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Any recommended online mortgage lenders?

boingyman 327 24 September 18, 2015 at 09:37 AM

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Hello. I am considering on refinancing our home if rates remain where there are or go lower and will be looking at multiple avenues. I will go with a local broker as well as comparing with some online mortgage lenders.

Any recommendations/experiences? I am looking at a 30 yr fixed; I know of some such as Provident Funding, Box Home Loans, Amerisave, Aimloan, Sebonic Financial and a few others.

-Home purchased <1.5 years ago @ 4.625% for 30 yr fixed
-Loan amount is $270k (LTV @ 65-67%); primary residence
-No debt besides mortgage
-Wife and I with credit scores >800 (last checked a month ago)
-Both working professionals in our high 20's to mid 30's.
-Location- Sacramento, CA
-Hard to predict the future, but if we do stay in Sacramento we will likely stay put in this house for at least 5 years, likely 10-15+, but who knows.
-Plan to pay off much faster, but want to stick with a 30yr as a cushion as well as a possible rental if we did move locations in the future (closer to bay area).

I know these type of threads pop up every so often and I've read some of them, even from other forums, but this helps stimulate the process for me. Any recommendations with online lenders and even specific brokers that work for those lenders would be appreciate it.



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capital 360 is the lender I used for my refinance. Quite a simple process (upload all documents online) and closing was very fast and easy
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just signed closing docs with quickenloans on a refi. we originally purchased 2 years ago and this was mainly to get rid of pmi, but they were also able to lower our rate a bit with no closing costs, and they were able to match the 28 year term remaining, rather than bumping it out to 30 again (they also gave us options to go to 27, 26, etc). everything was submitted digitally (print, sign, scan, email) except signing the actual closing docs with the notary.

first contact with them was aug 28, and we signed closing docs sept 17, i'd call that reasonably fast, but my refi experience is limited. seemed pretty quick and easy.
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Boingyman, the transaction you mention appears very straightforward and any good broker or reputable online company should be very close in pricing and turn times.

My only comments may be obvious to most but I find helpful to many others as well:

a) Never shop just looking at rate. The best rate is not always the lowest rate once you weigh the costs associated with that rate as well as the possible lender credit from a slightly higher rate to offset the actual costs.

b) All rates are available every day. What changes, daily and sometimes multiple times a day (when markets are volatile) is the price associated with the Note Rate. With the recent Fed lack of movement on the lending rate and the equities markets taking another recent tumble, for your scenario you will see 30 Fixed rates between 3.875% and 4.00% with varying closing costs and then possible lender credits to offset those costs.

The length of time scope should always be considered within your analysis.

c) Go with a broker/lender who will provide you competitive 30 day lock pricing and confident they will fun your transaction within that locked timeframe. (30 day locks will have better pricing than 60 day)

Either way, with your current 4.625% you will absolutely see tangible benefits.

I have been in the industry for 23 years and used to post a lot within this Forum. been a while but happy to say hello again to all those I have missed catching up with in a while.

Old Hippy & Mortgage Pro
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Listen to tiedyed1. His advice is spot on.
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Thanks for looking out tiedyed. I'm mostly trying to see what online lenders to use as you always here the good and the bad for almost any lender. I think it often times comes down to the actual broker regardless of lender. In terms of rate I'll be watching it daily and monitoring MBS trends.

I'm hoping our situatation is very straight forward. A friend of ours is a head underwriter and said we are pretty much at the highest tier possible for obtaining the best rates... The only thing I'm not sure if it has an affect on anything is that my wife is currently on maternity leave and has been so for the past 3 months. Currently she is on leave without pay or FMLA (due to non-existing federal employee maternity leave...). I hope that doesn't cause any hassle as she won't be back to work for another month or so.

Anyway any other recommendations of online lenders/experiences would be appreciated. Especially ones that would provide GFE and communicate very well. In terms of finding a good local mortgage broker any recommendations where to search besides asking around? Yelp? Zillow? Redfin? other? Any tips on what type of questions to ask when interviewing a broker besides why I should I choose you instead of any other broker?
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First off, Brian1, thanks for the kind words and great to see you still taking so much of your time to assist others with your excellent advice throughout these forums.

boingyman, I am also a former Underwriter; so guidelines come second nature to me. In respect to your wife's Maternity Leave, as long as she is back to work by the time the loan closes (which can be verified by the employer and/or with paystub) you will be fine utilizing her income. If you need her income to qualify take this into account. If not, do not worry about it.

Not to get you confused, but here are standard Underwriting Guidelines concerning temporary leave:

If the employer confirms the borrower is currently on temporary leave, the lender must consider the borrower "employed."
The borrower must provide written confirmation of his or her intent to return to work and the lender must document the borrower's agreed-upon date of return by obtaining formal documentation either from the borrower or directly from the employer.

If the borrower will return to work as of the first mortgage payment date, the lender can consider
the borrower's regular employment income in qualifying.

If the borrower will not return to work as of the first mortgage payment date, the lender must use
the lesser of the borrower's temporary leave income (if any) or regular employment income. If
the borrower's temporary leave income is less than his or her regular employment income, the
lender may supplement the temporary leave income with available liquid financial reserves (and use the reserves in a calculated formula as Supplemental Income)

As far as where to turn to get your home financing, I am admittedly biased (as I am a Broker). My business comes from referrals and I direct new clients to my Zillow reviews as my references. One thing i can confidently state is that Zillow takes great care in QC to make sure all reviews are legitimate. Each review is confirmed and they even prohibit reviews between home industry professionals. (i.e. I was not allowed to post a review for my own personal Realtor.) So you can have some confidence in Zillow reviews.

As your friend mentioned, yes, your scenario would be welcomed anywhere for the most competitive pricing. So, it is indeed the service that will make the difference. If you have a specific individual with great reviews you really should have a good experience.

Keep On Keepin' On;
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Adam, thanks for the thorough reply. That is very good to know about temp leave guidelines. My income alone should be meet requirements so I guess it should be fine either way. Also good to know about Zillow reviews.Whatever I end up doing I will update this thread.
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Boingy, if you are looking for a broker then give Adam an opportunity. I found Adam on Slickdeals about 3 years ago and he refinanced my 30 year 6.125% loan to a 15 year HARP loan at 3.25% I believe. Adam's rates were competitive. If I kept shopping around maybe I could have gotten another 1/8th lower on the rate, but I got 3-5 quotes and Adam's was tied for the lowest. In fact most brokers want your social security number, check stubs and a whole bunch of info just to get a rate quote. Adam was able to quote me a rate without pulling credit scores etc. I was honest with him, told him my approximate credit score and the situation with my home. When it came time to sign papers the rate was the same as quoted. The underwriters tried to throw a wrench in the works and also wanted me to get an appraisal towards the end of the process, but Adam worked his magic and got them to waive the appraisal saving me a few hundred dollars. Everything was done over email, I may have talked to Adam once on the phone. It was just a great experience and I plan on using Adam again and I recommend him whenever possible. I haven't brought him any extra business through my recommendations but years later and he still left a lasting professional. He's awesome. Check out his zillow reviews as well if you can find him on there.

My first closing was for a mobile home when I first moved out of my parent's house. My 2nd closing was on my current home that Adam refi'd. The original broker when I bought the home in 2006 wanted me to lie about my income. I moved 1200 miles away and while driving a 26' moving truck by myself that broker was calling me and asking me to send in proof of former residence(electric bill) 2 days before closing. They kept calling me, "we need this, we need that" all in the last week, after communication was very minimal the prior weeks leading up to the last week and everything was supposedly complete prior to me starting the move. I arrived in FL on a Friday morning. The closing was supposed to be that afternoon. Around noon that day they told me there was a delay and it wouldn't be until the following Monday or Tuesday. I was calling the broker's office all day that Friday, they were avoiding me. I ended up having to stay in a hotel for 4 days at $100/night and had to keep my penske truck another day over the allotted rental time, costing me another $100. It was just a nightmare. Dealing with Adam was the complete opposite. He kept me in the loop the whole time. Great communication, expertise and connections. On the closing day, some guy came to my house, we signed all the papers in under an hour(It could have been all week if I really wanted to read 100+ pages of documents). I believe I was given a hard copy and a digital copy of all the paper work. Give Adam an opportunity, if his rates are the same or better than others it's a no brainer.

Also at the time HARP loans were pretty hard to come by. Rates weren't really what was being touted by Obama and there were so many hoops to jump through to qualify. It seems about 10% of the banks/brokers I talked to actually offered HARP (125% LTV) loans. Adam was one of the brokers to offer them and as I said the rates were exactly what I was hoping to get. I had to dig deeper and research further to find some decent rates. I was expecting a difficult process based on my previous experience and all the message board posts and research I was doing about HARP loans.
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Last edited by flee September 23, 2015 at 02:28 PM.
try zillow mortgage. I am about to close refinance with Citi bank. they gave me unadvertised $1000 zillow credit + .125 reduction in rate(prime area promotion) for jumbo loan.
very fast processing. Sebonic financial also has some good rates.
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