Citi fully delivers all the services and perks you would expect from a large lender, plus some additional benefits. Its lineup of industry awards and rankings are evidence of Citi's efforts to digitally engage with customers in a user-friendly, efficient, and helpful way. All in all, Citi offers a range of mortgage products that can be tailored to meet the needs of most borrowers. This Citi mortgage review will go into more detail on the pros and cons -- and whether it’s the best pick for your mortgage.
The diverse set of loan products and terms and relationship discounts make it a top pick, particularly for first-time homebuyers. The high customer satisfaction ratings are the cherry on top.
Wide variety of loan options: Citi Mortgage offers a full menu of loan options, including purchase and refinance mortgages, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), as well as low-down-payment options and some government-backed loans.
3% down payment option: Citi's HomeRun Mortgage is the bank's homespun answer to low-down-payment mortgages. Qualified borrowers can make a down payment as low as 3% and pay no private mortgage insurance (PMI) on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan. HomeRun Mortgage loans are for primary residences only and may not exceed conforming loan limits. In certain high-cost markets or if the applicant uses nontraditional credit data to qualify, the down payment requirement is 5%.
Discounts for Citi customers: Every Citi deposit account holder is eligible for a substantial discount off their mortgage interest rate. Here is the breakdown:
|Citibank Account Balance||Interest Rate Discount or Closing Credit|
|$1 - $49,999.99||$250 off closing costs|
|$50,000 - $199,999.99||0.125% off interest rate|
|$200,000 - $499,999.99||0.25% off interest rate|
|$500,000 - $999,999.99||0.375% off interest rate|
|$1,000,000 - $1,999,999.99||0.5% off interest rate|
|$2,000,000 or more||0.625% off interest rate|
SureStart® Pre-approval: Citi offers a fully verified pre-approval process that results in a firm commitment to lend. Citi will review the applicant's income and asset documents before providing a written pre-approval. This service is free to the borrower.
Options for applicants without a deep credit history: Citi Mortgage will evaluate alternative credit data if an applicant cannot qualify with a traditional credit history.
Mortgage support: Citi provides easy access to mortgage assistance resources, including a dedicated in-house department to help struggling borrowers. The support link is prominently featured on the website, and the options are comprehensive. In two clicks, you can find detailed information about catching up on late payments, deferment and forbearance options, and payment extensions.
Highly rated: Citi’s banking and mortgage businesses are consistent consumer favorites:
Zero-down mortgage product: You'll need some cash of your own. (Citi does offer the VA loan, which is available with zero money down, but for purchase loan borrowers who don't qualify for that program, a down payment will be required.) Gift money can be used for the down payment, but the borrower must contribute at least 1% of the purchase price.
Fees transparency: Most mortgage lenders charge an origination fee, and many let you know up front what it is. While Citi does charge this fee, you'll need to contact a loan officer to find out how much you'll have to pay. A breakdown of fees on the website, possibly alongside today's rates, would be helpful.
Citi's BBB rating: Notwithstanding its various high consumer ratings, Citi, as a whole, fares quite poorly with the Better Business Bureau, earning a grade of "F."
If you are trying to qualify for a mortgage, you'll quickly become familiar with the criteria mortgage lenders will look for. To qualify for a mortgage with Citi, you'll need to provide information about yourself and the property you want to buy.
Keep in mind that Citi’s underwriters look at your application as a whole. But for most loans, these are some of the most important factors Citi will look for:
You should also have no recent late payments or overdrafts, and no unpaid collection accounts. These may not be immediate deal breakers, but they are red flags and could complicate your application.
Your credit score will be a major factor in determining your interest rate. Citi usually requires a credit score of 620, but mortgages for people with poor credit are also available. You can qualify for an FHA loan, including one from Citi, with a FICO® Score as low as 580 and a 3.5% down payment, and with a score as low as 500 if you pay 10% down.
You can check mortgage rates on Citi's website without entering any personal information. Once you’re ready to get a loan offer, you can give more information and go forward with pre-approval. Pre-approval does not obligate you to take on a loan.
Current Citibank customers with at least $50,000 in deposits will get the most bang for their buck on a mortgage from Citi because of the interest rate reduction. That's a discount that lasts for the entire life of the loan. This benefit is particularly valuable for high-net-worth individuals who hold significant assets at Citi.
Citi is also a great mortgage choice for the well-qualified borrower who is short on cash. Bypassing PMI payments with a HomeRun Mortgage loan could lead to impressive savings, especially in the first few years of the loan.
With online tools that allow you to narrow down your options and estimate costs without giving your name or contact information, any buyer researching mortgages should put Citi on their list.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2021 The Ascent. All rights reserved.