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

  • Claims a three-minute application process for initial preapproval.
  • An online process with human help as needed.
  • Loan officers aren't paid commissions, they are strictly available for "support, not sales."
  • For higher-value homes, offers 10% down with no mortgage insurance on jumbo loans.
  • Offers an "underwriter-reviewed" preapproval letter in as little as 24 hours.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.
  • Doesn't do VA or USDA loans.
  • Not available in all 50 states.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Claims a three-minute application process for initial preapproval.
  • An online process with human help as needed.
  • Loan officers aren't paid commissions, they are strictly available for "support, not sales."
  • For higher-value homes, offers 10% down with no mortgage insurance on jumbo loans.
  • Offers an "underwriter-reviewed" preapproval letter in as little as 24 hours.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.
  • Doesn't do VA or USDA loans.
  • Not available in all 50 states.
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

  • Complete and track your application online, and sign documents electronically.
  • Free rate locks.
  • No lender fee for VA borrowers.
  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Cons

  • Not the best choice for low-credit-score borrowers.
  • Mortgage origination fee for most borrowers.
  • In-person service available only in the Kansas City area.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Complete and track your application online, and sign documents electronically.
  • Free rate locks.
  • No lender fee for VA borrowers.
  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Cons

  • Not the best choice for low-credit-score borrowers.
  • Mortgage origination fee for most borrowers.
  • In-person service available only in the Kansas City area.
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

  • Considers nontraditional credit history like rent payments.
  • Online tools help you estimate mortgage payments and track application progress.
  • Several affordable loan options including FHA, VA, USDA and the PNC Community Loan.

Cons

  • It's not possible to complete the entire mortgage process online.
  • Offers mortgage loans nationwide, but has branches in only about two dozen states.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Considers nontraditional credit history like rent payments.
  • Online tools help you estimate mortgage payments and track application progress.
  • Several affordable loan options including FHA, VA, USDA and the PNC Community Loan.

Cons

  • It's not possible to complete the entire mortgage process online.
  • Offers mortgage loans nationwide, but has branches in only about two dozen states.
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

  • Low down payment options.
  • Discounts for Citibank customers.
  • Looks at alternative credit data like rent history and child support payments.
  • Available in all 50 states.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.
  • Did not disclose origination fees, which may vary.
  • Can't complete loan online.
Read full review
National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Low down payment options.
  • Discounts for Citibank customers.
  • Looks at alternative credit data like rent history and child support payments.
  • Available in all 50 states.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.
  • Did not disclose origination fees, which may vary.
  • Can't complete loan 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

  • Also offers FHA, USDA and conventional loans.
  • Offers 24/7 customer service.
  • You can complete a loan application and pre-qualify online.
  • Registers a low volume of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • Offers free credit score education and assistance.
  • Provides a client advocate team staffed by former senior enlisted leaders from each branch of the armed forces.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs.
  • Loans are available in all 50 states, but Veterans United has offices in only about half.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

660

Min. Down Payment

0%

Pros

  • Also offers FHA, USDA and conventional loans.
  • Offers 24/7 customer service.
  • You can complete a loan application and pre-qualify online.
  • Registers a low volume of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • Offers free credit score education and assistance.
  • Provides a client advocate team staffed by former senior enlisted leaders from each branch of the armed forces.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs.
  • Loans are available in all 50 states, but Veterans United has offices in only about half.
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

  • Wide range of affordable mortgage products designed for military members.
  • Willing to look at nontraditional credit data, such as rent payments, as part of its credit evaluation for certain products.
  • Online application for preapproval with quick decision.

Cons

  • Website does not provide customized mortgage rates based on credit score or other factors before you apply.
Read full review
National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

0%

Pros

  • Wide range of affordable mortgage products designed for military members.
  • Willing to look at nontraditional credit data, such as rent payments, as part of its credit evaluation for certain products.
  • Online application for preapproval with quick decision.

Cons

  • Website does not provide customized mortgage rates based on credit score or other factors before you apply.
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

  • Low down payment options.
  • Discounts for Citibank customers.
  • Looks at alternative credit data like rent history and child support payments.
  • Available in all 50 states.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.
  • Did not disclose origination fees, which may vary.
  • Can't complete loan online.
Read full review
National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Low down payment options.
  • Discounts for Citibank customers.
  • Looks at alternative credit data like rent history and child support payments.
  • Available in all 50 states.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.
  • Did not disclose origination fees, which may vary.
  • Can't complete loan 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

  • A robust suite of loan products.
  • Licensed in all 50 states.
  • Close in as little as 10 days using the Fairway app.

Cons

  • Limited branch locations.
  • Mortgage rates not posted on website.
Read full review
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • A robust suite of loan products.
  • Licensed in all 50 states.
  • Close in as little as 10 days using the Fairway app.

Cons

  • Limited branch locations.
  • Mortgage rates not posted on website.
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

  • Low down payment options.
  • Discounts for Citibank customers.
  • Looks at alternative credit data like rent history and child support payments.
  • Available in all 50 states.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.
  • Did not disclose origination fees, which may vary.
  • Can't complete loan online.
Read full review
National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

Pros

  • Low down payment options.
  • Discounts for Citibank customers.
  • Looks at alternative credit data like rent history and child support payments.
  • Available in all 50 states.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.
  • Did not disclose origination fees, which may vary.
  • Can't complete loan 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

See the latest rates

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Frequently Asked Questions

NerdWallet's award winners are chosen through a rigorous evaluation process involving more than three dozen of our writers and editors. For each financial product, we assess the features that we believe are most important to consumers. NerdWallet's ratings formulas for credit cards, for example, consider the type of card being reviewed (such as cash back, travel or balance transfer) and the card's rates, fees, rewards and other features. For mortgages, our evaluation includes loan types, loan products, online capabilities, online rate information, customer service and complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. For more info, see our methodologies.

Our team of Nerdy experts is composed of writers and editors – based all across the country – who have years of experience reviewing and writing about personal finance products for consumers.

Writers and editors use comprehensive scoring formulas that assess each financial product’s key features, weighting them according to their importance to consumers.

Nope. Editorial team members are solely responsible for creating all product reviews and ratings, and these assessments reflect their opinions alone. Only products that meet the editorial team’s standards appear in our Best-Of Awards lists, meaning no company can “buy” an award.

NerdWallet’s awards are given annually to the best of the best. Our other lists of top financial products throughout the year may be longer than the list of award winners, offer additional consumer choices and get updated as products change, products are discontinued and new products emerge. The dates that this year's winners were selected: Auto Insurance, Nov. 1, 2019; Banking, Oct. 1, 2019; Credit Cards, Oct. 1, 2019; Investing, Oct. 17, 2019; Mortgages, Oct. 18, 2019; Personal Loans, Oct. 1, 2019; Student Loans, Sept. 1, 2019; Travel Rewards, Sept. 1, 2019; Taxes, Jan. 9, 2020.

Our 2019 Best-Of Award winners are still live and we encourage companies to continue to celebrate their wins from this year and past years.