few things more important than cost. So when a lending company like Churchill Mortgage emphasizes “debt-free homeownership”, folks are bound to wonder how that affects their wallets. Unfortunately, Churchill Mortgage doesn’t actually publish their rates and fees on their website, leading to initial trepidation for some borrowers.
However, client reviews indicate that it’s relatively easy to get an idea of how much you’ll be paying in closing costs (usually 2-5% of the loan amount) and other fees after submitting an online application. The Churchill Mortgage website also has a mortgage loan calculator that can help would-be buyers make informed decisions when they’re finally ready to apply for their home loans.
Home Loan Options
Churchill Mortgage has a wide selection of mortgage products available, many of which have bare-bones descriptions on their website. Here’s a short review of all their available loan options for people looking to purchase a home:
Conventional Loans: Includes fixed-rate/adjustable-rate loans ranging from a 15-year term to a 30-year term
FHA Loans: Requires a 500 credit score and a 10% down payment. Otherwise, borrowers need at least a 580 credit score and must make a down payment of at least 3.5% of the total loan amount.
VA Loans: Exclusively offered to veterans and military personnel. Churchill Mortgage charges closing costs on top of the VA funding fee. All applicants must also submit pertinent documents and supporting information.
USDA Loans: Borrowers must adhere to national standards for USDA loans. However, according to client reviews, Churchill Mortgage can have additional requirements for applicants.
Jumbo Loans: Considered particularly risky by Churchill Mortgage and therefore require a strong credit score
No Score Loan: Unique home loan that necessitates manual underwriting. This makes it the best fit for applicants with less-than-ideal credit.
Proximity And Accessibility
Churchill Mortgage is accessible both in-person and online, with brick-and-mortar locations in 46 states and reliable digital support for remote customers. Whether you’re in the market for a home mortgage, refinance, or simply shopping around, borrowers can easily contact Churchill Mortgage through the following channels:
Official email address
Phone calls and in-person appointments
Credit Score Requirements
Because Churchill Mortgage emphasizes debt-free living, they can be quite flexible when it comes to credit score requirements when buying a home – but it depends on the kind of loan you’re applying for.
If you’re applying for a conventional 15-year loan, you’ll still have to meet the industry-standard credit requirements (at least a 580 credit score), and the same logic applies to most standard loan setups.
However, client reviews indicate that a “debt-free” mortgage might actually be possible when working with the Churchill no-score loan. That’s because this unique product is manually underwritten and approved, meaning that borrowers can submit alternative financial information instead of a credit score. The loan specialists at Churchill Mortgage can use your phone bills, car payments, or utility bills to determine creditworthiness.
Online application through their mobile app or website.
Close loans within 10 days given you’ve provided all the necessary information
No rate-lock fees for up to 90 days.
Excellent website functionality and online infrastructure
No HELOCs and home equity products
No score loans have no rate-lock option
Lacks relevant information about after-sale specifics (loan servicing, etc.) on the website
Not enough information online about loan terms and interest rates
If you have an unorthodox credit history or relatively low scores, then Churchill Mortgage might be your best option. With its excellent online infrastructure and easily-accessible client support, this lending company can be a fast and convenient option for many borrowers. However, Churchill does fall short in some areas, and homebuyers with stronger credit scores can find better mortgage offers with other moneylenders.
Ready to explore your financial options? At Wesley Mortgage, LLC, we have a vast portfolio of creditor reviews, life insurance guides, and general financial how-to’s. Check out our website for everything you need to know about ensuring your financial success.