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BMO Harris Bank Mortgage Review 2022

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

BMO Harris Bank is a full-service financial institution based in Chicago. It’s a U.S. subsidiary of the Bank of Montreal, and the combined bank has $988 billion in assets and ranks as the eighth-largest bank in North America. BMO Harris Bank is a federally licensed mortgage lender and may issue mortgages nationwide.

Who is this lender for?
  • First-time homebuyers
  • People looking for a low-down-payment loan
  • Canadians buying a home in the U.S.
  • Existing BMO Bank customers looking for a mortgage
  • Families building a new home
  • Investors buying a rental property
  • Physicians buying a home

8.5/10 LendingTree’s mortgage lender rating

LendingTree’s mortgage lender rating is based on a 10-point scoring system that factors in several features, including digital application and closing processes, available loan products and online and in-person accessibility. LendingTree’s editorial team calculates each rating based on a review of information available on the lender’s website. Lenders receive a half-point on the “standard product offerings” criterion if they offer at least two of the four standard loan programs (Conventional/FHA/VA/USDA). In some cases, additional information was provided by a lender representative.

  = 1 pt   = 0 pts

  1.   Application online
  2.   Product info online
  3.   Rates listed online
  4.   Helpful articles about mortgages and homebuying
  5.   Standard product offerings (Conventional/FHA/VA/USDA)
  6.   Special programs
  7.   Info about how to qualify for products offered online
  8.   E-closing availability
  9.   Licensed in at least 35 states
  10.   After-hours and weekend access to loan officers

BMO Harris Bank pros and cons

Pros

  Multiple low-down-payment options. BMO Harris Bank has several mortgage products with low down payments, from FHA loans to a special program that requires just a 1% down payment. The bank also has substantial down payment and closing cost assistance programs.

  Online appointment booking. Instead of waiting on hold, BMO Harris Bank allows you to go online and book a time to speak with a loan officer about your mortgage options.

  Special mortgage programs. BMO Harris Bank has a number of special programs for people looking to buy a home with a mortgage outside of the norm. If you’re building a new home, BMO Harris Bank offers special construction loans with one closing. The lender also has loans for physicians, plus investment property loans, condo loans and multifamily home loans.

Cons

  Limited government loan programs. While BMO Harris Bank offers FHA loans, it doesn’t appear to participate in the VA or USDA loan programs. If you’re a service member or veteran, or buying in a rural area, you may want to look elsewhere.

  Higher credit score requirements. Conventional loans require a 660 credit score at BMO Harris, compared with 620 for many other lenders.

  Branches only available in limited states. If you’re hoping for in-person service, there are only BMO Harris Branches available in Illinois, Indiana, Arizona, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, Florida and Wisconsin.

BMO Harris Bank borrowing requirements

Minimum credit score580 for FHA loans 640 for Housing Finance Agency programs 660 for conventional loans
Minimum credit score 
  • 580 for FHA loans
  • 640 for Housing Finance Agency programs
  • 660 for conventional loans
Minimum down payment 
  • 0% with down payment assistance; 1% otherwise
Available loan terms 
  • 30- and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages
  • 5-year and 7-year initial period adjustable-rate mortgages
Available loan types 
  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • Jumbo
  • Construction
  • Multifamily
  • Investor
  • Condo

BMO Harris Bank mortgage rates and fees

BMO Harris Bank publishes mortgage rates online for some of its more common products, like traditional, fixed-rate loans and adjustable-rate loans. Jumbo loan rates are also available online.

The lender doesn’t disclose its mortgage fees online. However, the bank currently offers up to a $1,200 discount on closing costs and fees on purchase and refinance mortgages. Another $200 discount is available by setting up auto pay with a BMO Harris bank account.

BMO Harris Bank mortgage products

Purchase and refinance

BMO Harris Bank offers both purchase and refinance mortgages with fixed rates (30- and 15-year terms) and adjustable rates (five- and seven-year initial fixed periods). Jumbo loans are available with the same terms for both purchase and refinance. The lender also offers cash-out refinances.

One low-down-payment option BMO Harris offers are loans through the Housing Finance Agency program. The details may vary by state, but the lender requires a 640 credit score and a minimum 1% down payment. BMO Harris may also provide up to $10,000 or more in down payment assistance.

Freddie Mac’s Home Possible program is also an option at BMO Harris Bank. This program requires a 660 credit score at BMO Harris, and the bank may offer between $1,000 and $9,000 in down payment assistance. This may mean the borrower doesn’t need to put any money down.

FHA loans are also available through BMO Harris Bank. These loans require a 580 credit score with a minimum 3.5% down payment — and the bank may offer between $1,000 and $7,500 in down payment assistance, which may mean the borrower doesn’t need to put down any money at all.

Home equity

BMO Harris Bank offers home equity loans with fixed interest rates and no or low closing costs. Terms range from 5 to 20 years. The lender also offers home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) with variable rates. The draw period is generally 10 years, with a 20-year repayment period. A 650 credit score is typically required.

Special programs

The Neighborhood Home Loan Product offers eligible borrowers a loan with a down payment as low as 1%. The program requires a 660 credit score, but doesn’t include mortgage insurance. BMO Harris Bank may contribute between $1,000 and $7,500 in down payment assistance.

BMO Harris Bank’s program for physicians offers mortgages with a 5% down payment on loans up to $1 million (and 10% down on up to $1.5 million) with flexible underwriting criteria for people just starting their careers in medicine. Mortgage insurance isn’t required.

The lender’s construction program offers construction-to-permanent loan financing with one close. Other programs include condo loans, investment property loans and multifamily loans, but you’ll need to contact the lender for more information.

How does BMO Harris Bank compare to other lenders?

BMO Harris BankHomepoint FinancialChurchill Mortgage
Minimum credit score 
  • 580 for FHA loans
  • 640 for Housing Finance Agency programs 
  • 660 for conventional loans 
  • 580 for VA loans
  • 620 for conventional, FHA and USDA loans
  • 620 for conventional loans
Minimum down payment 
  • 0% with down payment assistance
  • 1% otherwise
  • 0% for VA and USDA loans
  • 3% for conventional loans
  • 3.5% for FHA loans
  • 0% for VA
  • 3% for conventional loans
  • 3.5% for FHA and USDA loans
Loan products and types 
  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • Jumbo
  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Jumbo
Special programs offered 
  • Low-down-payment programs
  • Construction
  • Multifamily
  • Investor
  • Condo
  • RefiNow for low-income borrowers
  • Homeowners insurance
  • “No-score” loans for people with nontraditional credit histories
Lender ReviewHomepoint FinancialChurchill Mortgage

 

Today's Mortgage Rates

  • 5.34%
  • 4.55%
  • 3.31%
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