If you live in Colorado, you may have heard a radio ad for “American Financing,” a direct-to-consumer mortgage lender based in Aurora.
You may also know that ex-Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is a fan of the company, and serves as an endorser, along with dozens of other celebrities including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Nephew Tommy, and Bobby Bones.
So it’s clear they’ve got a lot of prominent individuals pitching their brand, similar to Dave Ramsey’s endorsement of Churchill Mortgage.
Let’s dig into the details of American Financing.
American Financing Fast Facts
- Direct-to-consumer mortgage banker headquartered in Aurora, Colorado
- Founded in 1999 by Damian and Gabie Maldonado
- Offer home purchase financing and refinance loans
- Licensed to do business in all 50 states and the District of Columbia
- Funded more than $4 billion in home loans last year
- 80% of total origination volume came from their home state of Colorado
- Also operate an affiliated real estate brokerage called American Home Agents
American Financing got their start at the turn of the century, originally operating out of the Maldonado household before getting incorporated in June of 2001 and growing rapidly thereafter.
Today, they employ hundreds at their Aurora, Colorado headquarters and are licensed to do business in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Last year, the mortgage banker funded a whopping $4 billion in home loans, with more than $3.2 billion of that coming from their home state of Colorado.
Aside from offering home loans to new and existing homeowners, they also operate an affiliated real estate brokerage called American Home Agents.
Their bread and butter product seems to be cash out refinancing, which accounted for more than half of overall loan volume.
The rest was split between rate and term refinances and home purchase loans.
Applying for a Mortgage with American Financing
- You can call them up directly to get a quote and start your application
- Or fill out a short form on their website and wait for a loan officer to contact you
- It’s unclear if they offer a digital mortgage process (and if so which company powers it)
- But they say the entire loan process is completed in-house to promote accuracy and avoid delays
One slight negative to American Financing is the inability to apply for a home loan without first speaking to someone.
Some mortgage lenders allow you to simply hit apply and get going on your own. American Financing appears to require human contact before giving you the keys to the mortgage application.
They basically want you to call them directly or fill out a short contact form on their website to get started.
That will result in contact with a loan officer, who can go over loan rates, loan programs, and more.
Once you do get in touch with someone, there is a place to sign in and work on your loan online.
It’s unclear what they use to power their loan process, but I assume they have a digital mortgage offering like most other companies these days.
I do know that they “maintain the entire mortgage process under one roof,” with in-house underwriting, processing, and funding.
This should make it easier and hopefully faster to close your home loan, with fewer hiccups and mistakes along the way.
It would be nice to have more information on this front to assess how things work with them, but their customer reviews are very positive so that might give us a clue.
Loans Programs Offered by American Financing
- Home purchase loans
- Refinance loans (rate and term, cash out, and streamline)
- Conventional conforming loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- Jumbo home loans
- Government-backed loans: FHA, USDA, and VA
- CHFA loans (for lower-income borrowers)
- Choose Your Own Term mortgages
- Bank statement loans
- Reverse mortgages
- Fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage options available
American Financing offers just about all the loan programs a new home buyer or existing homeowner would need.
This includes home purchase loans and refinance loans (both rate and term and cash out).
However, it’s unclear if they offer new construction or home renovation loans, but there’s a good chance they at least offer the latter.
They also offer bank statement loans that don’t require tax returns, and instead just 12 months of personal and 24 months of business bank statements. But this program may be on hold at the moment due to COVID-19.
If you have limited income, they take part in the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) loan program, which offers attractive terms to first-time home buyers.
They also have a loan program called “Your Term, Your Mortgage” that lets you keep your remaining loan term when refinancing to avoid resetting the clock.
And the All in One Mortgage, which appears to be very like the similarly-named offering from CMG Financial.
Lastly, those 62 and older can take advantage of their reverse mortgage offerings.
In terms of specific loan programs, you can get a fixed-rate mortgage or an adjustable-rate mortgage, such as a 5/1 or 7/1 ARM.
It appears that financing is available on primary residences, second homes, and investment properties, including condos and townhomes.
American Financing Mortgage Rates
You won’t find any mortgage rates posted on the American Financing website, which while beneficial to get a general idea of rates, doesn’t mean much either way.
Some banks and lenders feature their daily rates on their websites, while others choose to keep them private.
As such, we don’t know how competitive American Financing is rate-wise, and you’ll only know if you make contact with a loan officer and obtain pricing.
The same is true of their lender fees, which aren’t mentioned on their website other than them saying they do not charge “upfront fees.”
While that’s definitely a plus, they may still charge optional fees like a loan origination fee, processing and underwriting fees, and so on.
Be sure to compare their rates and fees with other lenders during the mortgage shopping process to satisfy your due diligence.
The one clue we have about their interest rates comes from Zillow reviews, where many past customers indicated the rate they received was lower than expected.
American Financing Mortgage Reviews
On Google, they’ve got a 4.7-star rating out of 5 from more than 5,000 customer reviews.
On Zillow, they’ve got a 4.92-star rating out of 5 based on roughly 1,400 customer reviews.
On Birdeye, they enjoy a 4.8-star rating out of 5 from over 1,300 reviews.
Perhaps more surprisingly, they have a 4.85 rating out of 5 on the Better Business Bureau website, which is pretty unheard of.
Normally, the BBB website is where people go to complain, not praise a company.
Taken together, they seem to be consistently making customers happy, regardless of where the reviews are found.
Speaking of the BBB, they are an accredited company and have been since the year 2002. They currently enjoy an ‘A+’ rating.
In summary, American Financing may be a good pick for an existing homeowner with a straightforward borrower profile looking to apply for a cash out refi.
American Financing Pros and Cons
- Offer lots of different loan programs
- Licensed in all 50 states and D.C.
- Do not charge upfront fees
- Excellent customer reviews across all ratings websites
- BBB accredited company with A+ rating
- Free mortgage calculators and learning center on their website
- They give back to a variety of charities
The Not So Good
- Can’t apply without speaking to someone first
- Do not publicize their mortgage rates
- Unclear what lender fees they charge
- Some loan programs may be unavailable due to COVID-19