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About Benchmark Mortgage
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Benchmark Mortgage (NMLS #2143), a part of Ark-La-Tex Financial Services, is a full-service mortgage lender headquartered in Dallas. The company offers conventional, FHA, USDA and VA loans. You can apply online, and the company will connect you with a loan officer in your state.
Pros & Cons
- Available in most states
- VA loan specialists available
- Offers home renovation and FHA 203(k) loans
- Lifetime loan monitoring
- Does not post rates
- No home equity loans or HELOCs
- Not available in Hawaii
Benchmark Mortgage provides mortgage and renovation loan products to borrowers in 49 states and Washington, D.C. While the company provides few details about its loans on its website, it does promise personal service and efficient loan processing.
Benchmark Mortgage does not publish its starting rates online. According to data provided as part of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, in 2021, it had an average home purchase rate that was 0.11% higher than the national average.
Borrowers with high credit scores and low debt-to-income ratios (less than 36%) are more likely to secure the best rates available.
Benchmark Mortgage average home purchase rate vs. national average
|Year||Difference from national average|
To get a mortgage with Benchmark, you can start the application process either online, in person or by phone. To apply online, visit the company’s website and click on “Apply Now.” From there, you’ll need to create an account and select a loan officer to work with. The company provides a list of loan officers in your area to choose from.
After creating an account, you can complete the loan application by answering questions about your income and assets. The company provides a list of documents to have handy as you complete your application, like the previous two years’ W-2s and recent pay stubs and bank statements.
When you’ve submitted your application, your loan officer will reach out to finalize details and give you a timeline for an approval decision. Benchmark Mortgage may transfer your loan to a new servicer after closing, in which case the company will notify you of the change. The terms of your loan will stay the same.
Benchmark Mortgage application features
|Mobile document upload|
|Physical branches||32 states|
|Publishes minimum rate on website||X|
|Rate lock||Up to 75 days|
|Pre-qualification (no hard credit pull)||X|
|Certified approval letter|
Benchmark Mortgage offers an assortment of loan options, including conventional (fixed-rate and adjustable-rate), FHA, VA and USDA loans. Most fixed-rate mortgages have 30-year terms, but there are other loan terms available.
Benchmark Mortgage places emphasis on continuing to serve its borrowers after closing. With its Lifetime Loans program, the company states that it continuously monitors the market to see if its borrowers could benefit from refinancing to a lower rate.
While the company specializes in originating conventional loans, it’s also a top 50 VA loan lender by volume as of 2021. In 2021, Benchmark Mortgage originated over $1.5 billion in VA loans. The company has veteran specialists available to assist VA loan applicants. Some features of the VA loan include 100% financing and no mortgage insurance requirement.
In 2021, borrowers submitted 20,169 home purchase applications to Benchmark Mortgage. Of those applications, about 5% of applications were denied. Ultimately, about 78% turned into closed loans.
Loan applications for home purchases only by year
|Home purchase applications||20,169||20,816||15,233|
|Home purchase loans closed||15,688||15,689||12,195|
|Home purchase applications denied||926||1,122||1,299|
|Home purchase preapprovals denied||37||28||0|
From 2019 to 2021, a majority of the loans Benchmark Mortgage funded were home purchase loans. In 2021, about 64% of its loans were for home purchases.
Other lenders saw a sizable increase in refinancing applications in 2020 and 2021. As mortgage rates plummeted to all-time lows, borrowers acted quickly to refinance their existing mortgages and lock in lower rates.
Since then, rates have been steadily climbing. In 2022, rates have climbed at least 3% higher than in early 2021, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. For this reason, fewer borrowers are expected to refinance.
However, you may still consider refinancing today if it helps you save money. For example, you may currently have an adjustable-rate mortgage with an interest rate that has reset higher than most fixed-rate mortgages offer — if so, it may be worth seeing what rate you could qualify for if you refinance to a fixed-rate mortgage.
Home purchase vs. refinance loans by year
|Home purchase loans||63.79%||55.70%||77.54%|
Benchmark Mortgage does not list many of its borrower requirements on its website. Typically, borrowers need a 620 minimum credit score and a 3% down payment to qualify for a conventional loan.
You may be able to qualify for an FHA loan with a lower credit score than 580, but you’ll need to offer a higher down payment of 10%. While VA and USDA loans have no down payment requirements, the credit score minimums can vary by lender.
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
Benchmark Mortgage does not disclose the lender fees it charges for loan origination. Lenders may charge an origination fee, which usually covers the processing and underwriting tasks associated with the loan. It could be a flat fee or a percentage of the loan amount (usually 0.5% to 1%).
Lender fees are a portion of the overall closing costs you’ll pay when you purchase a home or refinance your mortgage. Closing costs may vary between around 2% to 5% of the loan amount.
What is Benchmark Mortgage?
Benchmark Mortgage is a full-service mortgage lender headquartered in Dallas. The company offers conventional, FHA, VA and USDA loans. In 2021, it closed on over 15,000 home purchase loans.
Is Benchmark Mortgage legit?
Benchmark Mortgage is a legitimate lender with more than 20 years of experience in the industry, according to the company. It is licensed in 49 states and Washington, D.C. You can apply online, by phone or in person at one of its branches.
Where is Benchmark Mortgage available?
Benchmark Mortgage is available in 49 states (excluding Hawaii) and Washington, D.C. It has branch locations in 32 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:
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “Lender Statistics.” Accessed Sept. 19, 2022.
- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, “30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average in the United States.” Accessed Sept. 19, 2022.
- Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, “HMDA Data Publication.” Accessed Sept. 19, 2022.
Benchmark Mortgage Company Information
- Company Name:
- Benchmark Mortgage
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