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Best PHFA Mortgage Lenders of 2019

Oct. 25, 2018
Finding the Right Mortgage, Mortgages
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, or PHFA, is a state-affiliated agency created to help provide affordable housing to first-time home buyers, low- and moderate-income families, seniors and others with special housing needs.

To access these programs, you’ll need to work with a participating lender. We researched PHFA’s four-page list of state-approved banks and mortgage companies and compiled a summary of lenders who rank among NerdWallet’s best-rated.

» MORE: Explore PHFA loan programs, lenders, rates and income limits

Best PHFA mortgage lenders among nonbanks

These lenders aren’t depository institutions; they work with borrowers who aren’t impressed with fancy lobbies and free checking.

4.0 NerdWallet rating
  • Nationwide top 100 mortgage lender.
  • Offers a fully online loan application, along with document upload and e-signature.
  • The “Close-On-Time Guarantee” makes your first month’s mortgage payment if your loan fails to close on time.
  • J.G. Wentworth Mortgage review
4.5 NerdWallet rating
  • Nonbank lender with a lineup of loan products rivaling bank offerings.
  • Has a below-average complaint volume at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • Offers 180 affiliated loan stores nationwide for customers who prefer face-to-face service.
  • LoanDepot review

Best PHFA mortgage lenders for online capabilities

You can start an application on your lunch break or over coffee. With these lenders and a smartphone, you’re set.

4.0 NerdWallet rating
  • You can apply and check your application status online.
  • Certain loan programs allow consideration of nontraditional credit histories.
  • Website offers plenty of educational material.
  • BB&T review
4.0 NerdWallet rating
  • Mobile app allows users to apply for a loan in under 10 minutes.
  • Applicants can securely scan and upload documents through the app.
  • A 24/7 online portal allows access to application and loan details.
  • Fairway Independent Mortgage review

Best PHFA mortgage lenders for customer service

These lenders stand out among those with positive client feedback.

4.5 NerdWallet rating
  • Has a 95% customer satisfaction rating, according to company data.
  • The mortgage process can be handled entirely online.
  • Qualified loan officers can walk you through any part of the application.
  • Guaranteed Rate review
3.5 NerdWallet rating
  • Each client receives a survey about their loan experience; negative responses are addressed.
  • Costco members can earn discounts on fees.
  • A renovation loan “concierge” works with you and your contractor or builder.
  • Homebridge review

Best PHFA mortgage lenders for borrowers with tight finances

Looking for a mortgage and not wanting to bust your budget? These lenders offer loan products and services you might like.

4.0 NerdWallet rating
  • Provides mortgages for manufactured homes.
  • Offers energy-efficient home loans and FHA 203(k) renovation and remodeling loans.
  • Uses bank statements rather than tax returns to qualify some borrowers.
  • PrimeLending review
4.0 NerdWallet rating
  • Credit score requirements as low as 580.
  • Makes loans on condominiums.
  • VA loans are a specialty from a “company founded by veterans.”
  • J.G. Wentworth Mortgage review

» MORE: See the best Pennsylvania mortgage lenders

More PHFA participating mortgage lenders

These are among the highest-volume PHFA-participating mortgage makers in Pennsylvania; however, they haven’t been reviewed by NerdWallet.

  • Based in Devon, Pennsylvania, and serving the Delaware Valley since 1886.
  • Offers all government-backed mortgages.
  • Get pre-qualified in only a few minutes.
  • Earn an interest rate discount when you set up automatic monthly payments from your Citizens Bank checking account.
  • A dedicated loan officer guides you through the homebuying process.
  • Secure document exchange speeds the loan process.


  • Headquartered in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, and a top 10 mortgage producer in the state, based on loan volume.
  • Loan officers are familiar with and guide you through the PHFA process.
  • Offers VA, FHA and USDA loans.
  • Monitor and manage the loan process through a secure client portal.
  • Qualifying for a loan can begin with an online application that takes just 20 minutes to complete.
  • Based in Pittsburgh but with loan officers throughout the state.

Best PHFA mortgage lenders: summary

More from NerdWallet

How much house can you afford?

Compare Pennsylvania mortgage rates

See other first-time home buyer programs by state

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.