In a Nutshell
- Diverse range of loan options
- Special rates for Costco members
- Highly rated customer support
- No physical branches
- No rates without registration
Axos Bank at a Glance
Loan types: Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity
Featured Loans: Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, HEL/HELOC
Repayment terms: 10-30 years
Minimum Down Payment: 0%-20%
Minimum Credit Score: 500-620
Best for: Saving on closing fees, especially if you’re a Costco member
Axos Bank started out as an online bank in 2000 and has developed a reputation as a top online mortgage lender. It offers an impressive range of mortgage products, from the types of conventional and government-backed loans offered by most lenders to niche products like non-conforming loans and special loans for Costco members. Because Axos is a completely online bank with no physical branches, it is able to offer lower closing fees than most other lenders.
Axos Bank is a good option for anyone looking to borrow from an online mortgage lender, but it is a particularly great choice for the 90 million-plus Americans with Costco membership. That’s because Axos offers a special mortgage program for Costco members, with exclusive discounts for existing cardholders, as well as borrowers who subscribe to Costco during the mortgage application process.
Types of Loans/Products
As mentioned, Axos offers a wider range of mortgage loans than most other banks. These include conventional loans, government-backed home loans, home equity loans, and a unique mortgage program for Costco members.
- Conventional loans: Available on amounts up to $453,100 or higher in some cases.
- Jumbo loans: For loan amounts above conforming limits, with amounts up to $3 million.
- Portfolio and non-conforming loans: Customized mortgages for complex financial needs, such as non-owner-occupied properties and lower down payments.
- FHA loans: Government-backed loans for people with credit scores of 500-619, with down payments of 3.5%-10%.
- VA loans: Government-backed loans for active and former service people and spouses who meet certain conditions, with zero down payment.
- Home Equity loans and home equity lines of credit: HELs and HELOCs let homeowners borrow against their equity.
- Interest-only mortgages: Includes introductory period in which the borrower pays interest but no principal in return for lower monthly payments.
- Loans for investment properties with 5 or more units: Includes financing for mixed-use properties, student housing, retail, office, industrial, and mobile properties.
- Mortgage program for Costco members: Special rates and fees for new and existing Costco members.
The Application Process
The application process takes place online with telephone assistance from a dedicated mortgage consultant. To request a quote online, just fill out a few details including your name, contact details, estimated credit score, loan amount, and down payment. Axos also offers a special feature which lets users request a daily, weekly, or monthly rates update to their inbox, with no obligations.
If you’re satisfied with the rate given, you may go ahead and apply for a mortgage. Axos has similar requirements to most other mortgage lenders.
- Borrower must be a US citizen or resident.
- Borrower must be 18 years or older.
- Minimum credit score of 500 for government-backed loans and 620 for conventional loans.
- Minimum down payment of 0%-10% for government-backed loans and 20% for conventional loans, with exceptions for certain non-conforming loans.
- Costco membership only required if applying for mortgage program for Costco members
Pros and Cons
Aside from the almost entirely digital application process, the main advantage of Axos Bank’s service is its wide range of mortgage products and low closing costs. Axos Bank really does appear to beat most of its competitors on closing costs, and doubly so for Costco members. Anyone can take advantage of the Costco discount. It costs only $60 to $120 per year to become a Costco member, which pales in comparison to Axos’s Costco member discounts.
Rates and Fees—The Bare Basics
Unlike some other banks, Axos doesn’t display rates unless the user enters their contact details. With that said, once the user registers, they get access to a completely transparent quote for different mortgage products, including a full breakdown of closing fees and monthly payments.
We used the example of a home buyer with a perfect credit score, home purchase of $300,000, and 20% down payment, to get the above rates and fees. The closing fees of $2,106 on a 30-year fixed-rate loan constitutes just 0.7% of the loan amount—which is significantly lower than most other lenders. It comprises a $600 origination charge, $524.50 on required services Axos selects, an estimated $875 on required services you select, and $106.93 on government recording charges. It excludes an estimated $2,000 for optional owners’ title insurance.
Borrowers may select from the following loan terms: 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, or 30 years.
Help & Support
Judging by independent customer reviews, most customers walk away very satisfied with Axos Bank’s hands-on service. Each applicant is appointed a dedicated mortgage consultant who stays with them through to closing. Applicants may call Axos Bank directly or speak to an agent over live chat during business hours. If you request a quote online, an Axos agent will call you to provide additional information.
How Axos Compares
Axos Bank appears to beat the competition for 30-year fixed mortgage rates and fees. Add to that reduced rates for Costco members, and it is certainly a lending option worth exploring.
It’s fair to say Axos offers competitive rates and fees on mortgage products, especially for Costco members. The other thing that stands out for us is the transparency, which makes sense given that Axos wants to show off those low rates and fees. When you request a quote, you get a full breakdown of estimated closing costs and payments, and the sheer amount of detail is something you don’t tend to see with most lenders. Overall, Axos Bank offers a solid option if you’re looking to apply for a mortgage online and potentially find a great rate.
Q: When was Axos founded?
A: Axos launched on July 4, 2000 (it chose this date on purpose), under the name Bank of Internet USA.
Q: Does Axos have physical branches?
A: No. Axos Bank has only ever operated online, making it one of the first banks to open exclusively as a digital operation.
Q: How trustworthy is Axos Bank?
A: Axos is a FDIC-insured bank and a certified equal housing lender.
Q: Do you have to be a Costco member to get an Axos loan?
No, but it pays to take out Costco membership because Axos rewards Costco users with lower rates and fees.
4350 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite 140
San Diego, CA 92122