Churchill Mortgage Review 2022

Good for: borrowers who worry about taking on debt. Churchill advocates “debt-free homeownership” and helps customers try to achieve that goal.
Jan 5, 2022

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Our Take

4.0

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
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.
  • 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.

Compare to Other Lenders

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score

620

Min. credit score

620

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

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, Reverse, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

Loan types and products

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

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Full Review

Tap to learn how COVID-19 has affected mortgage shopping

The coronavirus pandemic introduced some new challenges to getting a mortgage. Many lenders facing high loan demand and staffing issues increased their fees, adjusted minimum required credit scores or temporarily suspended certain loan products. While some products and business practices have returned to pre-pandemic levels, you might still find delays and limited options. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For 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 says it 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: 5 of 5 stars

  • Ease of application: 5 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 3 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 1 of 5 stars

Churchill Mortgage loan types

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 says it doesn’t have minimum or maximum loan amounts.

Churchill Mortgage ease of application

You can call the toll-free number on Churchill’s website or select the “Get Started” button and enter contact information to begin the loan process. You can fill out an application on the lender’s mobile app, too.

You can upload documents online, and the company uses e-signatures. 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, according to the most recently available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data:

  • Churchill Mortgage earns 2 of 5 stars for average origination fee.

  • Churchill Mortgage earns 3 of 5 stars for offered mortgage rates compared with the best available rates on comparable loans.

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 an application for preapproval (Churchill calls this becoming a “Certified Home Buyer”).

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).