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Home Direct Mortgage is a division of BOK Financial, the parent company of Bank of Oklahoma, in Tulsa. It is one of the few bank-owned mortgage companies that did not result from the acquisition of an existing mortgage company. Its head office is in Overland Park, Kansas and all its employees and operations are housed there.
About The Lender
Home Direct’s business model is one that allows a prospective borrower to complete the process entirely online or with the assistance of a licensed loan officer. The borrower who starts the process online can reach out to a loan officer at any time during the process, if they need assistance. The borrower may complete the application on their mobile device, tablet or computer.
With all loan officers and operations staff located in one building, Home Direct Mortgage keeps costs down. They can offer very competitive rates. Their policy is to charge no origination, underwriting, processing or other typical lender fees. This can mean the best of all worlds – low rates and low closing costs. They can also offer fast service, a key issue in competitive housing markets.
Their web site is robust and includes at least 30 articles and several informative videos. There are also fourteen calculators, which can be used to make rent vs buy decisions, how much income is needed to qualify, whether someone should refinance, and many more. The calculators are useful for borrowers entering the homebuying process as well as experienced homeowners.
They source their ratings on their web site from Zillow and appear to have selected the best ratings. The very high ratings by consumers hold true on these sites, as well. Obviously, Home Direct Mortgage is doing something right. In our contact, the loan officers were no-pressure, knowledgeable and helpful.
Home Direct Mortgage does not try to be all things to all borrowers. Its product line includes all the traditional mortgage products, as described below.
Smooth Process – The Application and loan process are smooth. Their resource-rich web site is easily navigated and not overwhelming.
Professional Support – The toll-free line is answered by a licensed loan officer, as opposed to a call center. Home Direct’s licensed loan officers are responsive and knowledgeable.
Competitive Fees – There are no lender fees and no loan origination fees. In some markets, this will save $2,000 or more in closing costs. Borrowers will only pay “points” in order to reduce the interest rate on the loan.
No Retail Branches – While this saves on overhead, it’s a significant con, because some borrowers still prefer a local, retail presence
Not Full Online Process –A prospective borrower must either call and speak to a loan officer, in order to obtain interest rates begin the process online, exchanging personal information for rates. For the borrower who wants to shop anonymously before choosing a lender, this is an impediment
The Home Direct Mortgage Process
While the process is not that simple, the Home Direct Mortgage process is straightforward. It is explained on their web site
The mortgage process is as follows:
- Submit a complete application.
- Ask questions and decide whether to conduct business electronically or not.
- Open and review initial disclosures (if electronic).
- Provide Intent to Proceed.
- Sign and return disclosures.
- Pay the appraisal fee, if applicable.
- Income documentation – W-2s, paystubs and tax returns, as applicable.
- Asset information – Bank statements, retirement statements and brokerage accounts, as applicable.
- Proof of good faith deposit on purchase.
- Photo of valid ID.
- Homeowners insurance information.
- Other documents as may be required.
The application is reviewed, appraisal ordered and third-party information is requested.
The underwriter will review and validate the documentation and issue a decision.
The loan can be scheduled to close when all conditions are submitted and accepted.
- Closing Disclosures are issued three days prior to the signing of documents (closing).
- Review documents and sign with the closing agent. Valid ID is required at signing.
- Wire the balance of funds to close to the closing agent or title insurance company.
- The closing agent closes the transaction.
Home Direct keeps the servicing of the loan after closing. For the borrower, this means no sudden notices that the payment must be made to someone else right after closing.
Home Direct Mortgage Products
Home Direct Mortgage offers all the standard mortgage programs, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conventional loans and Jumbo loans. They also offer FHA, VA and USDA government loans. Their loans can be used to purchase a property or refinance. The minimum credit score is 620.
Where allowed, the loans may also be available for 1-to-4 unit investment properties.
Following are the main loan programs offered:
30 year, Fixed Rate mortgage – is the most popular loan type, due to its low payment that doesn’t change until it is paid off. 20 year loans are also offered.
15 year, Fixed Rate mortgage – allows a lower rate and the ability to pay far less interest over the life of the loan.
5/1 and 7/1 Adjustable Rate mortgages – these offer the lowest interest rates for the initial fixed-rate period (five or seven years), allowing the borrower to maximize their monthly cash flow or afford a more expensive home.
Fixed and Adjustable Rate, government insured or guaranteed loans. These often allow lower interest rates and smaller down payments than conventional loans.
FHA, VA, USDA, FHA and VA Streamline loans are also offered. If someone qualifies for a streamline loan, no appraisal and minimum documentation is required.
Should You Consider Home Direct Mortgage?
Home Direct Mortgage is best suited for the person who meets reasonable standards. This means credit score between 620 and 740. Borrowers must also qualify based on their income, down payment and the reserve requirements of the loan chosen. If there are low credit scores or unverifiable income, Home Direct would not work.