Freedom Mortgage Review 2021
- A recognized expert in government-insured lending such as FHA and VA loans
- Freedom Mortgage operates in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
- In-person mortgage applications are only possible in some locations
- Freedom Mortgage doesnt offer banking or investing services, meaning you cant bundle your mortgage with other financial accounts you have
Freedom Mortgage Corporation is a privately held, full-service mortgage lender that provides loans to clients nationwide. The company was founded in 1990 and its current headquarters are in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. As you may have guessed by its name, Freedom Mortgages central focus is on mortgages.
While home loans make up a significant portion of its loan operations, the company also offers loan servicing and refinancing through its wholesale, correspondent, commercial and retail divisions. Freedom Mortgage prides itself on its streamlined process and its belief in offering you the ability to own a home and use your home for living better.
Paying Off Our Mortgage With Plastiq
With $100,000 left on our mortgage balance and plenty of Plastiq referral dollars to pay the whole thing off, what could go wrong? Really, the only issue we had to tackle from there was which credit card to use or sign up for.
While there are many solid Discover and Mastercard credit cards that could be smart to use for this purpose, we ultimately decided to use a rewards credit card we already hadmy husbands Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®.
We chose the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard because it earns 2X miles for each dollar you spend. On the redemption side, you can cash in your miles for any type of travel at a rate of 1 cent per point, providing your purchases are at least $100 or more.
Paying our mortgage through Plastiq was easy, but you do have to allow time for payments to post through the platform. Because payments from Plastiq to my old mortgage providerCaliber Home Loanscould take up to two weeks, I started the process by paying our mortgage payments one month ahead of time every month.
In the beginning, I tried to pay $3,000 to $4,000 per month toward our mortgage, which was a lot considering the minimum payment on our 15-year loan was around $1,500. A few times, I was able to pay considerably more than that in the $5,000 to $8,000 range. Because of the way mortgage interest accrues, every big payment I made resulted in a larger percentage of my monthly payment going toward the principal of my mortgage and not interest.
What Can You Do Online With Freedom Mortgage
You can learn about your loan options on Freedom Mortgages site. There are educational resources that help you understand terms associated with mortgages as well as comprehensive guides, such as how to understand your credit score. You can also find an application checklist, moving checklist and a thorough explanation of the closing process.
While the educational resources are helpful, you cant start the loan application process through the site. You cant get an online login until you have a loan number, which means you already have a mortgage. The online features are used to make payments and for you to track your loan balance.
To get things started, you have to call a representative or find a loan officer in your area. Luckily, the site offers a portal so that you can search for someone in your area. However, if there isnt a representative near you, youll do everything via telephone. Its a downside if you were hoping to apply in-person.
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A Couple Warnings/issues With This Method:
You need to make sure your credit card issuer doesnt charge fees to load Serve The limit increases to $1,500 a month if you get Serve with Softcard You actually need to pay off the credit card charges to avoid interest/fees Your credit score can go down if you keep racking up large balances, even if theyre paid off You could get on the bad side of credit card companies and miss out on future rewards If you have bad credit none of these methods will probably work very well
As noted above, you can load your Serve account with a credit card, but even American Express warns that you could be charged fees by your card issuer for doing so.
Ive used a Chase credit card and there was no fee or issue. It just showed up as a standard purchase.
But to avoid any mishaps, testing with a small amount or asking your credit card issuer to lower your cash advance limit to zero might be a good idea before giving it a whirl.
Once the necessary funds are in the Serve account, youll be able to see your available balance. Assuming its sufficient to cover your full mortgage payment, you simply select Pay Bills from the dropdown menu then add a payee.
While certain payees are already in Serves system, youll likely need to add your loan servicer manually, including their address and your loan number.
Check To Ensure Your Landlord/bank Accepts Credit Cards
The first impediment to paying your rent or mortgage with your credit cards is your landlord or bank. Individual landlords are unlikely to accept credit card payments, often because they lack the ability to do so but also because of the credit card processing fees merchants are charged.
Even larger rental organizations, like apartment complexes, are often unlikely to want to lose as much as 3.5% of their rent to a credit card company just for the privilege of having the payment processed.
Finding a bank or mortgage lender that directly accepts credit card payments is also a challenge. For example, mortgages from Chase cannot be paid directly by credit card the bank only allows payments from a Chase account, transfers from other banks, checks, or money orders.
Even if your bank or landlord does accept credit cards, some credit card issuers dont allow mortgage payments to be made with their cards. Bank of America, for instance, reportedly doesnt allow you to charge mortgage payments with a BankAmericard.
Moreover, some entire credit card networks wont allow credit card mortgage payments to be processed through their networks. Visa and American Express both reportedly prohibit mortgage payments made by credit card from being processed on their networks, though debit and prepaid card payments are allowed.
Visa and American Express both reportedly prohibit mortgage payments made by credit card from being processed on their networks.
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Freedom Mortgage Full Review
Freedom Mortgage Corp. is a family-operated mortgage lender that launched in 1990. The lender is based in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and offers home loans in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C.
Whether youre looking to buy a home or refinance an existing mortgage, youll have a choice between several loan programs, including a mix of conventional and government-backed loans. Freedom Mortgage is the leading lender in volume with Veterans loans and offers several cash incentives and competitor price matches.
However, borrowers should understand some of Freedoms limitations before moving forward. Freedom has a history of lawsuits, consumer complaints, and fines with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Protection . The company also lacks rate and fee transparency on its website and requires a hard credit pull just for a rate quote.
How To Pay Your Mortgage With A Credit Card Directly
Not all mortgage companies accept credit cards. Nor do all credit card networks or credit card issuers permit lending companies to accept payments by credit. A careful inspection of the terms and conditions of your credit card and mortgage agreement will probably reveal whether credit cards are accepted tender. Or go on your mortgage company’s website and sign in to make an electronic payment to see if a credit card is an option.
Other Products & Services:
Chase, JPMorgan, JPMorgan Chase, the JPMorgan Chase logo and the Octagon Symbol are trademarks of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Investing involves market risk, including possible loss of principal, and there is no guarantee that investment objectives will be achieved.
J.P. Morgan Wealth Management is a business of JPMorgan Chase & Co., which offers investment products and services through J.P. Morgan Securities LLC , a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor, member FINRA and SIPC. Annuities are made available through Chase Insurance Agency, Inc. , a licensed insurance agency, doing business as Chase Insurance Agency Services, Inc. in Florida. Certain custody and other services are provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. . JPMS, CIA and JPMCB are affiliated companies under the common control of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Products not available in all states.
“Chase Private Client” is the brand name for a banking and investment product and service offering, requiring a Chase Private Client Checking account.
Bank deposit accounts, such as checking and savings, may be subject to approval. Deposit products and related services are offered by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.
What If Im Late Making A Payment
If you know youll be late making a mortgage payment, reach out to your mortgage servicer as soon as possible. Explain your situation and see if the servicer might be able to work with you and waive any late fees. Communicating proactively can go a long way.
Note that there is typically a grace period for late payments, too usually 15 days.
If youre unable to make a mortgage payment altogether as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19 and you have a federally-backed loan, ask your servicer for forbearance. With forbearance, your mortgage payment can be reduced or paused entirely for a period of time.
Be sure to ask your servicer for other relief options, as well, such as a loan modification. Most servicers are willing to work with borrowers to ensure they continue to make payments on time.
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Can Fha Mortgage Insurance Be Removed
For FHA loans, early cancellation is allowed only under the following circumstances. .
- The loan must have closed on or after January 1, 2001 and the FHA case number must have been assigned before June 3, 2013.
- There can be no payments 30 or more days late in the past 12 months. The loan must remain current throughout the cancellation process.
- With the exception of 15-year mortgages, you must have paid MIP for a minimum of five years.
- The principal balance, minus any upfront MIP, must be less than or equal to 78 percent of the original property value*.
*Original property value on a purchase transaction is the lesser of the purchase price or the original appraised value. In the event of a refinance, original value is the original appraised value from the time the loan is transacted.
Cost Of Paying Your Mortgage With A Credit Card
Some lenders who accept credit card payments charge a transaction fee to process the payment. You see, each time you swipe your credit card, the business accepting that payment has to pay a fee to the credit card issuer, the processing network, and other companies involved in processing the transaction. Mortgage lenders, or the companies they use to process credit card payments, would pass this 2-3% fee on to you. That increases the cost of paying via credit card.
There are a few third-party companies that let you pay your mortgage with your credit card. They act as an intermediate, processing your payment and in turn cutting a back to your mortgage lender on your behalf. It gets the job done, but these companies will charge a fee for the service. One of these services, Plastiq, for example, charges a 2.85% fee to pay your mortgage with a credit card. If you find a service that does this for you, you should make sure the transaction isnt treated as a cash advance. In that case, you wont earn any rewards on the transaction and youll pay a much higher price on the transaction.
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Avoid Using A Cash Advance To Pay Your Mortgage
While you may be tempted to use a cash advance from your credit card to make your mortgage payment, make sure youre aware of the risks. When you use a cash advance, whether its an ATM withdrawal or convenience checks from your credit card issuers, youll be charged a cash advance fee.
Cash advance fees are often around $5 or 5% of the transaction amount. On a mortgage payment of $1,000, youd pay a $50 cash advance fee. Cash advances also are charged a higher interest rate and do not have a grace period. The lack of a grace period means your balance starts accruing interest right away rather than after your billing statement closing date.
Paying your mortgage with a check sent from your credit card issuer would be treated as a cash advance and would incur the same fees and interest.
How To Set Up A One
Use your Online Banking account to make a one-time payment from any financial institution. Select Additional from the Online Banking menu. Next, beside where it says ACH Loan Payment, select Continue.
Clicking Continue will bring up a screen that lists the information you will need to set up the Loan Payment. This includes routing number, account number, savings or checking account number, and a valid email address. Choose Proceed and then enter the necessary information.
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Refinance Versus Making Extra Mortgage Payments
Would you like to talk to a Freedom Mortgage Loan Advisor about whether refinancing your mortgage might make sense for you? Get Started today or call us at .
Freedom Mortgage Corporation is not a financial advisor. The ideas outlined above are for informational purposes only and are not investment or financial advice. Consult a financial advisor before making important personal financial decisions, and consult a tax advisor for information regarding the deductibility of interest and charges.
Freedom Mortgage Is Right For You If:
If you’re in the market for an FHA, VA, or USDA loan, Freedom Mortgage is a good choice. The lender’s extensive experience with this type of loan enables you to navigate the process quickly and efficiently. You’ll need to work with a loan officer since online rate quotes and preapproval aren’t an option.
What Could Work For You
It’s possible but unlikely that landlords will accept credit cards without tacking on a fee. If you can find one that does, that’ll make it easier to load up on rewards.
If you’re like most renters or homeowners and would have to pay some kind of fee to pay with plastic, the trick is to find a way around it, like the Johnsons did, or to offset it with credit card rewards. But finding a credit card that offers rewards that exceed the cost of fees is rare, too.
“Like Holly and her husband, our customers are savvy spenders who use their cards to their advantage whether to better manage cash flow or maximize rewards,” Eliot Buchanan, founder and CEO of Plastiq, tells CNBC Make It. “We encourage our customers to use Plastiq in ways that drive value for them, and we love hearing stories about the creative uses that cardholders find for our service.”
Credit card blogger Keith Rosso bought a $60,000 Tesla with a credit card last year using the Chase Ink Business Preferred. That earned him 3 points per dollar on the purchase, which outweighed Plastiq’s 2.5 percent fee. Depending on how he redeemed those rewards, he estimated that they could be worth as much as $5,000.
The Ink Business Preferred no longer rewards Plastiq purchases with 3 points per dollar, a representative from Chase tells CNBC Make It, so this particular strategy may no longer be a profitable option.
Barclays did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Some Issuers May Code The Payments As Cash Advances
Unfortunately, the third-party processor that handles your credit card payment may not be the only source of fees when it comes to paying your rent or mortgage.
In some cases, your credit card issuer may interpret your payment as a form of cash advance. Not only does this mean big cash advance fees, it also means your payment will start accruing interest right away often at a higher rate than normal purchases.
Using those handy convenience checks often provided by your credit card company is the surest way to incur big cash advance fees. Although it seems like an everyday check, convenience checks are always treated as cash advances by credit card companies.
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Your Credit Card Earns More Than 25% Rewards
As noted above, Plastiq charges 2.5% to use your Mastercard or Discover to make mortgage payments. On a $1,000 mortgage, that adds up to $25 per month, or $300 per year.
So, to make it worth it, youd have to earn credit card rewards greater than 2.5%. One credit card to offer this is the Discover it® Miles , which offers 1.5X miles on everything and doubles your rewards at the end of your first year for a total of 3X. You can redeem those miles for statement credits, effectively earning 3% cash back.
If you paid your mortgage with the card , youd earn $360 . Youd have also paid $300 in transaction fees, netting you $60 in rewards. Worth it? Perhaps. But only for the first year after that, youd earn a total of 1.5% cash back, meaning youd lose 1 percent by using Plastiq.
Cash back credit cards that offer better than 2.5% cash back for non-category purchases are quite rare. One avenue to consider may be travel rewards credit cardsthat offer points or miles, and usually provide 1X point or mile for non-category purchases. You might be able to redeem those points or miles to get a cash back equivalent of more than 2.5% but itll depend greatly on how you use the rewards.