NBKC Bank Mortgage Review 2020

Good for: borrowers with solid credit who want to pay low fees and get an online experience with phone support. VA loans are an emphasis.

Holden LewisJuly 8, 2020

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: NBKC offers relatively low mortgage rates and fees, lets borrowers apply and track their loans online, and offers customized rates online. A large share of NBKC's mortgages are Veterans Affairs loans. But construction loans and home equity lines of credit are limited to the Kansas City area.

Best Mortgage Lender for Online Loans

NBKC

at NBKC Bank

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

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

See your personalized NBKC rate

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See your personalized rate

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers low rates and fees when compared with other lenders.

  • Extends full online capabilities, from application to loan tracking.

  • Displays customized rates, with fee estimates, without requiring contact information.

Cons

  • Equity lines and construction loans are available only in the Kansas City metro area.

  • Doesn’t offer renovation loans.

Compare to Other Lenders

Min. Credit Score

640

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

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

Loan Types and Products

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

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.

NBKC Bank at a glance

NBKC appeals to home buyers and refinancers who prefer an online experience when shopping rates and fees, and when applying, but who want the phone support to be available, too. It underwrites a lot of VA loans, and rates and fees are lower than most other lenders.

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

  • Variety of loan types: 5 of 5 stars

  • Variety of loan products: 4 of 5 stars

  • Online convenience: 5 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 5 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 5 of 5 stars

NBKC mortgage types and products

NBKC Bank of Kansas City, Missouri, wields technology to compete in a business filled with bigger lenders.

“We’ve got to be scrappier and more innovative for us to be successful,” says Dan Stevens, NBKC Bank's vice president of mortgage strategy. He says the bank has three strengths that can give it an advantage: quick loan closings, competitive interest rates and attentive customer service.

NBKC offers conventional, FHA and VA fixed-rate and adjustable purchase mortgages, refinancing and jumbo loans. It offers home equity products in the Kansas City metro area. You’ll also find deposit accounts and commercial and small business loans.

A credit score of at least 620 is required for a conventional mortgage. With a score under 620 you may be better served by lenders with expertise in finding loans for lower-credit-score borrowers, Stevens says. When applying for an FHA or VA loan, you can qualify with rent and utility payments if there aren't enough other types of accounts in your credit report.

Helping veterans with mortgages is an area of expertise; VA loans accounted for 32% of the bank’s mortgages in 2019.

NBKC doesn't offer home improvement loans such as the Federal Housing Administration's 203(k) rehab mortgage.

NBKC online convenience

You can complete your entire NBKC mortgage application online or pick up the phone at any point for help. You can skip back and forth in the application and leave it, picking up later where you stopped. Upload documents from your computer, track your application’s progress online or through the bank’s mobile apps and sign documents electronically.

Each application has a dedicated loan officer who shares his or her personal contact information, says Chad Cronk, NBKC’s director of home loans. You can be preapproved or pre-qualified for a mortgage online or over the phone. Customer service is available by phone and through online chat during business hours. Loan officers frequently answer customers' questions outside of business hours, too, Stevens says.

NBKC mortgage rates and fees

One of the most important considerations when choosing a mortgage lender is understanding what the loan will cost. In order 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 lenders reporting under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. NBKC earns 5 out of 5 stars on this factor.

  • A lender's offered mortgage rates compared with the best available on comparable loans. NBKC earns 5 out 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.

NBKC rate transparency

To see mortgage rates on the NBKC website, start by navigating to the "Home Loans" page. There, a short form will ask you to indicate whether you're buying or refinancing, the home's value, the down payment or current mortgage balance, the state, your credit score range and whether you've served in the military. You don't have to supply contact information. The information, Cronk says, allows for realistic rates instead of quotes you may not qualify for.

After answering the questions and clicking "See my rates," users will be presented with information for each of several loan types (for example, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, a 15-year fixed and a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage). For each loan type, the user will see a rate, annual percentage rate, lender fees (including any points) and monthly principal and interest payment.

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.