Homebridge Financial Services Review 2019
Ideal for borrowers who prefer an online experience. Homebridge offers a variety of home loan options and an online application.
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The Bottom Line: Has low credit score requirements on government loans, but it charges an origination fee on some loans.
Pros & Cons
- A wide variety of loan types.
- Low credit score requirements for government-backed loans.
- A wealth of educational material on its website.
- Licensed in all 50 states.
- Your mortgage application can't be tracked on its site.
- Charges origination fees on some loans.
- Limited branch locations.
Homebridge Financial Services Inc. is a nonbank lender that makes and services a variety of home loans.
Christine Villano, a regional operations executive, says that Homebridge mortgage borrowers include first-time home buyers and customers who are hoping to refinance.
Here’s what Homebridge has to offer.
A growing company
Headquartered in Iselin, New Jersey, Homebridge has undergone some big changes recently. In 2014, the company changed its name from Real Estate Mortgage Network Inc. in an effort to reflect its mission of simplifying the mortgage process, according to Villano. And in November 2016, Homebridge acquired Prospect Mortgage, another large mortgage lender.
“Our strength and our growth in the last few years speaks volumes,” Villano says. She adds that Homebridge's vision is to be the country's most recommended home mortgage company, and it's focusing on customer service to achieve that.
Despite the company's growth, Villano says, “If you come to Homebridge, you’re going to get treated as if you were the only customer that’s walking through the door.”
» MORE: Use our mortgage calculator to find out your monthly mortgage payment.
Homebridge mortgage products
Homebridge's loans are about a 50/50 mix of conventional and government-backed mortgage products, according to Villano. This includes FHA loans for low-to-moderate-income borrowers and jumbo mortgages for borrowers with higher incomes. With loan amounts as low as $50,000 and as high as $2 million — or more if the loan is sold to another servicer — Homebridge has something to suit most types of home buyers.
Villano highlights Homebridge’s renovation loans, which wrap financing for home improvements into the mortgage. She says that the company’s renovation department is “designed to take the fear out of renovation borrowing.” Customers might worry that the loan will involve too much paperwork or be sold to another lender, she says. Once borrowers are approved for renovation loans, Homebridge’s Renovation Concierge works closely with them and their contractors or builders to obtain documentation and clarify expectations, Villano says.
Homebridge offers several purchase or refinance loans that can be used for home upgrades and repairs, three of which are FHA loans. FHA 203(k) loans can wrap renovation costs into a mortgage, FHA Energy Efficient Mortgages fund energy efficiency upgrades, and FHA 203(h) loans help homeowners rebuild or purchase a new home after a natural disaster. Homebridge also offers Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle loan, which allows borrowers to finance renovations and a home at once.
The Homebridge mortgage process
You can start the mortgage process at Homebridge’s website, over the phone, or in person if you live near a branch location.
When applying online, you’ll be taken to a separate website called Encompass Loan Center. There, you’ll fill in an application with your personal, financial and loan information. You can also create an online account that allows you to track your application status and communicate with your loan officers.
You can receive and return loan disclosures electronically, via mail or in person.
The company makes loans for single- and multi-family homes, co-ops and condos, as allowed by government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Villano says that the length of time from submitting your application to closing on your loan depends on where you live. “Some markets need speed,” she says. In the Pennsylvania and Maryland markets, for example, the contract-to-close time frame is 30 days or less, Villano says. In New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, it's 30 to 60 days.
Applying customer feedback
At closing, every Homebridge customer receives a survey about their experience. “Any survey that yields a negative result, we reach out to the consumer, we reach out to the referral partners, and we talk to them about what took place and how we rectified it so it’s not an issue moving forward,” Villano says.
Homebridge uses a customer service tracking tool called Net Promoter Score to quantify the survey results, and Villano says that the company’s score is “extremely high.” She adds that Homebridge monitors this score monthly and trains on it quarterly, learning from the results and implementing changes to their mortgage process.
Did you know?
Since Homebridge is part of Costco’s mortgage lender marketplace, Costco members could qualify for a discount on loan origination fees: loan origination fees are capped at $350 for Executive members and $650 for Gold Star and Business members. Contact Homebridge to learn more.