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12 Best Mortgage Refinance Lenders of August 2020

NerdWalletFebruary 13, 2020

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If you're interested in refinancing to a lower rate or lower monthly payment, we'll help you choose the best mortgage refinance lender for you. Check out our list of some of the best mortgage refinance lenders.

NOTE: Due to the coronavirus outbreak, refinancing may be a bit of a challenge. Lenders are dealing with high loan demand and staffing issues. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For the latest information on how to cope with financial stress during this emergency, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

The best thing about refinancing your mortgage is that you’ve been through the home loan process before — but a lot may have changed since then. And there are more refinance companies and loan options now than ever.

Some refinance lenders offer the latest in online capabilities, others specialize in Federal Housing Administration or Veterans Affairs loans, and others will still discuss your loan options with you face to face.

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

Summary of Best Mortgage Refinance Lenders of August 2020

LenderNerdWallet Rating Minimum Credit Score Minimum Down PaymentLearn More

Better.com: NMLS#330511

at Better.com

Best for refinancing overall

620

3%

at Better.com

Rocket Mortgage: NMLS#3030

at Rocket Mortgage

Best for online experience

620

3%

at Rocket Mortgage

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

at LoanDepot

Best for non-bank lender

620

3.5%

at LoanDepot

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

at Veterans United

Best for government loans

660

0%

at Veterans United

Reali Loans: NMLS#991397

at Reali Loans

Best for online experience

620

5%

at Reali Loans

Chase: NMLS#399798

Best for traditional lender

620

3%

Read review

LenderFi: NMLS#133056

Best for refinancing overall

620

3%

Read review

Navy Federal: NMLS#399807

Best for government loans

N/A

0%

Read review

SunTrust: NMLS#2915

Best for customer service

620

3%

Read review

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

Best for customer service

620

3%

Read review

Bank of America: NMLS#399802

Best for traditional lender

620

3%

Read review

Alliant: NMLS#197185

Best for credit union lender

NA

0%

Read review
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at Better.com

Better.com: NMLS#330511

Great for digital convenience

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Better.com


Why we like it

Good for: Better.com shines 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.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Doesn't do FHA, VA or USDA loans.

Read Full Review
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at Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage: NMLS#3030

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

National

at Rocket Mortgage


Why we like it

Ideal for refi borrowers with little time. Rocket Mortgage brings smartphone app convenience to the refinance process. And online income and asset verification speeds the process.

Pros

  • Offers conventional and government-backed refinance mortgages.

  • Customized loan recommendations based on refinance goals.

  • Automatically fills in your application with public information.

  • Helpful mortgage bankers are just a click away.

Cons

  • Doesn’t consider alternative-credit info for refinances.

  • No in-person customer service available.

  • Must create an account to see personalized refinance rates.

Read Full Review
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at LoanDepot

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

National

at LoanDepot


Why we like it

Ideal for anyone who wants online convenience with face-to-face options. Loan Depot has affiliated locations nationwide and is well-rated for low customer complaint volume.

Pros

  • Offers conventional and government-backed refinance mortgages.

  • Offers a “lifetime guarantee” on future refinances: no lender fees and reimbursal of appraisal cost.

  • Advertises a "no steering" policy for refinance loans.

Cons

  • Must provide personal information to get a customized refinance rate quote.

  • Has fewer high-tech refinance tools than other lenders, such as no mobile app.

Read Full Review
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at Veterans United

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

Logo

Min. Credit Score

660

National / Regional

National

at Veterans United


Why we like it

Ideal for military-connected customers looking to refinance. Veterans United's streamline VA refis require a lot less paperwork with lower closing costs.

Pros

  • Offers VA IRRRL, or “Streamline,” and cash-out refinance loans.

  • Online application and prequalification available.

  • Offers 24/7 customer service.

Cons

  • Doesn’t publish refinance rates on its website.

  • Must provide some personal information for a customized refinance rate quote.

  • Physical locations not available in all states.

Read Full Review
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at Reali Loans

Reali Loans: NMLS#991397

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

Regional

at Reali Loans


Why we like it

Ideal for refinance customers in the states it serves. Reali Loans doesn’t charge upfront origination or broker fees on refinance loans, which close in around 36 days.

Pros

  • No upfront origination or broker fees.

  • A shorter, more transparent refinance process.

  • Online platform lets you track your refinance every step of the way.

Cons

  • No FHA, VA or USDA refinance products.

  • Account required to see personalized refinance rates.

Read Full Review

Chase: NMLS#399798

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

National


Why we like it

Ideal for refinancing any way you want: in person, online or over the phone. With branch locations in 22 states, Chase has a strong face-to-face presence, but refinancers can apply through other channels, too.

Pros

  • Fixed- and adjustable-rate refinance options.

  • Aims to close all refinance transactions in 60 days or less.

  • Customized rate quotes available online without providing personal info.

Cons

  • Physical locations not available in all states.

  • Charges an origination fee as well as other third-party fees for refinances.

  • You must speak with a mortgage banker to be approved.

Read Full Review

LenderFi: NMLS#133056

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for time-pressed borrowers who want a fast loan decision with minimal paperwork.

Pros

  • Online loan application with quick loan decision.

  • Does not charge origination fees for most loans.

  • Many combinations of interest rates and discount points to choose from.

  • Loan officers are available by phone and text.

Cons

  • Loans unavailable in Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, New York and Utah.

  • Home equity lines of credit and traditional home equity loans are unavailable.

Read Full Review

Navy Federal: NMLS#399807

Logo

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

0%


Why we like it

Good for: Military members and their families looking for low-down-payment mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of affordable mortgage products designed for military members.

  • Has an online application for preapproval.

  • Offers low rates compared with most lenders.

Cons

  • Website does not provide customized mortgage rates based on credit score or other factors before you apply.

  • Credit union membership is limited to veterans and current military members, their families, and certain federal employees, retirees and contractors.

Read Full Review

SunTrust: NMLS#2915

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

National


Why we like it

Ideal for the homeowner who wants to refinance, but needs help figuring out which type of mortgage to choose. SunTrust offers a broad range of loan types, including FHA, VA, USDA and conventional mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers refinance loans with fixed and adjustable rates.

  • Online portal provides info and tools for refinance customers.

Cons

  • Customized rates not available on website without starting an application.

  • Branches limited mostly to the Southeast.

Read Full Review

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

National


Why we like it

Good for homeowners who are looking to refinance into conventional, FHA or VA mortgages.

Pros

  • Apply and be approved for a refinance entirely online.

  • Suggests refinance loan products based on your financial goals.

  • No personal information required for customized refinance rate quotes.

Cons

  • Charges some fees, such as a lender fee which includes an application fee.

Read Full Review

Bank of America: NMLS#399802

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

National


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who like options. Bank of America offers multiple refinance loans, including FHA, VA and cash-out.

Pros

  • Offers refinance mortgages with fixed and adjustable rates.

  • Allows borrowers to apply entirely online.

  • May give existing customers a discount on mortgage lender origination fees.

Cons

  • Does not offer renovation loans.

Read Full Review

Alliant: NMLS#197185

Logo

Min. Credit Score

NA

National / Regional

National


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who like to save money. Through Alliant's Advantage Mortgage (AAM) program, borrowers may be able to refinance and eliminate mortgage insurance with just 5% equity.

Pros

  • Offers no-mortgage-insurance refinances to homeowners with as little as 5% equity.

  • Online banking and mortgage management tools.

  • Strong marks for customer service.

Cons

  • No FHA, VA or USDA refinance loans.

  • Only one physical location, in Chicago.

Read Full Review

Mortgage Refinance FAQs

What is a mortgage refinance?

When you refinance, you get a new mortgage to replace your current home loan. Just as when you bought the home, you will most likely undergo a credit check and pay closing costs. Some lenders offer a "no closing cost" refinance, in which you pay a higher interest rate in exchange for paying little or nothing at closing.

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.

When can you refinance a mortgage?

You may 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.

How do you refinance your mortgage?

The first step in refinancing is determining your goal. Do you want to reduce your monthly payment? Shorten the term? Get rid of FHA mortgage insurance? Move from an ARM to a fixed rate? Borrow from equity?

After you have identified your goal, you’ll shop for a refinance lender, apply and close on your new mortgage, the same way you did when you bought the home.

More from NerdWallet

Last updated on February 13, 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 Mortgage Refinance Lenders of August 2020