Fairway Independent mortgage review
Lets you apply for a home loan from any device, but its requirements and interest rates are unclear.
finder.com’s rating: 4.1 / 5.0
- Choose this lender for a range of home loans.
- Choose another lender if you want a HELOC.
- A good option borrowers who prefer in-person help.
|Loan products offered||Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Refinance, Reverse|
|Minimum credit score||Conventional: 620|
|Minimum down payment (Conventional)||3%|
|State availability||Available in all states|
Our take on Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation — more commonly known as Fairway — is consistently rated highly by its customers. And we aren’t talking about just a few customer reviews. Between the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Zillow, Fairway has amassed more than 30,000 reviews. With this many reviews and a near-perfect rating, it’s safe to say that customers are largely satisfied with this lender.
Fairway’s extensive list of home loan products and its physical presence in nearly every state give it a competitive edge. The company doesn’t limit its business to just one type of borrower. Instead, it offers a variety of home loans to meet the unique needs of homebuyers.
One thing it doesn’t make readily available, however, is its rates and fees. I like seeing a lender that’s more forthcoming than a generic statement on its website touting “fewer fees” or “lower interest rates.” In the case of Fairway, it doesn’t charge lender fees. That should be advertised since most lenders do. Fairway also loses a few more points for not offering a preapproval process that doesn’t require a hard credit check. All these things should be common practice. Buying a home can be stressful — the best lenders make the process easier.
In all, Fairway is a solid option for most types of homebuyers. Its customer record confirms as much. But just like with any lender, do your research and gather all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Fairway Independent requirements
To find out if you’re eligible for a Fairway Independent home loan, visit the company’s website. Basic eligibility for a mortgage loan includes:
- Two years’ history of employment
- A FICO credit score of 620 or higher
- No history of bankruptcy in the past two years
The documents you’ll need to apply for a home loan from Fairway Independent include:
For employed persons:
- Full name and personal contact information
- Social Security number
- Pay stubs from the past 30 days
- W2s and 1099s from the past two years
- Personal tax returns from the past two years
- Profit and loss statements, if self-employed
- List of your assets — including savings, real estate, car titles, retirement accounts and other investment records
Costs and fees
Fairway Independent doesn’t charge any lender fees, which means you won’t have to pay an application or origination fee. Note that you’ll still have to pay third-party fees such as appraisal fees, title services and recording charges.
How to apply for a mortgage with Fairway Independent
To get started:
- Go to Fairway Independent’s website and scroll down to select the Apply Now button.
- Choose whether you’re searching for a home, are under contract or want to refinance your existing home.
- Choosing I’m starting my search for a home will take you through the prequalification process requiring a hard credit check.
- Choosing I have a house under contract or I want to refinance my existing home will take you through the loan approval process requiring a hard credit check.
- Enter the loan information, property details, co-borrower information (if any), your personal details, Social Security number, current address, expenses, assets, employment and income information.
- Accept the Credit Authorization Agreement and choose Next.
- Answer the declaration questions and choose Next (loan application only).
- Answer the demographic questions and choose Next (loan application only).
- Review the application and choose Submit.
- Wait for a loan officer to reach out to you about the next steps.
What types of mortgages can I get through Fairway Independent?
Other mortgage products offered by Fairway Independent
Fairway Independent also offers these specialized types of mortgages.
- Physician loans. Offers loan amounts up to $2 million with 95% loan-to-value (LTV), and no private mortgage insurance (PMI) requirement for eligible borrowers.
- Renovation loans. A fixed or adjustable-rate loan that rolls the cost of renovations and a home purchase or refinance into a single loan.
- Mortgage refinancing. This type of loan can help reduce your interest rate, lower your monthly mortgage payment and get rid of PMI.
- Reverse mortgages. For borrowers age 62 and older, this loan allows you to access your equity and pay it off when the house is sold rather than as a monthly payment.
Alternatives to Fairway Independent
Compared to other lenders, Fairway Independent is a highly rated company that offers a solid range of home mortgage options, including conventional, government-backed and specialized loans.
And for borrowers with less-than-stellar credit, the company has a Creditool program where a credit analyst reviews your credit report and creates a credit improvement action plan for you at no cost.
But the company sells its loans after closing, which means the choice of loan servicer is out of your hands. While many lenders do this, you may prefer to stay with the same lender for the life of your loan. If you fall into this category, Axos Bank, Mr. Cooper or Quicken Loans may be a better choice.
Or, go with a lender that offers portfolio loans, such as North American Savings Bank. A portfolio loan “stays on the books” and offers less restrictive credit guidelines while considering alternative income streams.
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Fairway Independent reviews and complaints
As of December 2021, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation has a stellar 4.97 out of a 5-star rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website from nearly 3,600 customers. The company isn’t accredited with the BBB but has an A+ business rating, with 36 complaints closed in the past three years.
The company is also top-rated on Zillow as of December 2021, with nearly 36,000 customers giving it 4.95 out of 5 stars. Customers online speak highly of their interactions with the Fairway team, which they describe as a pleasure to work with: professional, attentive and responsive. Customers who filed complaints mention billing issues — often after loans were sold — and sales contracts falling through, resulting in financial stress.
Pros and cons of Fairway Independent
- Mobile app available. In addition to the online application available on its website, Fairway also offers a mobile application process through its FairwayNow mobile app.
- Branch availability. Fairway Independent has 10,000 team members across 690 branch and satellite locations in 49 states. The only state where branches are not available is Alaska.
- Unique loan options. Fairway Independent opens up your property purchasing options with a unique home renovation loan designed to help you tackle the cost of renovations up front.
- Limited information. Fairway Independent doesn’t offer any information about rates, fees or lending requirements on its website.
- Hard credit check. To process your online application or prequalification, Fairway performs a hard credit check, which could drop your score by a few points. There is no prequalification process with a soft credit pull available.
- Loans sold after closing. Some customers online mention billing issues after their loans were sold to another servicing company.
What is Fairway Independent?
Fairway Independent was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin and Carrolton, Texas. By 2017, it was licensed in all 50 states and had over 6,000 employees under its wing. Today, the company has 10,000 team members and nearly 700 branch locations in the US. The company originated $65.8 billion worth of home loans in 2020, up from $39.2 billion in 2019. Fairway Independent is also one of the nation’s top USDA lenders by loan volume.