George Mason Mortgage Review: A Virginia Mortgage Lender with In-House Processing and Underwriting at Local Branches

Today we’ll take a good look at “George Mason Mortgage,” a leading mortgage lender in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

What’s unique about them is the fact that they’re a subsidiary of a large depository, United Bank.

This means they’ve got the backing of a very large and well established publicly-traded company.

In fact, their parent company has been around since 1839, so they’ve certainly got a strong pedigree.

If you’re the type that takes comfort in history and a brick-and-mortar presence, read on to learn more.

George Mason Mortgage Fast Facts

  • Retail, direct-to-consumer mortgage lender
  • Founded in 1980, headquartered in Fairfax, VA
  • Offers home purchase loans and mortgage refinancing
  • A subsidiary of United Bank
  • Funded $5 billion in home loans last year
  • Do the majority of lending in their home state of Virginia
  • Also active in Maryland and the Carolinas

George Mason Mortgage is a retail, direct-to-consumer mortgage lender focused mostly on the Mid-Atlantic states.

The company was founded way back in 1980, and operates as a subsidiary of United Bank.

In 2021, they funded more than $5 billion in home loans, with about 60% purchase loans and the remainder mortgage refinances.

They’re headquartered in Fairfax, VA, where they originated nearly two-thirds of their overall loan volume.

Another 20%+ of their production comes from nearby Maryland, with the rest scattered among the other states where they’re licensed.

Speaking of, they do business in 12 states, including Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C.

How to Apply with George Mason Mortgage

To get started, you can call them, visit a local retail branch, or head over to their website.

They have about a dozen retail offices in the state of Virginia, and a few others in Maryland and South Carolina.

If you go online, you can search for a branch office near you, or browse their loan officer directory.

Each individual loan officer has a webpage with their contact information, and links to apply or download the free smartphone app.

Their digital mortgage application is powered by ICE Mortgage Technology. It allows you to complete most loan tasks electronically.

This includes the ability to eSign disclosures and closing docs, scan/upload paperwork, and digitally verify assets.

Once your loan is submitted, you can visit the online borrower portal at any time to check loan status and satisfy outstanding conditions.

What makes them different than other lenders is the fact that they have in-house underwriters, processors, and closers at each of their branch offices.

This should translate to more efficiency and hopefully speed as well, important if it’s a time-sensitive purchase or refinance.

Loan Programs Offered by George Mason Mortgage

  • Home purchase loans
  • Refinance loans: rate and term, cash out, streamline
  • New construction loans
  • Renovation loans
  • Conforming loans
  • High balance and jumbo loans up to $3 million
  • FHA loans
  • USDA loans
  • VA loans
  • Down payment and closing cost assistance programs (grants)
  • Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP)
  • Virginia Housing loans (formerly VHDA)
  • Asset qualification programs
  • Doctor mortgages
  • Bridge loans
  • Land lot loans
  • Fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options available in various loan terms

George Mason Mortgage is not short on available loan programs.

You can get just about anything any other mortgage lender offers and more, including home purchase, renovation, and new construction loans.

They offer low-down payment conventional loan options including Fannie Mae HomeReady and Freddie Mac Home Possible & Home Possible Advantage.

And high balance and jumbo loans up to $3 million loan amounts. Those who are self-employed or retired can qualify with assets instead of income.

You can also get a zero down mortgage via either the VA or USDA, along with a 3.5% down FHA loan.

They also offer grants of up to $10,000 to cover down payment and/or closing costs, along with various state housing loan programs.

George Mason Mortgage lends on primary residences, condos/townhomes, second/vacation homes, and multi-unit investment properties.

Both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage options are available, including 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgages, along with 5/1 and 7/1 ARMs.

George Mason Mortgage Rates

George Mason Mortgage does not publicize mortgage rates on its website, similar to many other lenders.

While it’s nice to see daily rates posted on a lender’s website, they’re often just samples with many assumptions that may be nothing like your particular loan scenario.

In order to get pricing, you’ll need to get in contact with a loan officer. Once you do, be sure to inquire about any required lender fees.

It’s unclear if they charge a loan origination fee, or separate fees for underwriting and processing. So take the time to ask.

Also put in the time to shop their mortgage rate quote with other banks, lenders, and mortgage brokers.

Be sure to factor in both the interest rate offered and the lender fees, collectively known as the mortgage APR.

George Mason Mortgage Reviews

On Zillow, George Mason Mortgage has a stellar 4.98-star rating out of a possible 5 from more than 2,000 customer reviews.

Aside from sporting a near-perfect score, many indicate that the interest rate and/or closing costs came in lower than expected, which is a big plus.

They also have a 4.4-star rating from about 100 Google reviews, along with a less good 3.5 rating on Yelp from about 50 reviews.

Lastly, while not Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited, they do have an ‘A-’ based on complaint history. They also have a 4.7/5 rating on the BBB website from customer reviews.

To summarize, George Mason Mortgage prides itself on being backed by a large depository bank, with in-house mortgage operations at each branch.

But they also consider themselves a local lender and one that embraces the latest technology to take the pain out of mortgages.

They offer a ton of unique loan programs to suit all needs, whether you’re a first-time home buyer or building your dream home.

The only area where more information is needed is pricing. They don’t list their mortgage rates or lender fees online.

So take the time to ensure they offer both excellent service and great pricing. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice either when obtaining a home loan.

George Mason Mortgage Pros and Cons

The Good Stuff

  • Lots of physical branches in state of Virginia
  • In-house underwriting/processing at their branches
  • Offer a digital, mostly paperless home loan process
  • Can apply for a mortgage online or at a branch
  • Free smartphone app
  • Wide array of loan programs to choose from
  • Excellent customer reviews
  • ‘A-’ Better Business Bureau rating
  • Free mortgage calculators and mortgage glossary

The Perhaps Not

  • Only licensed in about a dozen states
  • Do not list mortgage rates or lender fees online

(photo: Sean Hayford Oleary)

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