Fairway Independent Mortgage Review

About Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation

Customer service is a way of life at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. Our philosophy is that Fairway and the customer are a TEAM. We work with you to make the dream of owning a home a reality. Fairway's flexibility to act as either a direct lender or as a mortgage broker ensures that we will find the right loan product at the best price to fit each customer's specific needs.

We specialize in assisting First Time Homebuyers and Military Veterans with little or no money down loan products, which include using Down Payment Assistance programs. Our experience and knowledge of government (HUD/FHA/VA) loan programs make buying your first home or relocating to your new military post simple and stress free. We offer a complete line of loan products including programs for customers with less than perfect credit. Our ability to connect you with a local and professional Realtor may allow you to move into your new home with ZERO OUT OF POCKET COSTS!

Our goal is to expedite and streamline the loan process, educate our customers, customize the loan program to meet your financial goals and become your lender for life. By consistently providing outstanding customer service, Fairway customers become not only our friends, but our Raving Fans.

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What is Fairway Independent?

Fairway Independent was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in both Madison, Wis., and Carrollton, Texas. In 2018, Fairway’s total mortgage volume was $26.7 billion. As of the end of the first quarter of 2019, loan volume was at $5.6 billion. It was also ranked fourth out of the nation’s top 100 mortgage companies by Mortgage Executive Magazine.

Fairway’s website has several helpful tools and resources for loan applicants, including calculators that help estimate how much you can afford for a mortgage.

The website is relatively easy to use. However, as it is packed with information, it may take some time and effort to find exactly the information for which you’re looking. The site also lacks some details pertinent to an applicant, such as the required credit score needed to get a loan. LendingTree reached out directly to Fairway to gather some of that information, which can be found below.


Working with Fairway Independent

Fairway Independent is currently licensed to do business in all 50 states within the U.S. The company has locations in the following 48 states, all of which have loan officers:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

The application process can be managed online, on the phone or in person. Applicants have the option to either complete an application right away or set up an initial consultation and pre-qualification to go over the different programs offered. Applicants can determine which program might work best for their needs while also estimating how much they can afford.

The minimum credit score Fairway Independent accepts for borrowers is typically 580. However, there are certain products that require a higher score and others that may allow for lower scores.

Fairway Independent can offer manual underwriting with some programs to help evaluate an applicant’s ability to pay off the loan. Manual underwriting varies with each program, providing different results on a case-by-case basis.

  • Fairway Independent issues loans for the following types of properties:
    • Single-family (1 to 4 unit) homes
    • Manufactured homes
    • Condominiums
    • Planned-unit development
    • Renovation loans and new construction
  • Fairway Independent does not lend on the following types of properties:
    • Co-ops
    • Condo-hotels
    • Houseboats
    • Timeshare units
    • Bed and breakfasts

Fairway Independent products

Fairway Independent offers a wide selection of different products, ranging from purchase loans to home equity, fitting a variety of needs for many borrowers.

Purchase:

Refinance:

Home equity

  • Reverse mortgage
    • Home equity conversion mortgage for purchase (H4P)
    • Home equity conversion mortgages (HECMs)
    • Proprietary reverse mortgages

Fairway Independent special mortgage programs

Fairway Independent also offers some special programs and perks for loan applicants. These can include the use of the company’s own internal credit improvement department, along with down payment assistance and secondary financing. Loan applicants can also apply for high loan-to-value (LTV) and low-down-payment programs that include the following: FHA, USDA, VA, Fannie Mae HomeReady, Freddie Mac Home Possible and Freddie Mac HomeOne.


The mortgage application process

The mortgage application process can basically be tailored to the applicant’s preferences. It can be done electronically, allowing the applicant to apply online and upload documents digitally, over the phone or in person.

The FairwayNow app makes for an even easier application experience, allowing a loan applicant to apply electronically on their phone or desktop. Documents can also be uploaded directly on the app, and there is live tracking to provide the status of the application. It even helps when searching for a home, thanks to property alerts and the instant chat messaging with the realtor.

For a better idea of how the company’s application process works, here is a quick overview.

  • How to apply. Applicants can apply directly online by completing a form and providing  employment and financial information along with some loan details, including the desired amount. However, Financial Independent recommends setting up an initial consultation first so you can discuss the various loan options, determine the estimated monthly payments and go over your finances to ready you for pre-qualification.
  • Disclosure process. Applications can be done online, in person or by phone. The company can use e-closings within certain states (where they are allowed), and the borrower can upload files online while also providing the lender access to all financial accounts digitally.
  • Submitting loan for approval. Once the loan application is complete and all required documents collected, the applicant’s file will be sent to the loan processor, who will electronically order the appraisal through the company’s own loan origination system. An underwriter will then look over the file to determine approval, placing the loan application into what is called “clear-to-close” standing.
  • Final approval. After approval from the underwriter, a loan commitment letter will be issued to the applicant while the final documents are prepared.
  • Closing. Once the final approval occurs, the borrower will likely be able to choose the time and place of the closing. This is when all final documents will be signed. At the end of the process, you are a new homeowner.

Communication during the process

  • Main point of contact: The borrower usually communicates with a loan officer or loan officer assistant throughout the entire loan process. They will help get the application started and answer any questions along the way. Borrowers will be able to stay in touch with their loan officer through a variety of ways, such as in person, over the phone, online or through the FairwayNow mobile app.
  • Electronic status notifications: Live status updates for an application can be provided with the FairwayNow app, keeping the applicant up to date on the loan’s status.

Pros and cons of a Fairway Independent mortgage

Pros

  • Accepts applicants with bad credit. Fairway Independent can accept applicants with a score of 580 and sometimes less.
  • Accepts low down payments. Fairway Independent can provide borrowers with access to high loan-to-value (LTV) and low-down-payment programs.
  • Good for people who want to work locally or online. Fairway Independent provides borrowers the options of working with a loan officer in person, over the phone or online, depending on their preference.
  • Customers can usually schedule closing. Fairway Independent usually allows the customer to choose the closing time and place.
  • Customers only have one point of contact. Fairway Independent keeps things simple by having only one point of contact (loan officer) for the borrower throughout the entire loan application process.
  • Mobile app is convenient. Fairway Independent offers the FairwayNow app that makes for easy application and communication with both the lender and realtor.

 

Cons

  • Website lacks some detailed information. Fairway Independent’s website doesn’t offer all needed information, such as required credit score for each program.
  • Website has tons of information. Fairway Independent’s website may lack some details, but it offers lots of information that can be overwhelming at times, especially when looking for something specific.
  • Not all properties are available for lending. Fairway Independent does not lend on some properties, including co-ops, condo-hotels, houseboats, timeshare units and bed and breakfasts.

 
Editorial Note: Parts of this article were reviewed by a lender to ensure accuracy prior to publication. The overall conclusions, recommendations and opinions are the author’s alone.

The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.