Churchill Mortgage Reviews & Ratings Pros, Cons Charleston, SC 2021
A lender’s average origination fee compared with the median of all lenders reporting under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.
Rating: 3.5 · Review by Hal M. Bundrick, CFP Churchill Mortgage Reviews They were all one or two stars out of five. But three reviews isn’t much of a representation.
They had over 16,000 customer reviews as of this writing at SocialSurvey, with a 4.85 rating out of 5. Most customers seem extremely satisfied. Visit Churchill Mortgage Corporation’s profile on Zillow to read customer ratings and reviews.
Find great Brentwood, TN mortgage lending professionals on Churchill Mortgage is an amazing place to work. The culture is supportive, optimistic, and goal-oriented. You won’t ever hear “That’s not my job”. Everyone pitches …
Churchill Mortgage Reviews & Ratings Pros, Cons Charleston, SC 2021
Churchill Mortgage Review: Dave Ramsey’s Pick
If you’ve heard of Dave Ramsey, you might have come across Churchill Mortgage, which happens to be his mortgage lender of choice.
Why? Because like Dave, they believe that the real American Dream is debt-free homeownership, not a massive mortgage hanging over your head through retirement.
To that end, they do things a little differently than the rest of the industry. Let’s learn more about what makes them unique.
The History of Churchill Mortgage
- Direct-to-consumer mortgage lender founded in 1992 by Mike Hardwick
- Headquarters are located in Brentwood, Tennessee
- Employs more than 400 people with branches in dozens of states
- Does business in 46 states nationwide
- Funded more than $2 billion in home loans last year
- Did the most business in Tennessee, Texas, and California
- Their main product pitch is the money-saving 15-year fixed mortgage
Churchill Mortgage is a privately-owned company that was founded in 1992, meaning it has been around for nearly 30 years.
In the mortgage industry, that makes it one of the older companies still standing and/or independent, given many were lost during the Great Recession.
It was founded by Lawson H. (Mike) Hardwick, III in Brentwood, Tennessee. He was previously one of the principal founders of Franklin National Bank until it was acquired by Fifth Third Bank.
Today, his company has more than 400 employees across a nationwide branch network in 46 states. They don’t appear to do business in Delaware, Hawaii, Nevada, or New York.
In 2019, the company originated more than $2.2 billion in home loans, a record year for Churchill Mortgage.
Dave Ramsey’s Spin on Mortgages
There’s clearly a big link between Churchill Mortgage and Dave Ramsey, with the latter’s recommendations found on the former’s website. As you can see from the illustration above, Dave believes in a few core principles. First off, he wants you to be debt-free when it comes to consumer debt, such as credit cards, student loans, personal loans, etc.
Second, he wants you to have at least 3-6 months of cash in an emergency fund, which is also handy for meeting minimum reserve requirements with lenders.
Speaking of mortgages, he’s all about the 15-year fixed, as you might already know, given its much cheaper interest expense versus the more popular 30-year fixed.
And he expects you to come with a down payment of at least 10%, while only committing 25% of your take-home income toward a monthly mortgage payment.
Good for: borrowers who worry about taking on debt. Churchill advocates “debt-free homeownership” and helps customers try to achieve that goal.
Churchill Certified Home Buyer Approval
Prospective homebuyers can also take advantage of the so-called Churchill Certified Home Buyer pre-approval, which is stronger than your everyday pre-approval.
Instead of just submitting financial documents to a loan officer, your information is actually reviewed by a loan underwriter, who can conditionally approve you for financing on a new home.
As such, you and the home seller will have peace of mind that your mortgage will be approved if and when you find your dream home.
This can give you an edge over other buyers, and even help you compete with all-cash buyers too in hot housing markets.
And because you’ve done the bulk of the legwork up front, it should make for a smoother home buying process once you’ve found the right home.
Churchill Mortgage Reviews
I dug around some review sites to see what people thought of Churchill Mortgage. Over at the Better Business Bureau, they have an A+ rating and have been accredited since 1995.
While customer reviews aren’t factored into the BBB calculation, there were only three reviews on the BBB website. They were all one or two stars out of five. But three reviews isn’t much of a representation.
They had over 16,000 customer reviews as of this writing at SocialSurvey, with a 4.85 rating out of 5. Most customers seem extremely satisfied.
Similarly, they come highly rated at Zillow, with a 4.97 star rating out of 5, based on nearly 400 customer reviews.
So all in all, they appear to come highly recommended by past customers. And that makes sense since the company’s goal is to help you achieve the American Dream of homeownership.
What Churchill Mortgage Offers
- They originate conventional, FHA, VA and USDA mortgages
- You can also get a no credit score home loan
- Unclear what individual loan programs are offered
- They don’t advertise their mortgage rates or disclose lender fees on their website
One negative to Churchill is the lack of information regarding loan products.
While their website is filled with lots of helpful mortgage tips and how-to articles, they’re a little light on company details. After some digging, I was able to see that they offer conventional, FHA, VA and USDA mortgages. That’s good news because it means all the major bases are covered with regard to loan type.
But in terms of individual loan programs, such as 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed, 5/1 ARM, etc., there’s no information.
I assume they offer all the most popular loan programs, but can’t say so definitively. It’s a bit bizarre that this information isn’t readily available.
Additionally, they make no mention of mortgage rates or lender fees, so we’re also in the dark on these key factors as well. Without knowing any of this stuff, it’s very difficult to determine how competitive Churchill is versus other mortgage lenders.
Pros & Cons
- Offers loan plans for borrowers without credit scores.
- Annual mortgage reviews help borrowers stay on track toward the goal of living debt-free.
- Offers digital conveniences such as document uploads and e-signature.
- Doesn’t provide information online about rates and fees.
- Doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs.
- You can’t apply online without first speaking to a loan specialist.
Tap to learn how COVID-19 may affect mortgage shopping
Churchill Mortgage at a glance
Churchill Mortgage takes an unusual approach when it comes to mortgage debt. Its goal is to get you to quit paying a mortgage. Churchill Mortgage calls it “debt-free homeownership.”
Wait. A mortgage lender advocating a debt-free goal?
Helping clients own a home free and clear is the “Churchill Mission.” It began with debt-free-lifestyle guru Dave Ramsey, then a fledgling radio host, pitching advertising to the company more than 25 years ago. What started as a business relationship ended up informing Churchill’s philosophy of mortgage lending.
Here’s a breakdown of Churchill Mortgage’s overall score:
- Variety of loan types: 4 of 5 stars
- Variety of loan products: 4 of 5 stars
- Online convenience: 4 of 5 stars
- Rates and fees: 3 of 5 stars
- Rate transparency: 1 of 5 stars
Churchill Mortgage loan types and products
Churchill Mortgage offers purchase, refinance, and jumbo home loans, as well as FHA, VA, and USDA government-backed loans. The lender also works with borrowers without credit scores, in a break from the traditional method of determining risk. Churchill doesn’t originate home equity loans or lines of credit but will “broker them out,” it says. That’s basically handing the loans off to lenders that will make such second mortgages on home equity.
The company doesn’t have minimum or maximum loan amounts.
Churchill Mortgage online convenience
Select the “Get Started” button on churchillmortgage.com and enter contact information, which is routed to an office in Nashville, Tennessee. You’ll get a call to continue the loan process.
You can upload documents online, and the company uses e-signatures too. Average closing time is 30 to 45 days.
Churchill Mortgage rates and fees
One of the most important considerations when choosing a mortgage lender is understanding what the loan will cost. In order to provide consumers with a general sense of what a lender might charge, NerdWallet scores lenders on two factors regarding fees and mortgage rates:
- A lender’s average origination fee compared with the median of all lenders reporting under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Churchill Mortgage earns 3 of 5 stars on this factor.
- A lender’s offered mortgage rates compared with the best available on comparable loans. Churchill Mortgage earns 3 of 5 stars on this factor.
Borrowers should consider the balance between lender fees and mortgage rates. While it’s not always the case, paying upfront fees can lower your mortgage interest rate. Some lenders will charge higher upfront fees to lower their advertised interest rate and make it more attractive. Some lenders just charge higher upfront fees.
You can decide to buy discount points — a fee paid with your closing costs — to reduce your mortgage rate.
Deciding whether to pay higher upfront fees is a matter of considering how long you plan to live in your home and how much cash you have to apply toward closing costs when you sign the loan paperwork.
Churchill Mortgage rate transparency
Churchill Mortgage doesn’t post interest rates on its website. To get a rate quote, you will need to submit a mortgage application. The mortgage that gives you more. For over 25 years Churchill Mortgage has been helping families find the smartest home loan for a new home purchase or …
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