Paramount Bank mortgage review for 2020

Paramount Bank says it's people-focused: Big enough to give you all you need, but small enough to remain personal. Its mortgages are backed by good technology.

Lending flexibility 3.5
Customer service 5.0
Ease of application 3.0
Online experience 4.0
Minimum down payment N/A
Minimum credit score N/A
Loan Products Offered

Fixed-rate mortgage
Adjustable-rate mortgage
FHA loan
VA loan
FHA 203(k) rehab loan

Best Features

  • Lower rates and fees on average
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Strong customer reviews online and zero official complaints

Drawbacks

  • Rates aren't advertised online; you have to request a quote for an estimate
  • Only operates physical branches in 9 states
  • Smaller variety of loan options than some other lenders

Overview

Paramount is a little guy in the mortgage world. In 2019 it originated just under 3,000 mortgages. By contrast, the biggest lender (Wells Fargo) did over one million.

But don't let Paramount's size put you off. According to data on public record, Paramount had lower rates on average than many big lenders in 2019.

Those who want to visit a branch in-person can find Paramount locations in nine states: AZ, CA, FL, IA, IL, KS, MO, OH, and TX. Others are welcome to apply online in all 50 states. Reviews suggest that Paramount has good technology to support borrowers.

You'll have to request a custom rate quote to see how affordable Paramount Bank is for your mortgage, as it doesn't advertise rates online.


Paramount Bank mortgage rates 

You won’t find Paramount Bank’s current mortgage rates on its website.

However, data on all Paramount loans from 2019 shows its mortgage rates and fees are lower on average than some of the big-name lenders.

 
Paramount Bank
Wells Fargo
Quicken Loans
Chase
Average 30-Year Interest Rate, 2019
4.02% 4.22% 4.16% 4.22%
Monthly P&I Payment
$957 $980 $973 $980
Median Loan Costs, 2019
$3,298 $3,484 $5,075 $3,440
Median Origination Charges, 2019
$995 $1,199 $2,805 $1,279

Just remember, mortgage rates are personal. So you’ll need to request a custom rate quote from Paramount to see what this bank can offer you.

Average rate and fee data are sourced from public records required by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

According to public records, in 2019, Paramount customers had median loan costs of $3,298 of which the lender’s own origination fees accounted for $995.

*Monthly principal and interest payment based on a $250,000 home price, with 20% down, at Paramount Bank’s average 30-year interest rate for 2019. Your own rate and monthly payment will vary.

Verify your new rate (Jun 2nd, 2020)

Paramount Bank mortgage review for 2020

So what’s to like and dislike about Paramount Bank? Here are some thoughts:

  1. There’s little information online — Meaning you have to engage with a loan officer to get an idea of what your loan might look like
  2. Its range of mortgage options is good — But others lenders may have more variety
  3. The bank has one or two branches in each of nine states — For those with branches nearby, it has a good reputation for in-person customer service
  4. Reputedly, has good technologies to facilitate the mortgage process
  5. Online customer review forums suggest many like it
  6. But it has a D+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
  7. It doesn’t release information about its minimum down payment, credit score, or debt-to-income requirements

Paramount’s strong customer reviews give the impression that this is a very good lender to work with. It earns five stars from hundreds of borrowers on multiple platforms.

The biggest drawback from our point of view is the lack of available information online.

This makes it difficult to judge what your rate would look like — or whether you’re likely to qualify — without taking the time to speak to a loan officer.

However, that will mainly be a concern if you have borderline credit or higher debt. For those with an excellent application, qualifying shouldn’t be an issue.

And at worst, if you end up with a different lender, you’ll only lose the time you spent getting a rate quote.

Working with Paramount Bank

Paramount Bank has 10 branches across nine states: Arizona, California, Florida (two), Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri (plus headquarters), Ohio, and Texas.

If you’re within striking distance of one of those branches, odds are you’ll meet with your loan officer in person.

Its website says, “Paramount Bank’s Loan Originators will meet with prospective borrowers (typically face-to-face) to begin the actual loan application process.”

During that encounter, the loan officer will explore your needs in order to recommend the type of mortgage that should best meet those.

However, Paramount can lend in all 50 states — meaning many customers don’t have access to a branch. For everyone else, it’s possible to do an initial application online and finish your loan over the phone.

But before you meet, you have to submit a number of documents, including your most recent federal tax returns, paystubs, and bank statements.

Paramount Bank credit requirements 

As mentioned, the Paramount Bank doesn’t publish either its credit score or debt-to-income ratio requirements.

When discussing credit scores generally, it says those with very high scores tend to get better-than-market rates, while those with average scores tend to get market ones.

Paramount specifies a credit score of 680 as the point below which higher rates may apply.

However, it also says:

“Mitigating circumstances can help your approval process if you have credit issues. Your Paramount mortgage banker can help.”

This may be encouraging for those with low scores for good reasons, provided their financial issues are behind them. It sounds as though Paramount is willing to be flexible and consider an otherwise-strong application despite a lower score.

Paramount Bank customer reviews

We searched the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau‘s complaint database and found no complaints filed against Paramount Bank by its mortgage customers.

That’s impressive, even for a small lender.

Company
Mortgage Originations 20194
CFPB Complaint 2
Complaints per 1,000 Mortgages6
2019 JD Power Rating7
Paramount Bank
2,846 0 0.0 Not Rated
Wells Fargo 
1,026,800 342 0.33 837/1,000
Quicken Loans
774,900 187 0.24 880/1,000
Chase
527,600 188 0.36 850/1,000

Because it’s small, Paramount Bank doesn’t feature in J.D. Power’s U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. So that gauge of customer satisfaction isn’t open to us.

That means we’re left with online forums that record customer reviews. In those, this bank scored highly.

Paramount earned 4.9 out of 5 stars for its mortgage service on LendingTree’s forum, based on 381 customer reviews. And 87 reviews on Zillow gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

Going off those reviews alone, you could assume that Paramount is an excellent lender to work with, as long as its pricing is competitive for you.

Mortgage loan products at Paramount Bank

The bank’s website lists the following mortgages in its product range:

  • Fixed-rate conventional loans — These conform to the lending requirements of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • Adjustable-rate conventional loans — These are conventional loans, too, but (within limits) their rates can float up and down with wider interest rates
  • Jumbo loans — aka “nonconforming loans.” These are what you want if you need an outsize loan amount (anything above $510,400 in most areas)
  • FHA loan — Backed by the Federal Housing Administration, these require a down payment of only 3.5%
  • VA loans — Backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, these are available to select groups, mostly veterans and servicemembers. Zero down payment required. And these often come with lower mortgage rates than others
  • FHA 203(k) loans — So-called “rehab loans” allow you to buy a rundown home and renovate it all within the same loan. The alternative is often buying with one loan, renovating with another and then refinancing both within a single mortgage

That’s a respectable range of mortgages. Most people get one of the loan types listed above.

The only major omission from this list is USDA loans. Paramount Bank is stated to be a USDA-approved lender. However, it does not include the USDA Rural Development loan on its list of mortgages.

You’ll have to speak to a loan officer about availability if you’re interested in this type of loan.

Paramount Bank FAQ 

Is Paramount Bank a good mortgage company? 

Paramount Bank gets excellent reviews from its mortgage customers. It also has competitively low mortgage rates and fees on average, according to publicly-filed data on all its loans. However, mortgages are personal. So you’ll have to compare Paramount with a few other lenders to see whether its offers are best for you.

Who owns Paramount Bank? 

Paramount is an independent bank. It “was recently re-imagined and rebuilt by a group of St. Louis [MO] investors,” according to its website.

Is Paramount Bank a mortgage broker? 

No, Paramount Bank is a direct lender. That means it sells its own in-house mortgage products, rather than marketing loans from other banks and lenders as a broker would do.

How long has Paramount Bank been around? 

Paramount bank can trace its roots back to 1970. However, those St. Louis investors re-imagined it early in this century. And it was registered in its current form with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on Dec. 30, 2004.

Where can you get a mortgage with Paramount Bank? 

Paramount Bank’s limited physical presence might be a barrier for some. It has only 10 branches across nine states.

However, Paramount is licensed to lend in all 50 states. So if you don’t mind applying online or over the phone instead of in-person, Paramount’s small branch network won’t be an issue.

You can make an initial application online. And there’s a phone number if you need help.

Is Paramount Bank the best mortgage lender for you?

In 2019, Paramount Bank proved to have lower rates and fees on average than many other big lenders. And its five-star customer reviews speak for themselves.

However, mortgage rates are personal. So there’s no guarantee Paramount will be the best lender for you.

To find out for yourself, shop around with a few different lenders before choosing a mortgage.

Verify your new rate (Jun 2nd, 2020)

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  1. Interest Rate: The rate you pay in interest per year based on the current loan balance.
  2. APR: The total cost of getting the loan including the interest rate and closing costs.
  3. Discount Points: Mortgage points, also known as discount points, are fees paid directly to the lender at closing in exchange for a reduced interest rate. - Read More
  4. Mortgage Originations: The number of mortgages this lender closed. The most recent data available is from the 2017 Mortgage Market Activity and Trends, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), published May 2018.
  5. CFPB Complaints: The number of mortgage origination or closing related complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2018. We ignore complaints about issues that don't concern mortgage applications and closings, such as loan servicing, since some lenders don't service loans and therefore would have an unfair advantage in complaint numbers.
  6. Complaints per 1000 mortgages: The number of mortgage-related complaints compared to this lender's total mortgages originated. Due to data availability, we're comparing 2017 originations with 2018 complaints to arrive at the number of complaints per 1000 mortgages originated.
  7. JD Power Rating: On a 1,000 point scale, consumer insight company JD Power scores large banks across six factors: channel interactions, deposit accounts, credit accounts, investment accounts, convenience, and problem resolution.