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Cornerstone Home Lending offers the usual roundup of mortgage purchase loans, plus a construction-to-permanent loan that you won’t usually find at other mortgage companies. They also offer special assistance to first-time buyers.
Cornerstone’s reviews from Google and Facebook are mostly positive, too. But positive reviews aren’t the only factor to consider when you’re looking for a mortgage lender. You’ll also need to determine whether the lender has a loan product that meets your needs.
In this review:
Cornerstone Home Lending mortgage review
- First-time homebuyers
- Buyers with imperfect credit
- Tech-savvy buyers comfortable with online transactions
- Buyers purchasing a home in need of repairs
- Buyers having a new home built
Cornerstone has offices in 22 states and is licensed to operate in 41 states. They also offer many types of mortgage loans for home purchase.
Here are the different types of loans Cornerstone offers:
- Conventional: You’ll need a 5% down payment and a credit score of 640 for a conventional mortgage from Cornerstone. Putting 20% down lets you avoid mortgage insurance premiums.
- FHA: Buyers with less than 5% to put down and those who don’t qualify for conventional funding might get financing from a loan backed by the Federal Housing Authority. If you go the FHA route for a Cornerstone loan, you’ll pay an upfront funding fee, which you can roll into the loan, plus a mortgage insurance premium.
- 203(k) Rehab: The 203(k) rehab loan is another FHA-backed product Cornerstone offers. This loan piggybacks your mortgage loan to cover the cost of renovations.
- USDA: The U.S. Department of Agriculture guarantees loans for lower income buyers purchasing a home in locations the USDA designates as being rural. It’s a loose definition that includes many suburban locations. Although you can buy with no money down, you’ll have to pay an upfront guarantee fee plus an annual fee.
- VA: Veterans Affairs-backed loans are a good choice for vets and their qualified family members. You can buy with $0 down once you have your Certificate of Eligibility.
- Jumbo: Cornerstone offers jumbo loans for buyers who need to borrow more than a conventional loan allows. Although the “conforming” limit varies somewhat by location, it generally refers to loans up to $50,400. Above that, you’ll need a jumbo loan.
- Construction-to-Permanent (C2P): Cornerstone’s construction-to-permanent loan begins as a construction loan to finance the cost of building your new home. The loan converts to a regular mortgage near the end of the construction process.
Although Cornerstone doesn’t have special home loans for first-time homebuyers, its loan officers will investigate whether you qualify for assistance from a state program. The Maryland Mortgage Program, for example, provides down payment assistance and tax credits for eligible first-time buyers.
Here’s a look at Cornerstone Home Lending mortgage purchase loans:
|Conventional, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, jumbo, construction-to-permanent|
|10, 15, 20, 30 years|
|10, 15, 20, 30 years|
|Rates and fees||APRs and fees vary by loan, term, amount, and location, plus buyer's qualifications.
|Min. down payment||
Find Out: How to Save for a House
Cornerstone Home Lending mortgage refinancing review
Cornerstone Home Lending doesn’t offer home equity loans, but you can refinance your home with a new first mortgage, and in the process, reduce your interest rate or change the term of your current loan.
Although Cornerstone does offer mortgage refinancing, they don’t mention the details on their website and never got back to us when we reached out about specific refinancing products. But to make things easier, you can use Credible to quickly compare options from other refinancing lenders without having to reach out to them individually.
How Cornerstone Home Lending can improve
Because the lender issues your mortgage pre-approval and processes, underwrites, and funds its own loans, Cornerstone can help you avoid unnecessary delays to help you close on time. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have flaws.
Here are a few things Cornerstone can improve on to help customers:
- Focus more on transparency: Cornerstone’s main website gives no details about purchase loan terms, requirements, or rates. You won’t even find a list of refinance loans offered. It would be better if they made these more widely and publicly available.
- Improve customer service: You’ll get to speak with an operator right away when you call Cornerstone. But once your call is transferred, you might wind up in limbo. When we reached out, our messages left with the corporate office and several branch offices were never returned.
- Offer home equity loans: Although home equity loans often have higher interest rates, they don’t have the closing costs refinance loans have — so they can be a better choice for many homeowners.
Compare multiple lenders first
Whether you’re just learning how to buy a house or you’re an experienced homeowner looking to refinance, it makes sense to take the positive reviews of Cornerstone Home Lending into account. But you’ll need to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best loan for your needs, at the best rate available.
Although Cornerstone is not one of our partner lenders, Credible makes it easy to compare mortgage rates from other lenders on our platform. You can compare all of our partner lenders in the table below at the same time (with just one form) instead of having to fill out a form for every lender.