BEST OF

Best Mortgage Lenders for First-Time Home Buyers in 2022

These mortgage lenders cater to first-time home buyers with low down payments, grant programs and educational materials.

Sep 1, 2022

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For first-time home buyers, finding the right mortgage can be a big challenge. You want to work with a lender that can give you the best rate, the right term and the lowest closing costs, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

NerdWallet has picked some of the best mortgage lenders for first-time home buyers in a variety of categories so you can quickly decide which one is right for you.

Best Mortgage Lenders for First-Time Home Buyers in 2022 From Our Partners

NBKC
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at NBKC

NBKC: NMLS#409631

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
NBKC

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%
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at NBKC


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers with solid credit who want to pay low rates and get an online experience with phone support. VA loans are an emphasis.

Pros

  • Extends full online capabilities, from application to loan tracking.

  • Displays customized rates, with fee estimates, without requiring contact information.

Cons

  • Equity lines and construction loans are available only in the Kansas City metro area.

  • Doesn’t offer renovation loans.

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Veterans United
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at Veterans United

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Veterans United

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

0%
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at Veterans United


Why we like it

Good 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

  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

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

  • Focus on VA loans, so may not be the strongest choice for those seeking other loan types.

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PNC: NMLS#446303

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
PNC

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why we like it

Good for: borrowers with low-to-moderate incomes or limited down payments. PNC offers several low-down-payment loans, including one with no mortgage insurance.

Pros

  • Posts current mortgage rates on its website.

  • Has an online application for mortgage preapproval and a digital tool to track application progress.

  • Offers several affordable loan options, including FHA, VA, USDA and the PNC Community Loan.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer renovation mortgages.

  • In-person service is not available in every state.

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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%
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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.

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Chase
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at Chase

Chase: NMLS#399798

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Chase

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%
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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.

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Northpointe
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at Northpointe

Northpointe: NMLS#447490

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Northpointe

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

5%
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at Northpointe


Why we like it

Good for: those seeking an abundance of loan offerings, including a no-down-payment mortgage that helps accelerate home equity accumulation.

Pros

  • A full slate of loan offerings.

  • Offers a no-down-payment loan with a shorter repayment term that helps accelerate home equity accumulation.

  • Digital conveniences include a mobile app.

Cons

  • You’ll need to provide contact information or speak to a loan officer for customized mortgage rates.

  • Origination fees are on the high side, according to the latest data.

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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

  • Offers competitive rates and origination fees.

  • Considers nontraditional income sources, in some cases.

Cons

  • Does not offer home improvement mortgages.

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

Read Full Review

More of NerdWallet's best lenders for first-time home buyers

Best for low-income borrowers

Best for online experience

Best for low down payment

Best for assistance programs

Best for nontraditional credit

Best for digital convenience

Best for variety of loan types

Best for digital convenience

Best for assistance programs

How do I choose a mortgage lender?

Once you have an idea of the type of mortgage you're looking for, finding the right lender may be easier than you think, especially when you compare at least three lenders and let them compete for your business. It's likely one lender's mortgage package will rise above the others’ — with a lower rate and lower fees.

More from NerdWallet

Last updated on September 1, 2022

Methodology

The star ratings on this page reflect each lender's overall star ratings. Read more about how we determine those ratings. The lenders on this page are chosen using this methodology:

NerdWallet reviewed nearly 60 mortgage lenders, including the majority of the largest U.S. mortgage lenders by annual loan volume (lenders had to have at least a 1% market share), lenders with significant online search volume and those that specialize in serving various audiences across the country.

All reviewed mortgage lenders that offer programs for first-time home buyers were evaluated based on (1) the portion of their business dedicated to FHA and VA lending, (2) their ability to offer conventional loans with a down payment as low as 3%, (3) their origination fees, (4) their proprietary first-time home buyer loans or assistance (e.g. grants or loans to cover down payment and closing costs), (5) mortgage rate transparency, and (6) the ease of their online application. The highest scoring lenders appear on this page.

NerdWallet solicits information from reviewed lenders on a recurring basis throughout the year. All lender-provided information is verified through lender websites and interviews. We also utilized 2020 HMDA data for origination volume, origination fee, rate spread and share-of-product data.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Mortgage Lenders for First-Time Home Buyers in 2022

Frequently asked questions