Best of

Best Mortgage Lenders of May 2019

NerdWalletApril 26, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Before you buy a home or refinance your mortgage, shop around to find the best mortgage lenders of 2019. NerdWallet has selected some of the best mortgage lenders across a variety of categories.

Our picks for

Best mortgage lenders for purchase loans

These lenders offer a wide variety of home loans, the ability to serve customers from all walks of life, competitive loan terms and robust customer service for home buyers.

Quicken Loans

at Quicken Loans

at Quicken Loans

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

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 more than 60% of working Americans.
  • Offers custom fixed-rate loan terms that are between eight and 30 years.
  • Provides FHA-backed loans, USDA loans as well as products offered by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae that require down payments as low as 3%.

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.
New American Funding

at New American

at New American

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Uses manual underwriting to evaluate creditworthiness.
  • Offers full online mortgage application, rate quotes, document upload and loan tracking.

Cons

  • Services not available in all 50 states.

Our picks for

Best online lenders

More borrowers like getting a mortgage electronically, yet talking with an experienced loan officer still matters. Look for online lenders offering both.

Rocket Mortgage

at Rocket Mortgage

at Rocket Mortgage

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

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.
Reali Loans

at Reali Loans

at Reali Loans

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

5%

Pros

  • Boasts of closing loans quickly.
  • No upfront origination or broker fees.
  • 24/7 access to your loan and its progress.
  • Transparent platform that automates (and shortens) the refinance process.

Cons

  • Currently operates in a limited number of states.
  • Doesn’t offer USDA government loans.

Our picks for

Best mortgage lenders for refinancing

Because this is not your first mortgage, you want a lender that processes a refinance efficiently and helps you easily find the best rates and loan options.

Flagstar

at Flagstar

at Flagstar

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Embraces FHA-backed home loans.
  • Offers three construction loan offerings.
  • A professional loan package is tailored for the needs of doctors, lawyers, architects and certified public accountants.
  • Flagstar reps are familiar with low-down-payment state bond programs for first-time home buyers and income-limited households, as well as the areas that qualify for USDA loans.
  • Offers home equity loans and home equity lines of credit.

Cons

  • Charges an average $1,000 origination fee.
SunTrust

on SunTrust's website

on SunTrust's website

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Offers a complete online suite of mortgage application tools and loan tracking.
  • Has plenty of loan options to choose from and competitive interest rates.
  • Provides customer service in its physical locations, online, via chat and by phone.
  • Has a Doctor Loan Program for medical professionals who have high earning potential but little cash for down payments.

Cons

  • Has a limited number of physical branch locations in 11 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Does not consider alternative scoring data, such as rent or utility payments, in standard underwriting.

Our picks for

Best mortgage lenders for first-time home buyers

Lenders who work with first-time home buyers are experienced at helping borrowers qualify for FHA loans and other mortgages with low down payment requirements.

BNC National Bank

at BNC National Bank

at BNC National Bank

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

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.
Vylla

at Vylla

at Vylla

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Low minimum credit score.
  • Online application, loan tracking and document upload.
  • Free rate locks.

Cons

  • No online preapproval.
  • No presence in Massachusetts or North Dakota.

Our picks for

Best mortgage lenders for VA loans

When you are shopping for a VA mortgage, it is important to work with a lender that has deep knowledge of every aspect of the program.

Veterans United

at Veterans United

at Veterans United

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

0%

Pros

  • Also offers FHA, USDA and conventional loans.
  • Offers 24/7 customer service.
  • You can complete a loan application and pre-qualify online.
  • Registers a low volume of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • Offers free credit score education and assistance.
  • Provides a client advocate team staffed by former senior enlisted leaders from each branch of the armed forces.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs.
  • Loans are available in all 50 states, but Veterans United has offices in only about half.
Navy Federal

at Navy Federal

at Navy Federal

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

0%

Pros

  • Wide range of affordable mortgage products designed for military members.
  • Willing to look at rent, utility and cell phone payments as part of its credit evaluation.
  • Lower minimum loan amounts than many other lenders.
  • Online application available.
  • $1,000 mortgage rate match program.
  • Operates in all 50 states.

Cons

  • Can't apply via mobile app.
  • Online platform doesn't allow tracking or secure upload of financial documents.
  • Longer than usual closing times due to high volume.

Our picks for

Best mortgage lenders for FHA loans

With so many lenders offering FHA financing, you need to shop around and compare the best options.

New American Funding

at New American

at New American

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Uses manual underwriting to evaluate creditworthiness.
  • Offers full online mortgage application, rate quotes, document upload and loan tracking.

Cons

  • Services not available in all 50 states.
CitiMortgage

at NerdWallet

at NerdWallet

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Low down payment options.
  • Discounts for Citibank customers.
  • Looks at alternative credit data like rent history and child support payments.
  • Available in all 50 states.

Cons

  • Charges application fee.
  • Origination fees may vary.
  • Can't complete loan online.

Summary of Best Mortgage Lenders of May 2019

LenderBest For

Minimum Credit Score

Minimum Down PaymentLearn More
Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans

at Quicken Loans

Best mortgage lenders for purchase loans

620

3%

at Quicken Loans

New American Funding

New American Funding

at New American

Best mortgage lenders for purchase loans + Best mortgage lenders for FHA loans

620

3%

at New American

Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage

at Rocket Mortgage

Best online lenders

620

3%

at Rocket Mortgage

Reali Loans

Reali Loans

at Reali Loans

Best online lenders

620

5%

at Reali Loans

Flagstar

Flagstar

at Flagstar

Best mortgage lenders for refinancing

620

3%

at Flagstar

SunTrust

SunTrust

on SunTrust's website

Best mortgage lenders for refinancing

620

3%

on SunTrust's website

BNC National Bank

BNC National Bank

at BNC National Bank

Best mortgage lenders for first-time home buyers

620

3%

at BNC National Bank

Vylla

Vylla

at Vylla

Best mortgage lenders for first-time home buyers

620

3%

at Vylla

Veterans United

Veterans United

at Veterans United

Best mortgage lenders for VA loans

620

0%

at Veterans United

Navy Federal

Navy Federal

at Navy Federal

Best mortgage lenders for VA loans

N/A

0%

at Navy Federal

CitiMortgage

CitiMortgage

at NerdWallet

Best mortgage lenders for FHA loans

N/A

3%

at NerdWallet

LenderBest For

Minimum Credit Score

Minimum Down PaymentLearn More
Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans

at Quicken Loans

Best mortgage lenders for purchase loans

620

3%

at Quicken Loans

New American Funding

New American Funding

at New American

Best mortgage lenders for purchase loans + Best mortgage lenders for FHA loans

620

3%

at New American

Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage

at Rocket Mortgage

Best online lenders

620

3%

at Rocket Mortgage

Reali Loans

Reali Loans

at Reali Loans

Best online lenders

620

5%

at Reali Loans

Flagstar

Flagstar

at Flagstar

Best mortgage lenders for refinancing

620

3%

at Flagstar

SunTrust

SunTrust

on SunTrust's website

Best mortgage lenders for refinancing

620

3%

on SunTrust's website

BNC National Bank

BNC National Bank

at BNC National Bank

Best mortgage lenders for first-time home buyers

620

3%

at BNC National Bank

Vylla

Vylla

at Vylla

Best mortgage lenders for first-time home buyers

620

3%

at Vylla

Veterans United

Veterans United

at Veterans United

Best mortgage lenders for VA loans

620

0%

at Veterans United

Navy Federal

Navy Federal

at Navy Federal

Best mortgage lenders for VA loans

N/A

0%

at Navy Federal

CitiMortgage

CitiMortgage

at NerdWallet

Best mortgage lenders for FHA loans

N/A

3%

at NerdWallet

Last updated on April 26, 2019

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 of May 2019

  • Quicken Loans: Best for Best mortgage lenders for purchase loans
  • New American Funding: Best for Best mortgage lenders for purchase loans + Best mortgage lenders for FHA loans
  • Rocket Mortgage: Best for Best online lenders
  • Reali Loans: Best for Best online lenders
  • Flagstar: Best for Best mortgage lenders for refinancing
  • SunTrust: Best for Best mortgage lenders for refinancing
  • BNC National Bank: Best for Best mortgage lenders for first-time home buyers
  • Vylla: Best for Best mortgage lenders for first-time home buyers
  • Veterans United: Best for Best mortgage lenders for VA loans
  • Navy Federal: Best for Best mortgage lenders for VA loans
  • CitiMortgage: Best for Best mortgage lenders for FHA loans