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10 Best Non-Bank Mortgage Lenders of 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 2, 2020

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See NerdWallet's picks for the best non-bank mortgage lenders of 2020 across five different categories, including first-time home buyers, low down payments and customer service.

Gone are the days when buying a home meant getting dressed up to visit the loan officer at your local bank.

Non-bank lenders provide a welcome alternative to traditional banks, especially for credit-challenged borrowers or those looking for a more streamlined mortgage experience.

NerdWallet picked some of the best non-bank mortgage lenders in a variety of categories so you can quickly determine which one is right for you.

Summary of Best Non-Bank Mortgage Lenders of 2020

LenderNerdWallet Rating Minimum Credit Score Minimum Down PaymentLearn More

Quicken Loans: NMLS#3030

at Quicken Loans

Best for first-time home buyers

620

3%

at Quicken Loans

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

at New American

Best for first-time home buyers

700

3%

at New American

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

at loanDepot

Best for refinancing

620

3.5%

at loanDepot

Reali Loans: NMLS#991397

at Reali Loans

Best for refinancing

620

5%

at Reali Loans

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

at Veterans United

Best for veterans

660

0%

at Veterans United

Alterra: NMLS#133739

Best for veterans

620

3%

Read review

Vylla: NMLS#2600

Best for low down payment

620

3%

Read review

PNC: NMLS#446303

Best for low down payment

620

3%

Read review

Fairway Independent Mortgage: NMLS#2289

at Fairway

Best for customer service

620

3%

at Fairway

HomeBridge: NMLS#6521

Best for customer service

620

3%

Read 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 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 loanDepot

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3.5%

at loanDepot


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers looking to get a mortgage with help from a loan officer. Digital back-office operations are said to add efficiency to the loan process.

Pros

  • Offers digital income, asset and employment verification.

  • Has over 150 affiliated loan stores nationwide for customers who prefer face-to-face service.

  • One of the nation’s most active lenders of FHA and VA loans.

Cons

  • Published mortgage rates include up to three points of prepaid interest and fees.

  • Does not offer home equity loans or lines of credit.

Read Full Review
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at Reali Loans

Reali Loans: NMLS#991397

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

5%

at Reali Loans


Why we like it

Ideal for tech-savvy home buyers and refinancers in its multi-state lending territory. Reali Loans has an automated lending platform that offers round-the-clock access to application and loan-management tools.

Pros

  • Boasts of closing loans quickly.

  • No upfront origination or broker fees.

  • 24/7 access to your loan and its progress.

  • Transparent platform that automates (and shortens) the refinance process.

Cons

  • Currently operates in a limited number of states.

  • Doesn’t offer USDA government loans.

Read Full Review
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at Veterans United

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

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Min. Credit Score

660

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

Alterra: NMLS#133739

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for Latino and other minority borrowers, millennials, foreign nationals, as well as those seeking a full array of purchase and refinance loans, including jumbo mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers an ITIN qualification path for undocumented immigrant borrowers.

  • Has a digital application process.

  • Offers several mortgage options for low- to moderate-income borrowers.

  • Has a full Spanish-language version of its website and bilingual loan officers.

  • Borrowers can qualify with income from self-employment and other nontraditional sources.

Cons

  • No mortgage rates published online.

  • Doesn't lend in all states.

  • No home equity loans or lines of credit.

Read Full Review

Vylla: NMLS#2600

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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

PNC: NMLS#446303

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers with low-to-moderate incomes or limited down payments. PNC offers a low-down-payment loan with no mortgage insurance.

Pros

  • Considers nontraditional credit history like rent payments.

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

  • Several affordable loan options including FHA, VA, USDA and the PNC Community Loan.

Cons

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

  • Offers mortgage loans nationwide, but has branches in only about two dozen states.

Read Full Review
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at Fairway

Fairway Independent Mortgage: NMLS#2289

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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

HomeBridge: NMLS#6521

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who prefer an online experience. Homebridge offers a variety of home loan options and an online application.

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

Last updated on January 2, 2020

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 Non-Bank Mortgage Lenders of 2020