Ameris Bank Mortgage Review 2023

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Our experts answer readers’ home-buying questions and write unbiased product reviews (here’s how we assess mortgages). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners; however, our opinions are our own.

About Ameris Bank Mortgages

To get a mortgage with Ameris Bank, you’ll need to search on the lender’s website for a loan officer near you. Then, you can get started over the phone or online. If you prefer to apply in person, you can visit one of the bank’s physical branches in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia.

Ameris Bank lends mortgages in 46 states and Washington, DC. It isn’t available to borrowers in Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, or New York. 

Ameris Bank offers basic mortgage types, including:

  • Conforming loans
  • FHA loans
  • VA loans 
  • USDA loans
  • Jumbo loans 
  • Construction and construction-to-permanent loans
  • Rehabilitation loans
  • Medical professional mortgages

Its Bank Statement Advantage program is a good option for self-employed borrowers who need to use bank statements to show their income. It also offers a Recent Housing Event mortgage for borrowers who have experienced a “housing event” (this could include a foreclosure or short sale) due to financial hardship.

The Ameris Dream mortgage is for first-time homebuyers who meet income and location requirements. It allows up to 100% financing with no mortgage insurance. Ameris Bank also offers a down payment grant of up to $12,500. The grant is a second mortgage that will be fully forgiven as long as you stay in your home for at least five years.

This lender also offers home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).

Ameris Bank lets borrowers with no or limited credit apply with non-traditional credit on some of its loans. The lender may look at your rent payment history or evaluate your cash flow using bank statement data to establish your creditworthiness in lieu of a traditional credit score.

Is Ameris Bank Trustworthy?

Ameris Bank currently has a C+ rating from the Better Business Bureau due to a failure to respond to a complaint filed against the business. The BBB grades companies based on whether they advertise honestly, respond effectively to customer complaints, and are transparent about business practices.

Ameris Bank recently settled redlining allegations from the Department of Justice. The complaint claimed that from 2016 to 2021, Ameris Bank avoided originating mortgages in majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Jacksonville, Florida, and that it discouraged borrowers in these communities from getting mortgages. The DOJ says that other banks in the area generated applications in these neighborhoods at three times the rate of Ameris. Ameris Bank has denied these allegations.

On its Zillow lender page, Ameris has 4.95 out of 5 stars, based on over 900 online customer reviews.

Ameris Bank Mortgage Interest Rates and Fees

Ameris Bank doesn’t display any sample mortgage rates online. If you want to get a rate quote, you’ll need to reach out to an Ameris loan officer near you.

Ameris Bank charges a mortgage administrative fee that’s approximately $1,025. You’ll pay this in addition to any third-party closing costs you incur during the process of getting your mortgage.

According to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, in 2022, the average borrower who got a conventional mortgage from Ameris Bank paid $3,717 in origination charges. Origination fees can include things like discount points, which allow borrowers to pay more at closing in exchange for a lower rate. Ameris’ origination charges are around average compared to other lenders.

Ameris Bank: Overall Lender Rating

FeatureInsider rating (out of 5)
Loan types5
Customer satisfaction4.95

Ameris Bank Mortgages: Pros and Cons

  • Offers a wide variety of mortgages

  • Accepts non-traditional credit from borrowers with no or limited credit

  • The Ameris Down Payment Grant program offers up to $12,500 for eligible first-time homebuyers

  • The Ameris Edge jumbo loan allows down payments as low as 5%

  • Doesn’t lend in Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, or New York
  • Only has physical branches in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia
  • Lacks rate transparency

Ameris Bank Mortgage FAQs

Is Ameris Bank legit?

Yes, Ameris Bank is a legitimate bank and mortgage lender. It’s been around since 1971, when it was known as American Banking Company. 

Is Ameris Bank a good lender?

Ameris Bank is a strong and affordable lender, particularly for first-time homebuyers. But whether it’s a good fit for you depends on your needs, your financial situation, and what kind of rate you can get. It’s a good idea to shop around with multiple lenders to see which one suits your needs and is the most affordable.

Who is Ameris Bank owned by?

Ameris Bank is a subsidiary of Ameris Bancorp. Its current CEO is Palmer Proctor.

Does Ameris Bank have fees?

On its mortgages, Ameris Bank charges an administrative fee. This fee is approximately $1,025.

How Ameris Bank Mortgages Compare

Ameris Bank vs. Guild Mortgage

Both of these lenders offer a remarkably wide range of mortgage products. If you have an unusual situation or are looking for a specific type of loan, the right fit may come down to which offers the mortgage you’re looking for.

Guild Mortgage – Product Name Only is similar to Ameris Bank in that it also accepts non-traditional credit (like proof on-time rent or utility payments) from borrowers who have no traditional credit score through its Complete Rate program. Because of this benefit and its convenient online process, Guild is one of the best mortgage lenders for first-time homebuyers.

However, if you’re struggling with your down payment, Ameris might be the better fit, thanks to the down payment grant it offers and its Ameris Dream mortgage, which allows 0% down with no mortgage insurance for eligible first-time homebuyers.

Ameris Bank vs. Bank of America mortgages

Bank of America Mortgage – Product Name Only and Ameris Bank both have similar offerings for cash-strapped first-time buyers. Bank of America offers down payment assistance up to $10,000 and closing cost assistance up to $7,500.

For borrowers who are having trouble qualifying through traditional means due to having a limited credit history or insufficient savings, Bank of America could be a good choice. Its Community Affordable Loan Solution requires no down payment and no closing costs, and you can use non-traditional credit to qualify.

Both of these lenders are affordable choices for first-time homebuyers, so it could be worth getting preapproved with both. But Ameris could be the better choice overall if you’re looking for a wider range of loan options to choose from.

Why You Should Trust Us: How We Reviewed Ameris Bank Mortgages

To review Ameris Bank, we used our methodology for reviewing mortgage lenders.

We look at four factors — loan types, affordability, customer satisfaction, and trustworthiness — and give each a rating between 1 and 5, then average these individual ratings for the overall lender rating. Lenders get higher ratings if they offer a high number of loan types with affordable features, have positive customer reviews, and don’t have any recent public controversies.

Read the original article on Business Insider