Best of

Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Lenders of 2020

NerdWalletMarch 19, 2020

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

NerdWallet is not affiliated with the Colorado Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) in any way. CHFA does not endorse or affirm the information on this page, including programs, rates or lender ratings. Availability and details of CHFA’s programs are subject to change at any time.

CHFA programs can help Colorado’s first-time home buyers purchase a house.

To access CHFA loans and financial assistance, you’ll need to use a participating lender. CHFA maintains a list of participating lenders on its website, but it does not endorse specific lenders.

NerdWallet has reviewed some CHFA lenders and listed our top choices in several categories. We’ve also listed a few CHFA lenders that aren’t rated by NerdWallet but originate many mortgages in Colorado.

» MORE: Explore CHFA loan programs and eligibility requirements

Summary of Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Lenders of 2020

LenderNerdWallet Rating Minimum Credit Score Minimum Down PaymentNational / RegionalLearn More

New American Funding

at New American

Best for: veterans

700

3%

National

at New American

Caliber

Best for: veterans

620

3%

National

Read review

loanDepot

at loanDepot

Best for: FHA loans

620

3.5%

National

at loanDepot

Guild Mortgage

Best for: FHA loans

620

3%

Regional

Read review

Fairway Independent Mortgage

at Fairway

Best for: online experience

620

3%

National

at Fairway

Guaranteed Rate

Best for: online experience

620

3%

National

Read review

PrimeLending

Best for: rural borrowers

620

3%

National

Read review

Wells Fargo

Best for: rural borrowers

620

3%

N/A

Read review
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at New American

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

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Min. Credit Score

700

Min. Down Payment

3%

National / Regional

National

at New American


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who need to be evaluated on the basis of nontraditional credit. New American Funding offers FHA and VA loans, works with down payment assistance programs, and helps borrowers whose credit histories don't fit the mold of traditional banking.

Pros

  • Uses manual underwriting to evaluate creditworthiness.

  • Offers full online mortgage application, rate quotes, document upload and loan tracking.

  • Home equity lending sets it apart from most non-bank lenders.

Cons

  • Services not available in all 50 states.

Read Full Review

Caliber: NMLS#15622

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for first-time home buyers, veterans and those who may have credit challenges to overcome.

Pros

  • Participates in some state down payment assistance programs.

  • Offers educational resources for military borrowers.

  • Provides digital tools for a streamlined application process.

Cons

  • No mortgage rates displayed online.

  • Must work with a loan officer for pre-qualification and preapproval.

Read Full Review
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at loanDepot

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3.5%

at loanDepot


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers looking to get a mortgage with help from a loan officer. Digital back-office operations are said to add efficiency to the loan process.

Pros

  • Offers digital income, asset and employment verification.

  • Has over 150 affiliated loan stores nationwide for customers who prefer face-to-face service.

  • One of the nation’s most active lenders of FHA and VA loans.

Cons

  • Published mortgage rates include up to three points of prepaid interest and fees.

  • Does not offer home equity loans or lines of credit.

Read Full Review

Guild Mortgage: NMLS#3274

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers with a relatively high credit score who may need down payment assistance or help from a state housing agency.

Pros

  • Works with loan programs offered by state and local housing agencies.

  • Specializes in mortgages for first-time home buyers.

  • Almost half of its loans are low-down-payment government mortgages.

  • Considers alternative credit, such as history of payments on rent and utilities.

Cons

  • With a concentration of offices in the West and South, Guild has little presence in the Northeast and Midwest.

  • Jumbo borrowers may find that banks are more competitive when it comes to large loan amounts.

Read Full Review
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at Fairway

Fairway Independent Mortgage: NMLS#2289

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Fairway


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who want lots of options and a quick turn time. Fairway Independent Mortgage offers a full selection of home loans along with a comprehensive mobile app for a fast and easy application process.

Pros

  • A robust suite of loan products.

  • Licensed in all 50 states.

  • Close in as little as 10 days using the Fairway app.

Cons

  • Limited branch locations.

  • Mortgage rates not posted on website.

Read Full Review

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who are looking to apply for a mortgage and manage the process through online tools, whether buying or refinancing. Guaranteed Rate offers FHA, VA and USDA loans for borrowers who are well-qualified.

Pros

  • Works with most borrowers as long as they have good credit scores and incomes.

  • Provides a user-friendly digital platform that’s thorough in covering all types of borrowing scenarios.

  • Has a 95% customer satisfaction rate, according to company data.

Cons

  • Charges some fees, such as a $1,290 lender fee that includes a $150 application fee.

  • Offers many products, which might confuse or overwhelm borrowers.

  • Several click-throughs required for personalized rates.

Read Full Review

PrimeLending: NMLS#13649

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers with past credit issues and those looking for down payment and closing cost assistance programs.

Pros

  • Low rate of consumer complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

  • Offers a "float-down" interest rate lock.

  • Offers a proprietary closing-cost assistance program.

Cons

  • No online mortgage rates.

  • Charges an origination fee.

  • Doesn't offer home equity products.

Read Full Review

Wells Fargo: NMLS#399801

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers looking for a national lender with a complete selection of mortgage products for home buyers in all financial stages.

Pros

  • Loan programs to educate and assist first-time home buyers, union members and others.

  • Relocation and employee mortgage programs for many large companies.

  • Accepts down payments as low as 3% on fixed-rate mortgages through its yourFirst Mortgage program.

Cons

  • Government actions and scandals have damaged consumer trust.

Read Full Review

More CHFA participating lenders

These CHFA lenders are among the highest-volume mortgage providers in Colorado, but they haven’t yet been reviewed by NerdWallet.

Cherry Creek Mortgage

  • Has special loan programs for first-time home buyers, Native Americans and union members.
  • Finances new construction and renovations.
  • Has more than 20 branch locations in Colorado.

Elevations Credit Union

  • Offers a wide variety of loans, including FHA, VA, USDA and jumbo.
  • Displays interest rates online for all of its mortgage products.
  • Has more than a dozen branch locations in Colorado.

Citywide Home Loans

  • Offers many mortgage products, including construction loans.
  • Offers a digital mortgage application for desktop and mobile.
  • Has five branch locations in Colorado.

Academy Mortgage

  • Offers government loans and conventional mortgages.
  • Provides a mobile app borrowers can use to apply for a loan.
  • Has more than 20 branch locations in Colorado.

More from NerdWallet:

Last updated on March 19, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's selection of mortgage lenders for inclusion here was made based on our evaluation of the products and services that lenders offer to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The six key areas we evaluated include the loan types and loan products offered, online capabilities, online mortgage rate information, customer service and the number of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a percentage of loans issued. We also awarded lenders up to one bonus star for a unique program or borrower focus that set them apart from other lenders. To ensure consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Mortgages team.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Lenders of 2020