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AmeriSave Review

Saturday, June 25th

2022 Home Loan Provider Reviews

AmeriSave Review 3 Star Rating

AmeriSave

3 Star Rating
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In business for over 20 years
  • Licensed in all states except for NY
  • Over 390,000 home loans financed
  • Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA loan types

For over 20 years, AmeriSave has been helping people get and refinance home loans. They've funded over $103 billion for nearly 400,000 homes in 49 states plus Washington DC (sorry, New Yorkers, but AmeriSave isn't an option for you).

Not as many rates displayed now

In the past, prospective borrowers could click on the Rates tab and get a chart of the current rates and terms. During our most recent visit to the AmeriSave site, we could only find a preliminary idea of one "as low as" daily rate. Just check the bottom of the page for all of the corresponding assumptions and disclaimers. As with any home loan provider, your rates and terms depend on your borrower profile.

Phone verification can be tricky

Click on Home Purchase to start the process of prequalifying for an AmeriSave mortgage. You'll be asked for your current address, your step in the home purchasing process (signed a purchase agreement, researching options, and so on), and other typical details. To confirm your identity, AmeriSave asks you to provide a mobile number and respond with a verification code. We had some challenges getting the site to recognize our cell number: we kept getting error messages saying that it "does not appear to be valid" , and we had to use another number on a different carrier (or call AmeriSave's toll-free number to continue the process).

Soft pull on credit to get quotes

Once you've jumped through those hoops, you'll have a soft credit check to get a rate quote. That's the only option: you can't self-report your credit score or even get a ballpark of your rates. That's pretty standard within the home loans industry, but some lenders give you a little more information before requiring identity verification.

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Reputation trending downward

While we're happy to see that AmeriSave continues to have an "A+" and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau, some more recent client feedback has us feeling a little hesitant about recommending this lender wholeheartedly. Yes, they have over 6600 five-star reviews, but many of the client comments we read from the last few months are very unhappy with this lender. From pushy and disrespectful customer service reps to huge delays in processing paperwork that resulted in much higher monthly payments, there are too many negative comments for us to trust that AmeriSave is completely living up to their earlier five-star ratings.

Non-refundable application fee

Another downside that you may not spot until later is AmeriSave's non-refundable application fee of $500. We eventually found it in the "Advance Application Fee Agreement" part of our home loan application, but we might not have noticed it if it weren't for it being mentioned by other AmeriSave clients. In other words, once you start the formal application process, there's no way to get that money back - even if your mortgage application is denied or you find a better rate with another lender. We could understand that if it was non-refundable after the appraisal part of the process (after all, that costs money and is paid to a third party), but it's not great to have it applied regardless.

Could be better, could be worse

We give AmeriSave a cautious three-star rating. There's something to be said for a lender that operates in almost all 50 states, has been around for two decades, and that has a history of keeping customers happy. And yet, we can't ignore the apparent downturn in more recent months. You may want to keep AmeriSave in reserve as a backup option for home loans, if you don't find what you need with one of the higher-ranked options in our review.

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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