Churchill Mortgage Review 2020

Good for: borrowers who worry about taking on debt. Churchill advocates “debt-free homeownership” and helps customers try to achieve that goal.

Hal M. Bundrick, CFPAugust 4, 2020
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our Take

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Offers flexibility for those without credit scores, but its “debt-free” guidance may not appeal to everyone.

Churchill

Churchill: NMLS#1591

Min. Credit Score

620

VA:

N/A

USDA:

N/A

FHA:

580

Conventional:

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

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

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers loan plans for borrowers without credit scores.

  • Annual mortgage reviews help borrowers stay on track toward the goal of living debt-free.

  • Offers digital conveniences such as document uploads and e-signature.

Cons

  • Doesn't provide information online about rates and fees.

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • You can’t apply online without first speaking to a loan specialist.

Compare to Other Lenders

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Min. Credit Score

620

Jumbo:

N/A

VA:

620

FHA:

580

Conventional:

620

Min. Credit Score

620

VA:

660

FHA:

660

Conventional:

620

Jumbo:

N/A

Min. Down Payment

3%

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA

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Full Review

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, getting a mortgage may be a bit of a challenge. Lenders are dealing with high loan demand and staffing issues that may slow down the process. Also, some lenders have increased their fees or temporarily suspended certain loan products. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For the latest information on how to cope with financial stress during this pandemic, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

Churchill Mortgage at a glance 

Churchill Mortgage takes an unusual approach when it comes to mortgage debt. Its goal is to get you to quit paying a mortgage. Churchill Mortgage calls it "debt-free homeownership."

Wait. A mortgage lender advocating a debt-free goal?

Helping clients own a home free and clear is the “Churchill Mission.” It began with debt-free-lifestyle guru Dave Ramsey, then a fledgling radio host, pitching advertising to the company more than 25 years ago. What started as a business relationship ended up informing Churchill’s philosophy of mortgage lending.

Here’s a breakdown of Churchill Mortgage’s overall score:

  • Variety of loan types: 4 of 5 stars

  • Variety of loan products: 4 of 5 stars

  • Online convenience: 4 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 3 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 1 of 5 stars

Churchill Mortgage loan types and products

Churchill Mortgage offers purchase, refinance and jumbo home loans, as well as FHA, VA and USDA government-backed loans. The lender also works with borrowers without credit scores, in a break from the traditional method of determining risk. Churchill doesn't originate home equity loans or lines of credit but will "broker them out," it says. That’s basically handing the loans off to lenders that will make such second mortgages on home equity.

The company doesn’t have minimum or maximum loan amounts.

Churchill Mortgage online convenience

Select the “Get Started” button on churchillmortgage.com and enter contact information, which is routed to an office in Nashville, Tennessee. You'll get a call to continue the loan process.

You can upload documents online, and the company uses e-signatures too. Average closing time is 30 to 45 days.

Churchill Mortgage 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. Churchill Mortgage earns 3 of 5 stars on this factor.

  • A lender's offered mortgage rates compared with the best available on comparable loans. Churchill Mortgage earns 3 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.

Churchill Mortgage rate transparency

Churchill Mortgage doesn't post interest rates on its website. To get a rate quote, you will need to submit a mortgage application.

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.