Royal United Mortgage Review: A Faster, Friendlier Mortgage Lender?

Posted on October 27th, 2020
Royal United Mortgage Review: A Faster, Friendlier Mortgage Lender?

If customer satisfaction is your thing, and you happen to need a home loan, you might want to check out Royal United Mortgage.

The company recently topped LendingTree’s customer satisfaction rankings for four consecutive quarters, and have consistently ranked in the top-10 for the past six years.

Another thing that makes them unique is the fact that they offer home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), and a lot of them at that, based on their HMDA data. Let’s learn more.

Royal United Mortgage Fast Facts

  • Privately-held, employee-owned retail mortgage lender licensed in 32 states
  • Founded in 2008, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Funded roughly $1 billion in home loans during 2019 via consumer direct channel
  • Ranked a top-10 mortgage lender by LendingTree since 2014
  • Began 2020 as LendingTree’s #1 lender in customer satisfaction for 4th quarter in a row
  • Most of their business comes from the states of Florida, Indiana, and Texas

Royal United Mortgage is a relatively young company, around since 2008, which is right around the time the mortgage crisis and Great Recession took place.

But they’ve made it through some tough times and mustered over a billion in home loan volume last year.

They’re a privately-held, employee-owned direct-to-consumer mortgage lender, meaning they operate remotely without branches.

At the moment, they seem to be licensed to do business in 32 states, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Royal United Mortgage Loan Process

  • They offer a digital mortgage application powered by Ellie Mae
  • You must first get in touch with a loan advisor to get started
  • Prospective can call them up directly or fill out a short contact form on their website
  • Claim to have some of the fastest turn times in the industry thanks to in-house processing and underwriting

To get started, they ask that you either call them up or fill out a short contact form on their website.

Once you connect with a so-called trusted loan advisor, they’ll go over your goals and guide you through the loan process, including an overview of available loan options.

They appear to offer a digital mortgage application powered by Ellie Mae that should allow you to link financial accounts and/or upload key documents.

Additionally, once conditionally approved for a loan, you can check loan status at any time or opt-in to real-time notifications regarding loan progress.

Because they use in-house loan underwriters and processors, they say they’re able to offer some of the fastest turn times in the industry, typically only 2 to 3 weeks (how long does it take to get a mortgage).

All in all, pretty straightforward, though it would be nice if you could apply without having to take the extra step of speaking to a human.

Loan Types Offered by Royal United Mortgage

  • Home purchase loans and refinance loans
  • Rate and term and cash out refis (debt consolidation)
  • Home improvement loans
  • Conforming loans backed by Fannie/Freddie
  • FHA loans and VA loans
  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)

One drawback to Royal United Mortgage is their somewhat limited menu of loan programs.

While they appear to have most of the basics, they’re missing a few major loan types, including jumbo loans and USDA home loans.

That leaves us with conforming loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with FHA loans and VA loans.

The good news is that should cover most of the homeowner population.

Don't let today's rates get away.

They seem to focus on mortgage refinances, including rate and term refis and cash out refis for debt consolidation.

They also say they’ve got home renovation loans, though it’s unclear if they’re talking about the FHA 203k and/or the Fannie Mae HomeStyle.

One silver lining is they offer home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), which not all lenders offer these days. So you can tap into your equity without touching your first mortgage.

While they do offer home purchase financing, it seems to make up a small portion of their overall loan volume, maybe just north of 10%.

Interestingly, it is HELOCs that tend to make up the most of their business.

They lend on primary residences, second homes, and investment properties.

Royal United Mortgage Rates

For one reason or another, Royal United Mortgage does not publicize its mortgage rates.

This isn’t uncommon, as many banks and lenders tend to keep their interest rates to themselves.

However, since they don’t advertise their rates, we have no way of knowing how competitive they are in the pricing department relative to other mortgage lenders.

The same goes for their lender fees, which don’t seem to be listed on their website anywhere. This means we don’t know if they charge points or a loan origination fee.

So be sure to get all that information early on before you spend too much time with them in case their rates/fees aren’t to your liking.

Royal United Mortgage Reviews

As noted, they were ranked 1st by LendingTree for customer satisfaction from the second quarter of 2019 through the first quarter of 2020.

That’s four consecutive first place rankings, which seems like a pretty big feat. Additionally, they have roughly 9,000 customer reviews on LendingTree with a 4.9 out of 5-star rating.

Some 98% of former customers recommend using Royal United Mortgage, per the LendingTree website.

They have been Better Business Bureau accredited since 2008 and currently hold an A+ rating with the company.

At the time of this writing, Royal United Mortgage has nearly 400 customer reviews on the BBB website with a 4.5/5 rating.

Like all other mortgage lenders, they have complaints too, which are inevitable when you’re dealing with a large number of customers in the mortgage industry.

But all in all, they appear to be well received by their customers, which is a good sign.

Royal United Mortgage Pros and Cons

The Good

  • Offer a digital mortgage application powered by Ellie Mae
  • Ranked #1 by comparison service LendingTree
  • Excellent customer reviews across multiple review sites
  • A+ BBB rating and an accredited business
  • Offer home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
  • Free mortgage calculators and mortgage glossary on site

The Maybe Not as Great

  • Not licensed to lend in all states
  • You have to contact them before applying for a home loan
  • Don’t offer USDA loans or jumbo loans
  • Do not publicize their mortgage rates
  • No mention of lender fees on their website
  • They don’t service their home loans

(photo: Sean Davis)

One Comment

  1. dave m November 13, 2020 at 3:14 pm -

    Different Experience:
    Loan officer was pushy, more like a used car salesman than a loan officer. I would give important details concerning the loan and he would forget what I told him weeks before. Royal United has higher than average closing costs and I was not informed of those cost until the last moment. In fact multiple staff I worked with there would ask for important documents at the last minute. Luckily, we consulted good realtors who informed use what to expect and informed us Royal United’s behavior is not industry standard.
    Our loan officer also screwed up the closing date of our new house by an extra week because of his lack of communication. This cost us hundreds of $$ in lodging, truck rental and storage rental. While working with his supervisor she only said “Sorry”. There are more failings we experienced but you get the idea. I would have rather gotten a loan with McDonalds, at least they will fix their mistakes.

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