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10 Best Mortgage Lenders of 2020 for Low or Bad Credit Score Borrowers

NerdWalletJanuary 2, 2020

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

A less-than-ideal credit score doesn't have to keep you from buying a home. NerdWallet's list of low credit score mortgage lenders can help you quickly decide which one is right for you.

Summary of Best Mortgage Lenders of 2020 for Low or Bad Credit Score Borrowers

LenderBest For

Minimum Credit Score

Minimum Down PaymentLearn More
Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage

at Rocket Mortgage

online experience

580

3%

at Rocket Mortgage

New American Funding

New American Funding

at New American

low or bad credit scores overall

580

3%

at New American

Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans

at Quicken Loans

refinancing

580

3%

at Quicken Loans

Vylla

Vylla

low or bad credit scores overall

500

3%

Read review
Network Capital

Network Capital

at Network Capital

customer support

600

3%

at Network Capital

HomeBridge

HomeBridge

customer support

550

3%

Read review
Mr. Cooper

Mr. Cooper

refinancing

620

3%

Read review
Citibank

Citibank

low down payment

N/A

3%

Read review
Navy Federal

Navy Federal

low down payment

N/A

0%

Read review
BNC National Bank

BNC National Bank

at BNC National Bank

FHA loans

580

3%

at BNC National Bank

LenderBest For

Minimum Credit Score

Minimum Down PaymentLearn More
Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage

at Rocket Mortgage

online experience

580

3%

at Rocket Mortgage

New American Funding

New American Funding

at New American

low or bad credit scores overall

580

3%

at New American

Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans

at Quicken Loans

refinancing

580

3%

at Quicken Loans

Vylla

Vylla

low or bad credit scores overall

500

3%

Read review
Network Capital

Network Capital

at Network Capital

customer support

600

3%

at Network Capital

HomeBridge

HomeBridge

customer support

550

3%

Read review
Mr. Cooper

Mr. Cooper

refinancing

620

3%

Read review
Citibank

Citibank

low down payment

N/A

3%

Read review
Navy Federal

Navy Federal

low down payment

N/A

0%

Read review
BNC National Bank

BNC National Bank

at BNC National Bank

FHA loans

580

3%

at BNC National Bank

Logo

at Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage: NMLS#3030

Logo

Min. Credit Score

580

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Rocket Mortgage


Why we like it

Ideal for anyone who appreciates smartphone app service, support and time savings. Rocket Mortgage offers a fully digital home loan experience with a large variety of mortgage products.

Pros

  • The site caters to self-service users who want to apply for a home loan without talking to a human unless it’s absolutely necessary.

  • With your authorization, accesses asset statements from 98% of U.S. financial institutions.

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

  • Rocket Mortgage’s document and asset retrieval capabilities can save you a bunch of time and hassle.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

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

  • Doesn’t consider alternative credit data. It just looks at credit scores and debt-to-income ratios, the way most mortgage lenders always have.

Read Full Review
Logo

at New American

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

Logo

Min. Credit Score

580

Min. Down Payment

3%

at New American


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who need to be evaluated on the basis of nontraditional credit. New American Funding offers FHA and VA loans, works with down payment assistance programs, and helps borrowers whose credit histories don't fit the mold of traditional banking.

Pros

  • Uses manual underwriting to evaluate creditworthiness.

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

  • Home equity lending sets it apart from most non-bank lenders.

Cons

  • Services not available in all 50 states.

Read Full Review
Logo

at Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans: NMLS#3030

Logo

Min. Credit Score

580

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Quicken Loans


Why we like it

Ideal choice for convenience and quick-response customer service. Quicken Loans provides just about all the services your neighborhood lender does — with online convenience.

Pros

  • Quicken Loans couples a fully online application with available mortgage advisors for those who want a human touch.

  • Instantly verifies employment and income for more than 60% of working Americans.

  • Offers custom fixed-rate loan terms that are between eight and 30 years.

  • Provides FHA-backed loans, USDA loans as well as products offered by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae that require down payments as low as 3%.

Cons

  • Quicken Loans doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

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

  • Doesn’t consider alternative credit data. It just looks at credit scores and debt-to-income ratios, the way most mortgage lenders always have.

Read Full Review

Vylla: NMLS#2600

Logo

Min. Credit Score

500

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for first-time home buyers or credit-challenged borrowers who may have trouble qualifying for a mortgage.

Pros

  • Low minimum credit score.

  • Online application, loan tracking and document upload.

  • Free rate locks.

Cons

  • No online preapproval.

  • No presence in Massachusetts or North Dakota.

Read Full Review
Logo

at Network Capital

Network Capital: NMLS#11712

Logo

Min. Credit Score

600

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Network Capital


Why we like it

Ideal for cost-conscious borrowers looking for a lender with no origination fees and online convenience with mortgage banker assistance.

Pros

  • Charges no lender fees.

  • A good selection of loan products, including all government-backed mortgages.

  • Offers jumbo loans up to $3 million.

Cons

  • Offers no home equity products.

  • Doesn't lend in all states.

Read Full Review

HomeBridge: NMLS#6521

Logo

Min. Credit Score

550

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who prefer an online experience. Homebridge offers a variety of home loan options and an online application.

Pros

  • A wide variety of loan types.

  • Low credit score requirements for government-backed loans.

  • A wealth of educational material on its website.

  • Licensed in all 50 states.

Cons

  • Mortgage application can't be tracked online.

  • Charges origination fees on some loans.

  • Limited branch locations.

Read Full Review

Mr. Cooper: NMLS#2119

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers looking for lower credit score requirements, and who don’t mind remote customer service.

Pros

  • Has low credit score options and will consider alternative credit data for FHA borrowers.

  • Offers a real-time loan application tracker.

  • Has a mobile app that tracks property details after closing.

  • Lends in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer an online application.

  • Requires a call or email for personalized rates.

Read Full Review

Citibank: NMLS#412915

Logo

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for first-time home buyers or those with weaker credit. Citibank, a large-scale mortgage lender with a full menu of home loan products, offers low down payment options and considers alternative credit data.

Pros

  • Low down payment options.

  • Discounts for Citibank customers.

  • Looks at alternative credit data like rent history and child support payments.

  • Available in all 50 states.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.

  • Did not disclose origination fees, which may vary.

  • Can't complete loan online.

Read Full Review

Navy Federal: NMLS#399807

Logo

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

0%


Why we like it

Ideal for military members and their families. Navy Federal Credit Union offers a wide range of mortgage products, an online application and considers alternative credit data for certain loan types.

Pros

  • Wide range of affordable mortgage products designed for military members.

  • Willing to look at nontraditional credit data, such as rent payments, as part of its credit evaluation for certain products.

  • Online application for preapproval with quick decision.

Cons

  • Website does not provide customized mortgage rates based on credit score or other factors before you apply.

Read Full Review
Logo

at BNC National Bank

BNC National Bank: NMLS#418467

Logo

Min. Credit Score

580

Min. Down Payment

3%

at BNC National Bank


Why we like it

Ideal for military members and others who want low-down-payment loan options.

Pros

  • Loan officers are well-versed in VA loan process.

  • Low minimum credit score for government loans.

  • Down payments as low as 3% on conventional loans.

  • Considers alternative credit data, like cell phone payments.

Cons

  • No online preapproval.

  • Typically charges a $1,095 lender fee.

  • Limited number of physical mortgage offices.

Read Full Review

Last updated on January 2, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's selection of mortgage lenders for inclusion here was made based on our evaluation of the products and services that lenders offer to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The six key areas we evaluated include the loan types and loan products offered, online capabilities, online mortgage rate information, customer service and the number of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a percentage of loans issued. We also awarded lenders up to one bonus star for a unique program or borrower focus that set them apart from other lenders. 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 2020 for Low or Bad Credit Score Borrowers

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