Every once in a while, I’ll take a look at a specific mortgage lender or product to determine the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Today we’ll take a look at a mortgage lender named “CapWest Mortgage,” which is one of the bigger online players.
If you do a search for mortgage rates online, there’s a decent chance they may show up on your radar.
They’re actually a division of Farmers Bank & Trust, which is a 104-year-old family-owned bank out of Kansas.
The age of the bank is actually one of the “benefits” CapWest highlights, with age presumably being on your side when it comes to quality and service.
Of course, we all know that some of the oldest institutions can still give you a raw deal, so one shouldn’t bank on age alone.
Still, being backed by a large bank allows CapWest to originate all types of loans, including conventional mortgages, FHA loans, VA loans, and even Homepath mortgages, in all 50 states.
While that’s fine and dandy, it’s not all that different from any other major lender out there.
What Sets CapWest Mortgage Apart?
Well, for one, they’ve got a “Customer for Life Program,” which includes VIP service (whatever that means), $997 off future loan transactions, and guaranteed mortgage rates below the national average.
There’s also less paperwork and a streamlined process for those who previously received their mortgage from CapWest, which many other lenders offer as well.
For the record, CapWest’s standard lender fees are $997, so they’re essentially waived on subsequent loan transactions.
Of course, you still have to pay normal third party fees and all prepaid items, so it’s not a no cost loan.
Additionally, if you refer a friend, they’ll receive 50% off the standard lender fees. That’s roughly $500 off.
Discounts for Costco Members
CapWest also offers a discount to Costco members, as they are an approved mortgage lender with the large warehouse shopper.
Per Costco, all “preferred lenders” are rigorously evaluated before being selected to participate, so at least you know CapWest has some accountability.
As far as discounts are concerned, Costco Goldstar & Business members receive $300 off lender fees, and Executive members get $400 off.
In other words, Costco Goldstar & Business members should pay $697 in bank fees, while Executive members will pay $597.
CapWest also notes that additional rebates are offered to Costco members, though they don’t specify what they are.
It’s unclear if borrowers can receive both the Costco discount and the refer-a-friend discount in conjunction with one another, but the latter would be the bigger stand-alone discount.
Final Word on CapWest
While CapWest offers some decent benefits, they may not offer the lowest mortgage rates.
Additionally, you may be better served with a lender who can waive all your lender-related fees (and even some third party fees) with the use of a lender credit, and also offer you a lower mortgage rate.
[See: CashCall Mortgage Review]
Seeing that the lender fees aren’t that expensive to begin with at CapWest, you may want to focus more of your energy on mortgage rates, which can cost you a lot more money over the life of the loan.
After all, a mortgage rate that is a quarter or a half percentage point lower will surely save you big money over time.
That said, CapWest can certainly be included in your mortgage search, especially if you’re a Costco member, but you shouldn’t stop with one mortgage quote.
Get multiple quotes from mortgage brokers, your own bank, and online lenders to determine who has the best deal for you, all gimmicks and discounts aside!
Tip: What mortgage rate can I get with my credit score?
I started the loan process with capwest, not happy at all.
After my deposit was made for $475, ( just in case I didn’t proceed with the loan the appraisal would be paid for) comunications slowed way down. The apraisal did happen, but after many emails and phone calls, no response.
Jumped thru all the hoops, now nobody home.
Now I,m wondering how to get my deposit back. yes I did get a apraisal, but another lender won’t except it, they will won’t there own.
I was refered by Costco.
Hey John, Sorry to hear that. You may want to ask that your customer service issue be up-lined to higher management. In the mortgage biz, the squeaky wheel definitely gets the grease. So keep hounding them until they take care of you.
I had the exact same experience as “John Cavette”…
I am really upset at how I was dropped after making my deposit for $475, appraiser came by said I’d have the results in 4 days, heard nothing;
Also jumped thru all the hoops, submitted all the paperwork, forms, taxes, etc…no response from CapWest…left emails and vmails…
Referred by Costco.
How do I get my deposit back???
We refinanced our loan with CapWest last July and everything went smoothly. However, now a year later we are being hit with an Escrow shortage that is almost equal to our entire yearly Escrow amount. This has been a problem in the past with our former lender so I expressed a concern about it and the loan officer assured me that it was because the Escrow was not set up right in the first place and that this time it would be and we would not have to worry about a large shortfall in our Escrow account. To make a long story short we are now a year later with an Escrow shortage of over $1800. I questioned and expressed concern about our Escrow being short when our taxes came due and there was not enough money in the account. I was assured that it would work it self out over the year. Yeah, it sure did – but it would have been easier to put the money aside back then – now it is almost impossible to get that kind of money. The loan should have been setup so that our old escrow account amount was rolled into our new Escrow account. I am so upset that this happened yet again to us. No wonder people are losing their homes. The loan officers and lending institution need to figure out their jobs and do them right the first time.
Stay away from CapWest. The agent I delt with promised that if I filled out forms online, NOTHING would be done until I gave verbal approval. Well, that did not happen. He obviously is not a man of his word. Lucky for me I was not out any money, but he ran a credit report when he should not have. IN ADDITION, his boss was not willing to admit that a promise is a promise. In my mind, Cap West is not run by people true to their word, so buyer beware! I hope Costco rethinks their support of this company.
Same problems with Capwest here. Sent docs over and over yet after three months they still can’t close my loan. I’m a loyal Costco member and extremely happy with them. When they offered the mortgage program to members, I jumped on it. I deal with many great lenders on a daily basis but wanted the low closing cost. My mistake and I too have lost money and time. Capwest is getting hit pretty hard with recent negative reviews. They are definately having issues. We are now switching to our local lender, paying more but our refi will get done.
in god we trust all others pay cash. In cap west i do not trust, we do not close. Run from this lender. Do like me, lose your 475.00 and go along, but don’t close. Shame on you too Costco, Live and learn and avoid on-line lenders. Cap west kiss my —.
My capwest experience so far has been similar to the previous posters. They are either totally incompetent or have a plan to not move on your application after they get the $475. It’s been over three months and there is still no end in sght as to when my refi. will be finished. They come on strong at first and then leave you in the lurch. Numerous times I have been asked to resend documents to Eve, the loan officer who seems to lose track of what she has. I don’t know what they hope to accomplish other than to lose me as a customer and find another lender. I hope Costco is paying attention to what is going on here.
I have had an equally horrible experience with CapWest! Very responsive and on the ball at the beginning, then poof, gone. I’d get an email a month later saying my file was missing something that I had already submitted – in some cases multiple times. Like others, I trusted the Costco endorsement, but am wondering if I will see my money returned. Smoke, mirrors, twisted tales, multiple people, no results. I even contacted Costco’s Customer Service a few times – no conclusion, just disappointment.
Like others on this post, I went through costco and paid my $475 app fee. After 10 weeks, I started getting requests to resubmit all of my paperwork, as they had “expired.” I tried several times to end the insanity and get my app fee back, but they refused to return it to me.
After reading these other posts, it seems like they are running a big scam. I’m very depressed to have wasted money and so much time.
DO NOT USE CAPWEST!!!
An update on my previous post: After almost 6-months of waiting on CapWest to finish with the loan app I took the $475 deposit loss and fired CapWest. I got in touch with a bank (Umpqua) that was listed as a HARP loan participant on a Google search (“CalHARP”), What a difference. I talked with their refi. loan officer (George Castillo) and got a sense that this bank could make a difference. And it has. After 24 days, our loan process has been completed. Umpqua bettered the rate CapWest quoted. What a difference a loan institution can make. Hope this posting can help in your search for a HARP refinance.
My loan application with CapWest is locked up to Jan 15, I am looking for another lender after about three weeks of back and forth documentations etc. I have a perfect credit score over 800 plus all the best of qualifications; after I paid the deposit and have the appraisal done, they are now keep coming back with all other questions and documentations which they have never asked to provide at the beginning. For example, they asked which are the deposits in my bank on 9/27 of $1,400 and on 10/1 $ $600 etc.I had asked the difference of my deposit and the actual appraisal fee back, which is about $80 which they refused, citing other expenses. I filed a complaint with Costco as I am a 30 years and Executive member. By the way, there was no mentioning of Costco Executive member discount to me at all. They are not honest about their charges at all. For example, I asked not to have an impound account, they charged me another $975 which is unusually high. To conclude, even you are a loyal customer of Costco, do not use CapWest.
I worked with CapWest recently and had a great experience. Originally I found them through Costco when I did my home’s purchase a year and a half ago. I saved a few hundred bucks for being an exec member.
They called me one day to tell me where interest rates were. Originally I had a 30 year fixed, but my loan officer sent me some numbers that showed the 15 year would cost me only another $86 a month. Not too bad for knocking 15 years off my mortgage. The second time I refinanced they waived all the bank fees since I was an existing client.
It did take a little longer but my loan officer gave me a heads up before I even locked my loan and said that since rates had dropped so low they were getting flooded with requests for refinance and were hiring as fast as they could. He even emailed me to say he was going to be offline for an hour because they just bought a new building to add more people.
I have recommended a couple of co-workers to CapWest who did the same thing as me – lower the term. They all had similar experiences – very good with CapWest.
I would take them over a big bank any day. I had a direct line to everyone I worked with so that made it easy.
I just lost a home because of CapWest plus $3,500 in good faith and inspection fees. I’ve been searching for SO LONG, and finally got an offer accepted, because they accepted my all cash offer over others. I’ve been working with CapWest to secure money from a cash-out refi on another property I own for almost 6 months. As early as February, I sent all paperwork in for a home I had hoped I would get, and was approved for the loan, and guaranteed by the person I was working with at CapWest that all looked good. That offer wasn’t accepted, but when I finally DID have an offer accepted in June, the FIRST thing I did was call the guy I had been working with over at Capwest, who at this point seemed like an old friend, since we had spoken so often through my home search. They already had most of my paperwork, asked me for updated info, and guaranteed me….yes….guaranteed me that everything was great, and I would definitely get the home. On the day I did the inspection, I called Capwest to make sure I wasn’t wasting money, and they said everything was moving forward. On the day I had to sign away my rights to my good faith deposit, I called Capwest to make sure everything was a go. They said yes. I explained to them that if I didn’t have my loan by closing date, I’d have to pay $100 per day to the seller. No problem…. it was a done deal. THEN, a week before closing they inform me that due to the fact that I’m taking out a loan on a condo, and not a townhome, they can’t do the deal. WHAT?!? After working with me for more than 6 months, they hadn’t noticed that my property was titled as a condo, and not a townhome….and they use one of the only underwriters who don’t work with condos. After not answering my calls for 24-hours, they just wrote me an e-mail saying they were sorry, they should have noticed earlier. In a panic, I accepted the offer of one of their managers to rush a HELOC through so that I at least wouldn’t lose the house. That was the day before closing. It’s now 4 days later. I’ve lost the house, and the manager at Capwest hasn’t returned my calls or e-mails. I lost the home.
I’m a COSTCO member. I used them because I trusted Costco to recommend good companies.
Cap West Mortgage was initially- ON THE BALL.
I am a persistent person, and a responsive person. Whenever they asked for anything, I got them everything they needed, within 12 hours of the request.
My package sat waiting for underwriting for 14 days- without anyone doing anything. Now the rate lock has expired, the 45 days are up, and NO ONE answers a phone or an email to them asking for an update and a plan to get this done.
I would say that Cap West is a very poor choice on my part, echoing the sentiments of others that COSTCO should be more diligent in their endorsements, I would not recommend them to anyone.
My last refinance took less than 21 days from start to finish, this has thus far taken 45 with no end in sight.
Working with CapWest was a pleasure at first. The agents are friendly. However, attempting to close on the loan has turned into a nightmare. I am told every week by CapWest that everything is great with my loan but then silence only to be followed up with duplicate requests. I have attempted to verify information prior to fulfilling an insurance request they made, only to to be told that they are sorry, the information they provided me was wrong. Thus I get to go back to drawing board after basing my decision on their info. At this point it is a nightmare (in reference to trying to get the loan closed). Good luck escalating any concerns in the bank. The “supervisors” are AWOL as well. If you ask them to deliver what they promise then they will just ignore you. Probably a good lender if everything is lined up perfectly. Nightmare if there are any curveballs like insurance requirements!
I am also a very unhappy. I have had the same problems as many others. Capwest got me for 495.00. I thought since I went though Costco they were a good company. I am going to rethink my membership in Costco.
Long and short of it was needing to refi the house this year, and with all the hoopla of the housing crisis/recession wasn’t sure who to go through but had noticed a number of services offered through Costco so figured would give them a try.
Now they are in some ways like Lending Tree in that you put in your details and you get a handful of lenders to choose from. Cap West ended up being the one we went with and much to our displeasure.
After 2 months we failed to close the deal and I completely blame this company for it not going through.
Some of the issues we had with the company.
Failure to respond in a timely manner
Failure to process documentation properly
Failure to properly communicate critical details
Failure to respond to direct questions
Asking questions about details that have been clearly explained multiple times
Lying (this may seem a bit harsh, but a scenario occurred where we had not heard from them for a few days and inquired about the refi status, they said they were waiting from a response from us to which we never received any communication requesting this. They failed to send out a email but said they did.)
Most of the frustration stems from what basically appears a general inability to properly execute basic job functions (keeping the client up to date, following up on questions, and understanding what is being said). Too often did we have situations requesting documentation that had been clearly spelled out beforehand. Requesting documentation because they didn’t “think it would be needed”.
TL;DR – If you are looking to refi through Costco, avoid Cap West and research thoroughly especially the reviews about the process/experience. We just took the “Costco” affiliation to mean something.
We had a great start; their sales team promising everything – everything at least as good as the competition. But their loan processing and underwriting departments – apparently don’t know what all documents they need. Not in the beginning at least. And not intermittently when they keep asking for new documents every so often once you have provided them with what they asked earlier.
Due to their negligence, my loan got delayed by well over a month and we received seller’s warning letter.
On top of this, Capwest added additional charges since the loan was not closed within the original timeframe.
So I paid extra to Capwest (for their delays), I had to evacuate my home and stayed in hotels (additional expenditure), not to speak of the excessive inconvenience and never knowing when the loan will be closed.
I’d recommend you to go to any local Mortgage Company – maybe someone that you can work with face-to-face at times. Don’t go with Capwest; or else ensure you know and understand what you are signing (carefully read the electronically sent documents also) – and ensure they are accountable for any delays.