BEST OF

13 Best Mortgage Lenders of January 2022

Before buying a home or refinancing a mortgage, shop around to find the best mortgage lender for your circumstances.

Jan 7, 2022

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When you buy a home or refinance your mortgage, it's a big financial decision, 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.

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.

The coronavirus pandemic introduced some new challenges to getting a mortgage. Many lenders facing high loan demand and staffing issues increased their fees, adjusted minimum required credit scores or temporarily suspended certain loan products. While some products and business practices have returned to pre-pandemic levels, you might still find delays and limited options. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For information on how to cope with financial stress during this pandemic, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

Best Mortgage Lenders

New American Funding
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at New American Funding

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
New American Funding

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%
Learn more

at New American Funding


Why we like it

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, in some cases.

  • Offers full online mortgage application, rate quotes, document upload and loan tracking.

Cons

  • Mortgage origination fees tend to be on the high end, according to the latest federal data.

Read Full Review
Better
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at Better

Better: NMLS#330511

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Better

Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

National
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at Better


Why we like it

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.

  • Appraisal guarantee promises the loan won’t change even if appraisal is lower than expected.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Doesn't do VA or USDA loans.

  • Appraisal guarantee is limited to borrowers who use Better real estate agents.

Read Full Review
Rocket Mortgage, LLC
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at Rocket Mortgage, LLC

Rocket Mortgage, LLC: NMLS#3030

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Rocket Mortgage, LLC

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%
Learn more

at Rocket Mortgage, LLC


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers who appreciate convenience online and on the go for a fully digital home loan experience with consistently acclaimed customer service.

Pros

  • Caters to self-service users who want to apply for a home loan online and talk to a human only as necessary.

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

  • Streamlines the online process with document and asset retrieval capabilities, including the ability to edit your preapproval letter.

Cons

  • Getting a customized interest rate requires a credit check, which can affect your credit score.

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

  • Lender fees are on the high side and the fees aren't offset by particularly low mortgage rates, according to the latest data.

Read Full Review
NASB
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at NASB

NASB: NMLS#400039

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
NASB

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%
Learn more

at NASB


Why we like it

NASB couples competitive mortgage rates and reasonable fees with a good assortment of loan options.

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

  • Does not offer home improvement mortgages.

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

Read Full Review
Guaranteed Rate
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at Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Guaranteed Rate

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%
Learn more

at Guaranteed Rate


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
Chase
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at Chase

Chase: NMLS#399798

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Chase

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%
Learn more

at Chase


Why we like it

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 competitive rates, according to the latest data.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home improvement loans, such as FHA 203(k) and HomeStyle.

  • You have to speak with a home loan adviser to complete the application.

  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOC) are currently unavailable.

Read Full Review
PennyMac
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at PennyMac

PennyMac: NMLS#35953

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
PennyMac

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%
Learn more

at PennyMac


Why we like it

PennyMac excels in online capabilities and makes it easy to shop rates online. Average origination fees are higher than other lenders, and home equity lines of credit and jumbo mortgages were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pros

  • Offers a full range of online capabilities, including e-signatures and online loan process tracking.

  • Displays custom rate quotes based on home value, down payment or equity, ZIP code and credit score range.

Cons

  • Origination fees are on the higher end, according to the latest federal data.

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

Read Full Review

Caliber: NMLS#15622

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Caliber

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 home buyer programs.

Cons

  • No mortgage rates displayed online.

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

Read Full Review

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Flagstar

Min. Credit Score

N/A

Min. Down Payment

10%

Why we like it

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

  • Offers a wide range of loan types and products, including FHA, VA and USDA.

  • Has a full suite of online conveniences.

  • Offers customized online rate quotes with monthly payment estimates, including mortgage insurance, when applicable.

Cons

  • Availability of some loan products may be geographically limited.

Read Full Review
Veterans United
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at Veterans United

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Veterans United

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

0%
Learn more

at Veterans United


Why we like it

Good for: veterans, active-duty service members and eligible reservists looking for VA or non-VA loans.

Pros

  • Offers 24/7 customer service over the phone.

  • Has online application and prequalification.

  • Offers a free credit counseling service.

  • Employs advisors from each branch of the armed forces.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Veterans United has physical branch offices in only 17 states.

  • Information on FHA, USDA and conventional loans is harder to find on its website.

Read Full Review

Wells Fargo: NMLS#399801

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Wells Fargo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it

Wells Fargo has a solid selection of mortgage products and offers 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

  • Home equity loans and lines of credit suspended due to COVID-19 are still unavailable.

  • Scandals and government actions have damaged consumer trust in recent years.

  • No home improvement loans offered.

Read Full Review
LenderFI
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at LenderFI

LenderFI: NMLS#133056

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
LenderFI

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%
Learn more

at LenderFI


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers who want a completely online experience when buying or refinancing.

Pros

  • Has a full suite of online capabilities, including application, document uploading and process updates.

  • Site displays many combinations of loans and interest rates.

  • Rates and fees are lower than most lenders, according to the latest data.

Cons

  • Home equity loans and lines of credit, as well as purchase-renovation loans, aren't options.

  • VA loans are currently unavailable.

Read Full Review

Alliant: NMLS#197185

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Alliant

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it

Good for: first-time home buyers who want to avoid mortgage insurance and prefer a digital application process.

Pros

  • Low- or no-down-payment options with no mortgage insurance.

  • Mortgages are available for non-warrantable condominiums.

Cons

  • Does not offer government-backed mortgages, like FHA and VA loans.

  • Does not offer renovation mortgages.

Read Full Review

Last updated on January 7, 2022

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 four key areas we evaluated include the variety of loan types offered, ease of application, mortgage rate transparency, and our analysis of the rates and fees 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 January 2022

Frequently asked questions