NASB Mortgage Review 2020

Good for: active military members and veterans, as well as for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit or nontraditional income sources.

Hal M. Bundrick, CFPSeptember 29, 2020

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: NASB couples competitive mortgage rates and reasonable fees with a good assortment of loan options. Only a few tech upgrades are lacking.

NASB

at NASB

Min. Credit Score

620

Conventional:

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Devotes much of its business to serving military families with VA loans.

  • Considers nontraditional income sources, in some cases.

  • Offers competitive rates and origination fees.

Cons

  • No online loan process updates or tracking.

  • No home improvement mortgages or home equity loan products.

Compare to Other Lenders

Min. Credit Score

620

Conventional:

620

Min. Credit Score

620

Conventional:

620

FHA:

580

VA:

620

USDA:

620

Min. Credit Score

620

Conventional:

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Min. Down Payment

3%

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable

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Full Review

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, getting a mortgage may be a bit of a challenge. Lenders are dealing with high loan demand and staffing issues that may slow down the process. Also, some lenders have increased their fees or temporarily suspended certain loan products. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For the latest information on how to cope with financial stress during this pandemic, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

NASB at a glance

A national bank and mortgage lender located in Missouri, North American Savings Bank offers mortgages that appeal to a wide range of borrowers. Although NASB offers a wide breadth of home loans typical of a bank, the majority of NASB's mortgages are VA loans backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Here's a breakdown of NASB's overall score:

  • Variety of loan types: 4 of 5 stars

  • Variety of loan products: 4 of 5 stars

  • Online convenience: 4 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 5 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 5 of 5 stars

NASB mortgage loan types and products

NASB offers conventional, jumbo and government-backed loans, and ranked among the top VA lenders in the country by loan volume in 2019.

VA loans through NASB are available for both purchase and refinance, including cash-out refinance. Since you're using your home as collateral, you may want to think twice if you're using a cash-out refinance for anything besides a project that increases your home's value.

If you already have an FHA loan and are thinking of refinancing with NASB, you may be able to do an FHA Streamline Refinance. This type of refinancing involves less paperwork than a traditional refinance.

NASB also offers IRA non-recourse loans for investment properties. Borrowers with a self-directed individual retirement account (an IRA with fewer restrictions on investments that allows you to invest in real estate) can use money from their IRAs to pay for an investment property. If the borrower defaults and the home is foreclosed, the IRA is protected from the creditor; only the house is collateral. That's what makes this type of mortgage a non-recourse loan. Non-recourse loans are for investment purposes only — the property can't be for your primary residence.

NASB also has programs designed to help low- to moderate-income borrowers buy a home. One is the Good Neighbor Home Loan Program, which can also be used by borrowers looking to buy a property in low- to moderate-income areas in certain parts of Kansas and Missouri. To qualify for the Good Neighbor program, you need a minimum credit score of 580. There are no lender fees, and NASB offers closing cost assistance with this program.

NASB mortgage online convenience

NASB has a straightforward, clean and mobile-friendly website. It's easy to navigate and has a phone number handy on practically every page. And it’s the only lender we've seen that urges borrowers to "choose and apply to at least three different lenders." Way to go, NASB. Shopping multiple mortgage lenders is a smart move that can save thousands of dollars.

To start an NASB mortgage application online, you'll need to create an account. That way, you can pick up where you left off if the application can't be completed in one session. NASB's digital technology seems competitive, with document uploads and e-signature helping to streamline the workflow, though there is no online loan tracking or process update system.

NASB mortgage rates and fees

One of the most important considerations when choosing a mortgage lender is understanding what the loan will cost. To provide consumers with a general sense of what a lender might charge, NerdWallet scores lenders on two factors regarding fees and mortgage rates:

  • A lender's average origination fee compared with the median of all lenders reporting under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. NASB earns 5 of 5 stars on this factor.

  • A lender's offered mortgage rates compared with the best available on comparable loans. NASB earns 5 of 5 stars on this factor.

Borrowers should consider the balance between lender fees and mortgage rates. While it's not always the case, paying upfront fees can lower your mortgage interest rate. Some lenders will charge higher upfront fees to lower their advertised interest rate and make it more attractive. Some lenders just charge higher upfront fees.

You can decide to buy discount points — a fee paid with your closing costs — to reduce your mortgage rate.

Deciding whether to pay higher upfront fees is a matter of considering how long you plan to live in your home and how much cash you have to apply toward closing costs when you sign the loan paperwork.

NASB mortgage rate transparency

Shopping for mortgage rates is a common early step in the lender-choosing process, and NASB makes it fairly painless. From the website’s home page, selecting "rates" in the navigation menu, then selecting "mortgage rates" brings you to a page of sample rates, APRs and payments for popular loans. Filling out a short form provides a more customized rate quote, but talking to a loan officer will give you an even better idea of the rate you'll earn.

More from NerdWallet

NerdWallet’s star ratings for mortgage lenders are awarded based on our evaluation of the products and services each lender offers to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The five key areas we evaluated include the variety of loan types and products offered, online conveniences, online mortgage rate information, and the rate spread and origination fee lenders reported in the latest available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. To ensure consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Mortgages team.