If you’ve been shopping mortgage rates online lately, perhaps via the Zillow marketplace, you may have stumbled upon “First Mortgage Direct.”
The online mortgage lender appears to advertise quite a bit on Zillow, so I thought we’d take a deeper dive to see what this lender is all about.
They’re a family-owned direct-to-consumer mortgage lender that says it’s driven by three founding principles, including honesty, integrity, and experience.
That involves a “consultative approach to lending” to find the perfect loan program for each homeowner, with no nonsense or hidden fees.
First Mortgage Direct Fast Facts
- Direct-to-consumer mortgage lender founded in 2007
- Family owned and headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri
- Offer home purchase loans and mortgage refinances
- Licensed in lend in 17 states nationwide
- A DBA of First Mortgage Solutions, LLC
- Their lending team boasts over 75 years of experience in the mortgage industry
First Mortgage Direct, which is actually a dba of First Mortgage Solutions, LLC, has been around since 2007.
They are a small family-owned and operated lender headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.
At the moment, they are licensed just a handful of states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
How to Apply for a Home Loan with First Mortgage Direct
As an online-only mortgage lender, the application process is pretty no-frills and straightforward. You simply visit their website and hit “Apply Now.”
Their digital mortgage application is powered by Ellie Mae, which is one of the most common and popular forms out there.
It allows you to complete much of the process from your computer or smartphone in just minutes, including ordering a credit report and eSigning documents.
Once your loan is approved, you’ll be able to log in via their website to track loan progress and see your updated to-do list.
A loan officer and loan processor will assist you as you inch closer to the finish line.
They do not have physical branches, but you can call or email them directly if you need assistance or loan pricing.
Loan Programs Offered by First Mortgage Direct
- Home purchase loans
- Refinance loans: rate and term and cash out
- Home renovation loans: FHA 203k and Fannie Mae HomeStyle
- Conforming loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- Government loans backed by the FHA, USDA, and VA
- Available on primary residences, second homes, and investment properties
- Fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage options available with various loan terms
First Mortgage Direct Mortgage Rates
While they don’t advertise their mortgage rates on their own website, you can often catch them in the wild if you compare lenders on the Zillow marketplace.
And they tend to offer the lowest rates of all the lenders listed, at least for the sample scenarios I ran through the engine.
That tells us they are competitive lender relative to other online mortgage lenders, which seem to offer lower interest rates than the bigger brick-and-mortar banks and brand-new lenders you’re probably more familiar with.
Ultimately, you should get a discount when using an online-only lender because their costs should be lower, with saving passed onto consumers.
If they aren’t competitive and you haven’t heard of them, it’d be pretty difficult for them to make an argument to use them versus a company you know and are comfortable with.
So my assumption is their rates are likely pretty good relative to other options. But you’ll need to get in touch for pricing to be sure.
First Mortgage Direct Reviews
On Zillow, they’ve got a 4.83-star rating out of 5 based on nearly 600 customer reviews, with many indicating that both rates and fees were lower than expected.
On SocialSurvey, they have a 4.79-star rating out of 5 from nearly 3,000 reviews, which again is a very favorable number considering the large sample size.
They are also a Bankrate Select Lender for 2020 and have a 4.8-star rating on Bankrate based on 126 customer reviews.
First Mortgage Direct is Better Business Bureau accredited and has been since 2010 – they currently have an ‘A+’ rating.
All in all, they come highly-rated and seem to be a no-frills online lender that offers low mortgage rates, which could be a good choice for homeowners with straightforward loan scenarios looking to save money.
They are probably a better fit for a seasoned homeowner looking to lower monthly payments via a refinance, but may not provide enough support for first-time home buyers who may require more hand-holding.
First Mortgage Direct Pros and Cons
- Can apply directly from their website
- Use a digital mortgage application powered by Ellie Mae
- Lots of loan programs to choose from
- Appear to offer low rates as evidenced by sample searches on Zillow marketplace
- Excellent customer reviews
- Named a Bankrate Select Lender for 2020
- A+ BBB rating, accredited company
- Not licensed in all states
- Do not publicize mortgage rates or lender fees
- No physical branch locations
- May not offer jumbo loans or second mortgages