14 Best CalHFA Mortgage Lenders of 2024

CalHFA loan programs help you purchase a home in California with down payment and closing cost assistance. See our picks for CalHFA participating lenders.

Barbara Marquand
Written by
Last updated on February 26, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Johanna Arnone
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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14 Best CalHFA Mortgage Lenders of 2024

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Lender
NerdWallet Rating
Min. credit score
Min. down payment
Learn more
Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

Top 3 most visited 🏆
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at Guaranteed Rate
at Guaranteed Rate
Home loans overall
Best for first-time home buyers

620

3%

Flagstar

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

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5.0
/5
Home loans overall
Best for first-time home buyers

620

3%

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on NerdWallet
New American Funding

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

4.0
/5
VA loans
Best for underserved communities

580

0%

Wintrust Mortgage

Wintrust Mortgage: NMLS#449042

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on NerdWallet
4.0
/5
Home loans overall
Best for variety of loan types

620

3%

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on NerdWallet
loanDepot

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

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on NerdWallet
3.5
/5
Home loans overall
Best for fixer-uppers

620

5%

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on NerdWallet
Guaranteed Rate
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at Guaranteed Rate
at Guaranteed Rate
Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

5.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers seeking a broad menu of loans, including jumbo and interest-only options, renovation loans and government-backed mortgages, as well as home equity lines of credit.
Pros
  • Offers a one-day mortgage approval process.
  • Offers a generous selection of loans, including government-backed, interest-only, ITIN, jumbo and renovation loans.
  • Advertises a HELOC that can be funded in as few as five business days.
Cons
  • Origination fees are higher than average, according to the latest federal data.
  • HELOC has a relatively short draw period, which may not provide flexibility for someone who wants the option of accessing home equity over a longer period.
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Flagstar
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Flagstar

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

5.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: Borrowers who may benefit from Flagstar’s unique loan options, such as ITIN loans, loans for manufactured homes or physician loans.
Pros
  • Multiple loans for those who are renovating or building a home, including loans with interest-only payments during construction.
  • Offers home equity loans and lines of credit.
  • Offers down payment assistance and loans for underserved borrowers, including ITIN loans and loans with flexible qualifications in certain communities.
  • Interest rates are on the low side relative to other lenders, according to the latest federal data.
  • Borrowers can enter their information (including their desired loan amount, down payment and zip code) into the lender’s Mortgage Quote Comparison tool and receive a customized rate quote.
Cons
  • Home equity loans are not available in all locations served by Flagstar.
  • In 2022, the lender was fined for violating laws regarding properties in flood zones.
New American Funding
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at New American Funding
at New American Funding
New American Funding

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

4.0
Min. credit score

580

Min. down payment

0%

Why We Like ItGood for: First-time home buyers and other borrowers looking for a broad array of loan choices.
Pros
  • Offers a wide variety of purchase and refinance mortgages with an emphasis on helping underserved communities.
  • Its home equity line of credit can be used for an owner-occupied or second home.
  • Offers a program to enable buyers to make cash offers.
Cons
  • Mortgage origination fees tend to be on the high end, according to the latest federal data.
Wintrust Mortgage
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Wintrust Mortgage

Wintrust Mortgage: NMLS#449042

4.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItWintrust Mortgage offers a variety of loan products, including home equity lines of credit and even home-improvement loans, and provides a number of online conveniences, such as loan process updates. But you won’t find rates posted online.
Pros
  • Offers a broad variety of government-backed mortgages and other loans.
  • Participates in first-time home buyer assistance programs in Illinois and Wisconsin.
Cons
  • Sample rates for some loan products are available only by contacting a loan officer.
  • Physical locations aren't available in all states.
loanDepot
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loanDepot

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

3.5
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

5%

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers who are comfortable with an entirely online experience, and who want a one-stop shop for buying and selling.
Pros
  • Offers a variety of repayment terms.
  • Online loan calculator lets borrowers compare monthly payments and lifetime interest.
  • Receives high marks for customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Zillow.
Cons
  • No sample interest rates are provided.
  • Origination fees are on the higher end, according to the latest federal data.
  • Lender’s website does not have a live chat feature.
US Bank
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US Bank

US Bank: NMLS#402761

4.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

5%

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers who are financing home improvement projects.
Pros
  • Offers a range of loan types, including FHA loans, VA loans and home equity options.
  • Lists sample mortgage rates and APRs for many of its products online, including a breakdown of estimated monthly payments.
  • Their mobile app is highly rated in the App Store.
Cons
  • Sample mortgage rates are not customizable, and many estimated conventional and jumbo rates assume a down payment of at least 25%.
  • We were unable to contact a representative by phone.
  • Lender site does not have a live chat feature.
Alterra
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Alterra

Alterra: NMLS#133739

3.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers who are looking for an ITIN loan.
Pros
  • Offers government loans, down payment assistance loans and ITIN loans, among other options.
  • Has branch locations across the country for borrowers who prefer an in-person experience.
  • Site has a live chat feature.
Cons
  • Mortgage rates and origination fees are higher than the majority of lenders.
  • Borrowers must contact the lender for specific information about their loan offerings and interest rates.
  • Does not offer home equity products or adjustable-rate mortgages.
Churchill
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Churchill

Churchill: NMLS#1591

3.5
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers with nontraditional credit who value a debt-free lifestyle. Churchill advocates debt-free homeownership and helps customers try to achieve that goal.
Pros
  • Experienced at underwriting loans for borrowers without credit scores.
  • Offers conventional mortgages for manufactured homes.
  • Has conveniences such as online chat and a mobile app.
Cons
  • Doesn't provide sample or customized mortgage rates on its website.
  • Mortgage rates and fees are on the high side, according to the latest federal data.
CrossCountry Mortgage
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CrossCountry Mortgage

CrossCountry Mortgage: NMLS#3029

3.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: non-traditional borrowers, first-time home buyers and borrowers who need to be approved fast.
Pros
  • Offers a wide range of loan types, including loans for manufactured homes, jumbo loans, government loans (FHA, VA and USDA), home equity loans and HELOCs.
  • Offers programs that make borrowing more accessible, including down payment grants.
  • Offers a FastTrack Credit Approval program, which allows borrowers who have undergone the full preapproval process to close on a loan in as little as seven days once they’ve made an offer.
Cons
  • Does not post rates online.
  • Both mortgage rates and fees are higher than average.
  • Doesn’t offer customer service via live chat.
Fairway Independent Mortgage
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at Fairway Independent Mortgage
at Fairway Independent Mortgage
Fairway Independent Mortgage

Fairway Independent Mortgage: NMLS#2289

3.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers looking for a low-down-payment mortgage, renovation loan, or a specialized mortgage geared to medical professionals.
Pros
  • Offers a robust suite of loan products, including ITIN loans for borrowers without Social Security numbers, renovation loans, government-backed mortgages and loans for self-employed borrowers.
  • Receives high marks for customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Zillow.
Cons
  • Mortgage rates for different types of loans aren't posted online.
  • Origination fees and mortgage rates are on the high side compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.
Guild Mortgage
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Guild Mortgage

Guild Mortgage: NMLS#3274

3.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers who value customer service, and first-time home buyers and others who may need the flexibility of a low-down-payment loan program.
Pros
  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including home improvement loans and mortgages for manufactured homes.
  • Has branches in most states.
  • Receives high marks for customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Zillow.
Cons
  • Origination fees and mortgage rates tend to be on the high side, according to the latest federal data.
  • Mortgage rates are not published online.
  • Mobile app receives mostly negative reviews from users.
Movement Mortgage
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Movement Mortgage

Movement Mortgage: NMLS#39179

3.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

National / regional

National

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers seeking government-backed mortgages or loans for condos, home renovation or construction, especially if speed is an important factor.
Pros
  • Loans can be processed in as little as seven days, the lender says.
  • Offers renovation loans and home equity lines of credit.
  • Movement Boost program can help FHA borrowers with down payment and closing costs.
Cons
  • Borrowers cannot browse sample mortgage rates online.
  • Mortgage rates and fees are on the high side, according to the latest federal data.
  • Recent government regulatory action could affect consumer confidence.
PrimeLending
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PrimeLending

PrimeLending: NMLS#13649

3.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: those seeking to buy a fixer-upper, build a new home or make renovations.
Pros
  • Offers a broad selection of renovation loans to finance cosmetic upgrades or structural repairs.
  • Issues loan approval letters within 24 hours to borrowers who qualify.
  • Offers resources to connect eligible borrowers with closing cost and down payment assistance programs.
Cons
  • No online mortgage rates — you have to contact the lender for information.
  • Rates and fees are on the high side, according to the latest federal data.
  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or lines of credit.
Northpointe

Northpointe: NMLS#447490

3.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers with credit challenges or self-employed home buyers seeking a variety of mortgage offerings and who don’t mind doing a little bit of manual research.
Pros
  • Offers government-backed FHA and VA loans, including refinancing options, and USDA loans.
  • Jumbo loans available for vacation homes and investment properties.
  • Offers programs for borrowers with credit challenges, self-employed borrowers and professionals early in their careers who may still carry significant debt.
Cons
  • Mortgage rates are not published online.
  • Origination fees are on the high side, according to the latest federal data.
  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans or lines of credit.

More from NerdWallet

Last updated on February 26, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet's star ratings for mortgage lenders are awarded based on our evaluation of the products and services each lender offers to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The five key areas we evaluated include the variety of loan types and products offered, online conveniences, online mortgage rate information, and the average interest rate and origination fee lenders reported in the latest available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. To ensure consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet mortgages team. Lenders listed on this page participate in the CalHFA program and earned at least 3 stars in NerdWallet's home loans overall rating.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best CalHFA Mortgage Lenders of 2024

  • Guaranteed Rate: Best for first-time home buyers
  • Flagstar: Best for first-time home buyers
  • New American Funding: Best for underserved communities
  • Wintrust Mortgage: Best for variety of loan types
  • loanDepot: Best for fixer-uppers
  • US Bank: Best for mobile app
  • Alterra: Best for mobile app
  • Churchill: Best for buyers with nontraditional credit
  • CrossCountry Mortgage: Best for customer satisfaction
  • Fairway Independent Mortgage: Best for variety of loan types
  • Guild Mortgage: Best for variety of loan types
  • Movement Mortgage: Best for customer satisfaction
  • PrimeLending: Best for fixer-uppers
  • Northpointe: Best for buyers with credit challenges
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