Skip to content

BNC National Bank Mortgage Review: A Top-10 VA Loan Lender (now owned by First Federal Bank)


While we keep hearing news about nonbanks taking over the mortgage industry, one depository bank that’s still cranking out a ton of home loans is BNC National Bank.

Specifically, the BNC National Bank Mortgage Division, which is located in Overland Park, Kansas.

Their parent company is actually headquartered in Bismarck, North Dakota, which probably explains the acronym BNC.

And for the record, we’re not talking about the Irvine, CA-based subprime lender BNC Mortgage that was owned by investment bank Lehman Brothers, both of which no longer exist.

Let’s learn more about BNC National to see if they’re a good choice for your mortgage needs.

BNC National Bank Mortgage Fast Facts

  • Nationally licensed direct-to-consumer retail mortgage lender
  • Offers home purchase loans and refinance loans
  • Founded in 2009, located in Overland Park, Kansas
  • Parent company is BNC National Bank, a publicly traded bank
  • Funded about $1.3 billion in home loans last year
  • About half of total origination volume made up of VA loans
  • Most active in California, Florida, Kansas, Texas, Virginia, and Washington
  • Acquired by First Federal Bank in June 2023

Now that we know a little more about BNC National Bank, let’s talk about what they specialize in, VA loans.

They refer to themselves as one of the “top-10 VA lenders in the country,” and if you look at their 2019 production, nearly half of total volume was derived from VA lending.

So it’s clear they work with veteran and active duty homeowners, but that’s not all. They also did more than half a billion in conventional loans too, along with FHA, USDA, and jumbo loans.

That means they serve lots of civilian homeowners as well and offer a variety of different home loan options to suit all borrowers.

While they originate both home purchase financing and refinance loans, about 70% of their volume consisted of refinances, so they’re perhaps better-suited for the existing homeowner.

They come very highly-rated, with some of the best ratings in the industry, and despite being backed by a large bank, they embrace technology.

In June 2023, BNC National Bank’s mortgage division was acquired by First Federal Bank, which is headquartered in Lake City, Florida.

They consider themselves a community-based mutual institution, owned by their customers rather than stockholders.

The company has 25 branches in the Southeast, and originates home loans nationwide via mortgage processing centers located in Florida, Georgia, and Wisconsin.

How to Apply with BNC National Bank Mortgage

  • They make it easy to apply directly from their website without assistance
  • Their digital mortgage application is powered by fintech company Blend
  • Allows you to complete most tasks remotely and paperlessly including linking bank accounts and payroll
  • You can also search their loan officer directory if you’ve been referred or want to choose a specific individual to work with

BNC National Bank makes it super easy to apply for a home loan. Simply surf over to their website and hit “Apply Today.”

That will take you directly to their digital mortgage application powered by fintech company Blend, which is a leader in the space.

You don’t have to speak to anyone to get started – simply sign up and you’ll be on your way.

Blend allows you to digitally apply for a mortgage, and speed up the process thanks to things like single source validation where you can verify and import income/assets with bank and payroll credentials.

This differs from the old way of doing things, which required hunting down documents and then either faxing them or scanning/uploading them.

Aside from saving time, it can also be a more secure method to share sensitive financial information.

You can also eSign many documents like disclosures, and once submitted and hopefully approved, you can use their online portal to track the status of your loan application.

Technology aside, a mortgage loan officer and loan processor will be available to you to help at any time if you have questions or need assistance.

BNC National Bank has a free smartphone app that could come in handy as well.

Those who are just browsing can look through their loan officer directory to find someone specific to work with.

If you’ve been referred to someone specific, or like a certain individual, it’s also possible to apply from their specific webpage.

Lastly, you can call them, email them, or fill out a mortgage quote form on their website and wait for someone to reach out.

Home Loan Programs Offered by BNC Mortgage

  • Home purchase loans
  • Refinance loans (streamline, rate and term, cash out)
  • FHA loans
  • VA loans
  • USDA loans
  • Jumbo loans
  • Fixed-rate mortgages: ranging from 10 to 30 year terms
  • Adjustable-rate mortgages: 3/1, 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1 ARMs
  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)

BNC National Bank seems to offer all the core mortgage products available, including home purchase loans and refinance loans, including cash out refinances.

In terms of loan programs, you should be able to get a conforming loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie, including their 3% down offering, or a jumbo loan if your loan amount exceeds the conforming loan limit.

They also offer government-backed home loans, including FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans, with the latter being a specialty.

It’s unclear if they offer home construction or home renovation loans, but there’s a decent chance they do since they’re backed by a large bank.

Per their HMDA data, they did a limited amount of home equity lending via HELOC as well.

They seem to specialize in refinancing, so existing homeowners with uncomplicated loan scenarios may be a good fit.

BNC National Bank Mortgage Rates

Like a lot of mortgage lenders out there, BNC National Bank chooses not to publicize its mortgage rates, but does say it offers “some of the lowest rates in the industry.”

As I’ve said before, this doesn’t make them cheaper or more expensive than the next guy, but it does mean you’ll need to get in touch with somebody to get a quote.

And once you do get a quote, you’ll need to compare it to other banks and lenders out there to see where they stand pricing-wise.

That being said, you can see their rates in the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace (without making contact), where they tend to advertise quite a bit.

When I came across them, they were advertising the second cheapest interest rate on the platform for my sample loan scenario, with lender fees below $500.

So pretty competitive, especially when you factor in the limited closing costs.

Additionally, their mortgage rates were rated “excellent” on LendingTree, which tells us borrowers seem to think they’re pretty low.

Remember to consider both interest rates and lender fees, collectively the mortgage APR, when comparison shopping.

BNC National Bank Mortgage Reviews

On SocialSurvey, BNC National Bank has a 4.86-star rating out of 5 based on over 8,000 reviews from past customers.

That’s one of the highest ratings I’ve seen, and even more remarkable given the large sample size.

On Zillow, they’ve got a 4.69 rating out of 5 from more than 2,000 reviews, and lots of them say the interest rate was lower than expected.

Over at LendingTree, it’s the same story – a 4.9-star rating out of 5 from about 3,000 reviews and a 99% recommend rate. It doesn’t get much better than that.

All in all, they appear to be very consistent with regard to customer satisfaction, so if their mortgage rates and fees are also low, they could be a great choice for homeowners, especially existing ones looking to refinance.

First Federal Bank Mortgage Reviews

In light of them being acquired by First Federal Bank, I’ve updated this post with reviews from their new parent company.

On Zillow, First Federal Bank has an equally solid 4.74/5-star rating from nearly 3,000 customer reviews.

They’ve got an even better 4.87/5 on from 2,800+ reviews, along with a 98% recommended score on LendingTree.

So it appears that their stated mission of providing their mortgage customers with the same excellence they enjoyed from the BNC team is going according to plan.

Lastly, they’ve got an ‘A+’ rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, with only five complaints filed over the past three years.

BNC National Bank Mortgage Pros and Cons

The Pros

  • Backed by a reputable, publicly-traded depository bank
  • Excellent customer reviews across all ratings sites
  • A+ BBB rating, accredited since 2013
  • Licensed to lend nationwide
  • Offer a digital mortgage application process
  • Can apply online without human assistance
  • Lots of loan programs to choose from
  • Free mortgage calculators and mortgage glossary on site

The Cons

  • Limited physical branches nationally
  • Do not publicize their mortgage rates
  • Do not mention lender fees on their website

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *