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6 Best Tennessee Housing Development Agency Lenders of 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 2, 2020

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Tennesseeans can consider these vetted lenders when they buy homes with help from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency's programs for repeat and first-time home buyers.

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency, or THDA, offers programs that reduce barriers to homeownership, making it easier to buy a home.

Whether you're a first-time home buyer, a veteran or on active duty in the armed forces, or plan to buy in an economically disadvantaged area, the THDA has a program for you. One of the first decisions is to choose a mortgage lender that participates in THDA loan programs.

NerdWallet has reviewed several THDA lenders, and some of the top choices are listed here according to borrower needs. In addition, NerdWallet has listed Tennessee-based lenders that haven't been reviewed, but which close a lot of loans in the Volunteer State and participate in THDA programs.

Summary of Best Tennessee Housing Development Agency Lenders of 2020

LenderNerdWallet Rating Minimum Credit Score Minimum Down PaymentLearn More

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

at loanDepot

Best for FHA loans

620

3.5%

at loanDepot

PrimeLending: NMLS#13649

Best for FHA loans

620

3%

Read review

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

at Veterans United

Best for veterans and active-duty military

660

0%

at Veterans United

Caliber: NMLS#15622

Best for veterans and active-duty military

620

3%

Read review

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

Best for online experience

620

3%

Read review

Fairway Independent Mortgage: NMLS#2289

at Fairway

Best for online experience

620

3%

at Fairway

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at loanDepot

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

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.

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

PrimeLending: NMLS#13649

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking for closing cost assistance, as well as those seeking to renovate or to build a new home.

Pros

  • Full online application includes document uploads and automated loan updates.

  • Offers a "float-down" interest rate lock.

  • Offers a proprietary closing-cost assistance program.

Cons

  • No online mortgage rates — you have to contact the lender for info.

  • Doesn't offer home equity products.

Read Full Review
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at Veterans United

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

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Min. Credit Score

660

Min. Down Payment

0%

at Veterans United


Why we like it

Ideal for veterans and active-duty service members. Veterans United is the nation's largest VA home purchase lender but also offers an excellent selection of other government and conventional loans.

Pros

  • Also offers FHA, USDA and conventional loans.

  • Offers 24/7 customer service.

  • You can complete a loan application and pre-qualify online.

  • Registers a low volume of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

  • Offers free credit score education and assistance.

  • Provides a client advocate team staffed by former senior enlisted leaders from each branch of the armed forces.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Loans are available in all 50 states, but Veterans United has offices in only about half.

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

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 are well-qualified.

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 that includes a $150 application fee.

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

  • Several click-throughs required for personalized rates.

Read Full Review
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at Fairway

Fairway Independent Mortgage: NMLS#2289

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Fairway


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who want lots of options and a quick turn time. Fairway Independent Mortgage offers a full selection of home loans along with a comprehensive mobile app for a fast and easy application process.

Pros

  • A robust suite of loan products.

  • Licensed in all 50 states.

  • Close in as little as 10 days using the Fairway app.

Cons

  • Limited branch locations.

  • Mortgage rates not posted on website.

Read Full Review

More THDA-participating mortgage lenders

These THDA lenders have their home offices in Tennessee and are among the busiest mortgage companies in the state. They have not been reviewed by NerdWallet.

  • Tennessee's highest-volume mortgage lender.

  • Offers zero-down-payment USDA loans.

  • Offers online qualification and live chat.

  • Operates more than 20 branch offices in Tennessee.

  • Offers home buyer classes in English and Spanish.

  • Start pre-qualification online.

  • Doesn't publish mortgage rates online.

  • Has more than a dozen branches statewide.

  • Offers FHA, VA and USDA loans.

  • Home loans available at five mortgage centers in middle Tennessee, plus more than a dozen bank branches.

  • Doesn't publish mortgage rates online.

  • Online application available.

  • Offers FHA, VA and USDA loans.

  • Custom rates available online.

  • Start the application process online.

  • Several offices across Tennessee.

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 Tennessee Housing Development Agency Lenders of 2020