First Federal Bank of Kansas City Mortgage Review

About First Federal Bank of Kansas City

First Federal Bank of Kansas City

Principal and interest. That’s what a mortgage is really all about, right? Well, at First Federal Bank of Kansas City, we deliver home loan solutions with principle and interest – as in our principles and your best interests. We’re a rock-solid, mutually-owned community bank – with nationwide lending reach. And since 1934, the financial success and well-being of our customers and communities has been our mission. Visit us today and find out why. And, of course, we’re an FHA-VA and USDA-approved lender, with an A+ Rating from the Better Business Bureau.

review breakdown

Recommended
99%
Interest Rates
Fees & Closing Cost
Customer Service
Responsiveness

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What is First Federal Bank of Kansas City?

Founded in 1934 and headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., First Federal Bank of Kansas City is one of the largest community banks in the Midwest. In 2018, the bank originated $355 million in mortgage loans, according to John McKim, vice president of mortgage operations at the bank.


Working with First Federal Bank of Kansas City

First Federal Bank of Kansas City is licensed in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Its 11 branch locations are all in Kansas or Missouri, in the Kansas City area. “We are — at our heart — a community bank,” McKim said.

“Buying a home — particularly if it’s your first or second home — can be a stressful time,” he added. “Our job is to help you deal with that stress, understand the process [and] help you feel comfortable with the decision you’re making.”

Borrowers do not need to have a bank account at First Federal to qualify for a mortgage, but existing customers may be eligible for discounts on some products.

The bank issues loans for the following types of properties:

  • Single-family homes
  • Multi-family homes
  • Prefabricated homes
  • Condominiums
  • Planned-unit developments
  • Investment properties

First Federal is willing to work with buyers with less-than-ideal credit scores, depending on the loan product, and they can do manual underwriting. “We don’t hang our hat solely on credit score,” McKim said. “We will look at each individual buyer based on their merit.”


First Federal Bank of Kansas City products

Purchase

First Federal offers additional mortgage products to Kansas City borrowers.

Refinance

Home equity

First Federal offers additional home equity products to Kansas City borrowers.


First Federal Bank of Kansas City special mortgage programs

  • Community loan program. First Federal customers who purchase or refinance homes in specific areas can receive a $2,500 grant toward closing costs or interest-rate reductions, low down payments and discounted appraisal fees.
  • Non-qualifying mortgages. First Federal will work with borrowers whose situations require non-traditional loans.

The mortgage application process

  • How to apply. Borrowers can apply for a First Federal loan in three ways: online, in person at a branch or by phone. For those applying online, a loan officer will contact you after you submit your initial information.

    In all three methods of applying, a loan officer will review your application with you and help you understand your loan options. Your loan officer then submits your information and will provide you with a verbal preapproval as well as a list of documentation needed.

  • Disclosure process. If applying online, you’ll set up an account through which you’ll receive and sign loan disclosures. You’ll also be able to upload your documentation to your account. Applicants who apply in person or via phone will be given the option of submitting documents and receiving disclosures electronically.

    Borrowers who do not wish to submit or receive information electronically can choose alternative options.

  • Submitting loan for approval. Once you provide your documents and sign loan disclosures, the loan moves to underwriting and then to processing. The underwriter or processor may request additional information from you. During this stage, the bank will order a home appraisal.

    During the process, and once you have a signed purchase and sales agreement, you will have the option of locking in your interest rate. You and your loan officer will discuss your options.

  • Final approval. After supplying any information needed during the underwriting process, the loan moves forward to the final approval.
  • Closing. Once approved, your loan is ready to close. Depending on where you live and the type of transaction, your loan officer will work with you to schedule a time and location of the closing. In the case of new purchases, the closing typically takes place at a closing attorney’s office.

 

Communication during the process

Your initial and primary contact throughout the process will be your loan officer. They will help see your loan through to closing. As your loan progresses through the various stages, you will also communicate with the underwriter and processor.

The bank’s digital mortgage will also keep you updated along the way by providing you updates and messages or alerts for next steps.

Although the company embraces technology as a part of its process, McKim said personal communication between borrowers and their mortgage team remains the bank’s priority. “We want our loan officers and processors to own the relationship with the borrower,” he said. “We want to be a lender for life for everybody.”


Pros and cons of a First Federal Bank of Kansas City mortgage

Pros

  • Available nationwide. First Federal is licensed in every state.
  • User-friendly website. The bank’s website is easy to navigate and has useful resources for homebuyers.
  • Works with buyers with less-than-perfect credit.
  • Personal attention. The bank prioritizes communication between buyers and their mortgage team.
  • Easy application process. The online application and digital mortgage make applying simple.

 

Cons

  • Branches are located in two states only.
  • The bank does not offer first-time homebuyer programs.
  • Not much information on the mortgage process provided on the website.
  • Does not offer home equity products nationwide. (Borrowers who reside in areas where First Federal branches are located may have access to these products.)

 
Editorial Note: Parts of this article were reviewed by a lender to ensure accuracy prior to publication. The overall conclusions, recommendations and opinions are the author’s alone.

The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.