Posted on February 22nd, 2021
Today we’ll take a look at American Internet Mortgage, more commonly known as “AimLoan,” which is a streamlined discount mortgage lender that focuses mostly on conforming loans.
Doing so allows them to do what they do best, and ideally offer lower mortgage rates to their customers by running more efficiently and keeping costs low.
At the time of this writing, they were offering the lowest APR for both a 30-year fixed and a 15-year fixed mortgage for a sample loan scenario on the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace.
So they appear to offer competitive interest rates and reasonable lender fees. Let’s find out more about them.
AimLoan Fast Facts
- Direct-to-consumer mortgage lender that offers home purchase and refinance loans
- Founded in 1998, headquartered in San Diego, California
- Funded roughly $1.3 billion in home loans last year
- Most active in the states of California, Arizona, and Texas
- Licensed to do business in all 50 states and D.C.
AimLoan is a proper veteran in the mortgage industry, having been around since 1998. Not many companies last that long without being acquired or going out of business.
The San Diego, CA-based direct mortgage lender was founded by Vince Kasperick, who continues to serve as the company’s president.
Since that time, they’ve funded more than $23 billion in home loans, with nearly $1.3 billion originated last year.
Their bread and butter product is the mortgage refinance, whether it’s a rate and term refinance or a cash out refinance. But they also offer home purchase loans too.
They tend to stick to plain vanilla loans, meaning straightforward stuff that can easily be sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shortly after funding.
AimLoan operates as a direct-to-consumer mortgage lender, meaning it’s a call center you can’t visit in person. So you’ll be working with a loan officer and processor remotely.
The company appears to be most active in their home state of California, which accounts for more than a quarter of total loan volume.
They also do a lot of business in nearby Arizona and Texas, along with Florida and Georgia.
At the moment, AimLoan is licensed to lend in all 50 states nationwide, along with the District of Columbia.
How to Apply for a Mortgage with AimLoan
- They offer the so-called AimLoan 6-Step Process
- It starts with a digital mortgage application powered by Ellie Mae
- Then your loan is run through their automated underwriting system
- Once approved you can manage your loan via the online borrower portal and upload any required conditions
It’s easy to apply for a home loan with AimLoan. Simply visit their website and click on “Apply Now.”
From there you’ll need to provide personal and financial information, then your application will be run through their automated underwriting system.
Assuming you receive a conditional loan approval, you’ll be given the opportunity to lock or float your rate at your desired fee/credit combination.
A human loan officer and loan processor will also assist you along the way and provide you with a list of any conditions that need to be met.
During that time, a home appraisal will be scheduled if necessary and third-party items like title and escrow will be set up.
Speaking of, you will be asked to submit an appraisal fee at the time you lock your rate, which kind of acts like the application fee, though it covers the appraisal if and when you fund.
All in all, they appear to make it pretty simple to apply, lock, and close your loan.
If you don’t want to use their self-service option, you can also call them up directly and connect with a loan officer before beginning the application.
Loan Programs Offered by AimLoan
- Home purchase loans
- Rate and term refinances
- Cash out refinances
- Conforming loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- VA loans
- Fixed-rate mortgages: 30-, 25-, 20-, 15-, and 10-year terms available
- They lend on primary residences, second homes, and investment properties (1-4 units)
As alluded to, AimLoan is a streamlined mortgage lender that likes to keep its product menu short and sweet.
Doing so allows them to offer lower rates and superior customer service. But it also means you may not be able to get what you’re looking for.
While they offer all the usual stuff, like home purchase loans and mortgage refinances, along with conforming loans and VA loans, several items appear to be missing.
Those include jumbo loans, which exceed the conforming loan limit, along with FHA loans and USDA loans. If you’re in need of one of these loan types, you may need to go elsewhere.
Additionally, while you can get a fixed-rate mortgage in a variety of loan terms, they aren’t offering adjustable-rate mortgages at the moment.
Or at least not displaying them on their website because they say they’re currently pricing higher than fixed rates, which tends to be true.
AimLoan Mortgage Rates
One advantage to using AimLoan is the fact that you can see their mortgage rates online. And you don’t need to sign up or speak to someone first.
Additionally, you can compare a variety of rates all at once tailored to your own unique loan scenario, instead of simply looking at promotional rates that make a bunch of assumptions.
To get started, simply head to the AimLoan website and start filling out the instant rate quote form on the homepage. It’s easy to complete and you should see a variety of rates in about a minute.
In terms of fees, they appear to charge a flat $995 origination fee, which can often be offset by a lender credit.
They say their pricing model differs from other lenders because their profit is mostly from that flat fee.
As such, they can pass on the savings to consumers by not marking up the pricing they receive on the secondary market.
Anyway, once you click on a given mortgage rate, it will show you a full fee breakdown including their fees and third-party costs like appraisal and title insurance.
You can also get an idea of cash to close by inputting your estimated property taxes and current loan balance if it’s a refinance.
If you like what you see, simply click on “Apply Now” or “Talk to a Loan Officer” to get started on your application.
On Zillow, they have a 4.15-star rating out of 5 from nearly 400 customer reviews, which is good but not excellent. There are some mixed reviews that seem to be dragging down their overall score.
On Google, they have a 4.3-star rating from nearly 300 reviews, and on Bankrate a 4.4-rating from almost 200 reviews with an 84% recommend score.
AimLoan has a more inferior 3.5-star rating on Yelp from about 300 reviews.
They also list a bunch of customer reviews on their own website, though it’s unclear if they provide much value.
Lastly, they have a 4.61/5-star rating with the Better Business Bureau and an ‘A+’ rating based on complaint history.
They’ve been an accredited business since 2015 and were awarded the BBB Torch Award for Ethics, which goes to businesses with “the highest standards of leadership character and organizational ethics.”
To sum it up, AimLoan is probably best suited for an existing homeowner looking to refinance their mortgage to a lower rate, who doesn’t have a complicated scenario.
I’m talking someone with good credit, a steady W-2 job, and nothing out of the ordinary to ensure the loan process moves along smoothly.
Those who have more complex loan scenarios or need more hand-holding may want to consider other lenders.
AimLoan Pros and Cons
The Good Stuff
- Can apply for a mortgage directly from their website
- Offer a digital application powered by Ellie Mae (ICE)
- View mortgage rates online without providing contact info
- Offer 60-day rate locks standard
- Licensed to do business in all 50 states and D.C.
- Mostly good customer reviews
- A+ BBB rating, accredited since 2015
- Free mortgage calculators and mortgage glossary on site
The Perhaps Not
- Do not appear to offer FHA, jumbo, or USDA loans
- Typically do not allow FICO scores below 620
- Do not finance co-ops or manufactured/mobile homes
- No physical locations
(photo: Ann Oro)