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How Bankrate scored Third Federal Savings and Loan
To determine Third Federal Savings and Loan’s Bankrate Score, Bankrate’s editorial team rated it and other lenders on a scale of one to five stars based on a variety of factors relating to the lender’s products and services. (Bankrate’s partners compensate us, but our opinions are our own, and partner relationships do not influence our reviews.) We derived its overall score by considering three basic factors:
- Affordability: Third Federal’s mortgage rates are largely below Bankrate’s averages, and you can save on upfront closing costs with the bank’s low-cost options.
- Availability: The bank serves borrowers in 25 states and Washington, D.C., and doesn’t offer government loans.
- Borrower experience: Third Federal has a broad range of customer service hours and lots of online resources to help guide you through the mortgage process.
Affordability differs from lender to lender, so comparing costs is key. Third Federal Savings and Loan clearly displays mortgage rates on its website. These rates are generally competitive and updated regularly, and you can set up automatic rate alerts to get a notification when rates drop below a certain level. If you input some details about your desired loan, you can get even more information, such as the estimated payment and closing costs or how much you could save on the interest rate by paying for points.
The bank charges common closing costs that can include an origination fee, but also offers a lower-upfront cost option for virtually every type of loan that keeps these costs to just $295. These low-cost loans have a higher interest rate, however, so you’ll have a higher monthly payment and your borrowing costs could amount to much more over the life of your loan. Additionally, while there’s no fee to get a preapproval, you might be charged an application fee depending on the type of mortgage you’re seeking. Notably, the bank also offers a $750 closing cost credit to first-time homebuyers.
This factor can make the overall mortgage application process smoother or more challenging. Third Federal Savings and Loan works with borrowers in 25 states, so you’ll need to confirm whether it services yours before you apply for a mortgage with the bank. Its loan offerings include conventional loans as well as construction loans and financing for investment properties. The bank doesn’t offer government-insured mortgages, however.
Borrower experience: 4.7/5
Know what to expect when you work with a specific lender. Third Federal Savings and Loan has 80 years of experience lending to borrowers in Ohio and elsewhere in the U.S. The bank has an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau. Its website makes it easy to check available rates, get preapproved, apply for a loan and sign the required paperwork. Before you apply, you can use the bank’s useful calculators to determine how much home you can afford and to estimate your monthly payment. Once you get your loan online, you can use the Third Federal app to manage it; however, you can’t apply for the loan itself directly through the app.
How to apply for a mortgage with Third Federal Savings and Loan
You can apply for a purchase loan or a refinance in person at one of the bank’s branches, on Third Federal’s website or by calling 1-800-THIRD-FED.
Here are some tips to prepare for the process:
- Check your credit report. It’s important to check your credit report before your lender does, in case there are errors that could impact not only whether you get preapproved but also your ability to get the best mortgage rate. Knowing your credit score also helps you decide what type of loan to apply for. If your score is in the very low 600s, for instance, an FHA mortgage might be best for you, as its standards are more lenient than those for conventional loans.
- Gather personal and financial documents. With any lender, you must supply documentation about your income, assets and debts. This includes pay stubs and W-2s and account and loan statements.
- Provide details about the property. You’ll need to provide the address of the home and submit to an appraisal. (If you’re refinancing, you might or might not need an appraisal.)
Refinancing with Third Federal Savings and Loan
Third Federal Savings and Loan offers refinancing at competitive rates in line with Bankrate’s averages. You can apply to refinance your loan through the bank’s website, either to take equity out of your home, refinance your existing balance to a lower rate or shorter term (or both) or consolidate debt. The bank’s low-cost loans ($295 closing costs) are also available for refinances.
Bankrate’s expert editorial team collects lender information through a variety of methods. We contact lenders directly, and we also turn to regulatory filings and to assessments by third parties. Our research takes into account three main factors – affordability, availability and borrower experience.
Bankrate’s reporters and editors have decades of experience covering the mortgage industry. They’re skilled at gathering information through interviews and by scouring regulatory filings. Bankrate evaluates more than 85 lenders for factors relating to affordability, availability and customer experience, assigning each a Bankrate Score out of five stars. Here’s how we assess each of the categories:
- Affordability. Loan cost is a deciding factor for many borrowers. We look at two metrics: 1) a lender’s lowest advertised annual percentage rate (APR) based on Bankrate’s sample scenario, which assumes a 740 or higher credit score and a 20 percent down payment, among other factors and 2) established-customer discounts or incentive pricing, when applicable.
- Availability. Another factor is how quickly your loan application will be approved, and how many loan programs the lender offers. So we evaluate approval and closing timelines and diversity of loan products.
- Customer experience. Finally, we delve into what it’s like to deal with the lender as a consumer. We look at the lender’s application process and availability of customer service support. We also consider the results of J.D. Power’s 2022 Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Survey.
Bankrate’s editorial team confirms the accuracy of data at the time of publication. Our team is dedicated to maintaining the timeliness of information – the mortgage industry is changing constantly, so we regularly revisit these reviews to update them.
Bankrate’s methodology page spells out our rating process in greater detail.