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Best SONYMA Mortgage Lenders of 2019

Oct. 18, 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 State of New York Mortgage Agency helps first-time home buyers in the Empire State move up to homeownership. Working with local lenders, SONYMA offers reduced interest rates, lower down payments and forgivable loans to assist with closing costs.

» MORE: Explore SONYMA loan programs, rates and income limits

Highest-rated SONYMA mortgage lenders

While there are many lenders that participate in SONYMA programs, these are among the highest rated, as determined by NerdWallet.

3.5 NerdWallet rating
  • A large-scale national bank with a full menu of home loan products.
  • Considers alternative credit data, such as rent and utilities payments.
  • Discounts for Citibank customers.
  • CitiMortgage review
4.5 NerdWallet rating
  • A nonbank lender with a full menu of mortgage products that rival bank offerings.
  • Writes loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, a key option for first-time buyers.
  • Well-rated for low customer complaint volume.
  • loanDepot review


3.5 NerdWallet rating
  • Offers government-backed loans to borrowers with a minimum 550 credit score.
  • You can begin the mortgage process online.
  • Its website has a wealth of educational material.
  • Homebridge Financial Services review
4.0 NerdWallet rating
  • Rated among the highest in J.D. Power mortgage origination satisfaction survey.
  • Close in as little as 10 days using the Fairway mobile app.
  • Offers 24/7 online loan administration portal, as well as assistance via a mobile app, call center or email.
  • Fairway Independent Mortgage review

More SONYMA participating mortgage lenders

These lenders are among the highest-volume SONYMA participating mortgage companies in New York state. The lenders have not been reviewed by NerdWallet.

  • Over 100 loan officers in New York state.
  • Earn an interest rate discount with automatic payments from your Citizens Bank checking account.
  • A dedicated loan officer walks you through the loan process.
  • Based in Buffalo with a long history in New York: It was established in 1892.
  • An online application offers “instant preapprovals.”
  • Personalized interest rates are available after providing basic information.


  • Offices in metro New York City and Long Island.
  • The matched savings program offers up to $7,500 in financial assistance to first-time home buyers.
  • International borrowers have access to a mortgage services program.
  • Headquartered in Albany, with branches in Lagrangeville and North Syracuse.
  • An online application allows you to stop anytime and start where you left off later.
  • After submitting a loan application, you can check your loan status online.

» MORE: See the best New York mortgage lenders

Top SONYMA mortgage lenders: Summary

CitiMortgage: Best among traditional banks.

loanDepot: Best for nonbank loan products.

Homebridge Financial Services: Best for government-backed loans.

Fairway: Best for customer service.

Citizens Bank: High-volume SONYMA participating lender.

M&T Bank: High-volume SONYMA participating lender.

HSBC: High-volume SONYMA participating lender.

SEFCU Mortgage Services: High-volume SONYMA participating lender.

More from NerdWallet

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.