Citibank Mortgage Review 2020

Good for: borrowers wanting to compare mortgage rates online for a variety of loan options.

NerdWalletJuly 16, 2020

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Citibank offers a broad menu of home loan products with rates and fees that are typically lower than other lenders.

Best Mortgage Lender for First-Time Home Buyers, Best Mortgage Lender for Home Equity Lines of Credit, Best Mortgage Lender for Jumbo Loans

Citibank

Citibank: NMLS#412915

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

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

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including low-down-payment mortgages and jumbo mortgages.

  • Provides customizable mortgage rates on its website.

  • Offers low rates and fees compared to other lenders.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.

  • Requires help from a mortgage loan officer to complete the loan application online.

Compare to Other Lenders

Min. Credit Score

640

Conventional:

640

FHA:

640

VA:

640

USDA:

640

Min. Credit Score

620

Conventional:

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

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

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable

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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.

Citibank at a glance

Citibank offers a broad selection of fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages, though renovation loans aren’t on the menu. The bulk of the loans the lender originates are conventional and jumbo loans, according to the most recently available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data.

Here's a breakdown of Citibank's overall score:

  • Variety of loan types: 5 of 5 stars

  • Variety of loan products: 4 of 5 stars

  • Online convenience: 4 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 5 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 5 of 5 stars

Citibank mortgage loan types and products

Citibank offers fixed-rate mortgages for 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. It also offers 3/1, 5/1, 7/1 and 10/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, in which rates are fixed for three, five, seven or 10 years, respectively, but can change annually after that.

Citibank’s low-down-payment mortgage options go beyond FHA and VA loans; its HomeRun loan program allows you to put down as little as 3% without the requirement that you pay for private mortgage insurance. This loan has terms up to 30 years and has rates comparable with conventional mortgage interest rates. In most cases, to qualify you have to earn 80% or less than the median income in your area. In certain low- to moderate-income areas, however, the program is available regardless of your income.

If you’re already a Citibank customer, closing cost credits and rate discounts may be available for whichever loan you choose, but you're required to set up automatic monthly mortgage payments from your Citibank deposit account.

Citibank online convenience

You may start a Citibank mortgage application over the phone, online or, in some locations, in person. If you start online, you can be connected with a loan officer, and you can get preapproved.

To start online, you'll use the bank's Citi Mortgage Selector to get an idea of how much your loan will cost. You’ll enter information about the home you want to buy, including property type and the expected purchase amount, as well as how much you’d like to borrow and your credit score.

You are then presented with loan options based on the information you entered, along with current Citibank mortgage rates, payment schedules and estimated costs. A loan officer can help you narrow your choices.

Once you’re ready, you can fill out a loan application online. Before you complete the process, a loan officer will contact you, and, if you wish to proceed, you will be charged a nonrefundable mortgage application fee to finish the application.

Once you've completed an application with a loan officer, you can monitor its status and complete any required next steps online, such as downloading the loan estimate and uploading any required documents.

» MORE: Use our mortgage calculator to find out your monthly mortgage payment.

Citibank 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. Citibank earns 5 out of 5 stars on this factor.

  • A lender's offered mortgage rates compared with the best available on comparable loans. Citibank earns 5 out 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.

Citibank mortgage rate transparency

Current mortgage rates are displayed on Citibank's website. You can also see customized rates for several fixed- and adjustable-rate loans according to your location, the type and price of property you plan to buy, loan amount and your credit score. In addition, the customized rate tool lets you adjust the discount points and choose a rate lock period.

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.