Nationstar Mortgage In-depth Review: Introducing Mr. Cooper

Nationstar Mortgage, the largest non-bank mortgage servicer in the U.S., changed its name to Mr. Cooper.

After a tough year losing senior executives and having its stock price plunge, Nationstar Mortgage rebranded with new goals. As Mr. Cooper, the company is committed to connecting with individuals and delivering the best service.

Mr. Cooper’s CEO Jay Bray says, “After extensive research and testing, Mr. Cooper was selected as our new brand name. It personifies the next generation of home loan servicing and lending for the company and represents a more personal relationship customers can have with their home loan provider.”

Whether it will deliver on these goals or not, time will tell, but Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. does have over two decades of experience in the mortgage industry.

Here is an in-depth review of Mr. Cooper’s current mortgage offerings.

Loan types

Mr. Cooper offers a variety of mortgage loans which include a blend of conventional, government-backed, and refinancing options. Here’s a brief overview of each.

Conventional loans

Conventional loans are not secured by any government agency.

Here are the basics about this loan type:

  • It requires at least a 5% down payment
  • Fixed and adjustable interest rates are available
  • Loan amount maximums range from $417,000 to $625,500
  • Less paperwork than government loans
  • A down payment less than 20% requires mortgage insurance
  • May have to contribute to an escrow account each month to pay property taxes and property insurance (if the down payment is under 20%)
  • Loans conform to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines
  • May have more stringent credit requirements

If your credit and financial profile are in decent shape and you have some money to put down, a conventional loan will be a good fit.

FHA loans

The next loan type available from Mr. Cooper is the FHA loan which the U.S. Federal Housing Authority (FHA) secures.

Here are the highlights:

  • Competitive interest rates
  • Down payments as low as 3.5%
  • Lenient credit requirements (as low as 580 can qualify for 3.5% down payment)
  • Requires up-front mortgage insurance and monthly mortgage insurance
  • Requires monthly deposits into an escrow account for mortgage insurance and property taxes
  • Larger debt-to-income ratios
  • Home must meet minimum property standards
  • More paperwork than a conventional loan

This can be a great option if you have little (or bad) credit and can only make a low down payment.

FHA Streamline refinance loans

FHA Streamline is a government-backed program for refinancing existing FHA mortgages. As the name suggests, the process is simple. Being that all of your information is already in the system, there are fewer paperwork requirements than with a traditional mortgage refinance.

The primary goal is to lower your payment. Even if you are upside down on your current home, you still may be able to save. The downsides include fees and the potential to increase your total cost if you extend the loan term.

VA loans

A Veterans Affairs (VA) loan is a mortgage backed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

Here are the basics:

  • Available to servicemembers, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses
  • VA guarantees a portion of the loan, so lenders offer you better terms
  • No down payment in some cases
  • Competitive interest rates
  • No private mortgage insurance requirement
  • Cash out refinance loans available
  • Lenient qualification requirements
  • Only for primary residences
  • Loan limits depend on VA entitlement amount
  • Up-front funding fee (unless you have a service-related disability)

If you qualify, this is a great program to help veterans, servicemembers, and their families get into affordable housing.

Mr. Cooper also offers the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), which is another loan backed by the U.S. This loan is for people who already have a VA loan and want to try to lower their interest rate and payments.

Similar to the FHA Streamline program, it is simplified. No credit underwriting package or appraisal is needed. There is a funding fee, but you can add it to the loan.

HARP loans

It isn’t easy to refinance your home when you owe more than it’s worth, but it is possible.

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is a government program that helps homeowners with negative equity lower their monthly payment or shorten their loan term.

Here are the requirements:

  • To be eligible, you must have a loan owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae
  • The loan must have an origination date before June 1, 2009
  • You must be current on your payments
  • Quick and simple process
  • No equity is okay
  • Only one HARP loan allowed per property

This can help homeowners who struggled as a result of the 2008 housing crisis get a more affordable mortgage.

JUMBO Loans

Jumbo loans are larger loans available for purchasing more expensive homes; they have loan amount limits up to $2 million. Both fixed and adjustable interest rates are available. However, the down payment requirement and interest rate are usually higher, and the credit requirements are strict.

Eligibility requirements

Being that Mr. Cooper offers such a wide range of mortgage loan products, the eligibility requirements vary greatly based on the type of loan for which you are applying. For example, FHA has very different requirements than JUMBO loans.

To find out the details, visit their website or contact the company by phone.

Customer service

Mr. Cooper has made some changes to the Nationstar mortgage customer service. It has brought all of the customer service and centers back to the U.S.

Bray says, ” We launched a team dedicated solely to addressing complaints and another to addressing questions on social media. We are committed to giving customers the red carpet treatment when we onboard their new loans — personally walking them through setting up their accounts and the payments process.”

The result? Bray says, “These enhancements to the customer experience have helped drive a more than 70% reduction in overall customer complaints in the last three years.”

Mortgage assistance

If you run into problems and can’t keep up with your payments, Mr. Cooper will try to help. It has a mortgage assistance form you can fill out, and the company will work with you to try and find the best solution. It may come in the form of refinancing, a loan modification, or a repayment plan.

Other features

What are the other features available through Mr. Cooper? Bray highlighted the following:

Street Smarts

“We offer a toolkit called Street Smarts from Mr. Cooper — a series of resources, calculators, and custom information specific to a customer’s loan, home, and neighborhood. Street Smarts lets users find out how much equity they have in their home, see recent sales in their area, view and monitor their FICO credit score, and see what it would take to pay down their mortgage faster, all right from their online account page.”

Payments

“Mr. Cooper offers free online payments and autopay, as well as a monthly calendar that displays when a late fee would go into effect. This can help customers figure out when they need to make payments in order to avoid late fees after their grace period is up.”

Rewards

“Our customers are also now able to apply for a credit card that offers rewards to be applied to the principal balance of their home loan with Mr. Cooper.”

Support and rebates

“We offer a unique service to homebuyers and sellers that allows them access to a panel of qualified local real estate agents in their area and also allows them to earn cash rebates for the sale or purchase of a home.”

New tech on the way

“We are excited to be launching a new technology offering in the near future that will further help current customers and prospective homeowners optimize their household finances.”

We’ll have to wait and see what all the new tech will offer. For now, let’s take a look at the application process.

Application process

If you’d like to apply with Mr. Cooper, visit its website and click “Apply.”

Nationstar mortgage Mr Cooper review

Next, you will see a page with the contact number and a form. You can either call in to discuss the loan products you are interested in or can fill out the form and Mr. Cooper will contact you.

Nationstar mortgage Mr Cooper review

Then, you will complete the application after speaking with a representative.

Is a Mr. Cooper mortgage right for you?

To find out if Mr. Cooper is the right mortgage servicer for you, you will need to call in or have them call you to work out the details.

The company offers a wide range of loan products which can help many different types of people in various situations. It also has a renewed focus on customer service, which can make for a positive experience initiating and managing your loan.

“Our transformation to Mr. Cooper has been incredible – but we still have work to do,” said Bray. “We want to build trust by putting the service back in the servicing industry, using innovation and technology to create a great customer experience.”

While the Mr. Cooper brand is new, the company behind the brand is not. Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. still stands with over 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry.

Through its various companies, it provides mortgage servicing to 3 million customers and has an outstanding principal balance of over $500 billion. You’re not dealing with a newbie, just a new name.

If you are interested in learning more or applying with Mr. Cooper, click here.