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Churchill Mortgage Review 2020

Editor’s note: The overall conclusions, recommendations and opinions are the author’s alone. The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.

Churchill Mortgage Corporation is a national mortgage lender with a range of available mortgage programs suited for various types of homebuyers. The employee-owned lender was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Brentwood, Tenn.

Churchill Mortgage offers loans for home purchases, as well as mortgage refinancing options.

Pros and cons of a Churchill Mortgage loan

Pros

  • Ability to apply for a loan online or through the smartphone app
  • Can become a “certified homebuyer” and close on your home seven to 10 days sooner
  • No rate-lock fees for up to 90 days
  • Website features several guides and resources to educate prospective homebuyers on the mortgage process

Cons

  • No available home equity products
  • No rate-lock option for the “No Score” loan program
  • Website lacks information about who provides loan servicing after closing
  • Website lacks information about available loan terms and interest rates

Working with Churchill Mortgage

Churchill Mortgage provides home loans in 46 states and the District of Columbia.

There are several communication methods for prospective homebuyers. Options include email, phone, in-person and online. You may also complete an online form to request a call from a loan specialist.

In 2019, Churchill Mortgage closed $2.2 billion in loan origination volume, according to a press release.

Churchill Mortgage borrowing requirements

The minimum credit score accepted for Churchill’s home loans depends on the mortgage product. For example, if you plan to make the smallest allowable down payment, the typical required credit score is 620 for conventional loans and 580 for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

Loans insured by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) both have flexible credit score requirements. Churchill also offers a “No Score” loan for borrowers without a credit score.

Churchill Mortgage provides home loan options for the following property types:

  • Single-family homes
  • Multifamily homes
  • Condominiums

The lender doesn’t offer mortgages for manufactured homes, however.

Churchill Mortgage products

Purchase

  • Conventional loans, which follow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines. Churchill’s website doesn’t list its available loan terms.
  • FHA loans, which you can qualify for with a minimum 500 credit score and a 10% down payment. Otherwise, you’d need at least a 580 score put down the minimum 3.5%.
  • VA loans, which are reserved for military service members, veterans and eligible spouses. There’s no down payment or mortgage insurance requirement. While the VA doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement, many lenders require a score of 620 or higher.
  • USDA loans, which cater to homebuyers in rural areas. The minimum credit score is typically 640, but you may qualify with a lower score.
  • Nontraditional loans, including jumbo, no-credit-score and adjustable-rate loans.

Refinance

Churchill offers traditional refinances for borrowers who may be interested in:

  • Lowering their interest rate
  • Reducing their loan term
  • Removing private mortgage insurance
  • Switching their loan type

Cash-out refinances are also another available financing option.

Churchill Mortgage special mortgage programs

Churchill’s “No Score” loan is designed for buyers without a traditional credit history and who may not qualify for a standard mortgage. Applicants provide proof of a positive payment history for at least four alternative credit accounts. Examples include:

  • Cellphone bills
  • Child care payments
  • Insurance bills
  • Rent payments

An underwriter reviews their documentation, assesses any risks and potentially approves them for a home loan. Churchill’s website says that applying for a 15-year mortgage under this program with a 20% down payment may boost your chances of approval.

The mortgage application process

  • How to apply. Prospective borrowers can apply for a mortgage online, over the phone, in person (if there’s a nearby branch) or by using the mobile app. There’s an option to start the application process by getting preapproved and becoming a certified homebuyer, which involves a similar process to a mortgage preapproval, including a review of your credit history, income and assets. The main difference is an underwriter also reviews this information upfront, rather than waiting until later in the process.
  • Disclosure process. You’ll upload supporting documentation as needed and can do so online or through the Churchill Mortgage app. However, as a certified homebuyer who has already submitted the necessary documentation for preapproval, you’re conditionally approved at this point and can begin your house hunt.
  • Submitting loan for approval. You’ll be asked to submit any outstanding documents to wrap up your loan application. This is also when third-party services, such as a home appraisal and inspection, are scheduled and completed.
  • Final approval. A loan underwriter will verify all of the details of your application. If you’re a certified homebuyer, this process involves double-checking the info from your conditional approval. Once everything is verified, the underwriter can issue a “clear-to-close.” This gives the lender the green light to begin drafting the loan documents and closing disclosure.
  • Closing. Once you have final approval, you’ll schedule your mortgage closing. You exchange money, sign documents and get your new house keys.

Communication during the process

  • Initial contact. Homebuyers can call or complete the online form to be connected with a loan specialist who will assist with every step of the mortgage process, including comparing loan options, preparing documents and closing.
  • Loan processing contact. There will be a processor assigned to the applicant who may reach out if they need to request additional documents.
  • Electronic status notifications. The mobile app or online portal can keep the applicant informed during the loan process by sending updates.
 

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