Cardinal Financial

Cardinal Financial Reviews

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Overall Rating3.7 out of 5
See all 71 reviews

About Cardinal Financial Reviews

Cardinal Financial (NMLS #66247) offers a wide variety of mortgage products for home purchase or refinancing. Borrowers can use Octane, a proprietary loan origination system, to upload documents and see loan details. Cardinal Financial is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is licensed to lend in all 50 states.

    Pros & Cons


    • Available nationwide
    • Variety of loan options
    • Free rate quote
    • Proprietary Octane platform for loan management


    • No mobile app
    • Doesn’t publish current rates or fees

    Bottom Line

    Cardinal Financial offers personalized loan options for homebuying and refinancing. The company doesn’t publish much information about rates and fees, but it is widely available and has many mortgage products, including specialty loans.

    Featured Reviews

    Fresh Meadows, NY

    Had a great experience purchasing our first home with the help of Cardinal Financial and Anthony specifically. He and his team worked hard to ensure our experience was smooth and ...

    Read full review
    Maricopa, AZ

    Josh was flawless throughout this entire process. He was very attentive and professional. This was my first time doing a cash-out refinance and he was able to explain the intricat...

    Read full review

    Our editors’ take on Cardinal Financial

    We highly recommend Cardinal Financial to buyers and current homeowners who are looking for a lender that goes above and beyond to provide a personalized experience.

    A common theme in our reviews are individual Cardinal Financial loan officers called out by name and praised for their honesty, dedication and patience. Many reviewers felt guided and benefited through the confusing mortgage process because of their loan officer.

    One Ohio reviewer even said of their loan officer, “I am still in awe and extremely grateful for his advice and guidance. It's rare to encounter someone who is in it for the ‘passion’ of it.”

    Another reviewer mentioned of their loan officer, “His steadfast approach to tackling all the different problems that we had along the way, his creative flexibility, in tackling them one at a time or all at once as the situation dictated and his overall "sticktoitiveness" in maintaining accountability in these matters to help us see them through.”

    While we think many home shoppers would be satisfied with Cardinal Financial, it is not an ideal fit for those who don’t want a 100% online lender. For those who prioritize an in-person experience, your local bank or credit union for your home loan might be the better option.

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    Cardinal Financial Reviews

    ConsumerAffairs has collected 71 reviews and 21 ratings.

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    Reviewed Aug. 21, 2023

    I am in the process of getting a mortgage with them. My loan officer John has been great. He always returns my calls and emails, and he always reaches out to me giving me updates. If you are thinking of doing a mortgage with Cardinal Financial, they have great loan officers.

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    Reviewed July 28, 2023

    I would caution anyone regarding a mortgage where Cardinal Financial is paying off the credit cards. I had my credit rating adversely affected due to the length of time it took them to pay off the credit cards. Kept writing and kept getting the same answer but no action. I did not make my the last payment knowing that we had signed an agreement and the credit cards would be paid off. It was not done on a timely basis. I would not recommend Cardinal Financial for a mortgage.

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      Reviewed June 28, 2023

      Zach helped me refinance my condo a couple of years ago. His office is in the same building I reside in and he was a choice of convenience. I also wanted to support a local business. I went back to him a couple of times for preapproval as we have been casually looking at properties but had a few offers declined. Zach has been responsive when I reached out. His industry knowledge and service level are decent. However, my wife and I ended up talking to another broker who was a preferred partner with Lexington properties, which was part of the requirement to buy a new property from them.

      However, when we decided to go with a property in the secondary market, we ended up getting estimates from that broker as we had found him impressive and by far one of the best in the industry. More importantly, we knew Cardinal could not match some of his offerings. Nonetheless, I reached out to Zach to extend him the courtesy to match the offer from the other broker. Unfortunately, Zach's response was very unprofessional and he attacked me personally.

      In this rate environment you would be foolish not to shop around. Any broker who does not respect that, does not deserve your business. If you want to be called names for talking to another broker, Zach is the guy for you. Sadly, he does not know his boundaries and I will stay away from Cardinal for my future mortgage needs.

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      Reviewed April 30, 2023

      Eric D was fantastic however after that Cardinal Financial felt extremely short! Lost our paperwork multiple times and we had to resend it! Sent in the exact same paperwork which was requested then it wasn’t what they wanted. Had them send very specific detailed information on what they were needing and we sent the documents. It was the same documents we originally sent in that they had lost!

      We were told closing costs would be $23,410 with taxes and titles, nope… closing was $31,234 and that was the morning of closing. We get to closing, go to sign the papers and then we were informed the closing costs were incorrect and would now be $32,240. My husband had to run to the bank, get another cashier’s check for the balance!

      We questioned why the closing costs went from $23 thousand to $32 thousand within 4 days and they said the rate had changed but we noticed the rate was still the same! We filed a complaint and are still waiting on that. We contacted Cardinal multiple times and to date nobody has contacted us! Cardinal Financial owes us almost $9000 because they processed our loan incorrectly and gave us wrong information! Absolutely HORRIBLE company!!!!

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      Reviewed March 9, 2023

      My loan officer Jake ** went above and beyond to make my dreams come true. When I didn't quality several months ago he continued to assist me with specific instructions on how to negotiate and clean up my credit (this took months). Then I finally qualified for a loan. He assisted me with all problems/issues as they came up morning, noon, and night, and by text, telephone, and email. Jake assisted with anything and everything I needed, including my various panic attacks along the way! He was professional, patient, kind, meticulous, and genuine throughout the entire process. Many times, I would panic about things [that I did not understand] that had nothing directly to do with his role or my loan, yet he would patiently explain what he knew about the subject after years of being in the business and/or from his personal experience.

      There were many times I really felt downright stupid and he would patiently reexplain something I did not understand. Jake went over ever single working part of the loan process. From the beginning to the end. Again, available and quick to respond to anything and everything morning noon and night. It is because of Jake that I have a new beginning after some serious past traumas. It's because of how amazing Jake was and how he was so kind and respectful, that I can look forward to my future. It is because of Jake that I will refer anyone and everyone I know to Cardinal Loans. Cardinal loan's entire team was topnotch professional in all their various roles. I am truly grateful them. I will never forget the amazing Cardinal loan officer Jake ** that changed my life and future forever.

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      Reviewed March 1, 2023

      I am beyond disappointed with Kim **, I was not sure how she found my information. She called me on February 17th and she started to question me about the mortgage loan that I was not aware of or applied for the loan. I told her that I recalled applying for the grant that will help me buy a home with my fixed income and she said she had several other options. All I could do is apply through Octane and it should be a simple and quick process and I had to repeatedly myself to make sure that Kim aware that I was only looking to get a grant over and over again. I spoke with a friend of mine and did a 3 way call with Kim because my friend protected me to make sure that I am in good hands and Kim made it clear that I should be qualified if I receive Government checks and should be approved.

      My gut kept telling me that something was not right and my friend alerted me it would not gonna work out but it did not hurt to try and see what happened so I went ahead and applied on the 18th. I received a response in the email from Kim ** on the 21st related to the TransUnion issue and I had to get this solved. I have not heard anything back from Kim ** so I sent her an email this morning on the 28th and she stated my credit was a very excellent score for a mortgage, however my income itself does not qualify and that I needed a co-borrower. I felt that she was wasting my time and I told her upfront in the email that I made it loud and clear that I was looking to apply for a grant, not the loan!

      She came up with an excuse to the next excuse. Now she hurt my credit score due to hard inquiry for nothing. After this I wonder what she will do with my sensitive information? Was playing around and tricking someone like me and got away with it? Again, I am very disappointed with Kim ** for her actions, dishonest and unprofessionalism.

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      Verified purchase

      Reviewed April 1, 2022

      No one has worked harder to help us in the mortgage process than Cody. I feel as if he's 110% on my side, making sure everything possible is done for the best mortgage experience and outcome for myself and my family. Highly recommend Cody. Cardinal Financial is blessed to have him!!

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      Verified purchase

      Reviewed March 25, 2022

      Loan product: Cashout Refi. Jose ** went ABOVE and BEYOND the scope of his responsibilities (within regulatory requirements) to ensure the process would have the expected outcome. There are several words to describe Jose (not all-inclusive): Honest, trustworthy, personable, empathetic, professional, and knowledgeable. I had several prospects vying for my business. I presented competing offers to Cardinal Financial, and they beat those offers. Of course, I know this may not be the likely outcome for all cases -- I'm just grateful that it was my outcome. It displayed the company's dedication and commitment to providing clients with a great product. He was forthcoming with updates. Questions or concerns I brought to his attention were acknowledged and addressed promptly.

      Several issues arose that delayed the process significantly (contractor delays, title issues, and unexpected family matters). I felt the weight and stress of it all. I wanted to discontinue the process. Jose and Manny ** reassured me--through action--they would do their best to move things forward. This level of openness and honesty forged a strong rapport amongst us.

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      Verified purchase

      Reviewed March 15, 2022

      Had a great experience purchasing our first home with the help of Cardinal Financial and Anthony ** specifically. He and his team worked hard to ensure our experience was smooth and not frightening! Even when there were curveballs, Anthony was reassuring and helped us get through every step and remained positive. In the end, we'd work with Anthony again if given the chance and would recommend him to any of our loved ones.

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      Verified purchase

      Reviewed March 15, 2022

      Josh was flawless throughout this entire process. He was very attentive and professional. This was my first time doing a cashout refinance and he was able to explain the intricate nuances (mortgage refinance) to my level of understanding. Josh stayed on top of any and all documentation in order to ensure a smooth and timely transaction. My appraisal was ordered within the first week and completed less than 3 days after that. The entire process took less than a month. There were no hidden fees/costs which is why I chose this company over any other lender. I put my trust in him and he delivered on ALL of his promises. I was able to completely pay off all of my debt because of Josh’s guidance and knowledge. My overall experience was definitely a walk in the park; 10/10 stars.

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        How we rated Cardinal Financial

        We gave Cardinal Financial the top score for many factors, including the application process, loan types and requirements. Not only did Cardinal Financial have glowing reviews for these aspects, but it makes it easy to find information about requirements and more through its website.

        Cardinal Financial was downgraded to a good rating for its rates and closing costs only because it does not publish this information on its site. Reviewers were happy with both, but full transparency online would have been helpful for buyers still in the research phase.

        Rates: Good

        Cardinal Financial doesn’t post its starting mortgage rates online, which is one of the reasons why we rated the lender as good rather than excellent. However, you can get a free rate quote; start the process by answering a few brief questions on the website, and a representative will contact you shortly after.

        A handful of reviewers mentioned that while Cardinal Financial’s rates were on par with other lenders, it was the level of customer service that ultimately led them to work with the lender.

        “Many of the rates were similar, but [the loan officer’s] responsiveness beat out the competition,” said Nina from Florida.

        Another customer from Texas said, “Cardinal Financial really delivers great customer service and highly competitive rates—enough so that we switched from another lender during our refinancing process.”

        Cardinal Financial doesn’t post its starting mortgage rates online. However, you can get a free rate quote; start the process by answering a few brief questions on the website, and a representative will contact you shortly after.

        Cardinal Financial offers both fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). ARMs have a relatively low introductory rate for a set length of time (generally three to seven years). Then the rate adjusts based on a benchmark index and margin used by the lender. The low introductory rates are attractive to borrowers, but it can be a shock when the rate reset comes if monthly payments increase.

        An ARM could be a good choice if you plan to own your home for a few years and then sell it before the introductory rate resets. But with interest rates rising lately, it's important to carefully think about all possible future scenarios.

        Compared with other lender rates, Cardinal Financial’s rates on home purchase loans were right around the national average from 2019 to 2021.

        Cardinal Financial average home purchase rate vs. national average

        YearDifference from national average
        2021 +0.05%
        2020 -0.03%
        2019 +0.05%
        Information pulled from public Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. Rates reflect noncommercial home purchase loans only.

        Application process: Excellent

        You start the application process by requesting a free rate quote on the company’s website. The online form starts by asking you if you’re purchasing or refinancing.

        If you’re purchasing, you then answer questions about the type of property, how you plan to use the property, where you are in the homebuying process, the location where you’re buying, the estimated purchase cost, your down payment amount and your credit history.

        If you’re refinancing, Cardinal Financial asks about your objective (e.g., lowering your payment, getting cash out), the value of the property and your remaining mortgage balance.

        A loan originator then contacts you to provide loan recommendations, answer questions and guide you through the process, beginning with getting a certified preapproval letter. After this initial call, you should receive a link to Octane, Cardinal Financial’s origination platform. This is where you upload supporting documentation and track your loan progress.

        Once your application is complete, you can expect an approval decision within 24 hours.

        “This was the fastest and easiest process to refinance our home. In Less than a month we were signing closing papers and loan ready to go,” said Adrianna from Texas.

        Curtis of Michigan shared similar praise for the process, saying, “Cardinal Financial has a very efficient web portal to submit documentation, receive copies of reports and appraisals and obtain real time updates on the mortgage application process.”

        Cardinal Financial application features

        Online application
        Mobile document upload
        Physical branches X
        Publishes minimum rate on website X
        Rate lock 30 to 90 days
        Pre-qualification (no hard credit pull) X
        Certified approval letter

        Loan types: Excellent

        Cardinal Financial offers a variety of mortgage products, including conventional loans with fixed and adjustable rates and jumbo loans. In addition, the company offers government-backed FHA, VA and USDA loans. Conventional loan terms can range from 10 to 30 years. You can also refinance an existing home loan with Cardinal Financial, whether you’re aiming to cash out or get a lower interest rate.

        Cardinal Financial also offers specialized financing for home renovations and repairs, buying a condo and buying a tiny home.

        In 2021, Cardinal Financial took in 63,165 loan applications for purchase loans. Of those applications, 39,660 (62.8%) turned into closed loans, while 17,013 (26.9%) were denied.

        Even when one Florida reviewer couldn’t get their original loan type approved, their loan officer still worked with them to secure a different loan.

        Marissa from Virginia was one of the reviewers who used Cardinal Financial for a VA loan and said that the whole process “was a breeze.”

        Loan applications for home purchases only by year

        Home purchase applications 63,165 51,983 35,634
        Home purchase loans closed 39,660 32,843 21,866
        Home purchase applications denied 17,013 12,131 1,525
        Home purchase preapprovals denied 392 320 44
        Information pulled from public Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. Includes conventional, USDA, VA and FHA mortgages.


        In 2021, most of the loans Cardinal Financial originated were for refinancing (about 62%, combining rate-and-term and cash-out refinances). A little over a third (about 38%) of loans were home purchase loans.

        In 2020 and 2021, many homeowners refinanced their loans in an environment of historically low interest rates. Borrowers could save money in the long run by locking in a lower interest rate, even after accompanying fees and closing costs.

        Since that time, interest rates have risen. Today’s higher rates may make refinancing less attractive to borrowers this year.

        Home purchase vs. refinance loans by year

        Home purchase loans 37.56% 35.17% 57.65%
        Refinance loans 34.58% 45.91% 20.61%
        Cash-out refinance 27.86% 18.92% 15.27%
        Information pulled from public Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Data. Includes conventional, USDA, VA and FHA mortgages.

        Requirements: Excellent

        Each type of mortgage from Cardinal Financial has its own set of borrower requirements to determine eligibility and how much you can borrow.

        Cardinal Financial clearly states its borrower requirements online. The company requires a 620 credit score and a minimum down payment of 3% for its conventional loans. FHA, VA, and USDA loans require a 580 credit score; FHA loans require a down payment of at least 3.5%, while VA and USDA loans don’t require any down payment. Jumbo loans require a credit score of at least 660.

        “When I didn't [qualify] several months ago [the loan officer] continued to assist me with specific instructions on how to negotiate and clean up my credit (this took months),” said Lorrie, a reviewer from Georgia. “Then I finally qualified for a loan. He assisted me with all problems/issues as they came up morning, noon, and night, and by text, telephone, and email.”

        Cardinal Financial mortgage requirements by type

        Min. credit scoreMin. down paymentCompare with other lenders
        Conventional Typically 620 Typically 3% Mortgage lenders
        FHA 500 3.5% with 580 credit score FHA lenders
        VA Set by lender (often 580) 0% VA lenders
        USDA Set by lender (often 640) 0% USDA lenders

        Cost and fees: Good

        Cardinal Financial doesn’t disclose specific loan costs and fees. Closing costs are usually between 2% and 5% of the loan amount, according to the company. Closing costs can include loan fees, title fees, taxes and insurance.

        After you apply, Cardinal Financial is required by law to provide a Loan Estimate with estimated loan fees and costs. Before you close on the loan, you’ll receive a Closing Disclosure with exact amounts for fees and costs, including how much cash you need to bring to the closing.

        One cash-out refinance customer was able to pay off all of their debt with Cardinal Financial. They said, “There were no hidden fees/costs which is why I chose this company over any other lender.”

        Compare Cardinal Financial to other lenders

        Cardinal FinancialCardinal FinancialNew American FundingNew American FundingRocket MortgageRocket Mortgage
        # of reviews718171,191
        Purchase options FHA, VA, USDA jumbo and conventional loans FHA, USDA, conventional, refinance, HELOC and reverse Conventional, jumbo, FHA and VA loans
        Refinancing options Cash-out, rate and term Cash-out, rate and term, cash-in Cash-out, rate and term
        Minimum credit score 580 to 660 580 to 640 580 for government-backed loans; 620 for conventional
        Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews

        Cardinal Financial FAQ

        How does Cardinal Financial work?

        To start, visit Cardinal Financial’s website, click “Get Started,” answer a few questions about what you’re looking for and your financial situation and provide your contact information. A loan originator will contact you; they can recommend a loan type and answer your questions. The loan originator will assist with next steps, including preapproval, getting set up online with the Octane platform, applying for a mortgage, locking in your rate and proceeding through underwriting to closing.

        Is Cardinal Financial legit?

        Cardinal Financial is a legitimate mortgage lender with a variety of loan options for purchasing and refinancing. It has been in business since 1987.

        Where is Cardinal Financial available?

        Cardinal Financial is available in all 50 states.

        Cardinal Financial Company Information

        Company Name:
        Cardinal Financial