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Cornerstone Home Lending mortgage review

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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.

Details

Loan products offeredConventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Refinance
Minimum credit scoreConventional: 640
FHA: 620
Investment properties: 660
Minimum down payment5%
State availabilityNot available in: CT, GA, HI, IL, MA, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT
NMLS #2258

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.

Documentation

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.

  1. Click Prequalify Now and enter your name and email to create an account. Click Let’s Get Started.
  2. Verify your email, create a password and click Next.
  3. Enter information about the loan you want, clicking Next to step through the prompts.
  4. Enter information about you, your income and your assets. Click Next.
  5. Select the personal declarations that apply to you and submit your application.

What types of mortgages can I get through Cornerstone Home Lending?

  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Jumbo
This company accepts mortgage refinance applications.

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.

How Cornerstone Home Lending’s mortgage products compare to other lenders

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. And while construction loans are common among lenders, not many offer 203k rehab loans.

Cornerstone is also committed to working with North Carolina’s Housing Finance Agency to provide access to state assistance programs.

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Cornerstone Home Lending reviews and complaints

Cornerstone Home Lending is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and, as of December 2020, has an A+ rating for closing 31 complaints in the last three years. But online customer reviews are hard to find. The company has 1.93 stars out of 5 with only 14 reviews on the BBB and no reviews on Trustpilot.

Of the reviews that exist, many agree that the process to get a loan goes smoothly but complain of difficulties in contacting customer service after the loan has closed. Other complaints cite an outdated online payments system.

Pros and cons of Cornerstone Home Lending

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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

Expert review

Heather Petty

Review by


Heather Petty is a writer at Finder specializing in banking, investments and insurance. She's a self-proclaimed word nerd who worked as a technical writer and editor for the casino systems industry and is an internationally published young adult mystery author. Heather earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Expert review

Cornerstone Home Lending’s standard mortgage offerings and experienced staff may be the right fit if you’re looking for a conforming or government-backed loan. But the lender’s lack of 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.

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