Today we’ll take a hard look at First Internet Bank, which is a frequent advertiser on the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace.
Their full name is actually First Internet Bank of Indiana, but seeing that they’re licensed to do business nationwide, why focus only on the Hoosier State?
Interestingly, their name is in fact factual because they are apparently the first FDIC-insured institution to operate entirely online.
Aside from offering checking, savings, and money market accounts, they also originate lots of home loans. That segment of their business will be the focus for this review.
First Internet Bank Fast Facts
- Publicly traded bank founded in 1999 by David Becker
- Corporate headquarters located in Fishers, Indiana
- First FDIC-insured institution to operate entirely online
- Offer home loans, personal loans, student loans, credit cards, depository accounts, and more
- Originated about $700 million in mortgages last year
- Licensed nationally but most active in Indiana, California, and Texas
First Internet Bank of Indiana was founded in 1999 by current CEO David Becker, who had a vision to conduct banking exclusively online.
He’s seemed to be on to something, because here we are 20 years later applying for home loans on our smartphones.
Anyway, you can be pretty confident they’re up to speed on technology seeing that their humble beginnings were driven by innovation and technology.
But they’re also a pretty large publicly-traded bank, so despite not having physical branches, they’ve got the soundness and security of a large financial institution.
Last year, the online mortgage lender mustered about $700 million in home loans, and may be on track for a $1 billion+ origination year in 2020.
They’re licensed to conduct business nationwide, but did the most volume in their home state of Indiana. A good chunk of business also came from California and Texas.
How to Apply for a Home Loan with First Internet Bank
- Since they’re an e-bank you can apply for a mortgage directly from their website
- Their digital mortgage platform is powered by fintech company Blend
- It’s also possible to call them directly or chat with any of their loan officers online
- Borrowers can complete most of the loan process remotely and paperlessly
You’ve got a few options to get the ball rolling with First Internet Bank. If you head over to their website, it’s possible to apply for a mortgage without any human assistance.
Simply navigate to their mortgage page, then select either “apply now” or “get pre-approved.”
Both options lead to the same place, a digital mortgage application powered by Blend.
It allows you to complete most of the application electronically, including the ability to link financial accounts, pay stubs, and employment information.
You can also eSign documents for fast delivery and once approved, you’ll be able to use their loan portal to satisfy any required conditions and to check loan status.
Those who wish to generate a pre-approval letter can do so via the same online mortgage application.
Alternatively, you can navigate to the loan officers tab and check out all the folks who work at First Internet Bank.
You can view their profile, contact information, and even chat with them immediately online if it shows they’re available.
If you’re old school, you can also simply call them up on the phone to get started.
All in all, you’ve got plenty of options when it comes to applying for a home loan, which is a nice touch.
And the fact that they use fintech company Blend for their digital mortgage process is also a big plus.
Home Loan Programs Offered by First Internet Bank
- Home purchase loans
- Refinance loans
- Conforming loans
- Jumbo home loans
- FHA loans and VA loans
- Construction-to-perm loans
- Home equity loans
- Home equity lines of credit
- Fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options are available
The only big loan category they’re missing is USDA home loans.
So if you’re in need of a second mortgage, even a piggyback mortgage, they might have the edge there.
They lend on all types of properties, including primary residences, second homes, and investment properties.
You can get a fixed-rate mortgage, such as a 30-year or 15-year mortgage, or an adjustable-rate mortgage, such as a 5/1 ARM or 7/1 ARM.
First Internet Bank Mortgage Rates
While they don’t list mortgage rates on their own website, Zillow shoppers may come across them when shopping rates via the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace.
From what I saw on Zillow, they offered competitive rates relative to other lenders listed, and often advertised lender fees under $100, or even just $1 on certain loan products (basically a no cost refinance).
They may have been an eighth of a percent higher than the cheapest lender listed, but with lower fees. So potentially still the best combination of rate and fees.
The fact that they operate entirely online means they can cut down on typical overhead costs incurred by brick-and-mortar banks. Hopefully those savings are passed onto you.
Why they don’t list mortgage rates on their own website is another question, but that’s their choice and not necessarily a bad thing.
However, you can request a free rate quote on their website, though only after providing your contact info. So calling or chatting may be best if you wish to remain anonymous at first.
All in all, they appear to be very reasonable pricing-wise on both rates and fees, so that shouldn’t be a concern for most prospective customers, but always put in the time to shop and compare with other lenders.
First Internet Bank Mortgage Reviews
First Internet Bank has a stellar 4.87-star rating on SocialSurvey based on over 1,200 customer reviews specifically regarding their mortgage division.
They’ve also got a 4.9 out of 5 rating on LendingTree with a 97% recommend rating.
On Zillow, they have a 4.7-star rating out of 5 based on over 600 customer reviews, with many reviewers indicated that both closing costs and rates were lower than expected.
Additionally, they take the time to respond to all the reviews on Zillow, so if you want feedback from your feedback, you’ll probably be in luck.
The company is also Better Business Bureau accredited and has been since 2013. They currently sport an ‘A+’ BBB rating.
So it seems clear they are a well-liked bank and mortgage lender across all the major ratings companies.
In summary, First Internet Bank is certainly worth considering if shopping for a home loan, assuming you are comfortable working remotely.
But this may make them better suited for refinances as opposed to home purchase loans.
First Internet Bank Mortgage Pros and Cons
- Offer a digital home loan process powered by Blend
- Can apply for a mortgage without human assistance
- Ability to chat with loan officers via their website
- Excellent customer reviews from past mortgage customers
- A+ BBB rating and accredited company
- Appear to offer low mortgage rates with limited lender fees
- Lots of different loan programs to choose from including home equity loans and lines
- Free mortgage calculators on site
- They service their home loans
- They do not list mortgage rates on their website
- No mention of what lender fees they charge
- Do not offer USDA home loans
- No physical bank branches