Guide to Freedom Mortgage [Review]

Though not particularly digitally-focused, Freedom Mortgage nevertheless offers a wide range of products for those looking to buy or refinance.

Freedom Mortgage serves more than 1 million customers in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The lender offers various mortgage products, including conventional, adjustable-rate, jumbo, refinance, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans.

Lender Fees

Freedom Mortgage fees vary by loan type. Their origination fees also vary, according to a Freedom Mortgage spokesperson.

Loan Products

Freedom Mortgage provides several types of mortgage loans, including:

Conventional

A conventional loan is a mortgage that has not been insured or guaranteed by a government agency, such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Conventional mortgage – when compared to FHA loans – typically requires the borrower to have a higher credit score. These loans will also require Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for loans with less than a 20% down payment.

Features:

  • You can use conventional loans to purchase investment properties or a second home.
  • If you put 20% down, there is no need for private mortgage insurance.
  • There are a variety of flexible loan term options to fit your needs, whether it’s a 15-year plan or a 30-year plan.
  • Good credit, typically 620 or greater FICO.
  • One must provide a down payment (ideally, 20%) to avoid private mortgage insurance.
Adjustable-rate

With an adjustable-rate mortgage (or “ARM”), your interest rate can vary through the life of the loan. An introductory period is common with ARMs. During an introductory period, the rate is fixed. After this period, the rate can be susceptible to change, and your monthly interest payments might increase or decrease as a result.

Jumbo

A jumbo loan is one geared towards more expensive home purchases and that has no need to conform to the loan limit guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Jumbo loans are sometimes called “non-conforming mortgages” because of how they avoid conforming to Fannie and Freddie’s guidelines.

When compared to other kinds of mortgages, lenders for jumbo loans often have higher credit score requirements. CNBC states that borrowers typically need a credit score of 680 to be approved for a jumbo loan, whereas several lenders want credit scores of 700 to 720 or higher.

Refinance

With a home-refinance, you pay off your existing mortgage and replace it with a new mortgage that has a better rate or better terms. You may consider refinancing to save money on interest or reduce your monthly payments. There may be other benefits to refinancing, too.

FHA

An FHA home loan is insured by the federal government and offered by FHA-approved lenders.

Features:

  • Due to FHA loans being backed by the Federal Housing Administration, private lenders offer competitive interest rates.
  • Affordable down payments starting as low as 3.5% of the purchase price.
  • Flexible credit score requirements that can go as low as 540 so long as you make a larger down payment.
  • Fixed-rate mortgages are available with terms between 15 and 30 years.
  • Streamline refinancing is available for qualified homeowners with existing FHA loans. Streamline refinances feature less paperwork and faster closings.
VA

A VA loan is an exclusive benefit that aims to aid active military, veterans or eligible family members in getting a mortgage and purchasing a new home.

Features:

  • 0% down
  • No private mortgage insurance on VA loans
  • Competitive rates
  • Only for the purchase of a primary property
  • Expanded options for lower credit scores
  • Less stringent qualification requirements which means you may qualify even with a bankruptcy or foreclosure
USDA

A USDA loan is a mortgage guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture available to rural and suburban homebuyers.

Features:

  • No down payment
  • Competitive fixed interest rates
  • Affordable loan guarantee fees
  • Flexible credit scores

Conclusion

Freedom Mortgage offers one of the largest varieties of services on the market and great management options when it comes to managing your loan and making payment.

However, as with many traditional mortgage lenders, one of the major drawbacks with Freedom Mortgage is its frustratingly human-focused process. Rather than allowing you to apply for and get a mortgage largely through a digital process (as you see with many startup mortgage providers), Freedom Mortgage’s process is largely designed to funnel you towards one of its loan officers.

If you’re looking for a wide variety of loan products to suit many varied needs, look no further. However if you’re averse to talking to actual humans, you may want to move down the road to find a more digitally-oriented lender.

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