Freedom Mortgage Review for 2022

Freedom Mortgage specializes in VA loans, but offers other types that cater to a range of customers. Learn more in this Freedom Mortgage review.

Freedom Mortgage
Minimum down payment0%
Minimum credit score550
Loan Products Offered

Conventional mortgages
VA mortgages
FHA mortgages
USDA mortgages

Best Features

  • Lower rates, costs, and fees than many
  • Helpful if you have a smaller down payment or damaged credit
  • Experts in VA loans

Drawbacks

  • Must be comfortable with working with lender over the phone
  • Little transparency about mortgage rates on the website

Overview

Freedom Mortgage is licensed to lend in all 50 states, plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Freedom has a strong focus on helping military service members and veterans, and it’s an expert in VA mortgage and VA refinance.

However, Freedom isn't limited to VA loans. It also offers conventional, FHA, and USDA mortgages to appeal to a broad range of homeownership goals.

Does this make Freedom the best mortgage lender for you? Read on to find out.


Freedom Mortgage rates

On the surface, Freedom Mortgage rates are lower than many. But for context, this lender underwrites a lot of VA loans, which typically come with lower interest rates than other types of mortgages. So its average is skewed downward.

But many of its other mortgage products may have higher rates because they’re aimed at less creditworthy borrowers. So Freedom’s average mortgage rates look pretty good when you allow for that.

Average mortgage rates at major lenders

Freedom MortgageRocket MortgageWells FargoPennyMac
Avg 30-Yr Interest Rate, 202112.66%3.00%3.14%2.87%
Median Total Loan Costs, 20211$3,880$4,670$3,600$5,870
Median Origination Fee, 20211$0$2,430$1,330$1,520

Average rate and fee data sourced from public rate and fee records required by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

Average mortgage rates in the table are from 2021 (the most recent data available), so they don’t reflect what you’ll be offered today. However, they can give you an idea of how competitive Freedom Mortgage rates are compared to other major lenders. You’ll need to speak with a loan officer to get your personalized rate quote.

Freedom Mortgage review for 2022

Freedom Mortgage Corporation was founded in 1990 in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, but it’s now headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida.

Even with its recent expansion, Freedom still genuinely seems keen to help less advantaged home buyers.

Credit score flexibility

Borrowers won’t necessarily need “good credit” to qualify for a Freedom Mortgage loan. You can get an FHA or VA loan with a credit score as low as 550. If you want a conventional loan or a USDA loan, you’ll likely need a FICO score of 620 to 640. Some refinance loans have credit score thresholds of 550, too.

This credit flexibility is likely due to Freedom’s willingness to consider “nontraditional credit histories.” That means it will take into account how good you are at making on-time payments for rent, utility bills, and so on. Those aren’t generally included in credit reports, so they don’t contribute to scores.

If your credit score is borderline, you may stand a better chance of getting your mortgage with Freedom than with many other lenders.

Down payment assistance

Freedom also works with many down payment assistance programs. So you may be able to get a grant or loan if your savings fall short of what you need for your down payment.

This can help conventional and FHA borrowers, who need to make a down payment of 3% to 3.5 percent. VA and USDA borrowers don’t need a down payment, so it’s less of an issue.

Philanthropy

It’s worth noting that Freedom Mortgage has a strong reputation for philanthropy.

It’s been especially generous to the USO, which supports military families. Indeed, its executives have been honored by a USO Chairman’s Award and The Philadelphia Inquirer for their contributions. And in June 2020 alone, it donated $1 million to Feeding America.

So if you get a great deal from Freedom Mortgage, you can also feel good about working with a company that truly gives back to communities.

Working with Freedom Mortgage

If you want an all-digital mortgage lender, Freedom might not be for you. There’s no online loan application, nor much of the IT functionality you find on some other lenders’ sites. Instead, Freedom focuses on phone calls or in-person conversations to help you set up your mortgage.

Still, Freedom’s website is helpful in lots of other ways. It provides educational resources and mortgage calculators that help you see how interest rates, down payment, property taxes, and homeowners insurance affect your monthly mortgage payment.

But the primary purpose of Freedom’s website is to help you find a local loan officer. And if you like a more traditional, personalized approach, this lender could be just your cup of tea.

Online Prequalification

Although you can’t submit a full mortgage application through its website, Freedom claims that home buyers can still “get prequalified online in five minutes or less.” Simply fill out a short form to get a prequalification letter for your home purchase.

Note that Freedom Mortgage prequalification is only available to those purchasing a single-family home or a primary residence.

Eagle Eye Program

Freedom Mortgage loan experts monitor the housing market, and they’ll let you know when your home value increases or when mortgage rates drop. Even those who are not current customers can opt in to receive Eagle Eye text messages.

Freedom Mortgage customer service reviews

Freedom Mortgage has fewer than one complaint for every thousand mortgages it underwrites, according to data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In addition, this lender receives good reviews from customers on Lending Tree and Zillow.

Customer service reviews at major lenders

CFPB Complaints, 20214Complaints Per 1,000 Mortgages, 20215J.D. Power Satisfaction Score, 20216
Freedom Mortgage2620.35829/1,000
Rocket Mortgage3760.24876/1,000
Wells Fargo4880.58832/1,000
PennyMac1170.20827/1,000

There’s no denying that Freedom was below the industry average in J.D. Power’s 2021 Customer Satisfaction Study. How much this bothers you will likely depend on your priorities. Many would prefer lower rates and fees to Cadillac-level service.

Meanwhile, on the plus side, Freedom has a respectable A+ ranking with the Better Business Bureau and is an accredited BBB business.

Mortgage options at Freedom

Freedom Mortgage offers a broad range of mortgage products and refinance loans. The company’s full portfolio of home purchase loans includes:

  • Conventional loans: A loan conforming to guidelines set by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. First-time home buyers can qualify with as little as 3% down payment and 620 minimum credit score. You can usually stop paying private mortgage insurance (PMI) after a few years
  • FHA loans: You can put down as little as 3.5% of the home purchase price. But you’ll have to pay mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) for the life of the loan until you sell or refinance. This is a popular loan type for first-time home buyers
  • VA loans: Ideal for veterans, active-duty service members, and others who are eligible. Zero down payment, easier credit, competitive rates, and no mortgage insurance
  • USDA loans: Another zero-down loan option starting, usually, at a 640 credit score. Only for homes in rural areas and suburbs designated eligible by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs): Fixed-rate loans offer regular monthly payments over the life of the loan term, often 15 or 30 years
  • Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs): Adjustable-rate loans have a fixed interest rate for the first few years. Then their rates can float up and down with wider interest rates

At the time of writing, Freedom has suspended its jumbo loan program, but check with the company to see if they’ve reinstated the program.

Still, most Freedom Mortgage customers will find the loan option they need at the top of the list.

Freedom specializes in helping veterans and service members, and VA loans are typically best for those borrowers. However, we appreciate that Freedom offers a wider variety of mortgages who don’t qualify for a VA loan, or want a different kind because it better suits their needs.

Refinancing with Freedom Mortgage

Homeowners who are looking to refinance their mortgage can choose between several options:

  • Rate-and-term refinance: Exchange your original mortgage with a new one that offers more favorable loan terms or a lower interest rate, including taking a lower interest rate to reduce your monthly mortgage payment or owning your home sooner
  • Cash-out refinance: Access your home equity by replacing your current mortgage with a new, larger loan amount, and then receiving the difference as a lump sum of cash
  • VA cash-out refinance: Freedom offers eligible borrowers up to 90% of their home equity
  • VA IRRRL: Also known as the Veterans Affairs Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan, this is a low-doc, low-cost refinance loan
  • FHA Streamline Refinance: Similar to the VA IRRRL, but designed for homeowners with an FHA loan
  • USDA Streamline Refinance: Another low-doc, low cost refinance loan for those with a USDA mortgage

Unfortunately, homeowners who want to tap their home equity without refinancing may need to look elsewhere. This underwriter doesn’t offer home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).

Just remember that you’ll pay another round of closing costs and lender origination fees when you refinance. So before deciding on what’s best for your financial situation, experiment with a refinance calculator to determine whether or not a mortgage refinance is worth it.

Similar to its home purchase rates, the lender doesn’t publish its refinance rates online. So you’ll need to reach out to a loan officer to see what refinance rates are available.

Where can I get a mortgage with Freedom Mortgage?

NMLS ID: 2767

Freedom Mortgage is licensed to lend in all 50 states, plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Freedom also has physical branches in several states including Arizona, California, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Virgina.

If you like to work with a human being when you do business, Freedom is for you. Because you’ll be working with a loan officer from the moment you apply through to closing on your home purchase or refinance.

Is that a downside? It depends on how much you like a wholly-online mortgage process.

Is Freedom Mortgage the best lender for you?

Freedom is a solid lender, especially for military borrowers who want to use a VA loan to buy or refinance.

Of course, you can’t ignore Freedom’s drawbacks. It won’t appeal to those who like the idea of an all-online experience.

But the company has a lot of strengths that many borrowers will find attractive. In particular, it offers very competitive rates and fees to the people who need them most: Those with financial or credit challenges.

If you think Freedom could be a good fit for you, check rates to see whether the company can make a competitive offer.

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