Optimum First Mortgage overview
Optimum First Mortgage offers loans in 14 states and has originated more than 20,000 mortgages since its founding. Borrowers can receive same-day preapprovals, according to owner Robert Drenk, and the lender guarantees on-time closings in as little as 12 days. In some cases, it can work even faster, closing a jumbo loan in just nine days. In addition to offering above-average closing time speed, the lender sets itself apart with some unique loan offerings. Fixed-rate loans come in a variety of terms: 8-, 10-, 12-, 15-, 20-, 22-, 27- and 30-year options. Optimum First is also a good option for self-employed borrowers, as the lender offers stated-income loans. The lender is headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, with two other offices in Maricopa, Arizona and San Antonio, Texas.
Borrowers who want a fast closing process, alternative loan options and rate protection for refinancing
- Rate-and-term and cash-out refinancing
- HARP 2.0
- Reverse mortgage
- Stated-income loan
Optimum First Mortgage aims to help borrowers avoid any lender fees by issuing credits. The lender says that credits either help offset or completely reimburse their fees approximately 90 percent of the time.
Optimum First Mortgage doesn’t publicly advertise mortgage rates on its website. However, you can get a quick quote by filling out a form online with a few details including loan amount, property value, loan type and credit history.
While Optimum First Mortgage is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (there is no obligation to receive accreditation), the lender does have an outstanding track record from the reviews on the organization’s website: a 4.9 out of five rating based on nearly 60 customer reviews.
The Optimum First Mortgage website includes calculators to help you estimate monthly payments, determine whether you should pay points and understand potential tax benefits and other questions about buying a home. There is no simple preapproval or prequalification option online, but you can easily request to connect with a loan officer. An online application portal allows for easy document uploading. However, there is no option for e-signing at closing. It’s done with a traditional, in-person notary.
Minimum borrower requirements
Optimum First 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) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
For conventional loans, key requirements include good credit (typically a FICO score of 620 or higher) and a minimum down payment of 3 percent. The requirements for FHA and VA loans are detailed here:
Stated-income loans come with additional requirements, including excellent credit and a sizable amount of cash reserves.
Refinancing with Optimum First Mortgage
Optimum First Mortgage offers refinancing, including a compelling offer for any of their borrowers. The lender’s Lifetime Rate Protection Guarantee is a big point of differentiation. The program allows anyone with an eligible loan with Optimum First to refinance with zero closing costs if interest rates drop over the course of the loan. So, for example, if you get a 30-year loan with a 3.6 percent interest rate and you can get a 2.8 percent interest rate five years later, you won’t pay any closing costs.
Not sure if Optimum First Mortgage is right for you? Consider these alternatives
- Homefinity mortgage review: Homefinity has more widespread availability than Optimum First, although it’s average closing time is slower.
- Rocket Mortgage review: This lender is one of the biggest names in mortgage and consistently receives chart-topping ratings from J.D. Power.
- LowRates.com mortgage review: This lender has fast closing times and boasts outstanding customer reviews.
- Bank of America mortgage review: This big bank is available everywhere and offers discounts on home loans to banking customers.
- HomePlus Mortgage review: HomePlus is a mortgage broker for borrowers in Arizona, California and Texas that can help match you with the best loan for your situation.
Breakdown of Optimum First Mortgage overall review score
- Affordability: 15/15
- Availability: 12/15
- Borrower experience: 19/20
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.