Editorial Review

Vylla Mortgage Review 2019

Ideal for first-time home buyers or credit-challenged borrowers who may have trouble qualifying for a mortgage.

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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: Vylla lets you shop for a house and a mortgage all on the same website, but doesn’t offer online preapproval.

Vylla

at Vylla

Min. credit score 
620
Min. down payment 
3%
Loan types and products
Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Multiple loan programs for lower down payments and credit scores.
  • Offers home shopping and financing services in one place.
  • Considers alternative credit data, like bank statements and rent payments.
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer online preapproval.
  • Loan matching process returns a lot of results to sift through.
  • Website doesn’t have a clear list of all loan products offered.

Full Review

Vylla Loan LLC (pronounced “villa”) is the new consumer-facing mortgage brand of Carrington Holding Company, a financial institution founded in 2003.

Since its inception, Carrington has had a lot of irons in the homebuying fire, including a real estate brokerage, a title business and a retail mortgage operation. Vylla is the result of the company finally consolidating these services into one business, says Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Carrington Mortgage Holdings.

Vylla hopes to set itself apart from other nonbank mortgage lenders by helping people find and finance their new home, all in one convenient place.

» MORE: 5 tips for finding the right mortgage lender

Vylla mortgage products

The Vylla mortgage menu has a bit of just about everything. There are conventional purchase loans, jumbo loans up to $3 million, and mortgages from the Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Home buyers can choose between conventional and government mortgages with 15-, 20-, 25- or 30-year fixed-rate terms.

Vylla also offers Flexible Advantage and Flexible Advantage Plus loans for borrowers who can’t use conventional or government loans due to self-employment, past foreclosure or blemished credit, among other reasons. These Flexible Advantage products are the only adjustable-rate mortgages Vylla offers, with 5/1, 7/1 or 10/1 terms.

Refinance options at Vylla include the FHA streamline, USDA Streamlined Assist and the VA streamline refinance, or IRRRL. The lender also offers a conventional refinance program from Fannie Mae called DU Refi Plus as well as Flexible Advantage refinance loans.

Vylla’s minimum credit score for a purchase or refinance loan is 500, but it may vary by mortgage type.

What you won’t find on the Vylla website is a comprehensive list of mortgage products. Sharga says this omission was intentional. Rather than overwhelming borrowers with all possible options, Vylla lets its digital platform present options that make sense based on the information users enter into the loan-matching tool, he says.

» MORE:  How to refinance your mortgage

Vylla’s digital mortgage process

Most people start by selecting “get a loan” and entering their ZIP code on the Vylla.com homepage. This triggers a series of pre-qualification questions about your down payment, income, debts, credit score and other financial information. Several clicks later, you’ll see loans for which you’re likely qualified, based on your answers.

One question Vylla doesn’t ask is how much you expect to spend on a house. Because of this, you may get a dizzying number of loan matches, all assuming different home prices, discount points, origination credits and closing cost scenarios.

Though calling these results personalized may be a stretch, they allow you to see how different options stack up in terms of monthly payments. To get a more customized quote, or to get preapproved, you’ll have to create a Vylla account or talk directly with a loan officer. To do that, call the toll-free number listed on screen, or click the tab to live chat with a home specialist online.

Once you’ve settled on an affordable price and payment, Vylla lets you search for homes that match. From the homepage, enter the desired city or ZIP code in the “find a home” search field. Then, use the filters at the top of the page to sort the results by listing price, among other things.

» MORE:  See how much house you can afford

Vylla mortgage rates and fees

Results from the loan matching tool include a monthly payment, annual percentage rate and the down payment you’ll need to get both. If you see an attractive rate, Vylla offers 15-, 30-, 45-, and 60-day rate locks at no additional charge, Sharga says.

You may also see a discount point fee and estimated closing costs, including a mortgage insurance payment.

Nerd Tip: Buying discount points is a way to reduce your loan’s interest rate. Each point costs about 1% of the total loan amount and generally reduces your interest rate by one quarter of a percentage point. Shopping mortgage rates with zero discount points included makes it easier to make an apples-to-apples comparison between lenders.

According to Sharga, Vylla charges a flat underwriting fee of $599 for all loan types. Of course, an underwriting fee is just one of several mortgage closing costs you may have to pay at signing.

» MORE:  An explanation of mortgage closing costs

Vylla mortgage programs for first-time home buyers

First-time home buyers often have unique financial needs, and Vylla offers a variety of mortgage products and programs in hopes of meeting them.

FHA, USDA and VA loans often allow for smaller down payments, lower credit scores, or higher debt-to-income ratios. These options may be especially helpful for first-time home buyers dealing with student loan debt, Sharga says.

For borrowers who may be self-employed or have what the industry calls a “thin credit file,” Vylla considers nontraditional credit data, like rent payment history or bank statements, to help determine borrowers’ ability to repay a loan, Sharga says.

Vylla also participates in down payment assistance programs on a state-by-state basis. To see if you’re eligible, search for your state in NerdWallet’s list of first-time home buyer programs.

For novice home buyers with questions about finding, financing or owning a home, Vylla’s online InfoHub offers a wealth of educational content. The InfoHub doesn’t have a search function, so be prepared to browse the articles chronologically.

» MORE:  Essential tips for first-time home buyers

Vylla customer service

If the InfoHub doesn’t have what you’re looking for, you can get answers from a human through Vylla’s online chat feature, email or over the phone until 6 p.m. Pacific time on weekdays.

Although Vylla Loan has only two physical locations — call centers in Aliso Viejo, California, and Brentwood, Tennessee — it hopes to eventually place mortgage specialists in its real estate offices, which already exist in 22 states.

But don’t let the small physical footprint discourage you: Vylla is a national lender licensed to provide mortgages in over 40 states through its digital platform.

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.