Alterra Home Loans Review 2024

Borrowers who want to work with a Hispanic-led lender focused on enabling Hispanic first-time home buyers.
Taylor GetlerPhil Metzger
By
and
Last updated on January 31, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Alice Holbrook
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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Our Take

3.0

Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
The Nerdy headline:

Alterra Home Loans’ parent company’s mortgage interest rates and origination fees are among the highest in the industry, meaning some borrowers are likely to get better deals elsewhere. But for borrowers without Social Security numbers, the lender does offer an ITIN loan. The lender also has a highly rated mobile app.

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Alterra
Alterra: NMLS#133739

Min. credit score
620
Min. down payment
3%
Loan types and products
Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers government loans, down payment assistance loans and ITIN loans, among other options.
  • Has branch locations across the country for borrowers who prefer an in-person experience.
  • Site has a live chat feature.

Cons

  • Mortgage rates and origination fees for parent company Panorama Mortgage Group are higher than the majority of lenders’.
  • Borrowers must contact the lender for specific information about their loan offerings and interest rates.
  • Does not offer home equity products or adjustable-rate mortgages.
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Full Review

Alterra Home Loans’ mortgage options

  • 3 of 5 stars

Alterra Home Loans was founded with an explicit goal of serving Hispanic first-time home buyers. Its parent company, Panorama Mortgage Group, has an additional brand — Legacy Home Loans — focused on boosting homeownership among Black communities.

Alterra offers an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number loan product for borrowers without Social Security numbers. Qualifying for an ITIN mortgage product can be much more rigorous than it is for a traditional mortgage. Lenders often require a larger down payment (usually 20%), and borrowers may be required to pay a higher interest rate.

Alterra also offers conventional loans, as well as government-backed FHA, VA and USDA loans.

Borrowers can get down payment assistance loans from Alterra, and the lender also offers refinancing. They do not offer home equity loans or HELOCs, and, unusually, don’t offer adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs).

They don’t provide any details about their loan types on their site, meaning that borrowers have to reach out to get basic information about loan availability or eligibility.

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What it’s like to apply for an Alterra Home Loans mortgage

  • 5 of 5 stars

Borrowers can contact the lender via live chat, phone, or in person at a branch location. When they’re ready to apply, they can fill out an app on the lender’s website, or apply through the app (called Pronto Plus) which currently has a rating of 4.7 in the App Store.

Alterra Home Loans’ mortgage rates and fees

  • 1 of 5 stars

  • Alterra Home Loans, reporting as Panorama Mortgage Group, earns 1 of 5 stars for average origination fee.

  • Alterra Home Loans, reporting as Panorama Mortgage Group, earns 1 of 5 stars for average mortgage interest rates.

NerdWallet analyzes federal data to compare mortgage lenders’ origination fees and offered mortgage rates. We measure annual averages across all loan types, as reported by the lenders. Alterra Home Loans' parent company has mortgage interest rates and origination fees that are among the highest across lenders reviewed by NerdWallet. Loans considered higher risk often have higher interest rates and fees.

Borrowers should consider the balance between lender fees and mortgage rates. While it's not always the case, paying upfront fees can lower your mortgage interest rate. Some lenders will charge higher upfront fees to lower their advertised interest rate and make it more attractive. Some lenders just charge higher upfront fees.

Alterra Home Loans’ mortgage rate transparency

  • 1 of 5 stars

Alterra Home Loans does not post rates on their site.

NerdWallet’s transparency ratings are higher for lenders that post sample rates on their sites, making it easier for home buyers to comparison shop, and highest for sites with self-serve tools that allow shoppers to see what rates might be like for their particular loan.

What borrowers say about Alterra Home Loans

NerdWallet’s lender star ratings assess objective qualities, including rates, fees and loan offerings. To assess borrowers’ subjective experiences with lenders, NerdWallet has gathered customer satisfaction ratings from Zillow.

  • Alterra receives a customer rating of 4.92 out of 5 on Zillow, as of the date of publication. The rating reflects more than 475 customer reviews.

Alternatives to a home loan from Alterra

Borrowers looking for an ITIN loan can find one at Flagstar Bank, while borrowers looking for low interest rates may be interested in Citi.

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Methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for mortgage lenders are evaluated based on four major categories: variety of loan types (purchase, refinance, fixed and adjustable, for example), ease of application, rates and fees and rate transparency. Among the factors we consider when scoring these categories are options to apply for and track loans online, the level of detail about mortgage rates on lender websites and our analysis of the rates and fees lenders reported in the latest available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. These scores generate ratings from 1 star (poor) to 5 stars (excellent).

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