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.

NerdWallet
Written by
Last updated on January 6, 2022
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Beth Buczynski
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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10 Best California Mortgage Lenders of 2022

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Lender
NerdWallet Rating
Min. credit score
Min. down payment
Learn more
Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

Top 3 most visited 🏆
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at Guaranteed Rate
at Guaranteed Rate
Home loans overall
Best for online experience

620

3%

New American Funding

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

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at New American Funding
at New American Funding
4.0
/5
Home loans overall
Best for borrowers with bad credit

580

3%

Learn more
at New American Funding
at New American Funding
Better

Better: NMLS#330511

4.5
/5
Home loans overall
Best for first-time home buyers

620

3%

Rocket Mortgage, LLC

Rocket Mortgage, LLC: NMLS#3030

Learn more
at Rocket Mortgage, LLC
at Rocket Mortgage, LLC
4.0
/5
Home loans overall
Best for online experience

620

1%

Learn more
at Rocket Mortgage, LLC
at Rocket Mortgage, LLC
SoFi

SoFi: NMLS#696891

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on NerdWallet
3.5
/5
Home loans overall
Best for first-time home buyers

620

3%

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on NerdWallet
Bank of America

Bank of America: NMLS#399802

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on NerdWallet
4.0
/5
Home loans overall
Best for face-to-face service

660

5%

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on NerdWallet
Veterans United

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

Learn more
at Veterans United
at Veterans United
4.0
/5
Home loans overall
Best for borrowers with bad credit

620

0%

Learn more
at Veterans United
at Veterans United
loanDepot

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

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on NerdWallet
4.5
/5
Refinancing
Best for refinancing

620

5%

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on NerdWallet
Citibank

Citibank: NMLS#412915

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on NerdWallet
4.0
/5
Home loans overall
Best for face-to-face service

N/A

3%

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on NerdWallet
Chase

Chase: NMLS#399798

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on NerdWallet
4.5
/5
Refinancing
Best for refinancing

620

3%

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on NerdWallet
Guaranteed Rate
Learn more
at Guaranteed Rate
at Guaranteed Rate
Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

5.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers seeking a broad menu of loans, including jumbo and interest-only options, renovation loans and government-backed mortgages, as well as home equity lines of credit.
Pros
  • Offers a one-day mortgage approval process.
  • Offers a generous selection of loans, including government-backed, interest-only, ITIN, jumbo and renovation loans.
  • Advertises a HELOC that can be funded in as few as five business days.
Cons
  • Origination fees are higher than average, according to the latest federal data.
  • HELOC has a relatively short draw period, which may not provide flexibility for someone who wants the option of accessing home equity over a longer period.
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New American Funding
Learn more
at New American Funding
at New American Funding
New American Funding

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

4.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

580

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: first-time home buyers, military members and self-employed or underrepresented borrowers.
Pros
  • Offers a wide variety of purchase and refinance mortgages with an emphasis on helping underserved communities.
  • Its home equity line of credit can be used for an owner-occupied or second home.
  • Has a program to enable buyers to make cash offers.
  • Receives high marks for customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Zillow.
Cons
  • Mortgage origination fees tend to be on the high end.
  • Personalized mortgage rates are not available on the website without providing contact information.
Better

Better: NMLS#330511

4.5
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers who prefer an online experience, prize low rates and are primarily interested in conventional loans.
Pros
  • Offers a one-day mortgage that lets eligible borrowers apply, lock in a rate and get a loan commitment within 24 hours.
  • Average interest rates are on the low end compared to other lenders, according to the latest federal data.
  • Offers a HELOC that can be used for a primary, second or investment home.
Cons
  • Doesn't offer harder-to-find loans, such as construction loans, renovation loans, or USDA mortgages.
  • Finding descriptions of all of the loan offerings on the website requires some digging, and the lender does not have a mobile app.
  • Average lender fees are on the high end compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.
Rocket Mortgage, LLC
Learn more
at Rocket Mortgage, LLC
at Rocket Mortgage, LLC
Rocket Mortgage, LLC

Rocket Mortgage, LLC: NMLS#3030

4.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

1%

Why We Like ItGood for: FHA borrowers and others short on down payment cash, as well as home buyers who value convenience over low fees.
Pros
  • Streamlined online process with document and asset retrieval capabilities, as well as the ability to edit your preapproval letter.
  • Offers the option to work with loan officers by phone if desired.
  • Largest FHA lender in the nation.
Cons
  • Getting a customized interest rate requires a credit check, which can affect your credit score.
  • Origination fees are on the high side compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.
  • Doesn't offer home equity lines of credit.
SoFi
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on NerdWallet
SoFi

SoFi: NMLS#696891

3.5
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: existing SoFi members or those willing to create an account to access a seamless digital experience, from mortgage application to chat support.
Pros
  • Has a highly rated mobile app that integrates with SoFi’s member rewards program.
  • Home equity line of credit (HELOC) borrowers can access up to 90% of home’s value, a higher limit than most lenders’.
  • Recently expanded mortgage offerings to include government-backed FHA and VA loans.
Cons
  • Requires users to create an account to access some digital conveniences, including loan application and customer service chat.
  • Displays only sample rates on its website. (Users with an online account can request a customized rate quote.)
  • Doesn’t offer renovation or construction-to-permanent loans.
Bank of America
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on NerdWallet
Bank of America

Bank of America: NMLS#399802

4.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

660

Min. down payment

5%

National / regional

National

Why We Like ItGood for: first-time home buyers looking for low- or no-down-payment options and homeowners interested in a home equity line of credit.
Pros
  • Offers down payment and closing cost assistance programs.
  • May give existing customers a discount on mortgage lender origination fees and HELOC interest rates.
  • Receives high marks for customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Zillow.
Cons
  • Doesn't offer renovation or construction-to-permanent mortgage loans.
  • Must enroll in online banking to access Home Loan Navigator.
  • Fined $12 million for reporting inaccurate mortgage applicant info to the federal government.
Veterans United
Learn more
at Veterans United
at Veterans United
Veterans United

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

4.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

0%

Why We Like ItGood for: veterans, active-duty service members and eligible reservists looking for VA loans.
Pros
  • Offers 24/7 customer service over the phone.
  • Offers a free credit counseling service.
  • Mortgage rates are on the low side, according to the latest federal data.
Cons
  • Parent company’s mortgage rates are on the higher side, according to the latest federal data.
  • Does not offer second mortgage options like home equity loans or HELOCs.
loanDepot
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on NerdWallet
loanDepot

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

4.5
Min. credit score

620

National / regional

National

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers who want an easy online application and a variety of loan types to explore.
Pros
  • Has branches across the country for customers who prefer face-to-face service.
  • Receives high marks for customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Zillow.
  • Mortgage interest rates tend to be on the lower end, according to the latest federal data.
Cons
  • Mortgage rates aren't available online; you'll need to contact a loan officer.
  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or lines of credit.
Citibank
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on NerdWallet
Citibank

Citibank: NMLS#412915

4.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
National / regional

National

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: Rates-focused borrowers who are Citi customers, or home buyers seeking down payment assistance.
Pros
  • Average interest rates are among the lowest compared to other lenders’, according to the latest federal data.
  • Receives high marks for customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Zillow.
  • Borrowers with existing Citi accounts may receive discounts.
Cons
  • Customized mortgage rates are not available without contacting the lender.
  • HELOCs and home equity loans are not currently available.
  • No live chat feature on the lender’s site.
Chase
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on NerdWallet
Chase

Chase: NMLS#399798

4.5
Min. credit score

620

National / regional

National

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers who want a wide selection of loan products, an in-person experience and comparatively low interest rates.
Pros
  • Carries a wide variety of mortgage types and products, including mortgages with down payments as low as 3%.
  • Offers low rates compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.
  • Offers a customizable mortgage calculator for personalized rate and payment estimates.
  • Receives high marks for customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Zillow.
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.

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

  • Guaranteed Rate: Best for online experience
  • New American Funding: Best for borrowers with bad credit
  • Better: Best for first-time home buyers
  • Rocket Mortgage, LLC: Best for online experience
  • SoFi: Best for first-time home buyers
  • Bank of America: Best for face-to-face service
  • Veterans United: Best for borrowers with bad credit
  • loanDepot: Best for refinancing
  • Citibank: Best for face-to-face service
  • Chase: Best for refinancing

Frequently asked questions

  • The median price of a home in California in 2020 hovered near $700,000, according to the California Association of Realtors. And while home prices vary widely depending on the region, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco and Sacramento were the least affordable areas for first-time buyers among the 50 largest metros in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to a NerdWallet affordability report.

  • The California mortgage lender that’s right for you will depend on your financial situation and your needs. Search for lenders offering loans that suit your needs, then be sure to compare interest rates. If you are a first-time buyer, California offers programs that can help you find a lender with favorable rates as well assist with a down payment and closing costs.

  • While the mortgage you get will depend more on the cost of the home and your situation, you can compare lenders by region as well. NerdWallet has compiled lists of the top lenders in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego to help you find the right mortgage for your financial situation and needs.

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