New American Funding Review: Plenty of Loan Options

Last updated on February 18th, 2020
New American Funding Review: Plenty of Loan Options

It’s time for another mortgage review, this time we’ll take a hard look at New American Funding to see if they should be included in your home loan search.

They call themselves a family-owned business dedicated to helping other families improve their quality of life.

That sounds like they have your best intentions in mind, especially when navigating what is arguably one of the biggest life decisions, buying a home.

Let’s find out more about them and what they offer.

New American Funding History

  • The Orange County, CA-based company was launched in 2003
  • Started by husband and wife team Rick and Patty Arvielo
  • Was originally a 40-employee call center
  • Today it boasts 3,200 employees across 200 branches nationwide

Ironically, the “new” part of their company name is actually pretty accurate. They only got started back in 2003, which was around the time the housing market was booming.

But just a few short years later, the subprime mortgage crisis hit, and hundreds of lenders didn’t survive.

So I suppose that’s a testament to the resolve of New American Funding – despite being a young company, they were able to get through the Great Recession and become a mortgage powerhouse just a decade and change later.

As noted, they are family company, with husband and wife team Rick and Patty Arvielo the founders.

The direct lender is based out of Tustin, California, which is in the heart of Orange County, home to scores of mortgage lenders and related real estate companies.

The pair grew New American Funding from a 40-employee call center into one of the largest mortgage lenders in the country in less than 20 years.

Today, they count 3,200 individuals as employees, have nearly 200 branches nationwide, and maintain a loan servicing portfolio consisting of over 126,000 loans worth more than $31 billion.

Note: They do not lend in the states of Hawaii or New York at this time.

What New American Funding Offers

  • Purchase, rate and term refi, cash out refi
  • Conventional, conforming, jumbo, FHA, VA, and USDA loans
  • ARMs: 5/1, 7/1, 10/1 varieties
  • Fixed mortgages: 30-year and 15-year
  • Choose your own term mortgages
  • Renovation loans and Energy Efficient loans
  • Non-QM loans (self-employed borrowers)
  • Interest-only mortgages
  • HELOCs

One great thing about New American Funding is that you can get pretty much any type of home loan under the sun, including home purchase loans, rate and term refinances, and cash out refinances.

They are a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae direct lender, seller, and servicer, so they’ve got all the conforming and government loan options you can think of.

That includes the usual suspects like conforming mortgages, FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans. But that’s not all.

They also offer interest-only mortgages, jumbo loans, non-QM loans, reverse mortgages, and some proprietary offerings like the “I CAN Mortgage.”

So what is an I CAN Mortgage you ask? Well, it’s simply a choose your own term mortgage, that allows for terms of 8 to 30 Years.

For example, if you’re 10 years into a 30-year fixed and want to refinance your mortgage to take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates, you could go with a 20-year term instead of restarting the clock.

This also works for new purchases, so you can just start with a 24-year fixed instead of the standard 30-year fixed to save some dough and own more of your home sooner.

Their so-called Self Employed Mortgage, which may be considered non-QM, allows for the use of bank statements, asset depletion, or just one-year of tax returns to qualify.

They also offer HELOCs, including fixed-rate, adjustable, and hybrid options for those looking to tap equity, along with renovation loans such as the FHA 203k refinance loan and Fannie Mae Homestyle.

New American also operates both a builder and real estate lending division, so they may be a good fit for someone buying a brand-new home or building a home (new construction).

Lastly, they offer Energy Efficient Loans for those looking to finance a home that is already energy-efficient or to make an existing property simply greener.

Applying for a Mortgage with New American Funding

  • They have a short form you can fill out on their website to get started
  • Then a loan officer will call you to go over your loan scenario and options
  • Alternatively, you can call them directly or use their branch/loan officer directory to find someone specific in your area
  • Loan process appears to be somewhat digital, allowing for document uploading and loan tracking online

New American Funding a direct-to-consumer retail mortgage lender, meaning you work directly with the company to close your loan.

At one time, they ran a wholesale division, but chose to close it in 2016 to focus on their growing retail operations.

Anyway, they say you can get pre-approved for a mortgage in as little as 24-48 hours, which is a bit slower than some fully digital lenders that can do the same in minutes, such as Rocket Mortgage or Better Mortgage.

But they do offer the ability to apply online or over the phone. If you apply online, you basically fill out what amounts to be a lead form. Then someone contacts you by phone.

You can also look up specific loan officers via the branch directory on their website if you want to ensure you get someone local and highly recommended.

Once your loan is submitted, they offer a digital process that includes uploading necessary loan documentation, along with the ability to track your loan progress online.

You also get a dedicated loan officer that will help you along the way, which differs from some of the startups that only provide assistance as needed.

New American Funding’s Mortgage Rates

I’m all about transparency, and fortunately New American is too when it comes to their mortgage rates.

They openly advertise them right on their website for all to see. You can check rates daily for the 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed, FHA 30-year fixed, and VA 30-year fixed.

It should be noted that their rate assumptions are very tough, calling for a 740+ FICO score, 60% LTV, primary residence, with one discount point on their standard 30-year fixed mortgage.

In other words, if you have a lower credit score, less equity in your home, need cash out, or don’t occupy the property, the interest rate could be substantially higher.

The good news is their advertised rates appear to be quite low, so if you are a good borrower, they might be quite competitive.

New American Funding 14 Business Day Close Guarantee

If you happen to be buying a home, the company has a “14 Business Day Close Guarantee” to ensure you get to the finish line quickly, especially in a competitive market.

They say they have industry leading turn times because they’re an “all-inclusive mortgage banker.”

Their operations staff, including loan underwriters, doc drawers and funders, work under one roof, enabling them to close loans fast.

They offer 24-hour credit approval by senior underwriters and 24-hour underwriting turn times on conditions.

The 14-day window begins when your initial application package is complete and you have authorized credit card payment for your home appraisal.

If they fail to perform as agreed, a credit of $250 will be applied toward closing costs. While it’s not much money, the fact that they can close purchase loans in just two weeks is pretty attractive.

New American Funding Reviews

In terms of how well received they are, New American boasts an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and a 4.9 out of 5 rating with SocialSurvey based on nearly 100,000 customer reviews.

So they appear to be very well-liked, though experiences can always vary based on individual circumstances.

You can also view the ratings of specific loan officers near you if you go the branches tab on their website, select a location nearest you, then click on “Meet the Team.”

This allows you to see the staff that work in a particular office, along with their individual ratings as loan officers.

If you like what you see, you’re able to apply for a home loan directly with an individual you prefer during your search. You can also contact them directly if you simply have questions.

Pros and Cons of New American Funding

The Good:

  • Offer virtually every home loan type imaginable
  • Can pick your loan officer from a directory
  • Direct lender, seller, and loan servicer with quick turn times and fast closings
  • Appear to have competitive mortgage rates
  • Can manage your funded loan with the New American Funding My Mortgage App

Potential Bad:

  • You can start the application process online, but must speak to someone to apply
  • Technology appears to be limited (not a fully digital process)
  • Not available in Hawaii or New York

(photo: Cristian Ramírez)

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