Best of

Connecticut Housing Finance Authority Lenders of 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 13, 2020

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CHFA, or the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, provides below-market-rate mortgages and help for making down payments and paying closing costs. These lenders can help you apply for assistance.

If you’re a first-time home buyer in Connecticut, you might be eligible for help through CHFA. The agency offers mortgages with reduced interest rates, along with down payment and closing cost assistance.

To take advantage of these special programs, you need to work with a participating lender. The CHFA maintains a list of participating lenders on its website, although it does not endorse lenders.

Below are several participating lenders that NerdWallet has reviewed and rated highly, followed by others that originate a high volume of CHFA loans.

Summary of Connecticut Housing Finance Authority Lenders of 2020

LenderNerdWallet Rating Minimum Credit Score Minimum Down PaymentLearn More

Fairway Independent Mortgage: NMLS#2289

at Fairway

Best for online convenience

620

3%

at Fairway

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

Best for online convenience

620

3%

Read review

HomeBridge: NMLS#6521

Best for FHA loans

620

3%

Read review

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

at loanDepot

Best for FHA loans

620

3.5%

at loanDepot

Citibank: NMLS#412915

Best for use of nontraditional credit information

N/A

3%

Read review

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

Best for use of nontraditional credit information

620

3%

Read review

PrimeLending: NMLS#13649

Best for use of nontraditional credit information

620

3%

Read review
Logo

at Fairway

Fairway Independent Mortgage: NMLS#2289

Logo

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

Logo

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

HomeBridge: NMLS#6521

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who prefer an online experience. Homebridge offers a variety of home loan options and an online application.

Pros

  • A wide variety of loan types.

  • Low credit score requirements for government-backed loans.

  • A wealth of educational material on its website.

  • Licensed in all 50 states.

Cons

  • Mortgage application can't be tracked online.

  • Charges origination fees on some loans.

  • Limited branch locations.

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

Citibank: NMLS#412915

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National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for first-time home buyers or those with weaker credit. Citibank, a large-scale mortgage lender with a full menu of home loan products, offers low down payment options and considers alternative credit data.

Pros

  • Low down payment options.

  • Discounts for Citibank customers.

  • Looks at alternative credit data like rent history and child support payments.

  • Available in all 50 states.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.

  • Did not disclose origination fees, which may vary.

  • Can't complete loan online.

Read Full Review

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for borrowers who want a wide range of choices — not only among mortgage products, but also in the channel they prefer, whether a branch, online or on the phone.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of loan types and products, including FHA, VA and USDA.

  • Has a full suite of online conveniences.

  • Does well with rate transparency, and monthly payment estimates add mortgage insurance, when applicable.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer renovation loans at this time.

  • Home equity lending is geographically limited.

Read Full Review

PrimeLending: NMLS#13649

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking for closing cost assistance, as well as those seeking to renovate or to build a new home.

Pros

  • Full online application includes document uploads and automated loan updates.

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

  • Offers a proprietary closing-cost assistance program.

Cons

  • No online mortgage rates — you have to contact the lender for info.

  • Doesn't offer home equity products.

Read Full Review

More CHFA participating mortgage lenders

These participating lenders have not been reviewed by NerdWallet. They were among the top producing CHFA lenders by volume, according to CHFA's 2019 lender loan activity report.

  • Offers an online homebuyer course on its website.

  • Has locations in Avon, Glastonbury, Orange, Southington, Watertown, West Hartford and Windsor, Connecticut.

  • Lists loan officers on its website with bios and contact information.

  • Provides an online form to request a mortgage rate quote.

  • Publishes general rates online for variety of mortgages.

  • Has an online chat feature.

  • Has an online application to start the mortgage process.

  • Offers a $500 credit at closing on purchase loans.

  • Publishes current mortgage rates for a variety of loan types.

  • Provides an online search tool to find a mortgage banker.

  • Has an online chat feature.

  • Allows you to send mortgage documents electronically.

  • Offers an online loan officer directory.

  • Has branch locations in Danbury, New Britain and New London, Connecticut.

  • Offers a broad selection of purchase and refinance mortgages, including renovation loans.

  • Lets you start your application online.

More from NerdWallet

Last updated on January 13, 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 Connecticut Housing Finance Authority Lenders of 2020