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Best FHA Streamline Refinance Lenders of 2018

Nov. 9, 2018
Finding the Right Mortgage, Mortgages
NerdWallet adheres to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from partners. Here’s how we make money.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.
NerdWallet offers financial tools and advice to help you understand your options and make the best possible decisions. The guidance we offer and information we provide are deeply researched, objective and independent. We spent over 400 hours reviewing the top mortgage lenders before selecting the best for our readers.

An FHA streamline refinance is a faster and cheaper way to get a better deal on your FHA-insured mortgage.

Not all FHA streamline refinance lenders are the same. Lenders can add additional requirements to FHA loans, including a minimum credit score — and lender fees can vary as well.

NerdWallet has considered some of the largest FHA streamline refinance lenders in the U.S. to provide you with a shortlist of the best-in-class in several categories.

» MORE: FHA streamline refinance FAQ

Best online FHA streamline refinance mortgage lenders

You’ll touch less paperwork and get round-the-clock convenience with these leading online lenders.

Quicken Loans
4.5 NerdWallet rating
  • Highest-volume FHA lender in the nation
  • Offers a fully online application experience
  • Talk to a mortgage advisor at any time throughout the process
  • Quicken Loans review
4.5 NerdWallet rating
  • Features growing online capabilities and over 180 affiliated loan stores in U.S.
  • Well-rated for low customer-complaint volume
  • Head-to-head rate comparison page shows how Loan Depot stacks up among competitors
  • LoanDepot review

Best FHA streamline refinance mortgage lenders with unique services

These lenders are known for offering special loan features for borrowers.

4.0 NerdWallet rating
  • Features Spanish version of its website; Hispanics make up 70% of the customer base
  • Offers an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number loan option to undocumented immigrant borrowers
  • Has an integrated mobile app and fully digital online application and loan tracking
  • Alterra Home Loans review
4.5 NerdWallet rating
  • Caters to military service members and offers 24/7 customer support
  • Offers FHA loans, too
  • Partners with veterans from all military branches to improve customer service
  • Veterans United Home Loans review

Best FHA streamline refinance nonbank mortgage lenders

Nonbank lenders seek to appeal to customers with competitive fees, strong customer service and innovative products.

4.5 NerdWallet rating
  • Features a completely online mortgage process
  • Earns high marks for customer satisfaction
  • Offers a $250 credit for digital mortgage customers, which can offset some upfront fees
  • Guaranteed Rate review
3.5 NerdWallet rating
  • Start the mortgage process online, over the phone or in person if there’s a nearby branch
  • Can deliver loan disclosures electronically
  • Offers educational material on the website
  • Homebridge Financial Services review

Best FHA streamline refinance mortgage lenders for low-credit-score borrowers

These lenders are especially adept at working with borrowers who have less-than-stellar credit scores.

4.5 NerdWallet rating
  • Minimum credit score of 500 in some cases.
  • Offers more lenient borrowing requirements with in-house underwriters who can manually underwrite loans.
  • Free rate locks.
  • Vylla review
4.0 NerdWallet rating
  • Offers an online loan application and document upload
  • Features live-chat customer service option on its website
  • Uses alternative credit scoring for some government-insured loans
  • J.G. Wentworth Mortgage review

Best FHA streamline refinance traditional bank mortgage lenders

Brand name national and regional banks offer neighborhood convenience and products.

4.0 NerdWallet rating
  • Features an online portal that keeps you updated throughout the lending process
  • Existing bank customers might qualify for a reduction in fees
  • Offers in-house video conferencing with loan officers at 700 branches if one isn’t on site
  • Bank of America mortgage review
4.0 NerdWallet rating
  • Features over 2,000 financial centers, mostly in the Southeast
  • Offers educational material at the mortgage website
  • Considers alternative credit history on certain loans
  • BB&T review

Best FHA streamline refinance mortgage lenders: summary

More from NerdWallet

FHA streamline refinance FAQ

An FHA streamline refinance involves replacing an FHA-insured mortgage with another FHA loan with a lower interest rate, shorter term, or both. It’s streamlined because the new loan doesn’t require an appraisal, income verification or credit check. That speeds up the process and reduces fees.
You have to have an FHA-insured mortgage to get an FHA streamline refinance. It is possible to refinance a non-FHA loan into an FHA loan, but the lender would require an appraisal, income verification and credit check, so it wouldn’t be deemed “streamlined.”
The FHA allows minimum down payments of 3.5% for borrowers with credit scores of 580 or higher. Conventional loans, which are not insured by the federal government, tend to require higher credit scores.

Under the FHA’s rules, borrowers may receive gifts of down payment money from family, “close” friends, employers, unions, charitable organizations, as well as a “governmental agency or public entity.”

FHA borrowers pay upfront and monthly mortgage insurance premiums. Monthly premiums can’t be canceled. The only way to get rid of FHA mortgage insurance is to pay off the loan, refinance into a non-FHA loan or sell the house. By contrast, private mortgage insurance on conventional loans may be canceled after the borrower gains sufficient equity.

Borrowers with credit scores of 580 or higher may qualify for FHA-insured loans with down payments as low as 3.5%. Borrowers with credit scores of 500 to 579 may qualify for FHA loans with down payments as low as 10%. See this explanation of how minimum down payments for FHA loans depend on borrowers’ credit scores.
A cash-out refinance happens when a borrower replaces their current mortgage with a mortgage for a higher loan amount, and takes the difference in cash. The FHA’s streamlined refinance program limits borrowers from taking out more than $500 in cash from the refinance. Borrowers can’t increase the loan amount to cover closing costs.

 

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.