Optimum First Mortgage Review 2021

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Optimum First Mortgage Lender Review 2021

Optimum First Mortgage Lender Review 2021

Editor’s Note: (2.3 / 5)

Optimum First Mortgage Lender Review 2021

Editor’s Note: (2.3 / 5)
  • Minimum credit score:


  • Minimum deposit:

    3% to 5%

  • Can apply online:


  • Works in:

    14 states

NextAdvisor’s Take


  • Can get a quote without using credit
  • Wide range of fixed rate loan terms
  • Offers conventional, jumbo, VA and refinance loans
  • Can waive closing costs on refinances if you have an existing loan with the lender

The inconvenients

  • No FHA loans, USDA loans, construction loans or home improvement loans
  • Does not advertise daily rates on its website
  • Available only in 14 states
  • Credit score requirements are more stringent than some other lenders
  • Must sign mortgage documents in person

The bottom line

Optimum First Mortgage is licensed in 14 states and offers conventional loans, jumbo loans, stated income loans, and VA loans, as well as attractive refinancing with no closing costs for existing clients. This makes Optimum a good option for high credit borrowers, existing borrowers who wish to refinance, and new borrowers who need to purchase a home within the lender’s footprint. Although an application can be made online, some documents will need to be completed in person.

Editorial independence

As with all of our mortgage lender reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information on our rating methodology, Click here.

Complete Review of the First Optimum Mortgage

Based in Fountain Valley, California, Optimum First Mortgage has granted more than 20,000 home loans since its inception in 2008.

Optimum is licensed in 14 states and offers conventional, jumbo, VA, stated income, and refinance loans, but does not fund FHA and USDA loans.

For any questions, customers should call the lender or fill out an online contact form to request a callback. We found it easy to get in touch with a loan officer and received a quote without a hard credit call. Here’s what else you need to know about the lender before you apply.

Optimum First Mortgage: Types and Products of Mortgages

Optimum First Mortgage offers loans to people who want to buy a home or refinance an existing mortgage. Here’s what the lender is offering right now:

The lender does not offer home improvement loans, construction loans, and mortgages guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA loans) or the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA loans).

But borrowers have several options when it comes to choosing the type of interest rate that accompanies a loan. With a fixed rate mortgage, the rate never changes and principal and interest payments are predictable throughout the life of the loan. Compared to its competitors, Optimum offers a wider range of fixed rate mortgages, including terms of 30, 27, 22, 20, 15, 12, 10 and eight years.

Variable rate mortgages, or ARMs, have a fixed rate for a period of time. Optimum First MRAs remain fixed for the first three, five, seven or 10 years. Then the rate may increase or decrease once a year depending on market conditions.

Optimum First Mortgage: Transparency

The Optimum First website includes a few resources for borrowers and information on some of the mortgage programs it offers, but it does not advertise quotes or list lender fees.

So, to get more information, borrowers will need to fill out an online contact form to schedule a phone call with a loan officer. Someone will follow up quickly and can answer your questions, send you a personalized quote, create a pre-approval, or process your loan request, depending on where you are in the loan process.

Borrowers can apply for a mortgage online, by phone, fax or in person at its branch in Fountain Valley, California. If you advance in the application process, you will be able to upload documents to a personal portal and check the status of your loan there. However, you will need to hire a notary in person at closing, as there are no electronic signature options.

Optimum First mortgage: mortgage rates and fees

Optimum First Mortgage does not advertise mortgage rates or list lender fees on its website, so you will need to complete an online form to request a phone call with the lender. A loan officer will contact you and provide you with a personalized quote without a credit call. This is important because you will be able to tell if you want to go ahead with the lender without harming your credit.

When you later get pre-approved for a loan or apply for a mortgage, Optimum First will make a hard credit withdrawal, which may temporarily affect your credit. (Obtaining firm credit at these milestones is common with all lenders.) You will also receive a more detailed list of the fees you will pay at closing, which may include the following:

  • Assessment fees
  • Costs associated with the title
  • Credit file fees
  • Discount points (optional)
  • Escrow Fee
  • Processing fee
  • Registration fees
  • Tax service charge
  • Subscription fees
  • Transfer fees

Optimum First does not charge any prepayment penalties on any of its loans, so you can prepay your mortgage without incurring additional charges.

The lender requires a minimum credit score of 650 to qualify for a conventional loan, jumbo loan, or VA loan. You will also need a down payment of at least 3% (for first-time buyers) or 5% (for regular buyers) for a classic loan and a down payment of at least 5% on a jumbo loan. VA loans do not require a down payment.

Optimum allows borrowers to lock in an interest rate for up to 90 days for free, but a fee is charged to extend the lock in the rate. The lender says it closes conventional loans within 30 to 45 days, which meets current industry standards, and jumbo loans within 45 to 60 days.

Refinancing with Optimum First Mortgage

In terms of refinancing, Optimum First offers two options: traditional refinancing and cash-out refinancing.

Traditional rate and term refinancing can help lower your monthly payment if you qualify for a lower interest rate. However, you can pay more interest by extending the term of the loan, so do the math to see if this decision works in your favor. You can also borrow money by doing a cash-out refinance, which uses the equity in your home as collateral.

If you have an existing home loan with Optimum First Mortgage, you may be eligible for its Lifetime Rate Protection Guarantee. The program allows eligible Optimum customers to refinance without closing costs if interest rates fall during the loan period.

The Optimum First website has a calculator to help you determine how much you could save with a refinance, although you will need to contact the lender for a refinance rate quote.

Optimal first mortgage compared to other mortgage lenders

Optimal first mortgage AimLoan Mortgage Truist Mortgage
Minimum credit score 650 620 for conventional loans; 720 for jumbo loans Not provided
Minimum deposit 3% to 5% 5% 3% for conventional; 3.5% for FHA; 0% for VA and USDA
Where does the lender operate? 14 states All 50 states and Washington, DC 47 states and Washington, DC
Main types of loans Conventional, Jumbo, VA, Variable Rate, Fixed Rate, Refinance, Refinance With Withdrawal, Home Equity Loans, Home Equity Lines of Credit Conventional, jumbo, fixed rate, adjustable rate, refinancing, cash-out refinancing Conventional, Jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, Construction, Variable Rate, Fixed Rate, Multiple Refinance Programs, Home Equity Loans, Home Equity Lines of Credit

How To Shop For The Best Mortgage Rate

The mortgage rate you get depends on many factors, including your creditworthiness and the amount of your loan, but it also depends on the lender. Each lending institution sets its own interest rates, and they can change every day and even on an hourly basis. The best way to get a good mortgage rate is therefore to compare the offers of several lenders on the same day.

Once you’ve submitted mortgage applications to a few lenders, ask them for a loan estimate. You can use this document to compare the interest rate, monthly payment, lender fees, and closing costs. A mortgage calculator can help you determine how much you would spend in interest with each option.

According to research from the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, the simple step of comparing offers can help you save up to $ 300 per year. You can save even more depending on the interest rate you receive and whether you negotiate. For example, you can take the best offer and send it to another lender. Ask them to offer you a better interest rate, to waive the lender’s fees, or to do both. Lenders may be willing to compete for your business, especially if you have strong credit and a large down payment.

Editorial independence

As with all of our mortgage lender reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information on our rating methodology, Click here.