Cardinal Financial
AUTHORIZED PARTNER

Cardinal Financial

 4.9/5 (65 ratings)
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars
Saved
Cardinal Financial
Author picture
Written by Jennifer Schurman
Edited by Sally Jones

About Cardinal Financial

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.

Overall Satisfaction Rating

  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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.

Rates

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

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.

Curtis, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Detroit, said of applying at Cardinal Financial: “Ben walked me through my first real estate investment ... from the preliminary application to underwriting. … 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

FeaturesAvailability
Online application
Mobile document upload
Physical branchesX
Publishes minimum rate on websiteX
Rate lock30 to 90 days
Pre-qualification (no hard credit pull)X
Certified approval letter

Loan types

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.

Loan applications for home purchases only by year

202120202019
Home purchase applications63,16551,98335,634
Home purchase loans closed39,66032,84321,866
Home purchase applications denied17,01312,1311,525
Home purchase preapprovals denied39232044
Information pulled from public Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. Includes conventional, USDA, VA and FHA mortgages.

Refinancing

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

202120202019
Home purchase loans37.56%35.17%57.65%
Refinance loans34.58%45.91%20.61%
Cash-out refinance27.86%18.92%15.27%
Information pulled from public Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Data. Includes conventional, USDA, VA and FHA mortgages.

Requirements

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.

National mortgage requirements by type

Min. credit scoreMin. down paymentCompare with other lenders
ConventionalTypically 620Typically 3%Mortgage lenders
FHA5003.5% with 580 credit scoreFHA lenders
VASet by lender (often 580)0%VA lenders
USDASet by lender (often 640)0%USDA lenders

Cost and fees

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.

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.

Top reviews
  • Top reviews
  • Recent
  • Oldest
  • Most helpful
Any
  • Any
  • Rated with 5 stars
  • Rated with 4 stars
  • Rated with 3 stars
  • Rated with 2 stars
  • Rated with 1 star

A link has directed you to this review. Its location on this page may change next time you visit.

How do I know I can trust these reviews about Cardinal Financial?
How do I know I can trust these reviews about Cardinal Financial?
  • 4,008,098 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
  • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
  • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
  • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.

Page 1 Reviews 0 - 5
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: 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.

Be the first one to find this review helpful

Not sure how to choose?

Get buying tips about Mortgage Lenders delivered to your inbox.

    By entering your email, you agree to sign up for consumer news, tips and giveaways from ConsumerAffairs. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Thank you, you have successfully subscribed to our newsletter! Enjoy reading our tips and recommendations.

    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: 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.

    Be the first one to find this review helpful
    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: Jan. 5, 2022

    We have originally bought our first home 3 years ago. Interest rates were high and we the housing market wasn’t doing well. Tyler has walked us through every step of purchasing our first home. The best part during 3 years of owning a home Tyler has stayed in contact and became a friend. When interest rates started to drop, he personally contacted me and recommended refinance to lower our interest and save significant amount of money. My family has financed over 4 properties through Tyler and I recommend and still recommend him to all of my friends and coworkers. I rarely review my transactions, however I cannot find enough words to praise how amazing he is. Thank you for all that you do, have done and will do for us.

    Andrey and family

    Be the first one to find this review helpful
    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: Nov. 23, 2021

    I can't speak highly enough regarding my interactions with Maurice. He was patient, informative, and highly knowledgeable. He guided me in asking all the right questions to allow me to secure a loan for a term and rate that I never considered to be possible. His knowledge allowed me to consolidate debt while lowering my monthly payments, and securing a loan that shaved 7 years off my previous loan. He asked all the right questions to make the process seamless. 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. Maurice struck me as that type of individual. He had the patience to educate and guide me to a decision that has truly given me room to breathe, and for that I could never thank him enough.

    Be the first one to find this review helpful
    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: Nov. 3, 2021

    Mylo communicated with me from day one with no issues, phone, text and email, whichever one was easiest for me, felt catered too, and not like I was under pressure. Mylo explained all the fees, process and walked me through my closing documents. It was like eating cake, the good kind, not the greasy over buttered kind! Even when the builder rep was not helpful in providing closing date in a timely manner, Mylo just picked up the basket of eggs and turned them into a beauty, the cake, remember cake with eggs! I am so happy I chose to have Mylo help me with my home loan, and look forward to having him help me on my next one!

    Be the first one to find this review helpful
    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: 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!!

    Be the first one to find this review helpful
    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: 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.

    Be the first one to find this review helpful
    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: Feb. 1, 2022

    Paul ** and Cardinal Fin did an outstanding job. I had recently refinanced a home and the comparison is night and day. Paul and his team definitely outshined the other. I was kept abreast the whole way thru the process, and I never felt like I was being asked to provide documents unnecessarily.

    Be the first one to find this review helpful
    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: Jan. 24, 2022

    I just have to say that Mike ** is the best rep in any field I've ever met. Kept a nervous guy like me at ease the whole time. Kept me well informed and comfortable with the whole transaction. Give this guy a raise now!!!

    Be the first one to find this review helpful
    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: Jan. 11, 2022

    Thanks to Kelley ** and the others at Cardinal Financial that made a tough process so much easier! They helped me to understand everything that was needed and kept me informed on changes every step of the way. I would highly recommend Kelley to anyone considering refinancing their home!!

    Be the first one to find this review helpful
    Loading more reviews...
    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. NMLS Consumer Access, “Cardinal Financial Company, Limited Partnership.” Accessed Sept. 2, 2022.
    2. Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, “HMDA Data Publication.” Accessed July 6, 2022.

    Cardinal Financial Company Information

    Company Name:
    Cardinal Financial
    Website:
    cardinalfinancial.com