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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

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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.

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Guild Mortgage: NMLS#3274

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: 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.

  • Average interest rates and fees are higher than other lenders.

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Wells Fargo: NMLS#399801

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking for a national lender with a wide selection of mortgage products for home buyers in all financial stages.

Pros

  • Provides numerous online conveniences, including loan application and process updates.

  • Current rates clearly posted for various loan products.

  • Offers a wide variety of loan types and products.

Cons

  • New applications for home equity lines of credit suspended during COVID-19 crisis.

  • Government actions and scandals have damaged consumer trust in recent years.

Read Full Review
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at New American

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

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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.

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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

Good for: veterans, active-duty service members and eligible Reservists looking for VA or non-VA loans.

Pros

  • Offers 24/7 customer service over the phone.

  • Has online application and pre-qualification.

  • Offers a free credit counseling service.

  • Employs advisors from each branch of the armed forces.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Veterans United has physical branch offices in only 18 states.

  • Information on FHA, USDA and conventional loans is harder to find on their website.

  • Charges higher rates and fees than some other lenders.

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Caliber: NMLS#15622

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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

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

Wintrust Mortgage: NMLS#449042

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: first-time home buyers and those seeking specialty mortgages like construction loans.

Pros

  • Online application and progress tracking are available.

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

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

Cons

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

  • Physical locations aren't 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 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 Iowa Finance Authority Mortgage Lenders of 2020