ING DIRECT Easy Orange

2010 January 4

ING DIRECT is my new favorite bank.  It’s an online-only bank, and that suits me just fine, I prefer banking online.  Allows them to offer savings accounts at rates 4X the national average.  Their website makes saving money really straightforward, money transfers are free, and lots of other nice features.  I recently wrote a short review for ING’s savings accounts.

This post is about ING DIRECT’s unique Easy Orange Mortgage.  I’ve had this mortgage for 6 months now and am quite pleased.  They are conservative about who they lend to, so if you don’t have good credit or don’t have 25% down payment / equity in the home, don’t bother.  They are conservative so they can pass the savings on to you, in the form of a very low interest rate, easily a full 1.00% less than the average 30-yr mortgage, and significantly lower rate than most 5-yr ARMs as well.

The mortgage is sort of a hybrid between a 5-yr ARM and a 30-yr fixed mortgage. Similar to a balloon/reset mortgage, for those who know what that is. Here’s the skinny (as of this posting):

The Easy Orange Mortgage

  • Low Rates – You get a low 5-year fixed rate with payments that are based on repaying over 30 years.
  • Rate Renew – No need to refinance and pay full closing costs. You can relock your rate and extend your fixed rate period for another 5 years at the Easy Orange rate offered at that time – all for one payment which is equal to 2 of your bi-weekly payments (maximum payment of $2,500).
  • Self Service = Low Cost – We can offer low rates by keeping our costs low. So we ask for a little help from you. All applications are done quick and easy on and all payments are done electronically. You’ll save money, we’ll save some trees in the process.
  • Low Closing Costs – Unlike other banks, we don’t charge application fees or points.
  • Bi-weekly Payments – You make electronic payments every two weeks instead of once a month. By doing so, you’ll pay your mortgage off sooner than 30 years.

Just a few comments about my own experience with this mortgage.  ING DIRECT had their act together at the closing.  Everything went as planned.  I had a lot of questions as I prepared for this mortgage, and phone support throughout the process was great.  I spent very little (typically none) time on hold, and the associates on the phone were friendly and knowledgeable.  And every time I spoke with someone who clearly spoke and understood English… you have no idea how nice this is, and how much faster a support phone call can be with someone who understands what you’re talking about the first time.  Probably the best phone support experience I’ve ever had.  Granted, other companies have set a pretty low bar.

Cons: there is one thing I don’t like about this mortgage compared to most other lenders.  They don’t escrow.  That means you pay the property/school tax bills yourself.  I imagine it is all part of keeping their costs low?  It is a bit inconvenient, but isn’t a big problem for me to write a few checks a year on my own.

You really should check out the Easy Orange mortgage at ING DIRECT to get more details and see if it is right for you.  If not, they do have other, more standard ARM mortgages available, and fantastic savings accounts. You can click on the above banner to begin an ING DIRECT savings account, then click here to get details on the Easy Orange Mortgage.

Update (Feb. 2010):  In January, ING’s mortgage rates dropped 0.5% since my mortgage began, so I paid to do the rate renew.  The cost to renew at the lower rate was 2 bi-weekly payments (basically 1 month’s payment), but I did the math, and with 0.5% lower rate, I will save much more than that over the 5 years.  I was a bit nervous because before I put the paperwork in the mail, the rate went up a bit, but they stayed honest and everything went smoothly as expected.

Update (July 2010):  By the way, use this promo link to open a new savings account with ING DIRECT, and you can earn $25. Just open it with a minimum of $250. That’s an instant 10% return! You’re welcome!

12 Responses leave one →
  1. Jerry permalink
    July 1, 2010

    Looking for a mortage of $425.590 I live in Fountain Hills Maricopa county, Arizona. we are now paying $2917 per month.
    Would like to lower my rate to 3.5%.

  2. Jeff permalink
    October 3, 2010

    Thanks. I wonder if you might be able to provide a sample run of numbers for this Easy Orange mortgage (refinance, actually, in my case), since I don’t understand how it works. Thank you.

  3. December 14, 2010

    I’ve been hearing lately that ING’s mortgage dept is understaffed. They do offer some of the best ARM rates around, but keep in mind it may be difficult to talk to someone in person.

  4. admin permalink
    December 14, 2010

    That is strange. Personally, I’ve found talking to a real person to be one of the easiest / best things about ING Direct. Rarely do I wait at all, and the people I speak with are based in the USA, so communication is not an issue.

  5. Tim permalink
    January 10, 2011

    How long did the mortgage process take with ING… what date did you accept their loan offer and what date did you close? I’m in process now and they are being a bit vague on how long it should take. Only two steps remain, appraisal and final approval (closing). Curious if I should just be patient or start rattling the cage a little. Thanks!

  6. admin permalink
    January 14, 2011

    Minimum would be a few weeks, but the actual time would be up to you. I was selling a house as well as buying, so there were a lot of other things that drove the timing for me. I did make a few phone calls to them to make sure things were moving along well, make sure they had everything they needed from me. They didn’t seem so proactive to keep me in the loop, so initiating a few phone calls seemed to help. At least it increased my confidence that everything was in place before we arrived at the closing.

  7. Neal permalink
    June 1, 2011

    ING has remedied the complaint listed above to my satisfaction. Moderator please remove.

  8. admin permalink
    June 1, 2011

    No problem, glad to hear they resolved your complaint.

  9. Greg permalink
    June 25, 2011

    To everyone who is recommending this mortgage I would like to add a word of caution. Please think about what would happen if your financial situation changes within the next 5 years and you are suddenly not able to refinance your loan. You will LOSE YOUR HOUSE to ING. The balance of your loan is due after 5 years, so unless you can refinance or pay off the balance you are left in a pickle. Working in the mortgage industry, I have seen countless people go into foreclosure after taking these types of loans. Here are two very likely scenarios to consider:

    1) credit score drops beneath 700. Medical emergency or other credit ruining event.
    2) House value drops and your mortgage is greater than 80% of LTV.

    This product is ONLY for those of you with truly vast financial resources.

  10. bobby J permalink
    September 9, 2011

    I just got a mortgage refi with ING sept 9 2011. My current situation is as follows:

    Currently owe 70,000 on my mortgage.

    ING loan is a five year easy orange at 2.55% fixed.

    my Payments are $144 every two weeks.

    I have enough income to pay an extra 1000 to principal each month.

    So ruffly, my payments will be about $1288 each month.

    Ive calculated that I will have my loan paid off within 41/2 years .

    @ 2.5% I think it is a great fit for my situation.

  11. Newton Penny Pincher permalink
    September 23, 2011

    Like Bobby J we recently refinanced the remaining $79K on our mortgage with a 5 year Easy Orange at 2.99%. We took advantage of ING’s July 4 promotion of $1776 off closing costs, so basically the refi cost us nothing. Their customer service was very professional and coordinated, including the closing, which was done at our home in the evening.
    We also increased our bi-weekly payment amount so that the entire balance would be paid off in under 5 years, saving us several thousand dollars over our original 4.75% interest rate.

    We’ve always paid our insurance and property tax separate from our mortgage so were quite happy that ING doesn’t escrow.

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