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7 Best Mortgage Lenders for Immigrant Borrowers in 2021

Homeownership is a big part of the American dream, and achieving that goal is important to many who call this country home — whether they’ve obtained citizenship or not. Here are some home loan options and mortgage lenders that can help.

NerdWalletJan 28, 2021
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You may be surprised to learn that non-citizens can get a mortgage in America.

Depending on your immigration status, home loan options may include conventional, FHA, VA and USDA loans, which are available to all permanent residents and some non-permanent residents. ITIN loans are also available to those who have an individual taxpayer identification number instead of a U.S. Social Security number.

Here are NerdWallet’s choices for top-rated mortgage lenders who offer products and services that immigrants may find useful. If you aren’t a U.S. citizen, any of the lenders below can help you start your mortgage search. Those who prefer to facilitate their banking in Spanish will also find these lenders helpful.

Summary of Best Mortgage Lenders for Immigrant Borrowers in 2021

Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans
Learn more

at Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans

Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans: NMLS#3030

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%
Learn more

at Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers who appreciate smartphone and online convenience for a fully digital home loan experience powered by Quicken Loans.

Pros

  • Caters to self-service users who want to apply for a home loan online and talk to a human only as necessary.

  • Estimates the loan amount you’ll qualify for within minutes.

  • Offers document and asset retrieval capabilities.

Cons

  • If you’re a “look me in the eye” type of customer, you’re out of luck.

  • Getting a customized interest rate requires a credit check, which can lower your credit score by a few points.

Read Full Review
Better
Learn more

at Better

Better: NMLS#330511

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Better

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%
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.

  • Offers an "underwriter reviewed" preapproval letter in as little as 24 hours.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Doesn't do VA or USDA loans.

Read Full Review
New American Funding
Learn more

at New American Funding

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
New American Funding

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%
Learn more

at New American Funding


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers who need to be evaluated on the basis of nontraditional credit and those interested in various down payment assistance programs.

Pros

  • Uses manual underwriting to evaluate creditworthiness.

  • Offers full online mortgage application, rate quotes, document upload and loan tracking.

Cons

  • Mortgage rates offered to borrowers are higher than the government-reported median of all lenders.

Read Full Review

Alterra: NMLS#133739

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
Alterra

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it

Good for: first-time home buyers and those with nontraditional incomes.

Pros

  • Offers an ITIN qualification path for undocumented borrowers.

  • Has a digital application process.

  • Offers several mortgage options for low- to moderate-income borrowers.

  • Borrowers can qualify with income from self-employment and other nontraditional sources.

Cons

  • No mortgage rates published online.

  • No home equity loans or lines of credit.

  • Generally has higher rates and fees than other lenders.

  • Branch offices not available in all states.

Read Full Review

SunTrust (Truist): NMLS#2915

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SunTrust (Truist)

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it

Good for: first-time home buyers, doctors and other borrowers interested in low-down-payment mortgage options.

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including special programs for doctors, entrepreneurs and other professionals.

  • Offers a complete suite of online mortgage application tools and loan tracking.

  • Sample rates and fees are easy to find on the website.

Cons

  • Customized rates aren't available online without starting an application.

  • Branches are limited mostly to the Southeast.

Read Full Review

Bank of America: NMLS#399802

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bank of America

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it

Good for: first-time home buyers looking for low-down-payment options and existing customers who may get a discount on fees.

Pros

  • Allows borrowers to apply entirely online.

  • Offers down payment and closing cost assistance programs.

  • May give existing customers a discount on mortgage lender origination fees.

Cons

  • Does not offer renovation loans.

Read Full Review

Navy Federal: NMLS#399807

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Navy Federal

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

0%

Why we like it

Good for: military members and their families looking for low-down-payment mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of affordable mortgage products designed for military members.

  • Has an online application for preapproval.

  • Offers low rates compared with most lenders.

Cons

  • Website does not provide customized mortgage rates based on credit score or other factors before you apply.

  • Credit union membership is limited to veterans and current military members, their families, and certain federal employees, retirees and contractors.

Read Full Review

Last updated on January 28, 2021

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 Mortgage Lenders for Immigrant Borrowers in 2021