First National Financing Mortgage Lender Review 2021: Limited Footprint But Fast Closing Timeline

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First National Financing Mortgage Review 2021
First National Financing Mortgage Review 2021
Editor’s Score: (2.8/5)
First National Financing Mortgage Review 2021
Editor’s Score: (2.8/5)
  • Minimum Credit Score:
    640 conventional and USDA; 620 VA; 580 FHA; 740 jumbo
  • Minimum Down Payment:
    0% to 5%, depending on loan type
  • Can Apply Online:
    Yes
  • Operates In:
    6 States

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • All three government-sponsored home loan programs available
  • Rate quote and closing cost worksheet provided without a hard credit pull
  • Closings can be as short as 12 business days
Cons
  • Some phone calls needed for rate quote
  • Only operates in six states
  • Does not advertise mortgage rates or lender fees on its website
  • Credit score requirement for a jumbo loan is high
The Bottom Line

First National Financing offers conventional mortgages and all three government-sponsored home loan programs, which is a good start. It also provides a rate quote without a hard credit pull, and it may be able to close on a loan within 12 business days. So it’s a good option, but only if you’re buying a home where the lender operates: California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, and Washington. 

Editorial Independence

As with all of our mortgage lender reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information about our scoring methodology, click here.

First National Financing Full Review 

Based in Denver, Colorado, First National Financing is a mortgage broker and direct lender that operates in six states.

The company offers conventional and jumbo mortgages, plus all three government-sponsored loans. They can provide a rate quote and closing cost worksheet without a hard credit pull and may be able to close on a loan within 12 business days. 

Here’s what else to know about this lender before applying. 

First National Financing: Mortgage Loan Types and Products

First National Financing has options for people looking to buy a home or refinance an existing mortgage. Here’s what the lender is offering right now:

With a fixed-rate mortgage, the rate never changes and your principal-and-interest payments are predictable over the life of the loan. First National offers 15-, 20-, and 30-year fixed loan terms. 

Adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, come with a fixed rate for a certain period of time. First National’s ARMs come in 3/1, 5/1, and 7/1 terms and are based on a 30-year repayment schedule. On a 3/1 ARM, for instance, the rate is fixed for the first three years. Once the fixed period is over, the rate can go up or down annually for the remaining loan term (27 years in this example). 

First National Financing Mortgage: Transparency

First National’s website includes information about mortgage types (including some of their qualification requirements) and a few homebuying calculators, but it does not advertise rate quotes or list lender fees. 

So to get more information, you’ll need to call the lender or fill out an online contact form to schedule a phone call. A loan officer will follow up quickly and can answer your questions, send you a customized rate quote, create a preapproval, or process your loan application—depending on where you are in the loan process. 

Borrowers can submit an application online, over the phone, or in person at a branch in Denver, CO. If you move forward with the application process, you’ll be able to upload documents into a personal portal and check your loan status there.

First National Financing: Mortgage Rates and Fees 

First National Financing doesn’t advertise mortgage rates or list lender fees on its website, so you’ll need to fill out an online form to request a quote or call the lender. A loan officer will get in touch and provide a customized rate quote and fee schedule without a hard credit pull. This is important because you’ll be able to tell whether you want to move forward with the lender, without hurting your credit. 

When you later get a loan preapproval or apply for a mortgage, the lender will perform a hard credit pull, which will affect your credit. You’ll also receive a more detailed list of the fees you’ll pay at closing, which may include the following:

  • Appraisal fee 
  • Closing/escrow fee
  • Costs associated with the title
  • Credit report fee
  • Discount points (optional)
  • Flood certification fee
  • Processing fee
  • Recording fee
  • Tax service fee
  • Underwriting fee
  • Wire fee

First National doesn’t charge prepayment penalties on any of its loans, so you can pay off your mortgage early without incurring extra fees. 

The minimum credit score and down payment required by First National vary by loan type and whether you’ve purchased a home recently. According to a loan officer we spoke with, borrowers need a credit score of at least 640 and a minimum down payment of 3% (for first-time buyers) or 5% (for repeat buyers) to qualify for a conventional loan. 

FHA, VA, and USDA loans are more flexible because they’re backed by the government. FHA loans require a score of at least 580 with a minimum down payment of 3.5%. You’ll need a credit score of at least 620 to qualify for a VA loan and 640 to get a USDA loan—but neither require a down payment. Jumbo loans have stricter requirements because you’re borrowing more money. At First National, borrowers typically need a credit score of around 740 and a down payment of at least 10% to get a loan that exceeds the conforming limits. 

You can lock in your interest rate for up to 60 days for free and pay a fee to extend the rate lock. But you might not need that option, as the lender says it may be able to close purchase loans within 10 to 12 business days.

Refinancing With First National Financing

Refinancing a home loan could help you save money if you qualify for a lower interest rate, or you might be able to borrow cash using your home equity as collateral. First National’s website has a calculator to help you figure out how much you could save with a refinance, though you’ll need to contact the lender for a refinance rate quote.   

First National offers several refinance options:

First National Financing Compared to Other Mortgage Lenders

First National FinancingTruistU.S. Bank
Minimum credit score580 for FHA; 620 for VA; 640 for conventional and USDA; 740 for jumbo Not provided620 for conventional; 740 for jumbo
Minimum down payment0% for VA and USDA; 3% to 5% for conventional; 3.5% for FHA3% for conventional; 3.5% for FHA; 0% for VA and USDA5% for conventional, 10% for jumbo, 3.5% for FHA, 0% for VA
Where does the lender operate?6 states (California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, Washington)47 states and Washington, D.C.All 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Major loan typesConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, several refinance optionsConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, construction loans, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, several refinance programs, home equity loans, home equity lines of creditConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, investment, new construction, traditional refinance, cash-out refinance, smart refinance, home equity

How to Shop Around to Get the Best Mortgage Rate

Before you shop for homes with a real estate agent, it’s a good idea to contact a lender and ask for a mortgage preapproval. Once you submit a few documents and agree to a hard credit pull, a lender can figure out whether you qualify for a home loan and how much you can borrow. They’ll put this estimate in a preapproval letter, which you can use to define your budget and support your purchase offer. You’re not locked in with that lender, so you can check out others when you’re ready to apply for a home loan.

Once you’ve found a home and the seller accepts your offer, submit mortgage applications with multiple lenders. (You can minimize the hit to your credit by applying for the loans within a short window, around two to six weeks.) You’ll receive a Loan Estimate that lists your interest rate, monthly payment, and closing costs, which you can use to compare offers. An online mortgage calculator can help you figure out how much you’d spend on interest with each option. 

According to research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the simple step of comparing offers can help you save as much as $300 per year. You may save even more based on the interest rate you receive and whether you negotiate. 

Editorial Independence

As with all of our mortgage lender reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information about our scoring methodology, click here.