Churchill Mortgage review
finder.com’s rating: 3.6 / 5.0
A privately owned lender with an array of financing options and “debt-free homeownership” ideals.
Churchill Mortgage embraces a mission to lead borrowers toward debt-free solutions. The mortgage banker offers an array of products for new homes, investment properties and refinancing with flexibility for those without credit scores. But its “debt-free” guidance may not appeal to everyone.
What types of loans does Churchill Mortgage offer?
This lender offers a variety of traditional, government-backed and other mortgages:
- Conventional. Lower costs than other loan types offered by Churchill, although higher credit scores are required to qualify.
- FHA. Loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, opening up homeownership to those with lower down payments, credit scores and income qualifications.
- VA. Cost-effective loans for active or honorably discharged service members with no required mortgage insurance for loans greater than 80% of a home’s total value.
- USDA. Offers flexible credit criteria for rural borrowers on eligible homes.
- Nontraditional loans. Jumbo, “zero score,” interest-only and adjustable-rate loans offering versatile methods of financing for select borrowers.
Other loan types offered
- Refinancing. Whether you’re wanting to convert a fixed-rate mortgage or lower your loan term, Churchill Mortgage can help from origination to closing.
This company doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs. Instead, it “brokers them out” — or hands them off to other lenders who can make second mortgages on home equity.
Churchill Mortgage’s fees
The company does not disclose its fees online but says that you can expect to pay from 2% to 5% of your loan’s amount in closing fees.
Common fees you’ll encounter for a new mortgage include:
- Application fee
- Origination fee
- Underwriting fee
- Rate lock fee
- Ongoing fees
- Third-party fees
Talk to your home loan specialist about the fees for your specific loan.
Basic eligibility for a traditional mortgage requires:
- Two years of continuous employment
- A credit score of 620 or higher
- No history of bankruptcy for at least two years
- Listed assets in your bank account for at least 60 days
FHA, USDA and other government-backed loans are more lenient with your financial history and assets, and nontraditional loans may require stricter eligibility.
To learn whether you qualify for a specific loan, complete Churchill’s online form for a quote and to link up with a lender. From there, a home loan specialist will assist you in clarifying your goals to find the best home loan offer for your property and finances.
To apply for a loan with Churchill Mortgage, you’ll need to provide basic contact, financial and employment information that includes:
- Bank statements
- Tax-return documents
- Pay stubs or W-2s for proof of income
- Proof of stated assets
- Government-issued ID
- Housing or rental history
- Proof of any gifted funds
How to get a home loan with Churchill Mortgage
The five steps to applying for a loan with Churchill Mortgage starts online:
- Click Get Started on Churchill Mortgage’s site, and enter your personal information and the type of loan you’re seeking.
- Your information is routed to a call center in Nashville, where you’re connected with a home loan specialist.
- Start the application process with preapproval and becoming a certified buyer, which involves a review of your credit report and documentation that you can upload and electronically sign.
- Your application is secured for approval after third-party services — like appraisals and home inspections — are scheduled and approved.
- In about 30 days on closing, any money the buyer and seller owe to each other is paid and documents are signed, naming the buyer as the owner.
Churchill Mortgage reviews and complaints
Churchill Mortgage has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1995, earning an A+ rating at the time of writing based on the BBB’s internal criteria that includes years in business and response to complaints. However, customer reviews are scarce and varied, with only three accounted for on the BBB site and an average of 3 out of 5 stars on Yelp.
Positive and negative reviews highlight individual loan officers who sufficiently helped with user experience or lacked appropriate communication. Some customers note a “seamless process,” while others say they’re frustrated about appraisal results and the approval process.
The pros and cons of Churchill Mortgage
- Select loans offer flexibility for customers without credit scores.
- No minimum or maximum loan amounts.
- Can help with finding relevant state housing and rural or farm programs.
- Online tools, apps and resources help potential borrowers learn about the home loan process.
- While online services are available nationwide, in-person services are limited to 36 states and Washington, DC.
- Debt-free homeownership strategy may not mesh with tax strategies that rely on interest deductions.
- No direct home equity loans or HELOCs.
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Churchill Mortgage’s nontraditional No Score Loan
From a company recommended by money-management expert Dave Ramsey, who promotes the idea of nontraditional credit, it’s not surprising to see this option designed for those without a credit score.
The No Score Loan offers those without a credit score the possibility of homeownership with qualification that comes down to:
- Proof of four established credit lines with on-time payments over the past 12 months
- Proof of alternative credit, like cell phone bills, monthly insurance payments or rent payments.
- 12 months of assets to cover your principal, taxes and insurance payments.
A Churchill underwriter assesses your financial details to determine your history of payments on alternative credit, offering approval if you meet specific criteria. The company warns that approval can take three times as long as a traditional mortgage, often requiring additional documentation throughout the process.
What is Churchill Mortgage?
Founded in 1992 by current CEO Mike Hardwick and headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, Churchill Mortgage is a mortgage lender that’s privately owned by its more than 400 employees. The company says it’s helped more than 100,000 US families since their inception.
Churchill takes an atypical approach to the mortgage process, advocating for “debt-free homeownership.” Its mission is inspired by Hardwick’s relationship with financial expert and radio host Dave Ramsey, who pitched an advertising proposal 25 years ago. Today, Ramsey has more than 12 million listeners and accounts for 40% to 45% of Churchill’s new business every month.
Its relationship with Ramsey has inevitably affected the way Churchill does business. A debt-free company, it educates its customers toward a similarly debt-free lifestyle.
Frequently asked questions
Kelly Waggoner is the US editor-in-chief at Finder. She's worked with publishers, magazines and nonprofits throughout New York City, including ghostwriting a how-to on copyediting for the Dummies series. Between projects, she toys with words, flips through style guides and fantasizes about the serial comma's world domination.
This 25-year-old company focuses on conventional, government-backed and nontraditional mortgages, including one finance guru Dave Ramsey promotes for those who don’t have a credit score. But its “debt-free homeownership” model may be a drawback for those in higher tax brackets or strategies that rely on interest deductions.