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.
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
- 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)
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.
Kings of the bait and switch. Knew all of our finances months earlier and my wife’s car loan and only at the last minute told us that we needed to roll the car loan (pay it off) with the mortgage. This was the second attempt to get us to increase the balance of the amount we borrowed, which we refused to do. My wife’s and my credit scores are excellent, I have had a mortgage for 40 years and never missed a payment, we only were financing 50% of the house value with no increase in cash out the door, and then we got a “rejection’ letter. These people should be investigated for their business practices
I refinanced two mortgages with RU and it was the worst experience ever. They could not get our information correct, the communication was horrible, it took months to make progress, our documentation was wrong, they had our marital status and names wrong even though we had corrected multiple times. Our names are wrong now on the new mortgage and they filed a change with our deed to change our marital status, even though it did not change. One property did not get the insurance paid in the switchover so it went past due. And when I contact them, they say they can’t help me or just don’t respond.
My advice would be not to use RU no matter how much you are saving. It was, and still is, a nightmare.
Why people refinance their houses? To get better interest rate (lower monthly payments, safe money) and/or get some cash for whatever reason it may be. Not in my case.
My rep Robert Mondo promised to refinance my house based on my credit report (810 points) and appraisal, but appraisal would have to be done first and PAID BY ME $490.00 So I appraised my house and it showed pretty large equity much higher than amount for refi. Meanwhile he begged me “please don’t go to anybody else”. Then I received lock in contract which showed closing cost almost $10,000.00 I figured it’s ok my payments going to be lower and expense will pay for it self over period of time, so I signed. Guess what, he and Teresa Lindsey (Loan Processor and Team Leader) brainwashed me for the next 3 month to no avail. At the end instead of cash in my pocket I’m out of $490.00.
PEOPLE BEWARE DON’T PAY FOR APPRAISAL NO MATTER WHAT, BETTER YET DON’T DO BUSINESS WITH ROYAL UNITED!!!
Pushy, scripted, high pressure sales. Their math doesn’t add up. There seems to be a lot of money missing. No doubt squirreled away for huge closing costs. It’s a boiler room operation. Steer clear.
BEWARE! Royal United is a SCAM. They call you immediately and make you think they are going to work with you. You tell them everything upfront but they will figure out a way to deny you…because they know all along that they aren’t going to give you a loan because they are a scam company. They say 2-4 weeks but that is just to draw you in. Then they have to change things and it adds time and then again and then again. They go through every single detail in your life saying they need the most irrelevant things from 8 years ago. All they do is effect your credit and prevent you from working with reputable companies. Then they will try to trick you into signing things that is not at all what you talked about. They tried to con me into signing something that would give me $22,000…when I asked for $50,000…while they got almost $20,000 for closing costs! AND, they made me pay for 2 appraisals!!!
For detail…I have good credit (my husband had lack of credit), I was only using 10% of my credit limit, we have a house that is PAID OFF and worth 6 times what I was asking for (and the loan is backed by the house). During the process my husband changed jobs to make MORE money. Somehow they still came up with a way to deny us…actually with no communication at all…just stopped any communication. Why? Are they a shell company? Are they doing appraisal fraud (because we had to use THEIR company)? Are they really just selling our personal information (since they go so far into depth of your entire life)? I don’t know…but I do know that for any reasonable person…you should look elsewhere.
Be very, very careful. The loan agent praised my husband and I for having outstanding credit scores and finances, then came up with loan options which were the high end interest rates with 2 points and $25000 in closing costs. In about 10 minutes on the phone I saved thousands of dollars by going with another company.
Royal United did a great job closing my loan. I received offers from Quicken, Amerisave, and Royal United and chose Royal United because I was most comfortable and had the best conversation with them. All three offers had about the same rate. They didn’t require an appraisal, my loan closed in less than two weeks, and my final rate ended up being lower than what I was quoted upfront. I was very happy with them.
I started the process with Royal United Mortage and they did a hard credit check, which came back 750+. They then asked me for a lot of other information to be sent by phone. They forwarded me to a loan person who was Kristy Storm, Executive Loan Advisor. After I sent in my information – no response. Even follow up by me, no response. After 2 weeks, some manager called me and I explained the situation and he said he would follow up regarding my information within a certain time of the day – I waited and then nothing from him. Since they just stopped helping me and a hard credit was performed, I went with another company. I was approved and the funding on my equity loan will happen this week. Look at their social media – they don’t even allow for reviews. What a lack of professionalism from a group of folks. Thank goodness I read some of the overcharging they are doing and thank God for unanswered prayers!
Buyer beware!! Do not use this company!!
Don’t don’t it! Terrible company. No communications and you get the run around for months. Then deny you after you pay the appraisal fee. They must be in on this scam with the appraisal company. Loaner beware!
This company has been stringing us along for 5 weeks, I kid you not! The wanted pay stubs, no problem. That wasn’t good enough, they have to have someone verify my employment. Sure, because I can duplicate my pay stubs, with the special watermarked paper I purchased on the dark web.😳 We have jumped threw every hoop, have done everything as they requested. They’ve been going to send checks for over two weeks now. But they always need one more thing. By the way, they still haven’t verified my employment. I told my husband three weeks ago, this company is a scam.