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TIAA Mortgage Review 2018

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by Lauren Perez Updated
TIAA Bank

TIAA Bank Mortgage Overview

In addition to its bank account products, TIAA Bank also maintains an extensive mortgage lender operation. The bank has been lending since 1961 and does all its underwriting and loan processing in-house. TIAA can help you finance a new home or a home construction project, refinance your existing mortgage and access your home’s equity. You can also finance jumbo mortgages or find low down payment options with the bank. 

TIAA Bank makes it easy to start the process by speaking with a mortgage expert as soon as possible. A TIAA Bank mortgage expert will help you throughout the entire application process from your app submission to closing. 

Does TIAA Bank Mortgage Operate in My Area?

TIAA Bank operates Mortgage Lending offices in 22 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. These states are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Washington. 

What Kind of Mortgage Can I Get With TIAA Bank? 

Fixed-rate mortgage: Just like it sounds, a fixed-rate mortgage keeps the same rate on the loan from start to finish. TIAA Bank offers both 15-year and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. A 15-year fixed rate loan works better if you want to pay off your loan faster and at a lower rate. This does make your monthly payments slightly higher than a 30-year loan, however. The 30-year loan gives you more time to pay off your loan resulting in lower monthly payments, too. 

TIAA Bank also offers jumbo versions of these two fixed-rate mortgages. You can finance a home priced up to $3 million with a jumbo loan. 

Adjustable-rate mortgage: The alternative to having your rate set for the entirety of your loan is to get an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). There are two parts to an ARM. An ARM starts with a fixed-rate period where your rate won’t change. Once that period ends, your rate will change periodically. 

TIAA Bank offers 5/1, 7/1, 10/1 and 15/1 ARMs. The first number indicates the length of the fixed-rate period. So these loans carry a fixed-rate period of five, seven, 10 and 15 years, respectively. The second number shown in each loan indicates how often your rate will change after the initial period. Each of TIAA Bank’s ARMs will adjust your rate once every year. 

You can open a TIAA Bank ARM as a jumbo loan.

FHA loans: FHA loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration. With a low down payment requirement, FHA loans make buying a home more of a possibility for lower-income individuals. Opening an FHA loan with TIAA Bank will require as little as 3.5% down instead of the usual 20%. 

VA loans: VA loans are also government backed, this time by the Veterans Administration. VA home loans do not require a down payment.

Preferred Equity Interest Only Line: This kind of home loan allows you to make interest-only payments during the initial draw period of the variable-rate 30-year loan. You can access up to 90% of the line at closing. 

Preferred Equity Principal + Interest Line: This loan option allows you to pay down the principal and pay interest over the life of the line. This can help you out if you plan to stay in your new home for a while. You can access up to 100% of the line at loan closing. 

Preferred Equity Low Down Payment Option: This TIAA Bank mortgage pairs its conventional home loan with its Preferred Equity Line. You can access up to 100% of the line at closing, with a line maximum of $500,000. 

Construction loans: If you want to create your dream home rather than buy an existing home, TIAA Bank offers construction loans to help you out. This can help you finance projects from $250,000 into the millions. You can open a construction loan as a 5/1, 7/1 or 10/1 ARM. 

Once you get started, you’ll be put into contact with a construction loan expert to help you start creating the right loan. They’ll help you out every step of the loan. Plus, you’ll only need to deal with one loan closing. 

Refinance: A refinance allows you to adjust the original terms of your mortgage when it no longer suits you. This means you can snag a lower rate and reduce your monthly payments, boosting your savings. You can refinance your mortgage to shorten its original term length. This allows you to get the weight of the loan off your back sooner. Refinancing can also help you avoid the volatility of ever-changing rates by switching from an ARM to a fixed-rate loan. You could, of course, refinance your fixed-rate loan to an ARM for the potentially lower rates. 

Finally, you can get a cash out refinance. By taking equity out of your home, this can help you pay for a home renovation or even a second home. 

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC): Already own a home and need access to cash? Your home’s equity could prove that line of cash for you as a HELOC. This allows you to tap into your home’s equity as you’d like, allowing you to pay for other big expenses. TIAA Bank offers HELOCs with low rates and flexible payment options. 

Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP): TIAA Bank can help you refinance your home with the government-backed Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP. This program works specifically to help homeowners take advantage of lower rates. 

You will need to check with TIAA Bank to see whether you and your mortgage qualify for a HARP

FHA Streamline Refinance: If you already have an FHA mortgage, you can use the FHA streamline refinance program to lock in a new low rate. This can help make your mortgage even more affordable each month. 

What Can You Do Online With TIAA Bank Mortgage?

You can manage your TIAA Bank mortgage online just about every step of the way. You can start by checking out TIAA’s various loan options and their rates. Not all lenders provide their rates right off the bat, but TIAA does offer rate approximations depending on credit scores and price points. 

If you find a loan you want to open, you can easily click a “Let’s Get Started” button for the corresponding loan product. Then you can find a Home Lending Office near you or have a TIAA mortgage expert contact you. 

Then of course, once you have a mortgage with TIAA, you can easily access your accounts online with your login information. 

Would You Qualify for a Mortgage From TIAA Bank?

The mortgage rates and terms you’ll see from TIAA Bank will depend on your credit score, loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, the loan amount and more. Its best rates are reserved for LTVs around 70% and excellent credit scores. 

What’s the Process for Getting a Mortgage With TIAA Bank?

For starters, you’ll need to submit your mortgage application. This will provide basic information like what your finances look like and the kind of loan you want to open. You can complete your TIAA mortgage application over the phone, at a mortgage office or online. It helps to collect your necessary documents like recent pay stubs, bank statements and tax forms before or shortly after you submit an application. 

Next comes the loan processing and underwriting. TIAA Bank performs this in-house to streamline the paperwork and get you to closing quicker. The bank’s underwriting team will then determine whether or not to approve your loan. If you’re approved, your personal mortgage expert will help you get to closing. Closing is the final step. Here, you’ll you’ll sign all the necessary legal and loan documents, finalizing your mortgage. 

How TIAA Bank Mortgage Stacks Up

TIAA Bank offers a pretty thorough mortgage division. While there are other lenders who offer a longer list of mortgage options, TIAA still offers a great variety. You can use TIAA to open a standard 30-year fixed-rate loan or to cash out on your home’s equity. 

TIAA offers streamlined loan services, placing you with the same mortgage expert from start to finish to help you with your loan each step of the way. All underwriting and processing happens in-house as well, to keep all your paperwork and information in one place. Plus, for construction loans or refinances, you’ll only have to deal with one closing meeting and one set of closing costs. 

Tips for Managing Your Mortgage 

  • A TIAA Bank mortgage expert can help you determine the best kind of mortgage and the best loan terms for you and your financial situation. Still, it helps to have your own idea of your future mortgage before you get started. This includes which mortgage length is right for you, how much down payment you can meet and more. That way, you can head into your first meeting with a mortgage expert well-informed and ready to go. 
  • A big part of managing your mortgage is ensuring your working with the right mortgage lender. If TIAA doesn’t offer the kind of loan or qualifications you need, there are plenty other lenders out there. You shouldn’t have to adjust your finances, expectations or goals to fit a lender’s options. Do your research to find the lender that offers just what you need and one you can work with as you pay off your loan. 
  • If managing your mortgage and other finances ever becomes overwhelming for you, a financial advisor could help you out. They can look at the big picture and figure out how to best manage your finances, determining where to cut costs and save a bit more money. The right advisor for you is out there and you can find them with SmartAsset’s advisor matching tool. By getting to know you and your financial goals through a short quiz, we can connect you with qualified advisors in your area to help you get started. 
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