Cornerstone Home Lending mortgage review
This lender offers standard and portfolio home loans, but you’ll need to contact a loan officer to learn the details.
Cornerstone Home Lending is a regional mortgage lender offering standard and portfolio mortgage options. But you’ll need to contact a loan officer to research the loans available to you since the information on the website is limited.
|Loan products offered||Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Refinance|
|Minimum credit score||Conventional: 640|
Investment properties: 660
|Minimum down payment (Conventional)||5%|
|State availability||Not available in: CT, GA, HI, IL, MA, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT|
Our take on Cornerstone Home Lending mortgage
Available in 40 states, Cornerstone Home Lending provides a standard range of mortgage offerings, including a few specialty loans like 203k rehab loans, construction-to-permanent loans and portfolio loans, which allow the lender to consider borrowers on a case-by-case basis.
Its experienced staff may be the right fit if you’re looking for a conforming or government-backed loan. But the lender’s lack of website transparency can make it difficult to research without the help of a loan officer. If you need a more specialized loan, you may want to consider other lenders.
Cornerstone Home Lending requirements
This lender wants you to have a credit score of at least 640, though prefers 660, and a 5% down payment is required. Currently, Cornerstone also requires that your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio not exceed 45%. But due to new rules issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in December of 2020, this requirement could change as Cornerstone is able to adjust other factors that determine borrower eligibility.
Your document requirements may vary based on your occupation and situation, but all borrowers should be ready with the following information before applying:
- Copy of your government-issued picture identification and Social Security card
- Most recent two months of bank, brokerage and retirement statements
- Terms of withdrawal for retirement accounts
- Executed Purchase Contract/Agreement with all addendums
- Homeowners insurance policy
- Copy of the earnest money check
Cornerstone requires different additional documents for salaried and self-employed borrowers. Salaried borrowers must provide the following documents:
- Pay stubs from the last 30 days
- Two years of W-2 or 1099 forms
- Two years of federal income tax returns with all schedules
The required documents for self-employed and freelance borrowers may vary by loan program, but you should have the following documents ready before applying:
- Two to three years of federal income tax returns for the business
- Two years of business licenses or a letter from your CPA detailing the years you have been self-employed
- Proof that you own at least 25% of the business
- Profit and loss statements and year-to-date balance sheet for the company
- Two years of W-2, K-1 and 1099 forms
Costs and fees
Cornerstone doesn’t list its loan fees on its website, but you’ll generally be responsible for the following costs related to your mortgage:
- Loan origination fee
- Home appraisal fee
- Fees to run your credit report
- Recording and title fees
How to apply for a mortgage with Cornerstone Home Lending
For Cornerstone, the application process starts with a prequalification.
- Click Prequalify Now and enter your name and email to create an account. Click Let’s Get Started.
- Verify your email, create a password and click Next.
- Enter information about the loan you want, clicking Next to step through the prompts.
- Enter information about you, your income and your assets. Click Next.
- Select the personal declarations that apply to you and submit your application.
What types of mortgages can I get through Cornerstone Home Lending?
Other mortgage products offered by Cornerstone Home Lending
Cornerstone offers the following additional mortgage loans:
- 203k loans. This loan is provided by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) working with FHA to provide mortgages and up to $35,000 in repairs that must be completed within six months of closing.
- Construction-to-permanent loans. If you’re building a home, this loan allows your loan to transition to a permanent mortgage once you’re done so you don’t have to pay two sets of closing costs.
- Portfolio loans. Cornerstone offers loans through its parent company, Xenith Bank, with special requirements that allow the lender to consider borrowers on a case-by-case basis.
Cornerstone Home Lending reviews and complaints
On the Zillow website, Cornerstone Home Lending has received an impressive 4.96 out of 5 rating from over 3,000 customers as of October 2021. Customers rave about attentive and professional service from loan officers at the company, including many first-time homebuyers and refinancers.
Cornerstone Home Lending is accredited with the Better Business Bureau. As of October 2021, it has an A+ rating for closing 35 complaints in the last three years and a 3.07 star out of 5 customer rating from 29 reviews.
While company reviews are overwhelmingly positive, some customers have complained of difficulties in contacting customer service after their loan closed. Other complaints report an outdated online payments system.
Pros and cons of Cornerstone Home Lending
- Experienced staff. Cornerstone’s staff have an average of 10 years experience in the industry, and many staff members have spent over a decade working at Cornerstone, which is impressive in an industry where turnover is double the national average.
- Mobile and online portal. Use the LoanFly mobile app to prequalify and access loan updates during the process.
- Processes your loan in-house. Cornerstone issues its own preapprovals and processes, underwrites and funds its own mortgages, which can speed up the home-buying process.
- Not available nationwide. While Cornerstone is licensed in 40 states, you have to live in one of the states where Cornerstone is licensed to use its services. And if face-to-face service is important to you, Cornerstone offices are only available in 22 states.
- Not transparent. This lender doesn’t advertise its mortgage rates or lender fees, which means you have to contact a loan officer to research what kind of loans are available to you.
- No home equity products. Cornerstone offers cash-out refinance options but no home equity loans or lines of credit.
What is Cornerstone Home Lending?
Cornerstone opened in 1988 and now has over 200 branches in 22 states. The company is licensed to work in 40 states and Washington DC and is headquartered in Houston, TX.
Frequently asked questions
Alternatives to Cornerstone Home Lending
In addition to conforming fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and government-backed mortgage programs, Cornerstone offers customized portfolio loans that don’t have to conform to the Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae requirements. Cornerstone is also committed to working with North Carolina’s Housing Finance Agency to provide access to state assistance programs.
But for even more mortgage options, including jumbo and condo loans, reverse mortgages and lender-paid PMI programs — companies like Draper & Kramer Mortgage, North American Savings Bank and Stearns Lending have a wide selection of loans, great customer reviews and offer portfolio loans, too.
If you want to save big on lender fees, consider a 100% digital company like Beeline or Better. Neither charge lender origination fees on their loans and their 24/7 online application process allows for a quicker preapproval decision — to get you house-hunting right away.
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