Mortgages

AmeriSave Review

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AmeriSave is a mortgage financing (and refinancing) company that has been in business since 2002. It’s headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The company operates throughout the United States. It primarily manages mortgages online, using technology to offer customers low interest rates through an online only application process. AmeriSave has issued more than $55 billion worth of home mortgages. They have received numerous awards for customer service. According to the company, 94% of its customers would recommend AmeriSave to family and friends.

At the end of July 2020, AmeriSave announced that it plans to hire 2,000 new employees across the U.S. by the end of the year as part of an aggressive expansion plan. The company also announced plans to open administrative offices in several cities, including Miami, Louisville, and Denver. They also plan to expand some existing offices in cities such as Phoenix. AmeriSave offers a full range of conventional mortgage loans, as well as mortgages for U.S. military veterans.

What AmeriSave Offers

As of August 2020, AmeriSave offers the public six primary types of loans.

  • Fixed rate mortgages, where the interest rate remains the same throughout the life of the loan.
  • Adjustable rate mortgages, where the interest rate adjusts over time based on market conditions.
  • Federal Housing Authority (FHA) mortgages, to help people who have imperfect credit scores or who can’t provide a large down payment.
  • Mortgages backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, as a benefit for qualifying veterans and military personnel.
  • Rural Development Loans, that are mortgages guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and designed to promote home ownership in defined rural areas.
  • Cash Out Refinancing, that enables homeowners to use their home’s equity to consolidate debt, make home improvements, pay for their children’s education, etc.

It should be noted that AmeriSave does not offer what is known as “second mortgage” products. Those are commonly considered things like home equity loans or home equity lines of credit. These are technically different than the cash out refinancing that AmeriSave does provide. Also, AmeriSave does not make construction loans or offer mortgages for manufactured housing. More than 90% of AmeriSave’s business comes from mortgage refinancing, rather than new or first-time mortgage loans.

Rates

AmeriSave posts mortgage rates to its website. Current available rates range from 2.459% on a 15-year fixed rate mortgage and 2.512% on a 30-year fixed mortgage. There is a calculator on their website that allows you to quickly calculate quickly what their monthly payments would be on both a new mortgage or a home refinancing. However, you cannot access the calculator without inputting a lot of personal information and financial details.

There are other calculators on AmeriSave’s website, including one for home affordability and a “rent versus buy” calculator. These secondary calculators are more readily accessible, but they do require some financial information from you to use them.

Like many other mortgage lenders, AmeriSave offers what are known as Jumbo Loans. These are loans ranging in value from $500,000 to $2 million, and require a minimum 20% down payment. The interest rates charged on jumbo loans aren’t readily available on the company’s website. Again, you need to provide personal information to AmeriSave to get more details on a potential jumbo mortgage.

Fees and Terms

AmeriSave does not disclose the fees it charges on its website. However, closing costs typically amount to 5% of the loan value. Consumers should make sure to understand from AmeriSave all the fees associated with a mortgage or refinance. Standard fees associated with mortgages and home loans include the following.

  • Origination: AmeriSave has conventional loan options with no loan origination fee. However, some government backed loans, such as FHA loans, come with mandatory charges.
  • Underwriting: Lenders often charge clients to verify information on their loan application. For example, a fee may be charged to pull a credit report as part of the application process.
  • Application Fee: On the Better Business Bureau website, some AmeriSave customers report being charged a $500 application fee to request a mortgage or refinance. And some of those BBB posts complain that the application fee is non-refundable.
  • Third-Party Charges: These are fees charged for items such as a title searches on a property and home value appraisals.

It is worth noting that AmeriSave promises to beat any competing mortgage offer or pay you $100. Also, AmeriSave promises that it can save its customers at least $1,000 on closing costs, loan payments, or a combination of the two. This means you can provide AmeriSave with a competitor’s loan estimate and they will either reduce their rate and fees to match it, or pay you $100.

How AmeriSave Works

Like many private mortgage lenders, AmeriSave’s process is focused online. It involves five standard steps. We provided a handy list of these steps.

  • Preapproval: AmeriSave will preapprove you for a set amount of money. That lets you exactly know how much house you can afford (and how big a mortgage you can get).
  • Locate a home: The next step is to find a home and make an offer on it. Once accepted, you take the finalized offer to AmeriSave.
  • Appraisal: AmeriSave initiates an appraisal of the home you want to buy. They want to ensure its value matches the amount of money being paid.
  • Underwriting: You are able to upload supporting documents (such as tax forms and pay stubs) on the AmeriSave website, which is convenient. Once this step is completed, the interest rate on a mortgage becomes locked in.
  • Closing: This is the final step. It involves you reviewing and paying all the closing costs related to your new home loan. Be warned that there is a lot of paperwork to be signed at this stage.

Basic information required on an AmeriSave’s mortgage or refinance application includes the following things.

  • Name and contact information
  • Social Security number
  • Government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license
  • List of assets, such as bank statements and investment records
  • List of debts, such as credit card bills and student loans
  • Last two years W-2 statements
  • Two most recent paycheck stubs

Borrower Requirements

To secure a mortgage or refinance with AmeriSave, you must provide the company with the aforementioned information. Additionally, AmeriSave recommends that all customers go through the preapproval process. Once complete, it is valid for 45 days. Preapproval can result in the total process closing much quicker. To qualify for a conventional loan, AmeriSave requires a debt-to-income ratio of 45% or lower. Some AmeriSave loans accept credit scores as low as 580. however.

As is always the case, the better your credit report, finances, and assets, the better mortgage terms you can negotiate with AmeriSave. Poor credit scores, low finances, and high debt levels will result in less favorable mortgage terms. You could also be rejected outright, if you don’t meet their criteria.

Pros

  • Mortgage preapproval and application can be done easily on AmeriSave’s website.
  • AmeriSave promises to beat any mortgage offer or pay you $100.
  • Mortgage rates offered by AmeriSave are competitive with other lenders.

Cons

  • AmeriSave does not offer home equity lines of credit or other types of home equity loans.
  • The $500 application fee is non-refundable if you cancel an application or are denied a loan for any reason.
  • There are no branch locations and no face-to-face interaction.

What Others Are Saying

AmeriSave has a “ratings and reviews” page on its website. It’s full of impressive accolades, including a 4.8 out of 5-star rating from Zillow and a top 10 rating in customer satisfaction from Lending Tree. As already mentioned, the company claims that 94% of its customers would recommend AmeriSave to family and friends. While there are a lot of industry awards and ratings on AmeriSave’s website, there are not any customer quotes or testimonials to be found.

The Bottom Line

AmeriSave is not the biggest mortgage lender around. Nor does it provide all the services of larger lenders or traditional banks. Mostly, AmeriSave specializes in mortgage refinancing. To that end, it’s a great place to start if you’re looking consolidate some debt, get a more advantageous mortgage rate, or get some of the equity out of your house for another major expense. The online process at AmeriSave is easy to use and relatively quick. The company seems to have the refinancing process down to a science.

If you’re wanting to refinance the terms of your mortgage, AmeriSave is a respectable choice. They are a perfect company for that. However, customers should not expect to get all the bells and whistles from AmeriSave that are offered by other mortgage companies and the big U.S. banks.

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