Sebonic Mortgage Review

    Sebonic Mortgage Review: A Solid Choice For Lower Credit Scores

    If you're looking for conventional loans or loans under the three largest government loan backers –the VA, USDA, and FHA – Sebonic Mortgage can help you finance your home purchase. This private company offers a wide variety of options, even providing mortgages to those who have lower credit or need more flexible payment terms.

    How does this brand compare to other lenders? In this review, we take a look at the kinds of loans provided by Sebonic Mortgage and how its application process works.

    What To Look For In A Mortgage Lender

    There's more to a good company than just low rates. Before we review Sebonic Financial, here are five factors you should consider when you review a mortgage lender.

    Loan Types

    Not all lenders offer the same loan types and products. Even if a lender has good mortgage rates, there's no point in applying if what they're offering doesn't suit your budget or your credit score. Some types are also limited by additional government qualifications, such as VA or USDA loans.

    Apart from home mortgages, some lenders offer refinancing or renovation mortgages. Find out what type is best for your home and financial situation before choosing a lender.

    Application

    Depending on the lending company, this process can be lengthy or short. Ask lenders how long the process typically takes after you've submitted the necessary documents. Some mortgage applications can take weeks, if not months.

    If a lender has an expedited process or online application service available, it's a strong consideration for those who aren't keen on waiting longer for approval.

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    Interest Rate

    There are several factors that can affect how risky it is to loan you money, which in turn affects how much lenders charge you for the mortgage. Here are some of the most common factors used by companies to determine rates.

    • Credit Score: A low credit score will result in a higher rate.
    • Employment: Your type of employment may determine whether or not you can repay and, therefore, factors into your risk assessment.
    • Loan To Value (LTV): The lower the percentage of your loan amount to the property’s value, the lower your rate. For example, borrowing at 80% LTV will net higher rates than borrowing at 60%.
    • Credit History: A longer, more established credit history will give you better rates because it reassures the lender of your ability to repay.
    • Loan Term: The shorter the term, the faster you’ll be repaying it. While this will result in higher monthly payments, it will also result in a lower rate because the lender takes on the risk for less amount of time.

    These are just some of the potential factors that a lender will look into before offering you initial rates. If you’re not sure what other documents or information may be required, ask a financial adviser for more insight. 

    Keep in mind that rates change regularly, so check back here to find the lowest rate possible.

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    To reduce mortgage lenders' rates, you can ask if they have discount points. Typically, you can buy one point for 1% of the mortgage value. For each purchased point, the lender will reduce the rate by 0.25%. Weigh the affordability of purchasing these points immediately vs the impact of a lower rate for the loan’s lifetime.

    Lastly, consider their rate lock terms. A rate lock fixes the interest during the period between the offer and closing, as long as the borrower closes within the agreed period. Some lenders may have specific terms if the rate lock expires before the close through no fault of your own. In other cases, you may have to pay for an extension – an additional expense you'll need to factor into your budget before you make a decision.

    Additional Fees

    It’s not enough to get low rates. Compare potential additional costs between lenders such as home close fees, application fees, and underwriting costs. Some lenders will lump all these fees together, while others will list them and their costs individually. Negotiate as many of these fees as you can to lower your expenses.

    Customer Service

    A mortgage goes on for years, and in that time, you will need reliable customer service. A good company will have accessible customer service, so find out how quickly it responds to queries and complaints. You should also check how many channels are available for assistance, such as emails, online chat messages, and hotlines.

    Sebonic Financial Mortgage Review

    Sebonic Financial is a division of Cardinal Financial, launched after the company changed owners. It is a direct-lending company for consumers based in Charlotte, NC, with a full selection of adjustable and fixed-rate mortgages.

    Though it has only existed since 2013, its parent company Cardinal Financial has been a mortgage lender in Charlotte, North Carolina since 1987. This company was created specifically to offer mortgage loans and has a license to do so in the entirety of the United States, except Massachusetts.

    Sebonic Financial Loan Types And Services

    Sebonic Financial offers the following home loan products.

    Fixed-Rate Conventional Loans

    The most popular mortgage type, this is ideal for borrowers who plan to live in their home for a long time because of its stability and predictability. The interest rate is controlled by a rate lock for the entire mortgage period, which means that your monthly payment stays the same. Many borrowers find it easier to budget under this type.

    Sebonic requires a credit score of at least 620 to qualify for this, and you can choose from a 15-year or 30-year option. The shorter the period, the higher your monthly payment. However, the trade-off of this higher monthly payment is that you pay a lower rate over the loan's lifetime – saving you money in the long run.

    FHA (Federal Housing Administration) Loans

    Government-insured home loans have higher rates but more flexible lending requirements. Sebonic Financial requires applicants to have a credit score of at least 600 to qualify for FHA loans.

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    USDA Loans

    Sebonic offers this loan type to those interested in purchasing rural properties. If you meet the USDA's income and geographic eligibility requirements, you can finance your home purchase with this mortgage.

    VA Loans

    These are $0-down mortgage loans that are guaranteed or backed by the Department of Veteran Affairs. They allow borrowers to refinance existing mortgages or buy property for a permanent residence. 

    While an easier application, VA loans can only be granted to current or former members of the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard, reserves, or their spouses.

    Adjustable-Rate Mortgages, aka ARMs

    This mortgage is best for those who plan to move to another home again in a few years. Rates on ARMs are lower for an initial fixed period, ranging from one to ten years. These will have conditions for how many times the rate is allowed to change over the life of the loan, plus a fixed maximum rate that can be charged under this type. 

    To qualify for an adjustable-rate mortgage with Sebonic Financial, you need a credit score of at least 620.

    Jumbo Loan

    Jumbo loans are a kind of financing that exceeds Federal Housing Finance Agency limits, designed for the purchase of a luxury home or property in very competitive real estate markets. Sebonic offers jumbo loans that go up to $3 million. This type is not eligible for purchase, guarantee, or securitization by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.

    Interest-Only Jumbo Loan

    These jumbo loans have terms that allow you to pay interest-only installments in the first few months. This type is designed to give borrowers more financial flexibility.

    Refinance

    Those with existing home loans can apply for a refinance with Sebonic. If you opt to refinance, you will have to pay closing costs again on the loan. However, you may qualify for a more favorable term or lower rate. Options offered by Sebonic include VA loan refinance, conventional loan refinance, and FHA refinance.

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    Online Application Process

    Sebonic does not have a mobile app and its website is a little bare, with no explanations about its loan terms or interest rates. It also offers very little information about different types of loans, and you cannot prequalify online. However, you can start your home loan application through its site and quote calculator. 

    Here's how it works.

    Get A Free Rate Quote

    Start the process by submitting information for a free rate quote. You will need to give the following information.

    • Zip code
    • Loan purpose (aka whether for purchase or for refinance)
    • Income details
    • Employment details
    • Property type
    • Credit score

    You'll need to enter your email and phone number to get the free quote. Once you've submitted this online request, a company representative will give you a phone call or send an email to discuss your mortgage options.

    Call Or Email For An Online Application

    If you're already happy with the rates and loan options offered to you, you can call or email Sebonic Financial to get access to its online application platform. On this site, you can upload your financial documents and personal information, as well as other documents that may be requested by your loan officer.

    For your online process, you can simply drag and drop all the requested papers, then add an e-signature without having to manually sign and scan documents.

    Wait For Your Application To Be Processed

    Once you've submitted all your necessary paperwork online, you just need to wait! Sebonic doesn't provide an exact timeline for how long this will take. However, you will get real-time status updates on your application's progress until it's processed.

    Sign And Complete Documents For Underwriting

    Once processing is finished, you just need to sign and submit the final documents that your loan officer may require. After that, you can close on your home!

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    Mortgage Rates

    When considering lender options, borrowers should compare lenders' fees with their mortgage rates. Lenders will sometimes charge higher upfront fees but offer a lower rate. You can also buy discount points if your lender offers them. These points can be used to reduce your mortgage rates.

    Unfortunately, Sebonic doesn't have any tables that can show you if it’s offering a great rate or low fees. This could be due to the fact that it reports to the federal database as a part of Cardinal Financial, not as an independent company.

    Without the interest rates and fees, you won’t be able to compute how much more you’ll be paying in total for certain loan periods. This can make it hard for you to decide if Sebonic is a good fit for your budget, as you’ll have no clear idea how much more you would be saving or spending with its loan terms.

    Customer Experience And Service

    The majority of customers report having a positive experience with Cardinal Financial and its subsidiary, Sebonic. Many praised the seamless online process and great customer service, with good loan originators handling much of the paperwork for borrowers. Good communication was frequently cited as one of its major strengths.

    Reputation

    Sebonic, under Cardinal Financial, has a good reputation as a financial lender. Sebonic has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Out of 167 customer reviews, it scores 4.08 out of 5 stars. The BBB reviews frequently cite your assigned officer as key to a good experience, with many saying they were offered great rates and given plenty of information throughout the entire process.

    Will You Qualify For A Sebonic Financial Mortgage Loan?

    There are three factors that may affect your application with Sebonic Financial: your credit score, your debt-to-income ratio, and the minimum down payment you may need to make.

    To get the best rates, lenders often require applicants to have a FICO score of 740 or higher. Sebonic, however, grants loans for lower credit scores – 620 is its minimum credit score for a conventional loan, while you need a credit score of at least 600 for an FHA loan.

    Meanwhile, your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), is a percentage that can show you how much debt you have compared to your income, which signals how financially capable you are of making your monthly payment. Because they show how capable you are of paying off your loan, lenders prefer that applicants have a DTI no higher than 36%. However, FHA, VA, and USDA loans may sometimes allow for higher DTIs, depending on the lender's criteria.

    When computing your DTI, you need to add all your monthly debt obligations, such as credit card bills and car payments. You then add your projected monthly payment for your mortgage. Divide the entire sum by your monthly pre-tax income. Multiply this figure by 100 to get your DTI.

    Here's a handy calculator to see your DTI with just a few clicks.

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    A third consideration for lenders is the minimum down payment that you can make. Sebonic requires you to pay as little as 5% down for a conventional fixed-rate mortgage. You can also opt to get an FHA loan, which requires just 3.5%, or a VA or USDA loan which has no down payment requirements at all.

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    Pros

    • Sebonic has a wide range of options for mortgages, including the big three: VA, FHA, and USDA loans.
    • It offers a streamlined online application experience, where you can contact the team and review and send documents digitally.

    Cons

    • Sebonic doesn't offer home renovation mortgages, home equity loans, or home equity lines of credit.
    • There is a lack of online transparency for mortgage offerings and rates.

    The Bottom Line

    Sebonic is a convenient option because you can apply online for a wide range of traditional mortgage loan types. It also offers the option of paying as little as 5% down for fixed-rate conventional loans. 

    However, it would be difficult to make a rate comparison until you've gotten your free quote because the company doesn't publish its mortgage rates or fees. You would also have to look elsewhere for a home renovation mortgage or home equity loan products.

    At the end of the day, Sebonic Financial is a solid choice for those who need flexible payment terms or those who have lower credit scores. Just remember that your experience with Sebonic depends heavily on your interaction with your loan originator and its officers.

    If you're not sure about getting a home loan from Sebonic, talk to Wesley Mortgage, LLC. We make sure our clients get all the information they need about mortgage types and options. 

    Let us help you find a mortgage plan that fits your needs and budget! If you don't want to get a mortgage loan from Sebonic Financial, you can read any of our other lender reviews to find the right choice for you.

    Written By Ed Wallace
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