The Bottom Line: NASB offers a full range of home loan options, with a focus on serving military families.
Pros & Cons
Devotes much of its business to serving military families with VA loans.
Considers nontraditional income sources.
IRA non-recourse loans for buying investment property.
No online loan process updates or tracking.
A national bank and mortgage lender located in Missouri, North American Savings Bank offers mortgages that appeal to a wide range of borrowers, with a focus on U.S. military veterans and active-duty members.
Although NASB offers the wide breadth of home loans typical of a bank, the majority of NASB’s mortgages are made through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Let’s see how NASB Mortgage stacks up for home-loan shoppers.
Getting started with NASB
To start the mortgage process, call the bank or visit their website. Online you’ll fill out a simple contact form, and a loan officer will reach out to you to continue the process. If you live near a branch, you can also apply in person.
You’ll also have access to an optional online account that allows you to complete an application, submit documents and electronically sign them. The online account doesn’t include any kind of step-by-step tracker that lets you follow the status of your application; your loan officer will give you updates along the way.
Depending on the loan, NASB Mortgage will look beyond a less-than-perfect credit score at things like your history of mortgage, rent, utility, insurance or even cell phone bill payments, according to the lender.
NASB says the waiting period for getting mortgage approval after a bankruptcy is discharged or dismissed can be much shorter than many customers expect. This depends on the type of loan you’re applying for, sales team leader Geoff Miller says. With an FHA or VA loan, for instance, you can be in the middle of Chapter 13 bankruptcy and still may be eligible for a loan. Miller points out that this isn’t specific to NASB, that all government loans like VA and FHA follow certain requirements for bankruptcy.
NASB does not charge a fee for locking in the rate on your loan. The company charges an origination fee of $995 on all its loans but waives it for VA-backed mortgages.
NASB mortgage products
NASB offers conventional, jumbo and government-backed loans and ranks among the top VA lenders in the country by loan volume.
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 the value of your home.
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 refinance involves less paperwork than a traditional refinance.
IRA non-recourse loans
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.
The money from the IRA account pays for all the expenses related to buying and owning the home, including property taxes, insurance and maintenance costs.
If the borrower defaults and the home is foreclosed, the IRA is protected from the creditor; only the home 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. Your IRA must be self-directed because larger brokerages that handle IRAs don’t allow real estate as part of the portfolio products they offer, according to Matt Allen, vice president of portfolio lending with NASB.
These loans can come with higher interest rates than your normal mortgage, and NASB requires a minimum down payment of 30%. Like all property-related expenses on the loan, the down payment must come from the IRA account.
There are no limits on the loan amount if the property generates positive cash flow, and the loan can be used for purchase or refinance at both fixed and adjustable rates. In some cases, taxes may apply, Allen says.
The typical NASB investor who’s purchasing property through a self-directed IRA is at least 40 years old and has a minimum of $50,000 in his or her retirement plan, Allen notes. Often these individuals are working in real estate in some capacity.
A non-recourse loan might be a good option if you own more than four units in your name and you’re having difficulty getting a conforming loan because of the limitations on those loans.
NASB’s Good Neighbor program
NASB 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 and around Kansas City, Missouri.
To qualify, you need a minimum credit score of 580. There are no lender fees, and NASB offers closing cost assistance with this program.
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