Nations Lending Mortgage Review

About Nations Lending Corporation

Nations Lending Corporation

Nations Lending is a leading full-service national mortgage lender based in the Cleveland, Ohio area and founded by CEO Jeremy Sopko and President Bill Osborne in 2003. The company is one of the fastest growing mortgage lenders in the U.S., licensed to lend in 48 states and in the District of Columbia, with more than 75 branches and more than 800 employees nationwide. The company makes its mission of “home loans. made human.” an integral part of its mortgage experience, offering tailored customer service and a variety of loan programs to suit any home buyer’s needs: FHA, VA, Conventional, Jumbo, USDA and more. Nations is an agency-direct lender with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae and retains mortgage servicing rights on 98 percent of the loans it originates. Inc. 5000 recognized Nations Lending in 2018 as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the country. In 2019, Nations was named a Top-100 lender by both Scotsman Guide and National Mortgage Professional Magazine, as well as a Best Workplace in Financial Services by Great Place to Work.

review breakdown

Recommended
98%
Interest Rates
Fees & Closing Cost
Customer Service
Responsiveness

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What is Nations Lending?

Nations Lending was founded in 2003 and has grown into a national mortgage lender. The company is headquartered in Independence, Ohio, but operates numerous offices and branch locations throughout the United States.

The company originates more than $1.74 billion in loan volume annually, according to a 2018 press release.


Working with Nations Lending

Nations Lending is licensed in most U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The lender operates through two major channels: a network of 57 retail branches across the country and a direct-to-consumer program using the name NLC Loans.

Borrowers can go here to check which services are available in their state.

Nations Lending gives customers the option of applying for a mortgage online, through a smartphone app, over the phone or in person. With each method, the company offers to connect borrowers with a representative to answer questions.

The company has invested heavily in its online mortgage application process, and the NLC Loans site prominently features an easy-to-navigate form that guides potential customers through their loan options. The smartphone app offers a similar experience, but it also allows customers to scan any required documents and send them directly to their loan advisor.

For people who prefer in-person service, Nations Lending operates branch offices in 21 states:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

So if you live nearby, you have the option of connecting directly with a mortgage lender who can guide you through the process.

Nations Lending heavily promotes a “five-year rate guarantee.” Should mortgage interest rates drop after a loan closes, this program allows Nations Lending borrowers to refinance at that lower rate without paying lender origination fees or appraisal fees.

Nations Lending offers a variety of loan programs, so the minimum credit score will vary depending on the type of mortgage product you use. The company generally recommends a minimum credit score of 620. However, some mortgage products, such as FHA or VA loans, may have minimum credit score requirements of 580.

Because Nations Lending offers conventional, FHA, VA, USDA and other types of loans, it provides mortgages on a variety of property types, including:

  • Single-family homes
  • Multi-family homes (2-4 units)
  • Manufactured homes
  • Condominiums
  • Townhomes
  • Modular homes

Nations Lending mortgage products

Nations Lending offers a wide array of mortgage options. Those include:

Purchase

 

Refinance

 

Home equity


Nations Lending special mortgage programs

Nations Lending offers numerous options for buying or refinancing manufactured homes. These include conventional, FHA, VA and USDA loans. Its manufactured-home-lending program accepts borrowers with credit scores as low as 580. To qualify, the manufactured home must:

  • Have been built on or after June 15, 1976
  • Be permanently affixed to the foundation
  • Have at least 600 square feet of living space
  • Be double-wide (20 feet) or larger

The mortgage application process

Nations Lending has a four-step process for applying for a mortgage.

Step 1: Get pre-qualified

Pre-qualification gives you an idea of how much the lender is willing to loan you and what interest rate the lender will offer. You can start the pre-qualification process with Nations Lending online by providing some basic information:

  • What you intend to use the property for; for example, as a primary residence or vacation home
  • What type of home you’re looking for, such as a single-family house, condo or manufactured home
  • Estimated purchase price
  • Your estimated credit score
  • Whether you are active or retired from the U.S. military
  • Whether you’ve had any bankruptcies or foreclosures in the past
  • The property address of the home you wish to buy (if known at this point)
  • Your name, email and phone number

From there, you’ll be paired with a personal mortgage advisor from Nations Lending in your state who can discuss mortgage options and walk you through the rest of the application process.

Step 2: Find your home

With your pre-qualification letter in hand, you can start looking for a home, and you can make an offer. The pre-qualification assures the seller and their real estate agent that you can likely get financing to buy the property if they accept your offer.

Step 3: Apply for a mortgage

Once your offer has been accepted, you must formally submit your loan application. Your personal mortgage adviser will collect any additional information or paperwork necessary to finalize your loan, including bank statements or tax returns. They’ll also order the home appraisal and home inspection.

Nations Lending does not currently offer a digital mortgage process. Borrowers need to send documents to their mortgage advisor in person, via fax or email. The mortgage advisor locks the loan, orders the appraisal and schedules the closing.

Step 4: Sign closing paperwork

Once your application has been finalized, you’ll meet with your real estate agent to sign paperwork and close on the home.  Depending on the requirements in your state, the closing may take place at the offices of the escrow company, your real estate agent or an attorney.

Communication during the process

Throughout the process, your personal mortgage advisor will be your main point of contact. After completing the pre-qualification application online, a mortgage advisor will be assigned to walk you through everything from completing your application to closing on the loan.


Pros and cons of a Nations Lending mortgage

Pros

  • Rate guarantee. Nations Lending guarantees your interest rate for five years. If interest rates drop within that time frame, you can refinance without paying lender origination or appraisal fees.
  • Variety of loan options. Nations Lending offers a variety of loan programs to help borrowers purchase or refinance a home, or tap their home’s equity.
  • Convenient application process. Borrowers can complete a mortgage application online, in person or via phone, and send documents to their loan officer via an app.
  • Nearly nationwide lender. Nations Lending operates in most U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

 

Cons

  • Website lacks detailed information. While the Nations Lending website lists a variety of loan products, it does not provide any detailed information on interest rates or fees. To get that information, you’ll have to contact a loan officer.
  • Digital tools are rudimentary. Although Nations Lending offers a handful of digital tools, borrowers looking for a fully digital mortgage experience may be unsatisfied with the tools available. You can start the pre-qualification or application process online and upload documents through the app, but closing on a mortgage will require working with a loan officer.

 
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.