Citi Mortgage Bank Lender Review | 2021


Teri Oppenheimer
Military VA Loan contributor

The bottom line

Citi Mortgage is one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, with a commitment to excellent customer service.

It has a range of mortgage programs for customers looking to buy a new home or refinance their current one, including several innovative proprietary programs. However, borrowers seeking a full menu of VA loan programs may find Citi Mortgage’s offerings somewhat limited.

Ready to buy your dream home? Start here.

Citi Mortgage overview

Citi Mortgage is the residential lending division of Citigroup, the third largest bank in the United States.

According to Zillow, Citi Mortgage maintains a customer experience rating of 4.8 out of 5.

In addition to a straightforward online application, customers can apply for a loan by phone or at a branch office.

Pros and cons of Citi Mortgage

Citi Mortgage has an online platform designed to simplify the borrowing process. Interest rates and fees are clearly posted on the website, along with a mortgage application checklist and home buying guides.

Pros of Citi Mortgage

  • Wide variety of home purchase and refinance programs, including VA, FHA, Jumbo and Conventional loans
    Offers VA construction loans (not all VA lenders do)
  • Dedicated loan officers available to help match each customer with the best mortgage loan
  • First-time home buyer programs and refinance programs to help borrowers take advantage of historic low interest rates
  • Home buyer resources including mortgage calculators and budgeting guides

Cons of Citi Mortgage

  • Retail branch network is limited or not available in some areas so communication is conducted online or by phone
  • No VA manufactured home loans
  • No VA Streamline Refinance loans (IRRRL)

How to get a mortgage with Citi Mortgage

Citi Mortgage’s loan application can often be submitted in just 30 minutes — by phone, online or in person at a branch office.

Once an application is submitted, a Citi Mortgage lending expert will review the borrower’s employment and credit history, as well as income, assets, and existing debts. To assess the value of the home, Citi Mortgage will order an appraisal of the property.

After the application is reviewed and approved, Citi Mortgage will offer a variety of programs for the borrower to consider – including fixed-rate and adjustable-rate loans.

Approved loan applicants can then select from a variety of interest rates, points, and fees to find the loan structure best suited to their needs.

In addition to expert support, Citi Mortgage offers a number of online tools to help borrowers.

Customers have access to several online calculators to estimate how much they can afford to borrow, to compare mortgage programs and to estimate refinance savings.

Speak with a VA mortgage specialist today.

Buying a home with Citi Mortgage

Citi Mortgage offers fixed-rate and adjustable-rate loans with financing options for primary residences, second homes and investment properties.

The bank also has a number of resources available to borrowers looking to purchase a condo. It maintains a database of approved condo and co-op buildings, along with detailed information on mortgage options for non-warrantable condos and co-ops that don’t meet Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac requirements.

Citi Mortgage’s home buying mortgage products include:

  • VA Loans: Designed for U.S. Veterans, active service members and spouses, and offering many benefits including no requirement for a down payment. Citi Mortgage does offer VA construction loans but not VA loans for manufactured homes
  • Conventional Loans: A good option for buyers with good credit scores and low levels of personal debt
  • FHA Loans: Popular with first time, lower-income and/or lower-credit home buyers
  • Jumbo Loans: Suited for buyers seeking to borrow more than the amount permitted for conventional loans (greater than $510,400 in most states)

Additionally, Citi Mortgage has a number of unique mortgage programs intended to better serve customers, including:

  • Home Captain: Designed to match home buyers with top real estate agents in their area
  • SureStart: Fast, conditional pre-approval for mortgage applications to help buyers shop smart and make competitive offers
  • HomeRun Mortgage: A proprietary low-down payment mortgage option with affordable monthly payments and flexible credit requirements to make homeownership more accessible
  • Lender Paid Assistance: Eligible borrowers may qualify for $5,000 off their closing costs

Refinancing a home with Citi Mortgage

Refinancing can enable homeowners to lower their monthly payments, convert from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate, or shorten the term of their loan. Many homeowners are able to benefit from their homes’ appreciation and refinance to take cash out of their equity.

Citi Mortgage’s refinance options include VA, FHA, Jumbo and Conventional loans with a variety of terms (fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, 30 years, 15 years, etc.).

For VA homeowners, Citi offers a 100% VA cash-out loan — meaning you may be able to cash-out all your home equity, provided you qualify for the new loan.

However, Citi Mortgage does not offer VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRL), so you’ll need to select another lender if you want to take advantage of this streamlined refinance option, which requires neither income or asset verification.

Mortgage loan professionals are available — by phone or in person — to help customers choose the right refinance option.

After a refinance loan application is approved, Citi Mortgage will prepare closing documentation and coordinate a date and location for borrowers to close their loan.

Special Perks for Veterans With Citi Mortgage

To better serve its VA borrowers, Citi Mortgage works with Clearpoint Reconnect, a program that helps service members transition home after their service.

Through Clearpoint, veterans and their family members have access to financial counseling and other home buying resources.

Community involvement

In 2020, Citi launched an Action for Racial Equity. This $1 billion strategic initiative aims to help close the racial wealth gap in the United States through community investment and grants.

Additionally, through its foundation, Citi is a co-founder of Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS), a program designed to support career development for veterans.

Citi Mortgage summary

Citi Mortgage offers a number of unique and innovative loan programs and a strong reputation for customer service. However, VA borrowers seeking a lender with a full menu of VA loan options — especially those wanting a VA Streamline Refinance — will need to look elsewhere.

Ready to buy your dream home? Start here.