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11 Best Tampa Mortgage Lenders of 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 2, 2020

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If you’re looking for a Tampa mortgage lender, we’ve done the legwork. Here are well-regarded lenders for several types of borrowers.

You have many choices when shopping for a mortgage in the Tampa Bay area. To make your decision easier, NerdWallet has selected some of the top-rated lenders around Tampa and St. Petersburg. While most are high-volume national and regional lenders that we have reviewed, we've also included some local mortgage companies that do plenty of business in the area.

From New Port Richey to St. Pete Beach, and all the way over to Plant City, here are our picks for lenders that cater to borrowers in various categories.

These mortgage lenders are among the most active institutions in the Tampa Bay area. They have been reviewed and rated by NerdWallet.

Summary of Best Tampa Mortgage Lenders of 2020

LenderNerdWallet Rating Minimum Credit Score Minimum Down PaymentLearn More

Rocket Mortgage

at Rocket Mortgage

Best for refinancing

620

3%

at Rocket Mortgage

Best for online experience

620

3%

Read review

SunTrust

Best for jumbo loans

620

3%

Read review

Bank of America

Best for low down payments

620

3%

Read review

loanDepot

at loanDepot

Best for FHA loans

620

3.5%

at loanDepot

Flagstar

Best for FHA loans

620

3%

Read review

HomeBridge

Best for home renovation loans

620

3%

Read review

Best for jumbo loans

620

3%

Read review

Guaranteed Rate

Best for online experience

620

3%

Read review

Best for VA loans

620

3%

Read review

Navy Federal

Best for VA loans

N/A

0%

Read review
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at Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage: NMLS#3030

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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

Caliber: NMLS#15622

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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

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

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
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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

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

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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.

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

HomeBridge: NMLS#6521

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who prefer an online experience. Homebridge offers a variety of home loan options and an online application.

Pros

  • A wide variety of loan types.

  • Low credit score requirements for government-backed loans.

  • A wealth of educational material on its website.

  • Licensed in all 50 states.

Cons

  • Mortgage application can't be tracked online.

  • Charges origination fees on some loans.

  • Limited branch locations.

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

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

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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.

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

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

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

Local mortgage lenders in Tampa

These companies are among the highest-volume lenders in the Tampa Bay area. While they haven't been reviewed by NerdWallet, give them a look if you prefer doing business with a local institution.

  • Offers a first-time home buyer 10/1 ARM with a 3% down payment and no private mortgage insurance requirement.

  • Has a “Community Heroes” loan program for teachers, nurses, law enforcement and other eligible professions that features 100% financing.

  • Posts its mortgage interest rates online.

  • Allows you to start a mortgage application online.

  • Credit union that posts and updates interest rates daily.

  • Has a low down-payment loan for first-time home buyers, plus FHA, VA and home equity loans.

  • Offers English and Spanish-language online mortgage applications.

  • Has multiple locations in the Tampa Bay area.

  • Offers conventional mortgages with as little as 3% for a down payment, as well as FHA, VA and USDA loans.

  • Provides cash-out refinances and the streamlined refinancing of VA and FHA mortgages.

  • Has five Tampa Bay branches.

  • Offers purchase, refinance and home equity loans and lines of credit.

  • Posts its mortgage interest rates online.

  • Has a preapproval program that gives a loan commitment for up to six months, even before finding a home.

  • Lets you "float down" a locked interest rate in the event that rates drop.

More from NerdWallet

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 Tampa Mortgage Lenders of 2020