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10 Best South Carolina Mortgage Lenders of 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 2, 2020

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Looking for a South Carolina mortgage lender? We've researched the state's top lenders, selecting the best for first-time home buyers, online experience and even home equity lines of credit, to help you choose the right mortgage lender today.

Finding the ideal South Carolina mortgage lender can feel like a massive task, but don’t worry — NerdWallet has done the homework for you.

We compared leading home loan providers in the Palmetto State and identified the best ones for a variety of borrower needs.

Whether you’re looking to buy a condo in Charleston, a cottage in Mount Pleasant or a classic ranch in Greenville, these lenders are a solid place to start your mortgage search.

Summary of Best South Carolina Mortgage Lenders of 2020

LenderNerdWallet Rating Minimum Credit Score Minimum Down PaymentLearn More

Rocket Mortgage

at Rocket Mortgage

Best for online experience

620

3%

at Rocket Mortgage

loanDepot

at loanDepot

Best for online experience

620

3.5%

at loanDepot

SunTrust

Best for first-time home buyers

620

3%

Read review

Guild Mortgage

Best for first-time home buyers

620

3%

Read review

Navy Federal

Best for veterans

N/A

0%

Read review

Best for veterans

620

3%

Read review

Flagstar

Best for low down payment

620

3%

Read review

Best for low down payment

620

3%

Read review

Bank of America

Best for HELOCs

620

3%

Read review

Best for HELOCs

620

3%

Read review
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at Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage: NMLS#3030

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Rocket Mortgage


Why we like it

Ideal for anyone who appreciates smartphone app service, support and time savings. Rocket Mortgage offers a fully digital home loan experience with a large variety of mortgage products.

Pros

  • The site caters to self-service users who want to apply for a home loan without talking to a human unless it’s absolutely necessary.

  • With your authorization, accesses asset statements from 98% of U.S. financial institutions.

  • Tells you the loan amount you’ll qualify for within minutes.

  • Rocket Mortgage’s document and asset retrieval capabilities can save you a bunch of time and hassle.

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
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at loanDepot

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

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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.

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

SunTrust: NMLS#2915

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers with fair credit or better. SunTrust, now a part of Truist Financial Corp., offers a variety of customer service options.

Pros

  • Offers a complete online suite of mortgage application tools and loan tracking.

  • Provides customer service in its physical locations, online, via chat and by phone.

  • Offers wide variety of loan options, including a loan program for licensed medical professionals

Cons

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

  • Branches limited to mostly the Southeast.

Read Full Review

Guild Mortgage: NMLS#3274

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers with a relatively high credit score who may need down payment assistance or help from a state housing agency.

Pros

  • Works with loan programs offered by state and local housing agencies.

  • Specializes in mortgages for first-time home buyers.

  • Almost half of its loans are low-down-payment government mortgages.

  • Considers alternative credit, such as history of payments on rent and utilities.

Cons

  • With a concentration of offices in the West and South, Guild has little presence in the Northeast and Midwest.

  • Jumbo borrowers may find that banks are more competitive when it comes to large loan amounts.

Read Full Review

Navy Federal: NMLS#399807

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National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

0%


Why we like it

Ideal for military members and their families. Navy Federal Credit Union offers a wide range of mortgage products, an online application and considers alternative credit data for certain loan types.

Pros

  • Wide range of affordable mortgage products designed for military members.

  • Willing to look at nontraditional credit data, such as rent payments, as part of its credit evaluation for certain products.

  • Online application for preapproval with quick decision.

Cons

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

Read Full Review

USAA: NMLS#8722

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for military members and their relatives who are interested in a VA loan.

Pros

  • VA loans are the bulk of USAA’s business, so it knows the ins and outs of eligibility.

  • Lots of experience assisting first-time home buyers.

  • Offers online pre-qualification.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer FHA or USDA loans.

  • Alternative credit is not considered.

Read Full Review

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

BB&T: NMLS#399803

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers in the Southeast who want online tools with the option of face-to-face service. BB&T, now part of Truist Financial Corp., offers a full menu of home loans.

Pros

  • Offers a variety of low-down-payment mortgage options

  • Offers construction loans to build a home or make significant renovations to an existing home.

  • Flexible borrowing and payment options for home equity loans and lines of credit.

  • Full suite of online capabilities.

Cons

  • Branches limited mostly to the Southeast.

Read Full Review

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

TD Bank: NMLS#399800

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: East Coast residents looking for low-down-payment mortgages, to work with state housing agencies or to get loans for building or remodeling a home.

Pros

  • Allows 3% down payment without borrower-paid mortgage insurance.

  • Offers specialty loans like construction-to-permanent mortgages and medical professional mortgages.

  • Among the best when it comes to online convenience, including loan process updates.

Cons

  • Available only in states on the East Coast.

  • You'll need to fill out a short form to see potential mortgage interest rates.

Read Full Review

Last updated on January 2, 2020

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 South Carolina Mortgage Lenders of 2020