Sebonic Financial Mortgage Review 2021: Interactive Website, but Must Call for Rates and Fees

An image to accompany a review of Sebonic Financial mortgages Illustration/NextAdvisor

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Editor's Score: (4.5/5)

Sebonic Financial, a division of Cardinal Financial, is a mortgage lender based in Charlotte, North Carolina and offers loans in all 50 states and D.C.

With an all-digital lending platform, borrowers can go from receiving a rate quote to closing on a mortgage entirely online — with over-the-phone guidance from loan officers along the way. Using Sebonic’s proprietary platform, Octane, borrowers can drag and drop their loan documents, sign papers electronically, and get real-time status updates at every milestone.

There are a few drawbacks to borrowing with Sebonic, though: If you’re interested in taking out a mortgage with Sebonic, you’ll need to contact the lender for rates and fees. Here’s what to know about the lender before applying.

Pros and Cons of Sebonic Financial Mortgage

Pros

  • Offers a streamlined digital process

  • Funds conventional loans, jumbo loans, and all three government-backed loan programs

  • Available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

  • Interest-only jumbo ARMs available

Cons

  • Mortgage rates aren’t published on the lender’s website

  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans, HELOCs, renovation loans, reverse mortgages, or construction loans

  • In-person branches only available in Charlotte, North Carolina; Gaithersburg, Maryland; and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sebonic Financial Mortgage: Loan Types and Products

Sebonic Financial offers conventional and government-backed mortgages and gives borrowers a choice between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans. Here’s what Sebonic Financial Mortgage offers right now:

With a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate never changes. An ARM offers a fixed rate only for a certain amount of time. Then, based on market conditions, the rate may go up or down throughout the loan term. Sebonic offers ARM terms of 3/1, 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1. With a 3/1, for instance, the rate is fixed for three years and then changes once a year for the remaining term.

Sebonic also offers jumbo loans, which are home loans that exceed a certain dollar amount called the conforming loan limit. For 2021, that limit is $548,250 in most parts of the U.S. Sebonic Financial will fund jumbo loans up to $3 million — and may offer an interest-only ARM option.

Sebonic does not offer home equity line of credit, home equity loan, renovation loan, reverse mortgage, or a construction loan.

Sebonic Financial Mortgage Transparency

Sebonic Financial’s website is aesthetically attractive, but it offers very few details about the borrowing process. You’ll find a payment portal, a handful of mortgage calculators, and some information about the home loans you can get with this lender. But the website doesn’t include information about current mortgage interest rates, lender fees, the homebuying process in general, and guidance on how to choose a home loan. 

After filling out a rate-quote form online, someone from Sebonic will call or email you for further assistance. You’ll answer a few qualifying questions, but won’t need to do a credit check before getting the rate quote. The closing cost worksheet which contains all the associated fees, however, won’t be provided until you go through the preapproval process. This process is different from many of Sebonic’s competitors, which offer more borrower tools and quick customized rate quotes online.

Sebonic Financial Mortgage: Rates and Fees 

Sebonic Financial does not advertise mortgage rate quotes on its website and doesn’t list any information about the costs of taking out a mortgage. According to a Sebonic loan officer, the lender typically offers rates that are about 0.5% lower than its competitors because its all-digital lending platform lowers overhead costs. Additionally, borrowers never pay prepayment penalties and can lock in a rate for free. However, a lock-extension fee may apply if the borrower causes closing delays. 

The loan officer also said borrowers will pay an origination fee that ranges from $999 to $1,499. 

Borrowers are also responsible for third-party fees at closing, which may include:

The minimum credit score required by Sebonic Financial varies depending on the type of loan. You’ll need a credit score of at least 620 to qualify for a conventional loan and a score of 550 or greater for an FHA loan. Having a higher credit score can help you qualify for the best mortgage rates. From start to finish, borrowers usually close on a purchase within 30 days, and a refinance loan within 30 to 60 days.

Refinancing With Sebonic Financial Mortgage

If you’re a homeowner with an existing mortgage, you can refinance your home loan to better fit your financial goals. Sebonic offers two refinance options:

  • Rate-and-term refinance, where you take out a new mortgage and get a new loan term, interest rate, or both. A rate and term refinance can help you save money on your monthly mortgage payment and speed up your payoff timeline, which can be a money-saver. 
  • Cash-out refinance, which allows you to borrow cash using your home as collateral. You’ll take out a new mortgage for more than you owe, pay off the current mortgage, and pocket the difference (minus closing costs). 

Sebonic Financial Mortgage Compared to Other Mortgage Lenders

Sebonic Financial MortgageChurchill MortgageRocket Mortgage
Minimum credit score620 for conventional; 550 for FHA620620 for conventional; 580 for FHA
Minimum down payment5% for conventional; 3.5% for FHA; 0% for VA and USDA0% to 5%, depending on the loan program0% to 3.5%, depending on the loan program
Where does the lender operate?All 50 states and Washington, D.C.All 50 states and Washington, D.C.All 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Major loan typesConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinanceConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, various renovation loans, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinance, reverse mortgages, home equity loans, home equity lines of creditConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinance

How to Shop Around to Get the Best Mortgage Rate

Mortgage rates can change every day and even by the hour, and every lender has its own way of setting rates for customers. So shopping around and getting multiple rate quotes is the best way to find a good deal. This step is important because even a small difference in your interest rate can help you save hundreds or thousands of dollars over the life of the loans.

Start by researching mortgage lenders, submitting mortgage applications, and asking for a Loan Estimate. According to a Freddie Mac survey, borrowers save an average of $3,000 over the life of the loan when they gather at least five quotes. You might save even more by negotiating, too. Do this by sending the best offer to another lender, and ask them to give you a better interest rate or closing costs — or both. It may be willing to compete for your business, especially if you have good credit.

Bottom Line

Sebonic Financial is available in every state and Washington, D.C., and offers all the major mortgage programs. Its all-digital process can be convenient and may even save you money in your interest rate. But because Sebonic doesn’t openly advertise its fees and rates on its website, it’s important that you find out these details first. Then compare them to what other lenders offer