Best Mortgage Lenders: Compare Top 10 Mortgage Lenders

Written by Robert Ferry on April 5, 2022
Best Mortgage Lenders: Compare Top 10 Mortgage Lenders

When shopping for a mortgage loan, it's helpful to know some of the best mortgage lenders in the country. Understanding which mortgage loan lenders are regarded as the best in the country will help you obtain a mortgage loan more quickly. 

A variety of features distinguishes each mortgage lender. Interest rates and costs vary by lender, as do pre-approval processes and special discounts for certain types of borrowers. Comparing the loan mortgage lenders will enable you to get the most out of the mortgage market.

The loan mortgage lender should also make the application process as simple as possible for you and guide you in completing it as quickly as possible. The best mortgage lender for you will be one who can listen to and understand your needs and offer the ideal mortgage loan package.

We'll look at how to choose among the best mortgage lenders, and we also will provide you with a list of the top 10 best mortgage lenders to assist you in finding the ideal one for you.

How to Choose the Best Mortgage Lenders

Before deciding on the best mortgage lender for you, you'll need to do a lot of research and comparison shopping. There are several features to consider, such as:

How fast are the mortgage lender’s processes?

Whether you're purchasing a house for the first time or refinancing, you want a process that progresses quickly and smoothly. You want a mortgage lender’s pre-approval and closure times to be as quick as possible.

Here's a summary of what the primary process when applying for a mortgage loan should entail:

  1. Submit your mortgage loan application, whether online or in person.
  2. Once the lender receives your application, they should be able able to send you a mortgage loan estimate.
  3. Request your preferred mortgage lender to do a home inspection on time.
  4. Your mortgage lender requests a house appraisal, whose cost you need to pay.
  5. The lender can ask you to pay for homeowner's insurance at this stage.
  6. Wait for the mortgage and underwriting processes to finish.
  7. Before signing the closing disclosure document, compare it to your mortgage lender's most recent home loan estimate to see if the details are the same.
  8. After paying the downpayment and closing costs, all parties should sign the final documents.

Do they have several mortgage loan options?

When getting a mortgage loan, most individuals aren't aware of the many available options. Here are a few examples of mortgage loans that a lender can offer you:

  • Jumbo loans
  • Conventional mortgages loan
  • Government-backed mortgage loans like FHA, VA, USDA
  • Adjustable-rate mortgages
  • Fixed-rate mortgages

What are the mortgage loan lender's terms?

It is good to examine interest rates for the year before committing to a loan. Make sure you understand how the mortgage lender calculates interest and whether the interest rate is fixed or variable. Compare the interest rates offered by several mortgage lenders to find an excellent deal.

Let the mortgage lender tell you all the loan fees they charge. If they have a lump sum figure, let them explain what the figure entails. They should inform you of all loan fees charged during the process, including underwriting, application, and other fees. You should try to negotiate for a waiver or reduction of as many loan fees as possible.

While paying as much as you can for a downpayment on the house is a good idea, keep in mind the costs of a new home. Before moving in, you may not have enough funds to cater for any work needed in your new home. Enquire with the mortgage lender about a down payment assistance program, especially if you're a first-time homebuyer.

What do they require from you to qualify for their mortgage loan?

It's a good idea to know all of the requirements for qualifying for a mortgage loan before you start looking for a suitable mortgage lender. That way, you can begin preparing the documentation and other things needed.

The following are some of the requirements that most mortgage loan lenders will require:

  1. Credit Score ratings: You should be aware of your credit score ratings. Most mortgage lenders require you to have met a specific credit score.
  2. Documents: Have the necessary documentation at hand, such as proof of income, bank statements, and tax returns, that most mortgage lenders will require.
  3. Downpayment: Have enough money set aside to make a down payment. The recommended amount is 20% of the loan amount; however, some lenders can go as low as 3%.

10 Best Top Mortgage Lenders

While many institutions offer a variety of mortgage loans, it is essential to be acquainted with the best mortgage lenders. Why? It will save you the time and money you would have spent looking for one.

You'll also have peace of mind knowing that the mortgage lender you'll be working with has a good reputation in the mortgage loan business. It will be simple for you to move through with your application procedure without being worried about being scammed.

1. Bank of America - mortgage lender for a big bank.

Bank of America is one of the country’s top mortgage lenders and a good choice if you're looking for a good mortgage lender that allows you to apply in person or online. They offer online loan mortgages and have 4,300 banking branches around the United States.

Because of their digital mortgage experience, you can contact their lending loan specialists online, sign documents electronically, and complete the entire process online. When applying for a mortgage loan, you will need a 3% down payment, and they don’t require you to pay mortgage insurance.

You'll have more money to reduce your mortgage loan because of their reduced down payment and no need for mortgage insurance.

They offer a $600 closing cost discount should you already have an account with the Bank, plus many other discounts that you can take advantage of.

According to one of their spokesperson, you can quickly get a mortgage loan pre-approval in 20 minutes and a letter in ten days.

They require you to have a min credit score of 620. The Bank will allow you to present your alternative data if you have poor or bad credit. Because not all payments appear on your credit report, they can take your alternative data into account.

Alternative credit data will help anyone with a short credit history or who has been declared bankrupt in the past. Your payments in various areas will indicate reasonable control over your current finances.

Bank of America offers the following products:

  • FHA loan:- low-to-moderate-income families have an easier time qualifying for this mortgage loan. First time home buyers find this mortgage loan favourable to them.
  • Jumbo mortgages:- Jumbo mortgages are taken by people who want to acquire large, expensive properties that standard mortgage loans cannot cover. These loans might have variable or fixed interest rates.
  • Affordable solution mortgage:- You can get a mortgage loan with just a 3% down payment if you choose this option.

2. PenFed Credit Union - best among mortgage lenders for saving on fees

PenFed is one of the largest member-owned credit unions in the country, with operations in all 50 states. You don't need to go to their branches to apply for a mortgage loan, as you may do so online.

While most of their members are in the military, anyone not in the military is welcome to join. Non-military members can join the credit union by making a small donation to a nonprofit organization ranging from $10 to $15.

PenFed will not charge you any lending fees, but you will be responsible for any other fees that may arise, such as title processing, credit report, or appraisal fees.

Conventional and VA mortgage loans demand a credit score of 620, while jumbo mortgages require a score of 700.

It takes them fewer than three days to get your application pre-approved. While they claim to speed up the rest of the process, expect a loan closing time of 11-35 days faster than the industry average.

They provide a $2,500 Mortgage Member Benefits Program. The more your mortgage loan amount, the more you should save.

The following loans are available from PenFed:

  • Conventional fixed loans
  • Jumbo mortgage loans
  • Home equity loans:- A loan where you can use your property as collateral to obtain additional funds, as long as your house is worth more than the amount you owe the lender.
  • VA mortgage loans:- For VA loans, the government backs the loan, which is available to qualifying members, service members, and their spouses.

3. Loan Depot - mortgage lender for fast closing times

Loan Depot is one of the largest non-bank best mortgage lenders in the United States, with over 150 branches. You can choose to submit your income documents and personal identity information online, and your mortgage loan officer will contact you to complete the remaining steps.

Using their Mello online technology, you can simply cut their closing time by 17 days. You can reduce paperwork by electronically verifying debts, income, and assets. The Mello smart mortgage loan technology does title clearance online and can also determine whether some borrowers are eligible to bypass appraisal requirements, saving you time and money.

For those who don't need to provide any further information, the pre-approval time for loan depots applicants is usually 15 minutes.

While jumbo loan mortgages require a credit score of 700, FHA loans only require a credit score of 580. A minimum credit score of 620 is what you will need for VA loans and other conventional loans.

Here are the loans Loan Depot offers:

  • Adjustable and fixed-rate mortgages loans
  • FHA loans
  • Jumbo loans
  • VA loans

4. Flagstar Bank - best among mortgage lenders for a new home loan

Although Flagstar Bank has physical branches in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana, you can still apply for a mortgage loan online. Construction, VA loans, jumbo, and conventional loans are among their options.

By accepting low credit score ratings for some of their loans, the mortgage lender is highly supportive of clients repairing their credit or first-time home mortgage borrowers with low credit scores. This factor makes it to be considered one of the best mortgage lenders for people getting their home loan for the first time.

First-time responders, active veterans, military members, and borrowers whose employers have a relationship with the bank are also eligible for discounts. They also provide discounts to repeat consumers for their home loan.

You can reach them by phone from 7.30 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. Saturdays, 8.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. This support includes email, online chat, and phone support.

Their pre-approval time is less than three days, and their average closing duration is 35 days. If you process your documentation quickly enough, they can complete it in as little as 11 days.

Most of their products recommend a min credit score of 620. The bank also accepts alternative credit data applications.

Flagstar Bank offers the following types of loans:

  • VA loans
  • Jumbo loans
  • FHA loans
  • Adjustable and fixed-rate conventional loans.
  • Speciality loans for multiple properties or high-end properties.
  • Home equity loans but in limited areas.
  • USDA loans:-The US Department of Agriculture typically guarantees USDA loans. Find out more about USDA loans.

5. Ally - mortgage lender with fast pre-approval times

Ally only offers good basic mortgage options (VA, USDA, and FHA loans are unavailable). They can provide you with lower rates and lender costs ranging from 2% to 5% of the loan amount you qualify for.

Pre-approval should take no more than three minutes ( though verified pre-approval may take longer). If you qualify, you should receive your pre-approval letter right away. It may take you an average of 36 days to close this loan. You can lock your rate ten minutes after your lender has completed your pre-approval.

Ally account holders are eligible for a $500 discount on their closing fees. They don't have any physical branches; all applications and process monitoring are completed online, except for the final signature, which you have to sign in person.

Prepare to upload files and e-sign documents from any location and time. Customer service is available via phone from 9.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. On Saturdays, phone support is available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

Their min credit score for all the mortgage loan applicants is 620; however, they consider alternative credit data also. Credit reports, tax returns, monthly bank statements, proof of income for the self-employed, and identification documents are some of the documentation they may require from you.

The following loans are available from Ally:

  • Adjustable and fixed-rate conventional loans
  • Jumbo mortgages
  • HomeReady Mortgage:- HomeReady mortgages are loans financed by the Federal National Mortgage Association( Fannie May).

6. Northpointe Bank - mortgage lender for no down payment

Northpointe Bank provides a variety of loans, such as mortgage loans for doctors and other professionals. They are well-known for offering mortgage loans with no down payment; all you need is a credit score of at least 680 to qualify.

Vacant land loans, renovation loans, and construction loans are just a few of the loan mortgages. They also have jumbo mortgages up to $3 million available with a 10% down payment.

They request their mortgage loan borrowers to make their applications online. Pre-approval times range from 24 to 48 hours, with a 30-day closing period. Their credit score requirement is 620.

Here are the loans offered by Northpointe bank:

  • Jumbo mortgage loan
  • FHA loan
  • USDA loan
  • VA loan
  • ARM loan
  • Conventional loan
  • Several speciality loans

7. Mr Cooper - mortgage lender for the online application process

Mr Cooper has branches in all 50 states, and its headquarters is in Dallas. It offers a diverse range of home mortgage loans and is among the country's major non-bank mortgage lenders.

Once customers secure a loan with the mortgage lender, the lender gives them an exceptional digital experience. Customers can use their Home Intelligence mobile app to manage their mortgages and get additional financial advice. Customers can access the dashboard to learn about neighborhood trends, current home equity, and home value.

Mr Cooper provides a loan tracker that allows borrowers to view how the loan process progresses. It's simple to use, and borrowers can easily submit paperwork online, making the entire process transparent.

Because the lender has no physical branches, all customers must use the online application process. Customer service is available Monday through Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CT. From 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CT on Fridays. Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. CT

Their pre-approval time is less than 5 hours, and they have a 30-45-day closing period.

The lender requires FHA borrowers to have a credit score as low as 580.

The following are the loans that MR. Cooper provides:

  • ARM loan
  • Jumbo mortgage loan
  • VA loan
  • FHA loan
  • Other conventional loans.

8. Better.com - the best automated mortgages lender

Due to its fully automated process, it is considered among the best mortgage lenders. Their application process is purely done online as they have no physical branches.

Customers benefit from the lender's technology, which searches for discounts automatically. The client will not be charged any extra cost for using the lending technology.

You'll be relieved to learn that there are no commissions or lender fees such as origination, application, or underwriting. The elimination of fees and commissions will save the borrower a significant amount of money, which they can put towards paying down the mortgage loan.

They provide live customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and correspondence is mainly done by mail or phone. Except for Nevada, New Hampshire, and Hawaii, it's available across the United States.

For applicants who qualify and are not requested to provide more information, their verified pre-approval time is 20 minutes. Those who must give additional information take longer. The average closing time for the lender is 32 days.

They require a minimum credit score of 620 from any mortgage loan applicant. The following loans are available through Better.com:

  • ARM loans
  • Jumbo loans
  • FHA loans
  • Conventional loans

9. New American Funding - mortgage lender for serving the underserved ( according to Nerdwallet)

New American Funding, based in California, is a family-owned nonbank lender that provides great lending solutions to the underprivileged, primarily from minority communities in the United States. It has received an excellent rating for this feature.

They provide reverse mortgages, which is a product that most other mortgage lenders do not offer. Read more about reverse mortgages, mortgage/reverse.

The mortgage lender offers the I Can mortgage program, which requires no down payment and has a repayment period ranging from 8 to 30 years.

You can either start the application by talking to their lending loan specialist in person or by phone. You can also submit documents and sign them electronically. From 8 a.m. to 9.00 p.m CT to Friday, Monday is when they offer customer support. From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. CT on Saturdays.

Their pre-approval time is the same day, with a 30-day closing time. Borrowers must have a credit score of min 580 by the lender, which is good news for those with poor credit.

Have a look at the loans offered by New American Funding:

  • USDA mortgage loans
  • FHA mortgage loans
  • VA mortgage loans
  • ARM mortgage loans
  • Home equity loans
  • Conventional mortgage loans
  • I CAN mortgage loans.

10. Guaranteed Rate - best mortgage lender for using alternative credit

Guaranteed rate borrowers can get lower mortgage loan rates than the national average. With over 300 branches across the country, it is available for anyone and offers online services.

If there are no requests for additional information, you can be prequalified online in 15 minutes and get your letter in 24-48 hours. The entire process will take between 21 and 30 days to complete.

Customer service is available from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. CT. On weekends, the lender is closed.

One of their best products is the interest-only mortgage, allowing borrowers to pay only interest for a defined time. Should you want to learn more about interest-free mortgages, read mortgages/interest-only.

If you wish to apply for mortgage loans from Guaranteed Rate, you must have a credit score of min 620. If you are a VA borrower, Guaranteed Rate will waive all loan fees for a new loan or refinance.

The following loans are available from Guaranteed Rate:

  • USDA loans
  • FHA loans
  • VA loans
  • Jumbo mortgages
  • ARM loans
  • Conventional loans
  • Interest-only mortgages.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know how much mortgage loan I can afford?

The first step is to evaluate your monthly earnings and total expenses. Most financial experts advise that your loan mortgage payment should not exceed 30% of your gross income per month.

You can use a mortgage calculator to do this nerdwalletmortgages/calculator. After that, you can seek professional advice from your lending mortgage loan consultant.

What is a pre-approval in matters of mortgage loans?

Pre-approval is a loan offer a mortgage lender makes to you based on your unique financial circumstances and terms.

Make sure you have the required documents before meeting or applying online:

  • Statements of account
  • Returns on taxation
  • W-2 forms from the last few years
  • a photocopied copy of your social security card

Your chosen lender will next guide the pre-approval process.

First, what should I shop for a mortgage loan lender or the house?

Most sellers and real estate brokers will take you seriously when you have a mortgage pre-approval. They'll verify to establish how much you qualify for and if you can afford their property.

You already know how much money you're eligible for and will look for a home within that price range. It will be frustrating and costly to look for a house only to find out you can’t qualify for the seller’s amount.

How much should I pay for closing costs?

Closing costs include all fees and expenses involved in completing the mortgage loan process. The majority of loan lenders will charge between 2% and 5% of the total loan amount.

The closing costs for a $250,000 mortgage loan, for example, should be between $5,000 and $12,500.

Which is the best mortgage lender?

The best mortgage lender for you is one who considers your needs first. Terms, requirements, mortgage products, and processes will differ across lenders.

The best mortgage lender is the one that provides the products you need, has the best interest rates and lower costs, and has conditions that you can meet.

Conclusion

While applying for a mortgage loan can be time-consuming, it can be easier to understand the process and what the mortgage loan lenders require and have a list of at least a few reputable mortgage lenders. Make a point of comparing the different lenders.

We have assessed mortgage loan lenders for you based on criteria that will help you make an informed decision. We looked at the interest rates and fees, the minimum credit score required, the pre-approval and closing processes, the various products available, and whether a downpayment is required.

Article written by Robert Ferry
We are an unbiased knowledge center for finance and our goal is to help you make your own, educated decisions about getting your credit life turned around.
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