Churchill Mortgage Review 2023
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Churchill offers flexibility for those without credit scores, but its debt-free philosophy may not appeal to everyone. Mortgage rates and fees tend to be higher than other lenders’, according to the latest federal data.
Pros & Cons
- Experienced at underwriting loans for borrowers without credit scores.
- Offers conventional mortgages for manufactured homes.
- Has conveniences such as online chat and a mobile app.
- Doesn't provide sample or customized mortgage rates on its website.
- Mortgage rates and fees are on the high side, according to the latest federal data.
Compare to Other Lenders
What borrowers say about Churchill mortgages
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.
Churchill Mortgage receives a customer rating of 4.96 out of 5 on Zillow, as of the date of publication. The rating reflects more than 510 customer reviews.
Churchill’s mortgage loan options
5 of 5 stars
Churchill Mortgage offers a standard array of mortgages, including conventional purchase and refinance loans and jumbo home loans. It also offers government-backed FHA, VA and USDA loans. We found it easy to navigate the website to see loan options.
What sets Churchill apart is the lender’s commitment to helping customers achieve debt-free homeownership, which it calls “the ultimate American dream.” To support customers without a credit score, Churchill offers a specialty loan that relies on manual underwriting.
Manual underwriting uses alternative credit sources — such as rent, child care fees, utility bills and school tuition — to establish a history of making payments on time. As its name suggests, manual underwriting requires more time and effort compared to a traditional mortgage approval. However, Churchill has carved out its niche in this area and touts its customer service and expertise for no-credit-score loans.
Churchill HELOC and home equity loan
The lender also offers a home equity loan and a home equity line of credit, or HELOC. These second mortgages are a way for homeowners to access existing home equity without refinancing or selling their home. Funds obtained with a second mortgage can be used for expenses such as home improvements, education costs or debt consolidation.
Churchill responded to NerdWallet’s inquiry to confirm it offers both products. However, the Churchill website doesn’t include any further detail on its home equity loans or HELOCs, such as interest rates or introductory offers. When shopping for home equity products, it pays to compare terms or quotes from multiple lenders to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
» MORE: Best HELOC lenders
What it’s like to apply for a Churchill mortgage
4.5 of 5 stars
Churchill’s mortgage application begins with a “Get Started!” button, which we found easily on the website. After answering a few questions, you’ll be asked for your name and email address.
You can also call the phone number, easily viewable in the top right corner, to begin your application. If you prefer in-person service, you can search for a nearby Churchill branch or loan officer.
You can also fill out an application on the lender’s mobile app. On the day we checked, the Churchill app had an average rating of 3.9 stars in both the App Store and Google Play store. The app provides helpful features such as loan progress tracking and document upload.
The lender’s Home Buyer Edge program issues mortgage preapproval with upfront underwriting. (Churchill calls this becoming a Certified Home Buyer.) Bundled with other perks, such as a cash guarantee for sellers, Churchill says its Home Buyer Edge program helps borrowers compete with cash offers and close faster.
Online chat is available. We found it easy to locate on the Churchill website: A bubble pops up in the lower-right corner. When you start a chat, a bot prompts you with automated options for popular topics. However, the chatbot prompts users for a full name and email before continuing.
» MORE: How to apply for a mortgage
Churchill Mortgage’s rates and fees
2 of 5 stars
Churchill Mortgage earns 2 of 5 stars for average origination fee.
Churchill Mortgage earns 2 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. Compared to other lenders, Churchill’s rates and fees are on the higher side.
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.
Churchill’s mortgage rate transparency
1 of 5 stars
Churchill Mortgage doesn't post sample or customizable interest rates online. This is an intentional decision, as described on the website: “We have found it can often be misleading and confusing for our clients,” it says.
To get a rate quote from Churchill, you will need to talk to a home loan specialist.
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.
Alternatives to a home loan from Churchill
Here are some comparable lenders we review that borrowers can consider.
Carrington offers a similarly flexible experience for borrowers with nontraditional credit histories. New American Funding offers a program to help borrowers to compete with cash offers, but its rates and fees tend to be on the high side.
» MORE: Best mortgage lenders
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John Buzbee contributed to this review.
More from NerdWallet
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).