BEST OF

12 Best Mortgage Lenders of March 2021

Before you buy a home or refinance your mortgage, shop around to find the best mortgage lenders of 2020. NerdWallet has selected some of the best mortgage lenders across a variety of categories.

NerdWalletMarch 2, 2021
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When you buy a home, you're in it for the long haul. You'll have a mortgage payment for years, so it makes sense to find the best mortgage lender you can. To do that, shop for offers from at least three lenders.

Compare mortgage rates and other loan terms such as fees, time to close, the availability of online application and loan tracking, and customer service offerings. Taking the time to make an informed decision can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

You should still get preapproved before you house shop, make sure your credit history is accurate, check your credit score and evaluate how much home you can afford before you take the plunge.

To help you choose a mortgage lender, NerdWallet has picked some of the best out there in a variety of categories to help you get the home loan with the best mortgage rate, term and fees.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, getting a mortgage may be a bit of a challenge. Lenders are dealing with high loan demand and staffing issues that may slow down the process. Also, some lenders have increased their fees or temporarily suspended certain loan products. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For the latest information on how to cope with financial stress during this pandemic, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

Summary of Best Mortgage Lenders of March 2021

Better.com

at Better.com

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

at Better.com

Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

National

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 do FHA, VA or USDA loans.
Read full review
New American Funding

at New American Funding

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

at New American Funding

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

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
Quicken Loans

at Quicken Loans

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

at Quicken Loans

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Good for: borrowers looking for just about all of the services your neighborhood lender does — with online convenience.

Pros

  • Quicken Loans couples a fully online application with available mortgage advisors for those who want a human touch.
  • Instantly verifies employment and income for many working Americans.
  • Offers custom fixed-rate loan terms that are between eight and 30 years.
  • Provides a wide variety of loan types, including renovation loans and all government-backed mortgage products.

Cons

  • Quicken Loans doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.
  • Quicken's lender fees can be stout and they don't offset those fees with particularly low mortgage rates.
Read full review
Guaranteed Rate

at Guaranteed Rate

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

at Guaranteed Rate

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

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
NASB

at NASB

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

at NASB

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Favorable mortgage rates and reasonable fees are coupled with a good assortment of loan options. Only a few tech upgrades are lacking.

Pros

  • Devotes much of its business to serving military families with VA loans.
  • Considers nontraditional income sources, in some cases.
  • Offers competitive rates and origination fees.

Cons

  • No online loan process updates or tracking.
  • No home improvement mortgages or home equity loan products.
Read full review
Chase

at Chase

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

at Chase

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Good for: borrowers who want a name-brand bank, with offices in more than half the states, that charges lower rates and fees than many other lenders.

Pros

  • Allows electronic submission and tracking of loan documents.
  • Carries a wide variety of mortgage types and products.
  • Generally offers good rates and charges reasonable fees.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home improvement loans, such as FHA 203(k) and HomeStyle.
  • You have to speak with a home loan advisor to complete the application.
Read full review

Connexus: NMLS#649316

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
National / Regional

National

Connexus boasts low-down-payment conventional loans and makes mortgage rate information readily accessible online, but doesn't offer government-backed mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers both traditional and interest-only HELOCs.
  • Displays sample rates for its entire array of loan products, and you don't need to provide personal information to get a custom rate quote.

Cons

  • Lacks document upload and online loan tracking capabilities.
Read full review

Alterra: NMLS#133739

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
Min. Down Payment

3.5%

National / Regional

Regional

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

PrimeLending: NMLS#13649

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
Min. Credit Score

580

Min. Down Payment

3.5%

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.
Read full review

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Min. Credit Score

N/A

Min. Down Payment

10%

Good for borrowers who want a wide range of choices — not only among mortgage products, but also in the channel they prefer, whether a branch, online or on the phone.

Pros

  • Has a full suite of online conveniences.
  • Does well with rate transparency, and monthly payment estimates add mortgage insurance, when applicable.

Cons

  • Availability of some loan products may be geographically limited.
Read full review

Navy Federal: NMLS#399807

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

0%

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

Wells Fargo: NMLS#399801

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Wells Fargo has a world-class selection of mortgage products and offers competitive, easy-to-shop rates.

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.
Read full review

Last updated on March 2, 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 of March 2021