Bank of America 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.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America brand was launched in 1998 and is among the top five largest retail banks in the United States based on its assets, according to the Federal Reserve. The company offers bank accounts, credit cards and several loan products, including mortgages.
In 2019, the bank originated 134,000 mortgages, according to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Working with Bank of America
Bank of America has mortgage loan officers available at locations in 42 states, listed below, and the District of Columbia.
Bank of America has an estimated 4,300 branches and 3,000 lending centers across the U.S., and serves customers in more than 35 countries across Europe, Africa and beyond. In 2019, the lender originated more than $72 billion in mortgages.
Regardless of whether you’re near a branch, you have several options for communicating with Bank of America during the mortgage application process, including online and by phone. The lender also offers several online tools, including a real estate center to help borrowers shop for their dream home.
Bank of America borrowing requirements
There’s no specific minimum credit score to qualify for a Bank of America mortgage listed online, but the site does mention that a “good” score of at least 670 may provide prospective homebuyers with a better chance of approval.
Bank of America offers mortgages for all property types, including:
- Single-family homes
- Multifamily homes
- Condos and co-ops
- Manufactured homes
- Investment properties
Bank of America mortgage products
- Conventional loans. Bank of America offers fixed-rate conventional mortgages with 15-, 20- and 30-year terms, as well as 5/1, 7/1 and 10/1 adjustable-rate loans.
- Jumbo loans. These mortgage amounts exceed the conforming loan limits put in place by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which is $510,400 in 2020 for most U.S. counties.
- FHA loans. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures loans that require a lower minimum credit score — 580, in most cases — and a 3.5% down payment.
- VA loans. Military service members, veterans and eligible spouses may qualify for a home loan backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with 0% down.
- Construction loans. The lender provides loans for home builders and their buyers through its National Builder Division.
Bank of America offers the following mortgage refinance products:
- Traditional fixed- and adjustable-rate refinance loans
- FHA and VA refinance loans
- Cash-out refinance loans
Home equity products
Bank of America provides home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) up to $500,000 with no application fee or closing costs. It does not offer home equity loans or reverse mortgages.
Bank of America special mortgage programs
- Affordable Loan Solution® mortgage. This low-down-payment program requires just 3% down and doesn’t include a mortgage insurance requirement.
- Freddie Mac Home Possible® mortgage. The Home Possible loan program also has a 3% down payment requirement, and private mortgage insurance is mandatory for borrowers putting down less than 20%.
The mortgage application process
- How to apply. You have the choice to prequalify if you want to see your options without applying for a loan right away. Fill out some basic information to get an estimate of the mortgage amount you might be able to qualify for. When you’re ready for the mortgage preapproval process, you can speak with a loan specialist over the phone, set up an appointment to meet in person or complete an online application from the comfort of your home.
- Disclosure process. Bank of America’s Digital Mortgage Experience®, which is offered via desktop or mobile app, allows borrowers to electronically upload all required qualifying documents. The docs go directly to the loan specialist and can be signed with an electronic signature.
- Submitting loan for approval. Once you’ve completed your mortgage application and submitted the required documentation, your loan specialist will send your file to an underwriter for review. Bank of America also gives you the option to lock your mortgage rate once you’ve applied for a mortgage.
- Final approval. As you work toward final loan approval, Bank of America will order a home appraisal to verify the home’s value aligns with the purchase price and loan amount. If all goes well, you’ll be cleared to close on your mortgage.
- Closing. At your scheduled mortgage closing, you’ll pay closing costs and your down payment, sign legal documents and finalize your home purchase.
- Servicing. Bank of America has an in-house loan servicing department. You can make mortgage payments, view statements and manage your mortgage through your online banking account.
Communication during the process
After a Bank of America loan specialist gathers all of your documents, your file will go to processing with an underwriter. However, you can always connect with a loan specialist by calling (866) 466-0979 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST, and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. EST. You also have the option to schedule an appointment directly from the website.
Throughout the application process, you can utilize the Bank of America Digital Mortgage Experience to track the status of your loan, update information as required and stay in touch with your loan specialist.
Pros and cons of a Bank of America mortgage
- Offers a range of purchase and refinance products
- Offers small down payment loan programs
- Provides a fully digital mortgage application process
- Provides reduced loan origination fees for existing customers
- Publishes up-to-date mortgage rate information
- No available USDA loan options
- Website lacks information about eligible property types
- Website lacks information about minimum required credit scores