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8 Best Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Lenders of 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 2, 2020

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These mortgage lenders rank among the top participants in Minnesota Housing Finance Agency loan programs.

The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency helps the state's first-time home buyers with programs to help pay for down payment and closing costs. To get financial assistance, you'll need to work with an MHFA participating lender.

NerdWallet has reviewed several MHFA participating lenders and chose some of the top-rated options in several categories. We've also listed a few MHFA lenders that have not been reviewed but underwrite a lot of mortgages in Minnesota.

Summary of Best Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Lenders of 2020

LenderNerdWallet Rating Minimum Credit Score Minimum Down PaymentNational / RegionalLearn More

New American Funding

at New American

Best for buyers with nontraditional credit

700

3%

National

at New American

Fairway Independent Mortgage

at Fairway

Best for face-to-face service

620

3%

National

at Fairway

Wells Fargo

Best for face-to-face service

620

3%

N/A

Read review

loanDepot

at loanDepot

Best for FHA loans

620

3.5%

National

at loanDepot

PrimeLending

Best for FHA loans

620

3%

National

Read review

Best for VA loans

620

3%

National

Read review

BNC National Bank

at BNC National Bank

Best for VA loans

640

3%

N/A

at BNC National Bank

Guaranteed Rate

Best for online lending

620

3%

National

Read review
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at New American

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

Logo

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
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at Fairway

Fairway Independent Mortgage: NMLS#2289

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Fairway


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.

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

Wells Fargo: NMLS#399801

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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.

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 loanDepot

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3.5%

at loanDepot


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers looking to get a mortgage with help from a loan officer. Digital back-office operations are said to add efficiency to the loan process.

Pros

  • Offers digital income, asset and employment verification.

  • Has over 150 affiliated loan stores nationwide for customers who prefer face-to-face service.

  • One of the nation’s most active lenders of FHA and VA loans.

Cons

  • Published mortgage rates include up to three points of prepaid interest and fees.

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

Read Full Review

PrimeLending: NMLS#13649

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking for closing cost assistance, as well as those seeking to renovate or to build a new home.

Pros

  • Full online application includes document uploads and automated loan updates.

  • Offers a "float-down" interest rate lock.

  • Offers a proprietary closing-cost assistance program.

Cons

  • No online mortgage rates — you have to contact the lender for info.

  • Doesn't offer home equity products.

Read Full Review

Caliber: NMLS#15622

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

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

Pros

  • Offers extensive educational resources for military borrowers.

  • Provides digital tools for a streamlined application process.

  • Participates in some state down payment assistance and first-time homebuyer programs.

Cons

  • No mortgage rates displayed online.

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

Read Full Review
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at BNC National Bank

BNC National Bank: NMLS#418467

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Min. Credit Score

640

Min. Down Payment

3%

at BNC National Bank


Why we like it

Ideal for military members and others who want low-down-payment loan options.

Pros

  • Loan officers are well-versed in VA loan process.

  • Low minimum credit score for government loans.

  • Down payments as low as 3% on conventional loans.

  • Considers alternative credit data, like cell phone payments.

Cons

  • No online preapproval.

  • Typically charges a $1,095 lender fee.

  • Limited number of physical mortgage offices.

Read Full Review

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

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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.

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

More MHFA participating lenders

Here are some additional lenders that participate in Minnesota Housing Finance Agency programs. While they haven’t been reviewed by NerdWallet, they are among the highest volume mortgage originators in Minnesota.

  • Touts a "free and easy pre-qualification process."

  • Has plentiful branches in the Twin Cities and west central Minnesota.

  • Offers an online application.

  • Provides a closing guarantee worth up to $10,000 to the buyer and seller if AMEC does not close the loan.

  • Has more than 20 branches in Minnesota.

  • Offers several loan types, including conforming, FHA, VA and USDA.

  • Promises $20,000 to the home seller if a loan doesn't close according to the terms of the approval letter.

  • Provides online tracking of the mortgage application.

  • Has mortgage loan officers available in five Minnesota cities.

  • Has an online application.

  • Offers no- and low-down-payment mortgage options, such as FHA and VA loans.

  • Promises borrowers a $100 gift card for comparing a competitor's loan offer with a HomeServices pre-approval letter.

More from NerdWallet:

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 Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Lenders of 2020