Best of

9 Best San Diego Mortgage Lenders of 2020

NerdWalletFebruary 11, 2020

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.

Shopping for San Diego mortgage lenders? Compare our picks for the city’s top mortgage companies to get the best loan options, mortgage rates and more.

Thanks to white-sand beaches and year-round sunshine, deciding to live in San Diego is a no-brainer. But with scores of mortgage companies to pick from, finding the right one to finance your house can feel more difficult. That’s where NerdWallet comes in.

We compared San Diego’s leading mortgage lenders — high-volume national brands along with local options — to identify top options for first-time home buyers and repeat buyers alike.

When choosing a mortgage lender, it’s important to think about what matters most to you: Some borrowers need low-down-payment options, some want a competitive interest rate, and others look for the convenience of an online application process.

We've narrowed the field to help simplify your search for a San Diego mortgage lender.

These national and regional mortgage lenders do business in San Diego, even if they don’t have physical locations there, and are among the city’s highest-volume mortgage companies.

Summary of Best San Diego Mortgage Lenders of 2020

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for borrowers who want a wide range of choices — not only among mortgage products, but also in the channel they prefer, whether a branch, online or on the phone.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of loan types and products, including FHA, VA and USDA.

  • Has a full suite of online conveniences.

  • Does well with rate transparency, and monthly payment estimates add mortgage insurance, when applicable.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer renovation loans at this time.

  • Home equity lending is geographically limited.

Read Full Review

Guild Mortgage: NMLS#3274

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: first-time home buyers and others who may need the flexibility of a low-down-payment loan program.

Pros

  • Offers multiple online conveniences, including a full mortgage application, e-signatures and digital loan process tracking.

  • Offers a wide variety of loan products, including home improvement and manufactured home loans.

Cons

  • Does not offer home equity loan products.

  • Average interest rates and fees are higher than other lenders.

Read Full Review
Logo

at Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans: NMLS#3030

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Quicken Loans


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking for just about all of 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 many working Americans.

  • Offers custom fixed-rate loan terms that are between eight and 30 years.

  • Provides a wide variety of loan types, including renovation loans and all government-backed mortgage products.

Cons

  • Quicken Loans doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Quicken's lender fees can be stout and they don't offset those fees with particularly low mortgage rates.

Read Full Review
Logo

at Fairway

Fairway Independent Mortgage: NMLS#2289

Logo

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.

Read Full Review

Caliber: NMLS#15622

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: first-time home buyers, veterans and those who may have credit challenges to overcome.

Pros

  • Offers extensive educational resources for military borrowers.

  • Provides digital tools for a streamlined application process.

  • Participates in some state down payment assistance and first-time homebuyer programs.

Cons

  • No mortgage rates displayed online.

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

Read Full Review

Bank of America: NMLS#399802

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who prefer a traditional bank. Bank of America offers a wide array of mortgages and online account management tools. It also has first-time home buyer loans with low down payments and no mandatory mortgage insurance.

Pros

  • Allows borrowers to apply entirely online.

  • Offers down payment and closing cost assistance programs.

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

Cons

  • Does not offer renovation loans.

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

San Diego Country Credit Union: NMLS#580585

Logo

Min. Down Payment

5%

National / Regional

Regional


Why we like it

Good for Californians who live or work in San Diego, Riverside or Orange counties, and who want a conventional, non-government mortgage.

Pros

  • Offers purchase, refinance, home equity and jumbo mortgages, plus loans for second homes.

  • Provides customized rate and fee quotes without requiring contact information.

  • Charges lower rates and origination fees than most other lenders.

Cons

  • No FHA, VA or USDA or home improvement mortgages.

  • Doesn’t offer online loan process tracking.

Read Full Review

Bank of America: NMLS#399802

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who prefer a traditional bank. Bank of America offers a wide array of mortgages and online account management tools. It also has first-time home buyer loans with low down payments and no mandatory mortgage insurance.

Pros

  • Allows borrowers to apply entirely online.

  • Offers down payment and closing cost assistance programs.

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

Cons

  • Does not offer renovation loans.

Read Full Review

Chase: NMLS#399798

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for borrowers who want to choose among a wide array of mortgage types from a bank with offices in more than half the states that charges below-average origination fees.

Pros

  • Allows electronic submission and tracking of loan documents.

  • Carries a wide variety of mortgage types and products.

  • Generally offers good rates and charges reasonable fees.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home improvement loans, such as FHA 203(k) and HomeStyle.

  • You have to speak with a home loan advisor to complete the application.

Read Full Review

Local mortgage lenders in San Diego

The following lenders have not been reviewed by NerdWallet. However, they do a significant volume of mortgage lending in San Diego and are popular among the city’s mortgage shoppers. Check them out if you prefer to include a local lender or two in your search for the best mortgage.

  • Several low-down-payment loans.

  • Loan options with no closing costs and no mortgage insurance.

  • Mobile app available.

  • Multiple branch locations in San Diego.

  • Pre-qualification requires a phone call with a loan officer.

  • Loan programs for foreign nationals and self-employed borrowers.

  • Will finance all types of condos.

  • Several branch locations in and around San Diego.

  • Conventional, government and jumbo loan options.

  • Offers refinancing and reverse mortgages.

  • Only one branch location in San Diego.

  • Website provides instant customized rate quotes.

  • Offers 3% down conventional loans.

  • Claims to charge a flat, guaranteed lender fee.

More from NerdWallet

Last updated on February 11, 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 San Diego Mortgage Lenders of 2020