Best of

Best FHFC Mortgage Lenders of 2019

NerdWalletJuly 2, 2019

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Florida Housing Finance Corporation loan programs can help you buy your first home by offering down payment and closing cost assistance. Check out our top picks for FHFC lenders.

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Considers alternative credit history on certain loans.
  • Offers construction loans to build a home or make significant renovations to an existing home.
  • Flexible borrowing and payment options for home equity loans and lines of credit.
  • Full suite of online capabilities.

Cons

  • Available mostly in the Southeast; not available nationwide.
  • Creating an account is mandatory if you want to apply online.
Read full review
National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

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
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

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 which includes a $150 application fee.
  • Offers many products, which might confuse or overwhelm borrowers.
  • Several click-throughs required for personalized rates.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

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-amount loans.
Read full review
National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

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
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Participates in some 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.
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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Offers an ITIN qualification path for undocumented immigrant borrowers.
  • Has a digital application process.
  • Offers several mortgage options for low- to moderate-income borrowers.
  • Has a full Spanish-language version of its website and bilingual loan officers.
  • Borrowers can qualify with income from self-employment and other nontraditional sources.

Cons

  • No mortgage rates published online.
  • Doesn't lend in all states.
  • No home equity loans or lines of credit.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Offers a complete online suite of mortgage application tools and loan tracking.
  • Has plenty of loan options to choose from and competitive interest rates.
  • Provides customer service in its physical locations, online, via chat and by phone.
  • Has a Doctor Loan Program for medical professionals who have high earning potential but little cash for down payments.

Cons

  • Has a limited number of physical branch locations in 11 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Does not consider alternative scoring data, such as rent or utility payments, in standard underwriting.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Allows borrowers to apply entirely online.
  • Offers down payment and closing cost assistance programs.
  • Accepts alternative credit data for some loan types.
  • May give existing customers a discount on mortgage lender origination fees.

Cons

  • Charges an application fee of $1,170, on average.
  • Has a high volume of consumer complaints, even for a big national bank.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Offers government-backed loans with low down-payment options as well as conventional and jumbo loans.
  • Has a low-down-payment program available for medical doctors and dentists.
  • Provides loans directly to consumers and through mortgage brokers and banks.

Cons

  • Not available in New York.
  • Does not offer home equity loans or HELOCs.
  • Does not have an online application or provide information about rates and fees.
Read full review

Summary of Best FHFC Mortgage Lenders of 2019

LenderBest For

Minimum Credit Score

Minimum Down PaymentLearn More
BB&T

BB&T

borrowers with no credit history

620

3%

Read review
Citibank Mortgage

Citibank Mortgage

borrowers with no credit history

N/A

3%

Read review
Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate

online experience

620

3%

Read review
Guild Mortgage

Guild Mortgage

online experience

620

3%

Read review
Fairway

Fairway

veterans

N/A

3%

Read review
Caliber

Caliber

veterans

620

3%

Read review
Alterra

Alterra

Latino borrowers

620

3%

Read review
SunTrust

SunTrust

Latino borrowers

620

3%

Read review
Bank of America

Bank of America

medical professionals

620

3%

Read review
Stearns Lending

Stearns Lending

medical professionals

620

3%

Read review
LenderBest For

Minimum Credit Score

Minimum Down PaymentLearn More
BB&T

BB&T

borrowers with no credit history

620

3%

Read review
Citibank Mortgage

Citibank Mortgage

borrowers with no credit history

N/A

3%

Read review
Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate

online experience

620

3%

Read review
Guild Mortgage

Guild Mortgage

online experience

620

3%

Read review
Fairway

Fairway

veterans

N/A

3%

Read review
Caliber

Caliber

veterans

620

3%

Read review
Alterra

Alterra

Latino borrowers

620

3%

Read review
SunTrust

SunTrust

Latino borrowers

620

3%

Read review
Bank of America

Bank of America

medical professionals

620

3%

Read review
Stearns Lending

Stearns Lending

medical professionals

620

3%

Read review

Last updated on July 2, 2019

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 Best FHFC Mortgage Lenders of 2019