What makes Fellowship Home Loans, as a Christian mortgage lender, different from other lenders?
The broad answer is that the approach we take on each and every loan is different from that of a regular lending institution. Other banks look at your application and will immediately put you to the test of the three C’s: credit, collateral, and capacity. Credit is simply your credit score and what may show up on your credit report. Collateral is how much equity you have in your house compared to what you are looking to borrow. Capacity is your debt to income ratio, or how much money you make compared to what your new monthly payment could be, along with any other outstanding debt that is still open on your credit report. Unless you are a cookie cutter loan and you clear the hurdle of the three c’s, be prepared for a very frustrating and drawn out process that will most likely end up with you being disappointed; not getting what you were looking for when you started the process. The Fellowship Home Loan approach to the three c’s is exactly what separates your regular mortgage lender from our Christian lending practice.
The Christian Mortgage Lending approach to the three C’s (credit, collateral, capacity) has revolutionized the mortgage industry. Regarding credit, instead of fitting the square peg into a round hole, we take the time to go over the credit report and get the reasoning for why someone’s credit score may not be perfect. We don’t need the 700 credit score. Why? Because you are more than just a credit score. We realize that everyone has had some bumps in the road at some point in their life (remember the market crashing in 2008?) but that doesn’t mean you can’t pay your bills! We get the thorough explanation of what may have happened in the past. Instead of making some spotty credit a hurdle, as a Christian lender, we try and make it a reason to improve your current situation.
The collateral part is something we are focusing on more and more these days. Too often get a phone call that a potential client tried to refinance their home with another lender. They say that their house was appraised for about $50,000 dollars less than what they think their home is worth. What happens more often than not in these situations is that the appraiser did not do their due diligence beforehand. Do you think your home should be compared to the foreclosure around the corner or the house down the block that sold at a discount in a short sale or family sale? Of course not and neither do we! As a Christian lender we align ourselves with vendors like appraisal management companies that take the extra time and effort to do the research in your area that would be the most accurate appraised value of your home. If you are paying hundreds of dollars for an appraisal, don’t you deserve to at least get an accurate assessment? We think so too!
Capacity is the strictest requirement for most banks. It is a calculation where, if you have plenty of equity, excellent credit but make 1 dollar less in income than what it takes to qualify based on their guidelines, you can’t get a loan! Your debt ratio cannot exceed 43 percent of your monthly income. That means if you make $5,000 per month, your overall monthly expenses cannot exceed $2,150. The approach we take as a Christian lender is different because we look at this more logically. We look at compensating factors like reserves. For example, the debt ratio may be high but if you have paid your bills on time and have assets like a 401k, IRA etc, we can still get your loan approved. We like to look at this as the “make sense” approach to underwriting and mortgages.
As Christians, we believe that honesty and communication throughout the mortgage process is even more important than the rate and loan itself. That is why at Fellowship Home Loans, as a Christian mortgage company, we feel it’s important to stay in contact correspondence with the borrower from beginning to end. There are too many companies out there that pass the file onto someone else or another department as if your loan was a game of hot potato! We look at this completely differently where as a Christian mortgage lender, we walk with you through every step of the process from beginning to end. This is a major reason why we close our loans in as little as 2-3 weeks opposed to the 2-3 months for traditional lenders. Simply put, Fellowship Home Loans is mortgage lending guided by Christian principles. As Proverbs 16:3 reads:
“Commit your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed.”