Citi Mortgage Review for 2020

CitiMortgage boasts good customer service scores and flexible lending options for mortgage customers. But its rates might be a little above average. Explore the pros and cons here.

Lending flexibility 4.0
Customer service 3.5
Ease of application 3.5
Online experience 3.0
Minimum down payment 3%
Minimum credit score 640
Loan Products Offered

Fixed-rate mortgage
Adjustable-rate mortgage
FHA mortgage
VA mortgage
Jumbo mortgage
"Home Run" mortgage

Best Features

  • Range of application options: in branch, online and over the phone
  • Existing deposit customers get a lower mortgage rate or discounted closing costs
  • Will consider alternative credit data, such as rent payments, if your credit report is thin

Drawbacks

  • Fewer than 700 branches nationwide, and most are in major metro areas
  • You cannot complete an entire mortgage application online
  • Mortgage rates aren't especially competitive

Overview

With its headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, CitiMortgage is a member of Citigroup. Its better-known counterpart is CitiBank.

That group has a global presence and is the world's biggest issuer of credit cards. However, its home lending arm is much less dominant. Citi has actually been cutting back on mortgage lending and servicing since 2018.

Perhaps because of its reduced focus on mortgages, Citi tends to have slightly higher interest rates than other big lenders.

However, CitiMortgage has good customer satisfaction scores. And existing Citi account holders can get discounts on mortgage rates and closing costs.

Read on to see CitiMortgage rates and fees, and learn about the pros and cons of getting a home loan from Citigroup.


Compare CitiMortgage rates

Mortgage rates from CitiMortgage tend to be a little lower than average. At least, compared to other big-name lenders and banks.

But rates vary by person, so you’ll need to request a personalized rate to see how CitiMortgage compares for you.

30-year fixed-rate mortgage estimates at major banks

 
CitiMortgage
Quicken Loans
Wells Fargo 
Chase
Interest Rate 1
3.25% 3.375% 3.375% 3.0%
APR 2
3.457% 3.617% 3.49% 3.093%
Mortgage Points 3
1.125 1.875 0.375 1.0
Monthly P&I Payment
$870 $884 $884 $843

Rates shown here are current as of 05/07/2020. Monthly principal and interest payments are based on a home price of $250,000 and down payment of 20% for a home located in Washington. 

These numbers are a snapshot meant for general comparison only. Your own mortgage costs will vary depending on your loan, your finances, the economy and other factors

Verify your new rate (Dec 2nd, 2020)

CitiMortgage review for 2020

CitiMortgage says it’s “dedicated to making the dream of homeownership come true for a wide range of customers and partners across the country every day.”

The company’s customer satisfaction scores show that it’s achieving that goal, at least for some. It has above-average satisfaction and few complaints compared to other lenders.

But as always, compare rates from a few different lenders to make sure Citi mortgage rates and costs are competitive

Working with CitiMortgage

CitiMortgage scores well for customer satisfaction. Most of its website seems geared toward helping you “find a loan officer” or “request a call,” which suggests Citi puts an emphasis on person-to-person communication for setting up mortgage loans.

That said, there are also some online tools available. While you can’t complete an application wholly online, the CitiMortgage website lets you upload documents and access your loan estimate at any time.

As for flexibility, CitiMortgage credit requirements are not especially lenient. But the bank is prepared to consider mitigating factors for credit that many other lenders ignore. People with scant credit history might be able to rely more heavily on things like rent payments to qualify for a mortgage.

The bank also states that “new and existing Citi customers may qualify for lower interest rates or discounted closing costs on a mortgage.” So current customers have a better shot at getting a great deal from Citi.

Finally, we’ll note that Citi is a much smaller player in the mortgage market than it used to be.

It’s stopped “servicing” loans (managing its own portfolio), and now only “originates” (sets up) new loans. But that hasn’t seemed to affect its quality. In fact, Citi’s JD Power customer scores improved from 2018 to 2019.

CitiMortgage customer service reviews

What sort of experience are you likely to receive as a CitiMortgage customer?

Federal regulator the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) maintains a database of complaints against all lenders. And when it comes to mortgages, Citi (listed as Citibank NA), does pretty well compared to most.

In 2019, only 53 complaints were logged in the “applying for a mortgage or refinancing an existing mortgage” and “closing on a mortgage” categories.

Company
Mortgage
Originations 2019 4
CFPB Complaints 2019 5
Complaints per
1,000 mortgages 6
2019 JD Power
Rating 7
CitiMortgage
86,213 53 0.61 859/1,000
Quicken Loans
774,900 187 0.24 880/1,000
Wells Fargo
1,026,800 342 0.33 837/1,000
Chase
527,600 188 0.36 850/1,000

Some of this will be down to the smaller number of loans Citi originates. Less mortgage business usually means fewer mortgage complaints.

However, some of Citi’s success seems to be a result of good customer service.

The company did well in the J.D. Power 2019 Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. It ranked 4th out of 20, scoring 859/1,000. That was above the industry average of 836. And it means Citi beat some famous names, including Chase, SunTrust, Bank of America, and U.S. Bank.

So, even if its parent group is leaning out of the mortgage market, CitiMortgage itself is doing a good job of keeping customers happy.

Mortgage loan products at CitiMortgage

CitiMortgage has a pretty complete loan portfolio. So there’s a high chance it will offer the type of mortgage you want.

The main thing missing from Citi’s portfolio is USDA loans. Those are backed by the United States Department of Agriculture, and offer home loans for low- and moderate-income buyers in many rural and suburban areas. You’ll have to go elsewhere if you want a USDA loan.

For others, your loan choices from CitiMortgage might include:

  • Fixed-rate loans— Conventional, fixed-rate mortgages have terms of 10, 15 or 20, or 30 years. Your interest rate is fixed for that whole term
  • Adjustable-rate loans — Adjustable-rate mortgages have an initial fixed-rate period of 3, 5, 7 or 10 years. After that, your rate floats with the market
  • FHA loans —Federal Housing Administration mortgages (FHA loans) have down payments as low as 3.5 percent and flexible credit requirements
  • VA loans — VA mortgages are backed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. They have zero down payment and no continuing mortgage insurance payments
  • Jumbo loans — For those requiring a bigger mortgage than the $510,400 cap on conforming loans for single-family dwellings in most areas

In addition to these five options, Citi offers a proprietary mortgage product called “HomeRun.” With this loan, you can make a down payment of as little as 3 percent of the purchase price. And you won’t be bothered with mortgage insurance.

The CitiMortgage HomeRun loan

The CitiMortgage “Home Run” loan is a little more flexible than its other options. This might be particularly attractive to those who wish to take advantage of Citi’s unusual stance on creditworthiness. Remember: Citi is open to considering alternative credit measures for people with less robust credit histories.

To be clear: If you have missed or late payments on your credit report, or have maxed out your plastic recently, you’ll still struggle to get approved for a mortgage with Citi.

But if you have a low score because you haven’t borrowed much in recent years, that may be less of a barrier than with other lenders.

Providing you can show that you’ve paid your rent, child support and other regular commitments promptly, the bank may be willing to take that into account. And that’s unusual in the mortgage industry.

Verify your home buying eligibility (Dec 2nd, 2020)

CitiMortgage FAQ

Does Citibank do FHA loans?

Yes, Citibank does FHA loans. FHA mortgages are backed by the Federal Housing Administration. They let you buy a house with just 3.5% down, have favorable mortgage rates, and typically allow lower credit scores than other loans. However, Citibank typically requires a credit score in the mid-600s to get a mortgage. So if your score is in the 580-640 range you may want to look elsewhere for an FHA loan.

What are Citibank mortgage rates?

Citibank mortgage rates tend to be a little below average compared to other major lenders. In 2019, Citi’s average 30-year mortgage rate was just 3.80%, according to self-reported data. For comparison, Quicken’s average 30-year rate for 2019 was 4.16%, Wells Fargo’s was 4.22%, and Chase Bank’s was 4.22%. Of course, mortgage rates are different for every borrower. So get a custom rate quote from Citibank to see if it’s affordable for you.   

Are Citibank and CitiMortgage the same company?

Citibank and CitiMortgage are both owned by Citigroup. So yes, they are two different branches of the same company. Citibank handles things like credit cards and deposit accounts, while CitiMortgage focuses on home lending.

Where is CitiMortgage located?

CitiMortgage is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, and has physical branches around some of the biggest cities in the U.S. For those who don’t live near a branch, it’s possible to get a Citibank mortgage in all 50 states by applying online or over the phone.

Is CitiMortgage going out of business?

CitiMortgage is not going out of business. It still offers mortgage and refinance options to borrowers. In 2017, Citibank did announce it would stop servicing mortgages, which simply means the loans it creates will be sold to and managed by a different company.

So if you get a mortgage from Citi, you’ll ultimately make payments to a different servicing company — but that won’t affect your loan in any other way.

Who took over CitiMortgage?

As part of its transition out of mortgage servicing (see the question above), Citimortgage sold the remaining mortgages in its portfolio to New Residential Mortgage and Cenlar.

These two mortgage servicers now manage the bulk of mortgages that were formerly owned by Citi. So if you got a mortgage loan from Citibank, there’s a good chance your customer service and loan payments are handled by either New Residential or Cenlar.

Where can you get a mortgage with CitiMortgage?

CitiMortgage Inc. NMLS ID: 413108

If you’re lucky enough to live near one of Citi’s 700 branches nationwide, you can opt to apply for your mortgage across a desk in a brick-and-mortar location.

However, those locations are mostly in the biggest urban areas. For example, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City are well served. But many — perhaps most — Americans live too far from a branch to make face-to-face applications practical.

CitiBank Branch Locations, CitiMortgage review from The Mortgage Reports

CitiBank branch locations are limited. Image: BankBranchLocator.com

This won’t bother customers who prefer to make their applications online. But Citi’s lack of an end-to-end online application process might.

At some point, you’re inevitably going to be making and receiving calls with loan officers. However, you can upload documents securely using the Citi website, which is quicker than mail service.

Really, the choice comes down to personal preference about how you’d like to connect with your mortgage lender.

Is Citi the best mortgage lender for you?

Citi’s mortgage application process is not the most streamlined. And its rates are not usually the lowest. But remember, mortgage rates vary widely from person to person. Citi might still have the cheapest home loan for you.

That’s especially true for existing Citi customers. CitiBank offers mortgage rate deals and savings on closing costs for current account holders.

The most important thing is to compare rates and fees from a few different lenders. If you’re interested in working with Citi, see how it stacks up against other mortgage companies before you make a final decision.

Compare personalized rates from major lenders. Start here (Dec 2nd, 2020)

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Sources:

  1. Average mortgage rates and fees sourced from self-reported data mortgage lenders are required to file under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Rates and fees shown reflect the previous year’s data and may not align with today’s mortgage rates
  2. Monthly principal and interest payments calculated using TheMortgageReports.com mortgage calculator. Payments shown are based on a $200,000 loan amount and assume a “very good” credit score. Property taxes and homeowners insurance are not included. Your own monthly payment will vary
  3. Number of mortgage originations for the previous year sourced from self-reported data mortgage lenders are required to file under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act
  4. CFPB Complaints reflect the number of mortgage origination or closing-related complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for the previous year
  5. Complaints per 1000 mortgages reflect the number of official complaints filed against a lender with the CFPB for the previous year, compared to the lender’s total number of mortgage originations for the previous year
  6. JD Power Rating reflects the company’s customer satisfaction score according to JD Power’s most recent Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. Survey respondents score their lenders in four areas: application/approval process, communication, loan closing, and loan offerings