Best of

Best San Francisco Mortgage Lenders of 2019

NerdWalletApril 4, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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

Summary of Best San Francisco Mortgage Lenders of 2019

LenderBest For

Minimum Credit Score

Minimum Down PaymentLearn More
Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans

at Quicken Loans

first-time home buyers

620

3%

at Quicken Loans

SoFi

SoFi

NerdWallet rating 

at SoFi

first-time home buyers

N/A

10%

at SoFi

Chase

Chase

at Chase

refinancing

620

3%

at Chase

Bank of America

Bank of America

traditional banks

620

3%

Read review
Citibank Mortgage

Citibank Mortgage

traditional banks

N/A

3%

Read review
Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate

refinancing

620

3%

Read review
Flagstar

Flagstar

home equity products

620

3%

Read review
US Bank

US Bank

home equity products

620

3%

Read review
loanDepot

loanDepot

at loanDepot

government-backed loans

620

3.5%

at loanDepot

PNC

PNC

government-backed loans

620

3%

Read review
LenderBest For

Minimum Credit Score

Minimum Down PaymentLearn More
Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans

at Quicken Loans

first-time home buyers

620

3%

at Quicken Loans

SoFi

SoFi

NerdWallet rating 

at SoFi

first-time home buyers

N/A

10%

at SoFi

Chase

Chase

at Chase

refinancing

620

3%

at Chase

Bank of America

Bank of America

traditional banks

620

3%

Read review
Citibank Mortgage

Citibank Mortgage

traditional banks

N/A

3%

Read review
Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate

refinancing

620

3%

Read review
Flagstar

Flagstar

home equity products

620

3%

Read review
US Bank

US Bank

home equity products

620

3%

Read review
loanDepot

loanDepot

at loanDepot

government-backed loans

620

3.5%

at loanDepot

PNC

PNC

government-backed loans

620

3%

Read review
Logo

at Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans

Logo
Min. Credit Score 
620 

Min. Down Payment 
3% 

at Quicken Loans


Why we like it

Ideal choice for convenience and quick-response customer service. Quicken Loans provides just about all the services your neighborhood lender does — with online convenience.

Rating and Review

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 more than 60% of working Americans.

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

  • Provides FHA-backed loans, USDA loans as well as products offered by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae that require down payments as low as 3%.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • If you’re a “look me in the eye” type of customer, you’re out of luck.

  • Doesn’t consider alternative credit data. It just looks at credit scores and debt-to-income ratios, the way most mortgage lenders always have.

Read Full Review
Logo

at SoFi

SoFi

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Logo
National / Regional 
Regional 

Min. Down Payment 
10% 

at SoFi


Why we like it

Ideal for young professionals and self-employed borrowers looking for a lender that considers non-traditional income.

Rating and Review

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Pros

  • Provides an entirely digital mortgage application to make the process easier for borrowers.

  • Considers non-traditional income, such as restricted stock units, and works with self-employed borrowers.

  • Does not require private mortgage insurance for jumbo loans.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer government-backed loans, like FHA or VA.

  • Does not offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

Logo

at Chase

Min. Credit Score 
620 

Min. Down Payment 
3% 

at Chase


Why we like it

Ideal for first-time home buyers who want to talk to a loan officer in person or on the phone, and for homeowners who want to refinance their mortgages in 60 days or less. Chase offers a full line of mortgage products and account management tools.

Rating and Review

Pros

  • Allows electronic submission and tracking of documents.

  • Existing Chase customers can get discounts.

  • Offers a wide selection of purchase and refinance mortgages.

Cons

  • Charges rate lock, origination and underwriting fees.

  • You have to speak with a mortgage banker to get complete info on products and requirements.

Read Full Review

Bank of America

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.

Rating and Review

Pros

  • Allows borrowers to apply entirely online.

  • Offers down payment and closing cost assistance programs.

  • Accepts alternative credit data for some loan types.

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

Cons

  • Charges an application fee of $1,170, on average.

  • Has a high volume of consumer complaints, even for a big national bank.

Read Full Review

Citibank Mortgage

Logo
National / Regional 
National 

Min. Down Payment 
3% 


Why we like it

Ideal for first-time home buyers or those with weaker credit. Citibank Mortgage, a large-scale lender with a full menu of home loan products, offers low down payment options and considers alternative credit data.

Rating and Review

Pros

  • Low down payment options.

  • Discounts for Citibank customers.

  • Looks at alternative credit data like rent history and child support payments.

  • Available in all 50 states.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.

  • Did not disclose origination fees, which may vary.

  • Can't complete loan online.

Read Full Review

Guaranteed Rate

Logo
Min. Credit Score 
620 

Min. Down Payment 
3% 


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who are looking to apply for a mortgage and manage the process through online tools, whether buying or refinancing. Guaranteed Rate offers FHA, VA and USDA loans for borrowers who meet robust guidelines.

Rating and Review

Pros

  • Works with most borrowers as long as they have good credit scores and incomes.

  • Provides a user-friendly digital platform that’s thorough in covering all types of borrowing scenarios.

  • Has a 95% customer satisfaction rate, according to company data.

Cons

  • Charges some fees, such as a $1,290 lender fee, which includes a $150 application fee.

  • Offers many products, which might confuse or overwhelm borrowers.

  • Several click-throughs required for personalized rates.

Read Full Review

Flagstar

Logo
Min. Credit Score 
620 

Min. Down Payment 
3% 


Why we like it

Ideal for those who appreciate the full-service experience of a leading regional bank. Flagstar offers a full menu of fixed and adjustable home loans and mortgage refinancing, as well as jumbo loans and home equity financing.

Rating and Review

Pros

  • Embraces FHA-backed home loans.

  • Offers several types of construction and renovation mortgages.

  • A professional loan package is tailored for the needs of doctors, lawyers, nurse practitioners, airline pilots and certified public accountants.

  • Flagstar reps are familiar with low-down-payment state bond programs for first-time home buyers and income-limited households, as well as the areas that qualify for USDA loans.

  • Offers home equity loans and home equity lines of credit.

Cons

  • Charges an average $1,295 in underwriting and processing fees.

Read Full Review

US Bank

Logo
Min. Credit Score 
620 

Min. Down Payment 
3% 


Why we like it

Rating and Review

Pros

  • Full line of conventional and government loan products.

  • Considers alternative credit data, like utility bills, in some cases.

  • Offers construction and investment-property loans in some areas.

Cons

  • No personalized rates available online.

  • Not all loan products offered are listed on its website.

Read Full Review
Logo

at loanDepot

loanDepot

Logo
Min. Credit Score 
620 

Min. Down Payment 
3.5% 

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.

Rating and Review

Pros

  • Offers digital income, asset and employment verification.

  • Has over 150 affiliated loan stores nationwide for customers who prefer face-to-face service.

  • One of the nation’s most active lenders of FHA and VA loans.

Cons

  • Published mortgage rates include up to three points of prepaid interest and fees.

  • Does not offer home equity loans or lines of credit.

Read Full Review
Min. Credit Score 
620 

Min. Down Payment 
3% 


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers with low-to-moderate incomes or limited down payments. PNC offers a low-down-payment loan with no mortgage insurance.

Rating and Review

Pros

  • Considers nontraditional credit history like rent payments.

  • Online tools help you estimate mortgage payments and track application progress.

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

Cons

  • It's not possible to complete the entire mortgage process online.

  • Offers mortgage loans nationwide, but has branches in only about two dozen states.

Read Full Review

» MORE: See the best California mortgage lenders

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.

First Republic

  • 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.

Union Bank

  • 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.”

Fremont Bank

  • 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.

American Pacific Mortgage

  • Over 100 branches in Northern California.
  • An independent mortgage banking firm established in 1996.
  • Application documents are available online for downloading.

More from NerdWallet

How much house can you afford?

Compare California mortgage rates

Calculate your mortgage payment

Last updated on April 4, 2019

Methodology

NerdWallet's selection of mortgage lenders for inclusion here was made based on our evaluation of the products and services that lenders offer to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The six key areas we evaluated include the loan types and loan products offered, online capabilities, online mortgage rate information, customer service and the number of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a percentage of loans issued. We also awarded lenders up to one bonus star for a unique program or borrower focus that set them apart from other lenders. 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 2019