Chase is the consumer and commercial banking arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co. It is the biggest bank in the U.S. by assets and one of the top 10 largest banks in the world. Chase has nearly 4,900 branches and claims to serve almost half of America's households. With such a large presence, it comes as no surprise that Chase offers a wide and varied selection of mortgage loan products. In this Chase Mortgage review, we'll cover everything you need to know to help you determine if this lender is right for you.
Best for: Wide array of loan terms and products
The wide array of loan types and low- to no-down-payment options makes it a compelling lender to consider for a purchase or refi.
Low down payment jumbo loans: Chase Mortgage makes jumbo loans more affordable and they are available in two forms:
Low down payment mortgages: Chase offers a good variety of loans with low or very low down payment requirements. (Note that for eligible VA loan borrowers, the down payment requirement on a conforming loan is zero.)
Chase Homebuyer $2,500 Grant: DreaMaker, Standard Agency, FHA, and VA borrowers purchasing a primary residence may be eligible for a $2,500 grant from Chase. The funds will be applied to points, closing costs, Chase fees, and non-Chase fees, in that order. DreaMaker and Standard Agency borrowers may also use the grant funds toward the down payment once those other costs are satisfied.
Homebuyer education: Chase offers comprehensive and easily accessible homebuyer education resources on its website. Several two- to five-minute videos help new homebuyers get familiar with the process and begin to prepare. Chase also offers a credit score service called Credit Journey that anyone can use to check their VantageScore for free. The score you see may be different from the score your mortgage lender sees, but it will give you an idea of your standing and what you can work on to improve your score.
Housing assistance resources: Chase partners with various agencies and programs nationwide to help consumers get access to loans and grants that can make homeownership more achievable. A list of the Chase eligible housing assistance programs is available online.
Flexible automatic payment options: Borrowers can visit the Chase website to enroll in the payment schedule of their choice, or to choose a new option. You can pay monthly on the day of your choice (12 payments a year), twice a month on the dates of your choice (24 half-payments a year), or every two weeks (26 half-payments a year for faster payoff).
Fee transparency: Chase does not publish any information on its website about specific closing costs borrowers can expect to pay, including the origination fee. Loan shoppers appreciate these details, but to get them from Chase you'll have to apply or place a call to a loan officer. In our call to a loan officer, we found out that all borrowers in California pay a $1,150 loan processing fee as well as a standard tax lien search fee and a flood certification fee. The loan origination fee is inversely proportional to the points that the borrower chooses to pay. The borrower can pay more up front for a lower interest rate on the loan or can save on out-of-pocket costs in exchange for a higher rate.
No rate lock: A California home lending advisor confirmed by phone that Chase does not offer a rate lock to pre-approved applicants. Applicants can use the Homebuyer Advantage program to get conditional approval, but Chase will not offer an interest rate or prepare a Loan Estimate (the document that tells you the terms and costs of the loan you’re being offered).
Limited relationship discount: Chase occasionally offers small discounts off mortgage fees to its customers who have as little as $50,000 in deposits at the bank. However, these offers come and go. The only customers who have a standing offer for a financial perk on a mortgage are those who have at least $250,000 in deposits at Chase. Those borrowers are eligible for a 0.125% discount off their mortgage rate. Borrowers who have at least $1 million in deposits at Chase are eligible for a 0.25% rate discount. In both cases, the discount lasts for the life of the loan (on a fixed-rate mortgage) or until the first rate adjustment (on an ARM).
Check your credit score and credit report before you apply. Request correction of any errors you find on your credit report. It's also best to get any disputes resolved before you apply for your loan.
For a loan with Chase Mortgage, you'll need a credit score of at least 620 with a 5% down payment, or 640 with a 3% down payment. Chase also offers FHA loans, which require a credit score of at least 580 and a down payment of 3.5%. The FHA program tends to have higher costs and higher mortgage interest rates than other loans, so the best thing to do is ask a mortgage loan officer a few questions about what might work best for you.
When it comes to figuring out how much house you can afford, remember to consider the type of loan you'll qualify for, as your total costs will depend on it. The Standard Agency and FHA loans both require mortgage insurance. The DreaMaker loan offers reduced mortgage insurance. The VA loan does not require mortgage insurance, but most borrowers pay a one-time funding fee at loan closing.
Once you're ready to apply, gather your income and asset documents, including recent pay stubs, bank statements, and tax returns. You'll also need to provide proof of your identity and proof of employment. Chase provides a mortgage application checklist to help. You have the option to apply in person or online. For an online application, you may be able to connect your accounts (such as your bank and investment accounts) so that Chase can pull the necessary documents automatically.
Quicken Loans offers a free rate lock to any applicant who gets pre-approved. The rate lock has a float-down feature, which means that if market rates go down during your lock period, your rate will also go down. But if rates go up, your rate is locked in.
SoFi mortgage reveals its lender fee up front. You'll pay a flat fee of $1,495, reduced by $500 for current SoFi members. This fee is pretty typical in the industry, but it's never safe to assume. Some applicants prefer to shop around with all the relevant details from each lender you're talking to, without having to talk to the lenders themselves, who can be very salesy.
Chase Mortgage might be a great choice for you if you can't or don't want to put 20% down on a house. Chase has a wide selection of loan options that have a lower down payment requirement.
This is especially true if you can qualify for one of the many ways Chase offers to reduce or eliminate PMI.
You might also want to consider Chase if you're a first-time home buyer. Chase has all the tools in place to walk you through the process and help you land the most appropriate loan. That's particularly true for low- to moderate-income borrowers who can use some help finding grant money to help them get into homeownership.
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