Northpointe Bank Mortgage Review 2020

Good for: those seeking an abundance of loan offerings — including a no-down-payment mortgage that helps accelerate home equity accumulation.

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Northpointe Bank offers rate-shopping convenience and plenty of loan options, including 100% financing. A web tool enhances the lender's online capabilities.

Northpointe

at Northpointe

Min. Credit Score

620

Conventional:

620

FHA:

600

VA:

600

USDA:

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

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

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • A full slate of loan offerings.

  • Offers a no-down-payment loan with a shorter repayment term that helps accelerate home equity accumulation.

  • A web app provides a number of customer conveniences.

  • Serves all 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer construction loans at this time.

Compare to Other Lenders

Min. Credit Score

620

Conventional:

620

FHA:

600

VA:

600

USDA:

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, USDA

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.

Northpointe Bank at a glance

Northpointe Bank earns high marks for a variety of loan products and types. Its online capabilities are among the best, but fees and mortgage rates are average at best. From its base in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Northpointe’s home lending services have spread from the Upper Midwest to all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. And with branch locations in nearly two dozen states, Northpointe is certainly more than just a regional player.

Here’s a breakdown of Northpointe Bank's overall score:

  • Variety of loan types: 5 of 5 stars

  • Variety of loan products: 5 of 5 stars

  • Online convenience: 5 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 3 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 5 of 5 stars

Northpointe Bank mortgage loan types and products

You know those windshield sunshade-sized menus you sometimes see at fast-casual restaurants? Northpointe has that kind of loan selection. There is little that a typical borrower could be looking for that Northpointe doesn’t have. Not all products are available in all states, but the mortgage lineup includes:

  • Purchase and refinance loans with fixed and adjustable-rate terms.

  • Home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).

  • Jumbo loans of up to $3 million with a 10% down payment.

  • Renovation mortgages.

  • Mortgages for self-employed borrowers.

  • Loans for vacation and second homes.

  • Manufactured housing loans.

  • Government-backed loans, such as FHA, VA and USDA.

Northpointe also offers an alternative to the traditional 30-year fixed mortgage, called EquityBuilder.

"It's 100% financing, no money down, and instead of having a 30-year fixed mortgage, you choose a shorter term such as 15-year or 20-year, and you buy down the interest rate," perhaps with a half-point discount, says Michael Winks, president of lending and retail banking at Northpointe. The shorter term may result in a higher monthly payment than a 30-year loan, but "it's really just about saving on the interest expense over the life of the loan."

Northpointe has an online comparison tool that shows the difference in the interest you would pay with the Equity Builder over five to 10 years when compared with a 30-year fixed mortgage over the same period.

That can translate into more home equity — the free-and-clear value that builds wealth. The EquityBuilder loan has no income limits or first-time home buyer restrictions.

And one more unique item on the giant mortgage loan menu: Northpointe offers physician and professional loans in select states with up to 100% financing and no private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Northpointe Bank online convenience

Northpointe’s website design is clean and adapts to fit the device you’re viewing it on. You can obtain an online loan application via email from a loan officer, or through the Northpoint web application.

The web tool not only facilitates the completion of a secure loan application, but it also allows you to manage the loan process by messaging your loan officer, uploading documents, e-sign disclosures and receive status updates. It pings you when an item requires your attention.

After the loan closes, you can make mortgage payments through the app, and download statements and tax documents.

Northpointe 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:

  • A lender's average origination fee compared with the median of all lenders reporting under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Northpointe Bank earns 3 of 5 stars on this factor.

  • A lender's offered mortgage rates compared with the best available on comparable loans. Northpointe Bank earns 3 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.

Northpointe Bank mortgage rate transparency

Mortgage rates are easy to find on the Northpointe Bank website. From the home page, click on "Home Lending," then "See Loan Options," then "Low Rates" from the top menu bar, and you’ll see interest rates and APRs for four common mortgages.

Rate assumptions — the all-important fine print that tells you how they’ve been computed — are on the same page. The down payment required to earn these rates was a little stiff, though: 25%.

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.