Editorial Review

New American Funding Mortgage Review 2019

Ideal for borrowers who need to be evaluated on the basis of nontraditional credit. New American Funding offers all government loans, works with down payment assistance programs, and helps borrowers whose credit histories don't fit the mold of traditional banking.

Hal M. Bundrick, CFPSeptember 6, 2019

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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: A full menu of loan products, online application and over 200 branches in 48 states.

New American Funding

at New American

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

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

See your personalized New American Funding rate

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Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Uses manual underwriting to evaluate creditworthiness.

  • Offers full online mortgage application, rate quotes, document upload and loan tracking.

  • Home equity lending sets it apart from most nonbank lenders.

Cons
  • Services available in all states except New York and Hawaii.

Compare to Other Lenders

New American Funding
Quicken Loans
Better.com
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, Home Equity, Reverse, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

Loan Types and Products

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

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA

Full Review

New American Funding is among the very few national mortgage lenders that can claim to be family owned. Sure, there are small mom-and-pop lenders in communities across the nation that can make the same claim, but New American has grown into a top-30 national lender, based on 2017 origination volume. That puts it in the company of large regional banks, national credit unions and other major mortgage lenders.

What can you expect from the New American Funding mortgage process? Here’s what we found.

From a niche to a national player

Founded in 2003 by Rick and Patty Arvielo in Orange County, California, New American Funding has grown to be a $9 billion lender with a national profile.

“Very early on, Patty pursued her own underserved Spanish-speaking markets well before they were a popular and sought-after demographic,” says a New American bio. In 2018, a quarter of its loan volume was attributed to Hispanic customers, according to the company's Latino Focus website.

And New American Funding’s early efforts to reach a range of borrowers have paid off over the years, as the company commands an impressive market share of the home lending business in California, particularly in the Los Angeles and Inland Empire areas, according to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data as compiled by Richey May & Co. The region's population is 49% Hispanic, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

New American also enjoys a dominant market presence in El Paso, Texas, which has a population that is over 80% Hispanic.

» MORE: Calculate your monthly payment with our mortgage calculator or amortization schedule calculator

But the lender’s reach isn't niche; it’s nationwide, with over 200 branches and licensing in 48 states.

New American Funding loan products

The lender has a full slate of loan products, including purchase, refinance, jumbo loans and even interest-only mortgages. New American also features home improvement and cash-out refinance mortgages. And of course, you can choose from fixed-rate and adjustable-rate terms. All of the government-backed loans are in the mix, too: FHA, VA and USDA.

New American Funding offers reverse mortgages — something not always on the menu at typical mortgage lenders — and has home equity loans and HELOCs, not commonly found at nonbank lenders.

New American also has first-time home buyer programs and works with borrowers to find state and local down payment assistance programs.

In short, the loan offerings stand toe-to-toe with those offered by banks.

The New American Funding loan process

Your loan application can begin in person, by phone, online or via email. Documents can be uploaded, and electronic signature is also available.

Average closing time is less than 30 days, New American says, and there is no charge for an interest rate lock.

A prequalification can be initiated online, though you will need to contact New American Funding before it issues a prequal letter.

English/Spanish bilingual agents are available to assist. New American Funding customer service is available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

With a manual underwriting model, New American Funding can look at each borrower’s financial picture more comprehensively, rather than relying on automated models, according to Frank Fuentes, national vice president of multicultural community lending.

“That’s a huge advantage for us in working with underserved markets,” Fuentes says. “We take a ‘makes-sense’ approach to underwriting loans, whether it’s a purchase or refi, and we aren’t quick to deny a loan. We look at the customer’s profile from all different angles, which is unheard of today with bigger lenders and tightened restrictions.”

Considering fees and mortgage rates

If you’re looking for information on interest rates, New American Funding has a mortgage rates page that lists the terms on the most popular home loans. While it might not be the exact rate you'll pay on a mortgage, it's a good way to get a rough idea of where rates stand as you shop lenders.

New American Funding says that its typical lender’s fee on a conventional mortgage is $1,629. The lender says its average loan is $253,000, so this fee translates to 0.64% of the total loan amount, about equal to the national average.

Additional reporting by Deborah Kearns.

More from NerdWallet

NerdWallet's star ratings for mortgage lenders are awarded based on our evaluation of the products and services that lenders offer to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The six key areas we evaluated include the loan types and loan products offered, online capabilities, online mortgage rate information, customer service and the number of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a percentage of loans issued. We also awarded lenders up to one bonus star for a unique program or borrower focus that set them apart from other lenders. To ensure consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Mortgages team.