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8 Best Iowa Finance Authority Mortgage Lenders of 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 2, 2020

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These mortgage lenders rank among the best of those with expertise implementing Iowa Finance Authority home loan benefits.

The Iowa Finance Authority helps first-time home buyers in the state by offering unique assistance programs that help cover down payment and closing costs. But you'll need an IFA-approved lender to make the loan happen.

NerdWallet has created this short list of participating lenders, highlighting some of the best that know how to navigate state-sponsored home loan benefits for Ioans.

Summary of Best Iowa Finance Authority Mortgage Lenders of 2020

LenderNerdWallet Rating Minimum Credit Score Minimum Down PaymentLearn More

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

Best for first-time home buyers

620

3%

Read review

Guild Mortgage: NMLS#3274

Best for first-time home buyers

620

3%

Read review

Wells Fargo: NMLS#399801

Best for nontraditional credit borrowers

620

3%

Read review

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

at New American

Best for nontraditional credit borrowers

700

3%

at New American

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

at Veterans United

Best for government loans

660

0%

at Veterans United

Caliber: NMLS#15622

Best for government loans

620

3%

Read review

Fairway Independent Mortgage: NMLS#2289

at Fairway

Best for buying a fixer-upper

620

3%

at Fairway

Wintrust Mortgage: NMLS#449042

Best for buying a fixer-upper

620

3%

Read 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

Guild Mortgage: NMLS#3274

Logo

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

Wells Fargo: NMLS#399801

Logo

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
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at New American

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

Logo

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
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at Veterans United

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

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Min. Credit Score

660

Min. Down Payment

0%

at Veterans United


Why we like it

Ideal for veterans and active-duty service members. Veterans United is the nation's largest VA home purchase lender but also offers an excellent selection of other government and conventional loans.

Pros

  • Also offers FHA, USDA and conventional loans.

  • Offers 24/7 customer service.

  • You can complete a loan application and pre-qualify online.

  • Registers a low volume of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

  • Offers free credit score education and assistance.

  • Provides a client advocate team staffed by former senior enlisted leaders from each branch of the armed forces.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Loans are available in all 50 states, but Veterans United has offices in only about half.

Read Full Review

Caliber: NMLS#15622

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

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

Pros

  • Offers extensive educational resources for military borrowers.

  • Provides digital tools for a streamlined application process.

  • Participates in some state down payment assistance and first-time homebuyer programs.

Cons

  • No mortgage rates displayed online.

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

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

Wintrust Mortgage: NMLS#449042

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for first-time home buyers and those seeking specialty mortgages such as construction or condo loans.

Pros

  • Offers specialty loans, such as construction, renovation and reverse mortgages.

  • Online application and progress tracking available.

  • Condo lending specialists on staff.

  • Participates in five first-time home buyer assistance programs.

Cons

  • Mortgage rates are available only by contacting a loan officer.

  • Physical locations not available in all states.

Read Full Review

More Iowa Finance Authority participating lenders

Here are additional Iowa Finance Authority-approved lenders. While they haven’t been reviewed by NerdWallet, they are among the highest loan volume mortgage originators in the state.

  • Charges no application fee.

  • Apply online at any hour, by phone or in person.

  • Offers special financing options for medical and dental residents.

  • Apply online for a preapproval.

  • Provides fixed- and adjustable-rate construction loans.

  • A 10-year fixed loan option can reduce interest costs.

  • Prequalify or complete a full application online.

  • Offers the broad range of services you would expect from a full-service bank.

  • Based in Des Moines, with offices throughout Iowa.

  • Offers reduced mortgage insurance premiums for low- to moderate-income borrowers.

  • Provides rural housing loans with zero down payments, backed by the USDA.

  • Condo financing also available.

More from NerdWallet

Last updated on January 2, 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 Best Iowa Finance Authority Mortgage Lenders of 2020