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10 Best San Francisco Mortgage Lenders of 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 2, 2020

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San Francisco mortgage lenders vary by size and capabilities. These are highly rated lenders in various home loan categories for Bay Area home buyers.

San Francisco mortgage lenders are about as varied as Bay Area homes. Whether cutting-edge modern or button-down traditional, the capabilities of San Francisco mortgage lenders vary nearly as much as the features of a postmodern home in SoMa compared with a Queen Anne in the Pacific Heights neighborhood.

NerdWallet screened the capabilities of San Francisco mortgage companies in various categories — from national brands to leading local lenders. Here are the results.

Summary of Best San Francisco Mortgage Lenders of 2020

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at Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans: NMLS#3030

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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

SoFi: NMLS#1484615

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National / Regional

Regional

Min. Down Payment

10%


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.

  • May consider vested restricted stock units as income.

  • 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 mortgages are unavailable in eight states.

Read Full Review

Chase: NMLS#399798

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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.

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Bank of America: NMLS#399802

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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

Citibank: NMLS#412915

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National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: Borrowers wanting to compare mortgage rates online for a variety of loan options.

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including low-down-payment mortgages and jumbo mortgages.

  • Provides customizable mortgage rates on its website.

  • Offers low rates and fees compared to other lenders.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.

  • Requires help from a mortgage loan officer to complete the loan application online.

Read Full Review
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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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Flagstar: NMLS#417490

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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

US Bank: NMLS#402761

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers who prefer a traditional bank with a wide variety of loan products, including some specialty offerings, like 80-10-10 mortgages.

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.

Read Full Review
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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.

Read Full Review

PNC: NMLS#446303

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good 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.

  • Has an online application for mortgage preapproval and a digital tool to track application progress.

  • Offers several affordable loan options including FHA, VA, USDA and the PNC Community Loan.

Cons

  • Can't complete a full mortgage application online.

  • Doesn't offer renovation mortgages.

  • In-person service is not available in every state.

Read Full Review

Local mortgage lenders in San Francisco

If you want to include a local lender or two in your search for the best mortgage, these San Francisco lenders are among the highest-volume mortgage makers in the city. The lenders have not been reviewed by NerdWallet.

  • Offers single-family, co-op and condo loans.

  • All-in-one construction-to-permanent loans finance the building of your dream home.

  • Underwrites vacation and second-home loans.

  • No-closing-cost options reduce out-of-pocket fees.

  • Offers loan options that don't require mortgage insurance.

  • Home hunters can get pre-qualified over the phone “in minutes.”

  • Combo loans allow the purchase of a property using a primary mortgage and a HELOC.

  • Portfolio loans provide underwriting flexibility for higher-value homes.

  • HELOCs feature no application fee or closing costs, subject to some restrictions.

  • Over 100 branches in Northern California.

  • An independent mortgage banking firm established in 1996.

  • Application documents are available online for downloading.

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 San Francisco Mortgage Lenders of 2020