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CrossCountry Mortgage Review: The Nation’s Third Largest Retail Lender


Today we’ll do an in-depth review of CrossCountry Mortgage, which as the name implies, is a nationally-licensed mortgage lender that offers its home loan services in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Given their name, it’s a good thing they do. The consumer direct mortgage lender is based out of Brecksville, Ohio and has been around since 2003.

Perhaps their biggest claim to fame is the fact that they were the main lender partner of Costco Mortgage. So if you’re a Costco customer, you may have come across them.

Now that the Costco mortgage program has wound down, they’re flying solo, but still expected to originate billions in home loans annually.

Read on to learn more about this direct mortgage lender and their many offerings.

CrossCountry Mortgage Fast Facts

  • Founded in 2003 by CEO Ronald J. Leonhardt, Jr
  • Headquarters in Brecksville, Ohio
  • Nationally licensed direct lender in all 50 states
  • More than 7,000 employees at over 800 branches
  • Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae Approved Seller/Servicer since 2012
  • Funded $29 billion in home loans in 2022, 13th largest overall
  • Also own a loan servicing portfolio worth around $2.5B
  • The main mortgage lender partner for Costco (program has since closed)

Interestingly, CrossCountry Mortgage began as a mortgage broker before transforming into a full-scale mortgage lender themselves.

Today, they claim to be a top-3 retail mortgage lender, with aspirations to go even higher over time.

In 2022, they funded roughly $29 billion in home loans, with a high concentration of loans originated in California, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio, per HMDA data.

That makes them the 13th largest mortgage lender overall, with perhaps aspirations to get into the top-10 soon.

In 2019, they acquired Chicago, IL-based PERL Mortgage, and a year earlier, Chicago-based bemortgage. This has allowed them to expand their footprint, especially in the Midwest.

Most recently (May 2020), they acquired the assets of of New Jersey-based mortgage lender First Choice Loan Services Inc., a Costco Mortgage partner.

They also own subsidiaries BestRateUSA and Veterans Lending Group, the latter being a VA loan lender.

And were recently named to Inc. Magazine’s list of 5000 fastest growing private companies in the United States. Let’s learn more about them.

Official Mortgage Partner of the Cleveland Browns

Aside from their past affiliation with Costco, they are also the Official Mortgage Partner of the Cleveland Browns

During the 2021 season, the CrossCountry Mortgage ‘Dedicated Dawgs’ Sweepstakes will hand out nearly $90,000 in cash and prizes to lucky winners.

The biggest being $50,000 in cash to create your very own “Ultimate Dawg Pound” backyard party.

There will also be weekly prizes, including:

  • Passes to a Browns game from the CrossCountry Mortgage Landing
  • Tickets for the company’s “Best Seats in the House” experience
  • A D.A.W.G. Rover remote controlled cooler
  • And miscellaneous Cleveland Browns gear

Additionally, they will deliver several fan-friendly experiences to every Cleveland Browns home games, including a Hype Cam, which creates personalized, 360-degree pregame videos that can be shared.

Applying for a Home Loan with CrossCountry Mortgage

First, you fill out a short pre-qualification form on their website. Then a licensed loan officer will contact you within 24 hours to go over eligibility and your loan options.

This will involve a full pre-qualification to ensure you qualify, followed by a consultation to go over loan options and mortgage rates.

You can also use the “find a loan officer” feature to search for a loan officer by name (if you’ve been referred or know someone specific), or search by branch location if you want to speak to someone nearby.

These individuals have their own websites, which have different application forms, some powered by digital mortgage tech company Blend.

So it appears you can apply for a mortgage without actually speaking to anyone. And get personalized rates and compare loan options depending on the branch in question.

Once approved for a loan, there is functionality to upload documents, track loan status, and more.

FastTrack Credit Approval Program

CrossCountry Mortgage offers its FastTrack Credit Approval program, which is designed to give you an edge in a competitive housing market.

First, you apply for a mortgage and provide all the required documentation, such as W-2s, bank statements, and tax returns. Your credit history will be reviewed.

Then you’ll receive two letters – a buyer letter that shows you have Credit Approved status subject to terms and conditions.

And a seller letter (pre-approval letter) you can share with a homeowner to show your approved loan amount, along with the statement that you’ve been Credit Approved.

Even if you haven’t found a home yet, you can clear conditions on your loan that aren’t related to the property itself.

In fact, your loan could close in as few as 7 days after signing a purchase contract, assuming you’ve cleared most of your borrower-specific conditions.

Regardless of how you approach it, they aim to close in 21 days, which is a plus for those buying a home on a tight deadline.

What Home Loan Products Does CrossCountry Mortgage Offer?

  • Conventional loans (Fannie/Freddie)
  • Government loans (FHA, USDA, VA)
  • FHA 203k loans
  • FHA cash-out refinance
  • Jumbo loans up to $3 million
  • Jumbo renovation loans
  • Streamline refinances for FHA, USDA, and VA
  • Reverse mortgages
  • HELOCs
  • Home equity loans (HELs)
  • Bridge loans
  • Buydown loans
  • ADU loans
  • First-time home buyer grant programs and down payment assistance

CrossCountry Mortgage offers home purchase loans, mortgage refinances, renovation loans, home equity lines of credit, and reverse mortgages.

In terms of available loan options, they’ve got all the main offerings, including conventional loans, both conforming loans backed by Fannie/Freddie and jumbo loans for those who require larger loan amounts.

Those looking for a government home loan are in luck as well since they offer FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans.

If you need a renovation loan, they offer the FHA 203k program and a jumbo renovation loan. Those who prefer a HELOC to make home renovations can also acquire one via CrossCountry Mortgage.

They’ve also got the full slate of streamline refinance programs for all loan types, bridge loans, mortgage buydowns, and even ADU loans for those with accessory dwelling units.

Regarding specific loan programs, their fixed-rate mortgages are available in terms ranging from 10 years to 30 years.

For their adjustable-rate mortgages, 3/1, 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1 ARMs appear to be available.

They also offer reverse mortgages backed by the FHA, known as Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM).

In late 2022, they launched a new closed-end home equity loan (HEL) that allows homeowners to tap their home equity. It is a fixed-rate second mortgage.

And in April 2023, announced the availability of the Freddie Mac BorrowSmart Access program, which offers up to $3,000 toward down payment and/or closing costs.

They’ve since upped the ante with “CCM Smart Start,” which provides first-time home buyers with up to $4,000 to cover down payment costs.

CCM CashPlus Program Helps Buyers Compete with All-Cash Offers

If you happen to be looking in a competitive market, their new “CashPlus” program might be of some use.

It’s designed to help aspiring home buyers (who need a mortgage) compete with all-cash home buyers.

How it works is simple. CashPlus upgrades a buyer’s standard mortgage pre-approval to a full-cash offer with no appraisal or financing contingency.

This gives home sellers more assurances that the buyer will be able to follow through and close the transaction.

It is limited to borrowers with conventional financing who are purchasing a primary residence and are represented by a real estate agent.

CrossCountry Mortgage Rates and Fees

They do not advertise their mortgage rates on their website. However, you can request a free mortgage rate quote by filling out a short form online.

After you complete it (shouldn’t take more than a minute), a loan officer will contact you to provide quotes and loan options, and next steps to generate a pre-approval if desired.

Because they don’t disclose rates, it’s unclear how competitive they are relative to other mortgage lenders.

Additionally, they don’t disclose lender fees on their website, so again, you’ll need to make contact with a loan officer to find out those details.

Apply for a Home Loan in Spanish

Recently, CrossCountry Mortgage has made significant investments to support Hispanic home buyers, including the availability of a new Spanish language mortgage application.

CCM is also a national partner of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), with 12 loan originators making the organization’s Top 250 Latino Mortgage Originators list.

Additionally, the company has countless loan officers and support staff who are fluent in Spanish that are able to provide hands-on guidance during the loan process.

The company’s so-called Hispanic Initiative provides educational tools, translation services, and even translated disclosures to Spanish-speaking home loan applicants.

The goal is to advance homeownership in the Hispanic community.

CrossCountry Mortgage Reviews

On Zillow, CrossCountry Mortgage has an amazing 9,124 reviews with a rating of 4.97 out of 5 stars.

That’s probably as close to perfection as you can get – the number of reviews is also a good sign because it’s a very large sample size.

Most reviews note that both the interest rate and fees were lower than expected, which gives us a window into their competitiveness.

They also have 3.5 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau website, but it’s only based on 61 customer reviews.

And it’s not as bad as it sounds seeing that most BBB customer ratings are poor because they’re driven by complaints. Consumers don’t typically review companies on the BBB website.

The near-10,000 reviews on Zillow is probably the best gauge of how well-liked they are as a company.

CrossCountry Mortgage Pros and Cons

The Good Stuff

  • A+ rating with BBB, accredited since 2016
  • Lots of different loan programs available including second mortgages
  • Ability to apply online with certain branches
  • Use Blend technology for the mortgage application
  • Highly-rated on Zillow by past customers
  • Licensed in all 50 states and DC
  • Free mortgage calculators and help articles on website
  • They service many if not all of the home loans they originate
  • Offer a Spanish mortgage application and Hispanic-focused website

The Potential Bad Stuff

  • Do not advertise mortgage rates
  • No mention of lender fees
  • Unclear if they charge an application fee (e.g. rate lock fee or upfront appraisal fee)

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