J.G. Wentworth was founded in 1991 in Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania as a merchant bank specializing in transactions in the healthcare industry. In 1992, the company began to purchase New Jersey’s auto insurance deferrals from claimants who could not afford to wait 12 to 18 months for their settlements.
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In 2011, J.G. Wentworth and Peachtree Financial Solutions (which also purchased structured settlements, annuities, and lottery payments) formed a new holding company, JGWPT Holdings, LLC. After the merger, however, the two companies continued to operate independently.
In 2015, J.G. Wentworth continued to expand their financial offerings by purchasing WestStar Mortgage for $54 million in common shares and cash. In the same year, the company also announced a partnership with Visa to offer prepaid credit cards to customers.
Today, the company has grown into a diversified financial services business, providing direct-to-consumer lending solutions, including home mortgages and refinancing, structured settlements, annuities, lottery payment purchasing, prepaid credit cards, and access to providers of personal loans.
In 2016, J.G. Wentworth achieved a total loan volume of $3.4 billion, and in every subsequent year since, the company has equaled or exceeded that amount. The company has also received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
A Tech Company that Offers Mortgages
J.G. Wentworth has a goal of making its application and lending process as tech-friendly as possible for its customers. It is their stated intention to create a smooth journey for them, to make the process as efficient and seamless as possible.
This effort begins with how the company perceives itself. J.G. Wentworth sees itself primarily as a tech company that offers mortgages and other financial services. The company is committed to expanding its technology platform to ensure a best-in-class customer experience.
When a customer applies for a J.G. Wentworth mortgage, they have access to a complete online loan application, document upload, online loan tracking, and e-signature capability. The company will even deliver pre-qualification letters via email.
In addition, J.G. Wentworth recently broadened its technology toolkit with a live web chat option and the creation of a mobile app.
Applying for a J.G. Wentworth Mortgage
When applying for a J.G. Wentworth mortgage, applicants have the option to go through the entire process online – from getting a quote through to final e-signature – or to speak to a loan agent at any time via the company’s toll-free number. The company also maintains a physical presence in 15 states, so applications can also be made in person in those states.
The online application process simplifies things with minimum documentation and a relatively quick turnaround compared to the average mortgage lender.
However, J.G. Wentworth makes no promises in regards to how quickly it can close individual loan applications.
In addition, although the company offers affordable rates, it doesn’t advertise its rates on its website. To find out loan rates, an applicant has to provide contact details and some basic financial information.
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Types of Loans
J.G. Wentworth is a viable alternative to the nation’s largest lenders for mortgages or refinancing loans. The company is a valuable option for home buyers and home owners who want a lender to offer them choice and convenience.
J.G. Wentworth’s strength lies in its wide range of loan products, with options for every type of home buyer – from low-income borrowers to people buying expensive homes; from civilians to active military personnel; from buyers in the city to buyers in rural areas.
It offers affordable fixed-rate and adjustable-rate loans, as well as almost every type of government-insured loan—such as VA, FHA, and HARP. With a wide range of loan types, rates, and terms, J.G. Wentworth offers customers from all walks of life a path to home ownership.
For fixed-rate loans, borrowers can get J.G. Wentworth mortgages with terms of 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years, while adjustable-rate mortgages come in 3/1, 5/1, 7/1 and 10/1 terms.
The company also offers refinancing, with both traditional and cash-out options. However, J.G. Wentworth doesn’t offer home equity loans or lines of credit.
In addition, the minimum credit scores that J.G. Wentworth requires for its loans are fair – 620 for conventional loans, 600 for VA, and 580 for FHA loans.
The types of mortgage loans available from the company include the following:
Fixed-rate mortgages: Conventional home loan with a fixed rate that stays at the same level for the duration of the loan. Minimum credit of 620. Minimum down payment of 20%. Terms of 15, 20 or 30 years.
Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs): Conventional home loan with a fixed interest rate for an introductory period, then a variable rate for the remaining lifetime of the loan. Minimum credit of 620. Minimum down payment of 20%. Introductory periods of 3, 5, 7, or 10 years.
Jumbo loans: Home loan for property whose price is higher than the maximum covered by a regular fixed-rate mortgage or ARM. Credit not specified, although most lenders require at least 700. Minimum down payment of 20%. Same terms apply as for conventional mortgages.
VA loans: Government-backed loans for active and former members of the Military, National Guard, and Reserve, and surviving spouses who meet qualifying guidelines. Borrowers with lower-than-average credit accepted. Low interest rates, zero down payment, no PMI, low closing costs.
FHA loans: Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans allow those with low to moderate income to borrow up to 96.5% of a home’s value. The required down payment – 3.5% of the value of the home – can come from cash, gifts or grants, making this option ideal for first-time homebuyers that do not have extensive savings.
USDA loans: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) can provide loans to moderate-income buyers that wish to buy a home in a rural area. Depending on the home appraisal, the USDA may even finance down payments and closing costs.
HARP loans: The federal government created the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) in 2009. Through this program, people who have little equity in their home are eligible to apply for refinance loans. Through this process, borrowers replace their current mortgage with a new mortgage, allowing them to take advantage of lower interest rates, or switch to a more suitable type of loan.
Structured Settlement Payment Purchasing
J.G. Wentworth came to prominence early in its existence for its structured settlement payment purchasing services. Customers who are receiving regular payments from a structured settlement sometimes have a need to convert the regular payments to a lump sum of cash. Perhaps they have an unexpected bill or some other significant expense, and the payments they are receiving are not adequate.
J.G. Wentworth will purchase all or part of any future structured settlement payments and provide their customer with a lump sum of cash to help them meet their goals.
Other J.G. Wentworth Services
In addition to home mortgages and structured settlements purchasing, the company also offers other products to help their customers to get the money they need, when they need it.
- Prepaid Credit Cards
- Personal Loans
- Pre-Settlement Funding
- Annuity Purchasing
Through a series of award-winning television commercials, the company quickly came to the attention of the American public in its early days of existence. “It’s my money, and I need it now!” was their popular slogan, which embodied the company’s commitment to customers by purchasing their structured settlement payments so they can get cash promptly.
After the initial series of TV commercials, they also produced a new series featuring Wagnerian opera singers proclaiming, “I need cash now!”
J.G. Wentworth has won several domestic and international awards for its television advertising, including a silver Davey Award. In addition, the “Wagnerian Opera” commercial won two International Summit Awards.
VA Home Loans
Something to keep in mind when searching for your VA lender is where you’re at. If you live in a location where there aren’t a lot of veterans, your lender may not be as well-versed in VA policies.
While J.G. Wentworth has excellent reviews for helping veterans and service members with their VA loans, it’s always wise to do your own research when it comes to the VA’s loan process and regulations. Not every representative you speak with will know every detail. There’s nothing wrong with confirming information with the VA loan department (you won’t be on hold near as long as you would with the medical side of the house).