BNC National Bank Mortgage Review

    BNC National Bank Mortgage Review: Are The Low Rates Worth It?

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    Finding the best mortgage lender when purchasing or refinancing a home is essential if you want a hassle-free experience. If you prioritize smooth online transactions, then BNC National Bank might be your best bet. While they focus on specialized government-backed loans, this creditor has a wide selection of available products for almost every borrower.

    But is it the best option for you? Read on to find out what you need to look for in a creditor and how BNC measures up.

    What To Look For In A Mortgage Lender

    Whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking for a second house, your mortgage lender can make or break the process of financing your home. They determine your interest rates, the loan amount, and even whether you’ll have to shell out extra cash for insurance. 

    But how do you make sure you’re choosing the right lender? Here are the six considerations you need to make when reviewing a mortgage lender. 

    Types Of Mortgages Available

    The home loan you choose influences the entire process of getting a mortgage, from costs to how much time you have to pay your loan off. But why does this matter when choosing a lender? 

    The answer is that understanding the different types of mortgages narrows your pool of potential creditors based on the types of home loans on their menu. Here are some of the most common mortgage types:

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    Fixed-Rate

    A fixed-rate mortgage is a home loan with a static interest rate. That means the interest rate provided by your creditor at the start of your loan remains unchanged its entire lifetime – making it a stable option that’s easy to budget for. These loans are incredibly popular with first-time buyers because of their simplicity and long-term predictability. 

    Adjustable-Rate

    Like the name suggests, an adjustable-rate mortgage changes over time, making it slightly less predictable in stable market conditions. These products have temporary introductory rates that are lower than their fixed counterparts, but the initial lock-in period varies based on your specific loan. Borrowers looking to get adjustable-rate loans should be ready for regular rate adjustments, which may work out in their favor if rates decline during the loan’s lifetime. 

    Government-Insured

    Some homebuyers can qualify for government-insured home loans. Specifically, folks with less-than-ideal credit scores and limited funds for a down payment may apply to expedite the application and approval process. 

    There are three main kinds of government-insured loans: Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans, and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans. 

    • FHA Loans: While the FHA doesn’t actually supply this mortgage themselves, they do provide your lender with insurance if a payment falls through. That means borrowers with credit scores as low as 500 can secure a mortgage with a 10% down payment. However, each lending company may have its own requirements. 
    • VA Loans: VA loans are given exclusively to military service members that have served a certain amount of time in the army as well as their spouses. Unlike other loan products, VA loans can provide military folks with a zero-down, no-PMI mortgage. We would recommend looking into this option if you or your spouse meets the military service requirements. 
    • USDA loans: These mortgage options open up the possibility of homeownership to families in rural areas. Unlike other government-insured mortgages, USDA loans require borrowers to have excellent credit and pay stubs from the last 30 days, which can be difficult for self-employed folks.
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    Conventional Loans

    Conventional loans are the “bread and butter” mortgage products offered by most crediting firms. That said, all loans that fall into this category are either “conforming” or “non-conforming” mortgages, which refers to whether they’re valued below a certain dollar cap set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

    This matters because “conforming” loans are bought by government-adjacent organizations Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which support the housing market. On the other hand, mortgage products valued over the dollar cap of $548,250 are “non-conforming” or jumbo loans.

    Type Of Lender

    Whether you’re looking to refinance a home or secure mortgage products for new real estate, you’ll encounter one of two main types of lenders: the direct lender and the mortgage broker. 

    Direct Lender

    Most potential homebuyers settle their mortgage with direct lenders – usually, a bank or local credit union. Direct lenders handle the entire mortgage process, from collecting your contact information and connecting you with a loan officer, to settling and servicing your mortgage over its lifetime. 

    Borrowers that opt for direct lenders get a full-service experience, but this comes at the cost of limited loan options and inflexible rates. However, this can be offset by shopping around before making any commitments. 

    Mortgage Broker

    Unlike working with a bank or credit union, mortgage brokers have access to a wide selection of lenders with varying rates and mortgage options. That’s because mortgage brokers are independent agents that get a small cut (usually 1-2%) of the transaction’s total value, which incentivizes finding the right bank or lender as soon as possible. 

    Note that while working with brokers can save you a bit of effort, you may not always get the best possible deals. That’s because some agents may favor one creditor over the other based on their cut of the profits. That’s why we suggest reading reviews about your specific agent and the bank or lender they recommend. 

    Rates And Fees

    2021 started with historically low mortgage rates, but it’s not just the market that determines your expenses – the bank or lender you choose still impacts the actual cost of buying a house. That’s because each lending company has protocols that influence how your rates and fees are calculated, regardless of your credit score and debt-to-income ratio. Therefore, shopping around, reading reviews, and asking potential lenders for more information really pays off.

    You should consider asking for loan estimates to get an accurate comparison between lenders. Note that the information provided by your lender doesn’t usually include upfront fees, closing costs, and other “extra” expenses. We recommend getting additional information (such as the annual percentage rate or APR) and sending in several applications to different companies. 

    Customer Service

    Low fees and discounts are great, but what happens if something goes wrong with your loan and your lender takes more than five business days to get back to you? 

    Inadequate consumer support can drag out stressful situations and dampen the experience of becoming a new homeowner – that’s why it’s so important to find a company that values its customers. Be sure to go online and check reviews and BBB ratings for an accurate idea of what your bank’s after-sale service is like. 

    Accessibility 

    Here’s the thing about choosing the “right” lender: it’s different for everyone. For example, one bank may exclusively conduct business at physical branches, while other lenders are entirely online and limit their transactions to credit cards and bank transfers. Both are good options, but it depends on what you’re more comfortable with. 

    Assistance Programs

    Buyers should always look into their lenders’ assistance programs to determine how they can save on rates and fees. Most lenders usually have down payment schemes that can save you a few hundred dollars, but others may have more favorable terms that suit your financial situation better. 

    For example, one company may have an excellent down payment scheme. Another lender may have the option to adjust your mortgage payments as needed. What’s best for you depends on your financial situation. 

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    BNC National Bank Mortgage Review

    BNC National Bank is a federally-regulated financial institution headquartered in Bismarck, Dakota. The company was established in 1990, but it only launched its mortgage division in 2008. 

    BNC National Bank has a physical presence limited to Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and North Dakota. Additionally, BNC National bank maintains offices in rural areas, giving them an experienced advantage over other USDA lenders. 

    Because of its limited brick-and-mortar locations, BNC National Bank has focused its resources on developing its online infrastructure. That’s why going for a BNC National Bank mortgage usually means you’re generally going to receive relatively low rates with flexible credit score requirements, regardless of whether you’re looking to purchase or refinance. 

    But this aside, how does the BNC bank actually perform as a lender?

    Available Mortgages

    BNC National Bank offers several loan products. Gathering information on these is as simple as navigating to their website, finding a phone number, and speaking with a loan officer. Note that loan information isn’t easily accessible on their webpage, and interested borrowers need to fill out a form to get personalized advice.

    The mortgage division of BNC National Bank has a healthy selection of home loans for purchasing and refinance. Here are some of the most popular products available at BNC National Bank:

    • Conventional Loan
    • Jumbo Loan
    • Fixed-rate Loan
    • Adjustable Mortgage
    • Government loans: VA, FHA, and USDA
    • 203(k)
    • Refinance options: cash-out and no-cash out refinance
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    Rates And Fees

    An essential part of every review of mortgage lenders? Their rates and fees. 

    When you get a BNC National Bank Mortgage, you can use an on-site rates and fees calculator that includes a visualizer – making comprehension easy for even the most numerically-averse buyer. This tool lists your expected closing costs based on your loan term, interest rate, and mortgage amount.

    That said, the North Dakota-based BNC National bank doesn’t actually tell you what rate you’ll get on their available products. After all, most lending agencies tend to keep their fees and purchase/refinance pricing schemes under wraps. However, client reviews suggest that it’s quite easy to get an idea of how much you’ll be paying – BNC National Bank usually has a loan officer that’s just a phone call away. 

    But if you’re not too keen on picking up the phone just yet, many reliable reviews have described BNC National Bank mortgage rates as “competitive” and “lower-priced than others.”

    Customer Service

    The true measure of a customer’s experience is a lender’s after-sale performance. Thankfully, BNC National Bank offers top-notch service. Because most of the purchase or refinance process is accomplished online, BNC National Bank has their phones and chat boxes free five days a week from 8am-5pm. 

    However, like any company with an online presence, this lender has received some complaints between glowing client reviews – issues with credit cards and unclear home loan terms being two stand-out complaints.

    That said, getting a BNC National Bank mortgage doesn’t mean you’re absolutely going to run into these problems and never hear back from them. In fact, the inverse is true. Negative client reviews made up less than 5% of their total reviews, and many were resolved within days. 

    Regardless, personal experience is the best indicator of whether their home loan is a good fit for you. That’s why we recommend checking out their online presence and chatting with available service reps.

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    Accessibility

    As we mentioned earlier in the review, BNC National Bank has a limited physical presence in most states. That means most borrowers won’t be able to make a trip to their offices whenever they see fit. 

    However, BNC National has exemplary online services that you can access from the comfort of your home. Everything from quotes based on a credit score review to actually finalizing a home mortgage can be done on the BNC website.

    Assistance Programs

    Like many other lenders that offer home loans, BNC has assistance programs to help low-to-moderate income borrowers or clients with a less-than-ideal credit score. However, there is one major caveat: only borrowers in the states with physical BNC offices make the cut. That means unless you live in Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, or North Dakota, you need to have a good credit history to qualify.

    Pros

    • Great online service: Everything from credit review to finalizing your home mortgage can be done remotely.
    • Personalized experience: You’re assigned to a specific loan officer throughout the entire process. That means the same person reviews every part of your application. They will be extremely familiar with your case and can provide situation-specific support. 
    • Low down-payment requirement: Even borrowers with relatively low credit may be able to qualify for down payments as low as 3% – this is incredibly competitive relative to other lenders. 
    • You can purchase a secondary home: Unlike other lenders, BNC has no issues with financing a mortgage for a second home as long as you meet their credit requirements.

    Cons

    • Lacking physical branches: Keep in mind that BNC’s reputation is largely based on its ability to do business online. BNC’s limited physical presence in most of the United States can be problematic for customers that prefer the in-person experience. 
    • Undisclosed interest rates: There are no specific rates available on their website, meaning that potential clients need to send their information in to get an idea of how much they’ll have to pay.
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    Final Thoughts

    If you’re looking for competitive rates from an online lender, BNC National Bank might be the right fit for you – but every client has their specific needs. At Wesley Mortgage, LLC, we’re devoted to finding the best fit for our clients, whether they’re purchasing, refinancing, or simply exploring their options. Contact us to find out how we can help you!

    Written By Ed Wallace
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