Anyone familiar with Caliber Home Loans? Nonbank / bank lending

6 Replies

I’m in the process of doing a cash out refinance but the loan officer works with caliber home loans. I’m a little nervous because my current mortgage is through Wells Fargo and I don’t have any experience with non bank lenders. What are the pros and cons with going through a bank/non bank? Anyone have experience with Caliber Home Loans?

Thank you!

Hi @Erika Simpson -

Personally, I'd have zero concerns about doing a loan through a non big-box bank ... Caliber is considered a mortgage bank - all day, every day, the only thing they're doing is mortgages.

I can't speak directly to how either of these companies handle refi's, but I have clients that have used both for purchases.  One thing to understand is that your experience with either will greatly depend on the loan officer that you're working with.  There are good loan reps at Wells and there are bad ones ... there are good reps at Caliber and bad ones.  Regardless of what firm you use for any of your loan needs, do everything you can to make sure you're working with one of their top people.  While two reps from the same firm will quote you the same rate, their ability to execute the loan can be night and day different.

In regards to pros and cons ... think of the lending world as falling into 3 primary buckets: 1) traditional banks and credit unions (ie, Wells, BofA, Chase, etc), 2) mortgage banks (ie, Caliber, Quicken, Fairway, etc), and 3) mortgage brokers.

Traditional Banks: (they do loans and hold deposits)
Pros: because they tend to do such a large volume of loans, they are able to offer low rates ... they have the ability to do portfolio loans
Cons: very slow turn times - if you need to close quickly, they're generally unable to perform ... they tend to use national appraisal management companies and appraisal issues are common in competitive markets.

Mortgage Banks: (they only do loans - no deposits)
Pros: have the ability to close loans much faster - some of the local mortgage banks that we work with on purchases will routinely close loans in less than 14 days ... they often setup their own appraisal management companies and are able to improve the appraisal quality by ensuring the use of local appraisers.
Cons: while they should be very competitive with their rates, they're not going to be the absolute lowest ... portfolio loans are generally not an option - they need to sell their loans right away so they can get that money back to lend it out again.

Mortgage Brokers:
Pros: they will have access to a bunch of different lenders and loan products, so they can submit your info to whichever one is offering the best terms at that moment.
Cons: they have no control/influence over the underwriters or the timeframes ... they're generally forced to use national appraisal management companies, so appraisal issues are more common

Hope this is helpful and good luck with the refi!

Originally posted by @Brian Sparr :

Hi @Erika Simpson -

Mortgage Brokers:
Pros: they will have access to a bunch of different lenders and loan products, so they can submit your info to whichever one is offering the best terms at that moment.
Cons: they have no control/influence over the underwriters or the timeframes ... they're generally forced to use national appraisal management companies, so appraisal issues are more common

Hope this is helpful and good luck with the refi!

 I think we both know what local mortgage banker's blog you are echoing, and they are indeed the folks that hired me into the mortgage industry, so I bear them zero ill will at all. :)

They left the broker world about 5 years ago, their on the job experience is obsolete. The market is always shifting. One shift that has happened since then is that two of the five largest wholesale lenders in the country now own and operate their own subsidiary AMC. Mortgage brokers love this, those AMCs know exactly what greases the gears (& the appraisers know the quickest way to not ever get another appraisal order from that AMC). This is a very significant part of what helped propel them into that top 5, in both cases. 

In general it is indeed best to avoid the use of use the national independent AMCs for purchase business. You want either a local independent AMC, or an AMC owned by the wholesale lender. You get the same results either way.

@Chris Mason - you're absolutely correct ... I got about half way through my response and realized that everything I was typing seemed way too familiar for it to have been an original thought - if then dawned on me that Jay had sent an email that morning about that very topic.

Who are these 2 wholesale lenders that you're referring to?