Movement Mortgage Review: Low Down Payments and Fast Closing

Movement Mortgage
Movement Mortgage

Movement Mortgage Review: Low Down Payments and Fast Closing

Movement Mortgage is a solid choice for prospective buyers who want to own a home but don't have enough for a down payment. The lender also has a lightning-fast closing process.

Good for

  • Those looking for a wide variety of low-down payment loan options
  • People who need a streamlined underwriting process with fast closing periods
  • Consumers looking for a company with a very low rate of customer service complaints

Bad for

  • Existing homeowners seeking home equity loans and lines of credit
  • Someone who wants transparency of rate quotes and costs online
  • Consumers looking to compare mortgage rates without completing an application

Editor's Rating

4.0/5.0

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Movement Mortgage is a good option for low- to moderate-income borrowers looking for lower down payments. It's also a good fit if you want extra guidance through the mortgage application process and prefer submitting applications online. While the lack of useful information on its website can be an obstacle, Movement's wide selection of mortgage products caters to many needs. This lender also scores particularly well in terms of customer satisfaction.

Movement Mortgage: Low Down Payments and Fast Closing

Movement Mortgage is a good option for low- to moderate-income applicants who don't have enough saved for a down payment. The lender offers a variety of low-down-payment mortgage programs in addition to jumbo, refinancing and home renovation loans. Its VA- and USDA-backed mortgage programs sometimes require zero money down, while other programs like Fannie Mae's HomeReady Mortgage and Freddie Mac's HomePossible Advantage Mortgage require no more than 3% down.

Although Movement Mortgage maintains a live customer service hotline, practically all of your mortgage application at Movement must be submitted through the company's website. In addition, we found it difficult to obtain a rate quote from Movement Mortgage. Its website will not provide a quote until you've fully completed the application, so prequalification isn't an option. Borrowers looking for a preliminary rate quote without applying will need to call a local Movement Mortgage loan officer.

Additionally, Movement Mortgage advertises a mobile application on its homepage that seems like a helpful tool, but at the time of this writing, we weren't able to access any of the app's features. To the lender's credit, the online process breaks down each step of the application, which streamlines the approval process. Nonetheless, we found that Movement Mortgage was somewhat less transparent about actual rates and closing costs than its competitors.

What we did like about Movement Mortgage is that its underwriting department can provide a decision within six hours, and if approved, Movement Mortgage can close in as little as seven business days once you've submitted all of the requested documents. This is very quick, considering that the average approval time for a mortgage ranges from one to three days, and an additional 30 days to close after approval. This fast turnaround is helpful for those operating on a tight schedule.

How Do Movement Mortgages Compare?

Based on our inquiry with a local Movement Mortgage branch, the quote for a 30-year fixed mortgage rate was fairly average when compared to quotes received from the largest banks. Movement Mortgage does not publicly list its rates, so you'll need to contact a local branch or complete the loan application to obtain a quote.

30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Estimates

Movement MortgageBank of AmericaChaseWells Fargo
Interest Rate4.50%4.38%4.63%4.75%
APR4.64%4.55%4.70%4.81%
Monthly P+I$811$799$823$835
Lender Fee$850$1,185$995$995

The rates we were quoted assumed a first-time purchase of a $200,000 property in Pennsylvania with a 20% down payment and credit score of 740. *

While the Movement Mortgage loan officer we spoke with didn't provide a detailed estimate of closing costs, he did indicate that the typical lender fee would be around $850, which is significantly lower at many of the other big banks. Other fees such as appraisal and third-party fees will also impact closing costs, but these will be different for every mortgage.

Customer Service and Mortgage Servicing

Movement Mortgage scored very well in customer satisfaction relative to the major banks, despite a lack of upfront information on its rates and charges. According to our loan officer, Movement Mortgage doesn't provide quotes on its website because rates can vary widely for different applicants. Movement Mortgage's low ratio of complaints seems to indicate that most people who obtained a loan through Movement Mortgage had a smooth experience.

Mortgage-Related Complaints at Major Banks, 2013-2017

Movement MortgageChaseWells FargoBank of America
Mortgage Originations170,178948,0002,155,2221,172,113
CFPB Complaints9114,77825,18228,187
Ratio of Complaints0.05%1.56%1.17%2.40%
2017 JD Power RatingN/A811808823

Out of all the mortgages originated by Movement Mortgage, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recorded only 91 complaints—all of which were subsequently addressed and closed by the lender. Its ratio of complaints to originations was lower than the ratios at any of the major U.S. banks. When compared to other popular online lenders, Movement Mortgage also performed well, falling just one percentage point short of the lowest recorded ratio.

Mortgage-Related Complaints at Online Lenders, 2013-2017

Movement MortgageQuicken LoansDiTechGuaranteed Rate
Mortgage Originations170,1781,406,001202,863222,228
CFPB Complaints911,20710,12998
Ratio of Complaints0.05%0.09%4.99%0.04%
2017 JD Power RatingN/A878806831

Movement Mortgage accounts for a small but growing portion of the direct online lending industry. Over the past five years, this lender originated just over 170,000 mortgages. This is a fraction of the loans originated by traditional brick-and-mortar lenders but is closer to the amount of business done by other growing online lenders.

Mortgage Loan Products at Movement Mortgage

Movement Mortgage's main strength is the breadth of programs it provides. It offers both conventional and government-sponsored programs from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the USDA, VA and FHA. Buyers in certain high-cost areas, as designated by Fannie Mae, can apply for high-balance mortgages. These are conforming mortgages with loan limits that exceed the typical single-family caps.

Buyers who need even more funding can also apply for jumbo loans, which exceed the conventional loan limits set by Fannie and Freddie. If you're looking to purchase a condominium, Movement Mortgage also provides condo loans, which are offered through a variety of programs. However, both jumbo loans and condo mortgages will generally have higher rates and stricter underwriting requirements.

Conventional Mortgage Products

Mortgage ProductFeaturesRecommended for:
Traditional Fixed-Rate Mortgages 30-, 20-, 15- and 10-yr termsFor purchases up to $424,000Borrowers seeking a conforming mortgage
High Balance MortgageConforming loan that exceeds Fannie Mae's standard $453,100 loan capBorrowers purchasing property in Fannie Mae-designated high-cost areas
Jumbo LoanFor purchases that exceed conforming mortgage limitsBorrowers who need more than what's allowed under a conforming mortgage
Condo LoanOffered in conventional, VA, FHA, USDA and jumbo loan variantsBorrowers who intend to purchase a condominium

We liked the variety of government-sponsored programs offered under Movement Mortgage's umbrella. Specifically, the Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage program and the Freddie Mac HomePossible and HomePossible Advantage programs are tailored toward borrowers who have difficulty paying closing costs. Borrowers with poor credit who don't qualify for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offerings can apply for a FHA mortgage, which only requires a 3.5% down payment.

Government-Sponsored Home Loans at Movement Mortgage

Mortgage ProductFeaturesRecommended for:
Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage
  • 3% required down payment
  • Considers nonborrower income in approval process
Borrowers with low to moderate income who don't have enough for a down payment
Freddie Mac Home Possible & Home Possible Advantage
  • Requires 5% or 3% down payment depending on program
  • No minimum borrower contribution for down payment
Borrowers with low to moderate income who don't have enough for a down payment
FHA Mortgages
  • Allows 3.5% down payment
  • Requires PMI for life of mortgage
Borrowers with poor credit who don't have enough for a down payment
USDA Loan
  • No down payment required for home purchases in designated rural areas
Rural homebuyers who don't have enough for a down payment
VA Loan
  • Movement Mortgage waives lender fees for all VA loans
  • Allows 100% financing of property (requires VA funding fee)
Active-duty military, veterans or family members of military personnel who don't have enough for a down payment

Movement Mortgage offers a number of specialized options for borrowers seeking to refinance or cash out on their property. Military veterans looking to refinance an existing VA loan can do so through the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan (IRRRL) which does not require a new appraisal or credit underwriting. This is helpful if a borrower with an existing VA loan wishes to minimize the expense of refinancing while keeping their current benefits.

An FHA 203(b) Streamline Refinance is useful for borrowers who wish to remove a co-borrower from their mortgage or take advantage of lower rates but don't want to deal with the complexity of a standard refinance. Enterprising homebuyers who wish to make renovations to a fixer-upper have options in Movement Mortgage's HomeStyle renovation offerings, which allow you to finance a home and use the excess loan amount for planned renovations.

Unfortunately, Movement Mortgage does not offer either home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). If you want to cash out your equity, you will need to refinance, cash out an existing mortgage or apply for a nontraditional reverse mortgage. Movement's lack of home equity options diminishes its appeal for existing homeowners.

Movement Mortgage: Refinancing, Renovation Loans, and Reverse Mortgages

Mortgage ProductFeaturesRecommended for:
VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan (IRRRL)
  • Does not require new appraisal or credit underwriting
  • Requires no money out of pocket
Active-duty military, veterans or family members of military personnel who wish to refinance
FHA 203(b) Streamline Refinance
  • Can reduce your PMI payments or remove co-borrowers from mortgage
Borrowers who wish to remove a co-borrower or seek a streamlined refinance
Fixed-Rate Cash-Out
  • Does not change your rate or payment
  • Allows you to cash out existing equity
Borrowers who need to cash out existing equity without changing their payments
Reverse Mortgage
  • Cashes out existing home equity
  • Must be over 62 and own home fully
Older borrowers who wish to cash out on property they own free and clear
FHA 203(k) Standard & Limited
  • Home renovation loan
  • Finance 110% of home's projected value after improvement
Borrowers with low credit who require funding for major structural repairs
Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage
  • Focuses on fixer-upper residences
  • Max renovation amount 50% of as-completed appraised value
Borrowers moving into a home who intend to perform extensive renovations
Fannie Mae HomeStyle for Investors
  • Focuses on fixer-upper investment properties
  • Encompasses all types of renovations
Borrowers purchasing investment properties with the intent to perform extensive renovations

Where Can You Get a Mortgage With Movement Mortgage?

Movement Mortgage is a licensed mortgage lender in almost every state including the District of Columbia, with the exception of Montana. Additionally, Movement Mortgage has physical branches in every licensed state except for North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Borrowers in those states may work with an affiliated mortgage broker from a nearby state. Applicants can begin their loan applications online or at a nearby branch if they prefer. You can find nearby Movement Mortgage personnel through the Find A Loan Officer tool on the lender's website.

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Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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