AmeriSave Mortgage Review: Pioneer of the Digital Mortgage?

Last updated on July 27th, 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.

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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

Unfortunately, they do not openly advertise their mortgage rates on their website.

In order to view rates, you have to complete a short questionnaire that is akin to a mortgage lead form.

However, they do list a sample rate along with loan assumptions, and on the day of this review, it was a 30-year fixed loan at 2.75%, which is pretty darn low.

Digging into the fine print, it was based on a hypothetical loan with a $343,595 loan amount set at 58% LTV with a 747 credit score.

Oh, and it was for a purchase on an owner-occupied, single family home with 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

7 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.

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