BEST OF

10 Best California Mortgage Lenders of 2022

If you’re looking to buy or refinance a home in California in 2022, NerdWallet can help you choose from some of the best mortgage lenders in the state.

Jan 6, 2022

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Whether you’re shopping for a condo on the coast, a classic suburban ranch or a low-rate refinance, these California mortgage lenders reviewed by NerdWallet can get you there.

Best California Mortgage Lenders

New American Funding
Learn more

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
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
SoFi
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at SoFi

SoFi: NMLS#1484615

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%
Learn more

at SoFi


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers seeking an entirely digital application process for conventional purchase mortgages or refinancing.

Pros

  • Provides an entirely digital mortgage application.

  • Mortgage rates tend to be on the low side, according to the latest available data.

  • SoFi members may qualify for a $500 discount on mortgage fees.

Cons

  • Does not offer government-backed loans, such as FHA or VA.

  • Requires users to create an account to see customized mortgage rates.

  • SoFi conforming mortgages are unavailable in Hawaii.

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 pre-qualification.

  • 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.

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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

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Chase

Min. credit score

620

National / regional

National
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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
Better
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at Better

Better: NMLS#330511

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Better

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%
Learn more

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

Bank of America: NMLS#399802

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Bank of America

Min. credit score

660

Min. down payment

5%

National / regional

National

National / regional

National

Why we like it

Good for: first-time home buyers looking for low-down-payment options and existing customers who may get a discount on fees.

Pros

  • Offers down payment and closing cost assistance programs.

  • May give existing customers a discount on mortgage lender origination fees.

  • Offers home equity line of credit, or HELOC.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer renovation loans that roll costs into a mortgage.

Read Full Review

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
loanDepot

Min. credit score

620

National / regional

National

Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking to refinance or who want to start the application process online.

Pros

  • Offers digital income, asset and employment verification.

  • Offers multiple renovation loan options.

  • Has affiliated loan stores 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.

Read Full Review

Citibank: NMLS#412915

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Citibank

National / regional

National

Min. down payment

3%

Why we like it

Good for: existing Citibank customers, as well as borrowers eligible for the low-down-payment HomeRun mortgage.

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including low-down-payment mortgages and jumbo mortgages.

  • Offers low rates and typical fees compared to other lenders, according to the latest data.

Cons

  • Requires help from a loan officer to complete an online mortgage application.

  • Customized mortgage rates not available without making contact.

Read Full Review

Best California mortgage lenders by city

We took an even closer look to find lenders in major California cities. See our picks for best mortgage lenders in your area.

More from NerdWallet:

Last updated on January 6, 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 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 California Mortgage Lenders of 2022

Frequently asked questions