Freedom Mortgage review: A good option for first-time homebuyers

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Updated January 25, 2021

This date indicates our editors’ last comprehensive review and may not reflect recent changes in individual terms.

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Written by: Clint Proctor

Freedom Mortgage loan at a glance

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

Freedom Mortgage is a family-owned-and-operated mortgage lender that was founded in 1990. The company lends in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. Freedom Mortgage offers a variety of purchase and refinancing loans, including FHA, VA and USDA loans.

Pros

  • Solid variety of loans offered
  • Good options for first-time homebuyers
  • Members get exclusive rewards

Cons

  • Mortgage rates aren’t listed online
  • Must speak with a loan officer before applying

4 things to know about a Freedom Mortgage loan

1. Solid variety of loan options

In addition to offering conventional and jumbo loans, Freedom Mortgage emphasizes its government-backed lending options. It offers FHA loans, VA loans and USDA loans.

By virtue of working with these government programs, Freedom Mortgage can also provide a lot of refinancing flexibility. Along with traditional “rate and term” refinancing, it offers the following streamline refinancing options for its government-backed loans:

  • FHA streamline refinancing
  • VA streamline refinancing (IRRRL)
  • USDA streamline refinancing

With streamline refinancing, you may be able to lower your rate or close on your home quicker.

Freedom Mortgage’s traditional refinance loan allows for cash-out refinancing, but the lender doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

2. Must talk to a loan officer to check mortgage rates or apply

Unlike other mortgage lenders, Freedom Mortgage’s website doesn’t allow for anonymous interest rate quotes. This makes Freedom Mortgage’s interest rates and fees a bit less transparent than some of its competitors.

To check your rate, you’ll need to fill out your information and wait for a phone call from a loan adviser or call the company yourself during business hours. If you prefer in-person support, you can also search by ZIP code to find a loan officer near you.

3. Extra perks for existing customers

Freedom Mortgage says that its goal is to keep customers for life. It tries to accomplish this by offering a variety of members benefits, including its Eagle Eye and Purchase Promise programs.

Through the Eagle Eye program (offered exclusively to members), Freedom promises to contact you whenever rates drop and there’s a potential to lower your payments. Customers can log into their accounts to see if they have an interest rate offer or sign up to receive interest alerts via text.

Freedom Mortgage hopes to keep your business after you move to a new home as well. Its Purchase Promise program is a pledge to match a competing lender’s rate on your new mortgage or to give you $250. Freedom can also help you shop for home insurance or find home protection plans through third-party partnerships.

4. Mortgage calculators and resources to inform your loan choices

While you can’t check your rates on Freedom Mortgage’s website, there are a variety of homeownership tools available. There are seven different calculators to choose from.

  • Mortgage payment calculator
  • Affordability calculator
  • 15 vs. 30 calculator
  • Down payment calculator
  • Refinance calculator
  • VA affordability calculator
  • VA refinance calculator

In addition to its mortgage calculators, Freedom Mortgage provides a number of other resources, including videos, mortgage checklists, blog articles and FAQs.

Who is a Freedom Mortgage loan good for?

Freedom Mortgage is a good option to consider if you’re a first-time homebuyer. It offers all three government-insured loan programs — FHA, VA and USDA loans. Each of these loans offers more-lenient down payment and credit score requirements than conventional loans.

Freedom could also be a good choice if you need a large loan amount since it offers jumbo loans. Even conventional purchase or refinance borrowers can benefit from choosing Freedom over the long haul because of its Eagle Eye and Purchase Promise programs.

But Freedom Mortgage won’t be an attractive lender if you want to apply online without having to talk to a loan adviser. And you’ll need to look for a different mortgage company if you want a home equity loan or HELOC.

How to apply for a Freedom Mortgage loan

You’ll need to speak with a loan officer to apply for a Freedom Mortgage loan. If you receive a quote that works with your budget, you can move forward with submitting a full loan application. You may need to provide the following:

  • Personal information — Name, birthdate and Social Security number
  • Income information — Most-recent pay stubs, W-2s and tax returns
  • Asset information — Bank and investment account statements and list of noncash assets
  • Debt information — Account numbers and current balances of outstanding debts and list of alimony or child support obligations, if applicable
  • Adverse credit history information — List of prior negative credit events such as bankruptcies, judgments, liens, etc., if applicable

During the underwriting process, Freedom will consider your credit scores, debt-to-income ratio and other factors. Here are the minimum credit scores that it says are typically required for the loan types it offers.

  • FHA loans: 540
  • Conventional loans: 620
  • VA loans: 580 to 620
  • USDA loans: 640

Freedom Mortgage also offers mortgage preapprovals. Getting preapproved can give you a better idea of how much house you can afford before you start the shopping process.

Not sure if Freedom Mortgage is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you’re shopping for a mortgage, you have a window of time where multiple inquiries are only counted as one for your credit scores. You typically have 14 days — though it could be longer depending on the scoring model.

  • Rocket Mortgage: This lender could be a good fit if you prefer an online-first mortgage experience.
  • Cardinal Financial: If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you may qualify for down payment assistance with this lender.

About the author: Clint Proctor is a freelance writer and founder of WalletWiseGuy.com, where he writes about how students and m… Read more.