Cherry Creek Mortgage Review 2022: Speedy Closings for Preapproved Borrowers

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Cherry Creek Mortgage Review 2022
Cherry Creek Mortgage Review 2022
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
Cherry Creek Mortgage Review 2022
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
  • Minimum Credit Score:
    620 conventional, FHA, VA; 640 USDA; 680 jumbo
  • Minimum Down Payment:
    0% to 5%, 20% jumbo
  • Can Apply Online:
  • Operates In:
    33-39 States*

NextAdvisor’s Take

  • Available in 33-39 states*
  • 76 branch locations
  • Advertises daily interest rates for purchase and refinance loans
  • Wide range of loan options
  • Purchase closings can take as little as two weeks if the borrower has been preapproved.
  • Smooth online application process
  • High ceiling for jumbo loan borrowing
  • Not available in all states
  • Strict credit score requirements for FHA loans
  • Charges a lender fee if using down payment assistance
The Bottom Line

Cherry Creek might be a good option if you’re a first-time homebuyer with strong credit or if you’re looking to borrow a large amount. And if you get preapproved with the lender, they can speed up your closing timeline. Also, Cherry Creek sets higher minimum credit score requirements than some of its competitors — so borrowers with weaker credit or aversion to consumer issues might want to look elsewhere.

*We found conflicting information between the company website, NMLS, and a recent press release.

Cherry Creek Mortgage Full Review 

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.

Cherry Creek Mortgage has produced more than $70 billion in home loans since it launched in 1987 and is now headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado. Although we found conflicting information between the company website, NMLS, and a recent press release, the lender is licensed to operate in about 33-39 states. Cherry Creek runs more than 70 branches which is helpful for borrowers looking for in-person help. 

Recently, Cherry Creek also expanded into the online mortgage marketplace through its new company, Blue Spot Home Loans. At Blue Spot, borrowers may get same-day preapprovals, apply for a home loan, and upload documents online. Purchase closings can take as little as two weeks if the borrower has been preapproved. 

Cherry Creek Mortgage: Loan Types and Products

Here’s what’s on the lender’s menu right now:

The lender doesn’t offer construction loans or home equity products, though you might be able to cover your needs with a renovation loan or a cash-out refinance mortgage in some cases. 

And when shopping for a loan, borrowers can choose the type of interest rate they receive. With a fixed-rate mortgage, the rate never changes and your principal-and-interest payments are predictable throughout the loan term. Adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, come with a fixed rate for a certain amount of time. Cherry Creek’s ARMs stay fixed for the first five, seven, or 10 years. Then the rate may go up or down each quarter based on market conditions.  

Cherry Creek Mortgage also offers jumbo loans, which are mortgages that exceed a dollar amount called the conforming loan limit. The Federal Housing Finance Agency sets this limit and it can change each year. In 2022, the conforming loan limit is $647,200 — though it can be higher in certain high-cost areas. Cherry Creek’s jumbo loans go up to $5 million, which is one of the highest limits we’ve seen among residential mortgage lenders.

Cherry Creek Mortgage: Transparency

If you want to get a mortgage with this lender, you can either visit the Cherry Creek Mortgage website or Blue Spot Home Loans website. From there, you’ll need to create an account to get preapproved or start the loan process. 

But you can get a rate quote instantly, without a hard credit pull, on either website before creating an account. The rate quote is an important step because you can determine whether you want to work with the lender without it hurting your credit.

The website also includes some homebuyer education resources, such as calculators and blog posts.

However, neither website offers details about how to qualify for a mortgage with the company and lender fees you might pay.  

Cherry Creek Mortgage: Rates and Fees 

The Blue Spot Home Loans website advertises daily purchase and refinance rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans, 20-year fixed-rate loans, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. You can customize the rate quote using a different down payment, credit score range, loan amount, and loan terms. The lender also shows how much you can pay toward mortgage points, which is a fee you can pay to lower your interest rate. 

But you’ll need to call the company or fill out an online form to get a customized fee schedule. These details vary based on your borrower profile and intended ZIP code, but closing costs typically amount to 2% to 5% of the home’s purchase price. A Cherry Creek loan officer says the lender doesn’t charge an origination fee unless the borrower uses down payment assistance. All borrowers pay an application fee of at least $795.  

If you call the lender to get preapproved or apply for a mortgage, make sure you look for costs such as the following:

Cherry Creek doesn’t charge prepayment penalties on any of its loans, so you can pay off your mortgage early without incurring extra fees. 

The minimum credit score and down payment required by Cherry Creek vary by loan type and whether you’ve purchased a home recently. According to a loan officer we spoke with, borrowers need a credit score of at least 620 and a minimum down payment of 3% (for first-time buyers) or 5% (for repeat buyers) to qualify for a conventional loan. 

FHA loans also require a score of 620, but your down payment can be as low as 3.5%. You’ll need a credit score of at least 620 to qualify for a VA loan and 640 to get a USDA loan — but neither require a down payment. Jumbo loans have stricter requirements because you’re borrowing more money. At Cherry Creek, borrowers will need a credit score of at least 680 and a down payment of at least 20% to get a loan that exceeds the conforming limits. Of course, with all mortgage types, a higher credit score boosts your chances of approval and may help you receive better loan terms. 

You can lock in your interest rate for up to 60 days for free, but you’ll pay a fee to extend the rate lock in some cases. Another plus: Cherry Creek says it may be able to close purchase loans within two weeks if you’ve already been preapproved with the lender. A refinance takes a little longer, at 30 to 45 days.

Refinancing With Cherry Creek Mortgage

The Cherry Creek and Blue Spot blogs offer some information about the general refinance process. But to understand the borrower requirements and details of each loan program, it’s a good idea to talk with a loan officer. The lender says it offers the main refinance programs, including:

Cherry Creek Mortgage Compared to Other Mortgage Lenders

Cherry Creek MortgageFairway Independent Mortgage Corp.Better Mortgage
Minimum credit score620 for conventional loans; 680 for jumbo loans; 620 for FHA loans; 620 for VA loans; 640 for USDA loans620 for conventional loans; 660 for jumbo loans; 600 for FHA loans; 600 for VA loans620 for conforming loans, 700 for jumbo loans
Minimum down payment0% to 5%, 20% jumbo0% to 5%3%
Where does the lender operate?33-39 states* All 50 states and Washington, D.C.46 states and Washington, D.C.
Major loan typesConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, renovation loans, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinance, reverse mortgagesConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, various renovation loans, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinance, reverse mortgages, home equity loans, home equity lines of creditConventional, jumbo, FHA, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinance
*We found conflicting information between the company website, NMLS, and a recent press release.

How to Shop Around to Get the Best Mortgage Rate

Before you start house hunting, it’s a good idea to contact a lender and ask for a mortgage preapproval. This letter includes details like your estimated monthly payment and which mortgage programs might work for you. Most importantly, the preapproval letter includes the amount you might be able to borrow, which will help you set a homebuying budget and support your purchase offer. 

But you’re not locked in with the lender that provides your preapproval letter. When you’re ready to officially apply for a mortgage, submit loan applications to multiple mortgage lenders and ask for a Loan Estimate. Use these documents to compare the interest rate and closing costs, and use an online mortgage calculator to help you figure out how much you’d spend on interest with each option. 

According to research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, interest rates can vary by 0.5% or more between two similarly qualified borrowers. The agency found that getting multiple quotes could save mortgage borrowers as much as $300 a year. 

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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.