If I had read the reviews about USAA mortgage before calling them, I would have never chosen to go with them. Like most people, I love everything else about USAA. We've purchased three or four cars through USAA and have our homeowner's insurance with them as well as auto insurance. The discounts we've received on car purchases have been unbeatable. That's why it was truly shocking how vastly opposite our mortgage experience was. To be fair, my husband owns a successful company which he began 22 years ago. People who are self-employed always have more hurdles to overcome in acquiring a home loan. We also own investment properties, which adds to the obstacles. Still, we have never had a company so unwilling to work through those issues as USAA. Twenty-six days following our approval for a loan, USAA called and backed out. They counted corporate expenses against us, which would have been fine if they had counted corporate revenues for us. Because they did this, they told us we have a 80-85% debt to income ratio. This is insane. The following day we went to another lender, and we closed on our loan only nine days after we would supposedly have closed had we gone with USAA. The other lender only required what every previous lender had required--documentation that proves what the company pays.
The first processor we worked with was so rude that we complained and got her off our case. Our real estate agent's assistant said she had never dealt with anyone like her. The second processor was professional, and I am very grateful that she was put on our case in spite of the outcome (which was not her fault). She cooperated with us when we transferred to the new lender and even sent documents we needed from her right up to closing. There does seem to be some glitch in the system at USAA, because we submitted many documents two or three times.
I would recommend that anyone who is self-employed or owns any other property besides their primary residence choose a different lender. WE HAVE NEVER BEEN TURNED DOWN by any other lender before or since USAA. USAA seems to look for reasons to disqualify you. They would not look at our documentation to prove company expenses are company expenses (cancelled checks, bank statements, etc.). On the other hand, they do not count all of the assets for you that they can. For example, we have an investment property with a small monthly mortgage on it that is lived in by our daughter and paid for with my husband's Post 9/11 GI bill benefits. USAA told us they had never heard of the Post 9/11 GI Bill (but they're a bank for military members!) and would not count it. The other lender asked for the documentation and counted that. If you have any hurdles at all to overcome with a mortgage--anything at all, go elsewhere.
One other point...no other lender has ever asked for money up front except for USAA ($350). After they pulled out of the loan, they also informed us that this money was non-refundable. I would never pay money up front for a mortgage again. That is a red flag as big as many others I ignored with USAA. However, when closing day came, we learned that USAA had paid for the appraisal on our home, which was $450. Therefore, I don't intend to make a further issue of the $350.
I came on here trying to find out how to leave a review on the reviews page. If anyone knows the link, please let me know.
Disenchanted in VA,
I am so sorry you have had such a negative experience with our mortgage department. Although I cannot change what has already transgressed, I would like to get someone from the mortgage department to review your case. If you could pleasesend us a message here with the best way to contact you, we would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for sharing your feedback.
Sorry you had that experience, but it makes me feel good that USAA puts people through hoops before they approve a loan. I was a little upset that USAA would only give me a $25000 max on my credit card, but when I thought about it, it keeps them from getting into trouble with people who accumulate large balances and then file for bankruptcy. USAA is a business and you don't continue to be a going concern unless you manage it tightly. Personally, I look elsewhere for home mortgage financing, but after the debacle in 2008, which was related to poor screening on the part of lenders and the government's interference with lending requirements, I fully understand USAA's position. You did the right thing and looked elsewhare!