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BMO mortgage review

Offers award-winning customer care in eight states but no VA or USDA loans.

BMO (formerly BMO Harris) is a regional bank that offers a wide variety of mortgage loan products to homebuyers in eight states. The bank provides its banking clientele with loyalty discounts and some assistance programs, but only offers FHA mortgages for government-backed loans.

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Conventional: 650

Minimum credit score

3%

Minimum down payment (Conventional)

Not available in: NY, TX

State availability

Details

Loan products offeredConventional, Jumbo, FHA, Home Equity/HELOC, Refinance
Minimum credit scoreConventional: 650
Minimum down payment (Conventional)3%
State availabilityNot available in: NY, TX
NMLS #401052

Review by


Heather Petty is a personal finance writer at Finder, specializing in home and personal loans. After falling victim to a disreputable mortgage broker when buying her first home, she’s on a mission to help readers avoid similar experiences when managing their own finances. A self-proclaimed word nerd, her writing and analysis has been featured on MSN, Credit.com and MediaFeed, among other top media. Heather previously worked as a technical writer and editor for the casino systems industry and is an internationally published young adult mystery author. She earned a BA in English with a minor in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Expert review

If you live in one of the states where BMO is licensed, this bank can be a great option for homebuyers who want to choose from a wide range of mortgage products. But if you’re looking for a VA or USDA loan, you’ll need to shop around for another lender.

BMO requirements

While BMO doesn’t list off all of its mortgage loan requirements, you will need a minimum 3% down payment. The bank also lists a 43% debt-to-income (DTI) ratio requirement, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in December of 2020 changed how lenders can qualify borrowers. So, the listed requirement may change slightly as the new rules are implemented.

Documentation

According to BMO, all you need to apply is your Social Security number and details about your assets and income. But you’ll probably need the following documents to complete your application:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Two forms of government ID
  • Two years of W-2 forms or pay stubs
  • Two years of tax returns
  • Two to three months of bank statements
  • Proof of any other income source, such as rental or retirement income
  • Debt information, such as student or auto loans
  • Real estate information on any other properties you own

Costs and fees

Because closing costs and fees often change based on the state where you live or the type of mortgage you have, the bank doesn’t list exact fees on its website. But it provides the following list of closing costs you should be prepared to pay, with estimates:

  • Appraisal or land survey fees: $500
  • Title insurance: $2,400
  • Property insurance costs: $1,200
  • Origination fees: $1,000
  • Property tax: determined by the state
  • Appraisal fees: $45
  • Tax service fees: $64
  • Government recording: $200

A more accurate estimate of your closing costs should be sent to you within three business days of your application.

How to apply for a mortgage with BMO Bank

To start your mortgage application, follow the steps below:

  1. Visit the mortgages page on the website, select Apply now, then Apply now again once the application opens.
  2. Enter your email address and password to create an account.
  3. Select Continue to start the application.
  4. Enter your personal information.
  5. Follow the prompts to add details about your assets and income.
  6. Enter information about the property you’re interested in purchasing.
  7. Answer declarations and enter your demographic information.
  8. Review your information and submit your application.

You can instead choose to prequalify for a loan by filling out a form and a BMO mortgage banker will contact you.

  1. Select Start your prequalification.
  2. Enter your loan amount, contact information and preferred method of contact.
  3. Select whether you’re an existing BMO Bank customer and choose Submit.
  4. Wait for a BMO mortgage banker to contact you.

What types of mortgages can I get through BMO Harris Bank?

  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Jumbo
This company accepts mortgage refinance applications.

Other mortgage products offered by BMO Bank

BMO has several specialty mortgage products.

  • First-time homebuyer. This lender’s affordable mortgage programs have 3.5% down payment options that may require only 1% to come from the buyer and up to $9,000 to help with closing costs.
  • Neighborhood home loans. Offers up to $7,000 in closing cost assistance and requires a 660 credit score and a 1% down payment.
  • Physicians mortgage loans. This program offers altered requirements to help medical doctors buy a home with a 5% down payment, lower underwriting requirements and no private mortgage insurance. You can also get a $200 discount on closing costs.
  • Condominium loans. You can finance a new or recently converted condo through BMO Bank.
  • Multifamily mortgage loans. Finance a property with up to four units.
  • Investment property loans. BMO offers special mortgage options for investment properties.
  • Construction loans. Finance your home’s construction with a construction-to-permanent option that comes with only one set of closing costs and several rate-lock options to make sure you get the best interest rate for your loan.
  • Cross-Border mortgages. This program helps Canadians purchase or refinance properties in the US.
  • Home equity products. BMO offers both home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and home equity loans.

How BMO Bank’s mortgage products compare to other lenders

In addition to standard conventional mortgage loans, BMO Bank offers a long list of specialty mortgage and home equity products. But while the bank originates FHA loans, it doesn’t offer other government-backed loans, such as VA or USDA loans.

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BMO Bank reviews and complaints

This bank is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and as of July 2022, has an A+ rating for closing 360 complaints in the last three years. The bank has earned a rating of 1.07 out of 5 stars with 89 customer reviews on the BBB. BMO has 14 customer reviews on Trustpilot, where it has a TrustScore of 2.3 out of 5 stars. On both sites, only a few of the reviews are specific to bank mortgages.

Pros and cons of BMO Bank

Pros

  • Award-winning customer satisfaction. This bank was ranked top 5 in three states as part of Forbes’ Best-in-State Banks 2020 list.
  • Loyalty discounts. You can get up to $200 off your closing costs for using autopay from your BMO bank account. High balance customers can also get discounts on interest rates.
  • Works with assistance programs. BMO offers assistance through state, local and nonprofit programs to lower down payments and closing costs.

Cons

  • Limited government-backed loans. If you’re looking for a VA or USDA loan, you’ll need to find a different lender.
  • Limited availability. This bank only offers mortgage services in eight states.

What is BMO Bank?

BMO Bank is a subsidiary of the Bank of Montreal in Canada, which was founded in 1882 and has grown to become the eighth largest bank in North America by assets. In the US, BMO has over 500 bank branches in eight states that serve over two million customers.
In June of 2020, Forbes included BMO in its Best-in-State Banks 2020 list. The list surveys more than 25,000 customers who rate their banking experiences based on customer satisfaction and other standards. BMO ranked in the top five banks in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

Frequently asked questions

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