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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

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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
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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

Good for borrowers who want access to a wide variety of mortgages and the convenience of a comprehensive mobile application process.

Pros

  • Offers a robust suite of loan products, including a variety of renovation loans.

  • Has a digital application that can be completed in 10 minutes.

  • Works with some state housing finance agencies to offer mortgages with down payment and closing cost assistance.

Cons

  • Mortgage rates aren't posted online.

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Wells Fargo: NMLS#399801

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking for a national lender with a wide selection of mortgage products for home buyers in all financial stages.

Pros

  • Provides numerous online conveniences, including loan application and process updates.

  • Current rates clearly posted for various loan products.

  • Offers a wide variety of loan types and products.

Cons

  • New applications for home equity lines of credit suspended during COVID-19 crisis.

  • Government actions and scandals have damaged consumer trust in recent years.

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at loanDepot

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

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.

  • Offers multiple renovation loan options.

  • Has over 200 affiliated loan stores nationwide for customers who prefer face-to-face service.

Cons

  • Mortgage rates aren't available online; you'll need to contact a loan officer.

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

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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.

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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.

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Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for borrowers seeking conventional or government-backed loans, and a totally online experience.

Pros

  • Offers the ability to securely upload and digitally sign loan documents.

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

Cons

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

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 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 Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Lenders of 2020