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7 Best PHFA Mortgage Lenders of 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 2, 2020

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The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency — the PHFA — provides affordable housing to first-time and other buyers. Here are some top-rated participating lenders.

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, or PHFA, is a state-affiliated agency created to help provide affordable housing to first-time home buyers, low- and moderate-income families, seniors and others with special housing needs.

To access these programs, you’ll need to work with a participating lender. We researched PHFA’s four-page list of state-approved banks and mortgage companies and compiled a summary of lenders who rank among NerdWallet’s best-rated.

Summary of Best PHFA Mortgage Lenders of 2020

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at New American

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

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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.

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at loanDepot

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

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.

  • Offers multiple renovation loan options.

  • Has over 200 affiliated loan stores nationwide for customers who prefer face-to-face service.

Cons

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

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

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BB&T: NMLS#399803

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for borrowers in the Southeast who want online tools with the option of face-to-face service. BB&T, now part of Truist Financial Corp., offers a full menu of home loans.

Pros

  • Offers a variety of low-down-payment mortgages as well as construction mortgages.

  • Website lets users estimate rates online by loan and property type, amount and location.

  • Has an online mortgage application.

Cons

  • Branches limited mostly to the Southeast region.

  • Does not offer FHA loans.

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

Good for borrowers who want access to a wide variety of mortgages and the convenience of a comprehensive mobile application process.

Pros

  • Offers a robust suite of loan products, including a variety of renovation loans.

  • Has a digital application that can be completed in 10 minutes.

  • Works with some state housing finance agencies to offer mortgages with down payment and closing cost assistance.

Cons

  • Mortgage rates aren't posted online.

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at Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Guaranteed Rate


Why we like it

Good for borrowers seeking conventional or government-backed loans, and a totally online experience.

Pros

  • Offers the ability to securely upload and digitally sign loan documents.

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

Cons

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

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HomeBridge: NMLS#6521

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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.

  • Has loans for most purposes, including purchase, refinance and jumbo mortgages.

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

Cons

  • Doesn't post interest rates on its site.

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

Read Full Review

PrimeLending: NMLS#13649

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking for closing cost assistance, as well as those seeking to renovate or to build a new home.

Pros

  • Full online application includes document uploads and automated loan updates.

  • Offers a "float-down" interest rate lock.

  • Offers a proprietary closing-cost assistance program.

Cons

  • No online mortgage rates — you have to contact the lender for info.

  • Doesn't offer home equity products.

Read Full Review

More PHFA participating mortgage lenders

These are among the highest-volume PHFA-participating mortgage makers in Pennsylvania; however, they haven't been reviewed by NerdWallet.

  • Based in Devon, Pennsylvania, and serving the Delaware Valley since 1886.

  • Offers all government-backed mortgages.

  • Get pre-qualified in only a few minutes.

  • Earn an interest rate discount when you set up automatic monthly payments from your Citizens Bank checking account.

  • A dedicated loan officer guides you through the homebuying process.

  • Secure document exchange speeds the loan process.

  • Headquartered in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, and a top 10 mortgage producer in the state, based on loan volume.

  • Loan officers are familiar with and guide you through the PHFA process.

  • Offers VA, FHA and USDA loans.

  • Monitor and manage the loan process through a secure client portal.

  • Qualifying for a loan can begin with an online application that takes just 20 minutes to complete.

  • Based in Pittsburgh but with loan officers throughout the state.

More from NerdWallet

Last updated on January 2, 2020

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 PHFA Mortgage Lenders of 2020