Best Lenders for FHA Loans in September 2023
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Min. credit score
Min. down payment
Best for overall FHA loan experience
Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611
Best for rate transparency
Freedom Mortgage: NMLS#2767
Best for ease of application
Wintrust Mortgage: NMLS#449042
Best for variety of loan types
Wells Fargo: NMLS#399801
Best for first-time home buyers
- 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.
- Origination fees are on the higher end, according to the latest federal data.
- Doesn't offer home equity lines of credit or renovation loans.
- 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.
- Doesn't offer home equity loans.
- 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.
- No mortgage rates displayed online.
- Does not offer home equity loans or lines of credit.
- 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.
- Sample rates for some loan products are available only by contacting a loan officer.
- Physical locations aren't available in all states.
- 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.
- Home loans business is broadly focused on bank customers.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Getting a customized interest rate requires a credit check, which can affect your credit score.
- Doesn't offer home equity lines of credit.
- Origination fees are on the high side compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.
- 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.
- Doesn't offer renovation mortgages.
- In-person service is not available in every state.
- 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.
- Mortgage origination fees tend to be on the high end, according to the latest federal data.
- 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.
- HELOCs and construction-to-permanent loans are available only in the Kansas City metro area.
- Has a robust digital experience and mobile app.
- Offers a 45-day rate lock option.
- Requires a call or email for personalized rates.
- Does not offer home equity loans or lines of credit, or home improvement loans.
- 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.
- Doesn't offer home equity lines of credit.
- Lender fees are on the high side, according to the latest federal data.
- Offers a program allowing qualifying buyers to make cash offers.
- 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.
- Doesn’t offer USDA loans.
- VA loans are not available in every state.
- Doesn't offer home equity loans.
- 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.
- In-person service available only in Queens and on Long Island, New York.
- USDA loans are not available.
- Customized rates not available online.
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 September 5, 2023
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 (measured among lenders with 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.
NerdWallet's Best Lenders for FHA Loans in September 2023
- Pennymac: Best for overall FHA loan experience
- Guaranteed Rate: Best for rate transparency
- Freedom Mortgage: Best for ease of application
- Wintrust Mortgage: Best for variety of loan types
- Wells Fargo: Best for first-time home buyers
- Veterans United: Best for low origination fees
- Rocket Mortgage, LLC: Best for digital convenience
- PNC: Best for low origination fees
- New American Funding: Best for rate transparency
- NBKC: Best for low origination fees
- Mr. Cooper: Best for nontraditional credit histories
- Carrington: Best for nontraditional credit histories
- Better: Best for ease of application
- Bethpage Federal Credit Union: Best for credit union lending
Frequently asked questions
- Where do I get an FHA loan?
- How do I get preapproved for an FHA loan?
FHA loan preapproval is similar to preapproval for other mortgage types, though you have to work with an FHA-approved lender. You'll need to provide documentation of your financial status, which can include employment history, bank account information and any current loan payments. Getting a mortgage preapproval from more than one FHA lender lets you compare not only rates but also all the fees and conditions each lender would apply.
- How do I choose an FHA lender?
FHA mortgage rates and fees vary by lender, so compare at least three FHA lenders to find the best deal. Then run the numbers with an FHA mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly payments. It's also important to remember that while the FHA sets minimum qualifications, lenders can require higher credit scores or lower debt-to-income ratios.