BEST OF

10 Best San Francisco Mortgage Lenders of 2021

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

NerdWalletFeb 25, 2021

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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 2021

Quicken Loans
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at Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans: NMLS#3030

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Quicken Loans

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%
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at Quicken Loans


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking for just about all of the services your neighborhood lender offers — 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 it doesn't offset those fees with particularly low mortgage rates.

Read Full Review
Guaranteed Rate
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at Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Guaranteed Rate

Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

National
Learn more

at Guaranteed Rate


Why we like it

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

Pros

  • Offers the ability to securely upload and digitally sign loan documents.

  • Displays detailed sample rates for many of its refinance loan products.

Cons

  • May charge an application fee.

Read Full Review
Chase
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at Chase

Chase: NMLS#399798

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Chase

Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

National
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at Chase


Why we like it

Good for: refinancers who want a name-brand bank, with offices in more than half the states, that charges lower rates and fees than many other lenders.

Pros

  • Fixed- and adjustable-rate refinance options.

  • Customized refinance rate quotes available online without providing personal info.

Cons

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

Read Full Review
loanDepot
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at loanDepot

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
loanDepot

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

5%
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at loanDepot


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking to refinance or who want to start the application process online.

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
SoFi
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at SoFi

SoFi: NMLS#1484615

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

10%
Learn more

at SoFi


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 five states.

Read Full Review

Bank of America: NMLS#399802

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bank of America

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

5%

National / Regional

National

National / Regional

National

Why we like it

Good for: first-time home buyers looking for low-down-payment options and existing customers who may get a discount on fees.

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

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Citibank

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 with other lenders.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.

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

Read Full Review

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Flagstar

National / Regional

National

Max LTV

89%

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Credit Score

620

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

  • Home equity lending is geographically limited.

Read Full Review

US Bank: NMLS#402761

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
US Bank

National / Regional

National

Max LTV

80%

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Credit Score

620

Why we like it

U.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.

Read Full Review

PNC: NMLS#446303

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
PNC

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 February 25, 2021

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 2021