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CitiMortgage Lender Review | Mortgage Rates, Mortgage News and Strategy : The Mortgage Reports


Overview

With its headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, CitiMortgage is a member of Citigroup. Its better-known counterpart is CitiBank.

That group has a global presence and is the world’s biggest issuer of credit cards. However, its home lending arm is much less dominant. Citi has actually been cutting back on mortgage lending and servicing since 2018.

Perhaps because of its reduced focus on mortgages, Citi tends to have slightly higher interest rates than other big lenders.

However, CitiMortgage has good customer satisfaction scores. And existing Citi account holders can get discounts on mortgage rates and closing costs.

Read on to see CitiMortgage rates and fees, and learn about the pros and cons of getting a home loan from Citigroup.


Compare CitiMortgage rates

Mortgage rates from CitiMortgage tend to be a little higher than average. At least, compared to other big-name lenders and banks.

But it’s important to note that sample rates provided by CitiMortgage don’t include discount points, which let you pay more up front for a lower rate. Lower estimates from Quicken and Chase do include discount points.

Make sure you compare apples-to-apples quotes from lenders when you’re ready to buy. That way, you can balance rates and fees and find the cheapest mortgage overall.

30-year fixed-rate mortgage estimates at major banks

 
CitiMortgage
Quicken Loans
Wells Fargo
Chase
Interest Rate 1
4.00% 3.99% 3.750% 3.625%
APR 2
4.076% 4.258% 3.8934% 3.712%
Discount Points 3
0.0 2.0 0.0 1.0
Monthly P&I Payment
$917 $916 $889 $876

We compared Citi mortgage rates side-by-side with the biggest banks and lenders in the U.S. We found that its rates and monthly payments are a little higher than average. However, average rates can differ based on the types of clients and programs a lender specializes in.

Rates shown here are current as of 11/5/2019. Monthly principal and interest payments are based on a home price of $240,000 and down payment of 20% for a home located in Washington. 

These numbers are a snapshot meant for general comparison only. Your own mortgage costs will vary depending on your loan, your finances, the economy and other factors

Compare personalized rates from major lenders. Start here (Nov 10th, 2019)

CitiMortgage review for 2019

CitiMortgage says it’s “dedicated to making the dream of homeownership come true for a wide range of customers and partners across the country every day.”

The company’s customer satisfaction scores show that it’s achieving that goal, at least for some. It has above-average satisfaction and few complaints compared to other lenders.

At the same time, CitiMortgage interest rates are slightly higher than average, at least at the time of writing this review.

And fees may be a little higher, too. Citi typically charges an application fee and may levy another for origination.

None of this means you can’t get a good deal from Citi. But you do have to read your loan estimate carefully to make sure your upfront costs don’t run away from you.

And as always, compare rates from a few different lenders to make sure Citi mortgage rates and costs are competitive

Working with CitiMortgage

CitiMortgage scores well for customer satisfaction. Most of its website seems geared toward helping you “find a loan officer” or “request a call,” which suggests Citi puts an emphasis on person-to-person communication for setting up mortgage loans.

That said, there are also some online tools available. While you can’t complete an application wholly online, the CitiMortgage website lets you upload documents and access your loan estimate at any time.

CitiMortgage online form, from CitiMortgage review by The Mortgage Reports

Citi offers little loan information online. You’ll have to request a phone call from a Citi rep to learn more about your home loan options. Image: CitiMortgage

As for flexibility, CitiMortgage credit requirements are not especially lenient. But the bank is prepared to consider mitigating factors for credit that many other lenders ignore. People with scant credit history might be able to rely more heavily on things like rent payments to qualify for a mortgage.

The bank also states that “new and existing Citi customers may qualify for lower interest rates or discounted closing costs on a mortgage.” So current customers have a better shot at getting a great deal from Citi.

Finally, we’ll note that Citi is a much smaller player in the mortgage market than it used to be.

It’s stopped “servicing” loans (managing its own portfolio), and is “originating” (setting up) fewer mortgages than it once did. This might not make a difference to you. But it may mean Citi is less focused on its mortgage business than a few years ago.

CitiMortgage customer service reviews

What sort of experience are you likely to enjoy or endure as a CitiMortgage customer?

Federal regulator the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) maintains a database of complaints against all lenders. And when it comes to mortgages, Citi (listed as Citibank NA), does pretty well compared to most.

In 2018, only 64 complaints were logged in the “applying for a mortgage or refinancing an existing mortgage” and “closing on a mortgage” categories.

Company
Mortgage
Originations 4
CFPB Complaints 5
Complaints per
1,000 mortgages 6
2018 JD Power
Rating 7
CitiMortgage
82,594 67 0.80 840/1,000
Quicken Loans
396,000 171 0.43 876/1,000
Wells Fargo
312,000 419 1.34 817/1,000
Chase
155,000 202 1.30 834/1,000

Some of this will be down to the smaller number of loans Citi originates. Less mortgage business usually means fewer mortgage complaints.

However, some of Citi’s success seems to be a result of good customer service.

The company did well in the J.D. Power 2018 Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. It ranked tenth out of 23, scoring 840/1,000. That was above the industry average of 836. And it means Citi beat some famous names, including Chase, SunTrust, Bank of America, and U.S. Bank.

So, even if its parent group is leaning out of the mortgage market, CitiMortgage itself is doing a good job of keeping customers happy.

Mortgage loan products at CitiMortgage

CitiMortgage has a pretty complete loan portfolio. So there’s a high chance it will offer the type of mortgage you want.

The main thing missing from Citi’s portfolio is USDA loans. Those are backed by the United States Department of Agriculture, and offer home loans for low- and moderate-income buyers in many rural and suburban areas. You’ll have to go elsewhere if you want a USDA loan.

For others, your loan choices from CitiMortgage might include:

  • Fixed-rate loans— Conventional, fixed-rate mortgages have terms of 10, 15 or 20, or 30 years. Your interest rate is fixed for that whole term
  • Adjustable-rate loans — Adjustable-rate mortgages have an initial fixed-rate period of 3, 5, 7 or 10 years. After that, your rate floats with the market
  • FHA loans —Federal Housing Administration mortgages (FHA loans) have down payments as low as 3.5 percent and flexible credit requirements
  • VA loans — VA mortgages are backed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. They have zero down payment and no continuing mortgage insurance payments
  • Jumbo loans — For those requiring a bigger mortgage than the $484,350 cap on conforming loans for single-family dwellings in most areas

In addition to these five options, Citi offers a proprietary mortgage product called “HomeRun.” With this loan, you can make a down payment of as little as 3 percent of the purchase price. And you won’t be bothered with mortgage insurance.

CitiMortgage HomeRun loan: Low down payment and no mortgage insurance

The CitiMortgage “Home Run” loan is a little more flexible than its other options. This might be particularly attractive to those who wish to take advantage of Citi’s unusual stance on creditworthiness. Remember: Citi is open to considering alternative credit measures for people with less robust credit histories.

To be clear: If you have missed or late payments on your credit report, or have maxed out your plastic recently, you’ll still struggle to get approved for a mortgage with Citi.

But if you have a low score because you haven’t borrowed much in recent years, that may be less of a barrier than with other lenders.

Providing you can show that you’ve paid your rent, child support and other regular commitments promptly, the bank may be willing to take that into account. And that’s unusual in the mortgage industry.

Where can you get a mortgage with CitiMortgage?

CitiMortgage Inc. NMLS ID: 413108

If you’re lucky enough to live near one of Citi’s 700 branches nationwide, you can opt to apply for your mortgage across a desk in a brick-and-mortar location.

However, those locations are mostly in the biggest urban areas. For example, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City are well served. But many — perhaps most — Americans live too far from a branch to make face-to-face applications practical.

CitiBank Branch Locations, CitiMortgage review from The Mortgage Reports

CitiBank branch locations are limited. Image: BankBranchLocator.com

This won’t bother customers who prefer to make their applications online. But Citi’s lack of an end-to-end online application process might.

At some point, you’re inevitably going to be making and receiving calls with loan officers. However, you can upload documents securely using the Citi website, which is quicker than mail service.

Really, the choice comes down to personal preference about how you’d like to connect with your mortgage lender.

Is Citi the best mortgage lender for you?

Citi’s mortgage application process is not the most streamlined. And its rates are not usually the lowest. But remember, mortgage rates vary widely from person to person. Citi might still have the cheapest home loan for you.

That’s especially true for existing Citi customers. CitiBank offers mortgage rate deals and savings on closing costs for current account holders.

The most important thing is to compare rates and fees from a few different lenders. If you’re interested in working with Citi, see how it stacks up against other mortgage companies before you make a final decision.

Compare personalized rates from major lenders. Start here (Nov 10th, 2019)