Home Buying » Mortgage Lender Reviews » Academy Mortgage Review 2021
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Academy Mortgage Review 2021

We may receive compensation from companies that appear on this page. This may impact how and where products appear on a page (including, for example, the order in which they appear). It doesn’t affect our unbiased editors’ opinions. our opinions are our own.

In this Review

Who Should Consider Academy Mortgage?

Academy Mortgage is a lender who specializes in originating mortgage for new home purchases and loan refinances. They have been in business since 1988 and licensed to offer loans in 49 states and Washington D.C. To assist customers locally, the company has more than 250 branch offices throughout the country.

As a non-bank lender, Academy Mortgage is more likely to offer quick financing and competitive rates, since their processes and focus are all internally mortgage driven.  Academy Mortgage is also more likely to provide more affordable services. In fact, the company claims that it has average closing times that are significantly faster compared to the competition.

Academy Mortgage only provides mortgage services since it is not a bank. They do offer a comprehensive set of mortgage loan options. In fact, the company has an excellent reputation with an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. This rating is likely to be due to the flexible mortgage qualifications and the team of mortgage specialists who can help borrowers to find the ideal mortgage product for their specific requirements.

Academy mortgage review

On Academy Mortgage Website

Funding Options

– Fixed / Variable Mortgage
– Mortgage Refinancing
– Government Loans

Minimum Credit Score

620

PROS

CONS

Mortgage Products

As a lender with a sole focus on home loans, Academy Mortgage has a wide array of products. These include:

  • Fixed Rate Mortgages: Academy Mortgage offers fixed rate loans that have a term of 10 to 30 years. This type of product allows you to fix your monthly payment so that it will remain the same for the entire duration of your loan.
  • Adjustable Rate Mortgages: Adjustable rate mortgages have varying rates that are based on the current market conditions. When the base rate increases or drops, this will be reflected in your mortgage rate. While this may be beneficial when the rate drops, it can lead to uncertainty, as you won’t know what you need to budget from one year to the next. Academy Mortgage adjustable rate loans typically have a 30 year term.
  • FHA Loans: Academy Mortgage offers a variety of FHA loans, including 203B loans that are designed for purchase or refinancing a home, 203k renovation loans or streamline 203k loans. The company even offers FHA Energy Efficient loans that can help you finance making energy efficient upgrades to your home.
  • Jumbo Mortgages: These loans amount to more than the limits set by government sponsored entities. In 2020, the limit was $510, 400, but there is provision for higher limits in areas where housing is typically more expensive. For example, In California, the limit is $822,000. Academy Mortgages offers jumo loans providing both fixed rate and ARM options.
  • USDA Home Loans: These are loans backed by the US Dept of Agriculture that are designed to assist low and moderate income households to purchase properties in rural development areas. Academy Mortgages offers these types of loans with up to 102% financing including purchase price and guarantee fee.
  • State Housing Agency Loans: These loans are designed to support communities with low interest rate loans and down payment assistance to help low to moderate income families, disabled, elderly and underserved minority buyers.
  • VA Home Loans: Backed by the US Dept of Veteran Affairs, VA loans allow eligible buyers such as veterans, servicemen and women, and certain spouses access to attractive rates and terms, such as minimal down payment requirements.
  • Refinance Loans: Academy Mortgage offers refinance loans to help homeowners obtain a lower rate, lower monthly payment or access home equity.
  • Reverse Mortgage: Academy Mortgage also offers reverse mortgages for applicants age 62+ to release the equity in their home. These loans are insured by the FHA and allow you to take the funds as a monthly advance, line of credit or lump sum.

Academy Mortgage Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

The Homebuyer Education Tools

Academy Mortgage offers a variety of free education tools. The website features lots of videos, articles, infographics and other tools to help potential homebuyers to feel confident about home ownership, These resources cover all aspects of home buying from understanding lending terminology to navigating closing costs.

There is also a variety of calculators that can help you estimate how much your monthly payments could be, how much you could qualify for, and your potential savings from increasing your monthly payments. While these figures are only hypothetical, they can give you a good illustration of your potential finances.

These resources can help you before, during and after you complete the home buying process. 

Mortgage Application Process

Step 1:  Academy aims to make finding the right loan as easy as possible. You can use the loan decision tool to determine the right product for your circumstances.

Academy mortgage application process - 1

Step 2: Once you’re ready to proceed, you just need to enter your name, city and contact information into the form. 

Academy mortgage application process - 2

Step 3: You’ll then need to wait for Academy Mortgage to get back to you.

Academy mortgage application process - 3

Academy Mortgage aims to make the overall loan process as simple as possible. You can become prequalified for your loan and then search for your new home. Once you find a property and negotiate an agreement, you can begin the formal application process.

This will involve a home inspection and appraisal to determine the home value and if there are any larger issues with the property.

To complete your application, you will need to present documentation. These will help Academy determine your qualification for a loan and assign you an interest rate. This documentation includes:

  • Bank statements for the last three months
  • W2s and most recent tax returns
  • Pay stubs and proof of income
  • Records of your available assets
  • Residence history covering the past two years, for example rental agreements.

In some cases, you may also need to provide additional documentation. For example, if you’re self employed, you may need to show a balance sheet and profit and loss statement.

Your Academy Loan Officer will double check all the documentation to ensure that everything is present.

Once you submit the application and paperwork, the in house team of underwriters and processors will keep your loan officer up to date with your loan status. Academy Mortgage will also send you five videos at specific milestones during the process, so you understand what is happening during each stage. This includes documentation, appraisal, underwriting, closing and completion.

Reputation - Customer Ratings & Complaints

  • A+ on BBB: BBB assigns ratings from A+ (highest) to F (lowest). BB ratings are based on information in BBB files with respect to factors such as business's complaint history with BBB, type of business, time in business, transparent business practices and more.
  • 4.85/5  on BBB customers reviews (+400 reviews): BB customer reviews allow customers to post positive, negative or neutral reviews based on lender's experience.
  • 4.4/5 on Zillow (+25,000 reviews) Zillow is also an overall measurement of reviewer satisfaction, represented numerically from 1 to 5.
  •  J.D Power: We considered 2020 J.D. Power’s primary mortgage as well as J.D. Power’s claim satisfaction survey. 
  • J.D Power offers the most comprehensive and independent study of customer satisfaction. The study aims to help consumers and issuers to understand user opinions and ratings of the largest mortgage origination companies. It covers customer satisfaction, terms,  communication, transparency and more. Academy mortgage wasn't participated in the 2020 survey

J.D. Power U.S. Consumer Satisfaction Study 2020

Bottom Line

Academy Mortgage is a lender with a decent reputation. The company has numerous online resources and even has an app to help you manage your mortgage. This can help you to acquire the details you need to make informed decisions about which products are best for you and how to navigate the application process.

The company offers a variety of loan products to suit your unique circumstances. However, Academy does not allow you to complete the application process online. You can submit your contact details, but then you need to wait for a loan officer to contact you. So, if you prefer to complete paperwork online, this is not the company for you.

Mortgage Reviews Methodology

The Smart Investor’s selection of mortgage lenders for inclusion here was made based on our evaluation of the products and services that lenders offer to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. We also look at types of loans and what specific products are available. Finally, we look at the ability to get information online and to carry out online processes as well as customer service, rate information and complaints that have been filed.