The mortgage industry in the US is very competitive, having about 12,000 companies offering home loans.
It can be nearly impossible to find a good starting point for comparing mortgage companies. However, you must compare because even the little differences in rates and fees can have a huge impact on your monthly payments or how much you’ll pay throughout the lifetime of your home loan.
I’ve put together this information on top mortgage lenders to make things easier for you. Find out my best mortgage lenders as you read on.
Top 10 Best Mortgage Lenders
Best online mortgage lender
Quicken Loans is the biggest lender in the market. The company simply gives a better mortgage experience to its customers. It has a variety of loans and allows you to compare loan rates for different terms and types, so you can make informed decisions.
You can also estimate what your monthly payments will be for 10-, 15-, 20- or 30-year loans. Their loan programs and products include VA, FHA, Jumbo loans, reverse mortgages, purchase, refinance, and a customized mortgage called YOURgage and more. Quicken Loans will give you a 24/7 update on your loan, so you can always know what’s happening.
The online registration process is easy, and they also have a customer service personnel you can talk to, with experts to guide you. Remember, you’ll need a minimum credit score of 620 and a 3% down payment to qualify.
- Fast and easy application process
- They have many loan products and options
- They have the best customer service
- Instant income and employment verification
- No home equity loan or HELOCs
- Fees may be a bit high
Affordable home refinancing
This company is established in 49 states including the nation’s capital, and they have over $52 billion in home loans funded.
They have a stellar reputation with a simple and fast online registration process for various types of mortgage loans. Closing can happen anywhere it works for you so you don’t need to go to any of their offices, but you’ll still receive personalized support.
They also have fixed and adjustable loans, with government-approved FHA, VA, and USDA loans. In addition, Amerisave also has refinanced loans and cash-out refinancing, although they currently don’t have any home equity loans or HELOCs.
You can pre-qualify and close your loan within 25 days with utmost assurance. They also have guides on buying homes to make sure that you fully understand the process.
- You can apply and submit forms directly online
- The company originates and underwrites all loans
- They have low rates
- They provide mobile-friendly apps to manage your mortgage
- Slightly high origination fee
- They don’t offer home equity loans, home equity lines of credit or home improvement loans.
- They have no loans for manufactured homes
Best mortgage lenders for first time buyers
Rocket Mortgage is always available to help you get your mortgage. They’re an offspring of Quicken Loans. They do everything online, making the entire process fast and easy.
This online documentation process makes the whole mortgage application process smoother, therefore when you’re set to upload your documents, you can save them for later.
They’re renowned in the industry for the highest customer satisfaction in the US. They also offer mortgage refinancing services. You can make use of their online portal to make payments or to refinance your loans. They also have an online feature where you can chat with a customer service representative.
- Lots of loan options available
- They have a fast and advanced platform
- They have real-time rates
- Their rates and terms are only available with registration
- Your financial information needs to be imported
Good for low down payment loans
Freedom Mortgage is a very easy and reliable mortgage company with a simple online or application in addition to in-person branches. They’re one of the top companies when it comes to refinancing loans, lowering your rates or terms, cashing out refinance to pay off debts or making large purchases, or even loans to buy a new house.
They have an affordability calculator and a refinance calculator, they are licensed in all the 50 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, so they are available to everyone.
Their loan specialists will take you through the whole process, from eligibility and pre-approval to closing, while affording you the freedom to focus on your home.
They also have a wide selection of loan options like VA, Conventional and Jumbo, FHA, and USDA loans, so you can easily review these options and choose the best one for your needs.
- They provide government-backed loans
- Their online application process is simple
- Customers can visit their branches and set up online appointments
- They offer conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, and jumbo loans
- No mortgage rates available on their website
- No home equity loans or lines of credit
- They have no live chat support
Best mortgage lenders for refinancing
They manually review all applications before either approving or rejecting a loan. While some lenders give approval or reject loans based on their computer software (which makes it difficult to get a loan if you have poor credit), New American Funding works in a different way.
Due to the fact that they look at each loan application manually, they consider other factors like your saving habit and your income. Despite what your finances might look like, they have a strict rule that you must have a minimum credit score of 580 before you’re approved.
Although some lenders may have a minimum credit score requirement of 500 or 500, you won’t get the kind of quality service given by New American Funding.
However, if you’re given approval for your loan, you should pay your mortgage on time each month as it would help to improve your credit score. With time, your credit score may be so high that you can refinance your loan at a much lower interest rate. But if you currently have a poor credit score, then New American Funding is for you.
- They manually review your application
- Good choice for people with a poor credit
- They consider other important factors like saving habit and income level
- Online mortgage application, rate quotes, document upload, and loan tracking available online
- Not available in all states
- Higher mortgage rates than the government-reported median of all lenders.
Best reverse mortgage lenders
American Advisors Group is the foremost reverse mortgage lender in the country. They also provide refinance loans, jumbo loans, HECM for purchase loans, and help older adults (62 years and above) buy or sell their homes.
AAG home equity solutions help eligible borrowers understand solutions that best fit their situation. They provide a risk-free reverse mortgage calculator that can help borrowers get a quick loan estimate.
- Get a loan of up to $6M
- Great customer service
- Free online loan calculator
- Fees can grow quickly
- Lengthy process and paperwork
Best mortgage lenders for self employed
Luxury Mortgage Corp is a residential mortgage banking firm. They provide residential mortgage products and they’ve been around since 1996. The company offers mortgage products such as FHA, Jumbo mortgages, and Super-Jumbo mortgages. They also offer asset qualifier home loans, investment loans, condo loans, down payment assistance, bank statement qualifiers, and much more.
Luxury mortgage makes it easy for homebuyers to get approved for a mortgage. This is made possible with their flexible requirements. They can help provide financing without requiring income verification. In addition, they offer traditional loan terms and even more flexible 40-year home payment plans.
Your mortgage gets even easier if you’re self-employed, have a minimum credit score of 580, and can provide your self-employment income statement for the past 12 months. More so, you can also get approved if you have just assets – such as bank statements, retirement accounts, stocks, and bonds.
Luxury Mortgage is most suitable for self-employed individuals, retirees, investors, and condo buyers. They accept lower credit score (580), offer competitive pricing and you can borrow up to $6M
- Nation-wide lender
- Robust online knowledgebase
- Multiple HECM products
- Great customer service
- Not available in all states
Best VA mortgage lenders
Veterans United is a VA loan lender helping retired military members and their spouses simplify their home-buying process. Veterans United is the ideal option for anyone who’s been in the military.
Veteran United only secures home financing for active-duty military members, military veterans, and their spouses. The VA loans are issued by private lenders such as banks and mortgage companies and guaranteed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans United is packed with a lot of advantages such as no down-payment, no mortgage insurance required, acceptance of lower credit scores, federally backed loans, and competitive interest rates. More so, loans can be used to buy condos, single-family homes, multi-unit properties, modular homes, and even manufactured homes.
The loan process is a 5-step process – pre-approval, home search, getting under contract, underwriting and closing.
- Competitive rates
- 0% down home loan
- No private mortgage insurance
- Available in all states
- 24/7 customer support
- Highly informative website
- Credit counseling
- No HELOC product
- Only available to active and retired military members and their spouses
Best for low rates
Credible is an online marketplace that helps borrowers get access to competitive, customized loan offers from multiple verified lenders in real-time. Users simply fill up a form, get personalized rates in a few minutes, choose from multiple options, and close the loan.
Credible integrates credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) and lenders to help you create a risk-free comparison without affecting your credit score. You can compare rates from lenders such as Load Deport, Caliber Home Loans, Stearns, Rocket Mortgage, and more. Credible acts as an online broker.
To get started, simply answer a 5-step home purchase question about your specific situation to find personalized rates and offers. These steps include – get pre-approved, compare rates, submit applications, upload documents, and close loans. Once complete, one of their licensed loan officers will help you close the deal.
- Over 100 vetted lenders
- Compare multiple lender rates and offers in real time
- Low rates
- Soft credit check
- No fees
- Co-signed loans available
- Credible is a mortgage broker and not a direct lender
- It may not be suitable for individual contractors or self-employed
- Borrowers need to research lenders before applying
- No rate discount
10. Banks and Credit Unions
Best local & traditional mortgage lender
If you want a traditional experience getting a mortgage loan, your bank may be a very great option.
Most banks offer their customers home loan services. Before you start checking with mortgage brokers, it is advisable to try to start seeking your mortgage financing from your local bank or credit union.
For instance, PNC Bank offerings are suitable if you want to refinance your home. PNC offers traditional refinancing loans and home equity loans with refinancing. They also provide FHA, USDA, VA, conventional fixed, adjustable, and jumbo loans.
- Unlike mortgage brokers, banks work directly with you
- Discounts based on pre-existing relationships
- More accountable staff
- May offer lower interest rates
- Easy integration with other services you currently use
- Most banks will require around a 3% down payment
- Less personalized loan experience
- Limited loan products
- Lengthy process and paperwork
- Not recommended for first-time homebuyers
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best lender for home mortgage?
Quicken Loans is a direct lender with very low rates, longer terms, and a stress-free application process.
Which banks have the best mortgage rates to offer?
Citibank and Bank of America are two credible and trustworthy banks that currently offer the best and competitive mortgage rates.
How do I select the best mortgage lender?
You should select a lender that has low rates and has a minimum credit score that matches your current score. A trustworthy mortgage lender will have a good online presence, accessible customer service, and great reviews.
What is Mortgage Refinancing?
Mortgage refinancing helps you to get new mortgage rates and terms that are better for you. With a refinanced mortgage, the new lender will pay off your previous loan completely and you’re now left with the refinanced mortgage.
For you to do this, the process is basically the same as when you got the first mortgage. Your home will be assessed, then you have to submit financial documents and pay closing costs to finalize the deal.
Why do people refinance their mortgages?
The principal idea behind this process is to get better loan terms. For example, if you have a high monthly payment, refinancing it can bring you some relief. Another reason for refinancing is to move from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate, or you can refinance so you can use your home equity to meet your other life needs.
How to Find the Best Mortgage Lender
Getting the best lender for you is an important first step in finding the best home loan. You should consider these 5 factors when comparing mortgage companies:
Type of lender: There are different kinds of lenders: marketplaces like LendingTree, Credible, direct lenders that have both online and offline platforms like Quicken Loans, Freedom Mortgage, and direct lenders who have only an online platform like Better Mortgage. Other kinds of lenders are banks and credit unions. There are different advantages and disadvantages to using each type of lender, therefore it’s necessary that you know all these.
Speed: You need a fast application process as it gives you a sense of stability and trust as opposed to a slow process that could make buying a home costlier than it should be. This is why you should only choose lenders that offer quick services.
Ease of use: In this age, the top mortgage companies make it possible for their customers to apply for home loans online. You should always compare the websites of these companies and read their reviews to find out the best to use.
Reputation: The sheer number of mortgage lenders out there can be confusing, especially when most of them appear to be open and transparent. However, you should always read the reviews on them to get an idea of how their performance is.
Customer service: Taking a mortgage loan is one of the biggest decisions some people will ever make in their lives. This is why customers deserve the best of customer service from their lenders.
Choosing The Best Mortgage Loan For You
Getting a mortgage, especially if it’s the first time you’re buying a house, is definitely one of the most important financial decisions you can make in your life and you shouldn’t rush into it.
Once you get the necessary information from lenders with mortgage solutions that align with your interest, compare their performance to find the best lender. When making your mortgage comparison, you should look out for these things:
Know Your Loan Terms: Bigger Payments or More Interest
One of the most important issues concerning mortgages is that of the length of term versus the size of payments. When you make a bigger down payment and settle for bigger payments during a short loan period, you’ll lesser interest over the course of the loan.
This also means that you’ll pay a higher monthly fee, so be sure that it’s something you can handle with ease. The main issue here is whether or not you’d like to pay lesser interest during the loan term, or would prefer to pay more interest over a long time in exchange for a lesser monthly payment. Only you can make this decision and should be done after you’ve checked your finances and other important factors.
Fixed vs adjustable rate mortgages
When the mortgage rates are fixed, the monthly payments are locked in for the duration of the loan term, which can be useful in planning for your monthly expenses. On the other hand, with a variable rate, you can adjust in keeping with changes in the mortgage rates, which will save you money on interest during the repayment period. As I’ve said before, consider all these before making a decision.
Processing fees and penalties
Will there be a need for you to pay origination fees on the loan? If so, how much? Should you decide to pay the mortgage off early, are you going to pay any penalty fee? The total amount of the interest, payments, and other fees make up the annual percentage rate (APR), which is the total cost of the loan each year.
Make sure to take a careful look at everything, and you’ll better know the cost of the loan. A lot of companies will advertise benefits such as no origination fees, no lender fees, no commissions, or no closing costs.
APR and interest rates
APR is the annual percentage rate that your lender takes for providing you with the mortgage. It comprises the interest rate and other fees. You should choose the lender that offers the best APR for your credit score and other financial details.
Types of loans
If your credit score is in good shape, then you need a fixed-rate or an adjustable-rate mortgage. However, if you don’t have enough money to make a 20% down payment, or if you have a low credit score, then you may want to check out FHA or VA loans, which are backed by the government. Take your time as not all lenders offer the same loan products.
Down payment requirements
A lot of lenders demand a 20% down payment for most loans. Sometimes they accept less, though it may require you to pay monthly private mortgage insurance till you get to the 20% equity. Other types of loans have lower payment options, and also some lenders have lower conventional mortgages too.
Below are my top 5 tips for finding the best mortgage loan rates:
- Shop around: You should compare at least 3–5 lenders to know how they are when compared to each other. You should get quotes, ask them for lower rates, especially if you have been offered a lower rate elsewhere.
- Improve your credit score: If your problem in getting good rates is poor credit, then there are ways to improve your credit score. When you do this, your chances will be better.
- Have a history of employment: Lenders usually take a look at the overall financial profile of a borrower, especially their employment history. If you’ve had a stable job for a long time, then you have better chances of getting a good rate.
- Make a higher down payment: The higher amount of down payment you make, the less equity the lender will have in your home and the lower the risk for the lender. For reducing the risk for the lender, you may get a better rate.
- Agree to an adjustable rate: These types of mortgages also known as ARMs usually start lower interest rates than the fixed mortgages. They have more risk, also, as your rate can group or down once the introductory period is over. This is not the case with fixed-rate loans where the rate remains the same for the length of the mortgage.
How to Apply for a Mortgage
A mortgage is basically your chance of purchasing and owning a piece of property that would have been above your means if you’d paid for it immediately while still building equity and value in that home. All you need to show is that you’re financially capable of making the initial payments, but you don’t need to provide the full value of a property in case, giving you the chance to own a home through financing.
Step 1: Choose a mortgage lender
As you’re going through the application process, don’t focus on just one lender. Contact as many lenders as you can so that you can know who offers the best interest rates, terms, and other benefits that are suitable for your needs. Additionally, once you know the things to expect from lenders, you can easily know when you’re being offered a good deal or not.
Step 2: Present your means of income by submitting these documents:
- Bank statements, including any investment accounts
- Private and business-related tax returns
- W2 tax forms from recent years
- Your monthly pay stubs
Step 3: Arrange the loan terms that work for you
While some people focus more on making sure that their monthly payments are low, others are more interested in making sure that their monthly payments don’t fluctuate so they can know what to expect in the coming years.
Others, also, think of paying off their mortgage as soon as possible so we can grow the home equity. Know what your needs are and find out the terms that will be best.
Understanding Mortgage Rates
The good news for people who are looking to buy homes is that home loan rates are at their lowest levels in decades, being somewhere below 4% for 30-year and 15-year-fixed rate loans.
Also, with other options for 10-year mortgages and 20-year loans, and mortgage rates being this low, this may be the best time to get a fixed-rate mortgage loan. Find out the best rates from the top mortgage companies and make your decision.
Some laws and regulations in the US serve to protect borrowers which all good mortgage companies should abide by. At the federal level, some of these laws include the Truth in Lending Act—which establishes disclosure requirements for lenders—and the Fair Housing Act, which bans discrimination based upon age, race, gender, religion, or nationality.
Federal and state laws are there to ensure that the lending process is fair, and also to protect the financial details of home loan borrowers.
Before you take a loan, it’s vital for you to understand the necessary state and federal regulations that are in place to know if your mortgage lender obeys them. These regulations are there to ensure that the borrower knows that their money and property are safe.
Important Mortgage Information
No matter the length, 10-, 15- or 30-year mortgages all need a repayment. Immediately you’ve purchased your home, that property and its equity value are yours to borrow against, sell for profit, renovate, or pass to your children.
A home loan provides borrowers with ownership opportunities, so review the best mortgage lenders to find the mortgage rates and terms that work for you and your dream home.
If you want the best deal on your mortgage, you need to shop around and compare prices before you make your final decisions.
If you are an individual contractor or self-employed, you may want to try Luxury Mortgage.
For those who want hands-on traditional experience, you should go to your bank branch closest to you.
If you are a veteran, Veterans United is no doubt your best choice.
If you want low rates, you should go for Credible.