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Compass Mortgage Review: A Top Illinois Mortgage Lender That Treats You Like Family


Today we’ll check out “Compass Mortgage,” a direct lender based out of Chicagoland that is one of the top mortgage companies in Illinois.

They do nearly all of their business in the Land of Lincoln, putting them near the top-20 for all mortgage lenders in the state.

So if you’re a homeowner or prospective home buyer in Illinois, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of them.

What sets them apart is their dedication to customer service, with a big focus on creating a personal home loan experience, with you guessed it, real people.

That means being treated like family, instead of relying on a chat bot to get your loan. Read on to learn more.

Compass Mortgage Fast Facts

  • Retail, direct-to-consumer mortgage lender
  • Offers home purchase loans and refinances
  • Founded in, headquartered near Chicago, IL
  • Licensed to do business in 15 states
  • Funded $3.2 billion in home loans last year
  • Roughly 90% of total production comes from state of Illinois

Compass Mortgage is a retail, direct-to-consumer mortgage lender that offers home purchase loans and mortgage refinances.

This means you can apply remotely via their website, or visit a physical branch if one is located near you (they’re mostly in the Midwest).

The company was founded by Dan Graham in 2002 and is located in Warrenville, Illinois, which is about 30 miles west of Chicago.

For the record, they are not affiliated with the Compass real estate brokerage, which is based out of New York City.

While Compass Mortgage is licensed in 15 states across the nation, roughly 90% of total loan volume comes from their home state of Illinois.

That made them a near top-20 mortgage lender in the state of Illinois, mostly beat out by the mega banks, Guaranteed Rate, Rocket Mortgage, and so on.

The other states where they’re licensed include Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Last year, Compass funded $3.2 billion in home loans, with about two-thirds of volume consisting of mortgage refinances and the rest purchase loans.

That means they are probably well-suited for both existing homeowners and those looking to buy a property.

How to Apply with Compass Mortgage

To begin, you can either call them up, visit a physical branch, or simply head over to the website and go the self-serve route.

Your best bet might be to speak with a loan officer first to discuss loan pricing and eligibility, then apply.

Either way, it’s possible to apply without speaking to anyone if you’re a self-starter.

Once at the website, select your transaction type (e.g. refinance or purchase), then you’ll be asked if you know your loan officer by name or don’t have one/remember.

There is a loan officer directory on their website if you wish to read bios or if you simply need a reminder of who you were working with/referred to.

If you know the individual, you can select them from a drop-down list to ensure you’re paired with the correct person.

If not, you’ll be assigned a loan officer after you submit your loan application.

Their digital mortgage application is powered by Blend, a leader in the mortgage fintech world.

It allows you to complete the app electronically, link bank accounts using login credentials, eSign disclosures, upload paperwork, and more.

Once your loan is submitted, your loan team will guide you throughout the process. You’ll also be able to log on to the borrower portal 24/7 to check loan status and satisfy outstanding conditions.

Compass Mortgage makes it easy to apply for a home loan and stay abreast of what’s going on from start to finish.

If you’re a prospective home buyer, they offer their “Get Committed” mortgage pre-approval, which is a more robust loan commitment.

It is fully-underwritten and includes the ability to lock your loan before you find a property (pre-lock).

This shows home sellers you’re a serious, well-qualified buyer and can make your offer stand out in a bidding war or even compete with cash buyers.

Loan Programs Offered by Compass Mortgage

  • Home purchase loans
  • Renovation loans
  • Construction loans
  • Refinance loans: rate and term, cash out, streamline
  • Conforming loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • Jumbo loans
  • FHA loans
  • VA loans
  • USDA loans
  • Down Payment Assistance (DPA) programs
  • Bridge loans
  • Lot/Land loans

Compass Mortgage offers a wide selection of home loan options to suit just about any borrower in any situation.

This includes home purchase loans, refinance loans, and construction and renovation loans, such as the FHA 203k program.

All the major loan types are available, including conforming, jumbo, government loans (FHA/VA/USDA), and even bridge loans.

Those who are short on funds can take advantage of their Down Payment Assistance (DPA) programs, including grants and forgivable loans.

They lend on all property types, including primary residences, vacation homes, multi-unit investment properties, and condos/townhomes.

Both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages are available in a variety of loan terms including the 15-year fixed and 7/1 ARM.

Simply put, you shouldn’t be limited when it comes to loan choice.

Compass Mortgage Rates

One area that’s light on information is their mortgage rates and lender fees.

Compass Mortgage doesn’t publicize these details on their website, so it’s hard to know how competitive they are on the pricing front.

As such, you’ll need to get in touch with a human first to discuss interest rates and inquire about any fees.

It’s unclear if they charge a loan application fee, loan origination fee, underwriting fee, and so on.

Be sure to get all the details and your mortgage APR so you can compare it to quotes from other banks, lenders, and mortgage brokers.

Compass Mortgage Reviews

On Zillow, Compass Mortgage has a 4.99-rating out of a possible 5 from about 400 customer reviews.

That’s pretty much as close to perfection as you can get, and a testament to their mission to provide a “Better Mortgage Experience.”

A good chunk of those reviews indicate that the interest rate and/or closing costs were lower than expected. So that at least provides a clue to their pricing.

They also have a 4.9-star rating on Google from nearly 800 reviews, another sign of their strength in the customer satisfaction department. And a 4.5-star rating on Yelp from over 50 reviews.

Lastly, while they’re not an accredited business, they hold an ‘A+’ BBB rating based on complaint history, of which there are none currently on file.

To summarize, Compass Mortgage seems to be really big on customer service, and could be a good choice for a first-time home buyer who wants hands-on service throughout the loan process.

They could also work for an existing homeowner looking to refi – just pay attention to rates and fees to ensure they’re competitive.

Compass Mortgage Pros and Cons

The Good Stuff

  • Can apply for a home loan online in minutes
  • Offer a digital, paperless loan application process
  • Also have brick-and-mortar branches in the Midwest
  • Lots of loan programs to choose from
  • Offer fully-underwritten pre-approvals to help you win a bidding war
  • Can pre-lock your rate before you find a property
  • Excellent customer reviews across ratings sites
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Free online mortgage guides, mortgage calculators, and mortgage glossary

The Maybe Not

  • Do not publicize mortgage rates
  • Unclear what lender fees they charge

(photo: Anthony)

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