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13 Best Lenders for Low- and No-Down-Payment Mortgages of 2024

Learn if you qualify for a zero-down home loan and compare lenders that offer low-down-payment mortgages.

Abby Badach Doyle
By
Last updated on February 2, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Alice Holbrook
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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Best Lenders for Low- and No-Down-Payment Mortgages

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Lender
NerdWallet Rating
Min. credit score
Min. down payment
Learn more
NBKC

NBKC: NMLS#409631

Top 3 most visited 🏆
Learn more
at NBKC
at NBKC
FHA loans
Best for FHA loans

620

3.5%

Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

5.0
/5
Home loans overall
Best for USDA loans

620

0%

New American Funding

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

Learn more
at New American Funding
at New American Funding
4.0
/5
Home loans overall
Best for customer satisfaction

580

3%

Learn more
at New American Funding
at New American Funding
Veterans United

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

4.5
/5
VA loans
Best for VA loans

620

0%

Rocket Mortgage, LLC

Rocket Mortgage, LLC: NMLS#3030

4.0
/5
Home loans overall
Best for conventional loans

620

1%

NBKC
Learn more
at NBKC
at NBKC
NBKC

NBKC: NMLS#409631

5.0
FHA loans
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3.5%

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers who want low FHA mortgage rates and fees and an online experience with phone or chat support.
Pros
  • Offers FHA purchase, streamline and cash-out refinance loans.
  • Offers low rates and fees for FHA loans compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.
  • Displays customized rates, with fee estimates, without requiring contact information.
Cons
  • Branches for in-person service are limited to the Kansas City metro area.
Read Full Review
Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

5.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

0%

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers seeking a solid variety of loan types and a robust online experience.
Pros
  • Displays detailed sample rates for many of its loan products.
  • Offers a generous selection of loans.
  • Receives high marks for customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Zillow.
Cons
  • Origination fees are higher than average, according to the latest federal data.
New American Funding
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at New American Funding
at New American Funding
New American Funding

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

4.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

580

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: first-time home buyers, military members and self-employed or underrepresented borrowers.
Pros
  • Offers a wide variety of purchase and refinance mortgages with an emphasis on helping underserved communities.
  • Its home equity line of credit can be used for an owner-occupied or second home.
  • Has a program to enable buyers to make cash offers.
  • Receives high marks for customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Zillow.
Cons
  • Mortgage origination fees tend to be on the high end.
  • Personalized mortgage rates are not available on the website without providing contact information.
Veterans United

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

0%

Why We Like ItGood for: veterans, active-duty service members and eligible reservists looking for VA loans.
Pros
  • Offers 24/7 customer service over the phone.
  • Offers a free credit counseling service.
  • Mortgage rates are on the low side, according to the latest federal data.
Cons
  • Parent company’s mortgage rates are on the higher side, according to the latest federal data.
  • Does not offer second mortgage options like home equity loans or HELOCs.
Rocket Mortgage, LLC
Learn more
at Rocket Mortgage, LLC
at Rocket Mortgage, LLC
Rocket Mortgage, LLC

Rocket Mortgage, LLC: NMLS#3030

4.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

1%

Why We Like ItGood for: FHA borrowers and others short on down payment cash, as well as home buyers who value convenience over low fees.
Pros
  • Streamlined online process with document and asset retrieval capabilities, as well as the ability to edit your preapproval letter.
  • Offers the option to work with loan officers by phone if desired.
  • Largest FHA lender in the nation.
Cons
  • Getting a customized interest rate requires a credit check, which can affect your credit score.
  • Origination fees are on the high side compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.
  • Doesn't offer home equity lines of credit.
Pennymac
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Pennymac

Pennymac: NMLS#35953

5.0
Min. credit score

580

Min. down payment

3.5%

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers who want to rate-shop online and lock in a rate while shopping for a home.
Pros
  • Dedicates a significant portion of its business to FHA lending.
  • Displays custom rate quotes based on home value, down payment, ZIP code and credit score range.
  • “Lock & Shop” lets you secure a rate for up to 90 days, even if you don’t have a purchase contract yet.
  • FHA interest rates are on the lower end, according to the latest federal data.
Cons
  • Origination fees for FHA loans are on the higher end, according to the latest federal data.
  • Doesn't offer FHA renovation loans.
Flagstar
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Flagstar

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

5.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: Borrowers who may benefit from Flagstar’s unique loan options, such as ITIN loans, loans for manufactured homes or physician loans.
Pros
  • Multiple loans for those who are renovating or building a home, including loans with interest-only payments during construction.
  • Offers home equity loans and lines of credit.
  • Offers down payment assistance and loans for underserved borrowers, including ITIN loans and loans with flexible qualifications in certain communities.
  • Interest rates are on the low side relative to other lenders, according to the latest federal data.
  • Borrowers can enter their information (including their desired loan amount, down payment and zip code) into the lender’s Mortgage Quote Comparison tool and receive a customized rate quote.
Cons
  • Home equity loans are not available in all locations served by Flagstar.
  • In 2022, the lender was fined for violating laws regarding properties in flood zones.
PNC
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PNC

PNC: NMLS#446303

5.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers with low to moderate incomes or limited down payments, as well as home buyers seeking mortgages in higher-priced regions of the nation.
Pros
  • Offers several low-down-payment loan options, including FHA, VA, USDA and the PNC Community Loan.
  • Receives high marks for customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Zillow.
  • Mortgage rates are lower than the industry average, according to the latest federal data.
  • Jumbo loans available with 5% down payment.
Cons
  • Doesn't offer renovation mortgages or home equity loans.
  • In-person service is not available in every state.
  • You’ll have to create an account or supply personal data to get answers by phone.
Network Capital

Network Capital: NMLS#11712

Min. credit score

560

Min. down payment

0%

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers looking for a lender with online convenience and mortgage banker assistance.
Pros
  • A good selection of loan products, including government-backed FHA and VA mortgages.
  • Provides “same-as-cash” loan that allows borrowers to compete with cash offers.
  • Online application process is clear and simple to follow.
Cons
  • Doesn't lend in all states.
  • Website doesn’t provide customized mortgage rates.
  • Lender fees are on the high side, according to the latest federal data.
Truist
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Truist

Truist: NMLS#399803

4.5
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: first-time and low-income home buyers, early career doctors and other borrowers interested in low-down-payment mortgages, especially those in South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
Pros
  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including construction loans, programs for early career doctors, a wide variety of jumbo loans and home equity lines of credit.
  • Proprietary grant program can help borrowers afford down payment and closing costs.
  • Mortgage rates are lower than industry average, according to the latest federal data.
Cons
  • Customized rates aren't available online without contacting the lender.
  • For borrowers who prefer to apply in person, branches are limited mostly to the South and East.
  • Mortgages aren’t available in all 50 states.
US Bank
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US Bank

US Bank: NMLS#402761

4.5
Min. credit score

N/A

Min. down payment

3.5%

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers seeking a bank with lower-than-average lender fees for FHA loans.
Pros
  • Lender fees for FHA loans are on the lower end, according to the latest federal data.
  • Offers FHA streamline refinance mortgages.
  • Lists sample mortgage rates and APRs for many of its products online, including a breakdown of estimated monthly payments.
Cons
  • Sample mortgage rates online are not customizable by credit score.
Wintrust Mortgage
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Wintrust Mortgage

Wintrust Mortgage: NMLS#449042

Min. credit score

N/A

Min. down payment

0%

Why We Like ItWintrust Mortgage offers a variety of loan products, including home equity lines of credit and even home-improvement loans, and provides a number of online conveniences, such as loan process updates. But you won’t find rates posted online.
Pros
  • Offers specialty loans, such as construction and renovation loans and loans for second homes and investment properties.
  • Participates in first-time home buyer assistance programs in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
Cons
  • Sample rates for some loan products are available only by contacting a loan officer.
  • Physical locations aren't available in all states.
Wells Fargo
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Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo: NMLS#399801

4.0
Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Why We Like ItGood for: existing customers of the bank looking for a wide selection of mortgage products, as well as self-employed borrowers and home buyers without Social Security numbers.
Pros
  • Sample rates clearly posted for various loan products.
  • Offers a wide variety of loan types and products, including options for borrowers who work for themselves and those without Social Security numbers.
  • Mortgage rates tend to be on the low side compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.
Cons
  • Home loans business is broadly focused on bank customers.
  • Doesn’t offer home improvement loans, or home equity loans or lines of credit.
  • Scandals and government actions have damaged consumer trust in recent years.

Pros and cons: Low- and no-down-payment home loans

The pros: You can reach your goal of homeownership more quickly.

  • If you’re struggling with how to save for a down payment, you don't have to wait months or years until you have a large amount of cash saved.

  • When you become a homeowner sooner, you can start building home equity.

The cons: Low- and no-down-payment mortgages include extra expenses, and you start with less equity.

  • Conventional loans with down payments of less than 20%, along with FHA and USDA loans, require buyers to pay for mortgage insurance, which protects the lender in case the borrower defaults. VA loans have a one-time VA funding fee.

  • Your interest rate and monthly mortgage payment could also be higher with a low-down-payment mortgage.

  • A low- or zero-down-payment mortgage means you will start your homeownership journey with little to no equity in the home. If your home declines in value, you can end up owing more than the property is worth. 

Credit score requirements for low- or no-down-payment mortgages

FHA loans: To qualify for a 3.5% payment on an FHA loan, you’ll need at least a 580 credit score. With a score between 500 and 579, you’ll need a 10% down payment. (See our list of best FHA loans for bad credit.)

Conventional loans: On low-down-payment conventional loans, a 620 score or better is generally required. Some conventional loans, such as HomeReady and Home Possible, are geared to low-income borrowers.

VA loans: VA loans cater to borrowers with military experience, or the eligible spouses of veterans or service members. The required credit score for VA loans varies by lender, but many ask borrowers to have at least a 620 or have other qualifications.

USDA loans: USDA loans are for buyers in rural and some suburban areas. Applicants with credit scores of 640 and higher can qualify for streamlined processing. Those with lower scores have to go through a more rigorous underwriting process. Applicants with no credit score or limited credit histories can qualify for USDA loans with nontraditional credit information, such as rental and utility payments.

More from NerdWallet

Last updated on February 2, 2024

Methodology

The star ratings on this page reflect each lender's overall star ratings. Read more about how we determine those ratings.

The lenders on this page are chosen using this methodology:

NerdWallet reviewed more than 50 mortgage lenders, including the majority of the largest U.S. mortgage lenders by annual loan volume (measured among lenders with at least a 1% market share), lenders with significant online search volume and those that specialize in serving various audiences across the country.

For inclusion in this roundup, lenders must have an overall score of 4 or higher. FHA, USDA and VA loans must each make up at least 1% of the lender's home purchase loan volume, according to the latest HMDA data or FHA and VA loans must each make up at least 1% of the lender's home purchase loan volume and the lender must offer a mortgage program with a minimum down payment of 3% or less or for borrowers with a credit score as low as 620.

NerdWallet solicits information from reviewed lenders on a recurring basis throughout the year. All lender-provided information is verified through lender websites and interviews. We also utilized the latest HMDA data for origination volume, origination fee, average interest rate and share-of-product data.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Lenders for Low- and No-Down-Payment Mortgages of 2024

  • NBKC: Best for FHA loans
  • Guaranteed Rate: Best for USDA loans
  • New American Funding: Best for customer satisfaction
  • Veterans United: Best for VA loans
  • Rocket Mortgage, LLC: Best for conventional loans
  • Pennymac: Best for FHA loans
  • Flagstar: Best for overall mortgage experience
  • PNC: Best for first-time home buyers
  • Network Capital: Best for borrowers with weaker credit
  • Truist: Best for variety of loan types
  • US Bank: Best for variety of loan types
  • Wintrust Mortgage: Best for government-backed loans overall
  • Wells Fargo: Best for home buyer assistance

Frequently asked questions

  • You may be able to get a conventional loan with a down payment as low as 3%. An FHA loan, which is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, requires a minimum down payment of 3.5%. Some loans — such as VA and USDA loans — can be secured with no money down.

  • Sometimes, but not always. Some mortgages have income limitations depending on where the property is located, like USDA loans, which are guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture. VA loans, backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, have no income restrictions.

  • VA and USDA loans may allow you to purchase a home with no down payment or mortgage insurance. Both of these loans have fees that cover the cost of foreclosure in the event you default on the mortgage loan, however.

  • No, low-down-payment mortgages aren't limited to first-time home buyers. FHA loans are popular with first-time home buyers because of the minimum 3.5% down payment requirement and relaxed credit score requirements. With some 3% down conventional loans, such as HomeReady and Home Possible, a homeowner education course is required if all borrowers are first-time home buyers.

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