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Fairway Independent Mortgage is a leading mortgage lender that has more loan options than many other lenders. For those looking for specialized loans, such as mortgages for physicians or renovations, Fairway is a standout choice.
- Pros & Cons
- Key Takeaways
- Company Overview
Multiple government-backed mortgage options
Loans available for fixer-uppers
Offers mortgage options specifically for physicians
Does not disclose minimum credit score requirements online
Does not list rates or fees online
Loans serviced by third-party companies
- Fairway lends to borrowers nationwide.
- Some loan options can have down payment requirements as low as 0%.
- Repayment terms are 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years.
- Fairway operates approximately 400 branch locations in the U.S.
- Borrowers can pre-qualify for a loan online.
Founded in 1996, Fairway is an established mortgage lender with over 9,000 team members nationwide. As of the end of 2021, Fairway funded more than $72.5 billion in home mortgages.
Fairway recently introduced a new digital app—FairwayNow—that borrowers can use to apply for mortgages and manage their accounts online. Through the app, borrowers can pre-qualify for a loan within minutes, message their lender, upload documents, and track their loan status.
Details for conventional loans are below.
- Minimum Credit Score 620
- Maximum Debt-to-Income Ratio 47%
- Minimum Down Payment 3%
- Average Days to Closing 30–45 days
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation—more commonly known as just Fairway—is a national mortgage lender. For borrowers who want personalized assistance, Fairway could be a good choice over other companies. It offers in-person help with every step of the process, or you can work with a home loan advisor over the phone.
Third-party consumer rating agencies (like J.D. Power) rank Fairway highly for customer service, and it has a wide range of loan options. Whether a borrower wants a jumbo loan for their dream house or an FHA loan to buy a house with a small down payment, Fairway has options available.
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- Multiple government-backed mortgage options: Not all lenders offer government-backed loans like Federal Housing Administration (FHA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), or Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans. By contrast, Fairway offers all three types of government-backed loans, allowing customers to take advantage of programs with low down payment requirements.
- Loans available for fixer-uppers: Many lenders only offer mortgages for the cost of purchasing a property; if you want money for renovations, you’ll need to take out a separate loan. But Fairway has several renovation options, including FHA 203(k) loans that provide you with funding for both the repairs and the purchase of the property.
- Offers mortgage options specifically for physicians: New physicians may struggle to qualify for mortgages because they may have substantial amounts of debt or not enough money for a down payment. Fairway addresses this problem with its physician loan program. In select states, eligible physicians can finance up to 95% of a home’s price, and they don’t have to worry about mortgage insurance.
- Does not disclose minimum credit score requirements online: Unlike some other lenders that clearly list their minimum credit requirements, Fairway doesn’t disclose that information on its site. However, according to a customer support representative, most loan types require a minimum 620 credit score.
- Does not list rates or fees online: Fairway does not disclose its fees or mortgage rates online. The only way to view rates is to contact a Fairway mortgage professional.
- Loans serviced by third-party companies: Fairway doesn’t service the loans it originates. Instead, its mortgages are serviced by third-party companies like PNC, RoundPoint Mortgage, and NewRez. Customer service levels can vary by company, so it’s difficult to know what to expect until you’re assigned a loan servicer.
Types of Mortgage Loans Offered by Fairway
Fairway has more mortgage options than many other lenders, including government-backed loans and mortgages specifically designed for physicians. Although Fairway doesn’t disclose its credit score requirements online, a company spokesperson told us its minimum credit score is usually 620. For borrowers with scores below that, an FHA loan may be an option; it allows borrowers to qualify with scores as low as 580.
Borrowers can choose from the following options:
- Conventional: With a Fairway conventional mortgage, you can choose a loan term of 10 to 30 years, and you pick between a fixed-rate loan and an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).
- FHA: As a government-backed loan, an FHA mortgage allows you to buy a home with as little as 3.5% down.
- VA: Eligible military veterans can qualify for up to 100% financing with a VA loan.
- USDA: USDA loans are for low- to moderate income borrowers looking to buy a home in a rural area with a low down payment.
- Jumbo: The limit for conforming loans is $647,200 ($970,800 in designated high-cost areas). If you need to borrow more than that for the home you want to buy, you need a jumbo mortgage.
- Physician loans: Physician loans give doctors a low down payment option without mortgage insurance. And doctors can qualify within 90 days of a job offer’s start date.
- Renovation: Renovation loans can be used to purchase and repair a home in need of rehabilitation.
- Reverse mortgage: Borrowers 62 years of age or older can utilize a reverse mortgage to supplement their retirement income.
Fairway Features and Benefits
Fairway offers the following benefits to individuals shopping for a mortgage:
- CrediTools: When you apply for a Fairway mortgage, the loan officer will review your application and credit reports. If your credit needs work, the loan officer may refer you to a Fairway CrediTools team member. CrediTools is a free program where team members will develop a personalized credit improvement plan for you.
- Educational resources: On Fairway’s website you will find several educational resources and tools that can help you as you begin the home buying process. You can use the calculators to determine your monthly mortgage payments, and you can download the home buyer's guide for step-by-step tips.
Fairway operates over 400 branches nationwide. Use Fairway’s locator tool to find a branch near you for in-person assistance.
How to Apply for a Fairway Mortgage
Unlike some other lenders, Fairway doesn’t allow you to apply for a mortgage entirely online; instead, it prompts you to enter basic information about yourself—such as your name, email, phone number, and zip code—and details about your desired home. After you submit your information, a Fairway loan officer will contact you via phone or email to discuss your needs.
Once you have identified the type of loan you need, the loan officer will send you instructions on how to complete an application. You can also use Fairway’s document checklist to ensure you have all the necessary information and documentation handy.
Fairway doesn’t offer 24/7 customer support. However, you can reach customer service in several ways, including by phone, email, or by visiting a local branch. You can also use the FairwayNow app to submit your information and track your loan status.
- Phone: (877) 699-0353
- Email: CustomerService@fairwaymc.com
Phone hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. CST.
In general, Fairway has a positive reputation for customer service. The lender was rated 5th out of 23 lenders in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. The study evaluated customer satisfaction based on the application and approval processes, communication, loan closing, and loan offerings.
In Investopedia’s survey of 1,195 mortgage customers, Fairway did pretty well: The lender came in tenth out of 45 lenders.
It’s not uncommon for leading mortgage companies to face regulatory actions or lawsuits due to the complexity of the mortgage industry.
In 2018, Fairway entered into a settlement in a lawsuit brought by a former employee that alleged the lender had violated certain provisions of the California Labor Code and the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders.
When you take out a mortgage through Fairway, it’s important to know that Fairway isn’t your loan servicer. You will receive a notification from the lender informing you that your loan was transferred to another company. This other company is your loan servicer, and you will contact that company with issues or questions about your account. You’ll also receive instructions on how to make payments to that servicer and download loan documents.
Fairway has a variety of mortgages, but it has little information on its website about its terms, rates, and fees. And you have to work with a home loan advisor to apply for a mortgage.
Those looking for more details before they submit a loan application and those who want to apply online may want to consider using a lender like Better. Through Better, you can get pre-approved for a loan in as little as three minutes, and you can complete every step of the mortgage process online.
Better provides detailed information about its loan rates and fees online, including personalized breakdowns based on your desired home loan.
|Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation||Better|
|Types of Mortgages||Conventional FHA VA USDA Jumbo Doctor loans Renovation||Conventional FHA Jumbo|
|Average Time to Closing||30–45 days||32|
|JD Power Ranking||5/23||7/23|
Choosing a Mortgage Lender
Taking out a mortgage is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make, so it pays to take your time and do your homework. Before choosing a mortgage lender, consider the following variables:
- Annual Percentage Rate (APR): A mortgage APR reflects the interest rate, mortgage points, and other fees the lender charges on the loan.
- Loan Type: With both conventional and jumbo mortgages, interest rates can either be fixed or adjustable. Fixed-rate loans tend to have higher rates than adjustable rates, but they never change. By contrast, adjustable-rate loans can increase over time.
- Repayment Term: When you take out a mortgage you can choose the loan term you want. Lenders typically offer terms from 10 to 30 years. A shorter loan term means you’ll have a higher monthly payment, but you may qualify for a lower rate. By contrast, a longer loan term will give you a lower payment, but you will likely get a higher interest rate.
- Points: Points refer to the lender’s fees that are separate from the mortgage interest rate and down payment. Be sure to ask for the dollar value of the points so you know how much cash you’ll need.
- Down Payment: Mortgage lenders want to make sure you’re financially stable, so they usually require you to save a down payment before you can qualify for a mortgage. Traditionally, experts recommended a down payment of 20%. But there are options that allow you to qualify for a mortgage with just 3.5% down, and VA and USDA loans require 0%. Just keep in mind that options with lower down payment requirements will likely require private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Estimate your costs: When comparing mortgage options, use our mortgage calculator to see how factors like your down payment, interest rate, and loan term can affect your monthly payments and overall loan cost.
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is a reputable lender. It has received positive reviews from both customers and third-party consumer rating agencies, and it has a variety of loan options. It’s especially useful for borrowers looking for specific mortgage products, such as physician loans, jumbo mortgages, or renovation loans.
However, Fairway has limited information about its loans online, and borrowers have to work with a loan advisor to apply. For those just starting the home buying process, Fairway’s site may be too sparse on information to be helpful; it tends to be better for people who know exactly what kind of mortgage they want.
How We Review Mortgage Lenders
Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of mortgage lenders. We rated 45 mortgage lenders and collected nearly 1,500 data points, including information about the following:
- Quality of service (customer experience, online applications, benefits/grants, etc.)
- Operational features (state licensing coverage, number of loan officers, etc.)
- Loan types offered (fixed-rate, FHA, USDA, etc.)
- Accessibility (days to closing, minimum debt-to-income ratio, etc.)
We also conducted a survey of 1,195 mortgage borrowers to learn about the most important features from a customer perspective and how satisfied customers are with various lenders. Mortgage lenders were rated objectively in the categories above to help readers make informed decisions about home loans.
Read more in our full mortgage lender review methodology.