AimLoan: Competitive Rates and Flexible Pricing
AimLoan is a good choice for borrowers with above-average credit scores who don’t mind managing their mortgage application online. Borrowers who are approved through AimLoan enjoy the lender’s competitive rates and flexibility. However, borrowers with lower credit scores may have trouble qualifying because of the lender’s lack of government-sponsored loan programs and adherence to Fannie Mae’s minimum credit standards.
In our experience, AimLoan is more transparent than other lenders: its website allows you to obtain preliminary quotes for mortgages across a wide variety of different point and rate structures, all without ever having to register for an account. Additionally, AimLoan’s guaranteed closing costs policy eliminates one of the hidden expenses associated with financing a home, provided you purchase third-party services through its affiliates. Finally, AimLoan also gives approved borrowers a price match guarantee, a rarely seen feature that ensures you'll get the best mortgage deal available.
How Do AimLoan Mortgages Compare?
We found that AimLoan’s mortgage rates were significantly lower than comparable quotes from traditional lenders. Our conversation with a loan officer revealed that the company charges lower margins for each mortgage and incurs less overhead because of its smaller size and lack of brick-and-mortar locations. The officer claimed that these practices allow AimLoan to charge less for each mortgage originated.
To verify its claim, we compared AimLoan’s 30-year mortgage quote with those of the three largest U.S. banks, based on a $200,000 home purchase in Pennsylvania with a 20% down payment. You can also use our mortgage quote tool above to find out what rates currently look like for your loan amount and neighborhood.
30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Estimates
|AIMLoan||Bank of America||Chase||Wells Fargo|
Excludes prepaid interest, mortgage insurance and property taxes. Also excludes optional owner’s title insurance
For a 30-year fixed conventional mortgage, AimLoan quoted us a rate of 3.75%, which was almost 0.35% lower than the rate offered by Wells Fargo and 0.25% lower than the rate from Bank of America. These savings are equivalent to more than $20 per month over 30 years, and total thousands of dollars in savings over the life of the loan.
AimLoan’s estimated closing costs were generally comparable with the costs estimated by the three largest banks. While estimated closing costs should always be taken with a grain of salt because of the variation of third-party charges, there is something to be said about the additional certainty provided by AimLoan’s policy of guaranteed closing costs. Borrowers should be aware that AimLoan’s closing cost guarantee applies only to fees customarily paid by the buyer and third-party services contracted through AimLoan, which may not be available depending on the specific terms of your home purchase.
Customer Service and Mortgage Servicing
AimLoan is a small lender by industry standards but still fares significantly better than large brick-and-mortar lenders in terms of its ratio of complaints to mortgage originations. When compared to other popular online lenders, AimLoan's customer service ratings fall in the middle of the pack. Despite the length of time it has been in operation, AimLoan has originated fewer than 29,000 mortgages over the past five years; this amounts to just a fraction of the loans originated by other lenders. Still, our research indicates that AimLoan’s small size does not seem to negatively affect its ability to service customers.
Mortgage-Related Complaints at Major Banks, 2013-2017
|AimLoan||Chase||Wells Fargo||Bank of America|
|Ratio of Complaints||0.20%||1.56%||1.17%||2.40%|
|2017 JD Power Rating||N/A||811||808||823|
AimLoan's customer service performance is middling when compared to other online lenders, averaging one complaint per 500 originations. Based on our assessment, AimLoan is a convenient option for borrowers who don’t mind managing their mortgage applications online, although individuals who prefer an in-person approach may wish to look elsewhere.
Mortgage-Related Complaints at Online Lenders, 2013-2017
|AimLoan||Quicken Loans||DiTech||Guaranteed Rate|
|Ratio of Complaints||0.20%||0.09%||4.99%||0.04%|
|2017 JD Power Rating||N/A||878||806||831|
Mortgage Loan Products at AimLoan
In addition to the popular mortgage products offered by the big banks, AimLoan provides jumbo loans in 30-year, 15-year and adjustable rate variants, as well as mortgages specifically structured for borrowers in high-cost markets. Borrowers who wish to refinance an existing mortgage can structure their new mortgage for any term between 10 and 30 years.
|Mortgage Product||Interest Rate||APR|
|30-year fixed rate||3.75%||3.81%|
|30-year fixed rate HomeReady||3.75%||3.81%|
|20-year fixed rate||3.50%||3.59%|
|15-year fixed rate||3.13%||3.23%|
|10-year fixed rate||3.00%||3.16%|
AimLoan’s main strengths are its competitive pricing and breadth of loan options. As shown in the chart above, it offers both 10-year and 20-year fixed-rate mortgages, which aren’t always available from other lenders, in addition to traditional 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. AimLoan also offers 10/1, 7/1 and 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, plus fixed-rate mortgages and refinances guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Borrowers who wish to reduce their upfront costs can take advantage of AimLoan’s HomeReady Mortgage Program, which only requires a 3% down payment and features lower private mortgage insurance (PMI) payments over the life of the loan. Borrowers also have the option of reducing their monthly payments by accepting a higher interest rate through lender paid mortgage insurance for 30-year mortgages, although this will increase their overall interest cost.
However, AimLoan lacks government-sponsored mortgage offerings, which severely limits its appeal to borrowers with lower credit scores. Neither Federal Housing Administration (FHA) nor U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mortgages are offered by AimLoan, although the lender does sponsor VA loans. Finally, AimLoan does not offer home equity loans or HELOCs, which makes it a poor choice for borrowers who wish to cash out on their existing property.
AimLoan 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Estimated Rates & Closing Costs
|Interest Rate||APR||Monthly Payment||Points||Closing Costs|
While AimLoan allows borrowers to lower their interest rate through the purchase of mortgage points, it also allows them to lower their upfront costs by accepting a higher interest rate. AimLoan provides tables quoting the range of possible interest rates and points on its website, which help users evaluate their potential transaction costs and monthly payments. It also features helpful pricing tools and guides for buyers and homeowners looking to refinance.
Where Can You Get a Mortgage With AimLoan?
AimLoan is a licensed mortgage broker in all 50 states and originates all of its mortgages online, so anyone with access to a basic phone and internet connection should be able to apply for a mortgage. However, based on our review, AimLoan is a smaller operation than most major lenders and its customer satisfaction ratings are fairly average among direct online lenders. While obtaining your loan from an online-only mortgage lender affords you more convenience, borrowers who prefer a more personal touch may wish to shop for mortgages from a brick-and-mortar lender.