Best of

Best NCHFA Mortgage Lenders of 2019

NerdWalletJuly 2, 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.

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency provides mortgage and assistance programs to would-be home buyers. See our top picks for NCHFA lenders.

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

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
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Works with loan programs offered by state and local housing agencies.
  • Specializes in mortgages for first-time home buyers.
  • Almost half of its loans are low-down-payment government mortgages.
  • Considers alternative credit, such as history of payments on rent and utilities.

Cons

  • With a concentration of offices in the West and South, Guild has little presence in the Northeast and Midwest.
  • Jumbo borrowers may find that banks are more competitive when it comes to large-amount loans.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Offers a complete online suite of mortgage application tools and loan tracking.
  • Has plenty of loan options to choose from and competitive interest rates.
  • Provides customer service in its physical locations, online, via chat and by phone.
  • Has a Doctor Loan Program for medical professionals who have high earning potential but little cash for down payments.

Cons

  • Has a limited number of physical branch locations in 11 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Does not consider alternative scoring data, such as rent or utility payments, in standard underwriting.
Read full review
New American Funding

at New American

at New American

Min. Credit Score

620

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
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Low rate of consumer complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • Request a pre-qualification through PrimeLending’s secure system from a phone, tablet or computer.
  • Niche mortgage products include energy-efficient mortgages, FHA 203(k) renovation and remodeling loans, manufactured home mortgages and home construction loans.
  • Free “float down” interest rate option lets borrowers choose the lower rate if interest rates fall, even with a rate lock.
  • NeighborhoodEdge closing cost assistance program for low- to moderate-income borrowers allows qualified borrowers $2,000 in closing cost credits (restrictions on income and location).
  • “Alternative doc” program lets borrowers qualify for mortgage based on bank statements rather than tax returns.

Cons

  • No live chat online.
  • No online mortgage rate quotes.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Participates in some down payment assistance programs.
  • Offers educational resources for military borrowers.
  • Provides digital tools for a streamlined application process.

Cons

  • No mortgage rates displayed online.
  • Must work with a loan officer for pre-qualification and preapproval.
Read full review
State Employees' Credit Union

State Employees' Credit Union

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
National / Regional

Regional

Min. Down Payment

0%

Pros

  • Loans with less than a 20% down payment do not require mortgage insurance.
  • First-time home buyers may borrow up to $400,000 with no down payment required.
  • No fees for applications or credit reports.
  • Some buyers may qualify for up to $5,000 toward closing costs.

Cons

  • Does not offer 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.
  • Loans limited to members on properties in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Considers alternative credit history on certain loans.
  • Offers construction loans to build a home or make significant renovations to an existing home.
  • Flexible borrowing and payment options for home equity loans and lines of credit.
  • Full suite of online capabilities.

Cons

  • Available mostly in the Southeast; not available nationwide.
  • Creating an account is mandatory if you want to apply online.
Read full review
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

  • Offers loans to customers without credit scores, using alternative data.
  • Helps customers find relevant state housing and rural/farm programs.
  • Offers annual mortgage reviews to help borrowers stay on track toward the goal of living debt-free.

Cons

  • Not available everywhere: serves 44 states and D.C.
  • Some borrowers, particularly in expensive urban areas, may be put off by the debt-free homeownership strategy.
  • Does not offer home equity loans or HELOCs, but will "broker them out."
Read full review

Summary of Best NCHFA Mortgage Lenders of 2019

LenderBest ForNational/RegionalMinimum Down PaymentLearn More
Fairway

Fairway

digital experience

National

3%

Read review
Guild Mortgage

Guild Mortgage

digital experience

Regional

3%

Read review
SunTrust

SunTrust

Spanish speakers

National

3%

Read review
New American Funding

New American Funding

at New American

Spanish speakers

National

3%

at New American

PrimeLending

PrimeLending

veterans

National

3%

Read review
Caliber

Caliber

veterans

National

3%

Read review
State Employees' Credit Union

State Employees' Credit Union

NerdWallet rating 

customer service

Regional

0%

BB&T

BB&T

customer service

Regional

3%

Read review
HomeBridge

HomeBridge

a nonbank experience

National

3%

Read review
Churchill

Churchill

a nonbank experience

N/A

3%

Read review
LenderBest ForNational/RegionalMinimum Down PaymentLearn More
Fairway

Fairway

digital experience

National

3%

Read review
Guild Mortgage

Guild Mortgage

digital experience

Regional

3%

Read review
SunTrust

SunTrust

Spanish speakers

National

3%

Read review
New American Funding

New American Funding

at New American

Spanish speakers

National

3%

at New American

PrimeLending

PrimeLending

veterans

National

3%

Read review
Caliber

Caliber

veterans

National

3%

Read review
State Employees' Credit Union

State Employees' Credit Union

NerdWallet rating 

customer service

Regional

0%

BB&T

BB&T

customer service

Regional

3%

Read review
HomeBridge

HomeBridge

a nonbank experience

National

3%

Read review
Churchill

Churchill

a nonbank experience

N/A

3%

Read review

Last updated on July 2, 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 NCHFA Mortgage Lenders of 2019