BEST OF

10 Best USDA Mortgage Lenders of 2022

If you live in an eligible area and are interested in a USDA loan, we'll help you choose an approved lender for USDA financing.

Nov 1, 2022

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If you’re planning to buy a home in a rural area or even a suburb, a USDA loan may be an option for you. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers these zero-down-payment loans to home buyers who qualify. The property must be in an eligible area of the country, and borrowers must meet certain income requirements.

The USDA issues some loans itself and guarantees USDA loans offered through approved lenders, such as those listed below. NerdWallet has reviewed some of the best USDA mortgage lenders to help you decide which is the right lender for you.

Best USDA Mortgage Lenders

Pennymac
Learn more

at Pennymac

Pennymac: NMLS#35953

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Pennymac

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

0%
Learn more

at Pennymac


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers seeking a government-backed mortgage who want to rate-shop online.

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan products, including government-backed and refinance options.

  • Displays custom rate quotes based on home value, down payment or equity, ZIP code and credit score range.

  • “Lock & Shop” lets you secure a rate for up to 60 days, even if you don’t have a purchase contract yet.

Cons

  • Origination fees are on the higher end, according to the latest federal data.

  • Doesn't offer home equity products or renovation loans.

Read Full Review

PNC: NMLS#446303

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
PNC

Min. credit score

640

Min. down payment

0%

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

  • Doesn't offer renovation mortgages.

  • In-person service is not available in every state.

Read Full Review
Northpointe
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at Northpointe

Northpointe: NMLS#447490

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Northpointe

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

0%
Learn more

at Northpointe


Why we like it

Good for: those seeking an abundance of loan offerings, including a no-down-payment mortgage that helps accelerate home equity accumulation.

Pros

  • A full slate of loan offerings.

  • Offers a no-down-payment loan with a shorter repayment term that helps accelerate home equity accumulation.

  • Digital conveniences include a mobile app.

Cons

  • You’ll need to provide contact information or speak to a loan officer for customized mortgage rates.

  • Origination fees are on the high side, according to the latest data.

Read Full Review
BNC National Bank
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at BNC National Bank

BNC National Bank: NMLS#418467

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
BNC National Bank

Min. credit score

640

Min. down payment

0%
Learn more

at BNC National Bank


Why we like it

BNC National Bank offers a robust variety of loans, but you have to reach out to a loan officer to get customized interest rates.

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan types and products.

  • Has robust online capabilities, and an app for iOS and Android.

  • Mortgage interest rates are lower than typical, according to the latest data.

Cons

  • Has a limited number of physical mortgage offices.

  • No rate information is available without starting an application or speaking with a loan officer.

  • Does not offer home equity loans or lines of credit.

Read Full Review

Watermark Home Loans: NMLS#1838

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Watermark Home Loans

Min. credit score

N/A

Min. down payment

0%

Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking for a solid selection of loan types with some not-so-standard options, such non-QM loans.

Pros

  • Online capabilities include a full application, as well as loan process updates.

  • Offers low rates compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.

Cons

  • Watermark’s mortgage interest rates are not published online.

  • Watermark says it offers HELOCs, but no details are available online.

Read Full Review

Carrington: NMLS#2600

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Carrington

Min. credit score

550

Min. down payment

0%

Why we like it

Good for: first-time home buyers or credit-challenged borrowers interested in government loan products.

Pros

  • Offers multiple low-down-payment loan programs.

  • May consider alternative credit data, such as bank statements.

  • You can view customized rates for purchasing a home and apply online.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity lines of credit.

  • Lender fees are on the high side, according to the latest Federal data.

Read Full Review

Wells Fargo: NMLS#399801

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Wells Fargo

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

0%

Why we like it

Wells Fargo has a solid selection of mortgage products and offers easy-to-shop rates.

Pros

  • Sample rates clearly posted for various loan products.

  • Offers a wide variety of loan types and products.

  • Mortgage rates tend to be on the low side compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.

Cons

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

  • Scandals and government actions have damaged consumer trust in recent years.

  • You’ll have to make contact with the lender to see customized rates.

Read Full Review

Wintrust Mortgage: NMLS#449042

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Wintrust Mortgage

Min. credit score

N/A

Min. down payment

0%

Why we like it

Wintrust Mortgage offers a variety of loan products, including home equity lines of credit and even home-improvement loans, and provides a number of online conveniences, such as loan process updates. But you won’t find rates posted online.

Pros

  • Offers specialty loans, such as construction and renovation loans and loans for second homes and investment properties.

  • Participates in first-time home buyer assistance programs in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

Cons

  • Sample rates for some loan products are available only by contacting a loan officer.

  • Physical locations aren't available in all states.

Read Full Review

Truist: NMLS#399803

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Truist

Min. credit score

N/A

Min. down payment

N/A

Why we like it

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

Pros

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

  • Sample rates are easy to find on the website.

  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including construction loans and programs for doctors.

Cons

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

  • For borrowers who prefer to apply in person, branches are limited mostly to the South and East.

Read Full Review

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Flagstar

Min. credit score

660

Min. down payment

0%

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.

  • Borrowers can apply and track loan status online.

  • Offers customized online rate quotes with monthly payment estimates, including mortgage insurance, when applicable.

Cons

  • Home equity loans are geographically limited.

  • Origination fees are on the high side compared with other lenders, according to the latest federal data.

Read Full Review

What's the difference between a USDA guaranteed loan and a USDA direct loan?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers two main types of USDA mortgages — guaranteed loans and direct loans.

USDA guaranteed loans are mortgages that are insured by the USDA, meaning if you were to default on the loan, the agency would repay your lender. This helps lenders make low- or no-down-payment loans to borrowers who may have lower credit scores or limited income.

You'll work with a USDA-approved lender to get a USDA guaranteed loan. In addition to the lenders listed here, you can also find a list of all approved lenders organized by state on the USDA website.

USDA direct loans come straight from the USDA rather than a mortgage lender. These home loans are for borrowers who are unable to qualify for a USDA guaranteed loan and whose income is below 80% of the median household income in their area.

To find out if you are eligible for a USDA direct loan, contact your state's USDA Rural Development Office.

Basic requirements for USDA guaranteed loans

There are several qualifications both you and the property you're hoping to buy will need to meet in order to be eligible for a USDA guaranteed home loan.

USDA mortgages are meant for lower-income borrowers, so your household income must be below 115% of the area's median household income. The income threshold is adjusted depending on how many people are in your household. The USDA lets you look up whether your income qualifies on its website.

Since the USDA's home loan programs are focused on revitalizing rural America, the property you're buying must be in a designated area. You can use the address lookup tool on the USDA's website to see whether the home you're interested in will qualify.

» MORE: Learn more about USDA loan requirements

More from NerdWallet

Last updated on November 1, 2022

Methodology

The star ratings on this page reflect each lender's overall star ratings. Read more about how we determine those ratings.

The lenders on this page are chosen using this methodology:

NerdWallet reviewed nearly 60 mortgage lenders, including the majority of the largest U.S. mortgage lenders by annual loan volume (lenders had to have at least a 1% market share), lenders with significant online search volume and those that specialize in serving various audiences across the country.

For inclusion on this roundup, lenders must score a 4.5 or above according to our overall methodology and offer USDA loans.

NerdWallet solicits information from reviewed lenders on a recurring basis throughout the year. All lender-provided information is verified through lender websites and interviews. We also utilized 2020 HMDA data for origination volume, origination fee, rate spread and share-of-product data.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best USDA Mortgage Lenders of 2022

Frequently asked questions