Freedom Mortgage Review 2021

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At a glance

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3.8

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Bankrate Score

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Loans offered

Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate; rate-and-term, cash-out and streamline refinancing; home equity line of credit (HELOC); construction and renovation loans; investment property
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Nationwide availability

Available in all U.S. states
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Min. credit score required

620 for conventional loans; 580 for FHA loans; 620 for VA loans

Pros and cons

Pros

  • First-time homebuyer programs available (conventional, FHA and VA)
  • Approximately 100 brick-and-mortar locations
  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and renovation lending available

Cons

  • No online application available to borrowers
  • Online information about loan costs is limited
  • Home equity loans aren’t available

Freedom Mortgage overview

Freedom Mortgage is a massive lender headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida. In 2020, it was the third-largest lender in the U.S., trailing only Rocket Mortgage and United Wholesale Mortgage with nearly 400,000 loans originated last year. The lender is a full-service company offering loans through retail, wholesale and correspondent channels. It is licensed in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It bills itself as the top lender of loans backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Federal Housing Administration. Current customers might be able to take advantage of Freedom Mortgage's "Purchase Promise," which includes rate-match and closing guarantees, as well as access to savings programs through affiliate partnerships.

Good for 

Borrowers looking for convenience and a variety of mortgage options

Loan types 

  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Fixed-rate
  • Adjustable-rate
  • Rate-and-term, cash-out and streamline refinancing
  • Home equity line of credit (HELOC)
  • Construction and renovation loans
  • Investment property

Lender fees 

Freedom Mortgage’s origination fees vary, according to a spokesperson with the lender. 

Rates

Freedom Mortgage doesn’t make it easy to find rates online right away. Its site offers the caveat that rates can vary widely, based on such factors as the borrower’s credit score, the size of the loan and the amount of the down payment. To get a rate quote you’ll need to fill out a form with information such as your name and address. Once you’ve got a loan through Freedom Mortgage, it will alert you to better deals when you log into your account or by text message.

Reputation

Freedom Mortgage has a grade of A+ from the Better Business Bureau. Its Trustpilot score, however, is 2.2, or “poor,” and it ranked near the bottom of the J.D. Power mortgage originator satisfaction survey for 2020. Freedom scored 817 points; the industry average was 856.

Freedom Mortgage has run into its share of regulatory issues in recent years. It paid a $113 million fine in 2016 to “resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly originating and underwriting single family mortgage loans insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that did not meet applicable requirements for the FHA insurance program,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Freedom Mortgage also paid a $1.75 million penalty in 2019 in a settlement regarding violations of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

Online services

Borrowers interested in a Freedom Mortgage loan can sign up for “Eagle Eye” alerts via text in order to be notified when interest rates become lower or better offers become available. In addition, current customers can access interest rates through their account online. Freedom Mortgage also offers a mortgage calculator and basic information about homebuying on its site.

Minimum borrower requirements

Freedom Mortgage adheres to the conforming loan requirements for mortgages approved by government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as those backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

For conventional loans, key requirements include good credit (typically a FICO score of 620 or higher) with a minimum down payment of 3 percent or 5 percent, depending on the loan. For jumbo loans, the minimum down payment is 10 percent. Investment property loans generally require a down payment of 20 percent.

For FHA, VA and USDA loans, requirements are set by the government. You can find them here:

Refinancing with Freedom Mortgage 

Freedom Mortgage markets refinances for conventional loans and other types of mortgages. The lender doesn’t divulge much online about refinance rates and costs, noting on its site that those variables will hinge on a variety of factors. 

Not sure if Freedom Mortgage is right for you? Consider these alternatives

Breakdown of Freedom Mortgage overall review score 

  • Affordability: 14.75/15
  • Availability: 14/20
  • Borrower experience: 6/10

Review methodology 

To determine a mortgage lender’s Bankrate Score, Bankrate’s editorial team rates lenders on a scale of one to five stars based on a variety of factors relating to the lender’s products and services. Bankrate’s partners compensate us, but our opinions are our own, and partner relationships do not influence our reviews. Here is our full methodology.

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Written by
Jeff Ostrowski
Senior mortgage reporter
Jeff Ostrowski covers mortgages and the housing market. Before joining Bankrate in 2020, he wrote about real estate and the economy for the Palm Beach Post and the South Florida Business Journal.
Edited by
Mortgage editor