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Bank of the West Mortgage Review

Bank of the West was founded in 1874 as Farmers National Gold Bank in San Jose, California. In 1880, the bank changed its name to First National Bank of San Jose, when banknotes became a convertible form of currency.

Finally, it reached its present name in the late 1970s. Currently, the bank is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and operates 600 branches in 19 states in the Midwest and the Western United States.

Bank of West Overview

Although it has been around for almost 150 years, Bank of the West didn’t gain its current name until the 1970s.

This financial organization operates about 600 branches around the Midwest and Western U.S. in 19 states. They offer a wide variety of mortgage and refinance options for homebuyers living in their serviced areas.

Bank of the West has received a fair number of awards for excellence in customer service and philanthropic efforts. However, its customer reviews are relatively mixed on the Better Business Bureau and other online marketplace rating services.

Bank of the West Mortgage Rates

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Bank of the West Mortgage Options

Bank of the West offers its customers competitive rates on its wide selection of mortgage and refinancing options. For individuals living in or buying property in the Midwest or Western U.S., this financial institution may be a smart choice.

Fixed-Rate Loans

These types of conforming loans are good for homebuyers who plan on staying in the home for a long time at lengths of 15 or 30 years. They offer stable monthly rates, which can make for easy budgeting over a course of time.

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Adjustable-Rate Loans

Adjustable-rate loans are good for those who plan on living in their home for a short period or who plan on refinancing their home in the next few years. This is also helpful for homebuyers who can pay their mortgages off quickly.

Jumbo Loans: Jumbo loans are best suited to homebuyers who plan on buying an expensive home and need to borrow more than the limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, at $453,100 currently. Bank of the West offers jumbo loans for both fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages, at 30 years and 7/1 ARMs, as well as jumbo refinances.

Construction Loans

If you are planning on building a new home, Bank of the West can offer financing for you to cover the construction costs. Once the house is finished, you can change your construction into a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate home loan.

FHA Loans

The Federal Housing Administration provides these types of home loans and refinances for buyers who do not qualify for other loan programs. Perhaps these buyers do not have the funds to put 20 percent down on the home, or maybe their credit score is not up to industry standards.

VA Loans: Veterans, military members, current members of the Armed forces, and their spouses can apply for these types of government home loans. Eligible individuals can put this financing toward either a mortgage or a refinance. VA loans with Bank of the West offer affordable monthly payments and the option to put a low down payment on the home.

HomeReady Loans

A HomeReady loan through Fannie Mae offers affordable monthly payments and low down payment options, as low as 3 percent, for homebuyers low- to moderate-income buyers. These types of loans are specifically intended to serve lower-income communities.

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To be eligible for a HomeReady loan with Bank of the West, buyers should have a credit score of at least 620.

Bank of the West Mortgage Application

Bank of the West offers plenty of ways for its customers to apply for mortgages. They have an online application form that consumers can fill out if they’d prefer to complete a questionnaire on their own time rather than waiting on hold to speak with a loan specialist.

Bank of the West’s application site allows consumers to save the progress of their application to complete it at a later time. Customers are also encouraged to call or email a mortgage specialist if they’d like to inquire about a mortgage or home refinance at a more personal level.

Bank of the West also has a variety of helpful resources on its website to educate home buyers about the mortgage process. Their online mortgage calculator allows buyers to budget how much they can borrow from this lender and how much home they can afford.

Their advice can offer insight to first-time buyers as well as those who have purchased multiple homes throughout their lives.

Bank of the West did not rank on the 2017 J.D. Power Primary Mortgage Originator study, nor did it rank on J.D. Power’s 2016 list. It also did not make it onto the Consumer Financial Bureau Monthly Complaint Report most-complained about companies, which is a positive feature worth noting.

Bank of the West Lender Grades

Bank of the West is a financial services company that has been in operation for several decades. This bank offers services to 19 U.S. states in the Midwest and Western regions.

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Bank of the West is not currently accredited by the Better Business Bureau, though it has an A+ rating on this site. Overall, the reviews for this lender are relatively mixed. The bank has a BBB average rating just over 1 out of 5 stars of 33 reviews and has 158 complaints made against it in the past three years.

Bank of the West has won many awards in the past few years, including the 2017 Family Wealth Report Award for Best Client Initiative for Strategic Philanthropy and Purpose Investments.

It is also highly recommended by the Private Asset Management, with a 2017 award for Best Client Service. Kiplinger’s Magazine awarded Bank of the West with the honor of Best Regional Bank in the West in 2017.

  • Information collected on December 14, 2018

Bank of the West Mortgage Qualifications

Bank of the West has similar mortgage qualifications to most of the other lenders in the U.S. Credit score is the most important factor that lenders take into account when qualifying prospective customers for home loans.

Although individuals with a credit score of about 700 should have no trouble getting a mortgage, those with credit scores in the “excellent” range should anticipate the best mortgage rates.

Credit score Quality Ease of approval
760+ Excellent Easy
700-759 Good Somewhat easy
621-699 Fair Moderate
620 and below Poor Somewhat difficult
n/a No credit score Difficult

Borrowers with a good credit score, a debt-to-income ratio of 36 percent or less, and the ability to put at least 20 percent down on the home have the best chances of being approved for a mortgage by a majority of lenders. 

Bank of the West Phone Number & Additional Details

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