BEST OF

5 Best NJHMFA Mortgage Lenders of 2021

The NJHMFA helps first-time home buyers in New Jersey by offering substantial financial assistance. NerdWallet has done the research to surface some highly rated participating lenders.

By NerdWallet 

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The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency helps first-time home buyers make one of the biggest moves in their lives with substantial financial assistance. NJHMFA programs include down payment and closing costs assistance with forgivable loans — and that’s just about the closest you can get to free money.

Participating lenders will talk you through the qualification details and get your loan application underway. But rather than having you wade through the list of over 40 NJHMFA-approved lenders yourself to find the right one, NerdWallet has identified the highest-rated participating lenders we’ve reviewed, as well as some of the most popular mortgage lenders in the state.

The lenders shown in the table have been reviewed by NerdWallet, and excel at products and services that are among the highest in demand with borrowers.

Best NJHMFA Mortgage Lenders

Guaranteed Rate
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at Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Guaranteed Rate

Min. credit score

600

Min. down payment

3.5%
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at Guaranteed Rate


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers seeking a solid variety of loan types, including jumbo and interest-only options, and a totally online experience.

Pros

  • Displays detailed sample rates for many of its loan products.

  • Offers a wide variety of loans, including jumbo and interest-only products.

  • Offers low rates compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans.

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Fairway Independent Mortgage
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at Fairway Independent Mortgage

Fairway Independent Mortgage: NMLS#2289

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
Fairway Independent Mortgage

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%
Learn more

at Fairway Independent Mortgage


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers who want access to a wide variety of mortgages, including renovation loans and ITIN loans.

Pros

  • Offers a robust suite of loan products, including ITIN loans for borrowers without Social Security numbers, renovation loans, government-backed mortgages and loans for self-employed borrowers.

  • Receives high marks for customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Zillow.

Cons

  • Mortgage rates for different types of loans aren't posted online.

  • Origination fees are on the high side compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.

Read Full Review

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
loanDepot

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

5%

Why we like it

Good for: borrowers who want an easy online application and a variety of loan types to explore.

Pros

  • Has branches across the country for customers who prefer face-to-face service.

  • Receives high marks for customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Zillow.

  • Mortgage interest rates tend to be on the lower end, according to the latest federal data.

Cons

  • Mortgage rates aren't available online; you'll need to contact a loan officer.

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or lines of credit.

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Homebridge: NMLS#6521

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
Homebridge

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why we like it

Good for borrowers who want a loan officer's help, in person or on the phone, when deciding among the wide range of available mortgage options — including loans to buy and renovate.

Pros

  • Offers a full array of mortgage products, including government and renovation loans.

  • Online portal keeps borrowers up to date on the loan application's progress.

  • Offers home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs.

Cons

  • Doesn't post interest rates on its site.

  • Lender fees are on the high side, according to the latest federal data.

Read Full Review

Caliber: NMLS#15622

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
Caliber

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why we like it

Good for: first-time home buyers, veterans and those who may have credit challenges to overcome.

Pros

  • Offers extensive educational resources for military borrowers.

  • Participates in some down payment assistance and first-time home buyer programs.

Cons

  • No mortgage rates displayed online.

  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans or lines of credit.

Read Full Review

More NJHMFA participating mortgage lenders

These lenders are among the highest-volume NJHMFA participating mortgage makers in New Jersey. The lenders have not been reviewed by NerdWallet.

  • Founded in the Short Hills-Millburn area, with 90 years of service to New Jersey and New York.

  • Offers mortgages wherever there is a branch presence and has over 150 branch locations.

  • Also offers co-op mortgages.

  • Offers government-backed loans, such as VA, USDA and FHA.

  • An FHA 203(k) loan offers financing for the purchase and improvement of a fixer-upper.

  • The application process can begin online.

  • A mobile app connects you with your Realtor and loan officer — and reminds you of important dates.

  • You can pre-qualify or complete an application online.

  • Specializes in rural loans and a recent winner of the USDA Rural Development Lender of the Year award.

  • Founded in 1927 and headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey.

  • Offers educational resources to assist first-time home buyers.

  • Construction loans feature one closing at the beginning of construction.

More from NerdWallet

Last updated on January 29, 2021

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 NJHMFA Mortgage Lenders of 2021