NBKC Bank Mortgage Review 2022

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

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

NBKC offers relatively low mortgage rates and average 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. Construction loans and home equity lines of credit are limited to the Kansas City area.

NBKC
Great for: first-time home buyers | digital convenience | customer service
Min. credit score
620
Min. down payment
3%
Loan types and products
Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA
Learn more

at NBKC

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers low rates compared with other lenders, according to the latest data.
  • 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

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score

620

Min. credit score

640

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Min. down payment

3%

Min. down payment

3%

Loan types and products

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

Loan types and products

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

Loan types and products

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

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Full Review

Tap to learn how COVID-19 has affected mortgage shopping

The coronavirus pandemic introduced some new challenges to getting a mortgage. Many lenders facing high loan demand and staffing issues increased their fees, adjusted minimum required credit scores or temporarily suspended certain loan products. While some products and business practices have returned to pre-pandemic levels, you might still find delays and limited options. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For 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 tend to be low, according to the most recently available federal data.

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

  • Variety of loan types: 5 of 5 stars

  • Ease of application: 5 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 4 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 4 of 5 stars

NBKC Bank mortgage loan types

NBKC Bank of Kansas City, Missouri, leverages 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 senior vice president of customer acquisition. 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. 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 VA or FHA 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 24% of the bank’s mortgages in 2020, according to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data.

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

NBKC HELOC: The lender also offers a home equity line of credit, or HELOC. These second mortgages are one way for homeowners to access existing home equity without refinancing or selling their home. Funds obtained with a second mortgage can be used for expenses such as home improvements, education costs or debt consolidation. NBKC offers home equity lines of credit only in the Kansas City metro area.

NBKC Bank ease of application

You can complete your entire NBKC mortgage application online or call at any point for help. You can skip back and forth in the application and leave it, picking up later where you stopped. The system lets you load 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 personal contact information, says Chad Cronk, NBKC’s director of home loans. You can be preapproved or prequalified 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, the lender says.

NBKC Bank 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, according to the most recently available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data:

  • NBKC earns 3 of 5 stars for average origination fee.

  • NBKC earns 4 of 5 stars for offered mortgage rates compared with the best available rates on comparable loans.

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 Bank rate transparency

A button labeled “View rates” about halfway down NBKC’s homepage directs you to a calculator that takes location and credit score into account to create customized rates. Results display mortgage rate, APR, points, lender fees and potential monthly payments. Each option includes a button to apply online.

More from NerdWallet:

at NBKC

Methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for mortgage lenders are evaluated based on four major categories: variety of loan types (purchase, refinance, fixed and adjustable, for example), ease of application, rates and fees and rate transparency. Among the factors we consider when scoring these categories are options to apply for and track loans online, the level of detail about mortgage rates on lender websites and our analysis of the rates and fees lenders reported in the latest available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. These scores generate ratings from 1 star (poor) to 5 stars (excellent).