Fifth Third Bank Mortgage review: Low-cost loans for middle-class families

A couple in their new home smile as their toddler plays in an empty moving box.Image: A couple in their new home smile as their toddler plays in an empty moving box.
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Fifth Third Bank mortgage loans at a glance

  • Conventional loans: Yes
  • FHA loans: Yes
  • VA loans: Yes
  • Refinancing: Yes
  • Jumbo loan: Yes
  • Adjustable rates: Yes
  • Fixed rates: Yes

Fifth Third Bank is a regional bank based in Cincinnati with more than 1,200 branches in 11 states in the Southeast and Midwest — making it one of the 20 largest banks in the country. Mortgages from Fifth Third Bank are available directly in 24 states. The bank also funds loans from mortgage bankers and brokers serving as correspondent lenders in 48 states.

Pros

  • Lower-cost mortgages available for low-to moderate-income families
  • Offers specialized loan programs
  • Flexible HELOCs available

Cons

  • Rates not available online
  • Must contact a loan officer to get started
  • Only available in certain states

6 things to know about a Fifth Third Bank mortgage loan

1. Mortgages available for low- to moderate-income families

Fifth Third Bank’s “Community Mortgage Loan” program offers lower-cost, lower-down-payment mortgages to eligible families in certain states.

These fixed-rate, 30-year mortgages can be up to $250,000 with a 3% down payment, a mortgage insurance credit and reduced closing costs for borrowers making 80% of their area’s median income or less. Only $500 must come from the future homeowner’s own money. Homebuyer education is required for at least one qualifying borrower.

Community Mortgage Loans are available in …

  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

2. Specialized mortgage programs

If you’re a doctor or a dentist, you may qualify for Fifth Third Bank’s specialty loans, which include mortgages up to $750,000 with no down payment. Private mortgage insurance isn’t required for these loans. Other specialized mortgage programs through Fifth Third Bank include construction loans for people building a new home and jumbo loans for people needing a large mortgage up to $3 million.

3. Flexible HELOCs available

If you’re looking to tap into the equity in your home, Fifth Third Bank has home equity lines of credit available with a few specialized features. The Fifth Third Equity Flexline®  lets you lock in an interest rate on a portion of your credit line, giving you certainty on your monthly payment for that portion of the balance. No closing costs are charged, but you’ll pay a fee to lock in a rate.

4. Rates not available online

When shopping around for a mortgage, it’s helpful to be able to quickly compare mortgage rate offers from different lenders. But that’s hard to do with Fifth Third Bank because it doesn’t publish current mortgage rates online. You’ll need to get in touch with a loan officer to find out what rates you might qualify for.

5. Must contact a loan officer to get started

Fifth Third Bank’s “Get Started” link takes you to a form where you fill out your contact information and wait for a loan officer to get back to you.

6. Only available in certain states

While Fifth Third is a large bank, you’ll need to live in one of 24 states to get a mortgage directly from the lender. Mortgage options from Fifth Third Bank also include loans that the lender funds from mortgage bankers and brokers serving as correspondent lenders in 48 states.

Who is a Fifth Third Bank loan good for?

Fifth Third Bank is a reputable mortgage lender offering the range of loan options you’d expect to find from a full-service bank. If you live in one of the 11 states where Fifth Third has branches, the bank could be a good option to get in-person service on your mortgage application.

A Fifth Third mortgage could be a particularly good option for low- to moderate-income families living in one of the bank’s core territories. If you qualify, you could get a Community Mortgage loan with a 3% minimum down payment and a mortgage insurance credit. You may also be interested in Fifth Third if you’re a practicing physician or dentist who qualifies for the bank’s specialized mortgage program.

How to apply for a Fifth Third Bank mortgage

To apply for a Fifth Third Bank mortgage, you’ll need to start by filling out a contact form on the bank’s website to get in touch with a loan officer. You’ll put in your phone number and email address, as well as the location in which you’re looking to buy, a ballpark price for the home and whether you’re purchasing or refinancing.

Once you’ve sent in the form, a loan originator will contact you to guide you through the next steps. You can also choose to call Fifth Third directly to speak with a loan officer, search for a mortgage office near you or set up an appointment for a phone call.

Fifth Third’s website doesn’t include many details on the minimum requirements you’ll need to meet or the documents you’ll need to provide to be approved for a loan. The loan officer who contacts you will likely give you all of that information when you touch base.

Not sure if Fifth Third Bank is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you want to compare rates with several lenders or your application is denied, keep in mind that you have a window of time where multiple hard credit inquiries by lenders only count as one for your credit scores. You typically have 14 days — though it could be longer depending on the scoring model.

  • Better: If you prefer a completely online application, a Better mortgage may be a good option for you. Better also doesn’t charge any lender fees.
  • Bank of America: If you’re drawn to the big-bank experience but would like to check mortgage rates before moving forward, Bank of America allows you to evaluate rates daily for fixed and adjustable-rate loans.

About the author: Andrew Dunn is a veteran journalist with more than a decade of experience as a reporter and editor at North Carolina news organizations, including the Charlotte Observer and the StarNews in Wilmington. In those roles,… Read more.