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14 Best Mortgage Lenders of December 2019

NerdWalletNovember 27, 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.

Before you buy a home or refinance your mortgage, shop around to find the best mortgage lenders of 2019. NerdWallet has selected some of the best mortgage lenders across a variety of categories.

Summary of Best Mortgage Lenders of December 2019

LenderBest For

Minimum Credit Score

Minimum Down PaymentLearn More
Bank of America

Bank of America

first-time home buyers

620

3%

Read review
Citibank

Citibank

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

N/A

3%

Read review
Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage

at Rocket Mortgage

online experience

620

3%

at Rocket Mortgage

NBKC

NBKC

at NBKC Bank

online experience

620

3%

at NBKC Bank

Better.com

Better.com

at Better.com

refinancing

620

3%

at Better.com

LenderFi

LenderFi

at LenderFi

refinancing

620

3%

at LenderFi

Fairway

Fairway

FHA loans

N/A

3%

Read review
Veterans United

Veterans United

at Veterans United

VA loans

620

0%

at Veterans United

Navy Federal

Navy Federal

VA loans

N/A

0%

Read review
PNC

PNC

jumbo loans

N/A

10.11%

Read review
SoFi

SoFi

at SoFi

jumbo loans

N/A

10%

at SoFi

New American Funding

New American Funding

at New American

borrowers with low credit scores

620

3%

at New American

Vylla

Vylla

borrowers with low credit scores

620

3%

Read review
Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans

at Quicken Loans

customer satisfaction

620

3%

at Quicken Loans

LenderBest For

Minimum Credit Score

Minimum Down PaymentLearn More
Bank of America

Bank of America

first-time home buyers

620

3%

Read review
Citibank

Citibank

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

N/A

3%

Read review
Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage

at Rocket Mortgage

online experience

620

3%

at Rocket Mortgage

NBKC

NBKC

at NBKC Bank

online experience

620

3%

at NBKC Bank

Better.com

Better.com

at Better.com

refinancing

620

3%

at Better.com

LenderFi

LenderFi

at LenderFi

refinancing

620

3%

at LenderFi

Fairway

Fairway

FHA loans

N/A

3%

Read review
Veterans United

Veterans United

at Veterans United

VA loans

620

0%

at Veterans United

Navy Federal

Navy Federal

VA loans

N/A

0%

Read review
PNC

PNC

jumbo loans

N/A

10.11%

Read review
SoFi

SoFi

at SoFi

jumbo loans

N/A

10%

at SoFi

New American Funding

New American Funding

at New American

borrowers with low credit scores

620

3%

at New American

Vylla

Vylla

borrowers with low credit scores

620

3%

Read review
Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans

at Quicken Loans

customer satisfaction

620

3%

at Quicken Loans

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.

  • Accepts alternative credit data for some loan types.

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

Cons

  • Charges an application fee of $1,170, on average.

  • Has a high volume of consumer complaints, even for a big national bank.

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
Logo

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
Logo

at NBKC Bank

NBKC: NMLS#409631

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at NBKC Bank


Why we like it

Ideal for those seeking an online experience with personal support. NBKC offers a wide range of loans, a mobile app and VA loan expertise.

Pros

  • Complete and track your application online, and sign documents electronically.

  • Free rate locks.

  • No lender fee for VA borrowers.

  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Cons

  • Not the best choice for low-credit-score borrowers.

  • Mortgage origination fee for most borrowers.

  • In-person service available only in the Kansas City area.

Read Full Review
Logo

at Better.com

Better.com: NMLS#330511

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Better.com


Why we like it

Ideal for tech-savvy borrowers who prefer an online experience. Better.com provides an easy-to-navigate digital application process and charges no origination fee.

Pros

  • Claims a three-minute application process for initial preapproval.

  • An online process with human help as needed.

  • Loan officers aren't paid commissions, they are strictly available for "support, not sales."

  • For higher-value homes, offers 10% down with no mortgage insurance on jumbo loans.

  • Offers an "underwriter-reviewed" preapproval letter in as little as 24 hours.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Doesn't do VA or USDA loans.

  • Not available in all 50 states.

Read Full Review
Logo

at LenderFi

LenderFi: NMLS#133056

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at LenderFi


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

Fairway: NMLS#2289

Logo

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%


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
Logo

at Veterans United

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

0%

at Veterans United


Why we like it

Ideal for veterans and active-duty service members. Veterans United is the nation's largest VA home purchase lender but also offers an excellent selection of other government and conventional loans.

Pros

  • Also offers FHA, USDA and conventional loans.

  • Offers 24/7 customer service.

  • You can complete a loan application and pre-qualify online.

  • Registers a low volume of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

  • Offers free credit score education and assistance.

  • Provides a client advocate team staffed by former senior enlisted leaders from each branch of the armed forces.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Loans are available in all 50 states, but Veterans United has offices in only about half.

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

PNC: NMLS#446303

Logo

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

10.11%


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.

  • Interest-only and cash-out jumbo options available.

  • $5 million max jumbo loan amount.

Cons

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

  • Typical fees range from 3% - 5% of the loan amount

Read Full Review
Logo

at SoFi

SoFi: NMLS#1484615

Logo

National / Regional

Regional

Min. Down Payment

10%

at SoFi


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
Logo

at New American

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

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

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
Logo

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

  • 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

Last updated on November 27, 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 December 2019