SouthStar accelerates: Company launches Choice Option ARM, initiates internal training programmortgagepress.comSouthStar University, adjustable-rate mortgage, expansion SouthStar Funding has introduced a duo of additions with the launch of its newest product, the Choice Option ARM, and SouthStar University. The Choice Option ARM is designed to provide flexible payment options for borrowers who want the lowest start rate and the ability to manage their cash flow. The product offers the ability to borrow up to 100 percent combined loan-to-value and to combine this product with a home equity mortgage as part of a combination loan. SouthStar provides 24-hour underwriting and closes within days on the Choice Option ARM. The product was officially made available to SouthStar Funding's customers on March 21. SouthStar's Choice Option ARM is based off of either the MTA or LIBOR indexes and allows the borrower to better manage their cash by offering four payment options each month: minimum payment, interest only, 30-year fully amortizing and 15-year fully amortizing. These four options provide payment flexibility for borrowers, enabling them to choose the best option for them at that time. The product also includes a one- or three-month introductory rate as low as one percent. The Choice Option ARM is available to borrowers with a credit score as low as 620 and is available on most property types. The product is credit score-driven and is offered for loans up to $3 million. SouthStar University is an internal training program aimed at introducing new employees to the lender's service-focused culture and providing continuous improvement for all employees nationwide. Located at SouthStar Funding's Atlanta headquarters, the program's 8,000-sq.-ft. facility houses training for all positions, including sales, underwriting, processing and management, as well as lifestyle courses on topics such as health and well being. "We are dedicated to providing uniquely superior personal service to every customer every time," said Kirk Smith, president of SouthStar Funding. "The best way to deliver on this promise is to train our employees on how to deliver service the SouthStar way, and to continually train them throughout their careers." In keeping with its college theme, SouthStar University was officially launched with a Southern-style tailgate party catered by Atlanta's landmark fast food institution, The Varsity, complete with chili dogs, SouthStar University logo t-shirts, pennants and kegs of beer. Employees explored the facility's numerous classrooms and break area while mingling with company executives. "The future leaders of SouthStar Funding will come from SouthStar University, so it is important for us to create a company-wide awareness of our vision and purpose," said Bill Voegeli, senior vice president of corporate development for SouthStar Funding. "Because SouthStar University provides a foundation of consistent and continuous training, our employees are able to follow a career development path unlike that at any other lender." The SouthStar University faculty consists of four experienced trainers with at least two more expected to join by the end of the year. Curriculum includes an introductory course for those new to SouthStar Funding, a comprehensive yearlong sales training program and job-specific sessions designed for each department. Courses will be continually modified and added based on employee feedback and departmental needs. For more information, visit www.southstar.com.