Alterra Home Loans Mortgage Review 2020
Alterra Home Loans, a division of the Panorama Mortgage Group, was founded in 2006. Alterra Home Loans is 100% minority-owned and focuses on lending to traditionally underserved communities, including Black and Latino borrowers.
The lender is headquartered in Las Vegas and licensed in a majority of states across the country. In 2019, Alterra originated more than $1.3 billion in mortgages.
Working with Alterra Home Loans
Alterra Home Loans is licensed to operate in the following 38 states, as well as the District of Columbia.
Branch locations are available in 16 states, which are listed on Alterra’s website.
Alterra Home Loans borrowing requirements
The minimum required credit score Alterra requires typically varies by loan type. If you’re interested in a mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the lowest credit score Alterra Home Loans allows is 550, which is higher than the minimum 500 score some FHA lenders may accept with a 10% down payment.
Alterra provides mortgage products for the following property types:
- Single-family homes
- Multifamily homes
Alterra Home Loans mortgage products
- Conventional loans. Alterra offers fixed- and adjustable-rate conventional mortgages, which typically require a minimum 620 credit score and a 3% down payment. Repayment term options range from 15 to 30 years.
- Jumbo loans. Jumbo loans exceed conforming loan limits and are often used to purchase luxury homes.
- FHA loans. Alterra requires a 620 credit score for its standard FHA loan program, but accepts a minimum 550 score for its “Low FICO” FHA option. These requirements are higher than the standard FHA guidelines (580 or higher with 3.5% down and 500 to 579 with 10% down).
- VA loans. Military service members, veterans and eligible spouses may qualify for a 0% down payment loan backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
- USDA loans. Homebuyers interested in living in a rural area may qualify for a mortgage guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). No down payment is typically required, though there are income limits.
- Renovation loans. Homeowners and homebuyers looking to buy or refinance and make home improvements under the same loan can apply for a renovation loan with Alterra.
- Rate-and-term refinance loans. For those existing borrowers who need a better mortgage rate, want to lower their monthly payment or change their repayment term, Alterra offers conventional refinancing.
- Cash-out refinance loans. Alterra offers cash-out refinance options for conventional, FHA and VA loan borrowers who want to tap their home equity.
- FHA streamline refinance loans. Current FHA borrowers can refinance their loan and save money without providing income documentation or paying for a home appraisal.
- VA interest rate reduction refinance loans (IRRRLs). Existing borrowers with a VA loan can refinance into a more affordable loan while skipping many credit and income documentation requirements that are mandatory for a VA purchase loan.
Home equity products
Alterra Home Loans doesn’t offer home equity loans or home equity lines of credit.
Alterra Home Loans special mortgage programs
Alterra offers two special loan programs:
- ITIN loans. These loans are available to prospective borrowers who don’t have a Social Security number but want to buy a home in the U.S. ITIN loans are 30-year, fixed-rate loans that require a minimum 15% down payment.
- Non-conventional loans. These loans are designed for borrowers who need flexible lending guidelines, including those who are self-employed, need a jumbo loan, want to buy a non-warrantable condo or have a recent foreclosure, bankruptcy or short sale on their credit report.
The mortgage application process
Here’s what we know about Alterra’s application process, based on its website.
- How to apply. You can start the application process online by clicking the “Apply Now” button at GoAlterra.com. This brings you to an eight-step questionnaire designed to prequalify you for a loan. Once you complete the form, you’re contacted by a loan officer who will walk you through the application process and help you select the right loan. You can also visit a local branch to apply in-person.
- Disclosure process. You can create an account to upload documents and correspond with your loan officer through Alterra’s online portal. Alterra also has an app called Pronto, which allows you to accomplish the same goals and work through your loan application from a mobile device.
- Submitting loan for approval. Once all your documents are uploaded and you’ve provided all requested information, your loan officer will order a home appraisal to verify your home’s value and submit your loan application for approval.
- Final approval. Once you’ve been granted final approval for your mortgage, your loan officer or another representative will reach out to schedule your closing. You’ll receive a closing disclosure outlining the final terms of your loan three business days before your closing date.
- Closing. Alterra Home Loans offers both in-person and eClosing options. During your closing appointment, you’ll sign documents, transfer closing costs and down payment funds and finalize the purchase of your new home.
- Servicing. Alterra may opt to sell its loans to a third-party loan servicer after the closing process is complete.
Communication during the process
You’ll work with a dedicated loan officer during the mortgage application process. Otherwise, you can reach Alterra Home Loans by phone at 844-400-4565 or use the search tool to locate a branch near you.
Pros and cons of an Alterra Home Loans mortgage
- Offers a wide range of conventional and government-backed loan options
- Originates loans in a majority of states across the country
- Provides a digital mortgage application process
- Doesn’t have physical branches in every state in which it’s licensed
- Doesn’t offer home equity loan or home equity line of credit options
- Doesn’t provide information online about eligible property types