Carrington mortgage review
This lender has multiple options for poor-credit borrowers, but reports of bad service abound.
finder.com’s rating: 3.1 / 5.0
- Choose this lender if you have bad credit history.
- Choose another lender if you prefer a wide network of branches.
- A good option for poor-credit borrowers.
Carrington Flexible Advantage loans: 550
Minimum credit score
Minimum down payment (Conventional)
Not available in: MA, ND
|Loan products offered||Conventional, Refinance, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA|
|Minimum credit score||Conventional: 620|
Carrington Flexible Advantage loans: 550
|Minimum down payment (Conventional)||3%|
|State availability||Not available in: MA, ND|
Our take on Carrington mortgage
Carrington Mortgage Services stands out with its Carrington Flexible Advantage program. This program offers home loan products for borrowers with low credit scores, high debt-to-income ratios, who are self-employed or lack substantial income documentation or who may not be eligible for a conventional or government-backed home loan.
The rest of its mortgage products are fairly standard. For borrowers with good credit or borrowers who can qualify for government-backed mortgages, there’s really nothing in particular that would make a borrower want to choose Carrington Mortgage over any other lender. Customer sentiment leans negative, you can’t complete a mortgage application online and the company isn’t transparent about its fees, which is a red flag.
All considered, Carrington Mortgage Services is likely best for poor-credit borrowers who may not otherwise qualify for a traditional loan. Even still, it’s always best to compare lenders to help find the right loan for your situation.
To find out if you’re eligible for a Carrington home loan, visit the company’s website. Basic eligibility for a mortgage loan includes:
- Residency in any state except MA or ND
- Two years’ history of employment
- A FICO credit score of 500 or higher
Before applying, have the following handy:
- Social Security number
- Driver’s license, state ID or US passport
- Bank statements for the previous two months
- W-2s for the previous year
- Tax returns for the previous two years
- Pay stubs for the previous two months
- List of assets, including savings, real estate, car titles, retirement accounts and other investment records
- List of debts, including student loans, credit cards and car loans
- Profit and loss (P&L) statements if self-employed
Costs and fees
Carrington doesn’t offer any information on its website about its fees. When we called for more information, the service rep we spoke with mentioned that fees vary by both state and loan program and couldn’t provide any further insight.
Typically, lenders charge an origination fee anywhere from .5% to 1% of your loan’s total value. Additionally, you can expect to pay approximately 2% to 5% of your loan amount in closing costs, which may include:
- Credit report
- Document preparation
- Home inspection
- Private mortgage insurance
- State taxes
- Title charges
How to apply for a mortgage with Carrington
To get started:
- Go to Carrington’s website and select Purchase or Refinance.
- Answer “Are you an Existing Customer?” with Yes or No.
- Enter the purchase price of the property, zip code, down payment amount, your annual income, credit score and military status.
- View your available loans and rates based on the information you provided. Be aware that your actual rates will depend on verification of your information by an underwriter.
- Choose a loan product by selecting Get Loan.
- Enter your contact information.
- Wait to be contacted by a loan officer about the next steps.
What types of mortgages can I get through Carrington Mortgage Services?
Other mortgage products offered by Carrington
Carrington also offers these specialized types of mortgages. Note that some of these home loan products may only be available through a mortgage broker.
- Carrington Flexible Advantage. For borrowers with a minimum credit score of 550 who may not qualify for other loans due to a recent bankruptcy, foreclosure or bad credit. This loan accepts alternative documentation, like bank statements, and requires no PMI.
- Carrington Prime Advantage. A home loan program offering a maximum LTV of 90% and expanded DTI up to 50%. For borrowers with credit scores of 660 and up.
- Investor Advantage Program. This loan program requires no employment or income documentation. Instead, you can use property cash flow to qualify.
- Lender-paid mortgage insurance products. A 30-year fixed, maximum 95% LTV loan product for purchases and refinances for borrowers with a minimum 620 credit score.
- HomeReady. This Fannie Mae loan program requires 3% down and a 620 credit score and can be used for 1- to 4-unit family dwellings.
- Home Possible. This Freddie Mac loan program requires 3% down and permits flexible sources of funds for down payments. Borrowers must have a 620 credit score to qualify.
- FHA Streamline Refinance. This refinancing program for FHA loans requires no minimum FICO score and no income verification.
- USDA Streamline Assist. This refinancing program for USDA loans requires no minimum FICO score if no late payments in the past 12 months and no appraisals.
- VA IRRRL. This refinancing program for VA loans requires no minimum FICO in most cases and no income documentation or appraisals.
- Mortgage refinancing. A type of loan that can help reduce your interest rate, lower your monthly mortgage payment and get rid of PMI.
Alternatives to Carrington Mortgage
Carrington offers a higher-than-average number of mortgage and refinancing options for people with bad credit, borrowers with a recent bankruptcy or foreclosure, self-employed borrowers and investors. But if you don’t fall into any of these categories, there are plenty of alternatives.
For borrowers with good credit who want full transparency when it comes to rates and fees, a lender like Better might be a good option. This highly-rated lender offers a superior digital experience and is up front about its rates and fees. In fact, Better doesn’t charge any lender fees at all – no origination fees, no application fees and no processing fees. But it doesn’t have any options for borrowers interested in government-backed home loans.
If this is you and a superior online application process and minimal fees are what you’re seeking, consider PrimeLending. This lender also steers clear of lender fees but, unlike Better, it offers VA, FHA and USDA home loans.
In any case, comparing mortgage lenders and lender marketplaces will help ensure you’re settling on the best home loan for your situation.
Disclaimer: The partners on Finder's mortgage comparison tables are sorted in alphabetical order.
Carrington reviews and complaints
As of August 2022, Carrington has mixed reviews. The company has a 1.14 out of 5 customer rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) from 197 customers, a 2.2 out of 5 rating on WalletHub from 115 customers and a 4.9 out of 5 rating on Zillow from 901 customers. While Carrington has been accredited with the BBB since 2007 and has an A+ business rating, customer reviews on the site are overwhelmingly negative, with 455 complaints filed in the past three years.
Positive customer reviews mention great service from loan officers and low interest rates. But negative reviews mention mishandled payments, erroneous late fees, forbearance issues and general incompetence from customer service reps. Many customers’ servicing problems started after mortgages they obtained from other lenders were sold to Carrington.
Pros and cons of Carrington
- Lenient lending criteria. Borrowers with bankruptcies or foreclosures on their credit report may still qualify for a home loan with Carrington.
- Alternative credit data. Carrington is willing to consider alternative credit data when underwriting loans, including using your bank statements and property cash flow.
- View rates online. Carrington’s website offers a prequalification that allows you to view your available rates with no credit check required. Note that rates are subject to underwriting approval and verification of your information.
- Customer complaints. Many customers online have complained about terrible service and a lack of concern and care from company representatives.
- Consumer lawsuits. In 2020, Carrington was hit with a class-action lawsuit from borrowers in Florida claiming the company was illegally charging fees for mortgage payments made online and over the phone.
- Limited retail locations. Carrington currently only has six physical branches in six states.
What is Carrington?
Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Anaheim, California, Carrington Mortgage Services is a non-bank direct lender offering loans in all states except for Massachusetts and North Dakota. Unlike many lenders, it both originates and services its home loans.
Carrington Mortgage Services is a part of a larger family of companies, including retail and wholesale lending services. The company recently added Vylla Home as a full-service real estate division that uses in-house real estate agents and brokers to help you sell your current home and finance a new one, all under one roof. The Carrington Charitable Foundation has helped 139 local organizations and donated $21 million to date.