2020's Mortgage
Lender Winners

Whether you're a first-time home buyer or an owner looking to refinance, 2020's best mortgage lenders – some of which are our partners – can help you make the right money move.

Best-Of Awards > Mortgages

Best Mortgage Lender for Refinancing (tie)

Better.com

at Better.com

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • An online process with human help as needed.
  • Makes it easy to see customized mortgage rates.
  • Offers an "underwriter-reviewed" preapproval letter in as little as 24 hours.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.
  • Doesn't do FHA, VA or USDA loans.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • An online process with human help as needed.
  • Makes it easy to see customized mortgage rates.
  • Offers an "underwriter-reviewed" preapproval letter in as little as 24 hours.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.
  • Doesn't do FHA, VA or USDA loans.
Read full review
Why this LENDER made the list

Better.com offers customized rates for all loan products and a fully digital refinance process, all without charging origination fees.

Read our methodology

Best Mortgage Lender for Refinancing (tie)

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Online loan application with quick loan decision.
  • Does not charge origination fees for most loans.
  • Many combinations of interest rates and discount points to choose from.
  • Loan officers are available by phone and text.

Cons

  • Loans unavailable in Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, New York and Utah.
  • Home equity lines of credit and traditional home equity loans are unavailable.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Online loan application with quick loan decision.
  • Does not charge origination fees for most loans.
  • Many combinations of interest rates and discount points to choose from.
  • Loan officers are available by phone and text.

Cons

  • Loans unavailable in Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, New York and Utah.
  • Home equity lines of credit and traditional home equity loans are unavailable.
Read full review
Why this LENDER made the list

LenderFi’s website makes it easy to see customized rates and apply for multiple refinance loan products, and it charges low origination fees.

Read our methodology

Best Mortgage Lender for Online Loans (tie)

NBKC

at NBKC Bank

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Offers low rates and fees when compared with other lenders.
  • Extends full online capabilities, from application to loan tracking.
  • Displays customized rates, with fee estimates, without requiring contact information.

Cons

  • Equity lines and construction loans are available only in the Kansas City metro area.
  • Doesn’t offer renovation loans.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Offers low rates and fees when compared with other lenders.
  • Extends full online capabilities, from application to loan tracking.
  • Displays customized rates, with fee estimates, without requiring contact information.

Cons

  • Equity lines and construction loans are available only in the Kansas City metro area.
  • Doesn’t offer renovation loans.
Read full review
Why this LENDER made the list

NBKC Bank combines online preapproval with access to real loan officers, provides customized rate quotes instantly on its website and charges low fees.

Read our methodology

Best Mortgage Lender for Online Loans (tie)

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Allows borrowers to apply entirely online.
  • Offers down payment and closing cost assistance programs.
  • May give existing customers a discount on mortgage lender origination fees.

Cons

  • Does not offer renovation loans.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Allows borrowers to apply entirely online.
  • Offers down payment and closing cost assistance programs.
  • May give existing customers a discount on mortgage lender origination fees.

Cons

  • Does not offer renovation loans.
Read full review
Why this LENDER made the list

Bank of America offers robust digital tools, online preapproval, customized rate quotes and personal assistance via online appointment scheduling.

Read our methodology

Best Mortgage Lender for Jumbo Loans (tie)

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

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

  • Can't complete a full mortgage application online.
  • Doesn't offer renovation mortgages.
  • In-person service is not available in every state.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

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

  • Can't complete a full mortgage application online.
  • Doesn't offer renovation mortgages.
  • In-person service is not available in every state.
Read full review
Why this LENDER made the list

PNC offers jumbo financing for a variety of property types, engages in asset-based financing for qualified borrowers and charges low origination fees.

Read our methodology

Best Mortgage Lender for Jumbo Loans (tie)

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including low-down-payment mortgages and jumbo mortgages.
  • Provides customizable mortgage rates on its website.
  • Offers low rates and fees compared with other lenders.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.
  • Requires help from a mortgage loan officer to complete the loan application online.
Read full review
National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including low-down-payment mortgages and jumbo mortgages.
  • Provides customizable mortgage rates on its website.
  • Offers low rates and fees compared with other lenders.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.
  • Requires help from a mortgage loan officer to complete the loan application online.
Read full review
Why this LENDER made the list

Citibank originates a high volume of jumbo loans, allows down payments under 20%, has strong online capabilities and charges low origination fees.

Read our methodology

Best Mortgage Lender for VA Loans (tie)

Veterans United

at Veterans United

Min. Credit Score

660

Min. Down Payment

0%

Pros

  • Offers 24/7 customer service over the phone.
  • Has online application and pre-qualification.
  • Offers a free credit counseling service.
  • Employs advisors from each branch of the armed forces.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs.
  • Veterans United has physical branch offices in only 18 states.
  • Information on FHA, USDA and conventional loans is harder to find on their website.
  • Charges higher rates and fees than some other lenders.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

660

Min. Down Payment

0%

Pros

  • Offers 24/7 customer service over the phone.
  • Has online application and pre-qualification.
  • Offers a free credit counseling service.
  • Employs advisors from each branch of the armed forces.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs.
  • Veterans United has physical branch offices in only 18 states.
  • Information on FHA, USDA and conventional loans is harder to find on their website.
  • Charges higher rates and fees than some other lenders.
Read full review
Why this LENDER made the list

Veterans United truly focuses on veterans: VA loans make up nearly 100% of its mortgage business. It also offers a digital application process and low fees.

Read our methodology

Best Mortgage Lender for VA Loans (tie)

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

0%

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of affordable mortgage products designed for military members.
  • Has an online application for preapproval.
  • Offers low rates compared with most lenders.

Cons

  • Website does not provide customized mortgage rates based on credit score or other factors before you apply.
  • Credit union membership is limited to veterans and current military members, their families, and certain federal employees, retirees and contractors.
Read full review
National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

0%

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of affordable mortgage products designed for military members.
  • Has an online application for preapproval.
  • Offers low rates compared with most lenders.

Cons

  • Website does not provide customized mortgage rates based on credit score or other factors before you apply.
  • Credit union membership is limited to veterans and current military members, their families, and certain federal employees, retirees and contractors.
Read full review
Why this LENDER made the list

Navy Federal Credit Union originates a high volume of VA loans and offers a variety of loan options and services tailored to veterans.

Read our methodology

Best Mortgage Lender for Home Equity Lines of Credit

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including low-down-payment mortgages and jumbo mortgages.
  • Provides customizable mortgage rates on its website.
  • Offers low rates and fees compared with other lenders.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.
  • Requires help from a mortgage loan officer to complete the loan application online.
Read full review
National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including low-down-payment mortgages and jumbo mortgages.
  • Provides customizable mortgage rates on its website.
  • Offers low rates and fees compared with other lenders.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.
  • Requires help from a mortgage loan officer to complete the loan application online.
Read full review
Why this LENDER made the list

Citibank provides a diverse set of home equity products, offers discounts to existing customers and charges low origination fees.

Read our methodology

Best Mortgage Lender for FHA Loans

Fairway Independent Mortgage

at Fairway

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Offers a robust suite of loan products, including a variety of renovation loans.
  • Has a digital application that can be completed in 10 minutes.
  • Works with some state housing finance agencies to offer mortgages with down payment and closing cost assistance.

Cons

  • Mortgage rates aren't posted online.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Offers a robust suite of loan products, including a variety of renovation loans.
  • Has a digital application that can be completed in 10 minutes.
  • Works with some state housing finance agencies to offer mortgages with down payment and closing cost assistance.

Cons

  • Mortgage rates aren't posted online.
Read full review
Why this LENDER made the list

Fairway originates a high volume of FHA loans, has strong online capabilities and flexible credit requirements, and its fees are often lower than the competition's.

Read our methodology

Best Mortgage Lender for First-Time Home Buyers (tie)

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Allows borrowers to apply entirely online.
  • Offers down payment and closing cost assistance programs.
  • May give existing customers a discount on mortgage lender origination fees.

Cons

  • Does not offer renovation loans.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Allows borrowers to apply entirely online.
  • Offers down payment and closing cost assistance programs.
  • May give existing customers a discount on mortgage lender origination fees.

Cons

  • Does not offer renovation loans.
Read full review
Why this LENDER made the list

Bank of America combines the low fees and online convenience first-time home buyers want with the loan programs and assistance options they often need.

Read our methodology

Best Mortgage Lender for First-Time Home Buyers (tie)

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including low-down-payment mortgages and jumbo mortgages.
  • Provides customizable mortgage rates on its website.
  • Offers low rates and fees compared with other lenders.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.
  • Requires help from a mortgage loan officer to complete the loan application online.
Read full review
National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including low-down-payment mortgages and jumbo mortgages.
  • Provides customizable mortgage rates on its website.
  • Offers low rates and fees compared with other lenders.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.
  • Requires help from a mortgage loan officer to complete the loan application online.
Read full review
Why this LENDER made the list

Citibank offers online tools, a variety of low-down-payment loan options and the affordable fees first-time home buyers are looking for.

Read our methodology

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