Carrington Mortgage Services Review

Good for: first-time home buyers or credit-challenged borrowers interested in government loan products.

Kate WoodOctober 6, 2020

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Our Take

3.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Carrington Mortgage Services has options for first-time home buyers and buyers with nontraditional credit histories. You can't shop rates on their website, but Carrington does have a digital application process.

Carrington

Carrington: NMLS#2600

Min. Credit Score

620

Conventional:

620

FHA:

500

VA:

500

USDA:

550

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers multiple low-down-payment loan programs.

  • May consider alternative credit data, like bank statements and rent payments.

Cons

  • To get sample rates, you'll have to speak with a loan officer.

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOC.

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Full Review

Carrington Mortgage Services at a glance

Carrington Mortgage Services has conventional and government-backed low- and no-down-payment loan options that give first-time home buyers a leg up, and offers several online conveniences. However, you can't shop rates online, and their rates and fees tend to be higher than those of other lenders.

  • Variety of loan types: 3 of 5 stars

  • Variety of loan products: 5 of 5 stars

  • Online convenience: 4 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 2 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 1 of 5 stars

Carrington Mortgage Services is the consumer-facing mortgage brand of Carrington Holding Company, a financial institution founded in 2003.

Since its inception, Carrington has had a lot of irons in the homebuying fire, including a real estate brokerage, a title business and a retail mortgage operation. Previously broken out under the brand Vylla, Carrington Mortgage Services puts direct-to-consumer lending back under the Carrington name.

Carrington Mortgage Services loan types and products

The Carrington mortgage menu offers conventional purchase and refinance loans as well as mortgages from the Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Home buyers can choose between conventional and government mortgages with 15- or 30-year fixed-rate terms. Adjustable rate mortgages are also an option, with 5/1, 7/1, or 10/1 terms.

Refinance options at Carrington include the FHA streamline, USDA Streamline Assist and the VA streamline refinance, or IRRRL.

For first-time home buyers, Carrington offers Freddie Mac Home Possible and Home Possible Advantage loans, which are conventional loans with low down payments. These can help buyers who have good credit but don't have much saved for a down payment and aren't crazy about the mortgage insurance premiums that come with FHA loans.

For borrowers who may be self-employed or have what the industry calls a "thin credit file," Carrington may consider nontraditional credit data, like rent payment history or bank statements, to help determine borrowers' ability to repay a loan.

Carrington Mortgage Services does not offer home equity loans or lines of credit and does not currently offer jumbo loans.

Carrington Mortgage Services online convenience

Once you're working with a loan officer, Carrington's online application makes the process more convenient. You can upload documents and sign them electronically, too. The one feature that's missing is automated loan tracking; you'll have to keep in touch with your loan officer for status updates on your loan.

Carrington Mortgage Services rates and fees

One of the most important considerations when choosing a mortgage lender is understanding what the loan will cost. In order to provide consumers with a general sense of what a lender might charge, NerdWallet scores lenders on two factors regarding fees and mortgage rates:

  • A lender's average origination fee compared with the median of all lenders reporting under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Carrington Mortgage Services earns 2 of 5 stars on this factor.

  • A lender's offered mortgage rates compared with the best available on comparable loans. Carrington Mortgage Services earns 2 of 5 stars on this factor.

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.

You can decide to buy discount points — a fee paid with your closing costs — to reduce your mortgage rate.

Deciding whether to pay higher upfront fees is a matter of considering how long you plan to live in your home and how much cash you have to apply toward closing costs when you sign the loan paperwork.

Carrington Mortgage Services rate transparency

Though you'll find extensive information about product offerings and requirements on the Carrington website, you won't find sample mortgage interest rates. To learn more about what you might qualify for and the rate you'd receive, you'll have to call Carrington or click one of the “get started” buttons found throughout the site. This will prompt you to provide basic information about how much you're hoping to borrow and your contact details so that a loan officer can call you.

More from NerdWallet

NerdWallet’s star ratings for mortgage lenders are awarded based on our evaluation of the products and services each lender offers to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The five key areas we evaluated include the variety of loan types and products offered, online conveniences, online mortgage rate information, and the rate spread and origination fee lenders reported in the latest available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. To ensure consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Mortgages team.