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7 Best Mortgage Lenders for Immigrant Borrowers in 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 2, 2020

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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.

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 2020

LenderNerdWallet Rating Minimum Credit Score Minimum Down PaymentLearn More

Rocket Mortgage: NMLS#3030

at Rocket Mortgage

Best for an online mortgage experience in Spanish

620

3%

at Rocket Mortgage

Better.com: NMLS#330511

at Better.com

Best for self-employed immigrants

620

3%

at Better.com

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

at New American

Best for self-employed immigrants

700

3%

at New American

Alterra: NMLS#133739

Best for ITIN loans

620

3%

Read review

SunTrust: NMLS#2915

Best for an online mortgage experience in Spanish

620

3%

Read review

Bank of America: NMLS#399802

Best for low-income borrowers

620

3%

Read review

Navy Federal: NMLS#399807

Best for veterans

N/A

0%

Read review
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at Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage: NMLS#3030

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Rocket Mortgage


Why we like it

Ideal for anyone who appreciates smartphone app service, support and time savings. Rocket Mortgage offers a fully digital home loan experience with a large variety of mortgage products.

Pros

  • The site caters to self-service users who want to apply for a home loan without talking to a human unless it’s absolutely necessary.

  • With your authorization, accesses asset statements from 98% of U.S. financial institutions.

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

  • Rocket Mortgage’s document and asset retrieval capabilities can save you a bunch of time and hassle.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

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

  • Doesn’t consider alternative credit data. It just looks at credit scores and debt-to-income ratios, the way most mortgage lenders always have.

Read Full Review
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at Better.com

Better.com: NMLS#330511

Great for digital convenience

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Better.com


Why we like it

Ideal for tech-savvy borrowers who prefer an online experience. Better.com provides an easy-to-navigate digital application process and charges no origination fee.

Pros

  • Claims a three-minute application process for initial preapproval.

  • An online process with human help as needed.

  • Loan officers aren't paid commissions, they are strictly available for "support, not sales."

  • For higher-value homes, offers 10% down with no mortgage insurance on jumbo loans.

  • 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.

  • Not available in all 50 states.

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.

Read Full Review

Alterra: NMLS#133739

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for Latino and other minority borrowers, millennials, foreign nationals, as well as those seeking a full array of purchase and refinance loans, including jumbo mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers an ITIN qualification path for undocumented immigrant borrowers.

  • Has a digital application process.

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

  • Has a full Spanish-language version of its website and bilingual loan officers.

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

Cons

  • No mortgage rates published online.

  • Doesn't lend in all states.

  • No home equity loans or lines of credit.

Read Full Review

SunTrust: NMLS#2915

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers with fair credit or better. SunTrust, now a part of Truist Financial Corp., offers a variety of customer service options.

Pros

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

  • Provides customer service in its physical locations, online, via chat and by phone.

  • Offers wide variety of loan options, including a loan program for licensed medical professionals

Cons

  • Customized rates not available on website without starting an application.

  • Branches limited to mostly the Southeast.

Read Full Review

Bank of America: NMLS#399802

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who prefer a traditional bank. Bank of America offers a wide array of mortgages and online account management tools. It also has first-time home buyer loans with low down payments and no mandatory mortgage insurance.

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

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National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

0%


Why we like it

Ideal for military members and their families. Navy Federal Credit Union offers a wide range of mortgage products, an online application and considers alternative credit data for certain loan types.

Pros

  • Wide range of affordable mortgage products designed for military members.

  • Willing to look at nontraditional credit data, such as rent payments, as part of its credit evaluation for certain products.

  • Online application for preapproval with quick decision.

Cons

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

Read Full Review

Last updated on January 2, 2020

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 Mortgage Lenders for Immigrant Borrowers in 2020