Sergeant Major Rudy Carter, might tell you he spells “success” with three A’s — those being Available, Accessible and Approachable.
“The military taught me to communicate clearly, and AAFMAA Mortgage Services LLC (AMS) gets the gold star [rating] from me for customer service and client communications,” he tells us. “It all comes down to trust and working with someone who understands the military lifestyle and cares about you.”
Carter recently refinanced with AMS in 2021 — and closed in just 19 days. He was extremely pleased with the process, having gone through some difficulties in the past dealing with other lenders.
“I’m all about helping people and I was very impressed with AMS. My questions were answered right away, even after business hours, and the entire team — including my Military Mortgage Advisor Colton Hahn, my Loan Processor Jackie Stanfield, and Customer Relations expert Candi May... They worked like a well-oiled machine.”
23-year Army Veteran Carter grew up in Bradenton, Florida. After graduating from Troy University (called Troy State then) in 1988 with a journalism degree, he joined the Army and “six years turned into 23.”
His basic training as an administrative specialist was at Ft. Jackson (Columbia, South Carolina). It was during advanced training where he met his wife of 29 years, Kimberly.
After graduation, Carter was sent to Germany and served for three years in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Fulda, Germany. When the current regimental editor of the unit newspaper decided not to re-enlist in the Army, Carter interviewed for the position and put his “college journalism degree to good use in the Army.”
He was transferred back to Ft. Jackson in 1992 where he worked at the post public affairs office, a place where he would end up reclassifying from the administrative career field into the public affairs career field. While at Ft. Jackson, he married Kimberly, a native North Carolinian.
In 1997, the young family relocated to Brooksville, Florida, where Carter served as an Army Recruiter from 1997 until 2000. He then was assigned to the Supreme Allied Headquarters Europe (S.H.A.P.E.) in Belgium, where he worked in the public information office for three years, before returning to Ft. Jackson in 2003 where he served as the senior enlisted public affairs advisor to the public affairs officer.
In 2005, Carter was notified by his public affairs branch manager of a vacant position at U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. He gladly accepted the position. He would remain at USSOCOM for approximately two years before relocating across the Air Force base to the U.S. Central Command Public Affairs Office where he served as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to U.S. Central Command Public Affairs Officer at U.S. Central Command until he retired in 2011.
After leaving military service but not hanging up his military uniform entirely, he accepted a position as the Senior Army Instructor of the Winter Haven High School Army JROTC program — a position he held for nine years until he retired in 2020 to focus more on his health and spend time with family and friends.
After Carter and his wife PCS’d to MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida, 2005, they bought their first house in Lakeland, Florida in 2005, with just $500 down. “The experience with the lender was not good,” says Carter. “We were shuffled around to different loan officers at the company and assured we were in ‘good hands’ each time. We weren’t.”
In the end, their interest rate had not been locked and they were given a higher rate, with higher monthly payments. “I felt we were treated unfairly,” he says, “it was almost as though [that company] didn’t want to give us the loan.”
Carter was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018, and to protect their assets filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which he knew would prevent him from refinancing for at least two years.
Working with AMS
Carter was shopping around for life insurance in 2012 when he ran across AAFMAA. He joined immediately. He remembered that the experience was positive.
Over the years, he received several emails about AMS, but avoided reading them until March 5, 2021, when he decided, “what do I have to lose by applying”, after his credit score was high enough, he went online with AMS to apply for a loan. He also applied to his local credit union just in case. AMS’s Hahn called him back the same day, and after hearing about Carter’s experiences gave him hope.
“He said he’d helped someone in similar circumstances, in the midst of a bankruptcy waiting period, and that he might be able to help. But what really set the AMS response apart was that I felt I’d found someone who wanted to work with me,” he explains.
Hahn stayed in touch with Carter daily, via text, email or phone calls. “Having been in the military in an environment where you’re helping people, it was refreshing to be the recipient of someone who was caring and concerned.”
The Carters’ refinance closed on March 23, 2021. Their house appraised high enough to pay off other debts.
The AMS loan has an interest rate of 2.75%, which saves the couple approximately $1,300 a month.
Carter’s been extremely pleased with the process. “Having survived prostate cancer, several military wars/conflicts, and other life-changing events, I would like to think that there are still mortgage companies who sincerely value the contributions Veterans have made in defense of our great nation,” he says.
“Over the years, I have been the recipient of many hollow promises from mortgage loan professionals pretending to support Veterans but at the end of the day, my loyalty nor my superior repayment history was not rewarded,” Carter says. “I’m here to say that not all mortgage lenders are created equal. The process with AMS puts them in a class by themself. These are people who genuinely care about you.”
We’re Here to Help
If you’re unsure about whether or not it’s the right time to purchase a home, or refinance your existing mortgage, please contact us online today or give us a call at (877) 387-6856. One of our Military Mortgage Advisors will be happy to provide you with an honest and fair comparison of your mortgage options, including a wide range of low-rate and low-cost mortgages designed to meet your needs.
Ensuring existing and prospective AAFMAA Members obtain the best mortgage possible is our mission. Get your free mortgage assessment today!