Meridian Mortgage Review: 2022
Updated: May 25
In our other mortgage lender reviews that we’ve written in the past, it has become apparent that many home buyers, and particularly first-time home buyers, struggle to work with a lender that they trust. And the reasons for this are plentiful.
Balancing student loan debt is just one reason. If current or former student loan borrowers are going to jump into the housing market, they want to be sure that they’re working with someone that can guide them in the right direction.
But there are more reasons too. Today, we’re going to review Meridian Home Mortgage and cover what you can expect throughout their mortgage application and disbursement process.
What is Meridian Home Mortgage?
Meridian Home Mortgage was founded in 2001 in Westminster, Maryland. While not technically a bank, Meridian generally performs well in customer service reviews in large part due to the lack of upfront costs and the streamlined mortgage process that they offer.
Meridian is also well regarded in the industry for their unique approach to the mortgage process. Their employees also do not work on commission, leading to an environment with less pressure than you may be expecting.
Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, Refinancing
AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, and WY
Minimum credit score
Mortgages offered by Meridian
Meridian offers the following types of home loans at this time.
Conventional loans are the most basic and common type of home loan out there. Offering both the fixed and variable rate varieties, Meridian offers 15 and 30 year fixed mortgages and ARMs with terms of 3/1, 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1. For reference, a 3/1 ARM means that your mortgage will remain fixed for three years, before turning into a variable rate loan where your rate can change every year thereafter.
The lender also offers FHA loans through the Federal Housing Administration. Designed for first time buyers and those that have low credit scores and minimal down payments saved, you may be able to purchase a home through the program with a credit score as low as 560 and a down payment as small as 3.5%.
Third, United States Armed Forces service members, Veterans, and other eligible military personnel may opt for a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) home loan. Meridian offers these loans with no down payment and private mortgage insurance requirements.
The final major category of mortgage loan you may opt for is a Jumbo. Jumbos are essentially large Conventional loans for home purchases where you are financing more than about $548,250, though these limits can vary somewhat by county and state.
While not the purpose of this review specifically, they also offer refinancing and other services as well.
Meridian home interest rates
As details and specifics seem to be a little tricky to find online, you'll likely need to work closely with a Meridian loan officer to understand exactly what rates and term you may qualify for.
Do keep in mind, however, that the interest rates offered by any lender are subject to change based on prevailing conditions in the nation's financial markets.
Meridian mortgage eligibility
At this time, you can take a home loan if you live in the following states: AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, and WY.
Other than these geographic requirements, you’ll need to maintain a debt-to-income ratio within program limits (most lenders set this threshold at 43%, but you’ll generally want to be in the mid 30% range to have your best chance at being accepted. Keep in mind that this will include all of your debt(s) you may have, including student debt, car loans, consumer debt, and any child support or alimony that you may have to pay.
In addition to these requirements, you'll want to be prepared to meet any other lender requirements that could surface, including minimum down payment requirements and any other local restrictions in the real estate market in which you are looking to purchase a home in.
Meridian mortgage application process
Applying for a mortgage with Meridian is an easy process. With no branch locations to handle your application in person, your best option will be to apply online via the Meridian website.
Follow these steps to help you get started.
Navigate to the Meridian website: Once there, look for the section of the site that says something like “Get Started” or “Apply Now.”
Complete basic information: You’ll find a form to begin the process. It will ask you for basic info such as your name, income, employment information, and some preliminary data regarding your current financial account balances. This is not technically part of the mortgage application process, but instead will provide the data necessary to a loan officer to get the process started with you.
Get contacted by a loan officer: After you submit the form, you will hear from Meridian directly regarding your loan options and their associated rates, terms, and monthly payments
After you get the process moving with your assigned loan officer, you’ll want to be prepared to gather all of the financial documentation that you'll need to complete your application. As a starting point, you'll want to have:
Recent paystubs and the previous year's W-2
Employer information and verification
Financial account statements
Pros and cons to a Meridian mortgage
Here is our favorite part about Meridian mortgages.
Low credit score requirements
Our favorite part of working with Meridian is their relaxed credit requirements for acceptance. First time home buyers and others that are eligible for FHA loans can take one here with a credit score of 560.
Next, here are a few things we’d like to see Meridian improve upon.
No in person offices
Even though Meridian can originate mortgages throughout most of the country, there are no branches or locations where you can walk in and get any in person assistance.
So, for this lender to be a good fit for you, you’re going to want to be sure that you’re fine with a virtual or digital experience with most of the customer service experience being conducted over the phone.
Limited online information
Another thing that we’d like to see the lender improve upon is the quantity of information that they provide online about their loan offerings, rates, and terms. Without working with a Meridian lender, the information that you can find by yourself is quite limited.
No lender specific first time buyer programs
It’s always nice when lenders offer their own first time home buyer mortgage or down payment assistance programs for qualifying buyers. TD Bank is a great example of this. And while it is a little disappointing that Meridian doesn’t, it should not necessarily be seen as a deal breaker.
Our Meridian Home Mortgage Review
My wife and I considered Meridian when we applied for our mortgage in April 2022. And while we didn't end up taking our loan from them, we were impressed with their web presence and tools.
Their customer portal allows you access to a loan portal that can be used to apply for a mortgage or refinancing. After logging into the portal (or registering for an account), you'll find all of your personal data regarding your loan application, disbursement, and status.
It is really nice (and more secure) to be able to handle document exchange, disclosures, attestations, and other requirements online.
Beyond their digital offerings, we also were enamored by their rate and term selections, which we found to be both flexible and competitive. Given all the positive things that we have to say about Meridian, you are probably wondering why we did not end up using them. There were two main reasons.
First and foremost, we wanted a local lender and loan officer that knew our local real estate market inside and out. And secondly, we thought that we were interested in participating in a local first time home buyer program in our area, a program that we weren't sure we could utilize with them.
While some may read this review and see these as opportunities for Meridian to improve their offerings, they just were not the perfect fit for us, but this was more so because we were particular than anything they did wrong. In fact, they fit their niche in the market really well.
Get our mortgage calculator
Whether or not Meridian ends up being the right lender for you or not, you're going to want to download our free mortgage calculator. Our tool will project your monthly mortgage payments by taking into account:
The purchase price of your new home
Your down payment
Your loan term and interest rate
Annual property taxes
Home insurance premiums
Using this tool, you'll quickly learn how much home you can afford and how much you should put down by changing the variable inputs to your mortgage payments. Download your copy here or by clicking the button below!
The bottom line
In a really crowded mortgage lending space, it can be hard to stand out. And Meridian doesn’t, but that can be a good thing. In an industry full of hits and misses, Meridian is consistent, though unspectacular, and provides an overall good experience for the majority of home buyers nationwide.
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