US Bank Mortgage Reviews – What You Should Know (Home Mortgage, Complaints & Loan)
US Bank is the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States. US Bank boasts “A history of financial strength since 1863,” when it began in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Today, US Bank has over 3,000 physical branches in 25 Midwestern and Western states.
Generally, US Bank gets high ratings from customer service research companies. In 2013, it was ranked third in customer service from Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm. US Bank ranked 36th out of 235 companies across 19 industries worldwide.
Web experience is now an important factor in customer satisfaction. With so much banking done online, a positive web experience is necessary for a positive banking experience. US Bank placed fifth of 211 companies for web experience.
US Bank Mortgage
US Bank mortgage reviews vary widely based on need and customer satisfaction. This article will provide a breakdown of US Bank mortgages, reviews, and complaints.
First, let’s take a look at the type of mortgages US Bank offers:
- Conventional fixed-rate mortgages
- Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs)
- FHA mortgages
- VA mortgages
- Jumbo loans
Conventional fixed-rate and ARM: US Bank asks for at least a 740 FICO score for these types of loans. The mortgage is limited to $417,000. A down payment of 5% is allowed, although 20% is preferred. Rates and APRs are pre-calculated on the website based on the expected qualifications.
FHA: FHA loans are backed by the government. A lower credit score is allowed for this loan. 3.5% is the minimum down payment asked for an FHA loan.
VA: Active-duty, retired, or surviving spouses are eligible for a VA mortgage. A Certificate of Eligibility from the VA needs to be presented when applying for this loan.
Jumbo: A loan greater than $417,000 requires a jumbo loan. FICO scores of 700 or higher are expected for this loan. A down payment of at least 20 percent is asked. US Bank looks for a 45% debt-to-income ratio.
Construction and Investment property loans are also available.
Perks for Existing US Bank Members
US Bank members that have silver, gold, or platinum checking account may qualify for a home loan origin discount of up to $1,000.
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The application process is outlined on US Bank’s website. The first image you see under the mortgage section of the website is an option to prequalify for a loan. Applying to prequalify for a loan with US Bank will not affect your credit score.
Image Source: US Bank
Options to pre-qualify for a loan come up often on the website, but you can skip to pre-approval, which is more involved: pre-approval asks for a copy of your credit history and other information. A checklist for both prequalification and pre-approval are provided below.
- Your name
- Current address
- Estimated annual household income
- Estimated monthly household debt expenses
To prequalify, you can either enter your contact information or log in if you are a member of US Bank. What you need to know before you start—things like age and required citizenship—pops up on the page before you are allowed to begin.
- Residential history
- Personal assets
- Employment & income history
- Personal debt
The prequalification process is laid out at the top of the page to give you an idea of what is coming. This also allows the user to estimate how much time the process will take. Multiple options for contacting US Bank for help are provided on the webpage.
Prequalification is not necessary for pre-approval. In order to be pre-approved, you must contact a mortgage loan originator; this can’t be done on US Bank’s website.
US Bank for First-time Home Buyers
Mortgages can be daunting for new home buyers. US Bank does a good job of providing information and resources to first time home buyers. Help for first time home buyers is located on the main page of the mortgage section.
These are the questions provided for home buyers on the main page:
- Is buying better than renting?
- Can I afford a house?
- How does my credit score affect my rate?
Another page is dedicated to further questions home buyers may have. Each question can be simply answered within a few sentences, or directed to another page dedicated to one, specific question.
US Bank does a good job of giving information, but this bank may not be the ideal mortgage company for first time home buyers. First, US Bank expects a higher credit score than other lenders. Second, a higher down payment is preferred. This will be further detailed in the US Bank home mortgage complaints section of the article.
US Bank Mortgage Section Usability
Researching and applying for mortgages is already an extensive and often confusing process. A confusing website can make the research and application process a headache. US Bank’s mortgage section is more detailed and easier to use than competing mortgage providers.
Image Source: US Bank
What US Bank’s website does right:
- Frequent and varied options to contact US Bank
- Frequent links to more extensive information
- Uncluttered, easy-to-navigate design
- Several types of mortgage calculators offered
- Daily mortgage rates shown on the main mortgage page
Compared to companies such as Bank of America, US Bank outperforms most company websites on usability and simplification.
US Bank Home Mortgage Reviews (Professional)
Reviews from websites and companies (rather than those generated by online users) did not vary too greatly. The positive and negative aspects of obtaining a mortgage were mostly based on what was offered and expected by US Bank.
Reviews and complaints varied much more when the feedback was user generated.
Customer service reviews were much more positive when coming from a professional site. In fact, customer service reviews were the most positive aspect for US Bank home loan reviews.
Elements factored into customer service reviews:
- How phone conversations were handled
- How quickly a loan officer was reached
- How thoroughly things were explained
- If live chats were available
Reviews were generally favorable when it came to interest rates for mortgage loans. US Bank’s rates were among the lowest interest rates found online, though we should note that interest rates are calculated by ideal situations for loans.
US Bank also stood out from its competitors for offering construction loans. Very few lenders offer this type of loan.
US Bank’s mortgages were awarded an overall rating of 8.32 out of 10 on Top Ten Reviews. It was ranked seventh out of 10 mortgage and refinance companies, which leads us to the complaints.
Image Source: BigStock
US Bank Mortgage Complaints (Professional)
A main complaint was that US Bank only has branches in 28 states. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible to get a loan if you are not located in one of those Midwestern or Western states, but US Bank may not be the ideal lender for you if you want to meet with a loan officer in person and do not live in a state with a physical branch.
Another critique concerned the minimum credit score necessary to receive a mortgage loan. US Bank had one of the highest minimum credit scores out of several other lending companies.
Minimum credit scores compared:
- US Bank – 700
- Lending Tree – 580
- Citi Mortgage – 620
The positives outweighed the negatives when it came to reviews from professional reviewing websites; however, this was not the case when it came to user generated reviews, as we shall see.
US Bank Mortgage Reviews (Customers)
Customer reviews were mostly negative. 88% of the US Bank home loan reviews came in at one star on Credit Karma. Only 5% of the reviews were five star reviews. This statistic was common on most websites that allowed user reviews.
Positive reviews praised:
- Great customer service
- Simple application process
- Good fixed-rate mortgage deals
- Helpful online features
A majority of the positive reviews were for customer service. The most positive reviews, however, were for customer service in physical branches. The reviews became more negative when the customer service was online or over the phone.
US Bank Home Mortgage Complaints (Customers)
One of the biggest complaints from customers was about online and phone communication. The most common problem was communication between loan officers and the customers. Often, the complaints were about mixed communication that cost the customer extra money on payments or miscellaneous charges.
A lack of communication between departments was another common complaint. Customers were upset when agreements or updates on mortgages were not communicated between the departments. The complaint was that this cost the customer extra money.
A delay in the application process because of problems such as lost documents was another common complaint among customers. These problems caused closures on some homes to be delayed months past the expected date.
Most Common Complaints:
- Lack of communication
- Unexpected fees
- Missing payment reports
- Uninformed loan officers
- Longer application process than expected
- Too many errors in mortgage accounts
Reviews and complaints are helpful in the search for the right mortgage company. But, it should be remembered that customers are inclined to leave reviews after a negative experience versus a positive experience.
US Bank Refinance Reviews
US Bank also offers refinancing services.
Three types of refinances are offered:
- Streamline (Only available for existing US Bank mortgage customers)
- Cash-out (Cash paid out at closing)
The refinancing section of the US Bank website offers as much information and as many opportunities to make contact as the mortgage section. There is also information provided to help you decide whether or not it’s the right time to refinance.
Many of the US Bank loan reviews online were about refinancing. Customers appeared to be more satisfied with original mortgages versus refinancing with US Bank. The biggest complaint was that the customer’s policy was bought out by US Bank, and they were not satisfied with the change. Another common complaint was that refinancing took much longer than expected.
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Making Home Affordable Program
US Bank takes part in the Making Home Affordable Program. Part of this program is the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). This program allows families who may be having financial trouble to remain in their homes. Under this program, refinancing is an option even if the value of the home has declined.
Is a US Bank Mortgage Right for You?
A mortgage with US Bank is ideal for those with higher credit scores and an ability to pay a higher down payment. Regardless, filling out an application to prequalify or contacting a loan officer is the first step to make if US Bank sounds like the right fit for you.
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