Intro: Churchill Mortgage Reviews
Churchill Mortgage is a nationwide mortgage broker with offices in sixteen states. It was founded in 1992, and its main office is located near Nashville, Tennessee. As the only mortgage company ever to be recommended by financial guru Dave Ramsey, the Churchill Mortgage reviews available online are generally positive.
This Churchill Mortgage review is based on the most current information available. We’ve taken the best resources out there and put them together so you can make an informed choice. If you are looking for a home loan or thinking about refinancing, then read on for our definitive Churchill review.
A view of the Churchill Mortgage homepage, offering lots of information and convenient contact options. Image Source: Churchill Mortgage
Churchill Mortgage was started in 1992 in Brentwood, Tennessee. It provides a wide variety of financial products for home buyers and homeowners and also offers free educational materials on its website.
Image Source: Churchill Mortgage
Currently, the company makes loans to borrowers in the following states:
- South Carolina
Branch locations and contact information are featured prominently on the company’s homepage. Each office summary contains a link to a page with more information about that location, including contact details for the branch manager and other senior staff.
The founder, Lawson H. (Mike) Hardwick, III, is the son of a prominent pastor in Nashville. Before starting Churchill Mortgage, Mr. Hardwick worked in commercial and investment banking, founded Franklin National Bank in Franklin, TN, and sat on that bank’s board of directors for several years until it was acquired by Fifth Third Bank.
Churchill is the only mortgage company ever to be recommended by Dave Ramsey. Due to this, Churchill relies heavily on word of mouth for new business, and the company receives almost all its business from referrals.
Today, Mr. Ramsay is syndicated on more than 500 radio stations and still has an exclusive relationship with the company.
Mr. Ramsey states, “…the only mortgage company I endorse is Churchill Mortgage company. I've been telling people about Churchill for over 10 years, and the reason I've chosen to endorse them is two-fold: They deliver great service and they always strive to do what's best for the customer! Believe me, you won't be disappointed!”
Churchill Mortgage reviews and selects the best loan products available to its customers and offers a wide variety of options for first-time buyers and existing homeowners. Some of the products include:
- Mortgage loans which do not require mortgage insurance
- No closing cost purchases and refinances
- FHA loans which require just a $100 down payment
- Loans for people with no credit or bad credit
Churchill’s website is packed with free downloadable guides, free online tools to calculate costs and savings, and other free information. Over a million people have used the tools provided. If you have questions about the process of borrowing money to purchase or refinance a home, chances are you can find the information you need by browsing its site.
The “News” section of the site has not been updated in approximately two years, and it’s unclear whether other pages have changed since then. However, most of the information available on the site is timeless, and prospective customers should still find the articles relevant and helpful.
How to Apply for a Mortgage from Churchill Loans
With so many different loan products, it is difficult for Churchill to give a potential customer a breakdown of the process. Each product has different guidelines and requirements.
Instead of trying to create a one-size-fits all guide, Churchill offers a number of different contact options, making it easy for a potential customer to reach out. The most prominently-displayed way to reach the company is to complete a form on its site and request a callback. Direct contact information for each local branch is also available on the website.
Image Source: Churchill Mortgage
In addition, there is an online loan application on the website. Completing the form requires registration, and Churchill Mortgage does not state what information a prospective client must have to begin. However, a separate page on its site recommends having the following on hand:
- Paystubs from the last 30 days
- W2s, or 1099s if the borrower is self-employed, owns 25% or more of a company, or if 25% or more of a borrower’s income comes from commissions or bonuses
- Personal tax returns for individuals who are self-employed or receive 25% or more of their income from commissions or bonuses
- Corporate tax returns, if applicable
- All pages of bank statements for all accounts from the last 3 months – including checking, savings, CDs, 401(k)s, stocks, bonds and mutual funds
- Copy of driver’s license or Social Security card
- Divorce decree, if divorced within the past 7 years
- Bankruptcy papers, if the borrower has filed within the past 7 years
- Proof of homeowner’s insurance
- Purchase and Sale Agreement, if applicable
- Current mortgage statement, if applicable
- Current title insurance policies, if applicable
Purchasing a home or refinancing can be scary. To help inform and reassure customers and visitors to its website, Churchill Mortgage also provides a comprehensive overview of the home-buying process. This informative article lists all the information a client needs to understand the process and complete an application. It provides useful definitions and explains the roles various individuals will play as the borrower’s application moves from submission to closing.
No Credit Mortgage Loans
One of the most interesting loan products Churchill offers is a “no credit mortgage." This product is designed for individuals with little credit history; what history the borrower does have must be favorable.
The lender will also work with borrowers who have bad credit, but the no credit mortgage is not designed for such situations.
Churchill offers the no credit mortgage option specifically because Dave Ramsey does not have a credit score. Ramsey is regarded as one of the most knowledgeable financial advice-givers in the United States, and his wealth makes him a strong candidate for a mortgage despite his lack of credit history. People who follow his advice, and anyone else who refuses to borrow money for everyday purchases, are also likely to have little or no credit history.
Borrowers with fewer than four lines of credit can apply for the no credit mortgage. The underwriting process takes longer than with a traditional mortgage, and it is possible that this type of loan will disappear as lenders tighten their underwriting standards.
To prepare to apply for a no credit mortgage, the main thing a potential borrower should do is ensure he/she has four lines of credit, or trade lines, that have been opened and paid as agreed, for at least 12 months. One of these must be a rent or lease payment. Creditors must provide a loan balance history on their letterhead.
The approval process for a no credit mortgage is difficult. It also requires a significant amount of money. A down payment of 20% is generally required, and the product most likely to be offered is a 15-year mortgage rather than the traditional 30-year loan.
If a homeowner is considering purchasing a home with a no credit mortgage, Churchill recommends the borrower include language in the purchase agreement which lets him/her off the hook if the loan can’t be made.
Borrowers with bad credit or poor credit may have options with Churchill. However, just like with no credit mortgages, there is no guarantee that an appropriate product will be available.
Reviews of Churchill Mortgage
Churchill Mortgage has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 1995. The BBB is controversial since businesses must pay a membership fee in order to be ranked.
Despite the “pay-to-play” nature of the operation, the BBB ratings still inform the decisions of many. Churchill has been the subject of just four complaints over its 21 years as a BBB member, and all four complaints have been resolved. It maintains an A+ rating as a result.
An undated review on another site refers to 12 customer complaints within the previous 36 months. Its information links back to the same page on the BBB site we looked at. It is unclear why the BBB has no reference to additional complaints.
A screenshot from the Better Business Bureau website, captured on March 30, 2016, showing 4 customer complaints. Image Source: BBB
Employees who have reviewed the company on major job boards are generally positive about the experience. The reviews on glassdoor.com average 3.6 stars out of 5. The most common complaint is a heavy workload, thanks to so many referrals from Dave Ramsey. Reviews posted on indeed.com are similarly positive.
Customer Complaints About Churchill Mortgage
The BBB states that three of the four complaints it received about Churchill Mortgage concerned problems with the products or services offered; the fourth complaint was about advertising and sales.
In a separate section of the BBB website, where customers can leave reviews without filing a formal complaint, there are two more customer criticisms. One reviewer mentioned long delays and mistakes made during a closing in 2015.
The other review, left in late 2014 and concerning a closing which occurred in late 2013, complained that the interest rate changed on the day of the closing, and that there were issues with proof of income.
BBB members are not required to respond to customer reviews, as opposed to customer complaints, but Churchill did provide a detailed response to the criticism regarding changing interest rates in 2013. Mortgages are complicated products, and it appears much of the confusion stemmed from the borrower’s own misunderstanding. The response was sympathetic and apologetic.
A few other sites, too, have complaints about this business. Complaints.com has one from an individual who refinanced a home in 2011. This person was trying to refinance a rental property as a primary residence and ran into difficulty. The borrower paid $600 in fees, all but $100 of which was for services provided by other companies.
Churchill offered a fine dining voucher to make up for the $100 application fee, but the individual expected somebody to pay the full amount of an appraisal and credit repair.
A commenter on complaints.com had a similar grievance about a transaction that didn’t close, but the accuracy of the complaint is questionable. The borrower admitted they refused to provide certain financial information. Without that, it would have been impossible for Churchill to send the application to underwriting.
Churchill Mortgage reviews are overwhelmingly positive. The company has a long history of excellent customer service, satisfied borrowers, and recommendations from prominent financial gurus. Additionally, it offers a large variety of mortgage products, giving even the most challenging of borrowers a chance to buy or refinance.
If you live in one of the states serviced by Churchill Mortgage, it is a great option. It was vetted by Dave Ramsey and has a solid reputation as a company that can get loans done. As a mortgage broker, it works with more than one lender, so you are more likely to get a good rate.
If your circumstances are anything less than traditional, or if you’re shopping for the best available rate, Churchill has the know-how to work with you and find the best loan products available.
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