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Occasional Contributor

I’ve been a USAA customer for 25 years. My homeowners and auto insurance, VISA credit card, primary saving and checking accounts are all USAA products.  Additionally I have ~$250k in investments held at USAA. In March of last year, I sold my home in Connecticut and moved to Florida because of the dismal job market. I am now employed and in December applied for a $60,000 mortgage for a home valued at $99,500.   My previous mortgage was for $160K and never ‘underwater. The proceeds from the sale are reinvested in my new home.

 

USAA declined my application on Dec 21, 2013

 

I’m told it is denied because of ‘guidelines’. Underwriters specifically referenced my recent 14-months of unemployment. Please note, during the entire 14-months of unemployed I was never late paying my existing mortgage, insurance premiums, utilities or any bills.  My credit report attests to the veracity of this claim.  Prior to 2012, I have 30 solid years of employment and can furnish copies of tax returns dating back to 2007.

    

Additionally I’m told the guidelines require two-years of employment history to grant a mortgage.  This means I can’t qualify until 2016.  

 

USAA’s explanation that my application was denied is because of ‘guidelines’ A guideline is a non-mandatory "rule" and allows for exceptions to be made.  I'm  long time customer with a proven history of fiscal responsibility, sufficient assets to secure the mortgage, excellent credit with a proven track record of paying my debts on time, all the time without exception or excuses I am mystified and upset by their decision.

 

In effect I am being punished for circumstances that nearly brought the nation to its knees and are in no way my fault.  This explanation tells me USAA is not making decisions based on customer’s needs and abilities. They are hiding behind a rigid system that punishes ‘main street’ customers for recent economic events.  And I don’t understand how USAA can ‘pre-select’ me for a $50K loan for a car, yet refuse to grant a $60,000 mortgage.  Such dichotomous positions combined with the lack of performance in USAA mutual funds has made me seriously question the judgment and decision processes of USAA underwriters and the executives that stand behind them. This has shaken my confidence in this institution.  I’ve no confidence in the current management and feel it necessary to liquidate my holdings, shop for new banking and insurance sevices, and move on. USAA used to be there for customers but this appears to longer be true.

 

 C Vernier

St. Petersurg

 

8 REPLIES

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I had the same experience only I have been with USAA for fifty years. With extra cash to invest I would consider Fidelity or Vanguard
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I had a problem with my mortgage also. I ended up out of desperation sending an email to David Bohne the bank President. I explained my issues and his help was amazing. I sent him an email on a Sunday afternoon and he responded that evening. Monday morning he had someone out of the normal loop of contacts call me. His position was "Voice of the Members" His name was John  Saenz (pronounced John Fines) This guy was fantastic. He listened, and put his team of people to work on my problem. They resolved an issue my mortgage process screwed around with for 6 month, in a matter of days. Between John, and my new loan processor Michelle Ziggler, I'm a very happy camper.

 

If you haven't tried these people. Try them before you through in the towel with USAA.

I hope John is still in that position, this was several years ago. John and his team changed my life. I went from a great hate of USAA, to loving them again.

 

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I have been with USAA for almost 35 years and I am feeling the same way. Between investments, savings and an annuity I have over 700k with them. My credit score is 800 and they refuse to refinance my mortgage even though I could pay off my loan in cash. I am retired so no I am not employed and don't intend to be. I have had 3-4 investment reviews with different advisors and they tell me nothing. All they want me to do is dump all my current holdings and buy USAA mutual funds. I am very disappointed in their service.
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I also have given up on USAA for mortgages. My credit record is excellent and I have been with USAA over 40 years. I wanted $350k and was declined. I pointed out that I have cash assets of about $1.4 mil. They suggested I just pay cash and not refi. Checking, savings, credit card and insurance fine but nothing beyond those. Why is USAA seemingly so bad about mortgages? Maybe because they sell them.
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I have issues with Credit Card Fraud group that makes me lose confidence in all the other divisions.  No consideration for the end user, even when you are trying to help them.  USAA has been living off a lot of long term goodwill/reputation built up before the expansion to include non-officers.   Recent experience shows they are just another big bank.

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Well at leasat I'm not alone.Thanks for the responses.

 

USAA claims they have to follow strict guidelines for insurable mortgages---which tells me they’re dealing in derivatives. And the way things are going I don’t think they did very well.

 

My inquiry on why they denied my mortgage resulting in the following message on Jan 4, 2014 and I haven’t heard a thing since. USAA used to hold their mortgages. 

 

‘The CEO's office has received your correspondence regarding your mortgage loan application experience. We will assign your case to the appropriate subject matter experts who will follow up with you directly after reviewing the situation. Thank you for writing to us.

Thank you,
Eric Lopez
USAA

USAA means United Services Automobile Association and its affiliates.

Senior Member Relations Advisor
Office of the CEO
(800) 531-8722, Extension 86071’

 

There subject matter expert must be learning impaired since there’s been no response to a straight forward question.

 

I've also had credit purchases declined at critical times.  Used to be someone was there to sort out the trouble, but not anymore.  Customer service is suffering.  Too many transfers to another number and the number of menu options e to go through has reached epic levels.  I’ve called to speak with investments and was put on hold, then dropped three times in one day.  Now today I can’t access my accounts because of ‘intermittent trouble’.   They're outsourcing insurance (car and home owners) to affiliates.  When did that start?   When I accepted this I was told any claims would be handled by USAA but that was just another lie. 

I’ve pulled almost everything from USAA bond and mutual funds and I’m looking for a place to transfer my investments and insurances.  Left the USAGX with its pitiful state it’s got to be near the bottom. Hoping one day it will look better.

 

Sad to say, USAA just isn't what it once was. The current executive team is running the bank into the ground.  They need to clean house. Get a executive team that can refocus on their core value....Serving the military members and their families.  And they’d better take a look at the member’s page.  .  They have some explaining to do.

cbv

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I hate to sound like a broken record, nor do I want to beat a dead horse, but:

 

I have been with USAA for 55 years!  Been very happy with the service, costs of insurance, and the claim payments for many of those years.  Also, praised the value of USAA to friends and family members for years. 

 

Unfortunately, like others, I have been very, very disappointed with recent service (or lack thereof)..

 

Moved to Keystone Heights, FL, which is only 40 miles from prior residence.  USAA WILL NOT provide home owners insurance on the new location.  Their lame excuse is that the location is in a known "sink hole" area.  Local residents do not recall any sink-holes in the area, EVER.

 

Letters to the CEO resulted in personal phone calls from the executive office, but still no coverage from USAA for this new residence!

 

To say that I am disappointed in the changes (for the worse) in service within USAA is an understatement.
I fully expect that my auto coverage will probably be cancelled within a year (for reasons unknown), as the the changes continue within USAA.

 

How sad, but true, that a once proud, outstanding service company, USAA, has deteriorated as it has over the last few years!!!

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I have been with USAA for 15 years and I have switched to a new insurance company because of the lack of customer service.  When I started the customer service was outstanding.  I told everyone I knew that was able to become a member to sign up.  My advise is much different now.  I advise anyone to go to a small hometown bank and better insurance company.  What a sad state we are in.  Such a good company turned into another to big to fail corporation where profits are all that matters not the individual!