Top Flite Financial Mortgage Review

About Top Flite Financial, Inc

Top Flite Financial, Inc

Top Flite Financial, Inc. is a premier FannieMae Direct mortgage lender founded by Timothy and Tracie Baise in December of 2002. What began in an 80 Square foot home office in a small rural town in Michigan has turned into a Nationwide Multi-Million Dollar Corporation. Top Flite Financial was built on Integrity, Ethics, Excellence and Dedication; we are committed to caring for our clients and building lifetime relations as a trusted financial advisor. We have an experienced staff offering expertise in every area of mortgage lending. **********Our lending specialists are dedicated to finding the right loan to meet our clients’ needs. We believe that our low-interest rates, experienced processing, 24 hour turn times and aggressive product line set us apart from the competition.**********We may not always have the lowest “advertised” rate but we are a lender that prides itself on delivering the terms we advertise to our clients and being transparent about the real numbers each customer qualifies for upfront is what has allowed us to build such a solid reputation in a tough industry.********** Being a smaller nationwide lender we feel that the Top Flite Difference will show in our attention to detail, integrity, experienced staff, and the speed in which we can get your loan to the closing table. We appreciate the opportunity to Earn your business!

review breakdown

Recommended
98%
Interest Rates
Fees & Closing Cost
Customer Service
Responsiveness

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What is Top Flite Financial?

Top Flite Financial launched in Michigan in 2002 and now serves borrowers throughout much of the country. Its consumer-direct-lending division is based in St. Louis. In 2017, Top Flite Financial’s mortgage volume was approximately $500 million, according to Todd Feager, division manager at Top Flite Financial.

Top Flite Financial specializes in mortgages and refinance options for borrowers who may have low credit scores or have had financial difficulties in the past. “People who have maybe struggled to get an approval somewhere else, we are very, very good at finding and creating a solution for them,” said Feager.


Working with Top Flite Financial

Top Flite Financial is licensed in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

Loan officers operate out of 40 of Top Flite’s nationwide locations. Top Flite uses a manual underwriting process, meaning that loan officers are able to review supplementary documentation to assess a borrower’s ability to repay a loan. That can help borrowers with less-than-perfect credit or other risk flags be approved based on other factors. The minimum credit score requirement for Top Flite Financial is 500.

Top Flite Financial offers loans for most types of properties, including modular and manufactured homes.


Top Flite Financial mortgage programs

Purchase

Refinance

Home Equity

  • HECM Reverse Mortgage
  • Step Forward cash-out refinance

Top Flite Financial special mortgage programs

Step Forward refinance program: Top Flite Financial’s Step Forward program targets homeowners whose credit scores have dropped due to unexpected financial hardships or who need relief from credit card and student loan debt.

If a borrower doesn’t have a recent history of delinquency, can document the cause of their financial hardship and maintained stable credit before the hardship, Step Forward enables borrowers with credit scores as low as 500 to qualify for debt consolidation or cash-out refinance loans.

After the borrower makes six payments on this FHA loan, Top Flite Financial will contact them to determine whether they qualify for a refinance into a conventional mortgage loan with a more favorable rate. Top Flite Financial does not charge lender fees on these refinances.

Top Flite also offers a bank statement program for self-employed borrowers who have trouble verifying income via tax returns and might struggle to be approved by other lenders. The company provides jumbo and super jumbo purchase and refinance loans, up to $3 million, too.


The mortgage application process

How to apply. Borrowers can begin the mortgage process online by using Top Flite Financial’s free qualifier tools to determine their potential eligibility for different products. There are qualifiers for 30- and 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, as well as for FHA and VA loans. They can give you a sense of how much you might be able to borrow and what you’ll pay based on the rates and fees associated with each offer.

When you are ready to apply, you can fill out an application through Top Flite’s Hole N1 app or its website, over the phone or in person. If you choose to apply via the app or website, you can input your personal information, the down payment percentage or cash-out amount requested and type of mortgage (fixed or adjustable rate), bank account information, stocks and bonds you hold and co-borrower information, if applicable, all on a single screen. After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll be able to log into the app or web portal to see where your application is and what, if any, additional information is needed.

If you prefer not to use the digital options, you can begin the application over the phone or in person with a loan officer. You can fax documents to the officer, or you can scan and upload documents right from your phone’s camera or home computer into the mobile app or secure web portal. Currently, Top Flite applicants cannot provide digital access to their financial accounts, but the company does offer e-signature options.

Disclosure process. Borrowers who use the app or website can upload their supporting documentation, including proof of income and assets, through those digital channels. You can also submit them directly to the loan officer.

Submitting loan for approval. After you’re pre-qualified for a loan and have a purchase agreement, your Top Flite loan officer will review your file before ordering an appraisal. Top Flite’s Feager said the lender requests supporting income and asset documentation early in the process and especially before ordering an appraisal or locking in an interest rate. The reason is the company wants to be certain a borrower will be approved. Pre-qualification is a first step toward securing a mortgage, but the company wants to be sure a loan will go ahead before encouraging borrowers to begin looking at houses.

Your Top Flite loan officer will provide counsel on whether to lock in your interest rate or let it float based on market conditions. But as soon as a contract has been accepted, you can decide to lock the loan.

Final approval. Once the appraisal has been submitted, the final approval process begins. Loan officers and underwriters take a last look through your application.

Closing. When you are ready to close on the mortgage, Top Flite will arrange for a mobile notary to come to your home to complete that part of the process.

Closing times for Top Flite Financial loans can range between 10 days and three weeks, although the process runs longer in some cases.

Communication during the process

Once you begin your online application, it will be assigned to a loan officer who will be your point of contact throughout the process. If you apply over the phone or in person, the loan officer with whom you start the application will be your point of contact. You may also correspond with the loan officer’s assistant, but you will work with the same officer at each stage.

Should you opt to use the app, you’ll be able to use its built-in messaging service to communicate with your loan officer.


Pros and cons of a Top Flite Financial Mortgage

Pros

  • You can begin the application online. Top Flite Financial provides a fairly straightforward online application option. Once you’ve submitted, a loan officer will contact you to discuss your eligibility and offers. The site also includes free tools, such as a payment calculator and refinance analysis option. You can request a free preapproval letter online, too.
  • Top Flite Financial works with borrowers who have bad credit or are struggling financially. Top Flite Financial advertises its friendliness to current and prospective homeowners who have subprime credit scores. The lender works with borrowers who have high debt-to-income ratios, too, as long as they have compensating factors, such as a consistent employment history and a record of on-time payments. Top Flite Financial also emphasizes that it often approves borrowers who are unable to obtain loans through banks and credit unions.
  • Loan officers are able to offer incentives even to low-credit borrowers. Top Flite Financial allows borrowers to use financial gifts toward their down payments, as opposed to requiring them to provide the full amount themselves. For example, homebuyers who have a credit score between 500 and 579 must make a minimum 10% down payment on FHA loans. Although Top Flite Financial cannot waive that rule, it will accept down payments that are funded via gifts from family or friends, which can close the gap for some borrowers. Feager said loan officers are also able to offer credits to clients who want to refinance with Top Flite. Existing customers who want to refinance through the Step Forward program may have their appraisal, underwriting and processing fees waived. Qualifying borrowers won’t have to pay a lender fee at the six-month refinance point. For borrowers who started a mortgage with a different lender but want to switch to Top Flite, loan officers can sometimes use the existing appraisal or credit them with appraisal fees to lower the costs on the loan.

Cons

  • Website doesn’t offer detailed information about loan products. Although Top Flite Financial offers a range of mortgage products, it does not provide detailed explanations of what those products are and the variations within them. For instance, according to its website, Top Flite Financial offers VA loans for purchase and refinancing. But it does not specify that it offers specific types of VA loans, such as the interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL), although those products are available through Top Flite.
  • Multiple websites make for a confusing user experience. Google “Top Flite Financial Mortgage” and you’ll get several different results for the lender’s website, which is confusing. TopFliteFinancialCD.com offers the most comprehensive information and is geared toward consumer-direct borrowers. But variations of topflitefinancial.com include branch information for different geographic areas and are aimed at local markets. The different sites make it difficult to know if all branches offer the same range of loan products and who to contact with pre-application questions.

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.