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Carrington Mortgage Review: Might Be a Good Option for Hard-to-Close Loans

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Posted on January 22nd, 2021

Today we’ll check out “Carrington Mortgage,” a top-50 mortgage lender nationally that is based in Anaheim, California.

They recently launched “Vylla Home,” which is their take on a modern all-in-one experience for home buyers and mortgage seekers.

It’s a single brand that encompasses everything from mortgage lending and loan servicing to a real estate brokerage, title, escrow, and settlement services – all under one roof.

Let’s learn more about this full-service real estate and mortgage company.

Carrington Mortgage Fast Facts

  • Retail direct-to-consumer mortgage lender
  • A top-50 mortgage lender nationally
  • Founded in 2007, headquartered in Anaheim, CA
  • Offers home purchase loans and mortgage refinances
  • Funded more than $7 billion in home loans last year
  • About two-thirds of their total loan volume consisted of mortgage refinances
  • They also operate wholesale and correspondent lending divisions and are a loan servicer
  • Currently licensed in 48 states and the District of Columbia

Carrington Mortgage Services is one of the largest mortgage lenders in the country, and also a major loan servicer as well.

Aside from running a billion-dollar retail direct-to-consumer channel, they operate wholesale and correspondent lending divisions.

This means you might be resold a Carrington Mortgage at a credit union or via one of their mortgage broker partners.

The company got its start back in 2007 in Anaheim, California (home to Disneyland), and since then has increased its footprint to 48 states and D.C., with North Dakota and Massachusetts the two exceptions.

While they mostly operate online, there are six physical locations, including offices in Scottsdale, AZ, Anaheim, CA, Windsor, CT, Jacksonville, FL, Westfield, IN, and Owing Mills, MD.

They appear to be most active in their home state of California, along with Florida and Texas.

Last year, roughly two-thirds of total production consisted of mortgage refinances, with nearly 40% resulting in cash out to the borrower.

Nearly half of all their lending was made up of FHA loans, with another 20% in VA loans, so it’s clear they specialize in government-backed mortgages.

But they offer a lot more than just the basic loan programs all the other guys have.

How to Apply for a Home Loan with Carrington Mortgage

  • It’s possible to visit a physical branch if one is located near you
  • You can also simply call them up or navigate to their website and search their loan officer directory
  • Once at an individual loan officer’s personal webpage it’s possible to apply online
  • They appear to offer a digital home loan process powered by L.O.N.

You’ve actually got quite a few options here. You can either give them a call on the phone or get started on their website. And I suppose visit an office if one happens to be located near you.

While they do have six physical locations across the United States, there’s a good chance you’ll be working with your loan team remotely.

If you choose the online route, you’ll need to provide some basic loan information like loan amount/purchase price, down payment, along with basic contact info.

At that point, a Carrington Mortgage loan officer will reach out to learn more about your situation and discuss loan options and mortgage rate pricing.

Alternatively, you can browse their online loan officer directory and find someone nearby to work with.

If you go in that direction, you’ll be able to start the digital loan application right from the individual loan officer’s personal webpage.

They appear to offer a digital app powered by Loan Originator Networks, LLC (LON). It allows you to input most loan details electronically and scan/upload supporting documents.

Ideally, you can also complete the rest of the process paperlessly as well, though that’s unclear because they don’t provide all the details.

Carrington does say you can get same-day mortgage pre-qualification letters if you’re buying a home

Loan Programs Offered by Carrington Mortgage

  • Home purchase loans
  • Refinance loans: rate and term, cash out, and streamline
  • Conventional loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • Jumbo home loans up to $3 million loan amounts
  • FHA loans
  • USDA loans
  • VA loans
  • Mortgages for first-time home buyers
  • Proprietary loan programs for low credit scores, high DTI ratios, etc.
  • Fixed-rate mortgages: 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed, and more
  • Adjustable-rate mortgages: 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1 ARMs

One plus to using Carrington Mortgage is their huge array of loan programs.

Like all other lenders, they offer both home purchase loans and refinance loans, including cash out and streamline refinances, on all types of properties including condos.

They also offer the usual stuff like conforming loans backed by Fannie/Freddie, FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans.

But what sets them apart might be their jumbo home loan offerings, which allow for loan amounts as high as $3 million.

Or their proprietary suite of lending options known as “Flexible Advantage.”

Carrington Flexible Advantage

I dedicated an entire section to “Carrington Flexible Advantage” because they offer so many different loan options.

This is basically their proprietary home financing solution that allows borrowers with less-than-perfect credit, a high DTI ratio, or past credit events to qualify for a mortgage, even if they wouldn’t otherwise.

These types of mortgages are known as portfolio loans because instead of being sold off, they are retained in the lender’s portfolio.

You can get one of these loans for a home purchase, rate and term refinance, or even a cash out refinance.

Some of the features include:

  • Credit scores as low as 550 (subprime)
  • Loan amounts up to $1.5 million with cash-out up to $250,000
  • Recent credit events like bankruptcy, short sale, foreclosure, or late mortgage payments
  • Bank statements instead of tax documents for self-employed borrowers
  • High debt-to-income ratios OK
  • No mortgage insurance required

Carrington Mortgage Rates

One downside to Carrington Mortgage is the fact that they don’t mention their mortgage rates on their website.

It’d be nice to know where they stand pricing-wise since you’ll be paying the home loan for possibly the next 30 years!

Like plenty of other lenders, they choose not to advertise their interest rates online, which is fine, but make sure you call and get pricing first before proceeding to the loan application.

You should inquire about both mortgage rates and lender fees, which together make up the loan’s mortgage APR.

Once you know their rates, and what they charge, such as an application fee and/or loan origination fee, you can better gauge how aggressive they are relative to other banks and lenders out there.

Carrington Mortgage Reviews

On Zillow, they’ve got a very impressive 4.5-star rating out of 5 from roughly 900 customer reviews.

You can filter the Zillow reviews by loan officer, which might be a helpful tool to decide who you want to work with. Since they’re a large company, experiences can vary from one loan officer to the next.

On LendingTree, they’ve got a more average 4.1-star out of 5 rating from nearly 100 reviews. They also have an 80% recommended rate, which isn’t terrific.

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They also have over 500 Google reviews with a 4.5-star rating at last glance.

Finally, Carrington Mortgage is an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau, and have been since inception in 2007.

They currently have been assigned an ‘A+’ rating based on customer complaint history.

To sum things up, Carrington Mortgage might be a good choice if you have a unique or hard-to-close loan scenario that other lenders might not go for.

Thanks to their vast array of available loan programs, they might be able to find a home for your loan where others have failed.

They’re also a one-stop shop, so third-party services like title insurance and escrow could potentially be cheaper when bundled together.

Carrington Mortgage Pros and Cons

The Good Stuff

  • Can apply for a home loan online
  • Tons of loan programs to choose from including their own unique portfolio products
  • Mostly good reviews from past customers
  • A+ BBB rating, accredited company
  • They service their loans (as opposed to transferring them)
  • Free mortgage calculators and how-to guides on their website
  • Free smartphone app to make payments and manage your loan
  • MooveGuru (third-party savings program for new home buyers)

The Maybe Not

  • Do not publicize mortgage rates or lender fees
  • Limited physical locations
  • Not licensed to lend in North Dakota or Massachusetts
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