Best of

Best Mortgage Refinance Lenders of March 2024

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.

Kate Wood
By
Last updated on February 2, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Mary Makarushka
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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NerdWallet's mortgage content, including articles, reviews and recommendations, is produced by a team of writers and editors who specialize in home lending. Their work has appeared in The Associated Press, USA Today, The Washington Post, MarketWatch, Newsweek and many other national, regional and local publications. They have been cited in publications including The Wall Street Journal, and appeared on NerdWallet's "Smart Money" podcast as well as local TV and radio.
NerdWallet’s Best-Of Award Winner
Best Mortgage Lender For Refinancing
Rocket Mortgage, LLC
Rocket Mortgage, LLC: NMLS#3030
5.0
Refinancing
NerdWallet rating
Learn moreat Rocket Mortgage, LLC
at Rocket Mortgage, LLC
WHY OUR NERDS LOVE ITRocket Mortgage offers a wide variety of refinancing options, with low rates compared with other lenders and a smooth online application process.
Read our methodology
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Best Mortgage Refinance Lenders

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Lender
NerdWallet Rating
Min. credit score
National / regional
Learn more
NBKC

NBKC: NMLS#409631

Top 3 most visited 🏆
Learn more
at NBKC
at NBKC
Refinancing
Best for rate transparency

620

National

Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

Learn more
at Guaranteed Rate
at Guaranteed Rate
5.0
/5
Refinancing
Best for variety of refi types

620

National

Rocket Mortgage, LLC

Rocket Mortgage, LLC: NMLS#3030

5.0
/5
Refinancing
Best for variety of refi types

620

National

Pennymac

Pennymac: NMLS#35953

LEARN MORE
on NerdWallet
5.0
/5
Refinancing
Best for rate transparency

620

National

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on NerdWallet
Bethpage Federal Credit Union

Bethpage Federal Credit Union: NMLS#449104

Learn more
at Bethpage Federal Credit Union
at Bethpage Federal Credit Union
5.0
/5
Refinancing
Best for digital convenience

620

National

Learn more
at Bethpage Federal Credit Union
at Bethpage Federal Credit Union

Explore all of our lender picks by category

NBKC
Learn more
at NBKC
at NBKC
NBKC

NBKC: NMLS#409631

5.0
Refinancing
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score

620

National / regional

National

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers who want low rates and fees and an online experience with phone support. VA loans are an emphasis.
Pros
  • Offers government-backed loans and some harder-to-find products, such as construction loans and specialty mortgages for pilots.
  • Offers low rates and fees compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.
  • Displays customized rates, with fee estimates, without requiring contact information.
Cons
  • HELOCs and construction-to-permanent loans are available only in the Kansas City metro area.
Read Full Review
Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

5.0
Min. credit score

620

National / regional

National

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers seeking a broad menu of loans, including jumbo and interest-only options, renovation loans and government-backed mortgages, as well as home equity lines of credit.
Pros
  • Offers a one-day mortgage approval process.
  • Offers a generous selection of loans, including government-backed, interest-only, ITIN, jumbo, and renovation loans.
  • Advertises a HELOC that can be funded in as few as five business days.
  • 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.
  • HELOC has a relatively short draw period, which may not provide flexibility for someone who wants the option of accessing home equity over a longer period.
Rocket Mortgage, LLC
Learn more
at Rocket Mortgage, LLC
at Rocket Mortgage, LLC
Rocket Mortgage, LLC

Rocket Mortgage, LLC: NMLS#3030

5.0
Min. credit score

620

National / regional

National

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers who appreciate a fully digital home loan experience with mortgage rates lower than other lenders’.
Pros
  • Streamlined online process with document and asset retrieval capabilities, as well as the ability to edit your preapproval letter.
  • Mortgage interest rates are on the low side compared to other lenders, according to the latest federal data.
  • Offers the option to work with loan officers by phone if desired.
Cons
  • Getting a customized interest rate requires a credit check, which can affect your credit score.
  • Doesn't offer home equity lines of credit.
  • Origination fees are on the high side compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.
Pennymac
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on NerdWallet
Pennymac

Pennymac: NMLS#35953

5.0
Min. credit score

620

National / regional

National

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers seeking a government-backed mortgage who want to rate-shop online.
Pros
  • Offers a wide variety of loan products, including government-backed and refinance options.
  • Displays custom rate quotes based on home value, down payment or equity, ZIP code and credit score range.
  • “Lock & Shop” lets you secure a rate for up to 60 days, even if you don’t have a purchase contract yet.
Cons
  • Origination fees are on the higher end, according to the latest federal data.
  • Doesn't offer home equity lines of credit or renovation loans.
Bethpage Federal Credit Union
Learn more
at Bethpage Federal Credit Union
at Bethpage Federal Credit Union
Bethpage Federal Credit Union

Bethpage Federal Credit Union: NMLS#449104

5.0
Min. credit score

620

National / regional

National

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers seeking a solid selection of mortgages and the membership-based, not-for-profit business model of a credit union.
Pros
  • Offers a full array of online conveniences, including loan process updates.
  • Offers financing for cooperatives, a type of home that’s common on the East Coast.
  • Sample mortgage rates available for a variety of loan products.
Cons
  • In-person service available only in Queens and on Long Island, New York.
  • USDA loans are not available.
  • Customized rates not available online.
SoFi
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on NerdWallet
SoFi

SoFi: NMLS#696891

5.0
Min. credit score

620

National / regional

Regional

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers seeking an entirely digital application process for conventional purchase mortgages or refinancing.
Pros
  • Borrowers with an existing loan or investment account from SoFi may qualify for a $500 discount on mortgage fees.
  • Mortgage rates tend to be on the low side, according to the latest federal data.
  • Offers jumbo loans with a minimum down payment of 10%.
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.
PNC
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on NerdWallet
PNC

PNC: NMLS#446303

5.0
Min. credit score

620

National / regional

National

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers with low-to-moderate incomes or limited down payments. PNC offers several low-down-payment loans, including one with no mortgage insurance.
Pros
  • Posts current mortgage rates on its website.
  • Offers several affordable loan options, including FHA, VA, USDA and the PNC Community Loan.
  • Receives high marks for customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Zillow.
Cons
  • Doesn't offer renovation mortgages.
  • In-person service is not available in every state.
Navy Federal
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on NerdWallet
Navy Federal

Navy Federal: NMLS#399807

5.0
National / regional

National

Min. credit score

N/A

Why We Like ItGood for: Military borrowers who’ve exhausted their VA loan benefits and qualified government employees who want to compare mortgage options without down payments.
Pros
  • Offers unique loan options aimed at military borrowers, such as a proprietary loan called Military Choice that works as an alternative to VA loans.
  • 24/7 customer service supports borrowers stationed overseas.
  • Offers home equity loans and lines of credit.
Cons
  • Borrowers must join the credit union before applying for a mortgage.
  • The lender does not offer renovation or construction loans.
  • When we tried their customer service line, we sometimes waited longer than 10 minutes before being connected with a representative who could answer our questions.
Flagstar
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on NerdWallet
Flagstar

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

5.0
Min. credit score

620

National / regional

National

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.
PenFed
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on NerdWallet
PenFed

PenFed: NMLS#401822

5.0
Min. credit score

650

National / regional

National

Why We Like ItGood for: borrowers who prize low rates and fees and prefer working with an easy-to-join credit union.
Pros
  • Offers a selection of low-down-payment options for first-time home buyers and HELOCs.
  • Offers a rate lock with a fully underwritten preapproval when you're still shopping for a home.
  • Mortgage rates and fees are low compared with other lenders, according to the latest data.
Cons
  • Borrowers cannot see customized mortgage rates without providing contact information.
  • Does not offer harder-to-find mortgages, such as construction, ITIN or USDA loans.
San Diego County Credit Union
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on NerdWallet
San Diego County Credit Union

San Diego County Credit Union: NMLS#580585

5.0
National / regional

Regional

Min. credit score

620

Why We Like ItGood for: Californians who are looking for a conventional or jumbo mortgage and who want to shop rates online.
Pros
  • Offers purchase, refinance and jumbo mortgages, plus loans for second homes and home equity products.
  • Provides customized rate and fee quotes without requiring contact information.
Cons
  • No FHA, VA or USDA mortgages.
  • Loans are available only in California.
US Bank
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on NerdWallet
US Bank

US Bank: NMLS#402761

5.0
Min. credit score

620

National / regional

National

Why We Like ItU.S. Bank gets high marks for its loan offerings and online customer conveniences — and has competitive fees and mortgage rates.
Pros
  • Offers a full line of conventional and government loan products.
  • Provides home equity loans and lines of credit.
  • Allows borrowers to apply and track their loan's progress online.
Cons
  • No personalized mortgage rates available online.
  • Published mortgage rates assume an above-average credit score.
Mr. Cooper
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on NerdWallet
Mr. Cooper

Mr. Cooper: NMLS#2119

5.0
Min. credit score

620

National / regional

Regional

Why We Like ItGood for: tech-savvy borrowers looking for lower credit score requirements and a mobile app that goes beyond the basics.
Pros
  • Has a robust digital experience and mobile app.
  • Offers a 45-day rate lock option.
Cons
  • Requires a call or email for personalized rates.
  • Does not offer home equity loans or lines of credit, or home improvement loans.
USAA
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on NerdWallet
USAA

USAA: NMLS#8722

5.0
Min. credit score

620

National / regional

Regional

Why We Like ItGood for: veterans, active-duty service members and eligible reservists looking for VA loans.
Pros
  • VA loans are the bulk of USAA’s business, so it knows the ins and outs of eligibility.
  • Offers a conventional home loan with low down payment for first-time buyers.
  • Mortgage interest rates are on the low side compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer FHA or USDA loans, or second mortgages.
  • Limited mortgage rate information is on the USAA website. For customized rates, you'll have to make contact.

Why refinance your mortgage?

There are multiple reasons to refinance your mortgage. People usually refi to save money, either in the short run or the long run, but there are other rationales for refinancing. Here are some common goals that can be accomplished with a refi:

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

Shorten the loan 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. However, it decreases the overall interest you pay over the life of the loan and allows you to pay off your mortgage sooner.

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

Change your loan type. Rather than enduring an uncertain interest rate with an adjustable-rate mortgage, you might refinance to a fixed-rate loan so you don't have to worry that the rate will rise. If you originally bought your home with an FHA loan and you could now qualify for a conventional loan, you might make that switch.

Access 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 major home improvements.

Add or remove a borrower. Because changing who's responsible for paying the mortgage changes the terms of your agreement with the lender, you'll need to refi if you want to put a new borrower on the loan or take someone off the mortgage, for instance, after a marriage or divorce.

Lower your monthly payment. Refinancing back to a 30-year mortgage can give you smaller mortgage payments, because you're stretching out your payments over a longer period of time. But a longer loan means more interest, too. If your main reason for refinancing is difficulty making your mortgage payments, you may want to consider other options.

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. These will vary, but here's an idea of what you can expect.

Credit score. A higher credit score can help you secure a lower refinance interest rate. Government-backed refinance loans typically have lower credit score requirements than conventional loans. But lenders are permitted to set higher minimums if they choose. If your credit could use some polishing, you may want to work on it before applying for a refinance.

Debt-to-income ratio. Your debt-to-income ratio is the portion of your gross income that goes to paying your debt, including your mortgage. 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 four 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, alter the length 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. You receive the difference as cash that can be used for home improvements or other financial responsibilities. There are conventional, 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.

Renovation refinance. A renovation refinance loan works somewhat like a cash-out refinance, in that you take out a larger loan than what you previously owed. The proceeds from the refi go toward fixing up your home. With some renovation refinances, like the FHA 203(k) loan, the lender directly pays your contractor. Renovation refinances sometimes allow you to borrow against the value of the home once the upgrades are completed rather than its current value.

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.

Just like when you bought your home, your lender is required to provide you with a Loan Estimate after you apply to refinance. Compare fees listed under the "origination charges" on the document. If you are not comfortable with a fee, try to negotiate for it to be removed or reduced.

More from NerdWallet

Last updated on February 2, 2024

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 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.

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 2022 data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) for origination volume, origination fee, rate spread and share-of-product data.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Mortgage Refinance Lenders of March 2024

  • NBKC: Best for rate transparency
  • Guaranteed Rate: Best for variety of refi types
  • Rocket Mortgage, LLC: Best for variety of refi types
  • Pennymac: Best for rate transparency
  • Bethpage Federal Credit Union: Best for digital convenience
  • SoFi: Best for digital convenience
  • PNC: Best for variety of refi types
  • Navy Federal: Best for military borrowers
  • Flagstar: Best for rate transparency
  • PenFed: Best for low origination fees
  • San Diego County Credit Union: Best for California borrowers
  • US Bank: Best for ease of application
  • Mr. Cooper: Best for digital convenience
  • USAA: Best for military borrowers

Frequently asked questions

  • There are multiple reasons to refinance your mortgage. Saving money is a big one: Getting a lower rate brings down your monthly payments, while shortening the term means you'll pay less total interest. A mortgage refinance calculator can help you see how much you could save and when you'll break even.

  • Not necessarily. Even though it might be easy to refinance with your current mortgage lender, that lender may not offer you the best deal. Shop at least three mortgage refinance lenders and compare the interest rate and terms each lender offers.

  • Refinance rates are in constant flux and vary based on economic trends, like job growth and inflation. But the rate you're offered will also depend on your individual financial situation, and factors like your credit score and the loan-to-value ratio of your refinance. Get quotes from multiple lenders to find the best refinance rates.

  • In order to qualify for a mortgage refinance, you will need to meet the criteria set by your lender and loan program. These can include income requirements, a minimum credit score, a maximum debt-to-income ratio and sufficient home equity.

  • The first step in refinancing is determining your goal. That will help you decide whether you need a rate-and-term refinance, a cash-out refinance or another type of mortgage refinance. Once you know what you're looking for, you’ll shop for a refinance lender, apply and close on your new mortgage, the same way you did when you bought the home.

  • You can generally refinance as often as it makes financial sense to do so. There is an exception: Some lenders require "seasoning" between refinances — in other words, they require you to have the loan for a specified number of months before refinancing again.

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