BEST OF

10 Best Georgia Dream Mortgage Lenders of 2020

The Georgia Dream program helps you purchase a home with affordable rates and down payment assistance. See our top picks for Georgia Dream lenders.

NerdWalletJan 28, 2021

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The Georgia Department of Community Affairs makes homeownership possible for those with low or moderate incomes through its Georgia Dream program.

To apply for a Georgia Dream loan or down payment assistance program, you’ll need to work with a participating lender. But how do you know which one is right for you?

NerdWallet reviewed many of the Georgia Dream program participating lenders, identifying the best ones for a variety of borrower needs. Start your search by comparing the lenders below.

Summary of Best Georgia Dream Mortgage Lenders of 2020

Alterra: NMLS#133739

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
Alterra

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it

Good for: first-time home buyers and those with nontraditional incomes.

Pros

  • Offers an ITIN qualification path for borrowers ineligible for Social Security numbers.

  • Has a digital application process.

  • Offers several mortgage options for low- to moderate-income borrowers.

  • Borrowers can qualify with income from self-employment and other nontraditional sources.

Cons

  • No mortgage rates published online.

  • No home equity loans or lines of credit.

  • Generally has higher rates and fees than other lenders.

  • Branch offices not available in all states.

Read Full Review
loanDepot
Learn more

at loanDepot

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
loanDepot

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

5%
Learn more

at loanDepot


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking to refinance or who want to start the application process online.

Pros

  • Offers digital income, asset and employment verification.

  • Offers multiple renovation loan options.

  • Has affiliated loan stores 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

Guild Mortgage: NMLS#3274

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Guild Mortgage

Min. Credit Score

N/A

Min. Down Payment

3.5%

Why we like it

Good 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 multiple online conveniences, including a full mortgage application, e-signatures and digital loan process tracking.

  • Offers a wide variety of loan products, including home improvement and manufactured home loans.

Cons

  • Does not offer home equity loan products.

  • Origination fees tend to be on the higher end, according to the latest data.

Read Full Review

Homebridge: NMLS#6521

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Homebridge

Min. Credit Score

550

Min. Down Payment

3.5%

Why we like it

Good for borrowers who want a loan officer's help, in person or on the phone, when deciding among the wide range of available mortgage options — including loans to buy and renovate.

Pros

  • Offers a full array of mortgage products, including government and renovation loans.

  • Has loans for most purposes, including purchase, refinance and jumbo mortgages.

  • Online portal keeps borrowers up-to-date on the loan application's progress.

Cons

  • Doesn't post interest rates on its site.

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

Read Full Review

BB&T (Truist): NMLS#399803

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
BB&T (Truist)

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it

Good for: borrowers in the Southeast who want the option of face-to-face service. BB&T is now part of Truist Financial Corp., which offers a full menu of home loans.

Pros

  • Offers a variety of home loans, including construction-to-permanent loans, physicians loans and jumbo loans.

  • Has a robust online mortgage application.

Cons

  • Branches limited to mostly the Southeast region.

  • Custom rates are only available if you speak with a representative.

Read Full Review

SunTrust (Truist): NMLS#2915

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
SunTrust (Truist)

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it

Good for: first-time home buyers, doctors and other borrowers interested in low-down-payment mortgage options.

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including special programs for doctors.

  • Offers a complete suite of online mortgage application tools and loan tracking.

  • Sample rates and fees are easy to find on the website.

Cons

  • Customized rates aren't available online without starting an application.

  • Branches are limited mostly to the Southeast.

Read Full Review
Fairway Independent Mortgage
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at Fairway Independent Mortgage

Fairway Independent Mortgage: NMLS#2289

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
Fairway Independent Mortgage

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%
Learn more

at Fairway Independent Mortgage


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.

  • Origination fees are on the high side and are not offset by low rates, according to the latest data.

Read Full Review

PrimeLending: NMLS#13649

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
PrimeLending

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

Churchill: NMLS#1591

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Churchill

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it

Offers flexibility for those without credit scores, but its “debt-free” guidance may not appeal to everyone.

Pros

  • Offers loan plans for borrowers without credit scores.

  • Offers digital conveniences such as document uploads and e-signature.

Cons

  • Doesn't provide information online about rates and fees.

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

Read Full Review
New American Funding
Learn more

at New American Funding

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
New American Funding

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%
Learn more

at New American Funding


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers who need to be evaluated on the basis of nontraditional credit and those interested in various down payment assistance programs.

Pros

  • Uses manual underwriting to evaluate creditworthiness, in some cases.

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

Cons

  • Mortgage origination fees tend to be on the high end, according to the latest federal data.

Read Full Review

Last updated on January 28, 2021

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 Georgia Dream Mortgage Lenders of 2020