First Rate Mortgage Review 2021

Written by
David McMillin

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At a glance

First Rate Mortgage

4.0

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Bankrate Score

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Loans offered

Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate; rate-and-term refinancing; home equity line of credit (HELOC); interest-only; IHDA and MHDC loans
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Nationwide availability

Available in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin
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Min. credit score required

620 for conventional loans

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Offers e-signature and hybrid closings
  • Closings on new loans take around 30 days

Cons

  • Not available in every state
  • No website
  • Preapprovals take 72 hours

First Rate Mortgage overview

First Rate Mortgage is the consumer-direct division of Delmar Mortgage. The parent company was founded in 1966, and it offers mortgages in 28 states (it is not available in the Northeast and parts of the West, including California). Zac Holt, the lender’s national sales director, says that prequalifications are done the same day as a borrower inquiry, and preapprovals typically take 72 hours. The average time to close a new loan is 30 days, while closing a refinance typically takes 45 days. Holt says that the lender considers alternative credit data in underwriting.

Good for

Borrowers looking for a lender that participates in Illinois and Missouri state homebuyer loan programs

Loan types

  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • FHA
  • VA
  • Fixed-rate
  • Adjustable-rate
  • Rate-and-term refinancing
  • Home equity line of credit (HELOC)
  • Interest-only
  • IHDA and MHDC loans

Lender fees

First Rate Mortgage does not share specific fees, only that they range “quite a bit, depending on the program and criteria.”

Rates

Since First Rate Mortgage doesn’t have a website, comparing rates directly from the lender isn’t possible. Mortgage rates are not listed on the Delmar Mortgage website, either.

Reputation

First Rate Mortgage’s parent company is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and no one has reviewed the lender on Trustpilot.

Online services

First Rate Mortgage does not have a consumer-facing website, which makes the online experience somewhat nonexistent. However, Holt says that the lender offers the ability to apply online, text with loan officers and verify assets electronically. The lender also supports e-signature and offers hybrid e-closings.

Minimum borrower requirements

The minimum credit score requirement for most of First Rate Mortgage’s loan programs is 620.

Refinancing with First Rate Mortgage

First Rate Mortgage offers refinancing, with closings typically taking around 45 days. The lender does not publicly disclose refinance rates or fees. 

Not sure if First Rate Mortgage is right for you? Consider these alternatives

  • Optimum First Mortgage review: While this lender is only available in 14 states, it offers a wide range of programs and an easy-to-navigate website.
  • Guaranteed Rate: This large lender offers home loans in all 50 states, super-fast approvals and estimates for closing costs.
  • CFBank mortgage review: While this bank has a higher minimum credit score requirement (640 for conventional loans), it has a more transparent online experience.
  • Accelin Loans mortgage review: A mortgage broker, this can be a viable option for those looking for a loan in other states First Rate Mortgage doesn’t lend in.
  • LowRates.com mortgage review: This online-only lender offers fully underwritten approvals in less than a day and fast closings.

Breakdown of First Rate Mortgage overall review score 

  • Affordability: 14.75/15
  • Availability: 10/15
  • Borrower experience: 8/10

Review methodology

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.

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First Rate Mortgage consumer reviews

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Written by
David McMillin
Contributing writer
David McMillin writes about credit cards, mortgages, banking, taxes and travel. David's goal is to help readers figure out how to save more and stress less.