Chase Mortgage Review: Competitive Rates and a Generous Homebuyer Grant Program
Range of Loan Products
Homebuyer Assistance Programs
- Highly competitive mortgage rates
- Generous homebuyer grant program
- Robust selection of loans, including a propriety low-down-payment option
- On-time closing guarantee
- Relationship discount is difficult to qualify for
- No home equity loan options
- No USDA guaranteed loans
Chase Home Lending Program
Chase is the consumer and commercial banking arm of JPMorgan Chase, a financial institution with a 200-year history and $2.6 trillion in assets. As America’s largest bank, Chase provides a full range of consumer financial services, including mortgage loans for your home purchase or refinance.
The Chase Home Lending program is designed to help would-be homeowners purchase a home and help current homeowners refinance into a loan that works better with their budget or lets them leverage their equity to consolidate debt or cover major expenses. Here are some program features you should know about if you’re shopping for a mortgage loan.
Chase Housing Assistance Programs
All of Chase’s low-down-payment purchase loans are eligible for Chase Homebuyer Grants. The grants provide borrowers in select areas with $2,500 toward the purchase of a primary home. As part of JPMorgan Chase’s commitment to addressing racial inequities in housing, it’s doubling the grants for eligible buyers who purchase a home in one of the 6,700 neighborhoods Chase has identified as minority neighborhoods.
On-Time Closing Guarantee
Chase guarantees your loan will close by the date specified in your sales contract. If it doesn’t, the bank will give you $2,500 after the loan does close.
Chase bank customers can qualify for special perks when they take out a Chase mortgage. For example, you might be eligible to have your $1,150 mortgage processing fee waived, or you could qualify for a rate discount of as much as 0.50% based on your current or new deposit- and investment-account balances. However, you’ll need balances totaling at least $500,000 to qualify for the smallest, 0.125% discount, and you’ll have to add significant funds to qualify for the highest discount.
Good To Know
Chase is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau. However, the organization gives Chase an A+ rating based on its complaint history with the BBB, the type of business it is and its time in business, the transparency of its business practices and other criteria. An A+ indicates a score of 97 to 100 out of 100 possible points.
Chase Mortgage Loans for Homebuyers
Many factors come into play when you’re selecting a mortgage loan. Interest rates are one, but you should also consider loan terms, whether to opt for a fixed rate or an adjustable one, your income and credit qualifications and your down payment amount. You will need a down payment unless you qualify for a VA loan — the only loan type Chase offers that allows 0% down.
Buyers with strong credit and a down payment of at least 5% (10% for jumbo loans) are likely best off with a conventional loan. For those with more modest income and/or less down payment money, Chase has several other options, all of which are eligible for a Chase Homebuyer Grant.
All Chase purchase loans come with the closing guarantee.
Conventional loans are loans that aren’t backed by the VA, FHA or other government agencies. Chase offers both conforming and nonconforming conventional loans, with conforming loans being those that adhere to the lending standards established by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Although loan amount isn’t the only feature that distinguishes conforming loans from nonconforming ones, it is the most common. The limit for a conforming loan is $647,200 in most U.S. counties. Loans for more than that are called jumbo loans, and they’re typically more expensive and require higher down payments.
Chase conventional loans can have fixed rates or adjustable rates. Fixed-rate conforming loans are available in 15- or 30-year terms. Adjustable-rate options are 7/6-month, where the rate stays the same for seven months and readjusts every six months thereafter, and 5/6-month. Jumbo loans have fixed rates and 30-year terms, and you can borrow up to $3 million ($1 million for investment properties).
Chase DreaMaker Loan
The Chase DreaMaker loan is a 30-year fixed-rate loan for lower-income borrowers. The minimum down payment is 3%, but credit and income guidelines are flexible, making this a good choice for borrowers who don’t qualify for a conventional loan and lack the funds for a larger down payment. The loan qualifies for the Chase Homebuyer Grant. What’s more, you’ll get an extra $500 for completing the education program Chase requires for DreaMaker borrowers and some first-time homeowners. Chase also waives its $500 good-faith deposit for borrowers taking out a DreaMaker mortgage loan.
Chase Standard Agency Loan
The Chase Standard Agency loan is geared toward first-time homebuyers. You can put down as little as 3% — but only if at least one individual on the loan is a first-time buyer. To get a standard loan without a first-time buyer, you’ll have to pay at least 5% down. This loan has no income limits and is eligible for the Chase Homebuyer Grant.
FHA-backed loans appeal to many first-time homebuyers because they’re easier to qualify for, thanks to looser credit and debt-to-income requirements than conventional loans have. Chase offers FHA loans with fixed rates and terms of 15, 20, 25 and 30 years.
The minimum down payment is 3.5% if your credit score is at least 580 and 10% if your score is 500 to 579. However, the loan is eligible for the Chase Homebuyer Grant.
One of the drawbacks of FHA loans is that you’ll have to pay an upfront mortgage insurance premium at closing, and then annual premiums thereafter — typically divided among your monthly mortgage payments. You can discontinue the MIP after 11 years if you put at least 10% down. Otherwise, you’ll pay mortgage insurance for the life of the loan.
If you’re a veteran, active-duty service member or a member of the National Guard or Reserve — or a qualifying family member of one of these individuals — you can purchase with 0% down using a Chase VA loan. Terms range from 10 years to 30 years. There’s no mortgage insurance requirement, but you will pay a one-time funding fee. The amount varies according to down payment and whether you’ve used your VA benefit before.
As with Chase’s other low-down-payment mortgage options, the VA loan is eligible for the Chase Homebuyer Grant.
Chase Mortgage Refinance Loans
Chase doesn’t have home equity loans or lines of credit, so if you want to refinance your mortgage, you’ll have to take out a new first mortgage to do it.
Conventional Refinance Loans
You have two options for refinancing with a conventional loan: a rate-and-term refinance and a cash-out refinance.
A rate-and-term refinance is a traditional refinance that replaces your current mortgage loan with one that has a shorter or longer term and/or a lower interest rate. It can also replace your fixed-rate loan with an adjustable-rate mortgage, or vice versa.
The DreaMaker loan is available for rate-and-term refinancing only.
Jumbo refinancing is subject to an 85% maximum loan-to-value ratio with no cash back.
Rather than simply pay off your current loan balance with a new loan, you can use a cash-out refinance to borrow more than you need to repay your current mortgage balance — assuming you have sufficient equity. The cash you take out can cover a major expense or consolidate high-interest debt.
Chase gives you several options for FHA refinance loans. A simple refinance is a standard rate-and-term refi, where you simply replace your current FHA mortgage with one that has a lower interest rate or a different term, or you switch a fixed rate for an adjustable or vice versa.
A streamline refinance might be a little hard to qualify for, but it expedites the approval process by forgoing an appraisal, and in some cases, a credit check and income verification.
The FHA also has a cash-out refinance loan, and you don’t have to have an FHA loan currently to qualify. It’s similar to a conventional cash-out refinance, but keep in mind that you might have more fees than you would with a conventional refinance.
As with VA purchase loans, you must be a qualified service member or family member to use a VA refinance loan. If you currently have a VA mortgage, you can refinance into a lower-rate loan with an interest rate reduction refinance loan. You can also do a cash-out refinance to possibly reduce your rate and draw out some of your equity. Your current mortgage loan doesn’t have to be a VA loan for you to qualify for a VA cash-out refi.
Chase Mortgage Loan Fees
Chase, like all lenders, charges fees for the services it provides. Here are some common ones:
- Good-faith deposit: $500, charged when you lock in your rate (waived for eligible DreaMaker borrowers)
- Mortgage processing fee: $1,150
How Chase Compares to Competitors
Chase’s main competitors are other banking giants like Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citi. All three are comparable in terms of loan offerings — including the suspension of home equity loans and lines of credit due to the pandemic. However, only Citi is currently promoting a closing credit, and it’s just $500 compared to Chase’s $2,500 grant.
Rates are another area where Chase compares favorably. Its published annual percentage rate for a 30-year fixed-rate conventional loan is 3.598% as of Feb. 4. Wells Fargo and Bank of America come close with 3.863% and 3.864%, respectively. Citi’s published rate is the highest at 4.167% APR.
Is a Chase Mortgage Loan Right For You?
Chase could be the right lender for you if you need help coming up with closing costs or a down payment. First-time buyers will find even more to like, thanks to a mortgage education program resulting in an extra $500 grant. But Chase loans aren’t just geared toward borrowers who need a special loan program. Highly competitive rates make Chase a solid choice for anyone looking to purchase or refinance a home. High-net-worth borrowers can shave a half-point off their APR.
FAQ on Chase Mortgage LoansWith so many mortgage options out there — in terms of both the types of loans available and the number of lenders competing for your business — choosing the right one can be difficult. The answers to these frequently asked questions can help you decide whether a Chase mortgage loan might be right for you.
- What is the minimum credit score for a conventional mortgage loan from Chase?
- Chase doesn't have a specific minimum. Its credit decisions are based on a variety of criteria, including credit history, income, other debt, cash reserves, loan-to-value ratio and the amount requested.
- What account management tools does Chase offer?
- Chase mortgage customers have access to online tools that make it easy to make or schedule payments, review tax and insurance information and see details about their loan, home value and neighborhood real estate trends.
- How do I get in touch with Chase customer service?
- In addition to emailing Chase or visiting a branch, you can call 800-848-9136. Representatives are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern on Saturdays.
- Does Chase offer homeowner assistance?
- Yes. Homeowners facing financial hardship can call 800-848-9380 for assistance. Representatives are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern on Saturdays.
- What other kinds of loans does Chase offer?
- In addition to purchase and refinance mortgage loans, Chase offers auto loans and a My Chase Loan based on the available balance of your existing Chase credit card.
- Is Chase offering a special promotion for new mortgage customers?
- Chase is not currently running mortgage-loan promotions.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase.
Data is accurate as of Feb. 4, 2022, and subject to change.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank advertiser, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. This site may be compensated through the bank advertiser Affiliate Program.