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Best Lenders for FHA Loans in December 2022

FHA loans have down payment requirements as low as 3.5%. Compare some of the top FHA lenders to find the right fit for your needs.

Dec 2, 2022

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You might think all Federal Housing Administration-approved lenders are the same. But when you’re looking for an FHA loan, it’s smart to compare at least three lenders to find the best deal. Mortgage rates and fees vary among lenders, as do requirements for borrowers.

NerdWallet has picked some of the best FHA lenders in a variety of categories to help you get started.

Best Lenders for FHA Loans in December 2022

New American Funding
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at New American Funding

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
New American Funding

Min. credit score

500

Min. down payment

3.5%
Learn more

at New American Funding


Why we like it

Good for: First-time home buyers and other borrowers looking for a broad array of loan choices.

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of purchase and refinance mortgages with an emphasis on helping underserved communities.

  • Its home equity line of credit can be used for an owner-occupied or second home.

  • Offers a program to enable buyers to make cash offers.

Cons

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

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Veterans United
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at Veterans United

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Veterans United

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3.5%
Learn more

at Veterans United


Why we like it

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

Pros

  • Offers 24/7 customer service over the phone.

  • Offers a free credit counseling service.

  • Mortgage rates are on the low side, according to the latest federal data.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Veterans United has physical branch offices in only 17 states.

  • Focus on VA loans, so may not be the strongest choice for those seeking other loan types.

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NBKC
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at NBKC

NBKC: NMLS#409631

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
NBKC

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3.5%
Learn more

at NBKC


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers who want low rates and fees and an online experience with phone support. VA loans are an emphasis.

Pros

  • Offers government-backed loans and some harder-to-find products, such as construction loans and specialty mortgages for pilots.

  • Offers low rates and fees compared with other lenders, according to the latest Federal data.

  • Displays customized rates, with fee estimates, without requiring contact information.

Cons

  • HELOCs and construction-to-permanent loans are available only in the Kansas City metro area.

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Pennymac
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at Pennymac

Pennymac: NMLS#35953

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Pennymac

Min. credit score

580

Min. down payment

3.5%
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at Pennymac


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers seeking a government-backed mortgage who want to rate-shop online.

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan products, including government-backed and refinance options.

  • Displays custom rate quotes based on home value, down payment or equity, ZIP code and credit score range.

  • “Lock & Shop” lets you secure a rate for up to 60 days, even if you don’t have a purchase contract yet.

Cons

  • Origination fees are on the higher end, according to the latest federal data.

  • Doesn't offer home equity products or renovation loans.

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NASB
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at NASB

NASB: NMLS#400039

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
NASB

Min. credit score

580

Min. down payment

3.5%
Learn more

at NASB


Why we like it

Good for: active military members and veterans and first-time home buyers.

Pros

  • Devotes much of its business to serving military families with VA loans.

  • Offers a mortgage tailored to self-employed borrowers.

  • Offers low rates and fees compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer home improvement mortgages.

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

Read Full Review

PNC: NMLS#446303

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
PNC

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3.5%

Why we like it

Good for: borrowers with low-to-moderate incomes or limited down payments. PNC offers several low-down-payment loans, including one with no mortgage insurance.

Pros

  • Posts current mortgage rates on its website.

  • Has an online application for mortgage preapproval and a digital tool to track application progress.

  • Offers several affordable loan options, including FHA, VA, USDA and the PNC Community Loan.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer renovation mortgages.

  • In-person service is not available in every state.

Read Full Review
Bethpage Federal Credit Union
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at Bethpage Federal Credit Union

Bethpage Federal Credit Union: NMLS#449104

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bethpage Federal Credit Union

Min. credit score

580

Min. down payment

3.5%
Learn more

at Bethpage Federal Credit Union


Why we like it

Bethpage has a good selection of loan options but no USDA mortgages or renovation loans. And while it offers multiple online conveniences, you have to contact the lender for customized rates.

Pros

  • Offers a full array of online conveniences, including loan process updates.

  • Offers financing for cooperatives, a type of home that’s common on the East Coast.

  • Sample mortgage rates available for a variety of loan products.

Cons

  • In-person service available only in Queens and on Long Island, New York.

  • USDA loans are not available.

  • Customized rates not available online.

Read Full Review
Rocket Mortgage, LLC
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at Rocket Mortgage, LLC

Rocket Mortgage, LLC: NMLS#3030

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Rocket Mortgage, LLC

Min. credit score

580

Min. down payment

3.5%
Learn more

at Rocket Mortgage, LLC


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers who appreciate a fully digital home loan experience with mortgage rates lower than other lenders’.

Pros

  • Streamlined online process with document and asset retrieval capabilities, as well as the ability to edit your preapproval letter.

  • Mortgage interest rates are on the low side compared to other lenders, according to the latest federal data.

  • Offers the option to work with loan officers by phone if desired.

Cons

  • Getting a customized interest rate requires a credit check, which can affect your credit score.

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

  • Origination fees are on the high side compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.

Read Full Review

Carrington: NMLS#2600

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Carrington

Min. credit score

500

Min. down payment

3.5%

Why we like it

Good for: first-time home buyers or credit-challenged borrowers interested in government loan products.

Pros

  • Offers multiple low-down-payment loan programs.

  • May consider alternative credit data, such as bank statements.

  • You can view customized rates for purchasing a home and apply online.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity lines of credit.

  • Lender fees are on the high side, according to the latest Federal data.

Read Full Review

Mr. Cooper: NMLS#2119

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Mr. Cooper

Min. credit score

580

Min. down payment

3.5%

Why we like it

Good for: tech-savvy borrowers looking for lower credit score requirements and a mobile app that goes beyond the basics.

Pros

  • Has a robust digital experience and mobile app.

  • Offers a 45-day rate lock option.

Cons

  • Requires a call or email for personalized rates.

  • Does not offer home equity loans or lines of credit, or home improvement loans.

Read Full Review

Wells Fargo: NMLS#399801

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Wells Fargo

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3.5%

Why we like it

Wells Fargo has a solid selection of mortgage products and offers easy-to-shop rates.

Pros

  • Sample rates clearly posted for various loan products.

  • Offers a wide variety of loan types and products.

  • Mortgage rates tend to be on the low side compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.

Cons

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

  • Scandals and government actions have damaged consumer trust in recent years.

  • You’ll have to make contact with the lender to see customized rates.

Read Full Review

Freedom Mortgage: NMLS#2767

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Freedom Mortgage

Min. credit score

500

Min. down payment

3.5%

Why we like it

Freedom offers a typical range of home loan options, but rates are not available on its website.

Pros

  • Offers conventional, FHA, VA, USDA and jumbo loans.

  • Multiple customer service options, including brick-and-mortar branches, online message center and phone.

  • Low average mortgage interest rates and origination fees, according to the latest federal data.

Cons

  • No mortgage rates displayed online.

  • Does not offer home equity loans or lines of credit.

Read Full Review
Guaranteed Rate
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at Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Guaranteed Rate

Min. credit score

600

National / regional

National
Learn more

at Guaranteed Rate


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers seeking a solid variety of loan types, including jumbo and interest-only options, and a totally online experience.

Pros

  • Displays detailed sample rates for many of its loan products.

  • Offers a wide variety of loans, including jumbo and interest-only products.

  • Offers low rates compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans.

Read Full Review
Better
Learn more

at Better

Better: NMLS#330511

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Better

Min. credit score

500

Min. down payment

3.5%
Learn more

at Better


Why we like it

Good for: tech-savvy borrowers who prefer an online experience.

Pros

  • An online process with human help as needed.

  • Makes it easy to see customized mortgage rates.

  • Average interest rates are on the low end compared to other lenders, according to the latest federal data.

  • Allows qualifying buyers to make cash offers.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer VA or USDA loans.

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

Read Full Review

Wintrust Mortgage: NMLS#449042

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
Wintrust Mortgage

Min. credit score

N/A

Min. down payment

3.5%

Why we like it

Wintrust Mortgage offers a variety of loan products, including home equity lines of credit and even home-improvement loans, and provides a number of online conveniences, such as loan process updates. But you won’t find rates posted online.

Pros

  • Offers specialty loans, such as construction and renovation loans and loans for second homes and investment properties.

  • Participates in first-time home buyer assistance programs in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

Cons

  • Sample rates for some loan products are available only by contacting a loan officer.

  • Physical locations aren't available in all states.

Read Full Review

Qualifying for an FHA loan

To qualify for an FHA loan, you'll need a credit score of at least 580 for the lowest FHA down payment of 3.5% and a score of 500 with a 10% down payment. FHA loans allow a debt-to-income ratio of up to 43%, and in some cases there may be a bit more flexibility.

In addition to money for your down payment, you'll also need funds to cover FHA closing costs and an upfront mortgage insurance premium, which for FHA borrowers is 1.75% of the loan amount. Both the upfront mortgage insurance premium and the closing costs can be rolled into the total amount of the mortgage.

Bear in mind that these are the Federal Housing Administration's qualification guidelines; individual lenders can impose stricter rules. That's one reason it's worth comparing several lenders. You can start with the lenders we have here, but you can also browse the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's searchable list of approved FHA lenders.

Are FHA loans only for first-time home buyers?

You do not need to be a first-time home buyer to use an FHA loan. Lower minimum credit score and down payment requirements make FHA loans attractive to first-time home buyers, but current homeowners are eligible, too.

Can you get an FHA loan if you have student loans?

You can get an FHA loan if you have student loan debt, as long as you meet FHA debt-to-income requirements. FHA student loan guidelines state that lenders must include all student loans when calculating a borrower's debt-to-income ratio. If your payments are currently deferred, your lender will consider your "monthly obligation" to be 0.5% of your total student loan balance.

More from NerdWallet

Last updated on December 2, 2022

Methodology

The star ratings on this page reflect each lender's performance in NerdWallet’s FHA loans category. We scored the category and chose lenders for this page using the following methodology:

NerdWallet reviewed more than 50 mortgage lenders, including the majority of the largest U.S. mortgage lenders by annual loan volume (lenders had to have at least a 1% market share), lenders with significant online search volume and those that specialize in serving various audiences across the country. We rated them on criteria including rate transparency, loan types offered, ease of application and more.

Some of the providers are NerdWallet partners, but this did not influence our selections.

All reviewed mortgage lenders that offer FHA loans were evaluated based on (1) the portion of their business dedicated to FHA lending, (2) their FHA origination fees, (3) the range of FHA loans offered, (4) their rate transparency and (5) the ease of their online application. The highest scoring lenders appear on this page.

NerdWallet solicits information from reviewed lenders on a recurring basis throughout the year. All lender-provided information is verified through lender websites and interviews. We also utilized 2021 HMDA data for origination volume, origination fee, average interest rate and share-of-product data.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Lenders for FHA Loans in December 2022

Frequently asked questions