Kansas Mortgage Lender

    How To Find The Best Kansas Mortgage Lender

    Kansas boasts the tenth-lowest median home prices in America. With a median home value of $151,900, it’s not hard to find bargain prices on homes in Kansas City and other nearby areas. However, you’ll need a good mortgage lender to finance your new home. Choosing the right home loan and lender helps you get the best Kansas mortgage rates and helps save money during your home buying journey.

    Find out our top five Kansas mortgage lenders in this article. If you’d like to search for lenders yourself, we also provide the key criteria that make up a good mortgage lender.

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    Choosing A Kansas Mortgage Lender 

    Finding out which lender is the best for you is tough if you don’t know what to look for. To help your search, we’ve distilled the main criteria of a good mortgage lender into five points, which are as follows:

    Mortgage Loan Types Offered

    Different loan types cater to different needs, so it’s essential to search for a bank or lender that provides the right loan product for you. To help you choose the right loan program, we’ve compiled a list of the most common loan types on offer:

    • Conforming mortgages: These mortgage loan products include any home loans that fall under local mortgage limits. Conforming loan limits in Kansas are set at $548,250.
    • Jumbo mortgages: Commonly called jumbos, these loans can exceed the state’s home loan limits. However, jumbos have the caveat of higher interest rates and monthly mortgage payment.
    • Fixed-rate mortgages: Home loans with static mortgage rates that won’t change. They’re stable and are preferred by borrowers seeking their first home.
    • Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs): The mortgage rates on an adjustable-rate loan readjust annually, following a market index. They usually have a short period of fixed mortgage rates at the beginning that lasts between 3 and 10 years. 
    • Government loans: Three federal government bodies provide government-backed mortgages: The Federal Housing Authority, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the United States Department of Agriculture. These financial products come with advantages like low mortgage rates and reduced down payment requirements.
    • Mortgage refinancing: Refinancing a mortgage means taking a new home loan to repay your existing one. They’re usually taken to change your mortgage terms or save money by getting better refinance rates. You can also convert part of your home equity into cash by refinancing.
    • Home equity lines of credit (HELOC): This loan works like a credit card, allowing you to withdraw cash with your home as collateral.

    Affordability 

    Kansas mortgage rates are always subject to change depending on your particular situation, so low rates aren’t the best measure of affordability. Instead, we measure a bank or mortgage lender’s affordability by examining how easy it is to qualify for a loan program. 

    We use these four factors as our key affordability metrics:

    • Minimum credit score: Your FICO score is one of the most important parts of qualifying for a loan since it measures your likelihood to make debt payments. Most lenders accept a minimum score of 620, but having a higher credit score may give you better rates. Conversely, people with low credit scores may be saddled with higher rates or can’t qualify for mortgages in the first place.
    • Minimum down payment: As a rule of thumb, mortgage lenders require you to pay at least 20% down. Some may allow you to pay as little as 3% down but require you to make private mortgage insurance payments.
    • Closing costs: There may be other costs incurred during your loan processing, such as the appraisal fee, origination fee, and other expenses. These fees can cost up to 5% of your total loan amount. However, you should be careful with lenders that offer low fees – some may fold closing costs into your monthly mortgage payment instead of charging upfront. 
    • Homebuyer assistance programs: Almost all U.S. states have homebuyer assistance programs that provide closing cost grants and down payment loans. While they’re primarily aimed at first-time homeowners with low income, there may be programs aimed at repeat homeowners as well. 

    Application Process

    The best mortgage lenders make the application experience as convenient as possible. We use three criteria to rate a lender’s application process:

    • Availability of online services: These days, lenders are almost expected to have online mortgage applications. They’re essential to people who live too far away or are too busy to talk to a loan officer in person.
    • Online rate information: Rate transparency makes it easier for you to shop and compare the best rates between multiple lenders. Some lenders display mortgage rates on their website, while some others may require you to speak to a loan officer or input your financial details first. 
    • Length of the application process: Mortgages are very time-sensitive in fast-moving housing markets. If a loan takes too long to close, you may miss out on your dream home. The loan application process differs between lenders – most close within a few weeks, but some may need several months. 

    Customer Service And Ratings

    Mortgages cost a lot of money and are a long-term commitment, so you’ll need a lender that’s always there to assist you. For a quantified look at the customer service a lender provides, we turn to two rating organizations: The Better Business Bureau and J.D. Power. 

    J.D. Power reviews customer feedback and assigns lenders a rating based on the findings. It also publishes an annual customer satisfaction study that ranks mortgage lenders based on their scores. 

    The Better Business Bureau is an organization that scores the trustworthiness of a business. It does this by grading companies with a letter grade ranging from F to A+, based on factors like:

    • How the bank or mortgage lender deals with complaints from customers
    • Whether it has been subject to corrective government action.

    Access To Services

    A lender’s accessibility is measured with two key criteria:

    • Its nationwide loan service coverage
    • The number of branches it has nationwide

    Whether or not a lender services your state is self-explanatory. Meanwhile, if a lender has many branches in multiple states, it’ll be easier for customers to get face-to-face assistance from a loan officer or consult with its mortgage brokers. 

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    The Best Kansas Mortgage Lenders

    Taking the five aforementioned criteria into account, we’ve picked the five best mortgage lenders that serve the Kansas City area and beyond. Each of these mortgage companies is the best at something, so review your mortgage needs and pick whichever lender offers the right loan program for you.

    1. Rocket Mortgage By Quicken Loans – Best Online Mortgage Lender 

    Credit score requirement: 620 (580 for FHA)

    Down payment requirement: 3%

    Loan products offered: 

    • Fixed-rate purchase loan
    • ARMs
    • Jumbo loan
    • FHA & VA loans
    • Mortgage refinancing

    BBB Rating: A+

    JD Power rating: 883 (first place in 2020 study)

    Overview: Rocket Mortgage’s main selling point is its robust online capabilities compared to other lenders. Its whole application process is tailor-made to be done as conveniently as possible. 

    True to its name, Rocket offers a lightning-quick application process that only takes 30 minutes to complete. This speed is supported by many features, namely an automatic credit data check and electronic document signing.

    As a fully online lender under its parent company Quicken Loans, you can only apply through Rocket’s site, although you can also talk to a loan officer by phone. Rocket also provides hints and instructional videos throughout the application process so you don’t get lost.

    Lender availability: Available nationwide with no branch offices

    2. Alliant Credit Union – Best For Zero-Down Home Loans

    Credit score requirement: 620

    Down payment requirement: 0% 

    Loan products offered: 

    • Fixed-rate purchase loan
    • ARMs
    • Jumbo loan
    • Mortgage refinancing
    • Home equity loans

    BBB Rating: A+

    JD Power rating: N/A 

    Overview: Chicago-based Alliant is a credit union that offers financial services like mortgages, personal loans, and savings. 

    One of Alliant’s premier programs is the Advantage Mortgage program, a zero-down loan that allows qualifying borrowers to finance their first home without mortgage insurance. This program is meant to help borrowers with low income buy homes even without a lot of cash on hand. 

    Alliant’s mortgage process is done online through its website. The site features electronic document signing and uploading. You’ll also get email updates from your loan officer regarding your loan’s progress.

    Lender availability: Mortgage services are available in all states except Maryland with no physical branches

    3. Veterans United – Best For VA Home Loans 

    Credit score requirement: 640

    Down payment requirement: 0%

    Loan products offered: 

    • Fixed-rate purchase loan
    • ARMs
    • Jumbo loan
    • FHA, VA, and USDA loans
    • Mortgage refinancing

    BBB Rating: A+

    JD Power rating: 873 in 2020 study

    Overview: Veterans United is the largest VA mortgage lender in the country, having originated over $10 billion in mortgage loans since 2017. With its focus on serving military members and their families, Veterans United also offers an array of conventional loans on top of its government-backed mortgage selection.

    One of the more unique products that Veterans United offers is its energy-efficient mortgages. These home loans help cover the cost of energy-efficient home improvements for veterans.

    You can apply for a mortgage at Veterans United online or over the phone. You’ll be guided along the process through the online portal with a checklist of what needs to be done. Veterans United also offers 24/7 customer service so a loan officer can answer your questions at any time.

    Lender availability: Available nationwide with branches in 18 states

    4. Carrington Mortgage Services – Best For Low Credit 

    Credit score requirement: 620 (500 for FHA & VA loans, 550 for USDA loans)

    Down payment requirement: 3%

    Loan products offered: 

    • Fixed-rate purchase loan
    • ARMs
    • FHA, VA, and USDA loans
    • Mortgage refinancing

    BBB Rating: A+

    JD Power rating: 703 in the 2020 study 

    Overview: Carrington offers benefits to borrowers with low or nontraditional credit thanks to its flexible terms when it comes to underwriting. The company can underwrite your loans by examining your bank statements and history of bill payments, making it easy for freelancers to qualify. 

    However, those with good credit scores can also find a bargain with Carrington. It offers Freddie Mac’s Home Possible which features low down payment requirements for qualifying borrowers. 

    While the company offers online loan applications and electronic document signing, it hasn’t implemented automated loan tracking. This means you need to call a loan officer every time you need an update on your loan application. 

    Lender availability: Carrington is licensed to originate loans nationwide except for Massachusetts & North Dakota. It has 6 branch offices in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, and Maryland.

    5. Fairway Independent Mortgage – Best For Mortgage Variety 

    Credit score requirement: 620 (580 for FHA & VA)

    Down payment requirement: 0-5%

    Loan products offered: 

    • Fixed-rate purchase loan
    • ARMs
    • Jumbo loan
    • Government-backed loans
    • Mortgage refinancing
    • Home equity loans

    BBB Rating: A+

    JD Power rating: 865 in the 2019 study 

    Overview: Fairway is your best bet if you’re looking for an equal housing lender that can cater to any need. With a wide variety of mortgage products, you’re bound to find something in Fairway’s suite of home loans. In addition to purchase loans, it also offers renovation loans if you’re looking to make some home improvements. 

    Fairway’s flexibility extends to its application process. You can apply online through its app and website or speak to a loan officer at one of Fairway’s 700 nationwide branch locations. The company also offers online loan tracking, so you always know where you are in the mortgage process without having to contact a loan officer repeatedly. 

    Lender availability: Fairway originates mortgages and operates over 700 branch locations nationwide.

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    Closing Thoughts 

    Finding cheap homes is only one part of the home buying process. To take advantage of these low prices and find an affordable new home in Kansas, you need to find the right mortgage lender. 

    If you’re looking for more home loan resources to help your search for the best Kansas mortgage lender, contact Wesley Mortgage, LLC today! We’re ready to guide you along the mortgage process and help you realize your dreams of a new home in Kansas.

    Written By Wesley Mortgage
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