Churchill Mortgage review
This privately owned lender has an array of financing options but “debt-free homeownership” ideals that may impact your taxes.
finder.com’s rating: 3.6 / 5.0
Churchill Mortgage embraces a mission to lead borrowers toward debt-free solutions. The mortgage banker offers various 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.
Our take on Churchill Mortgage
Overall, Churchill Mortgage is a standard lender, offering all the traditional conventional and government-backed mortgage loans. This lender will likely appeal most to those living a debt-free lifestyle, which can negatively affect credit scores — or leave them without one. Fans of finance guru Dave Ramsey may already know of Churchill Mortgage and it’s no-score loan that allows a home buyer to finance their mortgage using their assets and payment history rather than a credit score.
But the no-score loan process can take up to three times as long as conventional underwriting. And the “debt-free homeownership” model may be a drawback for those in higher tax brackets or who embrace tax strategies that rely on interest deductions.
Churchill Mortgage requirements
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, while nontraditional loans may require stricter eligibility.
To learn whether you qualify for a specific loan, complete Churchill’s online form for a quote. From there, a home loan specialist will assist you in clarifying your goals to find the best home loan 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
Costs and 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
How to apply for a mortgage with Churchill Mortgage
Applying for a loan with Churchill Mortgage starts online:
- Select 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’ll connect 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.
What types of mortgages can I get through Churchill Mortgage?
Other mortgage products offered by Churchill Mortgage
Churchill doesn’t offer any home equity products. The lender “brokers out” the home equity products, handing them off to other lenders. It offers the following specialty mortgage program:
- No-Score loan. This mortgage offers those without a credit score the ability to qualify based on assets and payment history on bills such as rent, cell phone plans and insurance.
How Churchill’s mortgage products compare to other lenders
Churchill Mortgage’s conventional and government-backed mortgage offerings are bolstered by a loan designed for those living debt-free who either have low or no credit scores. But the lender also offers several unique programs.
- Churchill Certified Buyer program. According to the lender, being buyer-certified is comparable to presenting a cash offer that streamlines the process once you find a house to purchase.
- Rate Secure. Borrowers get a 90-day rate lock, with the option to extend the lock an additional 90 days. During the lock period, your interest rate is protected from going up, and if rates go down, so does your rate.
- HomeScout app. This mobile app is a free home finder service with nationwide listings and no advertisements. Additionally, Churchill promises never to sell the information you enter into the app.
- Churchill Checkup. Once you have a mortgage with Churchill, this service allows you to check in with a loan officer to determine if there’s a way to lower your monthly payments and if refinancing is right for you.
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Churchill Mortgage reviews and complaints
Churchill Mortgage has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1995. As of July 2021, it earns an A+ rating based on the BBB’s internal criteria that includes years in business and the lender’s response to nine complaints in the last three years.
However, customer reviews are scarce and varied, with only four accounted for on the BBB site and an average of 2.25 out of 5 stars. The lender fares only slightly better on Yelp, where it earns a rating of 3 out of 5 stars with 71 reviews. Churchill gets its highest rating from Trustpilot, where 13 customers give the lender a TrustScore of 4.4 out of 5 stars.
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.
Pros and cons of Churchill Mortgage
- Flexible credit score requirements. Select loans offer flexibility for customers without credit scores.
- Flexible loan amounts. Churchill offers loans with no minimum or maximum loan amounts.
- Offers help with state programs. Can help with finding relevant state housing and rural or farm programs.
- Educational resources. Online tools, apps and resources help potential borrowers learn about the home loan process.
- Long approval process. The no-score loan process can take up to three times as long as a traditional mortgage, according to Churchill.
- Homeowner strategy plan not for everyone. Its debt-free homeownership strategy may not mesh with tax strategies that rely on interest deductions.
- No home equity products. This lender doesn’t offer direct home equity loans or HELOCs.
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 has helped more than 100,000 US families since its 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.