HomeBridge Financial Services Mortgage Review

About HomeBridge Financial Services, Inc.

HomeBridge Financial Services, Inc.

CapWest Home Loans is the internet division of HomeBridge Financial Services, Inc., which is one of the nation's largest independent residential retail lenders. We approve and close loans in-house which gives us greater control over your transaction. Working within the guidelines, this flexibility allows us the opportunity to fund loans other lenders might deny in today's challenging regulatory market. We work hard to keep our expenses low by continually automating the process which means we can pass along the savings to you in the form of lower rates and lower fees.
As an entrepreneurial company investing thoughtfully in our technology, we are growing at a time when other lenders are shrinking and closing.

review breakdown

Recommended
71%
Interest Rates
Fees & Closing Cost
Customer Service
Responsiveness

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Working with HomeBridge Financial Services

HomeBridge Financial Services has 170 active branches in 32 states and is licensed to issue loans in all states except Utah.        

The lender works with a huge variety of homebuyers, underwriting mortgages for single-family properties, multifamily homes (up to four units), manufactured homes, condominiums and some co-ops. HomeBridge also issues loans for fixer-uppers. Borrowers must have at least a 550 credit score to qualify for a loan.


HomeBridge Financial Services products

All the products below reflect the relevant restrictions when working with the wholesale division of HomeBridge Financial Services. Borrowers who work directly with the lender may be able to qualify with somewhat lower credit scores or somewhat higher debt-to-income ratios.

Purchase

  • Conventional HomeBridge offers fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). However, the lender offers only hybrid ARMs with 5/1, 7/1 or 10/1 terms, meaning the initial interest rate will remain in place for five, seven or 10 years, and then the rate will adjust every year thereafter.  
  • Construction-to-permanent loans — This loan is used to finance the construction of a home; once the construction is complete, the loan becomes a permanent mortgage. These loans involve interest-only payments during construction and a single set of closing costs.
  • HomeReady mortgages HomeBridge funds Fannie-Mae-backed, fixed-rate HomeReady mortgages. HomeReady helps borrowers who have low-to-moderate income and limited cash for a down payment. A 620 minimum credit score is needed.
  • HomePossible mortgages HomeBridge funds Freddie-Mac-backed, fixed-rate HomePossible mortgages. These loans help borrowers who have low-to-moderate incomes and limited cash for a down payment.
  • HomeStyle Renovation mortgage HomeBridge funds Fannie-Mae-backed, fixed-rate HomeStyle Renovation mortgages, which are geared toward borrowers buying fixer-upper homes.  
  • FHA mortgage HomeBridge requires a minimum credit score of 550, compared to the FHA’s minimum credit score of 500. With a credit score below 580, borrowers need at least 10% down. FHA loans with 3.5% down require a 580 credit score. Additionally, HomeBridge funds 3/1 or 5/1 FHA mortgages but does not allow ARMs of other lengths.
  • FHA 203(k) standard mortgage HomeBridge only offers 15- or 30-year, fixed-rate FHA 203(k) mortgages, which can be used to rehab homes that need major structural renovations. The lender requires a minimum 550 credit score compared to the FHA’s minimum threshold of 500.
  • FHA 203(k) limited mortgage Borrowers are required to have a minimum 580 credit score for a 3.5% down mortgage. Borrowers with credit scores between 550-579 may qualify for a mortgage with 10% down.
  • Jumbo mortgage Borrowers can receive up to $3 million for a jumbo loan, which can greatly exceed the limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • VA mortgage HomeBridge requires a credit score of at least 580 to 600 to qualify for zero-down loans. Borrowers with credit scores above 550 may qualify for a 10%-down loan.
  • VA renovation mortgage HomeBridge requires a minimum credit score of 550 for borrowers who can put 10% down for this loan, which helps VA loan holders purchase or finance a home in need of repairs. Borrowers need a credit score of 580 to 600 to qualify for zero-down loans.
  • USDA mortgage HomeBridge requires a minimum credit score of 600 for USDA loans, which are geared toward borrowers in rural areas.

Refinance

  • Conventional limited cash-out When refinancing, HomeBridge offers fixed-rate mortgages or a limited number of ARMs. Currently, it offers hybrid ARMs with 5/1, 7/1 or 10/1 terms.
  • Conventional cash-out HomeBridge offers fixed-rate mortgages or hybrid ARMs with 5/1, 7/1 or 10/1 terms.
  • FHA streamline refinance HomeBridge requires a minimum 580 credit score for most FHA streamline loans, which allow for the refinancing of an existing FHA-insured mortgage with limited credit underwriting requirements. A 550 minimum credit score will be used if the borrower has at least 10% equity in the house, a maximum mortgage debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 31% and a maximum total DTI ratio of 43%. Borrowers can refinance to a 15- to 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage (terms are available in one-year increments) or a 3/1 or 5/1 ARM.
  • FHA cash-out refinance Fixed-rate or 3/1 and 5/1 ARMs are available. HomeBridge requires a minimum credit score of 550.
  • FHA rate and term refinance — Fixed-rate or 3/1 and 5/1 ARMs are available. HomeBridge requires a minimum credit score of 550.
  • Jumbo mortgage refinance HomeBridge offers refinancing for jumbo mortgages.
  • VA cash-out refinance HomeBridge requires a minimum credit score of 550. For a 100% loan-to-value ratio, borrowers need a 580 credit score.
  • VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) HomeBridge requires a minimum credit score of 580 for a non-credit-qualifying IRRRL, which helps eligible VA borrowers refinance from one VA loan to a new VA loan on the same property. The terms include 15- to 30-year, fixed-rate loans (available in one-year increments) and 3/1 and 5/1 ARMs.
  • VA renovation mortgage These mortgages allow borrowers to secure cash for home repairs. Refinance value is based on the after-repaired value of the house.
  • USDA refinance HomeBridge requires a 600 credit score for a USDA refinance. This is a limited cash-out refinance option.

Home equity

  • Cash-out refinance HomeBridge offers fixed-rate mortgages or hybrid ARMs with 5/1, 7/1 or 10/1 terms.
  • VA cash-out refinance HomeBridge requires a minimum credit score of 550. For a 100% loan-to-value ratio, borrowers need a 580 credit score.
  • FHA cash-out refinance Fixed-rate loans or 3/1 and 5/1 ARMs are available. A minimum credit score of 550 is required.
  • HELOC Borrowers can take out a HELOC with a loan limit of $500,000. Borrowers need a minimum credit score of 680 to qualify.
  • Jumbo mortgage cash-out refinance — Borrowers can receive a maximum cash-out of $3 million.
  • Reverse mortgage At least one borrower must be age 62 or older to qualify. Eligible properties include single-family and multifamily (up to four units) homes, some manufactured homes and FHA-approved condos. Jumbo reverse mortgages may be available for condos worth more than $500,000.

HomeBridge Financial Services special programs

Simple Access mortgage HomeBridge’s Simple Access mortgage can serve borrowers who may otherwise struggle to take out a mortgage. Self-employed borrowers can use bank statements and tax returns to verify their income, and investors can use expected cash flow to borrow the money. Borrowers need at least a 620 credit score and a 20% to 45% down payment to take out this loan as a purchase loan. The loan has a $3 million limit, but case-by-case limits will vary based on credit score and down payments.

This mortgage is available as an interest-only loan, a 5/1, 7/1 or 10/1 ARM or a fixed-rate mortgage. The loan can be used as a purchase, rate and term refinance, or a cash-out refinance.

Expanded Plus mortgage The Expanded Plus mortgage program is Homebridge’s jumbo loan program for borrowers who have poor credit history (such as a recent bankruptcy or foreclosure) and limited experience as a self-employed worker. It is a 5/1 ARM loan. Self-employed applicants need to have been in business for at least two years, but income underwriting is only based on 12 months of self-employed income history.

Qualified borrowers may take out a loan of up to $2.5 million. Borrowers need a minimum 620 credit score and at least 20%-50% down to qualify. In some cases, the qualifications are even stricter.

Elite Plus mortgage The Elite Plus mortgage is HomeBridge’s jumbo mortgage program for borrowers with great credit. Borrowers can qualify for fixed-rate, 5/1 or 7/1 ARM loans or an interest-only loan. The loan limits for the Elite Plus mortgage range from $1 million to $2.5 million depending on the loan-to-value ratio, borrower credit scores, home type and the type of underwriting HomeBridge will use.

Buyers with at least a 620 credit score can use the Elite Plus mortgage to purchase a house or refinance a home. Borrowers with a 660 score can buy a house with as little as 10% down. This mortgage is also available for traditional and cash-out refinances.


HomeBridge mortgage application process

  • How to apply. HomeBridge offers two ways to start the loan process. First, applicants can fill out an application online through the Quick Rate Quote option. Applicants supply information about the property they want to purchase or refinance, and then they can fill out more detailed information about income and existing debts. After HomeBridge receives the application, a loan officer calls the applicant.
  • Borrowers can also start the application process by speaking directly with a loan officer. To find a local loan officer in your area, visit HomeBridge’s Find a Branch page.

  • Disclosure process. Once applicants complete an initial application, they must submit financial documents. Applicants can upload documents through a secure online interface or mail the documents to their loan officer. Once applicants submit documentation, they may be preapproved for a loan.
  • HomeBridge’s e-consent website is also where applicants receive disclosure documents from the lender. For example, a HomeBridge loan officer will request an appraisal from one of the lender’s approved appraisal companies. Once the appraisal is complete, the lender will upload the report to the online portal.

  • Submitting loan for approval. Once a processing officer confirms all the documents meet legal requirements, the loan moves to underwriting. The underwriter will verify the documentation and lock in an interest rate for the borrower.
  • Final approval. After underwriting, the mortgage moves toward closing. A closer from HomeBridge confirms all the information in the loan document is correct.
  • Closing. Prior to closing, HomeBridge explains all the fees applicants will pay, and the lender informs applicants about the cash needed to close the loan. Borrowers need to wire to an escrow account prior to closing. The closing itself will take place at a closing attorney’s office. During closing, you’ll be expected to sign all the documents in the closing package. Once those documents are signed, the applicant is officially a mortgage borrower.

Communication during the process

At HomeBridge, you’ll have multiple points of contact. The first person you’ll speak to is a loan officer. The loan officer will guide you through the preapproval process. During the early stages of the loan, a HomeBridge loan officer will explain which documents you need to submit, and they’ll also explain the entire application process. A loan officer is your main point of contact throughout the process.

However, the loan officer isn’t the only person who might contact you as you work toward closing on your loan. Before a loan is processed, an employee from HomeBridge may reach out and ask you to update your documentation or upload additional documentation through the electronic system.

During processing (which is the step prior to underwriting), a loan processor may ask for additional information if they’ve found gaps in the documentation.

In the final stages of the process, you’ll communicate with a closing scheduler, a closing attorney and a closer. The closing scheduler will schedule a time to close the loan. The closing attorney will give you a copy of your closing package, so you know what you’ll be signing. Finally, the closer will give you a closing disclosure and information about where to wire your money and how much you need to send.


Pros and cons of HomeBridge Financial Services

Pros

  • Features programs for borrowers with negative credit events. Borrowers with bankruptcy or foreclosure in their recent history may qualify for an Expanded Plus loan.
  • Offers loans for self-employed borrowers. Self-employed borrowers can use bank statements for income documentation.
  • Has a nationwide lending footprint. HomeBridge can issue loans everywhere except Utah.
  • Offers loan variety. HomeBridge offers conventional, proprietary and niche loans.
  • Has online application option. Borrowers can complete the loan process online.

Cons

  • Has branches in only 32 states. HomeBridge has loan officers in many states, but it only has branches in 32 states. Borrowers who want in-person attention may not be able to find it.
  • Must communicate with multiple specialists. In addition to your loan officer, you’ll have to communicate with loan processing specialists and others during the loan process. This could make for some confusion on your end, but always be sure to ask questions if you need any kind of clarification — those folks are there to help.   

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.