Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation has one mission: Make the stressful process of obtaining a mortgage as smooth and easy as possible. The company operates a network of more than 500 branches nationwide, and prioritizes good old-fashioned customer service. It has originated billion in loans for customers, including $45 billion through the first three quarters of 2020 alone. Find out if it's the right lender for your mortgage in this in-depth review.
The combination of high customer satisfaction and a large branch network makes Fairway a solid pick. What's more, the lender offers a wide range of fixed-rate and adjustable rate mortgage terms across an array of mortgage products.
Lots of options: Fairway offers pretty much every type of mortgage you'd want -- except interest-only loans. Fairway offers renovation loans and reverse mortgages in addition to the standard loan types. Most of Fairway's loans have fixed or adjustable-rate options. And there's also flexibility with loan terms, too. Fairway has loans with 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, or 30-year terms.
Branch locations: With more than 500 branches throughout the United States, it's easy for most people to get in-person help if they need it.
Customer service: Fairway prides itself on customer service, and it scores excellent marks in this area. According to reviews on Zillow, Fairway holds a 4.96 out of 5 star average (based on more than 24,600 customer reviews). And the most commonly-cited thing is how helpful Fairway's employees are. Yelp reviews show similar borrower comments.
Mortgage servicing: Besides being a lender, Fairway is also a mortgage servicer. There's no guarantee that Fairway will service your loan after closing, but there's a better chance than with most other lenders.
Mobile app: Fairway has a highly-rated mobile app, FairwayNOW. It allows borrowers to apply for a loan, scan and upload documents, and more.
Online application process: Fairway allows borrowers to apply online, but it isn't a tech-focused mortgage lender. Fairway primarily originates loans through its network of mortgage professionals, located throughout the United States. Fairway's biggest strength is its focus on in-person customer service.
If you prefer a streamlined and tech-oriented system, you might want to look elsewhere. For example, Fairway doesn't publish its rates until you give personal information. Some competitors allow you to check your personalized rates very quickly, and without a hard credit pull.
Fee and rate transparency: If you want to know your mortgage rates, you'll need to fill out an application and submit to a hard credit check. Unlike many competitors, Fairway does not have a "today's rates" list on its website. And you won't find out your loan's origination fee until you apply either. Some competitors have no origination fees at all, while others are more upfront about what they charge.
Proprietary loans: Several of Fairway's competitors offer their own loan products. These often include low down payment loans for first-time buyers without any mortgage insurance requirement. Fairway boasts a wide variety of standard loan options, but doesn't offer proprietary loan products.
In order to qualify for a mortgage with Fairway, you'll need to meet the lender's requirements for the specific type of loan you're applying for. With a conventional mortgage, you'll need a minimum credit score of 620. If you're planning to go the FHA loan route, you'll need a 580 to get approved with a 3.5% down payment.
However, there's more to getting approved than just meeting the credit scoring requirements. You'll need to show an acceptable employment history, have your assets examined, and show a debt-to-income ratio that justifies the loan. The best way to see what loans and terms you qualify for is to fill out Fairway's mortgage application.
Fairway has a few different ways borrowers can qualify:
There's no such thing as a perfect mortgage lender. Here are a couple of examples from our list of the best mortgage lenders that you might want to consider as alternatives to Fairway.
Better.com is an online-focused mortgage lender. It's great for borrowers who want the process to be as quick and streamlined as possible and don't really care about in-person help. Better.com allows borrowers to check their rates quickly and easily without any impact to their credit scores. It also aims to close all loans much quicker than the average lender.
Bank of America Mortgage might be worth a look for borrowers who don't have a large down payment. It offers a proprietary program called the Affordable Loan Solution®, which combines a 3% down payment without requiring PMI for borrowers who qualify. Bank of America also has a down payment assistance center. This helps connect borrowers with cash grants and closing credits to help reduce the out-of-pocket cost even more.
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