Stearns Lending, LLC (Stearns) was founded to help homebuyers and homeowners achieve their financial goals. Reviews of Stearns give the company high marks for making the loan process easy for customers, even if your situation is more complex.
Stearns also partners with real estate agents, home builders, and financial and legal professionals to provide customers with a comprehensive experience.
In this post:
- Stearns Lending mortgage purchase review
- Stearns Lending mortgage refinancing review
- How Stearns Lending can improve
- Compare multiple lenders first
Stearns Lending mortgage purchase review
- First-time homebuyers
- Buyers wanting to finance a fixer-upper
- Doctors and dentists
As far as types of mortgage loans, Stearns offers conventional, government-backed, and jumbo loans:
- Conventional loans: You’ll need a minimum credit score of 620 to take out a conventional loan with Stearns.
- FHA loans: Buyers with lower scores can consider a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA loans have looser eligibility criteria, including a minimum credit score of 580 to qualify for a 3.5% minimum down payment.
- VA and USDA: Other home loans include 0% down payment options like Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department of Agriculture loans.
- Jumbo loans: Stearns offers jumbo loans for buyers purchasing a high-priced home or one in a high-cost area that doesn’t qualify for conventional financing. The minimum credit score for jumbo loans is 660 with a 20% down payment or 680 with 10% down.
- FHA 203(k) rehab loan: Stearns offers an FHA 203(k) rehab loan to simplify the process of purchasing a home that needs repairs. A 203(k) loan lets you finance the purchase and the renovations using the same loan. Qualified renovations run the gamut from aesthetic improvements to pre-rehabilitation demolition.
In addition to those above, Stearns offers two custom mortgage loans:
- Smart Start: This is a special Stearns loan program that gives first-time homebuyers a lower payment on their fixed-rate loan for the first two years.
- Stearns’ Doctor Loan: This loan makes it easier for doctors and dentists to qualify for home financing. This loan requires just 5% down and excludes some student loan payments from the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio. This makes it easier to keep your DTI ratio below the loan program’s maximum.
Here’s a detailed look at Stearns home purchase loans:
|Conventional, FHA, FHA 203(k), VA, USDA, jumbo, Stearns Smart Start, Doctor Loan
|Rates and fees
|APR depends on loan type, term, and amount, as well as buyer’s qualifications.
|Fees, including appraisal fees, vary by state.
|Min. down payment
Stearns Lending mortgage refinancing review
- Homeowners age 62 and up considering a reverse mortgage
- Borrowers with an existing FHA or VA loan
- Homeowners who need financing to repair their home
Refinancing your mortgage into a loan with a lower interest rate or a shorter term can reduce your payments or reduce the amount of interest you pay over the life of your loan. You can refinance into a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage — and even cash out equity if you qualify.
Along with conventional and jumbo loans, here’s a rundown of Stearns other refinancing options:
- Streamline options: Borrowers with VA or FHA loans can use the Streamline option to simplify their mortgage refinance application and close on the new loan more quickly.
- In the case of a VA refinance, you can cash out equity for any reason you want.
- Home Equity Conversion Mortgage: Stearns also offers home equity conversion mortgages, or reverse mortgages, for qualified homeowners age 62 and up. A HECM lets you draw from your equity with no obligation to repay the loan as long as you live in your home.
- FHA 203(k): In the event your current home needs renovations, an FHA 203(k) limited or full renovation loan might be the way to go.
Here’s more detail on Stearns mortgage refinance loans:
|Conventional, jumbo, 203(k), FHA Streamline, VA Streamline, VA cash-out
|10 to 30 years
|APR depends on loan type, term, and amount, as well as, buyer’s qualifications.
|Fees, including appraisal fees, vary by state.
How Stearns Lending can improve
Stearns offers a wide range of products and has good reviews, but here’s how the company could improve:
- Be more transparent: You won’t find information about rates or fees on the Stearns website unless you fill out a form with your contact information.
- Make branch offices easier to find: Stearns has branch offices in 23 states, but to find one, you’ll have to enter a zip code within a very short distance. Outside of that narrow area, the locator displays a phone number for the national sales office.
Find Out: How Much It Costs to Buy a Home
Compare multiple lenders first
Stearns reviews are generally very positive, and the lender has programs geared to a wide range of borrowers. But it makes sense to shop around for the best rates before you apply for a loan.
Stearns isn’t one of our partner lenders, but you can use Credible to fill out a single form in 2 minutes and compare prequalified rates from other lenders.