Roostify raises $32 million in Series C funding round

Mortgage fintech Roostify has completed a Series C funding raise that nearly doubled the amount of capital it has received from outside investors.

The round, led by Ten Coves Capital, added $32 million in funding, bringing the total capital raised since the company’s inception in 2012 to $65 million.

Roostify plans to use some of the funds to grow its staff by 50%, and will also make further investments in developing artificial intelligence tools.

A key participant in this round was Stone Point Capital, the primary investor in nonbank mortgage lender Home Point Capital, which is in the process of doing an initial public offering.

Returning investors Cota Capital, Mouro Capital, Colchis Capital, Point72 Ventures, and JPMorgan Chase also participated in this round.

Previously, Roostify raised $7.5 million in its Series A round and $25 million in its Series B round; Cota Capital was the lead on that second round, according to Crunchbase. In addition, there was a $500,000 venture funding round led by USAA.

“The opportunity to re-design the future of home lending through technology cannot be overstated, as the mortgage lending industry has been relatively slow to embrace digital technologies,” Dan Kittredge, managing partner at Ten Coves Capital, said in a press release.

Ten Coves currently has an investment in fintech company Lendio. Previously, it invested in Plaid.

Other current Stone Point investments include Rialto, Sabal, SitusAMC and Ten-X.

Last October, Roostify partnered with Google to launch LendingDoc AI. The company has previously worked with Level Access and LendingTree.

“Having easy access to meaningful digital tools is key to helping lenders thrive in a digital-first world,” said Roostify CEO Rajesh Bhat. “With this capital infusion, we will accelerate our vision of simplifying home lending without compromising on quality and time-to-market.”


Mortgage and refinance rates today, January 22, 2021

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates 

Average mortgage rates inched lower yesterday. The fall was the smallest that can be measured. But was welcome nonetheless.

First thing this morning, key markets are looking quiet again. And we may see a replay of the last few days. If so, mortgage rates today may nudge lower or hold steady.

Find and lock a low rate (Jan 27th, 2021)

Current mortgage and refinance rates 

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed 2.745% 2.745% Unchanged
Conventional 15 year fixed 2.362% 2.362% Unchanged
Conventional 5 year ARM 3% 2.743% Unchanged
30 year fixed FHA 2.495% 3.473% Unchanged
15 year fixed FHA 2.438% 3.38% Unchanged
5 year ARM FHA 2.5% 3.226% Unchanged
30 year fixed VA 2.3% 2.472% -0.01%
15 year fixed VA 2.313% 2.635% Unchanged
5 year ARM VA 2.5% 2.406% Unchanged
Rates are provided by our partner network, and may not reflect the market. Your rate might be different. Click here for a personalized rate quote. See our rate assumptions here.

Find and lock a low rate (Jan 27th, 2021)

COVID-19 mortgage updates: Mortgage lenders are changing rates and rules due to COVID-19. To see the latest on how coronavirus could impact your home loan, click here.

Should you lock a mortgage rate today?

Recent consistent falls are matched by the consistent rises that immediately preceded them. And it’s much too soon to draw conclusions about the overall direction of mortgage rates.

Things would have to go seriously wrong with the pandemic and vaccine rollout for these rates not to start to rise later in the year, once the economy starts to recover. But that could be several months away.

In the meantime, there are no reliable guides as to where these rates will head. So I’d advise caution. And, for now, my personal rate lock recommendations, which are little better than hunches, are:

  • LOCK if closing in 7 days
  • LOCK if closing in 15 days
  • LOCK if closing in 30 days
  • FLOAT if closing in 45 days
  • FLOAT if closing in 60 days

Still, with so much uncertainty at the moment, your instincts could easily turn out to be as good as mine — or better. So be guided by your gut and your personal tolerance for risk.

Market data affecting today’s mortgage rates 

Here’s a snapshot of the state of play this morning at about 9:50 a.m. (ET). The data, compared with about the same time yesterday morning, were:

  • The yield on 10-year Treasurys edged down to 1.09% from 1.11%. (Good for mortgage rates) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields, though less so recently
  • Major stock indexes were lower on opening. (Good for mortgage rates.) When investors are buying shares they’re often selling bonds, which pushes prices of those down and increases yields and mortgage rates. The opposite happens when indexes are lower
  • Oil prices moved down to $51.99 from $53.07 a barrel. (Good for mortgage rates* because energy prices play a large role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity.) 
  • Gold prices fell to $1,839 from $1,865 an ounce. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) In general, it’s better for rates when gold rises, and worse when gold falls. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy. And worried investors tend to push rates lower
  • CNN Business Fear & Greed index — Fell to 67 from 70 out of 100. Good for mortgage rates.) “Greedy” investors push bond prices down (and interest rates up) as they leave the bond market and move into stocks, while “fearful” investors do the opposite. So lower readings are better than higher ones

*A change of less than $20 on gold prices or 40 cents on oil ones is a fraction of 1%. So we only count meaningful differences as good or bad for mortgage rates.

Caveats about markets and rates

Before the pandemic and the Federal Reserve’s interventions in the mortgage market, you could look at the above figures and make a pretty good guess about what would happen to mortgage rates that day. But that’s no longer the case. The Fed is now a huge player and some days can overwhelm investor sentiment.

So use markets only as a rough guide. They have to be exceptionally strong (rates are likely to rise) or weak (they could fall) to rely on them. But, with that caveat, so far mortgage rates today look likely to move a little lower.

Find and lock a low rate (Jan 27th, 2021)

Important notes on today’s mortgage rates

Here are some things you need to know:

  1. The Fed’s ongoing interventions in the mortgage market (way over $1 trillion) should put continuing downward pressure on these rates. But it can’t work miracles all the time. And read “For once, the Fed DOES affect mortgage rates. Here’s why” if you want to understand this aspect of what’s happening
  2. Typically, mortgage rates go up when the economy’s doing well and down when it’s in trouble. But there are exceptions. Read How mortgage rates are determined and why you should care
  3. Only “top-tier” borrowers (with stellar credit scores, big down payments and very healthy finances) get the ultralow mortgage rates you’ll see advertised
  4. Lenders vary. Yours may or may not follow the crowd when it comes to daily rate movements — though they all usually follow the wider trend over time
  5. When rate changes are small, some lenders will adjust closing costs and leave their rate cards the same
  6. Refinance rates are typically close to those for purchases. But some types of refinances are higher following a regulatory change

So there’s a lot going on here. And nobody can claim to know with certainty what’s going to happen to mortgage rates in coming hours, days, weeks or months.

Are mortgage and refinance rates rising or falling?

Today and soon

I’m expecting mortgage rates to nudge lower today. But, as always, that could change as the day progresses.

It’s highly likely that federal spending on pandemic relief and other measures will try to push these rates higher. This morning’s Financial Times suggested about the Biden administration’s proposals, ” … the trillions of dollars of stimulus packages will surely result in inflation.” And that’s a sure sign of higher rates.

But that upward pressure is being counteracted by the economic damage the pandemic is wreaking. Poorly performing economies walk hand-in-hand with lower rates as surely as inflation leads to higher ones.

Unfortunately, there’s currently no way to predict which of these conflicting forces will win. True, it’s likely we’ll see higher rates once the pandemic fades. But we have still no idea when that will be. Believe us, we can’t wait to get back to being able to make more confident forecasts.


Over the last several months, the overall trend for mortgage rates has clearly been downward. And a new, weekly all-time low was set on 16 occasions last year, according to Freddie Mac.

The most recent such record occurred on Jan. 7, when it stood at 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. But rates are now some way above the all-time low. In Freddie’s Jan 21 report, that weekly average was 2.77%.

Expert mortgage rate forecasts

Looking further ahead, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) each has a team of economists dedicated to monitoring and forecasting what will happen to the economy, the housing sector and mortgage rates.

And here are their current rates forecasts for each quarter of 2021 (Q1/21, Q2/21, Q3/21 and Q4/21).

Fannie’s were released on Jan. 15, Freddie’s on Jan. 14 and the MBA’s on Jan. 20. The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages:

Forecaster Q1/21 Q2/21 Q3/21 Q4/21
Fannie Mae 2.7% 2.7% 2.8% 2.8%
Freddie Mac 2.9% 2.9% 3.0% 3.0%
MBA 2.9% 3.1% 3.3% 3.4%

But, given so many unknowables, the current crop of forecasts may be even more speculative than usual. And there’s certainly a widening spread as the year progresses.

Find your lowest rate today

Some lenders have been spooked by the pandemic. And they’re restricting their offerings to just the most vanilla-flavored mortgages and refinances.

But others remain brave. And you can still probably find the cash-out refinance, investment mortgage or jumbo loan you want. You just have to shop around more widely.

But, of course, you should be comparison shopping widely, no matter what sort of mortgage you want. As federal regulator the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:

Shopping around for your mortgage has the potential to lead to real savings. It may not sound like much, but saving even a quarter of a point in interest on your mortgage saves you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

Verify your new rate (Jan 27th, 2021)

Mortgage rate methodology

The Mortgage Reports receives rates based on selected criteria from multiple lending partners each day. We arrive at an average rate and APR for each loan type to display in our chart. Because we average an array of rates, it gives you a better idea of what you might find in the marketplace. Furthermore, we average rates for the same loan types. For example, FHA fixed with FHA fixed. The end result is a good snapshot of daily rates and how they change over time.


Loans Still Taking 2 Months to Close as Refi Demand Stays Strong

interest rates on 30-year fixed rate mortgages originated in December reached
an all-time low
in ICE Mortgage Technology’s (formerly Ellie Mae’s) records, an
average of 2.93 percent and a 4-basis point decline from the November rate. The
company, in its monthly Origination Insight Report, said the note rate
for all three loan types it tracks, FHA, Conventional, and VA, were all below
3.0 percent for the second straight month. FHA and Conventional loans dropped
to 2.94 and 2.96 percent, respectively.
Each averaged 2.99 percent the prior month. The VA rate fell from 2.72 to 2.66

Refinances continued to dominate at
60 percent of originations
, down 1 percentage point from November but up from
46 percent a year earlier. The outsized share was skewed toward conventional
loans at 68 percent. Purchase loans accounted for 81 percent of FHA
originations and 70 percent of VA loans.

“Interest rates continued to decline
at the end of 2020, driving the growing share of refinances for another month,”
said Joe Tyrrell, president of ICE Mortgage Technology. “Despite the continued
impact of the coronavirus, our lenders are leveraging technology and digital
to manage borrower demand for refinances, while taking into account
the health and safety of all people as part of the mortgage origination

Conventional loans accounted for 81
percent of loans originated during the month, down 1 point from November. Ten
percent of loans were FHA and 6 percent were VA, unchanged from their shares
the prior month. Other loan types ticked up from 2 to a 3 percent share.

The time to close all loans
to 58 days from 55 days in November with purchase loans, at 56 days
compared to 49 days, accounting for all the increase. The refinance timeline
remained at 59 days.

The closing rate for all loans was
76.5 percent, about a point higher than in November. ICE computes the closing
rate from a review of a sample of loan applications initiated 90 days prior, in
this case the September 2020 applications.

The Origination Insight Report‘s
data comes from a sampling of approximately 80 percent of all mortgage
applications that were initiated on the ICE proprietary lending platform. The
company says its report is a strong proxy of the underwriting standards
employed by lenders across the country.


Weekly mortgage refinance demand drops 5% after rates hit highest level since November – CNBC

An ‘Open House’ sign is displayed as potential home buyers arrive at a property for sale in Columbus, Ohio.

Ty Wright | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Record-low mortgage rates may now be a headline of the past.

Now, several weeks of rising rates are dousing what was incredibly high demand for refinancing. That pulled total weekly mortgage application volume down 1.9% last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) increased to 2.92% from 2.88%, with points increasing to 0.37 from 0.33 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20% down payment. The rate was 95 basis points higher one year ago.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed rose for the first time in seven weeks, to 2.48%.

With higher rates now offering less potential savings, applications to refinance a home loan fell 5% for the week but were 87% higher than a year ago. That annual comparison had been more than 100% just last week.

“Market expectations of a larger than anticipated fiscal relief package, which is expected to further boost economic growth and lower unemployment, have driven Treasury yields higher the last two weeks,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “After a post-holiday surge of refinances, higher rates chipped away at refinance demand.”

Demand from homebuyers, however, increased despite the higher rates. Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 3% for the week and were 15% higher than a year ago. The coronavirus pandemic spurred strong demand for larger, suburban homes. Despite the vaccine rollout, that demand does not appear to be abating. The biggest hurdles for homebuyers right now are high prices and record-low inventory of homes for sale.

“Homebuyers in early 2021 continue to seek newer, larger homes,” Kan said. “The average loan size for purchase loans jumped to $384,000, the second highest level in the survey,” which dates to 1990.

The incoming Biden administration is preparing to make multiple moves in the housing market that could favor both homebuyers and builders. Mortgage rates, however, started the week flat, as traders are likely awaiting the first major economic policy announcements before making a move.


Yellen wins confirmation to become first woman as Treasury chief

Janet Yellen was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the country’s 78th Treasury secretary and the first woman to hold the job, putting her in charge of overseeing an economy that continues to be hobbled by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Senate approved Yellen in a 84-15 vote on Monday, making her among the first of President Biden’s cabinet picks to be confirmed. She will become only the second American to have been both Federal Reserve chair and Treasury secretary.

The 74-year-old was also the first woman to head the U.S. central bank, which she left in early 2018 after overseeing a winding back of monetary stimulus after the last recession and its slow recovery. Now, she’s back in crisis-fighting mode, this time as a Democratic administration’s top economic official.

Janet Yellen speaks during an event at the Queen Theater on December 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware.

Alex Wong/Photographer: Alex Wong/Getty Im

Yellen’s top priority will be to stoke a recovery that’s weakened amid record COVID-19 deaths, by helping sell the $1.9 trillion Biden stimulus plan that’s run into resistance from GOP lawmakers. She will also help to shape policy toward China after the Trump administration’s legacy of confrontation and tariff hikes.

Other objectives include addressing the economic risks of climate change, with plans to set up a “hub” at the Treasury looking at the issue. She will also be responsible for tax policy, sanctions, the administration’s stance on the dollar, financing the government and ensuring the stability of the financial system.

“The symbolism and sense of technical expertise and decades of Washington experience that Janet Yellen brings will bring immediate credibility” to Biden’s economic agenda, said Tim Adams, who served as a Treasury undersecretary during the George W. Bush administration and now heads the Institute of International Finance, a banking group. “Yellen will be a key anchor of the economic team.”

Yellen has been a trailblazer throughout her career: She was the only woman out of 24 students in 1971 to earn a doctorate in economics from Yale University. She later taught economics at Harvard, and worked for more than 16 years at the Fed, including a stint as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco during the financial crisis.

Brooklyn, New York-born Yellen follows Jimmy Carter appointee G. William Miller, who also served as Treasury secretary after being Fed chair. She’ll be the first to have had both those jobs and head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, a role she had in the Clinton administration.

She had an early look at the challenges of the new job in her confirmation hearing at the Senate Finance panel last week. Her argument that it’s critical to “act big” now with emergency deficit spending to avoid long-term “scarring” in the economy was rejected by Republican lawmakers voicing concerns about rising debt.

“Right now, short term, I feel that we can afford what it takes to get the economy back on its feet, to get us through the pandemic,” Yellen told the committee. She highlighted the opportunity presented by historically low interest rates, and flagged that debt-servicing payments as a share of the economy are lower today than before the 2008 financial crisis.

It’s not just Republicans raising questions on Biden’s $1.9 trillion proposal. White House economic adviser Brian Deese was asked in a Sunday call with lawmakers from both parties for the basis of such a large package coming on the heels of the $900 billion pandemic relief bill approved last month. GOP members have also been vociferous in criticizing Biden’s inclusion of social safety-net measures such as a minimum wage hike, which they have long opposed.

Another near-term priority for Biden and Yellen is filling several senior positions at the Treasury. The president nominated Wally Adeyemo, who worked in the Obama administration, to be the deputy secretary, a position that requires Senate confirmation. But nominations are still to come for key undersecretary and assistant secretary jobs, among others.

The president has offered Nellie Liang, a Fed veteran and expert in financial regulation, the job of undersecretary for domestic finance, people familiar with the matter said last week, though no public announcement has been made. No Senate-confirmed person has been in the job since 2014, despite its importance in overseeing the issuance of U.S. government debt.

The Treasury earlier Monday announced other staffing appointments, including for Mark Mazur, who will join as a deputy assistant secretary for tax policy in the legislative affairs office. Natalie Earnest, who was chief spokesperson for the Treasury during the Obama administration, will be a counselor to Yellen.


Mortgage Rates Mostly Recover After Starting The Day Higher

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End-of-Year Delinquencies a Challenge for 2021

Mortgage performance understandably
deteriorated over the course of 2020. Black Knight, in its “first look” at
December data, noted that the year ended with 1.54 million more delinquent
mortgages and 1.7 million more that were seriously delinquent than at the start,
calling it “a looming reminder of the challenges facing the market in 2021.”

The situation did continue to improve
as the year ended. The national delinquency rate fell 3.9 percent from November
to December
and the resulting rate of 6.08 percent of all active loans was the
lowest since April 2020 when the financial effects of the pandemic kicked in. It
is however, nearly 79 percent higher than the rate at the end of 2019.

Serious delinquencies, loans 90 or
more days past due but not in foreclosure, also declined, dropping by 47,000
loans to 2.146 million loans. In December 2019 there were 1.719 million such loans.

There were 7,100 foreclosure starts
during the month. Foreclosure moratoriums are still in effect and are probably affecting
those numbers, but the December starts, while an increase of 62 percent from
November, were down 82 percent from the prior December. Completed foreclosures
for the entire year numbered 40,000 an annual decline of more than 70 percent.

A total of 3.251 million loans were 30
or more days past due but not in foreclosure, down 130,000 month-over-month but
1.448 million more loans than were non-current a year earlier.  Loans in process of foreclosure total 178,000,
2,000 more than the prior month but 67,000 fewer than the inventory in December
2019. That decline is probably also an artifact of the moratoriums.

The states with the highest rates of
non-current loans in December were Mississippi, Louisiana, Hawaii, West
Virginia, and New York. All had rates above 8 percent.

Prepayment activity remains strong,
probably most because of high levels of refinancing. The single month mortality
(SSM) rate of 3.15 percent was up 11.7 percent from November and 112 percent
above the SSM at the end of 2019.

The company also released its weekly
report on mortgage forbearances covering the period ended January 19. As has
become common over the course of the program, the number of active plans tends
to increase mid-month and did so last week, growing by 17,000. The number is,
however, down 2.1 percent from the previous month. There were 2.74 million
homeowners in forbearance at the end of the reporting week, representing 5.2
percent of all active mortgages and unpaid principal balances totaling $548
billion. Black Knight says the total number of active plans has been
vacillating between 2.71 and 2.83 million since early November when the number
of CORVIN-19 cases began to rise along with shutdowns.

Removal rates have also slowed
noticeably following the six-month point of forbearance plans. This suggests
that borrowers who remain in forbearance are likely more heavily impacted by
the economic downturn and thus are less likely to leave such plans before the
full allowable 12-month period ends.

A weekly decline of 3,000 Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac (GSE) loans in forbearance was more than offset by a 15,000
increase in plans among portfolio-held and private label securitized (PLS) mortgages
and a 5,000 more FHA/VA loans. Active plans now represent 3.3 percent of total
GSE portfolios, 9.4 percent of FHA and VA loans and 5.2 percent of those
serviced for PLS and bank portfolios.

Black Knight concludes, “Though we are a far cry from the peaks we saw last
summer as far as the total number of active forbearance plans, the rate of
improvement continues to be relatively slow. We’re seeing fewer new plan starts,
with that number holding steady at the three-week average and down 30 percent
from the same week in December. At the same time, plan removals remain weak,
with this week recording the second lowest weekly removal volume observed to
date since we began monitoring the situation in April.”

The company will provide more in-depth
information on December loan performance in its Mortgage Monitor. It will be
published on February 1.


Economic Sweet Spots for Tech, Finance and Health Care Workers

When it comes to finding the right balance of jobs, salaries and housing costs, not all areas are created equal.

With Silicon Valley workers living in vans and RVs and interns squatting in corporate offices, it’s clear that even a tech salary does not shield some workers from the vagaries of sky-high housing costs.

The good news is, there are tech jobs outside the Bay Area — and, in some places, workers have thousands of dollars left over each month after paying income taxes and housing costs.

The same is true for finance workers, who no longer have to brave New York City rents to build their careers. And health care workers can do well in markets where jobs in their field are as plentiful as the housing is affordable.

Zillow and LinkedIn analyzed a host of housing and employment data — from salaries to hiring to income tax rates — to determine which markets are well suited to technology, finance and health care workers.

The results held surprises. While the Bay Area doesn’t offer the best mix of employment and affordable housing, tech workers in San Francisco do manage to make up for the stratospheric cost of housing — the median home there is $833,600 — with their higher salaries. The average San Francisco tech worker ends the month with $140 more in disposable income than the average tech worker in Denver, where the median home value is $356,900. Tech renters also fare better in San Francisco than in Denver, with $591 more in monthly disposable income.

Still, Seattle is a better bet overall, with tech workers keeping $5,987 as disposable income if they own their homes, and $5,493 if they rent. Austin and Pittsburgh also pencil out better than the Bay Area.

Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth and Phoenix are sweet spots for finance workers, while Phoenix, Indianapolis and Boston are the best bets for health care workers.



Understanding the seasonal patterns of mortgage rates – HousingWire

Much like the changing of the calendar, buying and selling homes follows a seasonality that those in mortgage and real estate have grown accustomed to. But a recent study from tech startup Haus found that mortgage rates can also be seasonal, and borrowers can benefit from understanding that rhythm.

Analyzing over 8.5 million mortgage originations between 2012 and 2018 from Freddie Mac’s Single-Family Loan-Level dataset, Haus found that the sweet spot for rates is typically in January, when mortgage originations also typically slump.

Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Haus, explained the correlation. “So, what do lenders have to do to be competitive? They lower their rates. But let’s look at when Treasury rates were dropping like crazy early in 2020. What that usually means is that mortgage rates would also drop like crazy. But at first, mortgage rates didn’t drop. And it’s because there was such a flood of people looking to refinance that lenders couldn’t keep up.

“They couldn’t keep up with demand and so if they couldn’t keep up with demand that allows them to keep their prices relatively high,” McLaughlin said.

2020 was an outlier, with mortgage rates dropping to record lows on 16 different occasions. However, many economists expect as the economy begins its post-pandemic recovery, rates will also begin to stabilize to a more predictable pattern.

Leveraging eClosings to effectively manage increased loan volumes

With record-low rates and the increased loan volume, lenders must streamline workflows and accelerate time to close. Evolving to full eClosings can help lenders process more loans at a faster pace without overwhelming their resources.

Presented by: SimpleNexus

“We forecast rates to remain relatively low this year as the Federal Reserve keeps interest rates anchored near zero for a longer period of time, if needed until the economy rebounds,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

If rates stay low, the Haus study estimates that borrowers buying houses between $400,000 and $500,000 are going to reap the greatest reward – averaging a discount of 23 basis points compared to cheaper loans. That’s because it costs the same to originate a loan that is half a million dollars as it does $200,000, but the latter doesn’t involve as much return.

“You’re not making as much as you would on that more expensive mortgage, obviously, in order to cover some of those fixed costs, so lenders actually increase rates on the lower end of mortgage originations.” McLaughlin said.

An updated market outlook from Zillow expects seasonally adjusted home values to increase by 3.7% from December 2020 to March 2021, and by 10.5% through December 2021.

But even if lenders do inflate prices on a lower mortgage, borrowers can gain an advantage by playing the field. Across the largest lenders in the country (the 100 largest by volume of originations), Haus found on average a 75-basis point spread between the most expensive and least expensive lender. Taking into account size of down payment, existing debt and credit score, the study found that for the same borrower, a potential mortgage rate could, for example, average anywhere from 3.25% to 4%.

So how do lenders retain a potential borrower if they can’t match the price? McLaughlin said they are speculating that the convenience and experience borrowers play may be a leading factor. Those lenders who invest in digital technology and digital documentation are going to have the upper hand.

“It’s like, how much are you willing to pay for a hotel? I don’t think there’s a Ritz Carlton of mortgages or a Motel 6 of mortgages, but nonetheless there is variation and even if a rate is cheaper, a lot borrowers are thinking about quality,” McLaughlin said.

Surprisingly, a borrower who lowers their debt to income ratio doesn’t move the needle much on rates. According to the study, borrowers with a DTI below 36% (considered a “good” DTI), on average have mortgage rates that are just 3-6 basis points lower than borrowers with a DTI above 43% (considered “high”).

That said, recent changes implemented by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau have removed DTI requirements from qualified mortgages. Haus estimates the ongoing impact that DTI will have on mortgage pricing is also likely to fall.


Allied Mortgage Review: A Philly-Based Lender Around Since the 90s

Posted on January 26th, 2021

Today we’ll deep dive into “Allied Mortgage Group,” an East Coast lender founded in the 1990s that is “built on integrity, reputation, and commitment.”

They believe they’re a good choice for prospective home buyers and existing homeowners because of their streamlined loan process, years of expertise, and excellent customer service.

Additionally, the company boasts a 98.8% recommend rate from its customers and partners.

Allied Mortgage Group Quick Facts

  • Direct-to-consumer mortgage lender and loan servicer
  • Founded in 1993, headquartered in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania
  • Offer home purchase loans and mortgage refinancing
  • Funded roughly $1 billion in home loans last year
  • Currently licensed in 33 states and the District of Columbia
  • Also operate a wholesale lending division for mortgage brokers

Allied Mortgage Group is a direct-to-consumer retail mortgage lender and loan servicer based in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

They’ve been around since 1993, so they might know a thing or two about mortgages.

Last year, the company funded about $1 billion in home loans, with more than $300 million coming from their home state of PA.

Another $200 million or so came from nearby New Jersey, along with $100 million+ from the state of New York.

While they’re most active on the East Coast, they are licensed in 33 states along with the District of Columbia.

They are not available in Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, or Wyoming.

Allied runs six operations centers and 18 regional offices throughout the country, with local loan officers serving their own communities.

About two-thirds of their total loan volume came from home purchase loans, with the remainder almost evenly split between refinance loans and HELOCs.

How to Apply for a Home Loan with Allied Mortgage Group

  • You can apply directly from their website in minutes without assistance
  • They offer a digital mortgage application powered by Ellie Mae
  • Allows you to complete much of the process paperlessly from any device
  • But they also have physical branches and loan officers available if you want a more hands-on experience

Allied Mortgage Group says it handles all loan processing, underwriting, and closings under one roof, which allows them to generate quick turnaround times.

On top of that, they offer a digital mortgage application powered by Ellie Mae, a leader in the fintech space.

Borrowers who are eager to apply can simply visit the Allied Mortgage Group website and click “Apply Now” to get going.

You don’t need to speak to anyone or wait for someone to call you back. Of course, it might be helpful to discuss your loan scenario and get loan pricing before you dive in.

Either way, you can go it alone once you’re ready, or ask a loan officer for assistance. Their digital app allows you to do most tasks paperlessly, which is a huge plus.

That includes linking financial accounts, eSigning disclosures, and uploading key documents along the way.

You’ll also be able to log on to a borrower portal 24/7 to get status updates and check loan progress.

Loan Programs Offered by Allied Mortgage Group

  • Home purchase loans
  • Refinance loans
  • Home renovation loans
  • Conventional loans
  • Jumbo loans
  • FHA loans
  • VA loans
  • USDA loans
  • Bank statement loans and adverse credit loans
  • Interest only loans
  • Specialty loans for doctors and recent graduates
  • Fixed-rate loans (30-year fixed, 15-year fixed)
  • Adjustable-rate loans (5/1 ARM, 7/1 ARM)
  • Home equity lines (HELOCs)

One of Allied Mortgage Group’s strengths is its impressive breadth of loan offerings.

Sure, they offer home purchase loans, refinance loans, and renovation loans, along with all the usual suspects like FHA, USDA, and VA loans.

But they go a step further with their “Latitude Loan Solutions” suite, which includes a bank statement program, interest only loans, the financing of non-warrantable condos, and adverse credit mortgages.

So even if you lost your home due to an unexpected job loss, it might be possible to get another mortgage as long as your credit score is 620 or higher.

They’ve also got their Professional Choice line of home loans, which are flexible mortgages reserved for borrowers in professional fields (e.g. doctors, dentists) with high future earnings potential and good credit.

Lastly, they offer home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), which can be a rarity these days outside of the large commercial banks.

All in all, you shouldn’t walk away from Allied Mortgage Group because they didn’t have a certain loan program.

Allied Mortgage Group Mortgage Rates

If you want to check out their mortgage rates, you’ll need to make a phone call and speak to one of their loan officers.

Unfortunately, they do not publicize their daily rates on their website. However, you can request a free mortgage rate by clicking on “Rate Quotes” from the top menu on their site.

Once you fill out a lead form, a licensed loan officer will get back to you regarding pricing.

Alternatively, you can check out the branch directory on their website and contact a specific loan officer near you.

From there, simply get on the phone to discuss pricing. As you would with any other mortgage lender, use their quoted rate(s) and fees and compare them with other lenders to see where they stand.

While pricing isn’t everything, especially if it’s a home purchase and you need someone who can get the job done, it is a very important consideration.

Be sure to include any lender fees they charge, such as an application fee or loan origination fee, in your comparison shopping to accurately gauge offers.

Allied Mortgage Group Reviews

On SocialSurvey, Allied Mortgage Group has a near-perfect 4.87-star rating from more than 14,000 customer reviews.

In the past, they’ve also made it into SocialSurvey’s top-10 list for customer satisfaction amongst all lenders.

On Zillow, the company also has a most-excellent 4.96-star rating out of 5 from nearly 800 reviews.

I noticed quite a few reviews where the customer indicated that both the interest rate and fees/closing costs were lower than expected, which is a great sign on the pricing front.

Over at LendingTree, they’ve got a 4.9-star rating from more than 6,000 reviews, along with a 99% recommended rate. Their interest rates are also rated as “excellent.”

They have been an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau since 2012, and currently have a perfect ‘A+’ rating.

Allied Mortgage Group Pros and Cons

The Good Stuff

  • Can apply for a mortgage without a human
  • Offer a digital, paperless mortgage application
  • Tons of loan programs to choose from
  • Physical branches in many East Coast states
  • Excellent customer reviews from past customers
  • A+ BBB rating, accredited company since 2012
  • They also service the loans they fund
  • Free mortgage calculators on their website

The Maybe Not

  • Do not publicize their mortgage rates or lender fees
  • Not licensed in all states

(photo: Gene Tobia)

Lock in a lower rate.