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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

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at Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans: NMLS#3030

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Rocket Mortgage


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers who appreciate smartphone and online convenience for a fully digital home loan experience powered by Quicken Loans.

Pros

  • Caters to self-service users who want to apply for a home loan online and talk to a human only as necessary.

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

  • Offers document and asset retrieval capabilities.

Cons

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

  • Getting a customized interest rate requires a credit check, which can lower your credit score by a few points.

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

Good for: first-time home buyers, doctors and other borrowers interested in low-down-payment mortgage options.

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including special programs for doctors, entrepreneurs and other professionals.

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

  • Sample rates and fees are easy to find on the website.

Cons

  • Customized rates aren't available online without starting an application.

  • Branches are 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
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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

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

HomeBridge: NMLS#6521

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for borrowers who want a loan officer's help, in person or on the phone, when deciding among the wide range of available mortgage options — including loans to buy and renovate.

Pros

  • Offers a full array of mortgage products, including government and renovation loans.

  • Has loans for most purposes, including purchase, refinance and jumbo mortgages.

  • Online portal keeps borrowers up-to-date on the loan application's progress.

Cons

  • Doesn't post interest rates on its site.

  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans or lines of credit.

Read Full Review

BB&T: NMLS#399803

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good 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 mortgages as well as construction mortgages.

  • Website lets users estimate rates online by loan and property type, amount and location.

  • Has an online mortgage application.

Cons

  • Branches limited mostly to the Southeast region.

  • Does not offer FHA loans.

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.

Read Full Review

USAA: NMLS#8722

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

0%


Why we like it

Good 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.

  • You can submit loan documents online.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer FHA or USDA loans, or second mortgages.

  • Limited mortgage rate information is on the USAA website — none of it customized. You'll have to call.

Read Full Review

Navy Federal: NMLS#399807

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National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

0%


Why we like it

Good for: Military members and their families looking for low-down-payment mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of affordable mortgage products designed for military members.

  • Has an online application for preapproval.

  • Offers low rates compared with most lenders.

Cons

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

  • Credit union membership is limited to veterans and current military members, their families, and certain federal employees, retirees and contractors.

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 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 Tampa Mortgage Lenders of 2020