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Freedom Mortgage: BiggerPockets Review

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Freedom Mortgage is best for first-time homebuyers and low- to moderate-income borrowers. They are leaders in the VA and FHA loan markets. Freedom does do investment property loans with down payments of 20 percent or more.

Freedom Mortgage is a privately held mortgage company headquartered in Mount Laurel, N.J. The company was founded in 1990 and currently services around one million customers. The company operates all across the U.S., including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. It has more than 1,100 loan offices and 100 branches. 

Freedom specializes in government-assisted loans, such as Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. It offers many of the major loan types, from conventional to adjustable-rate mortgages, but it also has robust cash-out and refinancing options. 

In 2019, Freedom acquired J.G. Wentworth Home Lending. The buyout expanded its mortgage servicing portfolio and its presence in the mid-Atlantic, adding some 35 offices to Freedom’s lineup. J.G. Wentworth Home Lending, a former subsidiary of J.G. Wentworth Company, does more than $6 billion a year in mortgage originations. 

J.G. Wentworth Home Lending operates in 46 states and the District of Columbia. J.G. offers conventional loans and jumbo mortgages, including government-insured Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Affairs (VA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans.  

The minimum credit score for FHA and VA loans is as low as 500. Freedom is able to accommodate poor credit and those with low credit scores. Its minimum credit score on its conventional loans is 620 and it offers down payments as low as three percent. 

As far as closing costs, they can be between two and five percent of the home price, per Freedom. But closing costs for refinancing can be far less. If you’re refinancing a VA or FHA loan the fees could be even lower. 


Quick facts

  • Freedom has a robust selection of government-backed mortgage programs, which is where it shines. Three-quarters of Freedom’s loan originations are VA or FHA loans—making it one of the top three originators of VA and FHA loans in the country. 
  • Freedom Mortgage specializes in first-time home buying. They offer down payments as low as three percent and only focus on residential loans, not commercial loans. 
  • The company is a mortgage firm and not a banking intuition, therefore it doesn’t offer banking or investing products. They expanded their service area with the purchase of J.G. Wentworth’s lending division last year, but they still lack a presence in many major metropolitan areas. 

CURRENT INTEREST RATES
Freedom Mortgage does not display their average mortgage rates. Freedom notes that mortgage rates are personalized; therefore, it doesn’t list its average rates on its website. Instead, Freedom says there are many factors that go into your mortgage interest rate, including current interest rates, credit scores and paying for points. The amount of down payment and loan-to-value (LTV) ratio may also affect the rate. 





Pros

  • Freedom Mortgage is a market leader when it comes to government-insured loans, notably FHA and VA loans. Most of their loans are one of the two, with no down payment options for VA and USDA loans. 
  • Freedom offers a variety of cash-out refinance options, including conventional, FHA, and VA. The cash-out refinancing can be up to 100 percent loan-to-value for VA loans and 80 percent for conventional and FHA loans. The funding fee for VA loans can be financed part of the VA loan. 
  • The mortgage firm will do investment properties, but require at least 20 percent as a down payment. 

Cons

  • Freedom does not list its average mortgage rates online. Rather, it says its rates are personalized and based on factors, such as credit scores and LTV ratios. 
  • The firm does not offer an online mortgage application. Applicants must apply via telephone or in one of their branches, but its physical presence is limited in a number of major metropolitan areas.  
  • Freedom offers no home equity loans or home equity line of credits, nor do they offer other banking or investing services. 
  • Freedom is best suited for first-time homebuyers, with options being limited for other borrowers. Other competitors have more loan offerings. 



Freedom Mortgage loan options

Freedom Mortgage offers fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). In addition, Freedom also offers government-insured loans, including FHA, VA, and USDA loans. The mortgage company also offers refinancing and jumbo loans. 

Its conventional fixed-rate loans are for 15 or 30 year terms. The mortgage company’s ARMs include one-, three-, five, and seven-year lockup periods. The mortgage company also offers various low-down payment options, such as 3.5 percent for 15- or three-year FHA loans. Or no down payment for VA and USDA fixed-rate loans. For well-qualified borrowers, the down payment can be as low as three percent.

It allows the funding fee for VA loans to be financed as part of the loan. This allows those qualifying for VA loans to close on their loans with no out-of-pocket costs. Freedom also doesn’t require private mortgage insurance for its VA loans. 

Freedom also offers refinancing options, including for conventional, VA, and FHA. The cash-out refinancing provided by Freedom allows borrowers to refinance their loan and take cash out of the equity they’ve built up. 


Freedom Mortgage and real estate investors

If you’re a first-time homebuyer that’s interested in leveraging an FHA loan to buy a multi-family unit—one of which you’ll live in—then Freedom Mortgage might be able to help. Well-qualified borrowers may qualify for low-down-payment options of up to three percent. You may still have to pay private mortgage insurance until you hit the 20 percent LTV mark. 

Freedom Mortgage offers loans on investment properties as well. The mortgage firm does note that down payments for investment properties are usually 20 percent or more. 

Freedom also offers cash-out refinances and conventional, VA and FHA refinances. They’ll do up to 80 percent LTV for conventional and FHA loans, and up to 100 percent for VA. 


Freedom Mortgage home loan process

Freedom mortgage applications are completed either in-branch via telephone. You can fill out a short survey online and choose to be contacted by a banker to discuss your options. Borrowers can search for a loan office near them—if one is not within range, then they are provided with a toll-free number to call. 

They have standard requirements that are similar to other mortgage lenders, including requiring employment information for the past two years, pay stubs, W-2s or 1099s, and federal tax returns for the past two years.


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