Finance of America Mortgage Review: Loan Programs Galore From a Top-25 Mortgage Lender

Last updated on October 14th, 2020
Finance of America Mortgage Review: Loan Programs Galore From a Top-25 Mortgage Lender

Finance of America Mortgage Quick Facts

  • One of the largest nonbank mortgage lenders (top 25 overall)
  • Have provided home loan financing since 1994
  • Now a Blackstone portfolio company
  • Operates via the retail, wholesale, and correspondent channels
  • $16.6 billion in total loan volume in 2019
  • 400+ branches and 1,300 advisors nationwide
  • Headquarters in Horsham, Pennsylvania
  • Plans to go public in the first half of 2021 via a SPAC transaction

Today we’ll review Finance of America Mortgage, or FoA/FAM for short, which has grown to be a top-25 mortgage lender with $16.6 billion in total loan volume in 2019.

Part of that growth has been fueled by mergers, including their 2015 acquisitions of Gateway Funding and Pinnacle Capital Mortgage, and the 2018 purchase of Skyline Home Loans.

It also helps that they are backed by asset management company Blackstone, which is valued at more than $50 billion.

Finance of America Mortgage is one of the largest nonbank mortgage lenders in the country, and runs a wholesale lending division (for mortgage broker partners) and a correspondent lending business.

A good chunk of their business (maybe even half) is done on the West Coast, via the states of California, Oregon, and Washington, though they are licensed to lend nationwide.

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They tend to do more home purchase financing than mortgage refinance transactions, which tells me they have lots of relationships with real estate agents.

How to Apply for a Home Loan with Finance of America Mortgage

  • You can request information via their website
  • And a loan advisor will email or call you to go over your loan scenario
  • Or you can visit a local branch near you for an in-person consultation
  • You can also apply for a mortgage online if you navigate to a branch website and select an individual loan officer to work with

If you’re looking to get the ball rolling, you can fill out a short form to schedule a talk with a mortgage advisor.

It gives you the option to select a communication preference, such as phone or email, which is nice.

Alternatively, you can use their branch directory to find an office near you, then click on “meet our staff” to see who works in that particular office.

Those who have been referred to someone can also enter their name on the website short form.

Once you find an individual to work with, you should see an “apply for a loan” button at the top of their corresponding website that lets you access a digital mortgage application.

This allows you to apply directly online if you want to skip the human interaction.

Lastly, you can simply call them directly to speak with a “loan expert” if you want to get the ball rolling right away.

They say their loan advisors have more than 10 years of experience on average, which should make them quite knowledgeable and well-equipped to handle any and all situations.

With regard to the loan process itself, they are light on details and don’t make mention of a digital mortgage.

However, their loan originators use Cloudvirga Enterprise POS, which provides digital mortgage technology such as automated loan disclosure generation and eVerification of assets.

Loan Programs Offered by Finance of America Mortgage

  • Home purchase, refinance, renovation, and construction loans
  • Conforming/jumbo/FHA/USDA/VA
  • Fix & Flip loans
  • New construction loans and FHA 203k
  • Single-family rental loans
  • Portfolio rental loans (multi-family properties)
  • Bank statement programs
  • Interest-only options
  • Student loan refinance
  • HELOCs
  • Reverse mortgages

One big plus to Finance of America Mortgage is the breadth of mortgage programs available. They offer pretty much everything under the sun.

You can use them for home purchase financing, refinancing an existing mortgage, tap equity via a HELOC, fund a construction or renovation project, or even take out a reverse mortgage.

They offer all the main loan types, including conforming and jumbo loans, along with FHA, USDA, and VA loans.

In terms of specific loan programs, you can get a fixed-rate mortgage in a variety of different terms, along with adjustable-rate mortgages such as the 5/1 ARM and 7/1 ARM.

They also offer some more niche products like a student loan refinance, a portfolio rental loan that allows investors to pull cash out and use it to buy more properties, and fix and flip loans.

Additionally, they’ve got an entire suite of non-QM loan options, including bank statement programs, expanded DTI ratios, and interest-only options.

Both their single rental loan and portfolio rental loan (blanket loan) are underwritten on the property’s cash flow, with no personal income verification.

So when it comes to loan choice, you’re pretty well covered with Finance of America Mortgage.

Finance of America Mortgage Rates

One slight negative is they don’t advertise their mortgage rates on their website, so we have no way of telling how competitive they are pricing wise.

While advertised rates are just that, they do provide a clue about how cheap or expensive a mortgage lender might be. Without them, we don’t have anything to work with.

If shopping for a mortgage, be sure to get quotes from other lenders to compare to Finance of America to see where they stand.

Also make sure to consider the closing costs, including any lender fees charged by Finance of America, which are also not discussed on their website.

Finance of America Mortgage Reviews

Over at Zillow, they’ve got a 4.97 out of 5-star rating on over 4,000 customer reviews. Most of the reviews say the interest rate and closing costs were lower than expected.

Many individual loan officers also have Zillow reviews, so you can see how individuals are rated as well if you use the branch directory on the Finance of America Mortgage website.

On SocialSurvey, they have a 4.93 out of 5-star rating based on nearly 30,000 reviews.

So basically they appear to be very well-liked by their customers, which speaks to Finance of America’s goal is providing local service across the nation.

They also have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, but are not an accredited business.

Pros and Cons of Finance of America Mortgage

The Good

  • Licensed in all 50 states and DC
  • Can apply online via digital mortgage process
  • Physical branches for those who prefer in-person consultation
  • Tons of loan programs to choose from
  • Lots of positive reviews from past customers
  • Mortgage calculators and other tools on site

The Potential Bad

  • Do not advertise mortgage rates
  • No reference to lender fees on their website
  • No smartphone app

Don't let today's rates get away.

One Comment

  1. G L August 20, 2020 at 9:10 am -

    I am sorry but this page sounds like it was written by FOA itself. At the BBB site you will find at least 30 serious complaints about this finance business. And I have my own to add to it. It is NOT a legit business. The lending criteria is all over the place and I was literally denied a sale at the closing table thanks to FOA over-qualifying my family for a loan. This could have ended badly but thanks to the boom in real estate the seller found another buyer but we were left out in the cold. And we were out of $500 paid in inspection fees. This does not sit well with me and the other complaints were all very similar.

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