Caliber Home Loans was founded in 2008 after the merger of Caliber Funding and Vericrest Financial. Based in Texas, the company focuses on hands-on home financing and is one of the top mortgage lenders in the U.S. Caliber Home Loans refinance programs cater to borrowers looking for conventional and government-backed options.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the overall viability of a refinance at Caliber Home Loans. We’ll go over the general terms and procedural aspects before comparing the option with other alternatives on the market.
Caliber Home Loans—Refinancing Solutions Available
Caliber Home Loans (CHL) is licensed to provide refinancing solutions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The company’s programs are centered around:
- Tweaking interest rates and the loan tenure
- Tapping into home equity for renovation expenses (via a cash-out plan)
- Reducing monthly payment size by removing mortgage insurance (if eligible)
You can reach out to the lender for the following products:
- Conventional refinances
- Federal Housing Administration (FHA) streamline or cash-out refinance
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) interest-rate reduction refinance
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) streamline refinance
These products are typically designed to serve homeowners looking to refinance their primary or secondary residences. You can go for a fixed-rate CHL program that allows you to have an equalized mortgage payout for the entire tenure or an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) that has lower interest costs in the initial years. For example, if you choose a 5/2 ARM, your interest rate will be X% for the first five years and then increase every two years.
Source: Daniel Thomas
CHL also offers Smart Series: SmartVest loans to borrowers who want to purchase a rental, commercial purpose, or investment property, but the website doesn’t specify if these products can be applied towards a refinance.
Caliber Home Loans Refinance—Eligibility Requirements
Like with most lenders, you must have at least 10%–20% home equity in your property to qualify for a CHL refinance. The minimum requirement may be higher if you opt for a cash-out plan. An exception would be VA refinancing, which you can qualify for even with 0% equity.
The company generally allows refinancing only if you have maintained your existing mortgage for one whole year. As far as eligibility is concerned, here are the base credentials for qualifying for various refinance plans at CHL:
|Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio||Below 43%||Below 43%||Below 41%||Below 41%|
CHL is open to considering applicants with higher DTI ratios, provided the other aspects of their financial health are solid. From what we’ve observed, having a higher credit score (at least 675) and a lower DTI ratio helps you secure the most competitive rates at Caliber.
The eligibility requirements at CHL are much like the standard on the non-bank mortgage market.
Caliber Home Loans—Refinance Rates and Closing Costs
CHL doesn’t advertise its interest rates and fees on its website, which can be seen as a drawback because several lenders in this category do. You can request a quote by submitting your financial and property-related details, but again, the quotes fluctuate according to shifts in the national mortgage rates.
The interest rates at CHL are usually around the national average but can be a few percentage points higher if your eligibility comes under the bare-minimum category. The closing costs at the company range between 2%–7%. Here are some other expenses you may be asked to pay:
- Legal fees
- Home appraisal fee
- Credit report fee
- Origination fee
- Title search and title insurance fees
It’s difficult to come up with a fair opinion on the cost commitment at CHL because of the secrecy around the components. That being said, the company does provide borrowers with a detailed Closing Disclosure document about three days before closing. It lists the exact fees and costs specific to your refinance.
Source: NordWood Themes
How Smooth Is the Application Process for a Refinance at Caliber Home Loans?
If you’re considering a Caliber Home Loan refinance, the first step to take is to apply online for pre-approval. Getting pre-approved is necessary because it enables the borrower to lock in refinance rates without going through a hard credit pull, which temporarily lowers the credit score.
Here’s how to kickstart an online application at CHL:
- Create a user account by entering your name and contact details
- Verify your phone number
- Follow the prompts to enter your personal info
- Add details about your debt and income
- Feed in details about the property you want to refinance
- Enter your preferences related to the kind of program you want
- Choose the desired mortgage product to get interest rate quotes
You can also access Caliber Home Loans refinance via the provided phone number—(844) 598 0391. CHL currently has dedicated loan consultants in all states except Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.
As for the eventual screening process, the details are not provided on the website, but the loan consultant working with you will guide you through the document upload or submission and other particulars. You will be asked to provide paperwork that helps verify your financial credentials, such as bank documents, credit card statements, tax returns, pay stubs, and mortgage payment history—nothing out of the ordinary.
CHL claims to close loans in ten days at the earliest, but the average closing time observed is about 40–50 days.
Customer Opinion on Caliber Home Loans Refinancing
Caliber Home Loans maintains an on-site review page loaded with over 164,000 positive testimonials—the lowest customer rating you can find is 4.62.
Source: Caliber Home Loans
You can also check out some video testimonials on the borrowing experience. On-site reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, though, as Caliber Home Loans mostly has mixed reviews on third-party platforms. The company has a 3.1-star rating on WalletHub and a 2-star review on Trustpilot. CHL scored 718 out of 1,000 on the 2022 U.S. Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power, which is an average performance on the list.
Customers who’ve had a good experience with CHL usually talk about excellent customer service, especially for VA refinances. The negative reviews are predominantly about high rates and disorganized processing and paperwork handling.
Here is a summary of the pros and cons of CHL-enabled refinancing:
|• Several refinance programs (including USDA loans)|
• Easy application process (both online and offline)
• Mostly decent reviews
|• No online transparency of rates and fees|
• Consultants not available everywhere
Beyond CHL Refinance—What Options Could Work for You?
Before you pull the trigger on the refinancing decision, you should do adequate research on the rates and terms provided by other vendors. We provide extensive reviews of some other popular lenders you may consider:
The cold truth about banks and mortgage companies is that they are allowed to lend within the guidelines laid out by federal and state authorities because they’re dealing with government capital. These lenders cannot move forward unless they have thoroughly screened the borrower and may reject or suspend an application for something as trivial as a delayed tax return. If you feel limited by traditional refinance choices, you can explore alternative routes like asset-based loans, usually serviced by professional hard money lenders.
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Hard money lenders use private capital for business, which allows them the freedom to lend as they please (within state-regulated standards). They bypass the bureaucracy and provide refinance, purchase, and bridge loans with minimum qualification requirements.
Scenarios That Require a Hard Money Refinance
Property owners entertain hard money refinancing under the following circumstances:
- Having poor credit or insufficient paperwork—Hard money lenders finance a loan-to-value (LTV) based on the health of the collateral. Because the risk is 100% subsumed by the property, you can qualify even with less-than-attractive credentials
- Wanting a quicker refinance—Most hard money financiers can extend a loan within 10–20 days because of the reduced screening formalities
- Converting to a shorter term—Long-term traditional mortgages have low interest rates, but you end up paying more in lifetime interest costs. Hard money loans have shorter tenures (up to five years) and 1%–5% higher interest rates. You can get rid of the loan and own the property quickly, possibly with a smaller lifetime interest payout
- Switching to interest-only payments—Hard money lenders typically ask for interest-only payments that are way lighter than amortized installments. The actual loan amount accrues as a balloon payment at the end of the term. This setup complements property investors or homeowners who wish to refinance or sell the property down the line
Keep in mind that acquiring hard money loans can be stressful if you’re working with an incompetent lender. Always do your homework before choosing—make sure the lender you pick is well-reviewed and offers an organized lending structure.
Simplify Refinancing—Hard Money Loan Solutions Can Help!
If a hard money refinance sounds sensible to you, get serviced from the best. Florida-based lending company Hard Money Loan Solutions (HMLS) can refinance your home or investment property in as little as three days! HMLS is a long-standing group of veteran financiers who are driven to create ethical and creative funding solutions for anyone in need. Forget frustrating paperwork and endless background checks—you can secure a refinance on any property as long as you:
- Bring collateral with a healthy market value
- Have enough equity in the property
- Present a basic repayment strategy
While the eligibility criteria are asset-based, HMLS does conduct the requisite due diligence for every deal. You can apply for a regular or a cash-out refinancing plan even if you have shabby financial credentials or are not a U.S. citizen. Still, HMLS lenders may reject people with multiple bankruptcy filings in the past because the lending risk is beyond their tolerance levels. Check out the types of properties you can refinance at HMLS:
- Residential home (any number of units)
- Apartment or condo
- Land or under-construction property
- Business-use property (full or partial)
- Rental or investment home
- Commercial property
Hard Money Loan Solutions has a 5-star service rating on Google. The group is able to uphold the quality of service because of the lenders’ empathetic approach towards each client, which includes:
- Being direct and responsive
- Keeping costs and rates transparent
- Providing free consultancy
- Enabling a smooth approval and funding mechanism
- Financing tricky deals
HMLS Refinancing Is Realistic and All About You
Every HMLS product is designed to afford the utmost convenience to the borrower. You can communicate with the lender to have rates and repayment terms tailored to your needs. Refer to the following table to understand the hows and whats of a customizable HMLS loan:
|Loan Component||Standard HMLS Range|
|Principal||$100,000 to $50,000,000|
|Installment type||Interest only (no amortization)|
|LTV offered||Up to 70% of:|
• Appraised property value
• Purchase price (or cost input in case of construction products)
|Funding time||3–14 days|
|Origination fee||2 points or 2%|
|Prepayment penalty||No (if repaid after six months)|
These terms also apply to other packages offered by the company, such as a bridge, rehab, foreclosure, short sale, or investment property loan. In terms of closing costs and related fees, HMLS—because of its minimalistic structure—is a far cheaper option than many traditional products.
Before you forward an application for a hard money loan, try using the website’s LTV calculator to determine the maximum refinancing value of your home. Remember that lower LTV ratios attract lower interest rates.
HMLS—Processing and Beyond
Any refinancing deal at HMLS passes through three stages:
- Consultation—This stage requires the applicant to fill out a simple online form covering basic property details. An HMLS analyst reviews your application and calls you to provide a free consultancy
- Appraisal—Property appraisal is the backbone of the process, and it determines if your deal is serviceable or not. If it is, you will get an email about a customized refinance package
- Legal setup—You have to convey your approval if you accept the package. Once the lenders get the green light, they contact their legal team to prepare the necessary title work before the guaranteed funding
Know that any transaction or info shared with HMLS is private. Unlike what many mortgage lenders do, HMLS lenders never resell your loan to other companies as they value long-term customer relationships. Contact the team today to get a personalized refinance program!
Featured image source: Nataliya Vaitkevich