Carrington Mortgage focuses on government-backed mortgages in order to cater to people with imperfect credit. It’s a direct lender with robust online offerings, as well as physical branch locations in certain states. If you’re looking for a lender that looks at more than just your credit score during the mortgage application process, Carrington could be a perfect fit.

Carrington Mortgage Services

Let’s dive in to find out more about what you need to qualify for a Carrington Mortgage and how their loan process actually works.

Mortgage Application Requirements

Carrington’s minimum credit score is 550 so it broadens the applicant pool for people with below-average credit. Most lenders would normally view anyone with less than a 650 score as too risky for a mortgage. But Carrington uses an in-depth review process for applications that help them approve this underserved portion of the population.

Carrington is also licensed to originate mortgages in all but four states. Unfortunately, if you live in Alaska, Massachusetts, North Dakota, or Vermont, you won’t be able to get a loan with this particular lender.

Types of Home Loans Available

Carrington Mortgage specializes in government-backed loans, including FHA, VA, and USDA mortgages, though they also do conventional and jumbo loans. They only offer fixed rate home loans, meaning you don’t have to worry about your interest rate changing after a certain period.

Check out this quick rundown of each available loan type:

Conventional Loans: Not backed by the government, a conventional loan usually has higher application standards and better interest rates. They sometimes require a higher down payment compared to other loans.

Jumbo Loans: This is a mortgage for a large amount that’s usually above the regular loan limit.

VA Loans: These are for veterans and active military members. If you qualify, you could obtain a mortgage with a 0% down payment.

USDA Loans: This is another 0% down payment option if you meet income requirements and your new house is in a rural-designated area.

FHA Loans: Also backed by the government, you can get an FHA loan with a lower credit score and a down payment as low as 3.5%.

In addition to the typical FHA loan, Carrington borrowers can apply for two other versions: the FHA 203k Streamline and the FHA 203k Full.

Here’s the difference between the two:

  • FHA 203k Streamline: Allows you to finance up to $35,000 with your mortgage for home renovation projects.
  • FHA 203k Full: Allows you to finance more than $35,000 with your mortgage, and will cover structural repairs as well.

With so many options available and a specialty in government-backed mortgages, Carrington could easily fit you with the right kind of home loan. If you’re not sure which is the best option, you can always contact a loan officer to discuss the pros and cons of each choice.

Fees and Rates

Available interest rates with Carrington are likely to vary greatly depending on your credit score, financials, and the type of loan you’re getting. You can fill out the prequalification form online to get an idea of what kind of rate you can expect to receive.

Keep in mind that oftentimes you can pay for a lower interest rate, you just need to run the numbers. You should see if it makes financial sense based on how much it costs and how long you expect to stay in the home.

Carrington also charges an origination fee anywhere between $400 and $900. This is included in your closing costs and should be compared to other loan offers you may research. Also, keep in mind that as a buyer, you can always try and negotiate with the seller to pay your closing costs.

Also, note that there’s no pre-payment penalty for paying off your mortgage early with Carrington. This is fairly standard among most reputable lenders, but still, something to confirm on a case by case basis. With Carrington, you never have to worry about paying your mortgage off ahead of schedule.

Carrington’s Mortgage Process

One of the reasons Carrington can cater to “underserved” homebuyers is because they manually perform all of their underwriting in-house. This makes it easier to look more in-depth at a mortgage applicant’s paperwork, rather than simply using an automated program.

In addition to your credit score, they consider your previous mortgage payments, your employment history, income, and down payment size. For example, if you can make a larger down payment, you could still potentially qualify for a mortgage that you might not otherwise be able to get.

How do you get started?

It’s easy. You can either get prequalified online to find out if it’s likely you can get approved for a Carrington mortgage. Or you could jump right into the application process, either online, over the phone, or in a branch location. Carrington has physical locations in the following states:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Virginia

You’ll need to upload documentation that’s required for your loan and also take an education course right before closing. This helps to make sure you fully understand the loan terms so you know what you’re getting into. Your Carrington mortgage professional will also help walk you through additional action items like the inspection and appraisal.

The entire process from start to finish can take between three and four weeks, which is relatively swift for a mortgage lender. After everything is finalized you can go to closing and get the key to your new place.

Special Features

Carrington truly specializes in lower credit borrowers, especially those who may be cash-strapped. A great example of this is the lender’s partnership with 13 state-sponsored down payment assistance programs. If you live in a participating city or county, Carrington helps to partner you with the right organizations for free money towards your down payment.

You can also find tons of helpful reference materials on Carrington’s website. Use their mortgage calculator to compare different interest rates or prices points or go through the Mortgage Checklist to get all of your documents ready. They really try hard to make the mortgage process as transparent as possible so that you’re prepared every step of the way.

Not only does that contribute to an on-time closing, it also makes sure you don’t have any surprises along the way.

Bottom Line

If you think you wouldn’t normally qualify for a mortgage because of your credit history, consider giving Carrington a chance. Their unique underwriting process lets them look at your background in a much more holistic manner compared to other lenders.

Plus, you have plenty of options for applying for your mortgage online, over the phone, or even in person. If all of these factors sound like a good fit for you, then definitely consider Carrington for your short list of mortgage lenders.