Academy Mortgage is an independently owned company whose sole business is mortgage lending. The company operates as a direct lender and offers services at each stage of the mortgage process, including loan processing, underwriting, closing and funding. The following is an overview of the firm, a description of its mortgage products and rates, and a review of its customer satisfaction scores.

What Academy Mortgage Is

Academy Mortgage, which has its headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, was started by Duane Shaw in 1988. By 2000, the company had grown to nine branch offices nationwide and had licenses to originate loans in four states. In 2009, the company named Adam Kessler as president, and in 2010, CoreLogic named the company the number one independent purchase lender in the United States. In 2014, after acquiring the assets of Republic Mortgage, the company expanded to 200 branches and 2,100 employees nationwide. As of May 2016, the company had more than 225 branch offices across the U.S. and licenses for loan origination in 49 states and the District of Columbia.

Mortgage Products Offered

Academy Mortgage offers nine types of loan products: conventional mortgages, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) rural housing loans, Veterans Administration (VA) loans, FHA 203(k) Renovation Loans, state housing loans, refinancing products, FHA streamline refinancing and Golden State Finance Authority (GSFA) platinum program loans.

Conventional mortgages include both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMS) and are designed for borrowers with excellent credit scores and the ability to make 5 to 20% down payments. The company offers 30-, 25-, 20-, 15- and 10-year fixed-rate mortgages. Academy Mortgage's ARM offerings vary by the amount of time the loan remains fixed. The company offers 10/1, 7/1, 5/1and 3/1 ARMs. Academy Mortgage also provides jumbo loans within the conventional mortgage category. Jumbo loans are for buyers purchasing luxury or high-priced homes.

FHA loans are designed for borrowers who have lower credit scores and lack the ability to make substantial down payments. USDA rural housing loans are designed for borrowers who are purchasing homes in defined rural development areas. VA loans serve the needs of active-duty military and veterans nationwide. VA loans require no down payments and no mortgage insurance. FHA 203(k) Renovation Loans are designed for buyers of properties that require extensive work. These loans include funds for repairing and remodeling properties. State housing loans provide mortgages for borrowers from low- and moderate-income groups, certain minority groups, people with disabilities and the elderly.

Academy Mortgage offers refinance products for qualified borrowers with excellent credit scores as well as for borrowers with lower credit scores who qualify under FHA guidelines. The GSFA platinum program is for low- and moderate-income borrowers in California who need help with down payments.

Mortgage Rates

Academy Mortgage advises that it evaluates each customer's financial situation and offers a comparison of a variety of suitable mortgage options. The company does not provide specific rate information on its website, but does offer online lending scenarios for several of its popular programs, including conventional, FHA, VA and USDA loans.

For example, the conventional loan scenario uses a $200,000 purchase price, a loan amount of $190,000, a 5% down payment and a 30-year fixed loan with a 4% interest rate and a 4.938% annual percentage rate (APR). This loan scenario requires a minimum 3% down payment, and a maximum seller's assist of between 3 and 6%. This loan might require private mortgage insurance, depending on the borrower's financial situation. The company compares this scenario on its website to other popular loan options. However, since loan options vary by state, and since individual factors may affect the availability of some products, Academy Mortgage advises customers to contact the company for more information.

What Consumers Are Saying

Academy Mortgage receives an A rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Utah. The company received 221 customer reviews through the BBB, of which 214 customers rated their experiences as positive, one rated his experience as neutral, and six rated their experiences as negative.

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