My Experience with Discover Home Loans: Great Service and Rewards Programs
Last March, my husband and I bought our dream house. Seriously, I love this house, and I’m never moving. When we started looking, I had no idea what a process it was to buy a house — the roller coaster ride of emotions when you’re trying to decide whether to bid, the waiting period after you do bid, the counteroffer and another waiting period, and then 30-45 days of escrow!
After going through that ordeal, I feel like a pro who knows all the ins and outs of the mortgage loan process, and that’s mostly due to the great experience I had at Discover Home Loans. Since my husband and I bought our house, I’ve felt confident to advise several of my friends on the details of the process.
When we decided to look for a house, the first thing I did was hit up Lending Tree, a service that matches you with prospective lenders, because I just didn’t know what else to do, or how else to find a bank to service our loan. Mike from Discover Home Loans was the very first one to call — within minutes!
I was pretty clueless when I talked to Mike. He asked me basic questions like how big of a loan I needed, how much money did we have to put down, what area were we looking to buy in, etc., and I didn’t have the answers. He was patient, though, and walked me through the process, taking the time to explain all my options and how to assess what we could afford. He also asked for our financial documents to get everything started. At the end of that one conversation, I already felt like I knew so much more about the loan process.
Mike also directed me to Discover’s online tools, which helped tremendously because I like to read up on everything. They have a very helpful mortgage affordability calculator as well as a comprehensive Home Buyer’s Handbook.
Lightning Fast Responses
It took several long months before we finally found our dream home. However, I was in constant contact with Mike as we started to make bids. He made sure I always had the paperwork I needed from him (prequalification letters) for the specific amount based on our bid. When our bid finally got accepted and escrow officially began, Mike got the ball rolling immediately. Since the buyer’s bank is responsible for the appraisal, it was crucial for Discover to get the order out immediately. The appraisal was going to determine the maximum amount we could borrow. The appraiser was out there within three days, and we got the report a few days later.
Discover Streamlined My Complicated Loan Application
Once that was done and the loan amount was set, everything had to go to underwriting (the place where our application and financials are reviewed with a fine tooth comb to decide whether or not the loan should be approved). We weren’t an easy account to work with. I had my own company, we were receiving monetary gifts from family, we were taking a loan out of my husband’s 401(k), and the rest of our down payment was coming from multiple accounts (my husband and I don’t have shared accounts). But because Mike had already started gathering our financial statements ahead of time and talked to me about our financial situation, everything was ready to go as soon as our escrow started. With our complicated situation, the head start was essential, because we knew their underwriter had to process a lot of documents.
24/7 Access and Status Updates
Being in escrow is not fun. There’s a lot of anxiety and stress over whether something is going to fall through. Our sellers were in escrow as well, and a contingency of the sale was that their escrow closed. I checked our loan status application daily on Discover’s site. It showed where we were at in the process, as well as the person on the team currently responsible. Mike was my main point of contact throughout (even though his job was done once everything was handed to the underwriter), and the rest of the team was just as dedicated at getting my loan approved.
I did not realize how important it was to have a skilled lending team. My sister-in-law was going through her own escrow at the time with another lender, which fell through because of the lender’s mistake. In fact, on closing day, after funds had been sent, they retracted the funds and said the loan was not approved. It was chaos — and heartbreaking.
Great Rewards Program
Discover Home Loans has a rewards program where, if you get a loan from them, the fees for any future loans you get from them are waived for the rest of your life (up to $2,000). And this includes a refinance on the original loan you got from them! I’ve already taken advantage of this and gotten a second loan.
Bottom Line: I Would Recommend to My Own Family
After that experience, I highly recommend Discover Home Loans to anyone looking for a home loan. My mom went through a refinance through them and had a similar great experience.
When vetting any lender, it’s important that the lender makes it clear that he’s willing to give you the time and attention your loan needs. A home is a big, important purchase, and you want to be able to count on your lender to be there whenever you need him. I feel like Mike was a knowledgeable friend I could pick up the phone and call at any time to ask questions (and I did). The loan process is complicated and slow (thus the usual 30 days of escrow), but Discover made sure I understood the process each step of the way, and they were efficient and skilled. And ultimately, they helped me get the home of my dreams.
Discover Home Loans has provided me with compensation for my time and efforts on this article. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.