Many borrowers have a hard time getting mortgages. Traditional lenders like banks and credit unions have raised their qualification standards in the past decade, and meeting their minimum credit score bar can be particularly difficult. That’s where private lenders like The Associates Home Loans of Florida, Inc. (Associates Home Loans for short) come into the picture.
Associates Home Loans is a popular lender in Florida specifically targeting the population with weak credit scores, but are their products and services at par with the immediate competitors’ offers? Use our guide to learn about:
- The products available at Associates Home Loans
- Service quality of the lender (pros, cons, and customer opinion)
- Other suitable lender options in Florida
The Associates Home Loans of Florida—An Overview
Associates Home Loans has over a dozen commercial and consumer-purpose mortgage products, which can be grouped into the following three categories:
- Conventional loans
- Bad credit home loans
- Hard money loans
As a borrower, you have to consider different factors like your income stream, the period you want to keep the house for, and the urgency of choosing a product.
A conventional mortgage is designed to support the purchase of residential properties. They are serviced by banks, mortgage companies, and credit unions. While these products are not government-backed, they must comply with the strict lending guidelines issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which include:
- A credit score of at least 680
- Maximum debt-to-income (DTI) of 43%
Source: Mikhail Nilov
Associates Home Loans offers numerous types of conventional mortgage products. Here are some of the most prominent options:
- Fixed-rate loans—You pay a fixed rate of interest throughout the loan tenure
- Adjustable rate loans (ARMs)—Your interest rate is low during the first few years, but then it starts increasing periodically
- Hybrid loans—A hybrid loan is a combination of fixed-rate and ARM loans
- Balloon mortgages—Balloon purchase and refinance loans are suitable when you intend to sell the property soon. Your initial monthly payments are lower (often interest-only), and you repay the outstanding sum at maturity. The balloon cash outflow is managed by selling the property or getting another refinance
- Pledge asset loans—Pledge asset products typically work for those who cannot manage a down payment for the mortgage. You have to use an existing asset as collateral to secure the loan
- Jumbo or construction loans—The products are used for major home upgrades or new construction and require a minimum credit score of 720
- Reverse mortgages—Reverse mortgage products have favorable interest rates and are not due until the borrower sells the home, moves, or passes away
The interest rates for these products are not revealed on the website, but private lenders usually charge more than national banks.
Bad Credit Home Loans
If you don’t meet the qualification requirements for conventional home loans, you can explore the bad credit home loan products at Associate Home Loans. They are also called non-conventional mortgages as they’re not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Associate Home Loans typically services bad credit home loans in limited jurisdictions like Tampa and Sarasota. The lender offers four products to consider—check them out in the table below:
|Bad Credit Home Loan||Minimum Credit Score||Details|
|Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan||500||Borrowers pay at least 10% down for a credit score below 580 and 3.5% for higher scores|
|Veteran Affairs (VA) loan||620||The VA department doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement—it’s set by the lender. The product doesn’t require a down payment|
|Subprime loan||580–660||Subprime loans cater to people with faulty credit records. Interest rates are higher (around 12%–22%) than for conventional financing, and the down payment requirements vary|
|Hard money loan||Negotiable||Hard money loans are asset-based mortgages. You secure financing based on the value of the collateral, such as the purchase price of a home or its after-repair value, so your credit score doesn’t influence the terms. Hard money loans are also pricier than conventional products (8%–20%) but are typically cheaper than subprime loans|
Associates Home Loans recommends providing a large down payment to offset the cost of bad credit loans.
Hard Money Loans
Associates Home Loans also lists hard money loans as one of its independent products. Hard money financing isn’t only for people with poor credit—it can be used by anyone looking for quick and non-intrusive funding. Property investors and rehabbers typically use it to close profitable real estate transactions within strict deadlines. Hard money loans can also serve as a bridging solution when you’re transitioning between homes or waiting to restore your credit to qualify for traditional financing.
Associates Home Loans is one of the many hard money lenders in Florida that offer financing without income verification, but your DTI ratio may influence the deal. According to the website, the lender offers loans up to a DTI ratio of 55%. You can borrow a maximum of 65% LTV (loan-to-value). Keep in mind that hard money loans have low LTVs because the underlying asset alone secures the investment in case the borrower defaults.
Source: Maurice Williams
Associates Home Loans—Application Process and Necessary Documentation
You can apply for Associates Home Loans by using the website’s Apply Now button. You can choose between purchase and refinance applications. Here is a general summary of the process:
- Enter your personal and property details
- Fill out the Uniform Residential Loan Application, i.e., Form 1003 (if you’re going for conventional loans)
- Download the completed application and email or mail it to Associates Home Loans
If you need non-conventional products, you can use another form to write a message about your situation. In that case, the lender calls you back or sends an email to enquire further. Depending on the product you seek, you may be asked to submit a couple of documents, such as:
- Pay stub copies
- Social Security documents
- Bank statements (for 2–3 months)
- Details about existing debt
- Tax returns (for 1–2 years)
- W-2s (for 2 years)
- Dividend earnings
- Child support or alimony payments (if applicable)
The origination fees for Associates Home Loans are between 4% and 10%.
How Does Associates Home Loans Fare in the Florida Real Estate Market?
Most lenders either service conventional or non-conventional loans, but Associate Home Loans does both, which makes it a great one-stop solution for mortgages. Despite the wide catalog of products, the lender faces heavy competition in the Florida market, primarily from niche lenders focusing on hard money financing only.
Exclusive hard money lenders concentrate on providing efficient financing to savvy investors and borrowers with bad credit. They require almost no paperwork and use a more direct approach to funding deals—unlike general lenders, who often lack streamlined service.
What Do the Customer Reviews Say?
We went through the available customer reviews of Associates Home Loans and noticed the following areas of dissatisfaction among customers:
- Priciness (especially for subprime loans)
- Unstructured application process
- Poor customer service
- Unproductive processing (mentioned by rejected applicants)
Bad reviews are individual experiences, though, and it’s best not to generalize them. Associates Home Loans mostly has positive reviews from customers, many of them praising:
- Fast processing
- Helpful and professional officers
- Multiple loan options
- Adequate due diligence habits (like property appraisal)
Associates Home Loans has a 4.4 out of 5 stars service rating on Google Reviews, which is a decent score, although there are many other lenders with perfect or near-perfect scores. No matter your situation, we recommend reviewing quotes and services offered by top hard money lenders in the state before finalizing your choice.
One of the strongest alternatives to The Associates Home Loans of Florida is Hard Money Loan Solutions (HMLS), a lending group offering reasonable, industry-best hard money loans for homeowners, investors, and property flippers.
Choose Hard Money Loan Solutions for Effortless Real Estate Financing
Hard Money Loan Solutions (HMLS)—rated 5 stars on Google Reviews—is a mortgage and commercial lender headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida. The lender offers fast hard money funding across the state for various scenarios, including:
- Home finance and refinance (all residential structures, including multi-unit homes)
- Cash-out refinance
- Property investment
- Rental investment
- Property rehab
- Construction (home or commercial construction)
- Land purchase
- Business acquisition
HMLS is managed by veteran Florida real estate lenders and investors who have been in the business for decades. With their experience, they can assign each qualified applicant a customized loan package within 3–14 days! Contact HMLS today to get a free consultancy from the lending team.
Source: Pavel Danilyuk
Besides providing personalized loans, HMLS supports clients by:
- Processing loan requests with transparency and speed
- Keeping interest rates and associated costs at competitive levels
All HMLS programs are designed on standard lending parameters, described in the following table:
|Interest rate type||Fixed|
|Repayment structure||Balloon mortgage (interest-only payments + repayment at maturity)|
|LTV||Up to 70% of the current purchase price or appraised asset value (whichever is lower)|
|Origination fee||2 points or 2%|
|Closing time||Within 2 weeks|
|Down payment||No deposit required|
|Prepayment penalty||None (if repaid after 6 months)|
|Personal and financial documentation||Not required|
Unlike most lenders, HMLS doesn’t charge any junk fees, saving you thousands of dollars from the start.
You can explore some of the latest properties in Florida funded by HMLS here.
HMLS—The Lender You Need in a Bad-Credit Situation
HMLS is one of the most cost-effective lenders for applicants with bad credit because they never use financial credentials to determine loan pricing. You qualify and get interest rate quotes based on your:
- Equity in the property (for refinances)
- Ability to meet the LTV (for purchases)
You can reach out to HMLS for complicated borrowing situations as well. The lender has funded deals in less-than-ideal scenarios with innovative solutions. Here are some examples:
- Collateralizing multiple properties for a single deal
- Using non-real estate as collateral
- Financing non-U.S. property investors
- Preventing bank foreclosure with timely funding
While HMLS makes funding a breeze for everyone, the team follows state guidelines and conducts proper due diligence to measure the property’s health. Once you’re approved, you can be sure the lender won’t back out from the deal. Know that HMLS does not support personal (non-collateral) or conventional loans, but funding for owner-occupied homes or mixed-use commercial properties is available.
Source: Google Reviews
Your repayment strategy is determined according to your needs, but don’t panic if you’re late with payment down the line. HMLS has a friendly, customer-focused approach, and you can always talk it out with the lenders if you want to tweak your loan tenure or payment structure.
Get an HMLS Quote and See Where You Stand
If you’re comparing lenders, you can get loan pre-approval or interest rate quotes at HMLS within a day. Here is what you need to do:
- Access the online loan application form
- Provide details about your business
- Enter your property location (to help lenders carry out an instant evaluation)
- Add a situation-specific message (optional)
- Submit the form
The HMLS team will appraise your property and confirm whether they can or cannot service the deal. An officer will call you to discuss the particulars and answer your questions. You don’t have to pay anything until you decide to go forward with the loan.
If you want to explore other options, here are some lender reviews you can go through:
- M&M Private Lending Group
- Monroe Funding Corp
- Taylor Made Lending
- A to Z Capital
- Hard Money Lenders IO
- RBI Private Lending
- BridgeWell Capital
- Capital Funding Financial, LLC
Featured Image Source: Get Lost Mike