PHH Mortgage review: Multiple loan options for poor credit or a lower down payment

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Updated April 22, 2021

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Written by: Andrew Dunn

PHH Mortgage loans at a glance

  • Conventional loans: Yes
  • FHA loans: Yes
  • VA loans: Yes
  • Refinancing: Yes
  • Jumbo loan: Yes
  • Adjustable rates: Yes (3/1, 5/1, 7/1 and 10/1 ARMs)
  • Fixed rates: Yes (30-, 25-, 20- and 15-year)

PHH Mortgage is a mortgage company owned by one of the country’s largest loan servicers, Ocwen Financial Corp. PHH is licensed to lend in 18 states, counting more than 1 million customers. It operates alongside a sister company, Liberty Reverse Mortgage.

Pros

  • Wide variety of loan options
  • Easy to research loan types online
  • Poor credit and low down payment options

Cons

  • Parent company’s service history may raise questions
  • No way to apply or prequalify online
  • No current mortgage rates posted

5 things to know about a PHH Mortgage loan

1. Wide variety of loan options available

PHH Mortgage offers a full suite of loan programs, from conventional fixed-rate loans and jumbo loans to government-backed programs like FHA and VA loans. The company also markets loans for first-time homebuyers, people buying vacation homes, and investors.

PHH also offers a variety of refinancing loans that include traditional rate-and-term refinancing and cash-out refinancing.

2. Options for poor credit and lower down payments

PHH’s wide variety of loans includes options for people who may be rejected by other lenders. Unlike some others, PHH Mortgage advertises that it works with potential homebuyers who don’t have great credit.

The company also markets low down payment programs. One includes the ability to choose “negative points” — where PHH helps pay the closing costs in exchange for a higher interest rate.

3. Easy to research loans online, but no applying or prequalifying

Where some mortgage companies make you fill out a form to figure out what they offer, PHH Mortgage spells out its loan options right on its website. If you’re a relatively sophisticated mortgage shopper and know you want a specific product (like a 7/1 ARM, say), you can find out what PHH offers without a hassle.

But unlike some mortgage companies that offer online applications, PHH Mortgage’s “Get Started” button takes you to a form to hand over your name and phone number, stating that a loan specialist will get in touch. That means you won’t be able to apply or prequalify for your mortgage online.

4. No current mortgage rates posted

While PHH Mortgage promises you can lock in an interest rate, there’s no way to find out what that rate might be on its website. Unlike some other mortgage companies, PHH doesn’t post daily interest rates.

5. Parent company’s history may raise questions

Before you apply for a loan, you might want to take a closer look at PHH Mortgage’s parent company, Ocwen. Ocwen acquired PHH in 2018.

In 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and all 50 states brought a lawsuit against Ocwen, accusing it of misconduct including charging unfair fees and effectively pushing people into foreclosures.

Without admitting wrongdoing, Ocwen agreed in a settlement to pay $2 billion in mortgage relief plus $125 million in refunds to consumers.

The CFPB took legal action against Ocwen again in April 2017, accusing the company of inaccurate recordkeeping and overcharging that led to foreclosures. Ocwen has said these accusations are “unsubstantiated.” A judge in March 2021 found that many of the claims were already covered in the 2014 settlement — but other claims in the 2017 action may still go forward.

This history may or may not give you pause when looking into a PHH Mortgage loan, but it’s important context to consider when making a decision as important as buying a home.

Who is a PHH Mortgage loan good for?

If you’re hunting for a specific type of loan but don’t want to fill out numerous forms to find it, PHH Mortgage could be worth a look. Its website will likely let you know if the mortgage you want is available.

PHH Mortgage also might be worth a look if you have poor credit or need to pay a lower down payment. PHH says it can work with potential homebuyers seeking multiple options that might suit these needs.

If your credit isn’t great and you’re looking for a mortgage, we recommend considering the risks before you apply. While you might save on a down payment and get access to the credit you need, high rates and fees might have greater financial consequences in the long run.

How to apply for a PHH mortgage

While PHH Mortgage is transparent with its loan options, it’s not entirely clear how the application process works. The company directs people interested in applying or getting prequalified to call or send in their contact details through an online form.

Once you do so, PHH claims that most customers can get a preapproval decision in as little as one business day. The company then promises its loan officers will help guide you through the process all the way to the closing table.

It’s unclear if PHH offers an online application once you pass through this process. It’s also unclear if PHH has any minimum standards borrowers must meet, though it does say it works with people with imperfect credit scores.

PHH recommends that customers gather the following documents while applying:

  • Personal financial statements from your bank and/or brokerage
  • Recent pay stubs
  • Recent W-2 forms
  • Homeowners insurance policy

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

If you’re shopping for a mortgage, you have a window of time where multiple credit inquiries are only counted as one for your credit scores. That time frame is typically 14 days — and though it could be longer depending on the different credit-scoring models used by lenders, it’s a good practice to get your quotes within that two-week window.

  • Better Mortgage: If you’re looking for a more seamless online experience, Better Mortgage offers a completely digital application and preapproval within just a few minutes.
  • Wells Fargo: If you’re drawn to the comfort of a large lender with several different loan options, Wells Fargo is one of the biggest mortgage originators in the country.

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… Read more.