Churchill Mortgage Review | The Ascent

Top perks

A lender who helps you strategize your debt payoff

Churchill is different from other lenders in a way you might find very appealing.

Its mission is to do what’s right for you. Churchill says, “We want to set you up for financial success and ultimately set you free.”

Churchill’s unusual approach involves focusing on your financial well-being, not on getting you the most house for your money. Churchill suggests loan options that get you out of debt fastest and at a lower cost. To accomplish a faster payoff, you usually have to buy a home in a lower price bracket. If that doesn’t suit you, Churchill offers traditional 30-year mortgages.

No-score mortgage

Churchill Mortgage offers a home loan for borrowers with no credit score. That’s because Churchill caters to people who have worked hard to pay off their debt. Worked really hard — some of these hopeful home buyers shut down all of their credit accounts and spent years paying them down to zero. Others are in the cash lifestyle tribe, and eschew credit in general because of the cost and the potential for financial pain. In either case, the absence of recently reported credit data can leave a person with no credit score. That doesn’t mean you aren’t creditworthy.

The no-score mortgage might be a great option for you if you don’t have or want credit accounts. It could also be a great choice if you plan to establish credit but haven’t gotten started.

Specialty home loan options

Besides the usual choices, Churchill also offers a few home loan options you can’t find everywhere:

  • USDA loan: a zero down payment loan for low- and moderate-income borrowers buying an eligible home, usually in a rural area
  • Bank statement loan: for self-employed borrowers who want to qualify based on cash flow instead of tax returns and pay stubs
  • Physician loan: a low down payment loan with no mortgage insurance for medical professionals with high income
  • Construction loan: for borrowers buying a home that hasn’t been built yet

Churchill says that in 2022 it will offer a piggyback loan option. Piggyback loans are usually used to help a borrower avoid mortgage insurance. For example, you make a down payment equal to 10% of the purchase price, get a mortgage for 80%, and get a piggyback loan (second mortgage) for the remaining 10%.

Low down payment mortgage

Churchill offers a number of home loan options that have a very low down payment requirement. You can get a conventional mortgage at Churchill with 3% down. If you qualify for a VA loan or a USDA loan, the down payment requirement is zero.

Free rate cap

Churchill offers a free rate cap. (Some lenders call this a rate lock.) Once your rate is approved, Churchill holds it there for you for free for 90 days. If mortgage rates go down before you close your loan, Churchill lowers your rate. If mortgage rates go up, yours stays the same. You can extend your rate cap for another 90 days if you need to.

Note that the rate cap is not available on all loans.

Refinance rate watch

If you want to keep an eye on interest rates and refinance your mortgage as soon as it makes good financial sense you can sign up for Churchill’s Rate Watch. You’re automatically notified when interest rates hit your target.

What could be improved

No home equity loan or HELOC

Churchill does not currently offer a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). If you want to access your home equity, you need to apply for a cash-out refinance loan.

Lack of transparency

Churchill does not disclose its rates, fees, or specific qualification criteria. There is an application fee, but Churchill doesn’t say how much it is or whether it’s refundable when you close your loan. Likewise, the origination fee is unknown until you apply.

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