Ally Financial Review | Mortgage Refinance

Money; Getty Images
Money; Getty Images

Ally Financial Inc., also known as Ally, is a financial institution that has become a household name in digital banking. In this review, we evaluate it as a company while taking a look at its mortgage refinance options. This way, you can decide if Ally should be one of the lenders you’ll get a quote from when it’s time to make the big decision.

  • Ally Financial’s Services

  • Ally Financial’s Credentials

  • Ally Financial’s Accessibility

  • Ally Financial’s Customer Satisfaction

Ally Financial Mortgage Refinance Overview

Pros

  • Online application, document uploads and electronic signature options, mobile app

  • No maintenance fees, late fees or overdraft fees

  • Quotes don't impact your credit score

  • No PMI with a down payment of 20%

Cons

  • You may be required to pay PMI if your down payment is less than 20%

  • No VA, FHA or USDA loans

  • Ally doesn't lend in every state

Ally Financial is a bank holding company with a corporate charter in Delaware but headquartered in Detroit, Michigan. The online bank has steadily added more financial products to its portfolio — from deposit accounts and credit cards to investment brokerages and mortgages. It also features competitive options for mortgage refinance.

We think Ally should be on your list of potential lenders because of the bank’s streamlined application process and quicker-than-average closing timeline.

Ally Financial’s Services

Ally Bank offers many of the services you’d expect from a large bank. This includes several personal finance products, including debit cards, interest checking accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, car loans and retirement and investment services. This Ally bank review will focus on the bank’s mortgage refinance products.

What Ally Financial offers

Ally’s mortgage refinance loan has a few notable features:

  • Jumbo loans up to $4 million

  • Rate-and-term and cash-out refinancing

  • No lender fees and no minimum balance

  • An interview-style application that can be completed in as little as 15 minutes

  • Loan closings that are typically up to ten days faster than the industry average

Ally could be a good option if you’ve got a high-value property and need to close on your refinance loan quickly. If you need cash from your refinance, then the faster you close on your loan, the faster your loan proceeds will be disbursed.

If you aren’t quite ready to refinance your mortgage, Ally has the option of signing up for weekly notifications with the bank’s updated interest rates. This way, you can keep tabs on APYs and decide when it would be a good time to refinance.

You can also customize your rates online without creating a profile with Ally. You can enter your property information along with your current loan balance to get more specific terms around your refinancing options. These rates are not binding, so you will have to complete a full loan application to get the rates, monthly payments and other terms that will apply to you.

What Ally Financial doesn’t offer

From what we can tell, Ally requires borrowers to attend closings in person. Some banks and credit unions offer an eNotary option, which allows notarizing loan documents online. Other banks may dispatch a mobile notary to your home or other location for closing.

Ally doesn’t seem to offer these options. When it’s time to close your loan, the bank will tell you where to go and what to bring with you.

Ally Financial’s Credentials

Formerly GMAC Bank, the company rebranded under the name Ally Financial in 2010. The FDIC-insured bank now serves over 10 million customers for banking, auto, investing and other financial needs.

Licenses and registrations

Ally Financial is licensed to provide home lending products under the following Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) IDs:

  • Ally Financial: NMLS ID 3015

  • Ally Bank: NMLS ID 181005

  • Ally Servicing LLC: NMLS ID 212403

Ally also operates under various trades names:

  • BlueHarbor

  • BlueYield

  • ClearLane Financial Services

  • Ally Bank Corp.

  • Ally Capital Corp.

Awards and certifications

Ally’s awards and recognitions page is full of accolades. The most notable ones include:

  • Best of Michigan Business Award

  • Ally named to the 2022 Companies That Care List by People

  • Ranked #6 on Newsweek’s Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces

Regulatory or legal actions

Ally has been the subject of several lawsuits and allegations regarding its banking practices. Some of these lawsuits include:

  • A class action lawsuit regarding alleged improper vehicle repossession

  • A class action lawsuit alleging the bank wrongfully denied non-U.S. citizens accounts

  • A class action lawsuit alleging that the bank charged unlawful fees to complete loans

  • In 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) order Ally to pay $80 million to consumers harmed by discriminatory auto loan pricing.

Although we always try to include accurate and up-to-date information on regulatory and legal actions, this information may not be complete or fully up to date. We recommend you do your own research for the latest information.

Ally Financial’s Accessibility

Ally is known primarily as an online bank, so it doesn’t have any physical bank locations. However, there are plenty of options to contact the bank: by phone, chat, email and the secure messaging center in your Ally bank account.

Availability

Ally Financial’s business days are Monday through Friday, excluding standard banking holidays, such as New Year’s Day, Christmas and Thanksgiving Day.

Each of Ally’s banking divisions has different phone numbers and hours. For lending, you can contact phone representatives during the following days and hours:

  • Monday – Friday: 8 am – 10 pm EST

  • Saturday: 10 am – 4 pm EST

Contact information

You can access your account online 24/7 or talk with an Ally home lending representative by calling 1-855-256-2559. You may also contact the company’s customer support department via email at customercare@Ally.com.

User experience

You can find a generous amount of information from Ally’s website without having to log in or create a bank profile. You can see general home refinance and purchase rates, as well as more specific rates.

There’s also the option of signing up for weekly updates on rates for the home lending products you are considering. Moreover, Ally’s website provides plenty of information about the mortgage refinance steps, so you are informed about the process and know what to expect.

Limitations

Depending on your property’s state, some loan products and terms may not be available to you. You should speak with an Ally representative to understand any restrictions and limitations on your mortgage refinance loan.

Ally Financial’s Customer Satisfaction

Here, we’ll take a look at more information regarding Ally’s customer satisfaction ratings. We’ll primarily be going through online reviews and common complaints that can be found in said reviews.

Third-party ratings

Ally has online review profiles with the following ratings:

  • Better Business Bureau: 1.08 out of 5 stars; based on 503 reviews

  • Trustpilot: 1.2 out of 5 stars; based on 338 reviews

Customer complaints

Because Ally offers various banking products, we were not able to isolate customer feedback related solely to its mortgage refinance products. However, we did find some information about general issues customers have had with Ally.

A keyword search for “Ally Financial” on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) website returns over 12,000 issues regarding the lender’s products. The top issues include:

  • Vehicle loan/lease management

  • Incorrect credit reporting

  • Improper use of credit reports i.e., unrecognized credit inquiries, receiving unsolicited offers

  • Account management issues

  • Problem investigating credit report issues

This information is provided based on the information we had available at the time of publishing.

Ally Financial FAQ

Is Ally Financial a Good Bank?

Ally Financial can be a good banking option for people who want an online, hassle-free banking experience. However, the bank may not be the best for those who prefer to handle their transactions in person.

Does Ally Bank charge fees?

One of Ally's most inviting features is its lack of fees for many banking products. For instance, many of the finance company's checking and online savings accounts have no penalties. It also features commission-free trading for eligible stocks and ETFs, too. Lastly, Ally doesn't charge any lender fees for its home purchase and refinance loans.

Is Ally worth it?

Ally is a good bank for people who want to avoid fees on financial services and products. What you save in fees could be worth it if you don't mind having a totally digital banking experience.

How We Evaluated Ally Financial Mortgage Refinance

We scoured several sources to evaluate Ally Financial. We consider the information available on the bank’s own website, customer review sites, industry watchdog reports and information from consumer advocacy sites.

Summary of Money’s Ally Financial Review

Ally Financial is a well-established lender with some notable perks and benefits related to its banking products and services. We like that it charges no lender fees and that the application process offers a good amount of pre-sales information while focusing on quick approvals and quick closings.

Unfortunately, the lender doesn’t offer government-backed loans for purchases or refinances. If that’s not a deal breaker, you should include Ally Financial on your shortlist when it’s time to compare competitive rates. Once you’re done with researching and comparison shopping, be sure to choose the best mortgage refinance company that fits your needs.

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This article originally appeared on Money.com and may contain affiliate links for which Money receives compensation. Opinions expressed in this article are the author's alone, not those of a third-party entity, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed. Offers may be subject to change without notice. For more information, read Money’s full disclaimer.