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Watermark Home Loans mortgage review

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Offers lender credit to help offset closing costs, but customer service is lacking.

Watermark Home Loans may be a solid option for first-time homebuyers with its government-backed options and borrowers looking for jumbo loans of up to $10 million. But watch out for surprise fees at closing.

Details

Loan products offeredConventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Reverse, Refinance
Minimum credit scoreConventional: 620
FHA: 580
State availabilityOnly available in: IA, IL, KS, MO, MT, ND, NY, RI, SD, WV
NMLS #1838

Watermark Home Loans requirements

To find out if you meet the requirements for a Watermark Home Loans home loan, visit the website or call and speak with a loan officer directly.

Basic eligibility for a loan with Watermark Home Loans includes:

  • Residency in select states
  • Two years’ history of employment
  • A FICO credit score of 620 or higher
  • No history of bankruptcy for at least two years

Documentation

To apply for a mortgage from Watermark Home Loans, you’ll need:

  • Driver’s license or passport
  • Social Security number
  • Paystubs covering the most recent 30-day period
  • Most recent two years’ W-2 statements
  • Last two years’ tax returns
  • Last two years of business tax returns for self-employed borrowers with more than 25% ownership
  • Last two consecutive months of asset and bank statements
  • List of debts, such as credit card bills
  • Other documentation

Costs and fees

Watermark Home Loans doesn’t publish all its fees online. But its website advertises that it has a $0 application fee available. Still, expect to pay third-party fees such as appraisal fees and title report fees. Speak to a loan officer for details about fees for your home loan product.

How to apply for a mortgage with Watermark Home Loans

To apply, either call the company or start an online application. To begin an application:

  1. Visit the Watermark Home Loans website and select Apply Now.
  2. Fill out the short form by answering the questions and select Get a Free Quote.
  3. Check your email for an auto-response with a loan officer’s contact information. However, the email we received had no phone number listed and the Apply Now link didn’t work. If you run into this situation, we recommend calling the company directly using the phone number listed on the homepage.

What types of mortgages can I get through Watermark Home Loans?

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

Other mortgage products offered by Watermark Home Loans

It also offers these specialized types of mortgages:

  • Interest-only mortgages. Only pay interest on your loan for a set period and save on your monthly payments.
  • Mortgage refinance. Can help lower your interest rate, shorten your loan term or be used to pay off debts and expenses.

How Watermark Home Loans’ mortgage products compare to other lenders

Compared to other lenders, Watermark offers a higher-than-average number of mortgage types, including jumbo loans, interest-only loans and reverse mortgages. Watermark Home Loans also offers $0 application fee and $0 closing costs mortgage options for eligible borrowers.

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Watermark Home Loans reviews and complaints

As of March 2021, Watermark Home Loans has a 4.8 out 5 rating on Zillow from over 1,300 customers. Watermark Home Loans has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2004 and has an A+ business rating, with a customer rating of 4.03 out of 5 and four complaints closed in the past three years.

Most customers report being satisfied with the service, the knowledge of their loan officers and the lower-than-expected interest rates and closing costs. Complaints with the company were related to poor communication, the same documents being requested multiple times and payment issues.

Pros and cons of Watermark Home Loans

Pros

  • Loans for poor credit. Watermark Home Loans offers government-backed loan options for those with credit scores as low as 580.
  • May consider alternative credit data. In some situations, Watermark Home Loans will consider alternative credit data in addition to your credit report. But you’ll need to submit a completed loan application first.
  • Super jumbo loans. Unlike some lenders, Watermark Home Loans is willing to lend up to $10 million to eligible borrowers.

Cons

  • Limited availability in certain states. Only available in select states.
  • Website is lacking. The Watermark Home Loans website looks and feels unprofessional, and the Apply Now form is just for data capture. You must wait to be contacted by a loan officer to begin an application. Also, the Apply Now link sent to us in the automatically generated email didn’t work.
  • Slow customer service. This online lender doesn’t offer in-person support or brick-and-mortar locations. But when we tried multiple times to contact customer support via email and phone, the response was slow.

What is Watermark Home Loans?

Watermark Capital Inc. operates under the name “Watermark Home Loans.” It’s an NMLS mortgage lending company that was founded as a small mortgage brokerage in 2006. This direct, nonbank nationwide lender is headquartered in Irvine, California.

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Review by


Kimberly Ellis is a writer at Finder. She hails from New York City with a BA from Queens College and a New York State teaching certificate. After teaching in both public and private schools, Kimberly decided to take the world by storm and dive into the media industry — where she covers everything from home loans and investing to K–12 education and shopping. She’s also an aspiring polyglot, always in a book and forever on the hunt for the perfect classic red lipstick.

Expert review

Watermark Home Loans has a full suite of loan options with competitive rates for a variety of borrowers, including those with poor credit. But the customer experience can be less than stellar. We had trouble connecting with a loan officer despite multiple requests by phone, website and email.

And many users complain about underwriting delays, which forced them to extend their rate lock for a fee. Although Watermark Home Loans advertises $0 closing costs, users inexplicably ended up having to pay out of pocket for extra expenses. If using this lender, we suggest getting a complete list of costs in writing before signing on the dotted line.

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