BEST OF

10 Best California Mortgage Lenders of 2020

If you’re looking to buy or refinance a home in California in 2020, NerdWallet can help you choose from some of the best mortgage lenders in the state.

NerdWalletJanuary 2, 2020
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Whether you’re shopping for a condo on the coast, a classic suburban ranch or a low-rate refinance, these lenders reviewed by NerdWallet can get you there.

Summary of Best California Mortgage Lenders of 2020

Better.com

at Better.com

Better.com: NMLS#330511

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Better.com

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Better.com


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.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Doesn't do FHA, VA or USDA loans.

Read Full Review
Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans

at Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans

Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans: NMLS#3030

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers who appreciate smartphone and online convenience for a fully digital home loan experience powered by Quicken Loans.

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.

  • Offers document and asset retrieval capabilities.

Cons

  • If you’re a “look me in the eye” type of customer, you’re out of luck.

  • Getting a customized interest rate requires a credit check, which can lower your credit score by a few points.

Read Full Review
Guaranteed Rate

at Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Guaranteed Rate

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

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
New American Funding

at New American Funding

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
New American Funding

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

National / Regional

National

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.

  • 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
loanDepot

at loanDepot

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
loanDepot

Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

National

at loanDepot


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 over 200 affiliated loan stores nationwide 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
Veterans United

at Veterans United

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Veterans United

Min. Credit Score

660

Min. Down Payment

0%

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 18 states.

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

  • Charges higher rates and fees than some other lenders.

Read Full Review

Chase: NMLS#399798

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Chase

Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

National


Why we like it

Good for: refinancers 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

  • Fixed- and adjustable-rate refinance options.

  • Customized refinance rate quotes available online without providing personal info.

Cons

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

Read Full Review
SoFi

at SoFi

SoFi: NMLS#1484615

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi

Min. Credit Score

660

Min. Down Payment

10%

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.

  • May consider vested restricted stock units as income.

  • 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 mortgages are unavailable in eight states.

Read Full Review

Citibank: NMLS#412915

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Citibank

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: Borrowers wanting to compare mortgage rates online for a variety of loan options.

Pros

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

  • Provides customizable mortgage rates on its website.

  • Offers low rates and fees compared with other lenders.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.

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

Read Full Review

Bank of America: NMLS#399802

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bank of America

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


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

  • Allows borrowers to apply entirely online.

  • Offers down payment and closing cost assistance programs.

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

Cons

  • Does not offer renovation loans.

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 2, 2020

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 2020