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Stearns Lending Mortgage Review 2020

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Founded in 1989, Stearns Lending is a national wholesale and retail mortgage lender. The company offers home loan products directly to consumers at its retail branches, through approved mortgage brokers or through correspondent partnerships with mortgage banks that underwrite Stearns’ loans.

Stearns Lending is headquartered in Lewisville, Texas.

Pros and cons of a Stearns Lending mortgage

Pros

  • Offers a fully digital loan process
  • Offers a wide selection of purchase and refinance loan options
  • Offers mortgage services and products in most states

Cons

  • Doesn’t provide information about minimum mortgage requirements on its website
  • Doesn’t offer home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) products
  • Doesn’t list acceptable property types for financing on its website

Working with Stearns Lending

Stearns Lending offers mortgages in 49 states and the District of Columbia. New York is the only state the company doesn’t operate in.

Stearns Lending borrowing requirements

Borrowers must have a credit score of 580 or above for a Stearns Lending FHA mortgage. Stearns doesn’t advertise on its website whether it offers manual underwriting for borrowers with special circumstances.

Stearns Lending mortgage products

Purchase

Conventional loans. Borrowers with good credit may be eligible for a conventional loan with as little as a 3% down payment and terms ranging from 10 to 30 years.

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). With initial rates typically lower than fixed-rate loans, Stearns Lending borrowers can choose from 3/1, 5/1, 7/1 and 10/1 ARMs. After the teaser-rate period ends, the rate adjusts annually, and the remaining balance is paid in installments.

FHA loans. You may qualify for a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) with a credit score above 580 and a down payment as low as 3.5% (or a score of 500 to 579 with 10% down). Stearns offers fixed-rate FHA loans with 15-, 20- and 30-year terms, as well as a 5-year ARM option.

VA loans. Eligible military borrowers can choose from 15-, 25- or 30-year fixed-rate terms or a 5-year ARM loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA loans have no down payment and no mortgage insurance requirement.

USDA loans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) backs loans in designated rural areas, providing low- to moderate-income homebuyers a chance at homeownership with no down payment requirement.

FHA 203(k) loans. Fixer-upper buyers can purchase a home and roll in renovation costs and the home’s purchase price into one mortgage with an FHA 203(k) loan.

Jumbo loans. If you’re buying in a high-cost market or need a loan amount above the conforming loan limits, Stearns Lending offers jumbo loans with 15- and 30-year terms. Jumbo ARM options include initial fixed rates for five, seven or 10 years.

Refinance

Rate-and-term refinance loans. Borrowers might save money with a lower 25- or 30-year fixed-rate loan, or a five-year ARM. For homeowners that can afford a higher payment, a shorter term such as a 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage may save thousands in long-term interest.

FHA 203(k) refinance loans. If your home needs TLC, an FHA 203(k) loan allows you to refinance and add the repair costs to the existing loan amount. Choose from the limited 203(k) option for projects costing up to $35,000, or the standard 203(k) program for a larger renovation.

Jumbo refinance loans. A jumbo rate-and-term or cash-out refinance loan is available if you need a loan amount above the $510,400 limit for most areas.

FHA streamline loans. Reduce the interest rate on your current FHA loan without the hassle of income documentation or an appraisal with an FHA streamline refi loan.

VA interest rate reduction loans (IRRRLs). Current VA borrowers can roll closing costs into this loan and qualify without verifying income or the value of their home.

VA cash-out refinance loans. Tap up to 90% of your home’s value with a VA cash-out refinance and use the funds as needed.

Home equity loan products

Reverse mortgages. Also called a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM), a reverse mortgage allows borrowers who are 62 and older with substantial equity in their homes to withdraw a portion of it without making mortgage payments. Reverse loans can help older homeowners boost their retirement income stream, afford home improvement or meet other financial goals.

The mortgage application process

  • How to apply. Stearns Lending offers a digital home application process. Customers can use Stearns Digital to complete a loan application on a desktop, mobile device or through the lender’s app.
  • Disclosure process. Lenders must provide a loan estimate within three business days of receiving an application. Once you give the green light to move forward, your application goes directly to the underwriter for approval.
  • Submitting loan for approval. Stearns Lending can electronically verify borrowers’ income, employment and assets to save time.
  • Final approval. A Stearns loan officer will help you with final documents and answer any questions about the terms of your loan.
  • Closing. You’ll receive a closing disclosure three business days before closing. You’ll review and sign the final paperwork at the closing table, and provide a cashier’s check or wire closing funds.
  • Servicing. Stearns Lending’s website doesn’t indicate whether it services its own loans or resells them to other mortgage servicers.

Communication during the process

Stearns Lending borrowers can speak to a loan officer or track the status of key milestones during the loan process on their phone through the Stearns Digital platform.

Here’s a list of other Stearns Lending mortgage contacts:

 

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