Best of

Best Iowa Finance Authority Mortgage Lenders of 2019

NerdWalletJuly 12, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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

Guaranteed Rate

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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.

Rating and Review

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

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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.

Rating and Review

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

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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.

Rating and Review

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

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Min. Credit Score 
620 

Min. Down Payment 
3% 

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.

Rating and Review

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

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Min. Credit Score 
620 

Min. Down Payment 
0% 

at Veterans United


Why we like it

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

Rating and Review

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

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Min. Credit Score 
620 

Min. Down Payment 
3% 


Why we like it

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

Rating and Review

Pros

  • Participates in some state 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.

Read Full Review

Fairway

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National / Regional 
National 

Min. Down Payment 
3% 


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.

Rating and Review

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

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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.

Rating and Review

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

Summary of Best Iowa Finance Authority Mortgage Lenders of 2019

LenderBest For

Minimum Credit Score

Minimum Down PaymentLearn More
Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate

first-time home buyers

620

3%

Read review
Guild Mortgage

Guild Mortgage

first-time home buyers

620

3%

Read review
Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo

nontraditional credit borrowers

620

3%

Read review
New American Funding

New American Funding

at New American

nontraditional credit borrowers

620

3%

at New American

Veterans United

Veterans United

at Veterans United

government loans

620

0%

at Veterans United

Caliber

Caliber

government loans

620

3%

Read review
Fairway

Fairway

buying a fixer-upper

N/A

3%

Read review
Wintrust Mortgage

Wintrust Mortgage

buying a fixer-upper

620

3%

Read review
LenderBest For

Minimum Credit Score

Minimum Down PaymentLearn More
Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate

first-time home buyers

620

3%

Read review
Guild Mortgage

Guild Mortgage

first-time home buyers

620

3%

Read review
Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo

nontraditional credit borrowers

620

3%

Read review
New American Funding

New American Funding

at New American

nontraditional credit borrowers

620

3%

at New American

Veterans United

Veterans United

at Veterans United

government loans

620

0%

at Veterans United

Caliber

Caliber

government loans

620

3%

Read review
Fairway

Fairway

buying a fixer-upper

N/A

3%

Read review
Wintrust Mortgage

Wintrust Mortgage

buying a fixer-upper

620

3%

Read 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.

Hills Bank and Trust

  • Charges no application fee.
  • Apply online at any hour, by phone or in person.
  • Offers special financing options for medical and dental residents.

Veridian Credit Union

  • Apply online for a preapproval.
  • Provides fixed- and adjustable-rate construction loans.
  • A 10-year fixed loan option can reduce interest costs.

Bankers Trust Company

  • 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.

HomeServices Lending

  • 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 July 12, 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 Iowa Finance Authority Mortgage Lenders of 2019