AmeriSave Mortgage Review: Pioneer of the Digital Mortgage?

Last updated on December 8th, 2020
AmeriSave Mortgage Review: Pioneer of the Digital Mortgage?

While perhaps not a household name, there’s a good chance you’ll stumble upon AmeriSave if actively shopping your home loan.

They have quite a presence online and are a top-rated lender with LendingTree, despite a lack of physical branches and national advertising campaigns.

By the way, you should actively shop your mortgage if you want to save money – there are legitimate studies that prove you can save real money by doing so.

Anyway, let’s get some background on AmeriSave Mortgage Corp., which is a direct-to-consumer mortgage lender with about 20 years of experience in home loan lending.

Who Is AmeriSave Mortgage Corp.?

  • An Atlanta, GA-based direct mortgage lender
  • Been around since 2002
  • Originated over $55 billion in home loans on over 230,000 properties
  • Claim to have pioneered digital loan origination process
  • Licensed in 49 states and D.C. (not available in NY)

AmeriSave Mortgage Corp. is a direct lender based in Atlanta, Georgia that has been around since early 2002.

They refer to themselves as a fintech company responsible for “pioneering the first truly digital mortgage experience,” a claim Rocket Mortgage might disagree with.

Regardless, they are a mortgage lender that lives online, which hopefully means they can pass the savings of brick and mortar expenses on to you.

Over the past decade, AmeriSave has “invested heavily in its proprietary technology” to create a “highly automated” loan process, similar to other fintech lenders like Better Mortgage and Figure.

The company says many of its customers choose to go the “self-serve” route for all or most of their transaction thanks to the intuitive loan origination platform in place.

AmeriSave is licensed in 49 states and the District of Columbia, with New York the only state they don’t lend in.

Since inception, they have funded over $55 billion in home loans on over 230,000 properties nationwide.

In January 2019, they acquired the origination business of The Money Source (TMS), which had been a growing force online as well.

AmeriSave took on some TMS employees and their Plano, Texas and Chandler, Arizona offices via the acquisition, with expected volume of $1.5 billion for 2019.

They also have a wholesale lending arm that works directly with mortgage brokers, so it’s possible your loan could come from AmeriSave if you use a broker.

What Does AmeriSave Mortgage Offer?

  • Home purchase or refinance loans
  • Conventional (Fannie/Freddie) and jumbo loans
  • Government loans including FHA, USDA, and VA
  • Fixed-rate loans: 30-year, 15-year, 25-year, 20-year, and 10-year fixed
  • ARMs: 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1 varieties

AmeriSave has all the typical loan options you’d expect from a national direct lender, including home purchase, rate and term, and cash out refinances.

They appear to be mostly a refinance shop, with purchase loans probably representing a smaller piece of the pie.

Notably missing are HELOCs and other types of second mortgages.

In terms of loan type, they offer both conforming and jumbo loans, along with government loans such as FHA, USDA, and VA loans.

You can get a fixed-rate mortgage in 30- or 15-year terms, along with less common loan terms of 10, 20, and 25 years.

With regard to their adjustable-rate mortgages, they offer the 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1, which are the most popular available.

They have caps of 2/2/5, meaning the most they can adjust initially is 2%, then 2% periodically, and up to 5% during the life of the loan.

AmeriSave Rate Match Guarantee

Like some other mortgage lenders, AmeriSave offers a Rate Match Guarantee if you find a better deal elsewhere.

Here’s how it works. Once your mortgage rate is locked with AmeriSave, you are given three calendar days to shop around with other lenders to find a better deal.

If you’re able to locate a better deal for the same loan terms in which you locked, they will either match it or give you $500 if you go with the other lender.

The guarantee applies to both purchase loans and refinances, but excludes jumbo loans and ARMs.

It’s a tricky situation though because you aren’t given much time to shop, and they seem to charge a $500 non-refundable application fee.

So if anything, you’d maybe get that fee back if you found a more competitive lender to work with.

$500 Application Fee Seems to Be a Sticking Point

At last glance, AmeriSave had an A- Rating with the Better Business Bureau, but it doesn’t take into account customer reviews.

The reason they have that rating is due to four unresolved complaints filed against the company.

In terms of customer reviews, they have 2/5 stars on the BBB website. Most seem to stem from their non-refundable deposit taken at loan application.

The $500 non-refundable application fee is charged to cover loan processing and other “miscellaneous costs” incurred by the company.

Assuming you close your loan with AmeriSave, they will refund the fee at closing and it will be reflected on the Closing Disclosure (CD).

However, if you cancel your loan application or get denied, AmeriSave will retain the $500 deposit to cover those aforementioned costs.

It’s not uncommon for lenders to charge these fees, either for rate locks or appraisals, but not all lenders impose them.

Other complaints are related to the home appraisal fee they charge, which varies in cost by loan.

It appears that those who complained on the BBB about either the $500 deposit or the appraisal fee received a refund in many cases.

AmeriSave Mortgage Rates

Another plus is that AmeriSave openly advertises their mortgage rates on their website. Or at least a couple sample rates.

In order to view their daily rates, simply click on “rates” from the top navigational menu.

If you want a more personalized quote, you have to complete a short questionnaire that is akin to a mortgage lead form.

It should be noted that the sample rate comes with loan assumptions, but on the day of this review, it was a 30-year fixed loan set at 2.125%, which is pretty ridiculously low.

Digging into the fine print, it was based on a hypothetical loan with a $250,000 loan amount set at 80% LTV with a 740 FICO score.

Oh, and it was for a refinance on an owner-occupied, single family home with lots of discount points being paid.

Still, it sounds pretty competitive relative to what else is out there. But your rate will vary based on your own unique loan parameters.

AmeriSave Pros and Cons

The Good

  • Offer what appear to be competitive mortgage rates
  • Can apply online in minutes and close quickly
  • Digital process – can link financial accounts via AccountChek by FormFree
  • May retain and service your loan (as opposed to selling it to a third party)
  • Could be a good choice for those with straightforward loan scenarios (good credit, lower LTVs, W-2 employment)

The Potential Bad

  • $500 non-refundable application fee
  • Difficult to shop around if you’ve already paid them
  • Don’t offer second mortgages or HELOCs
  • Numerous customer complaints on BBB website

Lock in a lower rate.

21 Comments

  1. Ashraf August 10, 2020 at 2:43 pm -

    Terrible experience. I started an application for refinance. I was greeted with stellar customer service by rep. Peyton Chapman. He presented with many promises up front, including working around specific procedures to get this application moving as quickly as possible (specifically, getting an appraisal waiver, but still charging me for this with total fees and expenses) giving the impression this will be the case throughout. Promises of specific exclusive rates, fees and waivers of fees including a refund of a $500.00 deposit. Informed that there was not way to proceed without a $500 deposit. I was told that this was non-refundable, but also informed that this will be refunded at the end of the transaction. I was also told that this was to replace the appraisal waiver (which is contradictory as it was waived). After paying the deposit, this representative disappeared as if he never existed on earth. No response to phone calls or voicemails. This continued to be the theme with other representatives I was able to reach either getting hung up on, or transferred and dropping the call. My initial gut was this seemed to be a scam of some sort to sweet talk into paying for the deposit, but never fulfilling their promise or services and being unreachable nor have reached out whatsoever once receiving the deposit. I have attempted to cancel my loan application and get refunded but was unsuccessful as I am getting the run around and speaking with staff who present as oblivious to any situation and no effort to assist whatsoever aside from offering to transfer the call (to no one as it is then dropped). After this, I researched reviews regarding Amerisave and came to find that this was not new practices and there are a plethora of complaints akin to mine. This of course, reinforced the notion of unethical practices by this corporation including a lawsuit in 2014 which cites the specific concerns I have noted above and was deemed then as “illegal practices.” I then spoke with Quicken loans to get a comparison and was told by the loan officer that he was “shocked” at the low rates Amerisave was offering. This again reinforced the notion of the classic bait and switch scheme which this company seems to adopt. They quoted me with a great interest rate at 2.5% but was told this could not be “locked.” With added concerns from research indicating past bait and switch operations in this nature by Amerisave, having Quicken Loans representative report he was shocked of how low this rate is and it was not normal, and with the rate not being locked and getting no response, the only logical thought is this will turn into a bait and switch down the line. Since receiving my deposit of $500, there has been a lot of inaction and unresponsiveness from Amerisave staff altogether. With a reputation of getting customers to invest with fees upfront, they use this leverage to change the price and quotes when it becomes time to sign. After speaking with a couple of different companies about interest rates, I received the same response “that rate seems to good to be true.” In attempting to speak with a representative from Amerisave to clear this up, I have not been able to reach anyone, and when I contact customer service line, I am transferred to no one and the call ends. This occurred 4 times. I also left several messages and emails for other loan officers through Amerisave with no luck. Lastly, the explanation of new costs by representative Peyton Chapman was poor as he could not explain how my payments were lowered by $170 monthly, but the reduced interest cost added up to $100.

  2. Katie August 31, 2020 at 8:59 pm -

    I got a quote from Amerisave today. They began the application, and I was able to access the initial Loan Estimate without paying the $500 application fee.

    However, like the commenter before me, I was also told that my rate could not be locked, and that they would float it until 10 days before closing. If I proceed farther with Amerisave, I will insist that the rate be locked.

  3. BC September 8, 2020 at 7:17 pm -

    Did you guys ever get your application fee back?

  4. DMAN September 16, 2020 at 9:26 pm -

    Yeah, I just closed. The lack of communication was horrendous. All good in the end, but lots of emails requesting the CD numbers match phone discussions. Lock disclosure was different than discussed. $500 app fee with no refund kept appearing on the closing disclosures. Finally his boss allowed him to remove $500 from the discount points to get it right…1 day before closing. Nightmare but great rate/terms. Surprised it actually turned out. Think I got lucky that rates stayed low.

  5. Jay September 29, 2020 at 4:18 pm -

    Similar experience as DMAN. The rates are extremely good, but you had better be prepared work to get them. Otherwise you might as well abandon your $500 application fee. Sometimes the phones don’t work and sometimes the emails are not answered in a timely manner. There is no reason to get upset at them. They may be overworked! If you make sure that they never forget you (keep in contact every other day if needed) and kindly stay on top of them, they won’t forget you and you will close on your mortgage. Best Wishes!

  6. Alisa October 2, 2020 at 11:25 am -

    I had a horrible experience with them. Once they got the appraisal done I could never get a return call, text, or email. Worst customer service ever. I would go with another lender.

  7. Michael Johnson October 11, 2020 at 7:36 am -

    I just closed last Saturday. Similar experiences to those above. My rate never changed from the initial estimate despite daily mortgage rates changing down, way up, then down again. I feel good about the rate and handling the document submittal was easy. I closed with a notary that came to the house. 30 min top.

    Similar to others, communication shut off after the deposit was paid. Texts or emails for info I would respond immediately with a question and would never get answered.

    Application to close was about 5 weeks for me. I had a little but of an unusual situation with proof of funds that added about a week.

    I did receive some contact from a loan processor, (not my originator), that was very helpful about a month into the process.

    My rate savings of 1.5% versus my prior mortgage was enough to make the hassle worth it. I would push through it if you are fairly certain the savings will be worth the headache.

  8. Donna M Adams October 23, 2020 at 12:21 pm -

    Is there anything you would do differently or recommend to do about the whole experience? How did you get them to refund the $500 app fee? I was shocked to hear it was so much. I didn’t have to pay for the appraisal because I had one done in 2018 when I refinanced then. I just paid the app fee today. And signed everything. Now I am getting ready to send the documents. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am doing this on my own and only have my 2018 refinance experience with my banker that was horrible. Thanks!

  9. Colin Robertson October 23, 2020 at 1:58 pm -

    Hey Donna,

    In general, the best approach with mortgage lenders is getting them all the required documentation ASAP and ensuring you satisfy each and every condition they ask for without delay. While there can certainly be fault on both sides, borrowers who are proactive and fill out complete applications and provide all required documents tend to have the best experience. Also don’t forget to decide whether to lock/float your rate! Good luck.

  10. Donna M Adams October 23, 2020 at 2:39 pm -

    Thank you for that. I just got off the phone with someone else in the company because I already keep getting my person’s voicemail. I asked about the float and locked rate thing. Mine is floating, but he explained that as long as I had my 31 page loan estimate they will go off of that if the rate goes up. If it gets lower/better they will honor the new rate/cost. Did you run into that or did they not honor that ? These are the kinds of things that worry me.

    I was also told that their loan reps are all working from home right FYI. That might also be why things are taking longer for them. All of my documentation, they were already able to see from being in the system. I guess some things they have access to. Then I already uploaded insurance and other statements. My insurance agent was in contact with my guy too. We heard back from loan guy but now I am worried what else could make things take a long time like other reviews stated. And that $500, wouId love to know more about how I get that back. Thanks

  11. Donna M Adams October 26, 2020 at 11:06 am -

    I was told that I cannot lock my rate until I get a processor. They said that could take 3 weeks. My rate itself will not change, but the amount I pay for the rate can keep going up. It can go down too. But I want to lock it today. Does anyone know if this is really true with this company or is there a way of getting this locked today? Sorry I don’t remember this happening with my previous home buying. I didn’t know if that is one of things that goes on with doing this online as opposed to in person. Thanks for the help.

  12. Colin Robertson October 27, 2020 at 3:31 pm -

    Donna,

    That’s a new phenomenon in the industry due to capacity issues – lenders are so busy they don’t want to lock rates too far out in the loan process.

  13. Donna M Adams October 30, 2020 at 1:02 pm -

    I will still get the rate that I want. But not sure what it is going to cost me. That bothers me but way faster than dealing with anyone locally because of Covid. Thank you for your advice. I will post when everything is said and done about my whole experience.

  14. Michael Kretchmer November 12, 2020 at 9:54 pm -

    didn’t pay any application fee, looks like a VERY good rate, but after a month, still hasn’t made it to underwriting! Very slow, Very poor communications, rep won’t answer email for several days. Several really oddball requirements from them : what exactly is a “Property Tax transcript”? And how about “terms for early withdraw for retirement account ” when I’m over 65. If the loan finally goes thru with the terms given, I’ll be…..satisfied, but not happy over time it takes

  15. Cecile Witcher November 19, 2020 at 7:47 pm -

    I am in the middle of this process right now. Lots of communication at the beginning and now I can’t get any answers to my questions. Won’t call me or return emails. And when I do get an email it doesn’t answer the question I asked.

    I was very upfront about my concern with a rate lock in my initial texting with my loan originator. I kept asking him over and over and he wouldn’t commit, and then he said it would be done TODAY. Of course it’s been almost a month and it still hasn’t happened. I do agree with above poster that most likely the rate that I was guaranteed I will get. But I’ll be paying more in points for it if the rate goes up! So really no guarantee at all.

    I was told that many of the documents I was being asked for were automated and they didn’t apply to me and that he would keep in touch with me directly via email. I sent him everything he asked for but once I got online I realized there were a lot of things they still needed and they were waiting for.

    I am hoping it all turns out in the end but I’m a bit concerned about fees that will be on the ending documents that are not what was promised. And I won’t have any way to get a hold of somebody to get them changed. And while I am fighting them the rates could go up! For instance, I was told that one of my refinances would be a drive by appraisal. Then I got a notification that they couldn’t find an appraiser to go out in the suburbs. The house wasn’t in the suburbs. I also got a notification that the appraisal was now almost $800 even though I was told that the $500 I paid was for the appraisal and that I would not have to pay the application fee. Then I heard from the mortgage company and they wanted to go in the house. This has never been cleared up for me and I am assuming I am going to have an extra $800 fee at closing.

    On the portal there were some documents that needed to be signed and I didn’t sign them because I wanted my loan originator to explain the fees to me. But when I went back it said the documents had been signed!

    I am hoping for a good outcome, but I will tell you that if I had known it was going to be like this I would never have gone with them.

  16. Wen Malolos November 23, 2020 at 3:31 am -

    That is true Donna. Even your rate is not locked yet, they will honor that rate. If the rate is lower during closing, the will give you the lower rate. I just got my final docs e-signed where rate was locked. It is also my first time with them and it took me 60 days for this final stage. Now that I have e-signed the locked rate, I am wondering how long and what are the next steps in getting our cash. Most review says a notary agent comes to your house for signatures. I wish they were all online transactions as I am not usually am at home during day time.

  17. RUKIA MALIPULA December 14, 2020 at 2:55 am -

    The worst experience ever. I think they are scammers. They only want your 500 dollars deposit that they will never refund. They had many promises of low rates in the beginning. It took three months of back and forth demanding the same documents. I was denied after three months of back and forth. Poor communication, and lack of organization. I am glad I did not close with them.

  18. Patricia December 15, 2020 at 5:19 pm -

    Worst experience ever. After 500.00 payment, bogus excuses, (I’ve been the owner since built) started 08/31/2020. Still waiting for closing date. I’m worried.

  19. Diana December 16, 2020 at 6:49 pm -

    I started my application and paid the $500 fee on 10/30. No closing date scheduled yet and my experience is very similar to the others I’ve read above. The loan originator, after being very available during the first few days of document requests, has vanished. The appraisal shows data for a different house! I’ve brought this to their attention twice, in writing, the error has not been acknowledged or corrected. Are these folks scammers?

  20. Lynnette December 29, 2020 at 11:01 am -

    We need an Amerisave support group. My experience has been the same as those above. I cannot understand what is going on. I applied the refinance in early November. Loan officer very responsive until I paid the $500. Non-responsive and I follow up almost daily but email and voicemail – never get anyone on the phone. All the time customers waste following up with them can totally to used more productively. Such companies should not be allowed to operate because they are a drain on customers time and energy. Complete waste of time. Of course I have absolutely no idea when or if I will ever close. The teaser loans may be good but absolutely not worth the effort even if I get the loan. I may yet pull the plug. The $500 is not even worth all this nonsense!!!

  21. Deb January 16, 2021 at 7:01 pm -

    Man, I wish I could have read these first before I decided to go with Amerisave! My experience has passed the 2 month mark now, started middle of November. Some of the docs they ask for are ridiculous. My loan officer either quit or got fired six weeks in. At least I heard from him regularly. Just keep getting more requests for the same stuff just different day. Since they have my $500 maybe they think I will get tired of waiting and go elsewhere.

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