Gone are the days when buying a home meant getting dressed up to visit the loan officer at your local bank.
Non-bank lenders provide a welcome alternative to traditional banks, especially for credit-challenged borrowers or those looking for a more streamlined mortgage experience.
NerdWallet picked some of the best non-bank mortgage lenders in a variety of categories so you can quickly determine which one is right for you.
Best non-bank lenders for first-time home buyers
These lenders have the perfect combination of flexible requirements, loan options and industry experience to help you buy your first home.
- The largest Federal Housing Administration lender in the nation
- Has a full complement of mortgage products for buying and refinancing
- Offers a technology-friendly loan process with access to mortgage advisors as well
- Quicken Loans review
- Caters to minority and low-income borrowers
- Offers loans for manufactured housing
- Helps borrowers find state-sponsored down payment assistance and grant programs
- New American Funding review
Best non-bank lenders for refinancing
These lenders have refinance options to lower your monthly payment or shorten your loan term, and their online tools aren’t half bad either.
- A “Lifetime Guarantee” refinance program offers special benefits for repeat customers
- A rate comparison page offers head-to-head shopping with competitors
- Technology upgrades are enhancing the customer experience
- loanDepot review
- Though it has expanded its services, Lenda began as a mortgage refinance-only lender; that remains its specialty
- Offers a paperless process
- Borrowers can review different loan terms and rate options with their online quotes
- Lenda review
Best non-bank lenders for veterans
As a veteran, you’re eligible for programs that make home ownership more affordable. These lenders can help.
- Serves veterans and active-duty military personnel with full range of government loans, including USDA, VA and FHA
- Low complaint volume with CFPB
- Largest lender of VA purchase mortgages
- Veterans United Home Loans review
- Government loan specialist offering VA, FHA and USDA loans, along with conventional mortgages
- Loans to borrowers with nontraditional credit, employment and income sources
- Has a mobile app and full online application and loan tracking
- Alterra Home Loans review
Best non-bank lenders for a low down payment
Little or no money for a down payment? With these lenders, homeownership is still within reach.
- Specializes in loans to borrowers with lower credit scores, minimum score 550 in some cases
- Offers down payment assistance programs through housing authorities in some states
- Requires online education course for borrowers
- Carrington Mortgage review
Best non-bank lenders for customer service
Want to feel like a VIP? These lenders get top marks when it comes to customer service.
- Jumbo borrowers are supported by 24-hour customer service via call center, mobile app and email
- No application, origination or other lender fees
- Application and loan tracking services available online
- Fairway Independent Mortgage review
- Website offers a wealth of educational material
- Minimum credit score: 550 for government-backed loans
- Licensed in all 50 states; branch locations in 30 states
- HomeBridge Financial Services review
Best non-bank mortgage lenders: summary
- Best for first-time home buyers: Quicken Loans
- Best for first-time home buyers: New American Funding
- Best for refinance: LoanDepot
- Best for refinance: Lenda
- Best for military personnel: Veterans United
- Best for military personnel: Alterra
- Best for low down payment: Carrington Mortgage
- Best for low down payment: PNC Mortgage
- Best for customer service: Fairway Independent Mortgage
- Best for customer service: HomeBridge