First Mortgage Direct Mortgage Review

First Mortgage Direct is the Kansas City, Missouri, based mortgage lending division of First Mortgage Solutions. First Mortgage direct was founded by CEO Ryan Wiebe in 2009. This lender is licensed in 17 states, offering purchase, refinance, home equity and debt consolidation loans for qualified borrowers. According to this lender, honesty, integrity and experience are the principles used in every transaction, to help every borrower achieve their dream of homeownership.

Best for No Origination Fees – First Mortgage Direct

A great choice if you’re looking to avoid paying for origination fees and want excellent customer service and a streamlined application process.

First Mortgage Direct offers no origination fees, a streamlined online application process without sacrificing the small town touch, and the excellent customer service means borrowers can depend on this lender when purchasing or refinancing their home.

J.D. Power Rating
N/A
Min. Credit
620
Min. Down Payment
3%
SimpleScore
3.3 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore First Mortgage Direct 3.3
Perks 2
Credit Impact 4
Customer Satisfaction N/A
Product Variety 2
Fees 5
  • No origination fees
  • Multiple loan types and programs
  • Excellent customer service
  • Must fill out application or call for rates and fees
  • Only available in 17 states

If you’re in the market for a new mortgage, First Direct Mortgage may be a good option. This lender is known for charging borrowers no origination fees. It also has excellent customer service, streamlined applications and quick closings, but it isn’t the right fit for everyone. Here’s what you need to know about First Direct Mortgage.

To determine how First Mortgage Direct stacks up against the competition, we used our proprietary SimpleScore methodology to compare mortgage lender’s customer satisfaction, customer support, fees, interest rates and perks.

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In this article

    First Mortgage Direct Mortgage at a glance

    Mortgage loan typesConventional, FHA, USDA, VA
    Minimum credit score580 for FHA and VA loans, 620 for conventional loans
    No brick-and-mortar branch locationsMust call or complete the app online or by email

    What we like about First Mortgage Direct

    No origination fees

    One of the benefits of working with First Mortgage Direct for your home purchase or refinance is the lack of origination fees. Most lenders charge an origination fee, which typically cost between 0.5% to 1% of the loan amount. This fee is charged by a lender as compensation for processing a loan application, but First Mortgage Direct doesn’t charge it. That helps you save money on your mortgage loan.

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    Multiple loan types and programs

    Though First Mortgage Direct only operates in 17 states, this lender has a broad range of mortgage loan types and programs. Whether you’re buying a new home, refinancing, renovating your existing home or investing in a new property, First Mortgage offers a loan to fit your needs.

    It is also licensed for conventional, FHA, USDA and VA loan types, providing well-qualified borrowers with different loan options.

    Excellent customer service

    First Mortgage Direct prides itself on bringing honesty and integrity to the mortgage process through its experienced and knowledgeable loan officers, and the reviews prove it. Reviewers across the internet note the transparency throughout the loan process as a perk of using this lender. This transparency extends to the lack of hidden fees — First Mortgage Direct is upfront with what they’re charging rather than slipping in unexpected costs.

    [ See: How Much House Can I Afford? ]

    Things to consider 

    Must fill out online application or call for rates and fees

    If interested in working with First Mortgage Direct, you have to fill out an application to get a loan estimate with rate and fee breakdowns. You can apply over the phone or online.

    Only available in 17 states

    One major downside to using First Mortgage Direct as a lender is that it has a limited service area of just 17 states. Unless you live in one of the following states, you won’t be able to get a mortgage loan from First Mortgage Direct:

    • California
    • Colorado
    • Connecticut
    • Florida
    • Georgia
    • Illinois
    • Kansas
    • Missouri
    • New Jersey
    • North Carolina
    • Oregon 
    • Pennsylvania
    • South Carolina
    • Tennessee
    • Texas
    • Virginia
    • Washington

    [ More: PMI: What Is Private Mortgage Insurance? ]

    That greatly limits who can take advantage of the loans this lender offers. If you’re buying in one of the states above, this lender could be a great option. If you’re in another state, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

    First Mortgage Direct vs. the competition

    SoFi 

    From college student loans to mortgages, SoFi is dominating the online lending industry for life’s major purchases.

    J.D. Power Rating
    N/A
    Min. Credit
    660
    Min. Down Payment
    10%
    SimpleScore
    3.5 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore SoFi 3.5
    Perks 2
    Credit Impact 5
    Customer Satisfaction N/A
    Product Variety 3
    Fees 4

    SoFi may be best known for offering student loans and personal loans, but that hasn’t stopped them from making a name for themselves in the mortgage industry. This lender offers perks for SoFi members, including a $500 credit towards loan fees.

    However, SoFi only offers a 10-, 15-, 20- or 30-year conventional loan at this time, which is limited compared to what First Mortgage Direct offers. It also requires a 10% down payment on conventional loans, while First Mortgage has options requiring just 5% down. Read our full SoFi review to learn more.

    U.S. Bank is across the nation, so you can find a home loan anywhere.

    J.D. Power Rating
    3/5
    Min. Credit
    620
    Min. Down Payment
    3%
    SimpleScore
    4 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore U.S. Bank 4
    Perks 4
    Credit Impact 4
    Customer Satisfaction 3
    Product Variety 5
    Fees 4

    If you’re looking for more application options than what First Mortgage Direct offers, U.S. Bank Mortgage offers online, in-person and over-the-phone lending processes. With First Mortgage Direct, the only in-person option is in Bison, Kansas, where customers can access the single branch of Bison State Bank, a part of First Mortgage Solutions.

    Another advantage for U.S. Bank Mortgage is that offers mortgage loans to borrowers in all U.S. states. First Mortgage Direct is only available in 17 states, making its service area limited — especially compared to U.S. Bank.

    Borrowers who work with U.S. Bank Mortgage can also get a fee waiver on certain bank accounts and up to $1,000 in closing cost savings, which may add incentive for current bank customers to use U.S. Bank as a lender. Read our full U.S. Bank Mortgage review for more information.

    Like First Mortgage Direct, you have to call for rates and information — so pick up the phone to get started with Caliber.

    J.D. Power Rating
    2/5
    Min. Credit
    620
    Min. Down Payment
    3%
    SimpleScore
    3.8 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore Caliber 3.8
    Perks 5
    Credit Impact 4
    Customer Satisfaction 2
    Product Variety 5
    Fees 3

    Caliber Home Loans is available in all states except for Hawaii and has similar product offerings to First Mortgage Direct. This lender also offers an online mortgage application process, but you can also call or go in person if there’s a branch near you.

    You must reach out to get rates and fees, just like with First Mortgage company. Some reviewers note a lack of transparency with Caliber, so do your due diligence if you decide to work with this lender. To learn more about this mortgage lender, read our full Caliber Home Loans review.

    How much does a First Mortgage Direct mortgage cost?

    The cost for a mortgage loan with First Mortgage Direct varies based on your credit score, home purchase price and the market rates at the time of your loan closing. With no origination or hidden fees, you shouldn’t expect any surprises after locking in your loan estimate.

    Closing costs generally cost borrowers between 2% and 5% of the purchase price, but without clear information on First Mortgage Direct’s fee structure for mortgage loans, it’s hard to tell where it falls on the spectrum. Refinances generally have fewer fees, but closing costs are close to the same as they would be with a new purchase loan.

    Cheaper alternatives to First Mortgage Direct

    If you prefer an in-person experience, Guild Mortgage has locations in 32 states across the U.S. This lender also works with states across the country to offer over 500 down payment assistance programs to qualified borrowers, which could mean the difference in purchasing a home or renting for some buyers. If you qualify for down payment assistance through Guild Mortgage, you may be able to purchase a home for cheaper than you could with a loan from First Direct Mortgage.

    If you’re a doctor or dentist who is borrowing money for a home purchase, you may want to look into SunTrust Mortgage, which is now called Truist after the merger with BB&T. This lender has mortgage products available in all states and offers a Doctor Loan Program with special privileges, like no PMI on up to 95% financing. This could make a loan with Suntrust/Truist much cheaper than a loan with First Direct Mortgage, but you’ll have to fit the bill to qualify.

    First Mortgage Direct in the news

    It was announced in December 2016 that Bison State Bank and First Mortgage Direct merged through a stock exchange, according to S&P Global. The merger brings traditional banking services and mortgage lending together for Midwesterners. CEO of First Mortgage Solutions Ryan Wiebe was proud of the merger, as his roots are based in Kansas, where Bison State Bank is headquartered.

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    We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the mortgage lenders we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

    Reviewed by

    • Angelica Leicht
      Angelica Leicht
      Mortgage Editor

      Angelica Leicht is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in mortgages, mortgage refinancing, home equity loans, and HELOCs. She is a former contributing editor to Interest.com and PersonalLoans.org.