First Mortgage Direct Pros and Cons
- Low fees and no origination fee
- 100% online process
- A large variety of loan products
- Not available nationwide yet
- Not transparent with their rates online
First Mortgage Direct Overview
First Mortgage Direct is the online branch of First Mortgage Solutions, headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. First Mortgage Direct doesn’t charge origination fees and operates in 20 states.
They offer a large selection of mortgage loans, making it easy for people of all walks of life to find the mortgage they need.
The process with First Mortgage is 100% online, but they offer many ways to connect with customer service, including via phone and email.
What Types of Mortgages Does First Mortgage Direct Offer?
This is an area First Mortgage Direct shines because they offer many mortgage programs, including:
First Mortgage Direct Rates and Terms
First Mortgage Direct isn’t transparent with their rates, which is a concern some borrowers have. Unlike other lenders that display their interest rates on their website, First Mortgage doesn’t.
They state that interest rates vary by client based on their qualifying factors, which is true of any lender, but a starting point would be nice to see.
As far as terms, First Mortgage Direct offers a large number of terms to make it easy to find the right loan for you.
Borrowers can choose from various terms ranging from 10 – 30 years and choose either a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate loan.
First Mortgage Direct Fees
Most borrowers are concerned about mortgage fees since they can make or break your purchase or refinance.
If fees are too high, you may not have enough money to buy a home, or they may hinder your savings if you refinance.
Fortunately, First Mortgage Direct charges low fees and typically no origination fee. The origination fee is usually what makes a mortgage so costly. Since First Mortgage Direct doesn’t charge one, you may find it easier to afford a mortgage with them.
How to Qualify for First Mortgage Direct
Like all lenders, you must meet the minimum requirements to secure a loan with First Mortgage Direct. Because they offer many programs, the qualifying factors you need may vary.
The key is to have good credit, a low debt-to-income ratio, and enough proof that you can afford the loan and your other responsibilities.
It’s best to aim for a credit score of at least 620 and to keep your debt-to-income ratio at 43% or lower, so you don’t have any issues.
If you have a score lower than 620 or a higher debt-to-income ratio, it’s best to have compensating factors like stable employment or a large number of assets on hand to back you up if you had an emergency and couldn’t pay your mortgage.
First Mortgage Direct Features and Benefits
First Mortgage Direct is available in 20 states, and they’re trying to get licensed in even more states to give everyone a chance to experience the First Mortgage Direct mortgage.
Great Online Experience
The entire process is done online. You never have to meet a loan officer in person or even talk to one on the phone if you don’t need to.
You can upload your documents online and get all correspondence via email so you can quickly process and close your loan.
Quick Closing Times
FMD promises to close loans in 30 days or less. This is a faster turnaround time than the average lender, and if you have all the necessary documentation ready, you may find that you can close even faster.
No Hidden Fees
It’s frustrating when you apply with a mortgage lender thinking you know what they charge, only to find out that they charge much more at the closing.
That’s not a concern when you work with FMD. They are upfront about all fees and disclose them in the initial Loan Estimate that details how much you’ll need to close your loan.
How Does First Mortgage Direct Compare to Other Lenders?
#1. First Mortgage Direct vs. Rocket Mortgage
Rocket Mortgage is similar to FMD because it too is a digital lender. Rocket Mortgage boasts competitive interest rates and many loan programs. Rocket Mortgage doesn’t offer home equity loans or lines of credit, though.
Rocket Mortgage closes loans just about as fast as FMD, and they offer a unique program that allows borrowers to choose their loan term from 8 to 29 years to customize the term and payment to their needs.
>> More: Rocket Mortgage Review
#2. Better Mortgage vs. First Mortgage Direct
Better Mortgage is also an online lender, like FMD. They offer competitive interest rates and fees, but where they shine is in their closing times. Better Mortgage promises a closing within 21 days, which is 9 days faster than FMD.
Better Mortgage, like FMD, offers ways to save on costs. While they might charge an origination fee, if you’re a Chime customer, you can save up to $500 off your closing costs, and if you are an AMEX customer, you may get as much as a $6,000 statement credit.
>> More: Better Mortgage Review
#3. NASB Mortgage vs. First Mortgage Direct
NASB is a Missouri-based lender but offers loans nationwide. They offer the same loan options as FMD, but they also cater to self-employed borrowers, which is a great option since so many people are self-employed and can’t get a mortgage today.
NASB requires higher credit scores than FMD, especially for their self-employed or jumbo loans, which require a 660 – 690 credit score. They also don’t have any physical offices, so if you need in-person help, it will be over the phone.
>> More: NASB Mortgage Review
#4. First Mortgage Direct vs. New American Funding Mortgage
New American Funding offers a large selection of loans like FMD, but what makes them stand out is their ability to do manual underwriting. Some applicants don’t check all the boxes when applying for a loan even though they can afford it.
Whether you have a unique income situation, or your credit looks worse than it is, manual underwriting could get you the approval you need when automated (computer) underwriting would turn you down.
New American Funding is a non-bank lender, so they have a few more options for borrowers, especially those with unique situations.
>> More: New American Funding Mortgage Review
What Credit Score Do You Need for a First Mortgage Direct?
Try to have at least a 620-credit score to apply for a mortgage with First Mortgage Direct, but an even higher score is better. The better credit you have, the lower the rate and better the terms FMD can offer. A high credit score shows that you’re financially responsible and a good risk for lenders.
Is First Mortgage Direct a Good Choice for Mortgages?
If you have a straightforward financial situation and like saving money on closing costs, First Mortgage Direct is a great option. Since they don’t charge origination fees, most borrowers spend less on closing costs at FMD than they do any other lender. They offer a wide selection of loans too, so there is something for everyone.
Is First Mortgage Direct Safe?
It can feel scary to share your personal information online and get mortgage quotes, but FMD takes security seriously. They encrypt all data that goes back and forth and ensure your information is kept safe and private while saving you money on your mortgage.
Bottom Line: First Mortgage Direct Review
If you’re in the market to buy a home or refinance an existing home, First Mortgage Direct is a good online mortgage lender to include in your search.
They claim to offer the lowest closing costs and don’t charge origination fees, but you should see for yourself what they offer you and compare it to other loan offers.