You’ve probably seen those catchy J.G. Wentworth Wagnerian opera commercials on TV proclaiming — with gusto — “I need cash now!” While that soaring jingle has made J.G. Wentworth a household name in structured settlement and annuity services, the company is singing a new tune as a recently minted mortgage lender.
Founded in 1991, J.G. Wentworth is investing time and resources into making the mortgage lending process as efficient and seamless as possible, says Phil Buscemi, president of J.G. Wentworth Home Lending. In 2015, after J.G. Wentworth purchased WestStar Mortgage and entered the mortgage arena, it closed $2.2 billion in loan volume. In 2016, it grew that volume to $3.4 billion, and the company is on track to beat that figure for 2017, Buscemi says.
But profitability isn’t enough. J.G. Wentworth’s main goal, according to senior vice president Jeff Frutkin, is to get more efficient and offer even better rates to its customers. “We’re building out our technology platform for a best-in-class consumer experience,” says Frutkin, noting the company has plans to launch a new website in December 2017.
So far, J.G. Wentworth Home Lending is hitting all of the high notes as it builds its mortgage market share. Let’s take a closer look at its overall performance:
AT A GLANCE
- Offers conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA and ARM loans
- Lender fee: $299 for most loans
- FICO score minimums: FHA loans - 580; VA loans - 580; conventional loans - 620
In This Article
- J.G. Wentworth mortgage products
- J.G. Wentworth’s tech-friendly process
- What J.G. Wentworth Home Lending does best
- Where J.G. Wentworth Home Lending falls short
Variety is the best way to sum up J.G. Wentworth’s mortgage products. It offers conventional purchase loans, as well as government-insured loans from the Federal Housing Administration, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The list goes on: The company also offers refinancing, with both traditional and cash-out options. J.G. Wentworth doesn’t offer home equity loans or lines of credit, though.
For fixed-rate loans, borrowers can get J.G. Wentworth mortgages with terms of 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years, while adjustable-rate mortgages come in 3/1, 5/1, 7/1 and 10/1 terms. Also, low- to moderate-income earners who qualify for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac home buyer programs can get those loans through J.G. Wentworth, too.
VA loans make up one-third of J.G. Wentworth’s business, Buscemi says. A “number of loan officers and other employees are former military,” he adds.
‘A tech company that offers mortgages’
It may be relatively new to the mortgage landscape, but J.G. Wentworth wants to do its part to make the process as tech-friendly as possible for consumers, Buscemi says.
“We view ourselves as a tech company that offers mortgages,” he says. “When we automate the process as much as possible, we help move the consumer forward. We want it to be a smooth journey for them, but at the same time, we believe automation makes the process easier for everyone.”
When you apply for a J.G. Wentworth mortgage, you’ll have access to a complete online loan application, document upload and online loan tracking and e-signature capability. The company will even deliver pre-qualification letters via email.
What J.G. Wentworth Home Lending does best
- Provides a wide array of loan options for consumers
- Charges low lender fees ($299) for most loan types
- Builds out its tech offerings to make the lending process easier and more automated
- Uses alternative credit scoring for some government-insured loans
Where J.G. Wentworth Home Lending falls short
- Has a limited number of physical locations in 14 states
- Isn’t licensed to lend in all 50 states (it does not operate in Hawaii, Missouri, Montana, Nevada or New York)
Updated Nov. 1, 2017.NerdWallet’s star ratings for mortgage lenders are awarded based on our evaluation of the products and services that lenders offer to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The six key areas we evaluated include the loan types and loan products offered, online capabilities, online mortgage rate information, customer service and the number of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a percentage of loans issued. We also awarded lenders up to one bonus star for a unique program or borrower focus that set them apart from other lenders. To ensure consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Mortgages team.