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.
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!