Great customer service is not one of its overall strong points of the mortgage servicing industry, and neither are celebrity endorsements. Churchill Mortgage can boast about having both, though these attributes apparently come at a cost. If you are looking for a mortgage, especially in the states surrounding the company’s headquarters in Tennessee, Churchill is known as a hub of educational resources. From an industry standpoint, Churchill offers much more in educational resources than many of its peers in the industry.

Who They Are

Churchill was founded in 1992 in Brentwood, Tennessee, by Lawson Hardwick III. Hardwick spent his early career in commercial and investment banking before he founded a condo conversion company that went on to become the largest in the country. Hardwick then went on to be a principal founder of the Franklin National Bank, which was later acquired by Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB).

Principal Sponsor to Dave Ramsey

Churchill may be best known for its relationship as a principal sponsor to the Dave Ramsey financial radio talk show, which is the third-highest syndicated show in the United States. Ramsey and Hardwick grew up in the same neighborhood and were friends before either of them founded their respective companies. Churchill is not in the top 124 spots on the residential mortgage servicers ranking as of the last available data for the third quarter of 2014. The company has over 300 employees, is licensed to service mortgages in most U.S. states and has branch locations in 16 states.

The company also offers customer service and educational tools on its website, including more than 15 specialized mortgage-industry guides and reports to help homeowners make the right choice. The company’s "Buying Your First Home" report has been downloaded over 100,000 times.

Mortgages Products Offered

Churchill offers one of the widest ranges of mortgage products among smaller mortgage companies. Specialized mortgage products by the company include no credit score loans, zero down loans, home equity refinance loans and debt consolidation loans. Another popular product besides its traditional fixed-rate and adjustable rate loans is the Mortgage Insurance Buster loan, which attempts to help homebuyers avoid costly mortgage insurance costs. The company also offers the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Federal Housing Authority (FHA) $100 Down Program in certain states, requiring only a $100 down payment for HUD-owned homes.

Churchill also has mortgage products that cover conventional mortgages with 5% down, FHA mortgages requiring 3.5% down, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) with 0% down and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) rural development program loans. The company does have an unprecedented on-site credit improvement team that actually works with customers to improve their credit and become eligible for a home loan.

Mortgage Rates

Similar to many home loan companies, Churchill does not post mortgage interest rates online. The company also does not post its fee structure for loan closings or minimum credit requirements online. If you are interested in obtaining a loan from Churchill, visit a branch near you or call a branch directly for rate quotes. The company does have an online live chat feature. However, the information available from the after-hours answering service for the feature is not as informative as a company representative. It is estimated that the top customer service and educational resources result in an increased interest rate of 0.5% over national averages.

What Consumers Are Saying

The company is not reviewed on major sites, but is listed as a Better Business Bureau (BBB) member, with a rating of A+, the highest rating possible, since 1995. The company has only had seven complaints filed with the BBB, all of which were settled amicably. According to Yelp's current recommended ratings, the company, reviewed 16 times in 2016, had a dismal two-star rating. Many of the complaints in 2016 refer to poor communication. However, since 2011, there are many more positive Yelp reviews for Churchill than negative.

If you are a first-time homebuyer, the resources at Churchill are outstanding and may help you understand the process a lot better, as long as you do not mind paying for the extra service and resources.

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