M&T Bank branch building
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M&T Bank is not the kind of lender to offer exotic frills when it comes to mortgages. Based in Buffalo, New York, M&T sticks to the most common government-backed mortgages, which means your credit profile needs only to fit the typical requirements of a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage.

M&T’s traditional approach to banking also helped it weather the financial crisis better than some of its competitors. The bank has grown partly by acquiring other banks during the financial crisis. It now ranks among the top 50 banks in the country, according to Forbes’ 2017 list of largest banks based on growth.

M&T Mortgage Snapshot

  • M&T mortgage products typically range from 10-year to 30-year loans with some lower down payment options for first-time homebuyers.
  • M&T’s mortgage products include both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages as well as refinance, home improvement, and home equity line of credit options.
  • M&T is a traditional bank, which means you have the option of getting prequalified online or in person at more than 775 branches, primarily in the northeast.

What M&T Bank offers

M&T largely sticks to the same government-backed loans that most lenders offer. This includes loans through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The bank also offers refinance mortgages, home equity line of credit options, mortgages that include financing to rebuild the home, and reverse mortgages for senior homeowners.

M&T participates in state bond programs that offer low down payment options or lower interest rates for first-time homebuyers. Not many lenders participate in these state programs because the underwriting is more intense and there are varying restrictions to qualify as an applicant. But such programs can help reduce your mortgage costs and monthly payments.

M&T stays within competitive market rates of most lenders. You can compare them to other lenders here.

Minimum borrower requirements

M&T mainly offers conforming loan requirements for mortgages approved by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as other federal and state programs.

Down payments for these types of government-backed loans are typically 3 percent or more but can go as low as requiring no down payment for a VA mortgage. Credit score requirements also follow government standards, which means you need at least a 620 credit score (or 580 for FHA loans). And your total debt should be less than 43 percent of your income.

However, M&T lenders can also use “alternative credit scores,” such as rental payment history, if the consumer does not have a robust credit history, says Jill Rank, group vice president and regional manager of residential mortgage at M&T Bank.

How to apply for an M&T Bank mortgage

You can apply to get preapproval for a mortgage online or over the phone. You can also visit one of M&T’s branches , which are mostly located in the northeastern United States.

What fees you will pay

Most of M&T’s mortgage products require the borrower to pay mortgage insurance as well as fees to lock in or lower your rate, like with most lenders. The costs are based on market rates and fee requirements within each state.

M&T has a calculator that can give you an estimate on your mortgage payments. And you can always check how much of a home you can afford by using Bankrate’s mortgage calculator.

Advantages

M&T retains most of the servicing rights on its loan, which means your mortgage likely won’t be sold to a company further down the road. This is helpful if you ever run into financial trouble and need to work with the lender directly to restructure mortgage payments.

“Some people like to stay with a name they know is consistent,” says Rank at M&T. “We want them to stay with us and bank with us.”

M&T Bank has weathered downturns, but as a regulated bank its products may be more secure than those from mortgage lenders that are new or less regulated.

Disadvantages

M&T does not yet have a mobile application, so you won’t be able to apply for a mortgage or make payments through your smartphone.

M&T has few if any physical branch locations outside of the northeast.

What people are saying about M&T Bank

M&T ranked “about average” for customer satisfaction as a primary mortgage originator in 2017, according to J.D. Power. The lender, with a score of 742, fell slightly below the industry average of 754.

The bank fell into trouble in 2016 for allegedly underwriting mortgages that did not meet the requirements for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Administration. M&T paid $64 million to settle the allegations.

The Better Business Bureau also ranks the whole bank at 3.53 out of five stars, listing complaints that mostly had to do with fees tied to bank accounts.  As with any lender, it’s important you ask them to fully disclose the fees in writing before you sign on the dotted line.

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