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Ally Review

Saturday, June 25th

2022 Home Loan Provider Reviews

Ally Review 1.5 Star Rating

Ally

1.5 Star Rating
  • No lender fees
  • Application managed by Better, a top-ranked mortgage service
  • Many available loan types, including fixed, adjustable, and jumbo

Ally is mostly known for banking and auto finance, with 2.5 million "deposits customers" and over 21,000 car dealerships in their network. This bank also offers most of the common home loan types, such as fixed, adjustable, and jumbo products.

See fairly accurate rates with no info required

We found some features on the Ally mortgages page that other lenders don't offer. For example, not only can you see today's rates on many different loan types, like a 7/6 ARM or a 30-year fixed, but you can also customize those rates by entering some basic details about the home's zip code and price, the down payment amount, and your estimated credit score range: no preapplication or SSN required. We weren't necessarily impressed by the rates we saw for our target property, but at least we were told upfront about what to expect.

No lender fees

Ally also wants to get your attention by offering zero lender fees: unlike most banks, this one won't charge you for your application, loan origination or processing, or underwriting. Those fees can be negotiable with other institutions, but it's nice that you don't have to jump through those hoops here.

In partnership with Better

When we started the prequalification process, we were surprised to see that Ally applications are managed by Better Mortgage, one of our highest-ranked home loan providers. What does that mean for you? If you apply for a loan here, your application will go through Better: they'll manage it, serve as a broker in certain situations, and then take your loan all the way through underwriting and closing. From that point, they hand it over to Ally for servicing.

Best Home Loans

Many unresolved complaints

We're not going to go through all of the steps of the Better home loan process here: you can read more about that in our in-depth review of that financial institution. We will say that while we love Better, we're not impressed by having Ally as the final destination for your home loan. Why? Ally has a disappointing "D-" rating from the Better Business Bureau. Out of nearly 1,800 complaints filed against Ally in the last three years, more than 100 were still marked as unresolved.

Not much positive feedback for this lender

It's actually challenging to find anyone with a pleasant experience doing business with Ally (beyond the three positive, obviously hand-selected reviews on the Ally site that also happened to be over a year old). Ally clients say that their customer service team is extremely hard to reach, and when you do get someone, it's usually a rep who is based overseas and difficult to understand. While most of the complaints about Ally are related to auto loans and banking, we also found problems specific to mortgages. These range from having multiple hard pulls that negatively impacted a prospective borrower's credit profile to significant delays in document processing.

Lowest-ranked option for home loans

There's no reason to trust Ally with your home loan. It's far too likely that you'll have a bad experience, with no easy way to make it right if something goes wrong during your application or during loan servicing. Choose a different lender for your mortgage.

Where Can You Get the Best Home Loans?

Your first thought might be to visit your local bank or broker, but think again. Why? You're not likely to get the very best rates and terms there. True, you might get a promo or slightly lower interest rate for being a current customer, but will your financial institution shop around to find you the ideal loan for your situation?

More than likely, they'll fit you with whichever mortgage is convenient (or profitable) instead of working to get you a home loan with the best possible terms. With interest rates constantly fluctuating, it's never a bad time to start looking into your financing options if homeownership is your goal. Even if you're just curious to see how much you can ultimately afford when the time comes, that will help you start budgeting and saving to have enough to secure your new home when you're ready.

The Best Home Loan Providers Compare Home Loan Providers Compare Home Loan Provider Reviews What are the best Home Loan Providers Best Home Loan Provider Reviews

Home Loan Provider FAQ

Yes, a home loan is the same thing as a mortgage: borrowing money to purchase a home. Home loans are different from home equity loans or home equity lines of credit: the former represents the funds you use to buy your home, while the latter two are used to borrow money against any equity you've built up in the property.
Lenders use many factors to determine your eligibility to take out a mortgage. One of the biggest is your credit history: your credit score, your debt-to-income ratio (i.e. how much you owe on credit cards and any other loans vs. how much you earn), any missing or late payments, and so forth. Other factors include the amount of your down payment, how long you've had steady employment, and the purchase price of the home you want to buy.
It's commonly said that you can afford to buy a home that costs anywhere from 1.5 to 2 times your yearly gross income, but there's a lot more to consider. How much will you pay for property taxes and insurance? Do you have any other debts, like car payments or student loans? How much money will you put down at closing? There are plenty of sites that offer tools to help you calculate how much you can afford to borrow when buying a home; these tools take into account many of these components to give you a more accurate picture of your borrowing power.
Prequalifying for a home loan means that you've taken an informal look at your finances to determine how much you can afford and whether you meet the minimum requirements to take out a mortgage. This can be done without going too deeply into your financial information. On the other hand, a preapproval is given when you complete a full mortgage application: the lender accesses your full credit report and gives you a written offer for a loan at a specific interest rate, subject to your finding a home to buy and completing the underwriting process. Having a prequalification or preapproval letter can make you a more compelling candidate to buy a home and may put you ahead of other parties making an offer.
Yes, especially if you're a first-time home buyer. There are VA loans with no down payment required if you have a military connection, USDA loans with 100% financing on rural properties, FHA loans for buyers with less-than-stellar credit, and many more. While those programs are all federal, there are additional home-buying programs offered by individual states that may also help you get a loan.
An escrow account holds money in reserve to pay your homeowner's insurance, property taxes, and PMI (if required). Your lender collects that money with your monthly mortgage payments, and then disburses the funds to your insurance company and local tax collector by the due date. Some home loans require you to have an escrow account, while others may allow you to pay your taxes and insurance on your own. (But you'll have to make sure to set aside the money, since it won't be collected automatically each month.)
PMI stands for "private mortgage insurance" . It's a fee you may have to pay each month if you're not going to make a down payment of at least 20% of the total loan amount. This third-party insurance coverage protects your lender if you default on your mortgage. You can usually request to have those payments removed once you've reached an equity level of at least 22%; that can be accomplished by making your regular monthly payments over time, by making additional payments towards the principal balance, or by submitting an appraisal showing that your home would currently sell for an amount that would give you the necessary equity (i.e. if home values have increased significantly since the date of purchase).
Absolutely. Some of today's most competitive rates are offered by online-only mortgage lenders with thousands of satisfied customers and a strong reputation for integrity, efficiency and affordability. Of course, it's always a wise idea to check out the background of any home loan provider you're considering prior to offering sensitive financial information or documentation. The Better Business Bureau is a good resource to determine a company's history, as well as current customer reviews.
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Continued from above...

Some mortgage terms stipulate that the funds can't come from a last-minute gift or contribution from a well-meaning family member, so plan ahead!

The easiest way to know how much you can borrow is by shopping for a home loan online. While some lenders require you to enter your personal information to show you their rates, others post sample rates online or let you choose your credit score range and other details to preview a more personalized quote. Be mindful that there's a difference between a "soft pull" on your credit - usually used to prequalify you, and only uses your address and phone number to verify your identity - and a "hard pull" that will impact your credit history.

The latter usually happens only when you've got a home under contract and you're ready to secure a mortgage, but pay attention to the fine print when you're checking out a lender's rates. You don't want to be "just browsing" and find out that your credit score took a nosedive with an unintentional hard inquiry on your report!

With many lenders interested in your business, how can you decide which one to use for your mortgage? Here are a few factors to look at before you complete a loan application:

  • Loan types. Most people choose a conventional fixed mortgage of 15 or 30 years, and the majority of lenders offer that. If you're looking for something different, like an FHA loan or an ARM, you might need to shop around a bit more.
  • Transparency. How easy is it to see the lender's current rates and fees? Can you get an idea on their main site or do you have to create an account first?
  • Closing costs. The best home loan providers will tell you what to expect well in advance. Some include that information in the disclosures in the fine print at the bottom of the site, even before you give them any of your personal details. Others provide it when you've given them enough info to verify your identity but before filling out a formal application. Some closing costs are negotiable, so don't be afraid to ask any lender to make you an offer.
  • Reputation. What do borrowers say about their experience with the financial institution? It's one thing to have great loan rates, but if the lender drops the ball during the purchasing process or if their customer service after closing is a nightmare, it's not worth the money you might save. Consider the lender's rating with the Better Business Bureau to start, but also look at recent customer comments to get a snapshot of how well the home loan provider is doing across the entire lifecycle of the mortgage (from pre-application to post-closing servicing).

To help you finance the home of your dreams, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's most popular mortgage lenders. We're confident that this information will be useful on your journey to home ownership. Congratulations!

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