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9 Best Chicago Mortgage Lenders of 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 2, 2020

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If you’re looking for a mortgage lender in Chicago, we’ve done the legwork. Here are some of the best in five categories, including first-time home buyers and jumbo mortgages.

Mortgage shopping means making head-spinning choices, which is why NerdWallet reviews, rates and compares lenders to help with your decisions. Whether you’ve got your eye on a frame two-flat in Lincoln Square, a Bridgeport brick condo or a Hyde Park bungalow, these lenders are a solid place to start your search.

Here, we’ve included national and local lenders that lead the pack in Chicago, including some of the best for traditional lending, government loans, home equity borrowing, jumbo mortgages and first-time home buyers.

Summary of Best Chicago Mortgage Lenders of 2020

Citibank: NMLS#412915

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National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: Borrowers wanting to compare mortgage rates online for a variety of loan options.

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including low-down-payment mortgages and jumbo mortgages.

  • Provides customizable mortgage rates on its website.

  • Offers low rates and fees compared with other lenders.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.

  • Requires help from a mortgage loan officer to complete the loan application online.

Read Full Review

US Bank: NMLS#402761

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers who prefer a traditional bank with a wide variety of loan products, including some specialty offerings, like 80-10-10 mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers a full line of conventional and government loan products.

  • Provides home equity loans and lines of credit.

  • Allows borrowers to apply and track their loan's progress online.

Cons

  • No personalized mortgage rates available online.

  • Published mortgage rates assume an above-average credit score.

Read Full Review
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at Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Guaranteed Rate


Why we like it

Good for borrowers seeking conventional or government-backed loans, and a totally online experience.

Pros

  • Offers the ability to securely upload and digitally sign loan documents.

  • Displays detailed sample rates for many of its loan products.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or lines of credit.

Read Full Review
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at loanDepot

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

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.

  • Offers multiple renovation loan options.

  • Has over 200 affiliated loan stores nationwide for customers who prefer face-to-face service.

Cons

  • Mortgage rates aren't available online; you'll need to contact a loan officer.

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

Read Full Review

PNC: NMLS#446303

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers with low-to-moderate incomes or limited down payments. PNC offers several low-down-payment loans, including one with no mortgage insurance.

Pros

  • Posts current mortgage rates on its website.

  • Has an online application for mortgage preapproval and a digital tool to track application progress.

  • Offers several affordable loan options including FHA, VA, USDA and the PNC Community Loan.

Cons

  • Can't complete a full mortgage application online.

  • Doesn't offer renovation mortgages.

  • In-person service is not available in every state.

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
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at Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans: NMLS#3030

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Quicken Loans


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking for just about all of the services your neighborhood lender does — with online convenience.

Pros

  • Quicken Loans couples a fully online application with available mortgage advisors for those who want a human touch.

  • Instantly verifies employment and income for many working Americans.

  • Offers custom fixed-rate loan terms that are between eight and 30 years.

  • Provides a wide variety of loan types, including renovation loans and all government-backed mortgage products.

Cons

  • Quicken Loans doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Quicken's lender fees can be stout and they don't offset those fees with particularly low mortgage rates.

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

Good for borrowers who want access to a wide variety of mortgages and the convenience of a comprehensive mobile application process.

Pros

  • Offers a robust suite of loan products, including a variety of renovation loans.

  • Has a digital application that can be completed in 10 minutes.

  • Works with some state housing finance agencies to offer mortgages with down payment and closing cost assistance.

Cons

  • Mortgage rates aren't posted online.

Read Full Review

Bank of America: NMLS#399802

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who prefer a traditional bank. Bank of America offers a wide array of mortgages and online account management tools. It also has first-time home buyer loans with low down payments and no mandatory mortgage insurance.

Pros

  • Allows borrowers to apply entirely online.

  • Offers down payment and closing cost assistance programs.

  • May give existing customers a discount on mortgage lender origination fees.

Cons

  • Does not offer renovation loans.

Read Full Review

Local mortgage lenders in Chicago

These local and regional lenders offer a widely varied selection of products and familiarity with the Chi-Town market. These lenders have not been reviewed by NerdWallet.

  • Offers jumbo loans for primary homes and financing for investment properties and second homes.

  • Offers FHA, VA, USDA, conventional and jumbo purchase and refinance loans.

  • Funds reverse mortgages, renovation loans, second homes and investment properties.

  • Headquartered in Chicago with branches in Chicago and surrounding communities, and licensed in 33 states.

  • Works with non-U.S. citizens and borrowers needing flexibility to qualify.

  • Your stocks, bonds and retirement accounts may help you qualify for a mortgage.

  • Full menu of USDA, VA, FHA, conventional and jumbo purchase, refinance and renovation loans.

  • Lender-paid mortgage insurance programs with no upfront fee.

  • Lends on hard-to-finance non-warrantable condominiums and helps condo developments meet FHA and conventional guidelines.

  • Corporate offices in Downers Grove, Illinois, and licensed to sell mortgages in 46 states.

  • Option for first-time home buyers and buyers interested in mortgages for high-value properties, second homes and real-estate investments.

  • Jumbo loans up to $6 million.

  • Offers FHA, VA, USDA, conventional, HELOCs and reverse mortgages.

  • Down payment assistance of up to $2,000 for qualified first-time home buyers.

  • Offers fixed and ARM FHA, VA and conventional purchase and refinance loans.

  • Construction loans and bridge loans available.

  • Other products include home equity lines of credit.

  • Over 270 locations in Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

  • Offers quick turnaround on loans and touts a personalized approach.

  • Loan options include FHA, VA, conventional, USDA and reverse purchase and refinance loans.

  • Fixed-rate term options of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years.

  • Jumbos up to $1.5 million with 15-, 20- and 30-year fixed-rate terms; jumbo ARMs fixed for 5, 7 or 10 years.

  • Online videos educate borrowers about the home loan process.

  • Has 10 branches in the Chicago area and offers mortgages in 34 states.

More from NerdWallet

Last updated on January 2, 2020

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 rate spread 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.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Chicago Mortgage Lenders of 2020