Alterra Home Loans Review 2022: Serves Underrepresented Borrowers With Alternative Underwriting Options, but Rates and Fees Not Listed Online

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Alterra Home Loans Review 2022
Alterra Home Loans Review 2022
Alterra Home Loans Review 2022
  • Minimum Credit Score:
    580 FHA and VA; 620 conventional
  • Minimum Down Payment:
    0% to 3.5%, depending on loan type
  • Can Apply Online:
    Yes
  • Operates In:
    34 States

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Available in 34 states and Washington, D.C
  • Caters to the Hispanic community; many loan officers are bilingual in Spanish and English
  • Various loan programs, including mortgages for people without a SSN
  • Offers rate quotes (over the phone or in person) with no hard credit check
Cons
  • Unresponsive customer service
  • Branch offices not available in every state
  • Rates not advertised on the lender’s website
  • Does not offer construction loans, home equity lines of credit, or home equity loans
The Bottom Line

Alterra Home Loans focuses on lending to underserved communities in 34 states plus Washington, D.C. This lender may help you get a loan if you are a first-time homebuyer, are self-employed, live in a household with multiple sources of income, need help with a down payment, or lack a Social Security number, or are in need of a Spanish speaking loan officer. 

Editorial Independence

As with all of our mortgage lender reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information about our scoring methodology, click here.

Alterra Home Loans Full Review 

Alterra Home Loans is a mortgage lender that was established in 2006 and is now part of Panorama Mortgage Group. The Las Vegas-based lender offers a variety of loan products for many types of borrowers, including those who are self-employed, need help with their down payment, or have income from several sources. 

As a 100% Hispanic-owned company, Alterra’s mission statement says it strives to help underrepresented homeowner groups. The company says 73% of its customers were “diverse” and 62% were “first-time buyers” in 2019. Many of the lender’s loan officers are fluent in both English and Spanish, which can help multilingual customers navigate the homebuying process.

If you’re looking to take out a mortgage, here’s a closer look at Alterra Home Loans.  

Alterra Home Loans: Mortgage Loan Types and Products

Alterra Home Loans offers mortgages for borrowers looking to buy, renovate, or refinance a home. On the lender’s menu right now:

Alterra also helps borrowers through different homebuying hurdles, too. For instance, the company’s underwriting model accommodates borrowers who are self-employed or who live in households where several family members contribute to the monthly bills. 

The lender also offers a foreign national loan program where borrowers can use an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) in lieu of a Social Security number. To qualify, borrowers will need to provide a 20% down payment, show two years’ worth of employment in the same type of work, and provide their two most recent tax returns using the ITIN. These home loans also come with a higher interest rate.  

Alterra Home Loans: Transparency

Alterra Home Loans’ website doesn’t advertise mortgage rates or lender fees and offers very little information about its offerings. Customers won’t find details about the types of loans Alterra offers, information about qualification requirements, or helpful resources about the mortgage process. 

Borrowers can fill out an online form to request a phone call from a loan officer or they can visit one of the lender’s in-person branch offices. We tried calling the lender several times and didn’t connect with anyone, but we did receive a call-back from a loan officer after filling out the online form. The representative gave information about the loan process and provided a rate quote without a hard credit pull.  

If you decide to fill out a mortgage application, you can submit one online or through the lender’s mobile app, Pronto Plus. A loan officer will contact you to set up an account and finish the loan approval process. You can track your application, upload documents, sign paperwork electronically, and verify your employment online.

Alterra Home Loans: Mortgage Rates and Fees 

Alterra Home Loans does not advertise interest rates on its website or provide a list of fees borrowers might pay at closing. However, it may help to know about closing costs that are common among most lenders. You can expect to pay about 2% to 5% of your home’s total price in fees, including lender fees and and third-party costs. Costs may include: 

Loan eligibility at Alterra varies with each mortgage program. To qualify for a conventional loan, borrowers need a credit score of at least 620 and a minimum down payment of 3%. But with FHA loans, borrowers need a credit score of just 580 with a down payment of at least 3.5%. Alterra also requires a score of at least 580 to get a VA loan, though you won’t need a down payment. 

Refinancing With Alterra Home Loans

Homeowners with an existing mortgage may be able to save money or borrow cash with a refinance loan. Alterra’s website doesn’t offer much information about the refinance process or provide resources and interest rates, so you’ll need to contact a loan officer for more information. Alterra offers:

  • Rate-and-term refinance loans, which allow you to get a new interest rate, loan term, or both. Homeowners often use this type of loan to save money, get rid of private mortgage insurance, or switch from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate loan.
  • Cash-out refinance loans, which allow you to borrow money using your home equity as collateral. You would take out a mortgage for more than you owe, pay off your existing loan, then accept the difference in cash.

As with any home loan, it’s a good idea to compare mortgage lenders before refinancing.  

Alterra Home Loans Compared to Other Mortgage Lenders

Alterra Home LoansMovement MortgageTruist Mortgage
Minimum credit score580 for FHA and VA; 620 for conventional580 (some mortgage programs may require a higher score)Not provided
Minimum down payment0% for VA and USDA; 3% for conventional; 3.5% for FHA0% to 3.5%0% for VA and USDA; 3% for conventional; 3.5% for FHA
Where does the lender operate?34 states and Washington, D.C.All 50 states and Washington, D.C.47 states and Washington, D.C.
Major loan typesConventional, VA, FHA, USDA, jumbo, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, refinance, cash-out refinance, renovationConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, various renovation loans, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinance, reverse mortgagesConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, construction, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, several refinance programs, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit

How to Shop Around to Get the Best Mortgage Rate

Your mortgage rate affects the cost of borrowing over the entire loan term, so getting a low rate can help you save money. Shopping around is the best way to find a good deal. Start by researching mortgage lenders, submitting three or more mortgage applications, and comparing Loan Estimates. Multiple credit applications may temporarily lower your credit score, but you can reduce the impact by submitting the applications within a short time frame — about two to six weeks.

According to research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the simple step of comparing offers can help you save as much as $300 per year. You may save even more based on the interest rate you get and whether you negotiate. For instance, you can send the best offer to another lender and ask them to lower their interest rate or closing costs — or both. Mortgage lenders may be willing to compete for your business, especially if you have strong credit. 

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Editorial Independence

As with all of our mortgage lender reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information about our scoring methodology, click here.