BEST OF

Best Mortgage Refinance Lenders of July 2022

If you're interested in refinancing your mortgage to get a lower rate or achieve another financial goal, check out our list of some of the best refinance lenders.

Apr 18, 2022

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Low interest rates have compelled many homeowners to refinance their mortgages over the past couple of years, and borrowers who haven't refinanced recently could still save.

Whether you want to refinance to take advantage of relatively low rates, cash out some of your home equity or change your loan term, NerdWallet has picked some of the best refinance lenders in a variety of categories so you can determine which one is right for you.

Best Mortgage Refinance Lenders

Rocket Mortgage, LLC
Learn more

at Rocket Mortgage, LLC

Rocket Mortgage, LLC: NMLS#3030

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Rocket Mortgage, LLC

Min. credit score

620

National / regional

National
Learn more

at Rocket Mortgage, LLC


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers who appreciate convenience online and on the go for a fully digital home loan experience with consistently acclaimed customer service.

Pros

  • Caters to self-service users who want to apply for a home loan online and talk to a human only as necessary.

  • Estimates the loan amount you’ll qualify for within minutes.

  • Streamlines the online process with document and asset retrieval capabilities, including the ability to edit your preapproval letter.

Cons

  • Getting a customized interest rate requires a credit check, which can affect your credit score.

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

  • Lender fees are on the high side and the fees aren't offset by particularly low mortgage rates, according to the latest data.

Read Full Review
NASB
Learn more

at NASB

NASB: NMLS#400039

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
NASB

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%
Learn more

at NASB


Why we like it

NASB couples competitive mortgage rates and reasonable fees with a good assortment of loan options.

Pros

  • Offers competitive rates and origination fees.

  • Considers nontraditional income sources, in some cases.

Cons

  • Does not offer home improvement mortgages.

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

Read Full Review
Watermark Home Loans
Learn more

at Watermark Home Loans

Watermark Home Loans: NMLS#1838

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Watermark Home Loans

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%
Learn more

at Watermark Home Loans


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking for a decent selection of loan types with some not-so-standard options, such as reverse mortgages for seniors.

Pros

  • Offers reverse mortgages and interest-only loans for certain borrowers.

  • Online capabilities include a full application, as well as loan process updates.

Cons

  • Does not offer home improvement loans.

  • Fully customized mortgage rates not available without providing contact information.

Read Full Review
NBKC
Learn more

at NBKC

NBKC: NMLS#409631

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
NBKC

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%
Learn more

at NBKC


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers with solid credit who want to pay low rates and get an online experience with phone support. VA loans are an emphasis.

Pros

  • Extends full online capabilities, from application to loan tracking.

  • Displays customized rates, with fee estimates, without requiring contact information.

Cons

  • Equity lines and construction loans are available only in the Kansas City metro area.

  • Doesn’t offer renovation loans.

Read Full Review
SoFi
Learn more

at SoFi

SoFi: NMLS#1484615

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%
Learn more

at SoFi


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers seeking an entirely digital application process for conventional purchase mortgages or refinancing.

Pros

  • Provides an entirely digital mortgage application.

  • Mortgage rates tend to be on the low side, according to the latest available data.

  • SoFi members may qualify for a $500 discount on mortgage fees.

Cons

  • Does not offer government-backed loans, such as FHA or VA.

  • Requires users to create an account to see customized mortgage rates.

  • SoFi conforming mortgages are unavailable in Hawaii.

Read Full Review
BNC National Bank
Learn more

at BNC National Bank

BNC National Bank: NMLS#418467

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
BNC National Bank

Min. credit score

640

Min. down payment

3%
Learn more

at BNC National Bank


Why we like it

BNC National Bank offers a robust variety of loans, but you have to reach out to a loan officer to get customized interest rates.

Pros

  • Wide variety of loan types and products.

  • Improved online capabilities, and robust iOS and Android apps.

  • Considers alternative credit data, like cell phone payments.

Cons

  • Limited number of physical mortgage offices.

  • Limited rate information is available without starting an application or speaking with a loan officer.

Read Full Review
Pennymac
Learn more

at Pennymac

Pennymac: NMLS#35953

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Pennymac

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%
Learn more

at Pennymac


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers seeking a conventional or government-backed mortgage, or who want to rate-shop online.

Pros

  • Offers a full range of online capabilities, including e-signatures and online loan process tracking.

  • Displays custom rate quotes based on home value, down payment or equity, ZIP code and credit score range.

Cons

  • Origination fees are on the higher end, according to the latest federal data.

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

Read Full Review
Better
Learn more

at Better

Better: NMLS#330511

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Better

Min. credit score

620

National / regional

National
Learn more

at Better


Why we like it

Good for: tech-savvy borrowers who prefer an online experience.

Pros

  • An online process with human help as needed.

  • Makes it easy to see customized mortgage rates.

  • Offers an "underwriter reviewed" preapproval letter in as little as 24 hours.

  • Appraisal guarantee promises the loan won’t change even if appraisal is lower than expected.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Doesn't do VA or USDA loans.

  • Appraisal guarantee is limited to borrowers who use Better real estate agents.

Read Full Review

More of NerdWallet's best mortgage refinance lenders

Best for low origination fees

Best for refi loan options

Best for digital convenience

Best for refinancing overall

Why refinance your mortgage?

There are multiple reasons to refinance your mortgage. People usually refinance to save money, either in the short run or the long run, and sometimes to borrow against their equity. Here are some of the main reasons to refinance:

To get a lower mortgage rate. If mortgage interest rates fall after you get the loan, you may be able to refinance to a lower rate. This can result in smaller monthly payments.

To shorten the term. Refinancing from a 30-year mortgage to a shorter-term loan (15 or 20 years, most commonly) might increase your monthly payment (even with a lower interest rate), but it decreases the overall interest you pay over the life of the loan.

To get rid of mortgage insurance. When you buy a home with a down payment of less than 20%, you have to pay for mortgage insurance. Refinancing is one way to stop paying private mortgage insurance, and it's the only way to get rid of FHA mortgage insurance.

To replace an adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM, with a fixed-rate loan. Rather than enduring the uncertainty of annual interest-rate adjustments with an ARM, you might refinance to a fixed-rate loan so you don't have to worry that the rate will rise.

To get your hands on equity. With a cash-out refinance, you borrow more than your current loan balance and take out the difference in cash. A cash-out refinance is a popular way to pay for home improvements.

Common refinance requirements

In order to qualify for a mortgage refinance, you will need to meet the criteria set by your lender and loan program:

Credit score: A higher credit score can help you secure the lowest refinance interest rate. Government-backed refinance loans typically have lower credit score requirements than conventional loans. With an FHA cash-out refinance, the minimum score requirement is 500, for example. With a conventional refinance, it’s at least 620. But lenders are permitted to set higher minimums if they choose.

Debt-to-income ratio: Your debt-to-income ratio is the portion of your gross income that goes to paying your debt. Many lenders require a DTI below 36%. You can refinance a mortgage with a higher DTI, but you may pay a higher interest rate.

Home equity: Your home equity is the value of your home minus what is owed on the mortgage. The amount of equity you need to refinance varies by lender and type of mortgage, but 20% equity is a common requirement.

Refinance wait period: While you can refinance as often as you want, some lenders require a “seasoning” period between loans. With a conventional cash-out refinance, for instance, you will have to wait six months. If you are refinancing an FHA, VA, or USDA mortgage, the waiting time varies between six and 12 months.

Types of mortgage refinances

Whether you’re looking to refinance a conventional or government-backed mortgage, there are generally three types of refinances:

Rate and term refinance: A rate-and-term refinance is exactly what it sounds like: you refinance your mortgage to reduce the interest rate, shorten the term of the loan, or both.

Cash-out refinance: A cash-out refinance is when you replace your mortgage with a new one for more than your current loan balance. The difference goes to the homeowner as cash that can be used for home improvements or other financial responsibilities. There are conventional, as well as FHA and VA cash-out refinancing options.

Streamlined refinance: The FHA, VA and USDA offer streamlined refinancing options that may allow you to skip the usual appraisal and credit check, saving you time and money. The FHA streamline and VA IRRRL both require that the refinancing result in a financial benefit: either a reduction in your monthly payment or interest rate.

Choosing a refinance lender

Whether you’re looking for the reach of a traditional bank or the personalized service of a credit union, always shop multiple lenders and compare the interest rate and terms each lender offers. Even though it might be easy to refinance with your current mortgage lender, it may not offer the best deal.

Everything can be negotiated. Your lender is required to provide you with a Loan Estimate after you apply. Compare fees listed under the "origination charges" on the document. If you are not comfortable with a fee, negotiate for it to be removed or reduced.

What is the real cost of your mortgage? Look at the annual percentage rate, or APR. This number covers all the costs of the mortgage including the interest rate and fees.

More from NerdWallet

Last updated on April 18, 2022

Methodology

The star ratings on this page reflect each lender's performance in NerdWallet’s refinance category. We scored the category and chose lenders for this page using the following methodology:

NerdWallet reviewed nearly 60 mortgage lenders, including the majority of the largest U.S. mortgage lenders by annual loan volume (lenders had to have at least a 1% market share), lenders with significant online search volume and those that specialize in serving various audiences across the country.

All reviewed mortgage lenders that offer more than one refinance product were evaluated based on (1) the portion of their business dedicated to refinance lending, (2) their refinance origination fees, (3) their rate transparency and (4) the ease of their online application. The highest scoring lenders appear on this page.

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 2020 HMDA data for origination volume, origination fee, rate spread and share-of-product data.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Mortgage Refinance Lenders of July 2022

Frequently asked questions