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Best Mortgage Lenders of 2019 for Low or Bad Credit Score Borrowers

NerdWalletAugust 6, 2019

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.

Rocket Mortgage

at Rocket Mortgage

Min. Credit Score

580

Min. Down Payment

3%

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
Min. Credit Score

580

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Wide variety of terms, including 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and ARMs with 3/1, 5/1, 7/1 and 10/1 terms.
  • Offers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs for low- to moderate-income home buyers.
  • VA lending is one-third of J.G. Wentworth’s business. A number of loan officers and other employees are former service members.
  • Focus on automation includes an entirely online loan application process, digital document uploads, loan tracking and signatures as well as pre-qualification letters by email.
  • Licensed in all states except for Hawaii, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and New York.

Cons

  • Does not offer home equity loans or lines of credit.
  • Physical locations in 14 states only.
  • Not licensed in Hawaii, Missouri, Montana, Nevada or New York.
Read full review
Quicken Loans

at Quicken Loans

Min. Credit Score

580

Min. Down Payment

3%

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

  • 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
New American Funding

at New American

Min. Credit Score

580

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Uses manual underwriting to evaluate creditworthiness.
  • Offers full online mortgage application, rate quotes, document upload and loan tracking.

Cons

  • Services not available in all 50 states.
Read full review
Vylla

at Vylla

Min. Credit Score

500

Min. Down Payment

3%

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
Network Capital

at Network Capital

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

at Network Capital

Min. Credit Score

600

Min. Down Payment

3%

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.
Min. Credit Score

550

Min. Down Payment

3%

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
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

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
National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

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
National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

0%

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.
  • Lower minimum loan amounts than many other lenders.
  • Online application for preapproval with quick decision.
  • $1,000 mortgage rate match program.
  • Operates nationwide.

Cons

  • Charges application and underwriting fees.
  • Origination charge on a typical conventional loan is 1% of the loan amount.
Read full review

Summary of Best Mortgage Lenders of 2019 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

J.G. Wentworth

J.G. Wentworth

online experience

580

3%

Read review
Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans

at Quicken Loans

refinancing

580

3%

at Quicken Loans

New American Funding

New American Funding

at New American

low or bad credit scores overall

580

3%

at New American

Vylla

Vylla

at Vylla

low or bad credit scores overall

500

3%

at Vylla

Network Capital

Network Capital

NerdWallet rating 

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 Mortgage

Citibank Mortgage

low down payment

N/A

3%

Read review
Navy Federal

Navy Federal

low down payment

N/A

0%

Read review
LenderBest For

Minimum Credit Score

Minimum Down PaymentLearn More
Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage

at Rocket Mortgage

online experience

580

3%

at Rocket Mortgage

J.G. Wentworth

J.G. Wentworth

online experience

580

3%

Read review
Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans

at Quicken Loans

refinancing

580

3%

at Quicken Loans

New American Funding

New American Funding

at New American

low or bad credit scores overall

580

3%

at New American

Vylla

Vylla

at Vylla

low or bad credit scores overall

500

3%

at Vylla

Network Capital

Network Capital

NerdWallet rating 

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 Mortgage

Citibank Mortgage

low down payment

N/A

3%

Read review
Navy Federal

Navy Federal

low down payment

N/A

0%

Read review

Last updated on August 6, 2019

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 2019 for Low or Bad Credit Score Borrowers

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