Citi Mortgage Review 2018
Ideal for borrowers looking for down payment options as low as 3%, without mortgage insurance. Also considers alternative credit data.
The Bottom Line: A large-scale lender with a full menu of home loan products. Discounts for Citibank customers.
Pros & Cons
- Low down payment options.
- Discounts for Citibank customers.
- Looks at alternative credit data like rent history and child support payments.
- Available in all 50 states.
- Charges application fee.
- Origination fees may vary.
- Can't complete loan online.
Citibank’s mortgage division — CitiMortgage — is a large-scale lender offering a comprehensive range of fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages for purchase and refinance.
Let’s see how CitiMortgage stacks up when it comes to making home loans.
You can start the application process with CitiMortgage in person, over the phone or online. If you start online, you can sign up for a free consultation with a loan officer, and you can get preapproved.
Before you can proceed with the online application, you have to begin with the bank’s loan choosing tool, CitiMortgage Selector, which will give you an idea of how much your loan will cost. You’ll enter information about the home you want to buy, including property type and the expected purchase amount, as well as how much you’d like to borrow and your credit score.
» MORE: Check your credit score for free
You are then presented with loan options based on the information you entered, along with current CitiMortgage rates and a breakdown of corresponding payment schedules, the cost of points and the estimated closing costs. You’ll choose which CitiMortgage option looks best to you; then, after you submit more personal information, a loan officer will help you narrow your choices.
» MORE: Use our mortgage calculator to find out your monthly mortgage payment.
Once you’re ready, you can fill out a loan application. You’ll provide the address of the property you want to purchase, your information, employment status, income and assets. If you have a co-borrower, you’ll provide the same information for this person. You’ll have to speak with a loan officer before you can complete the application process online, and you’ll be in touch with your loan officer from then on.
If at any time during the online application process you want to save and exit, you have to register with a user ID and password to return and complete the process. Registering for an account is the only way for you to keep track of your application online. Otherwise you’ll communicate with your loan officer and other CitiMortgage team members via phone or email. You’ll follow these same steps if you’re refinancing your mortgage loan.
With an online account, you’ll receive “high-level status information” about your application, according to Mark Rodgers, director of Citi public affairs. You can review items, including your loan estimate, and you can upload any documents you might be required to provide.
Debt-to-income ratio requirements vary by product and program. In general, 43% is the limit. “CitiMortgage offers programs with a variety of [credit] score minimums,” Rodgers says. “We also offer programs that provide for nontraditional credit.” A history of paying rent is considered nontraditional credit, for instance.
If you’re self-employed, you’ll provide information such as your federal tax returns from the past two years, and, if applicable, a current profit and loss statement showing year-to-date revenue and expenses.
Citi will fund loans only for single-family dwellings, condominiums, cooperatives and 2- to 4-unit homes. Your property must be in good shape and complete, meaning there can’t be current or unfinished construction, such as roof replacement, says Rodgers.
You’ll pay a $100 application fee and an origination fee that varies depending on where you live and what type of loan you take out.
CitiMortgage products and offers
CitiMortgage’s minimum loan amount is $10,000, and the maximum is $8 million for well-qualified buyers who meet Citi’s high-net-worth requirements, according to Rodgers.
The lender offers fixed-rate mortgages for 10, 15 and 30 years; with the 30-year loan, you can actually set the term anywhere from 21 to 30 years. It also offers adjustable-rate mortgages ranging from 10/1 ARMs to 1/1 ARMs, in which rates are fixed for 10 years or one year, respectively, but can change annually after that.
CitiMortgage’s low down payment mortgage options go beyond FHA and VA loans; its HomeRun loan program allows you to put down as little as 3% without the requirement that you pay private mortgage insurance. This loan has terms up to 30 years and comes with conventional interest rates, according to Rodgers. In most cases, to qualify you have to earn 80% or less than the median income in your area. In certain low- to moderate-income areas, however, the program is available regardless of your income. These loans typically go up to $453,100, but may go up to $679,650 in more expensive areas.
If you’re a Citibank customer, closing cost credits and rate discounts are available for whichever loan you choose, but there are requirements, including having a Citibank deposit account and setting up automatic monthly transfers of your mortgage payment from this account.
- Offers a full range of home loan products, including low down payment options.
- Considers alternative credit, including rent and child support payment history.
- Offers discounts for Citibank customers.
- Charges a $100 application fee.
- Charges varying origination fees.
- Not an entirely online experience; loan officer involvement is required to complete the process