Intro: Bank of America Mortgage Reviews
When reviewing Bank of America mortgage reviews online, it’s easy to get caught up in the plethora of information, including personal, objective, and subjective reviews.
In this review, we’ve attempted to compile all you need to know in our comprehensive Bank of America mortgage review, including information on Bank of America mortgage payoff details, Bank of America home loan help, and some of the more common Bank of America mortgage complaints out there.
With a two-hundred year history, it’s not surprising to hear they are also a major player in the financial world internationally, boasting 47 million customers worldwide, from individuals and small to medium businesses, right through to larger corporations.
Bank of America Home Loans is the mortgage arm of Bank of America, which we will discuss in more detail in this Bank of America mortgage review.
Image Source: Bank of America
Our Bank of America mortgage review has found that, like most major financial institutions, Bank of America offers consumers several choices of mortgage type, including:
- Fixed-rate mortgages
- Adjustable-rate mortgages
- Jumbo loans
- FHA and VA mortgages (government loans)
Bank of America mortgage also offers a special mortgage aimed at lower to moderate income earners who may not have the necessary down payment for one of the above loans in the form of the Affordable Loan SolutionTM mortgage.
Qualifying applicants may need as little as 3% for a down payment and have access to competitive rates. There are restrictions on who is eligible though, and first-time homebuyers may be required to undergo homebuyer education.
Applying for a Mortgage with Bank of America
Bank of America offers applicants the convenience of applying for a mortgage online through their newly updated online portal, as detailed in our Bank of America mortgage review earlier this year.
If you are an existing Bank of America customer, you can use your current banking details to start the application online. Consumers new to Bank of America can still fill out the application online, but they will need to fill out additional information as the bank does not have access to preexisting data.
You can use the online portal, whether you are looking to prequalify for a loan or have already found your new home and made an offer. The service also offers an online chat, or you can call the bank directly to speak with a loan officer about your specific needs.
Our Bank of America home loan reviews have found that the best way to avoid delays in the process is to make sure you have all the required information ready to submit with your application. This information includes:
- The last two years’ W-2s
- Pay stubs (consecutive, two most recent)
- Your last two months’ bank statements for all your accounts
- Personal and business tax returns (signed, all pages)
- For self-employed applicants, your most recent quarterly or year-to-date profit/loss statement
- If you’ve already found a house and made an offer, you’ll need a copy of the signed Purchase and Sales Agreement
All going smoothly, some Bank of America mortgage reviews have noted approval may be possible in as little as 17 days, but it can take longer, as many consumer complaints and feedback have also noted in their own Bank of America mortgage reviews and feedback.
Bank of America Mortgage Review: Apples to Apples Rate Comparison
When comparing mortgage rates in any Bank of America home loan reviews, it’s useful to compare apples to apples. To this end, we have looked at a $350,000 mortgage in Tampa, Florida, with $35,000 (10%) down payment. We then compared Bank of America and Wells Fargo mortgage rates, given the size and market share of these two major players.
Using the online rate tools on both the Bank of America and Wells Fargo websites, we found the rates comparable between the two institutions for most loan types. Indeed, looking at straight interest rates, both offered 3.5% for the 30-year fixed-rate option, and 2.8% for a 15-year fixed–rate mortgage. However, Bank of America actually came in lower than Wells Fargo for the 5/1ARM variable rate, at 2.375% versus 2.875%. But this is where things can get a little misleading.
When conducting Bank of America mortgage reviews, it’s important to also look at the complete Annual Percentage Rate (APR). This figure includes not only the interest rate but all other charges as well.
When we take the APR into account, Bank of America rates come in higher than Wells Fargo on the 30- and 15-year fixed-rate options, but BoA beats out Wells Fargo on the 5/1ARM — albeit, not by much.
Bank of America vs. Wells Fargo:
- 30 year fixed rate: 3.826% vs. 3.721%
- 15 Year Fixed Rate: 3.107% vs. 2.982%
- 5/1 ARM Variable: 3.413% vs. 3.477%
Based on our case study, this is likely due to the higher fees Bank of America appears to charge, such as closing fees, which would be over $2,000 higher than Wells Fargo in our example above.
Table of Rates based on a $315,000 loan through Bank of America
30 Year Fixed Term loan details based on a $315,000 loan through Wells Fargo
When looking at Bank of America mortgage reviews, it is important to remember that rates can change daily, and each individual circumstance may be different. The region of the United States you’re looking to buy in and your individual financial circumstances will all play a role in what type of loan and rates will work for you.
Bank of America Mortgage Payoff
Another consideration to consider is the possibility of prepayment penalties. Prepayment penalties may affect you if you are considering a Bank of America mortgage payoff earlier than that stated in your contract. The exact amount will vary depending on your specific contract with the bank; however, fees can often be in the realm of 80% of six months’ interest, as this is typical for the industry as a whole.
Prepayment penalties are designed to ensure that the lender — in this case, Bank of America — can still make some return on their investment. After all, if you pay off your mortgage early, the bank will make less return on the interest owed than anticipated in the original loan agreement.
The reasons for early payoff can also determine if, and by how much, you will be affected by any prepayment penalties when it comes to your Bank of America mortgage payoff. Whether you are selling your home and paying the mortgage off in full, or looking to refinance your mortgage, be sure to read your loan contract carefully to understand if and what prepayment penalties will apply in your specific case.
When it comes to refinancing options, Bank of America has several available for current mortgage holders, whether you’re a current Bank of America customer or are thinking of switching your mortgage provider. While their refinance rates tend to be slightly higher than new loan rates (see table below), this may be an option for you if you are looking to lower the rate on your established loan.
Image Source: Bank of America Refinance Rates
Again, it’s important to remember here that rates can vary depending on individual circumstances.
Bank of America Mortgage Complaints
A Bank of America mortgage review would not be complete without a discussion of Bank of America mortgage complaints. Given its large size and substantial market share (5% of all U.S. mortgages as of 2015), it may come as little surprise that there are plenty of websites dedicated to discussing consumers’ negative experiences – whether Bank of America mortgage complaints or Bank of America loan modification complaints.
In an April 2016 report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Bank of America mortgage complaints were ranked second place for highest number of complaints against other financial institutions across the United States for the period of November 2015 to January 2016. This is not great, but these numbers actually represent an 11% decrease in Bank of America complaints related to mortgages compared to the same period for the previous year.
Table from April 2016 Monthly complaint report, Consumer Finance Protection Bureau
According to the CFPB, most consumer complaints, including Bank of America mortgage complaints, tend to fall into the following categories:
- Consumers encountered difficultly making payments
- Not being informed when loans were transferred to other companies
- Difficulties surrounding payments not being applied to mortgage accounts, or not being applied as intended by the consumer
- Delays in resolving issues due to non-responsiveness of bank/loan representatives, or ambiguity in information
- Consumers being required to submit paperwork several times, causing delays in the process
It should be noted, however, that the Bank of America does hold an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and does appear to make every effort to respond to consumer complaints within the 15-day time frame set out by the CFPB.
Bank of America Home Loan Help – Foreclosure
In the event that a consumer does run into trouble repaying their mortgage, there is plenty of Bank of America home loan help and advice available on their website. While many consumer complaints regarding Bank of America mortgage assistance relate to trouble meeting payments, early discussions with the bank appear key in obtaining help and avoiding possible foreclosure.
If problems do arise with mortgage repayment, Bank of America offers consumers a variety of options to avoid foreclosure, depending on whether they are looking to stay in their home or trying to sell it. These include Bank of America home loan help options, such as refinancing, loan modification, and forbearance, as well as programs funded by the government such as the Hardest Hit Fund, which has a range of programs to help struggling homeowners under the Hardest Hit Fund umbrella.
The internet is full of information about Bank of America mortgages — the good, the bad, and the customer feedback. You must do your own research and, ultimately, make the best decision for your particular circumstance. We hope that the information you found here makes you feel a bit more secure and ready to face that decision. Happy mortgage hunting!
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