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14 Best Mortgage Lenders of August 2020

NerdWalletMarch 18, 2020

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Before you buy a home or refinance your mortgage, shop around to find the best mortgage lenders of 2020. NerdWallet has selected some of the best mortgage lenders across a variety of categories.

NOTE: Due to the coronavirus outbreak, obtaining a mortgage may be a bit of a challenge. Lenders are dealing with demand and staffing issues. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For the latest information on how to cope with financial stress during this emergency, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

When you buy a home, you're in it for the long haul. You'll have a mortgage payment for years, so it makes sense to find the best mortgage lender you can. To do that, shop for offers from at least three lenders.

Compare mortgage rates and other loan terms such as fees, time to close, the availability of online application and loan tracking, and customer service offerings. Taking the time to make an informed decision can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

You should still get preapproved before you house shop, make sure your credit history is accurate, check your credit score and evaluate how much home you can afford before you take the plunge.

To help you choose a mortgage lender, NerdWallet has picked some of the best out there in a variety of categories to help you get the home loan with the best mortgage rate, term and fees.

Summary of Best Mortgage Lenders of August 2020

LenderNerdWallet Rating Minimum Credit Score Minimum Down PaymentLearn More

Better.com: NMLS#330511

at Better.com

Best for refinancing

620

3%

at Better.com

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

at New American

Best for nontraditional credit histories

700

3%

at New American

Rocket Mortgage: NMLS#3030

at Rocket Mortgage

Best for online experience

620

3%

at Rocket Mortgage

Quicken Loans: NMLS#3030

at Quicken Loans

Best for customer satisfaction

620

3%

at Quicken Loans

Fairway Independent Mortgage: NMLS#2289

at Fairway

Best for FHA loans

620

3%

at Fairway

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

at Veterans United

Best for VA loans

660

0%

at Veterans United

NBKC: NMLS#409631

at NBKC Bank

Best for online experience

620

3%

at NBKC Bank

SoFi: NMLS#1484615

Best for jumbo loans

660

10%

Read review

LenderFi: NMLS#133056

Best for refinancing

620

3%

Read review

Bank of America: NMLS#399802

Best for first-time home buyers

620

3%

Read review

Navy Federal: NMLS#399807

Best for VA loans

N/A

0%

Read review

Citibank: NMLS#412915

Best for first-time home buyers and home equity lines of credit (HELOC)

N/A

3%

Read review

PNC: NMLS#446303

Best for jumbo loans

N/A

15%

Read review

Vylla: NMLS#2600

Best for borrowers with low credit scores

620

3%

Read review
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at Better.com

Better.com: NMLS#330511

Great for digital convenience

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Better.com


Why we like it

Good for: Better.com shines 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
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at New American

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

Logo

Min. Credit Score

700

Min. Down Payment

3%

National / Regional

National

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
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at Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage: NMLS#3030

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

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
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at Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans: NMLS#3030

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

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
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at Fairway

Fairway Independent Mortgage: NMLS#2289

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Fairway


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who want lots of options and a quick turn time. Fairway Independent Mortgage offers a full selection of home loans along with a comprehensive mobile app for a fast and easy application process.

Pros

  • A robust suite of loan products.

  • Licensed in all 50 states.

  • Close in as little as 10 days using the Fairway app.

Cons

  • Limited branch locations.

  • Mortgage rates not posted on website.

Read Full Review
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at Veterans United

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

Logo

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
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at NBKC Bank

NBKC: NMLS#409631

Great for first-time home buyers | digital convenience | customer service

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at NBKC Bank


Why we like it

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

Pros

  • Offers low rates and fees when compared with other lenders.

  • 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.

Read Full Review

SoFi: NMLS#1484615

Logo

Min. Credit Score

660

Min. Down Payment

10%


Why we like it

Ideal for young professionals and self-employed borrowers looking for a lender that considers nontraditional income.

Pros

  • Provides an entirely digital mortgage application to make the process easier for borrowers.

  • Considers nontraditional income, such as restricted stock units, and works with self-employed borrowers.

  • Does not require private mortgage insurance for jumbo loans.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer government-backed loans, like FHA or VA.

  • Does not offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

Read Full Review

LenderFi: NMLS#133056

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for time-pressed borrowers who want a fast loan decision with minimal paperwork.

Pros

  • Online loan application with quick loan decision.

  • Does not charge origination fees for most loans.

  • Many combinations of interest rates and discount points to choose from.

  • Loan officers are available by phone and text.

Cons

  • Loans unavailable in Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, New York and Utah.

  • Home equity lines of credit and traditional home equity loans are unavailable.

Read Full Review

Bank of America: NMLS#399802

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who prefer a traditional bank. Bank of America offers a wide array of mortgages and online account management tools. It also has first-time home buyer loans with low down payments and no mandatory mortgage insurance.

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

Navy Federal: NMLS#399807

Logo

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

0%


Why we like it

Good for: Military members and their families looking for low-down-payment mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of affordable mortgage products designed for military members.

  • Has an online application for preapproval.

  • Offers low rates compared with most lenders.

Cons

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

  • Credit union membership is limited to veterans and current military members, their families, and certain federal employees, retirees and contractors.

Read Full Review

Citibank: NMLS#412915

Logo

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

PNC: NMLS#446303

Logo

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

15%


Why we like it

Ideal for those looking for online application support and a variety of jumbo loan term options

Pros

  • Online tools help you estimate mortgage payments and track application progress.

  • Can be used for primary or second home purchases.

  • $5 million max jumbo loan amount.

Cons

  • It's not possible to complete the entire mortgage process online.

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

Read Full Review

Vylla: NMLS#2600

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

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

Last updated on March 18, 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 Mortgage Lenders of August 2020