Cardinal Financial Mortgage Review 2023
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At a glance
State License: MC-1825
Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate; rate-and-term and cash-out refinancing; construction and renovation loans; investment property; disaster relief; manufactured home, tiny home and container home loans
Available in all U.S. states
Min. credit score required
580 for conventional loans; 550 for FHA loans; 550 for VA loans; 580 for USDA loans
Pros and cons
- Offers prequalification and preapproval
- Provides disaster relief home financing, construction loans, manufactured home loans, tiny home loans and container home loans
- Participates with affordable housing, first-time homebuyer and down payment assistance programs nationwide
- Doesn’t offer home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) or home equity loans
- Limited information online regarding fees and interest rates
Cardinal Financial overview
Cardinal Financial, also doing business as Sebonic Financial, is a national mortgage lender with both online capabilities and more than 115 locations for borrowers. It offers conventional loans, jumbo loans, refinancing and government-sponsored FHA, VA and USDA loans, and provides mortgages in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Along with these products, the lender offers disaster relief home financing, construction loans, manufactured home loans and tiny and container home loans. If you’re interested in a mortgage with Cardinal, you can obtain a prequalification or preapproval through its proprietary technology, Octane, which guides you through the home loan process, from displaying loan options (including closing costs) to loan status and more. You can also e-sign using the platform. Borrowers have closed in as few as seven days, but the average closing takes 30 days. The lender was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Cardinal Financial is good for
Borrowers across the U.S. looking for either standard or specialized loan products or down payment assistance
Breakdown of Cardinal Financial overall score
- Affordability: Cardinal Financial’s mortgage rates are in line with Bankrate’s averages. Like many lenders, it charges a flat fee on loans.
Availability: Regardless of what state you live in, you can work with Cardinal Financial for a mortgage, provided you qualify. Notably, the lender offers many types of loans, some for unique circumstances, and generally has lower minimum credit thresholds.
- Borrower experience: Cardinal Financial stands out for its digital mortgage platform, which takes you through the lending process step by step.
To determine a mortgage lender’s Bankrate Score, Bankrate’s editorial team rates lenders on a scale of one to five stars based on a variety of factors relating to the lender’s products and services. Bankrate’s partners compensate us, but our opinions are our own, and partner relationships do not influence our reviews. Here is our full methodology.
Cardinal Financial offers competitive interest rates on a diverse range of home financing products. To compare its costs to others, however, you’ll need to request a quote. (Many other lenders provide rates upfront online, or allow you to request a quote without waiting for a loan officer to contact you.) As far as fees, Cardinal charges a flat $1,490.
One benefit to working with Cardinal Financial: an array of options. From conventional and government-insured loans to financing for special types of properties (think manufactured, rental and tiny homes), this lender offers all of the above.
Another highlight: Its credit score minimums are significantly lower than those of other lenders, at 580 for conventional and USDA loans and 550 for FHA and VA loans. If you don’t have a credit score, the lender also has the ability to manually underwrite government-insured loans.
Borrower experience: 4.3/5
Cardinal Financial has been in business since 1987, a long time for a lender that’s grown to become comparable to the online-only shops that have sprung up in recent years. It has high marks from customers with the Better Business Bureau (and an A+ grade from the organization), plus a rating of “Excellent” from Trustpilot.
You can request a free rate quote online through Cardinal Financial’s website; however, you’ll need to wait for a loan officer to contact you to get the quote and start the application process. After submitting docs (and assuming you qualify), you can expect a conditional approval in 24 to 48 hours. When you’re ready, you can complete the application online.
The lender doesn’t have a mobile app, but does provide calculators, a mortgage glossary, answers to frequently asked questions about the mortgage process and a blog with even more resources online.
If you have questions about your loan, you can chat with a customer service representative through the lender’s website or by email (but if you’re already in contact with a loan officer, it might be better to reach out to the officer first). Cardinal Financial’s customer service hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.
Refinancing with Cardinal Financial
Homeowners can refinance a mortgage with Cardinal Financial, though as with the lender’s home purchase loans, you can’t view interest rates without requesting a quote and speaking with a loan officer. The lender also doesn’t provide information about the costs associated with refinancing online.
Alternatives to Cardinal Financial
- CrossCountry Mortgage review – Another nationally-available lender, but you’ll need to get in touch with a loan officer to find out more information for your individual circumstances
- Movement Mortgage review – Offers a similarly diverse range of products, including HELOCs
- PHH Mortgage review – Allows you to submit evidence other than a credit score to determine eligibility
Cardinal Financial consumer reviews
State License: MC-1825
About consumer ratings
Customer service rating
89% of reviews would recommend this lender
10 of 10 rates honored
Review this lender
Write a review of your experience with Cardinal Financial.
of 14 reviews
The consumer reviews posted on Bankrate.com ("Bankrate") are individual, subjective opinions of reviewers, and not of Bankrate. Bankrate does not endorse any of the opinions expressed by reviewers or any responses to reviews.
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Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer who loves helping people learn how to live life more fully. His work has appeared in several publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Yahoo! Finance and more.