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About Ameris Bank
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Ameris Bank (NMLS #408099) is a banking and finance company headquartered in Atlanta. The company was founded in 1971 and offers conventional loans, FHA, VA, USDA and jumbo loans to borrowers in 46 states. It has full-service locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
Pros & Cons
- Variety of loan programs
- Local mortgage bankers in eight states
- Down payment assistance available
- Not available in AK, HI, ME or NY
- No home equity loans
Ameris Bank offers a wide range of loans for all kinds of borrowers, including conventional and government-backed loans. It also provides home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). You can apply online or by phone in 46 states or in person in eight states.
Ameris Bank doesn’t publish its starting rates online. Keep in mind that many factors — ones both within and outside your control — affect mortgage rates. These include your credit history and score, the loan amount and property value, the loan type, where the property is located, your down payment amount and economic conditions.
Ameris Bank offers both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). While fixed-rate mortgages offer predictable and stable monthly payments, ARMs could offer interest savings, especially at a time when mortgage rates are high. With an ARM, you get a relatively low fixed rate during an initial period before the rate resets according to your loan terms.
Ameris Bank average home purchase rate vs. national average
|Year||Difference from national average|
You can complete the Ameris Bank application process online if you prefer (or you can apply by phone or in person in eight states). If you choose to apply online, you start by creating an account within the application portal.
Once you create an account, you’ll provide information about your loan preferences as well as your assets, expenses, employment and income. It may be helpful to have some important financial documents nearby, like your prior year’s tax return, a recent pay stub, bank account statements and retirement and/or investment account statements. Ameris Bank will also request authorization to pull your credit report.
When you’ve completed the application, a loan officer will be in touch to help finalize the details. They may also ask you to upload financial documentation to the application portal. The company provides a checklist on its website to help applicants gather everything they need.
Ameris Bank states that you should receive a preapproval decision within a few days of completing your application.
Ameris Bank application features
|Mobile document upload|
|Physical branches||Eight states|
|Publishes minimum rate on website||X|
|Rate lock||30 to 60 days (Extended options available)|
|Pre-qualification (no hard credit pull)|
|Certified approval letter|
Ameris Bank offers a wide variety of loan options, including conventional (fixed- or adjustable-rate), FHA, VA, USDA and jumbo loans. The company states that various loan terms are available.
Ameris Bank also offers specialized loan programs, like construction-to-permanent, rehabilitation and medical professional loans. A number of its programs, including government and company-exclusive options, can help borrowers who need assistance with down payments. Its Ameris Dream loan, for example, offers 100% financing to eligible first-time homebuyers.
In 2021, Ameris Bank received 20,514 home purchase loan applications. Of those, about 4% (843) were denied. About 77% (15,810) of the applications resulted in closed loans.
Loan applications for home purchases only by year
|Home purchase applications||20,514||20,369||14,052|
|Home purchase loans closed||15,810||15,942||11,094|
|Home purchase applications denied||843||927||806|
|Home purchase preapprovals denied||0||0||0|
In 2021, a majority of the mortgage loans Ameris Bank originated were for home purchases (about 58%). Rate-and-term and cash-out refinances made up about 40% of Ameris Bank mortgage loans.
Refinancing became a popular choice among many homeowners in 2020 and 2021 as rates dropped to new lows. Since then, though, rates have rebounded. For this reason, fewer borrowers are estimated to refinance in 2022.
Home purchase vs. refinance loans by year
|Home purchase loans||57.73%||49.04%||73.14%|
HELOC and home equity loans
Ameris Bank offers HELOCs, but it has no home equity loan options as of publishing. The company charges a $50 annual fee on its HELOCs, but there are no origination fees — and Ameris Bank will also pay up to $2,000 for other closing costs. The company provides several ways to access HELOC funds. You can use a card, write a check, transfer the funds online or request cash in person at a branch.
You may consider using a HELOC if you need an open credit line in case of an emergency. A HELOC can also be useful if you need consistent access to cash but aren’t sure exactly how much you’ll need (like for home improvement projects).
Ameris Bank does not disclose specific borrower requirements on its website. However, most lenders set a minimum credit score of 620 for conventional loans. FHA loans have a lower minimum – usually 500. VA and USDA loan requirements can vary by lender.
Typically, you’ll need a 3% down payment for a conventional loan unless you qualify for a program like Ameris Bank’s 100% financing program.
While VA and USDA loans have no down payment requirements, you’ll need to offer at least 3.5% on an FHA loan. If your credit score is below 580, the down payment requirement increases to 10%.
National mortgage requirements by type
|Min. credit score||Min. down payment||Compare with other lenders|
|Conventional||Typically 620||Typically 3%||Mortgage lenders|
|FHA||500||3.5% with 580 credit score||FHA lenders|
|VA||Set by lender (often 580)||0%||VA lenders|
|USDA||Set by lender (often 640)||0%||USDA lenders|
Cost and fees
Ameris Bank doesn’t provide much information about its fees online. Most lenders charge an origination fee. These fees are typically 0.5% to 1% of the total loan amount.
Lender fees are just a part of the overall closing costs you’ll pay to start a new loan. Other closing costs include prepaid items (like homeowners insurance premiums) and third-party service fees (such as an appraisal fee). Closing costs generally amount to 2% to 5% of the loan amount. After you apply, Ameris Bank will give you a Loan Estimate with details of these costs.
Ameris Bank offers closing cost assistance, like its Ameris Down Payment Grant program, which provides eligible borrowers with up to 4% of the purchase price to use toward a down payment and closing costs. You can consult with your loan advisor to learn more about down payment assistance programs and find out if you’re eligible.
What is Ameris Bank?
Ameris Bank is a financial services company based in Atlanta. The company offers mortgages in 46 states. You can apply for a loan online, by calling the company directly or by visiting a branch.
Is Ameris Bank legit?
Ameris Bank is a legitimate lender that’s been in business for over 50 years. It closed on over 15,000 home purchase loans in both 2020 and 2021. As of June 30, 2022, Ameris Bank was managing over $23 billion in assets, according to the company.
Where is Ameris Bank available?
Ameris Bank provides home loans in 46 states. It does not offer mortgages in Alaska, Hawaii, Maine or New York. The company operates branches with mortgage services in eight states.
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- ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page. Specific sources for this article include:
- Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, “HMDA Data Publication.” Accessed Sept. 27, 2022.
Ameris Bank Company Information
- Company Name:
- Ameris Bank
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