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ConsumerDirect Mortgage Review: A 100% Paperless Loan Originator?


How do low rates, big savings, and a simplified mortgage sound? Well, that’s what “ConsumerDirect Mortgage” says it’s offering its customers.

The online mortgage lender has apparently renovated the home lending process to eliminate fees, while also boosting transparency and customer satisfaction.

So it might be possible to get a cheaper mortgage in less time, with less work, which should make for a happier borrower.

Let’s more about this digital mortgage company to see if they could be a good fit.

Update: In February 2022, ConsumerDirect Mortgage changed its name to “Real Genius.”

ConsumerDirect Mortgage Fast Facts

  • Direct-to-consumer mortgage lender offering home purchase and refinance loans
  • Founded in 2012, headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida
  • The online division of parent company FirstBank, an FDIC insured depository bank
  • Licensed to do business in 49 states and D.C. (not available in Maryland)
  • Originated more than $5 billion in home loans last year
  • 99% of their loans come with a lender credit to reduce or eliminate closing costs

As you might have already suspected given the name, ConsumerDirect Mortgage is a direct-to-consumer mortgage lender that offers home purchase and mortgage refinance loans.

That means they work with borrowers remotely from a call center, which is located at their mortgage headquarters in Delray Beach, Florida.

Their loan production and operations center is located in nearby Charlotte, NC, and their mortgage servicing department in Newark, NJ.

While they’ve only been around since 2012, they are a division of FirstBank, a publicly-traded, FDIC-insured bank that was founded all the way back in 1906.

FirstBank funded more than $5 billion in home loans last year, with about half coming by way of refinance and half home purchase loans.

Roughly 70% of their loan production consisted of conventional mortgages, with the remainder mixed between jumbo and government lending.

They were most active in the states of Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, and Tennessee, but are licensed in every state other than Maryland.

How to Apply with ConsumerDirect Mortgage

  • Simply call them up directly or visit their website to get started
  • Prospective borrowers can generate mortgage rates quotes on the fly without providing contact info
  • If you like what you see or hear, click on Apply Now to begin the digital mortgage application
  • They claim to be a 100% paperless loan originator meaning most tasks should be electronic

To get started, simply call them directly to speak with a loan officer about loan pricing and eligibility, or visit their website and do it on your own.

If you go the website route, you can click on “View Rates” to price out your own unique loan scenario to see the latest mortgage rates available.

From there, you can click on Apply Now to begin a formal loan application, and a loan officer will be assigned to you as your guide.

ConsumerDirect Mortgage claims to be a 100% paperless loan originator, so most if not all tasks should be digital/electronic, including the application itself.

I believe it’s powered by Silicon Valley-based Tavant, a provider of AI-driven digital lending products.

Once you’ve submitted an app, you’ll be able to log in to their online borrower dashboard to access your to-do list and see the latest status updates.

All in all, they seem to make it quick and easy to apply for a home loan thanks to their use of the latest technology available.

Loan Programs Offered by ConsumerDirect Mortgage

  • Home purchase loans including first-time home buyer options
  • Refinance loans: rate and term, cash out, and streamline
  • Conforming loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • Jumbo home loans
  • FHA loans
  • VA loans
  • Construction-to-perm loans
  • Fixed-rate mortgages: 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30-year loan terms available
  • Adjustable-rate mortgages: 5, 7, and 10-year ARMs available

ConsumerDirect Mortgage offers a bevy of loan options, including home purchase loans, refinance loans, and construction loans.

You can get a conventional mortgage backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or a government-backed loan such as an FHA loan or VA loan.

They don’t appear to offer USDA loans, which is the only real major loan type missing.

However, they do offer jumbo home loans, though it’s unclear how large of a loan amount they’ll allow.

Those building a home can take advantage of their construction-to-perm loan offering, and my assumption is they also offer home renovation loans such as the FHA 203k loan program.

Their mortgages are available on all major residential property types, including single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and multi-unit properties.

You can get both a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage, in a variety of different loan terms ranging from 10 to 30 years.

ConsumerDirect Mortgage Rates

Another positive to ConsumerDirect Mortgage is the fact that they let you price out daily mortgage rates right on their website.

Simply click on today’s rates from the top menu once at their website and fill out the short form to see how they’re priced.

You can get rates for all types of different loan programs at once, along with different rate and fee combinations to determine the best approach.

As noted, most of their borrowers take advantage of lender credits to create a no cost loan, meaning nothing is charged out-of-pocket.

In terms of lender fees, they appear to charge a $675 loan origination fee, which is pretty low relative to other lenders.

From what I saw, they were pretty well priced for a variety of different loan types, including adjustable-rate mortgages like the 5/1 ARM, which is a rarity these days.

They may not offer the very lowest rates out there, but seem to be a super close second in many scenarios.

ConsumerDirect Mortgage Reviews

One thing Consumer Direct Mortgage isn’t short of is good reviews. They’ve got lots from all the different ratings websites.

At Zillow, they have a 4.73-star rating out of a possible 5 from more than 800 customer reviews, which is super solid given the large sample size.

Quite a few of those reviews indicated that the interest rate and/or closing costs were lower than expected.

On LendingTree, they have an equally impressive 4.8-star rating from over 230 reviews, and a 94% recommended rating, meaning most past customers would vouch for them.

At Google, they have an even better 4.9-star rating from 100+ reviews, and at CreditKarma a 4.5 out of 5 from 50 reviews. They also have a 4.2-star Bankrate score.

Lastly, they are an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau and currently hold a perfect ‘A+’ rating based on customer complaint history.

Additionally, they have a 4.72-star rating out of 5 from over 100 customer reviews on the BBB website, which is a really high score for the complaint-driven BBB website.

In summary, ConsumerDirect Mortgage appears to be a highly-liked mortgage lender with excellent customer satisfaction.

And if their mortgage rates are also on point, they could be a good choice for a homeowner, especially someone looking to refinance an existing mortgage.

They may not be as favorable for home buyers due to their lack of physical locations, though these days working remotely doesn’t seem to be an issue for most borrowers.

ConsumerDirect Mortgage Pros and Cons

The Pros

  • Offer a digital mortgage application
  • Can apply for a mortgage directly from their website
  • Say they offer a 100% paperless loan process
  • Lots of loan programs available
  • Licensed to do business in 49 states
  • Excellent reviews from past customers
  • A+ BBB rating, accredited company
  • They service their own loans
  • Backed by a large, publicly-traded depository bank
  • Knowledge center and mortgage glossary on their website

The Cons

  • Do not offer USDA loans
  • Not available in Maryland
  • Limited physical locations

(photo: Joris Leermakers)

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