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Best online mortgage lenders

Compare loan options, digital tools and reviews

Author picture
Written by Kathryn Parkman
Edited by Justin Martino
Mr. Cooper, Zillow Home Loans, LLC, AmeriSave Mortgage, Guaranteed Rate Mortgage, New American Funding, Rocket Mortgage, loanDepot, Morty, Better Mortgage and nbkc bank
person submitting mortgage application on computer

Buying a home is one of the most significant purchases you’ll make, but that doesn’t mean it has to be inconvenient. These days, you can practically complete the whole homebuying process online. You can even do parts of the closing and appraisals digitally now.

Before you start applying, be sure you have your finances cleaned up and organized, especially in terms of all the paperwork. You can do a lot virtually, which is great, but some steps still must be completed in person.

With an online mortgage broker or lender, you generally pay lower fees thanks to less overhead. It also makes sense if you’re remote or moving to a new city.

Use our guide to compare some of the best online lenders on available programs, eligibility requirements and customer reviews.

Our picks for the top online mortgage lenders

The ConsumerAffairs research team scored mortgage companies on recent reviews, online reputation and digital features. Below, we summarize what makes each of our top picks different, discuss loan requirements and cover a few strengths and weaknesses. Read our full methodology for more on how we ranked lenders.

  • Rocket Mortgage
  • nbkc bank
  • Better
  • Mr. Cooper
  • Zillow Home Loans
  • Morty
  • New American Funding

Current mortgage rates

Rates are effective 06/28/2022 and are subject to change without notice. APR shown is provided by a partner of ConsumerAffairs.

ProductAPR
6.022%0.03%Get Rates

The APR shown of 6.022% is available for a 30-year fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

5.55%0.06%Get Rates

The APR shown of 5.550% is available for a 20-year fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

5.075%0.01%Get Rates

The APR shown of 5.075% is available for a 15-year fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

5.051%0.0%Get Rates

The APR shown of 5.051% is available for a 10-year fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

5.952%0.02%Get Rates

The APR shown of 5.952% is available for a 30-year FHA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

5.182%0.0%Get Rates

The APR shown of 5.182% is available for a 20-year FHA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

5.779%-0.02%Get Rates

The APR shown of 5.779% is available for a 15-year FHA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

5.225%0.0%Get Rates

The APR shown of 5.225% is available for a 10-year FHA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

5.073%-0.08%Get Rates

The APR shown of 5.073% is available for a 30-year VA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

4.81%0.0%Get Rates

The APR shown of 4.810% is available for a 20-year VA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

5.254%0.0%Get Rates

The APR shown of 5.254% is available for a 10-year VA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

4.877%-0.05%Get Rates

The APR shown of 4.877% is available for a 15-year VA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.


Current refinance rates


ProductAPR
5.975%0.1%Get Rates

The APR shown of 5.975% is available for a 30-year fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

5.817%0.0%Get Rates

The APR shown of 5.817% is available for a 20-year fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

4.977%0.03%Get Rates

The APR shown of 4.977% is available for a 15-year fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

4.344%0.0%Get Rates

The APR shown of 4.344% is available for a 10-year fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

5.893%0.06%Get Rates

The APR shown of 5.893% is available for a 30-year FHA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

5.552%0.0%Get Rates

The APR shown of 5.552% is available for a 20-year FHA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

5.67%-0.17%Get Rates

The APR shown of 5.670% is available for a 15-year FHA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

5.143%-0.18%Get Rates

The APR shown of 5.143% is available for a 30-year VA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

4.605%0.0%Get Rates

The APR shown of 4.605% is available for a 20-year VA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

4.97%-0.37%Get Rates

The APR shown of 4.970% is available for a 15-year VA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

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Help me Decide
Simple refinancing processRocket MortgageAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Loans: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA and refinancing
  • Minimum credit score: 580 to 620
  • Preapproval time: 3 days
  • Time to close: 30 to 45 days
  • Availability: Nationwide

Why we picked it: Rocket is known for its quick, intuitive online application process. It’s a great online lender because practically everything can be done online, including electronic closing and other e-mortgage options. You can still receive human help by email, live chat and phone, however.

The company is relatively transparent about rates, though your final rate will vary based on your application information. You can also choose any term length between eight and 30 years, and you have 24/7 access to your loan information online through the Rocket Mortgage app.

What to consider: A home inspection is likely required when you refinance. Qualifying applicants can pay as little as 3% down for purchase loans. Rocket Mortgage also no longer offers USDA loans.

What reviewers like: “Despite being an online process, the communication was great,” according to a reviewer in Louisiana. A reviewer in Maryland called Rocket Mortgage “a well oiled machine.”

A reviewer in Ohio who refinanced with Rocket said, “The process was so smooth from start to finish. … Love the online experience which was very user friendly, and I am so happy with the terms I received.”

“I tried several other lenders but they wanted so much paperwork and had such high closing costs it was not worth it,” a reviewer in North Carolina said. “Most did not understand life is online and would not accept anything but old fashioned paper. Rocket understood that everything is online today. They wanted documents uploaded, not mailed. They understood I don't get pay stubs but could provide all the information online through a different format.”

Helpful loan officersnbkc bankAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Loans: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA and refinancing
  • Minimum credit score: Varies
  • Preapproval time: Varies
  • Time to close: Varies
  • Availability: Nationwide

Why we picked it: Nbkc is a direct lender with an excellent online reputation. It has an app for digital tracking, and a dedicated loan officer is your point of contact from start to finish. We also like that a significant portion of its loans qualify for an appraisal waiver.

If you’re buying and selling a house simultaneously, check out its bridge loan options.

What to consider: Some other lenders are more transparent about rates and fees. Terms are available from 10 to 30 years. Unless you’re in Kansas City, you won’t have access to a physical branch location.

What reviewers like: “The process was very painless and making the docs digitally available was a great plus (not a lot of paper clutter),” according to a reviewer in California. Another California resident said that “stress-free experience and excellent service are the only words” to describe this company.

“I was so nervous to pick a [mortgage lender] from a list online, but it couldn't have worked out better. We only had 34 days to close and he has his part done with time to spare!” a reviewer in Washington said.

Others say the company’s loan officers are great at answering all your questions: “He put up with my odd questions and was very patient and helpful. This continued throughout the process as we locked in and closed with NBKC. He took the time to understand our needs/strategy while also helping us solidify on that goal,“ a reviewer in Arizona said.

Great online features overallBetter MortgageAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Loans: Conventional, jumbo and FHA
  • Minimum credit score: 620
  • Preapproval time: 3 minutes
  • Time to close: 3 to 6 weeks
  • Availability: Most states (not HI, NV or NH)

Why we picked it: Better Mortgage is a direct lender with overall great reviews and lots of digital options, including a three-minute preapproval process and hybrid e-closing. This lets you electronically sign about half your documents — you still have to meet with a notary on closing day. On average, hybrid e-closing takes about 30 minutes. Plus, there aren’t any lender fees for originating, processing or underwriting.

You can lock your rate at any time during the application process. If your loan doesn’t close on time and it’s Better’s fault, it pays you $2,000. Real estate agents can take advantage of the appraisal guarantee — it honors your original approved loan terms, even if the home appraisal comes in lower than expected. The company also offers title insurance, homeowners insurance and real estate products.

What to consider: One potential downside is that in-person appraisals are still required in most situations. Additionally, the appraisal guarantee is only available for borrowers using Better or partner real estate agents. The lender does not offer home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) or second mortgages.

What customers like: “Better Mortgage has a good online system. It's very easy to use,” according to a reviewer in Illinois. A reviewer in Missouri said, “The process was great. It was nice, smooth, and easy.”

“I liked Better Mortgage's rates and cost. A lot of stuff was done online and it was seamless and transparent,” a reviewer in Arizona said.

A reviewer in New Jersey got a good rate on a 15-year conventional loan through Better: “The process took a month and a half and it was very streamlined. It was easy to follow the directions on the Better Mortgage website and it made everything really simplified.”

“Best online mortgage experience I ever had,” a reviewer in Mississippi said. “My home purchase was unique and very frustrating when it came to the sellers, realtor and closing attorney. However Better was right there making sure things got done and that I closed on time.”

Convenient mobile appMr. CooperAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Loans: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA and refinancing
  • Minimum credit score: Varies
  • Preapproval time: Same day
  • Time to close: Varies (guaranteed date)
  • Availability: Nationwide

Why we picked it: Mr. Cooper’s app lets you make secure payments, access statements and monitor your credit score from your phone or tablet. The app also gives you current details about your home’s value, your equity and selling trends in the neighborhood.

Mr. Cooper’s application process is fast and easy. It offers a digital mortgage loan tracker tool, which lets you manage the application process in a more streamlined manner.

What to consider: It’s easy to get started online, but you’ll have to complete the closing in person. The website also doesn’t have the most up-to-date or transparent rate information. As with most other lenders, there can be prepayment penalties on some loans.

What reviewers like: “Working with Mr. Cooper is effortless and efficient,” according to a reviewer in Colorado. “Their mobile app is my saving grace for keeping up with my mortgage, keeping tabs on my area for pricing, and keeping me organized.”

“My favorite aspect was their website and mobile app. It’s clear [that] they spent a lot of time and effort on these and the resulting attention to detail shows that they nailed it,” a reviewer in Virginia said.

“Everything was over the phone or on the app and everything went really well. I got pretty decent rates. It wasn't the cheapest but I felt that if you're with Mr. Cooper, it was worth it,” a reviewer in Tennessee said.

“I appreciated the online capability to upload documents needed for their review. The closing was easy with the visit taking less than an hour. Start to finish was 15 days,” a reviewer in Rhode Island said.

Simple loan processZillow Home Loans, LLCAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Loans: Conventional, FHA and VA
  • Minimum credit score: 580 to 680
  • Preapproval time: A few minutes
  • Time to close: 1 week to 2 months
  • Availability: Most states

Why we picked it: Zillow has great reviews, good digital features and decent availability. The app makes it easy to browse listings in your price range, check rates and connect with local lenders.

Like Rocket Mortgage, it could also be an excellent lender for first-time homebuyers or people looking to refinance.

What to consider: Zillow Home Loans aren’t available nationwide. If you live in Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Vermont or West Virginia, the company can’t offer you a mortgage. The company also does not currently offer home equity loans or lines of credit.

What reviewers like: “The online application was designed to facilitate the workflow and worked flawlessly,” according to a reviewer in Illinois. A reviewer in Connecticut said their loan officer “explained the process in detail, each step, additional charge and gave examples from his personal and professional experience that gave me reassurance in the process.”

reviewer in North Carolina said, “We are first time home buyers and were clueless to the entire process. We actually enjoyed the entire experience.”

“At each and every step in the process I was impressed: from the initial call that resulted immediately after I completed the simple form online… to the ease of required documentation by Loan Processor, Tiffany; and finally the document signing was a notary right to my doorstep!” a reviewer in Virginia said.

“The refi process was painless from appraisal to the cash back at the close of the refi. I felt like I was not bothered by the agent handling it and that they did most of the work not me,” a reviewer in California said.

Good online broker optionMortyAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Loans: Conventional loans and refinancing
  • Minimum credit score: 620
  • Preapproval time: 5 to 10 minutes
  • Time to close: Varies (guaranteed date)
  • Availability: Some states

Why we picked it: Morty leverages technology to streamline each step of the homebuying process. You can easily compare rates, terms and down payment options. It also implements advanced security measures to keep your data safe.

Once you're preapproved, you can view your preapproval letter, finalize your loan selection and lock in a rate. A digital closing tracker lets you keep an eye on important documents. If your closing is delayed more than a day, the company waives its appraisal fees.

What to consider: Since Morty is a broker, it doesn’t originate loans. A mortgage broker is like a middleman between you and other lenders. Additionally, Morty has more rigid requirements than some other lenders, and it has relatively limited availability — as of the time of publishing, the company operates in 36 states.

What customers like: “The website was clean, and it was clear to use. It was a polished experience, so I felt comfortable with moving forward with Morty,” a reviewer in Virginia said.

“I loved the whole process with Morty,” a reviewer in Pennsylvania said. “It was amazing. The people helping me were very communicative. They reached out every time they needed something for me and could answer every question I had, too. I sent the paperwork and within that day, they would put it in the system and I could track everything on the website.”

Another reviewer in Pennsylvania said, “The reps helped me get all the documents I needed, and the process went well. The rates were the best too.”

First-time homebuyer optionsNew American FundingAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Loans: Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, cash-out refinancing and reverse mortgages
  • Minimum credit score: 580 to 640
  • Preapproval time: 1 to 2 days
  • Time to close: Varies (guaranteed date)
  • Availability: Most states (not HI)

Why we picked it: New American Funding has great reviews and good availability. You can get anything from conventional to reverse mortgages. If you’re self-employed, you can get a nonqualified mortgage.

New American Funding also helps first-time homebuyers, connecting them with programs like down payment assistance so they can afford their homes. It also provides plenty of educational resources so buyers are informed as they shop.

The I CAN mortgage program lets you get fixed-rate purchase or refinance terms from eight to 30 years with as low as 5% down. Loan amounts are available up to $510,400.

What to consider: The application is mostly online, but the entire process is not fully digital. Some other lenders are more transparent about fee disclosures. Additionally, New American Funding’s mobile app isn’t quite as well-rated as the others on our list.

What reviewers like: According to a reviewer in Maryland, the “online customer portal is very user friendly and easy on the eyes!”

A reviewer in Texas said, “I was able to do a vast majority of the paperwork online which saved me time in my busy schedule. Overall very seamless operation.”

“I was skeptical using an online company, but New American Funding provided me with excellent service, great communication and eased all of my concerns about working with an online mortgage company,” a reviewer in Michigan said.

Another reviewer said that “the process was easy without much physical contact. Everything was done online. A closing officer had to drive to my house to sign the closing documents.”

Other reviews told us that the “online process of refinancing was easy” and “the whole process was streamlined.” Reps “gave realistic suggestions” and, according to one reviewer, “all of my questions were answered.”

Pros and cons of online mortgage lenders

What does an online lender bring to the table? There are advantages and disadvantages to getting a mortgage on the internet.

On the plus side, you can apply at your own convenience and pace — it doesn’t have to be during regular business hours. It’s also easier online to compare multiple lenders on mortgage interest rates, annual percentage rates, loan terms, fees and other features. Often, approvals are faster online too, and you can close more quickly.

On the other hand, you might get less personalized service from an online lender. It can be difficult when you’re not dealing with a loan officer one on one. For example, if you need two years of tax returns that you don’t have, it’s easy to just give up. When you work directly with a local loan officer, they can help you navigate through the necessary paperwork.

If you prefer face-to-face interactions with loan officers during the homebuying process, you may be better off going with a local bank or credit union.

Pros

  • Apply whenever you want
  • Easier to compare loan options
  • Lower lender fees
  • May find lower rates
  • Overall streamlined process

Cons

  • Less personalized service
  • May not qualify for lowest advertised rates
  • May require some in-person meetings
  • Not all online lenders are reputable

Compare online mortgage lenders

Below, compare our top picks for online mortgage lenders and other popular options. Read reviews to learn more about each company.

Direct lenderHybrid e-closing optionsMobile appLearn more
Rocket MortgageRead reviews
nbkc bankRead reviews
BetterRead reviews
Mr. CooperRead reviews
Zillow Home LoansRead reviews
MortyN/ARead reviews
New American FundingRead reviews
Guaranteed RateRead reviews
loanDepotRead reviews
AmeriSaveRead reviews
Direct lender
Hybrid e-closing optionsN/A
Mobile app
Learn moreRead reviewsRead reviewsRead reviewsRead reviewsRead reviewsRead reviewsRead reviewsRead reviewsRead reviewsRead reviews

Frequently asked questions

What is an online mortgage?
An online mortgage is simply a home loan that you apply for digitally. Working with an online lender to buy a house makes sense for those with good credit scores and stable income — it may be more difficult for nontraditional borrowers, including people who are self-employed. You can find most types of home loans online, including conventional loans, jumbo mortgages and mortgage refinancing.
How do you apply for a mortgage online?
Applying for a mortgage online isn't that different from applying at a local bank. The first goal is to gather everything the online mortgage company might need for preapproval.

This may include information and records, such as documents proving income, debts, assets and your identity. These can include pay stubs, bank statements, profit and loss statements (for self-employed homebuyers), tax returns, proof of employment (like an offer letter) or a photo ID.

  • Social Security number
  • Recent W-2s
  • Paycheck stubs
  • Bank account statements
  • Tax returns from previous years
  • Proof of other assets

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, lenders may ask for your renting history. To get a mortgage, you’ll also need to provide information about the type of loan you're looking for.

Be sure to give the lender permission to obtain your credit score ; the mortgage company will need this to pull a credit report. Follow the instructions online for completing the application and tracking the progress as you receive status updates.

Usually, the application process is pretty easy. You have to upload PDFs for important documents. You can track your loan's progress through an app or secure online portal.

How do I know how much house I can afford?
How much house you can afford varies based on your income, savings and other factors, including your down payment amount. Most lenders require between 3% and 20% of the home’s price, although some programs ( USDA and VA, for example) do not require a down payment at all.

You’ll also have to account for escrow, closing costs and origination fees. Keep in mind that principal, interest, taxes and insurance ( PITI ) make up your total mortgage payment each month.

Can you get a mortgage with bad credit?
Yes, you can get a mortgage with bad credit, though you may not get very good rates. Government-backed loans typically have the most lenient credit score requirements. For example, FHA programs accept borrowers with credit scores as low as 580.

Overall, lenders want strong assurance you can afford your home and are likely to repay your mortgage. The mortgage underwriter does much of this evaluation. They prefer to see a strong credit score, overall positive credit history, low debt-to-income ratio (total monthly debt payments vs. monthly income) and assets.

What is the difference between a nonbank lender, an online lender and a traditional bank?
Nonbank online lenders are not traditional banks with savings and checking accounts — they only offer loans to customers (including mortgages). Online lenders offer their services online but may not have traditional brick-and-mortar locations. Some online lenders only offer specific types of loans.

Mortgage brokers work with several lenders and connect borrowers like you to these lenders. They can save you time in looking for the best rates and help if you have a unique situation, such as a lower credit score. However, if you already have a relationship with a direct lender, you may get better rates and terms working with a company you know. Additionally, you have more control over the application process in general with direct lenders.

Which should you do first: choose a lender or shop for homes?
We suggest you choose a lender as your first step. There are numerous benefits to this. First, you’ll know how much you can spend on a home. There’s no benefit in getting your hopes up or limiting yourself without knowing what your options are. Once you're pre-qualified, you have negotiating power and demonstrate to a seller that you're ready to purchase. Read about how to find a house for more.
Are online mortgage lenders safe?
In general, reputable online mortgage lenders with secure websites are considered safe. However, not all companies are trustworthy.

It’s crucial to thoroughly research lenders, especially online, to know if you can trust them. Compare lender reviews and ask your friends, family or real estate agent for suggestions. Avoid any lender with unusually high rates or fees or one that pressures you to lie on your application or sign documents quickly. The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act requires lenders, brokers and services to provide “pertinent and timely disclosures” about costs.

“There were some people advising against using an online lender and suggested that I use somebody in person. But I would recommend Better Mortgage to other people. I enjoyed how smooth the process was. It was very straightforward,” a reviewer in New Jersey said.

Bottom line: What are the best online mortgage lenders?

These days, you can get practically anything online, from gold and invisible braces to cars and houses. Of course, the stakes are a lot higher when it comes to purchasing a home.

A home will likely be the largest purchase you’ll ever make. Once you take out a mortgage, the monthly payment will probably be one of your top monthly expenses. So you don’t want to rush the process — it's smart to spend ample time shopping around to find the best mortgage lender and type of mortgage product for you.

Choosing the right lender makes it a lot easier to get a mortgage online.

Methodology

The ConsumerAffairs Research Team started with a list of 60 mortgage companies. We first eliminated those with an overall satisfaction rating below 3.5 stars on our site, leaving 40.

To narrow it down again, we required companies to have at least twice as many 5-star reviews as 1-star reviews over the last year (Dec. 8, 2020, through Dec. 8, 2021), leaving 14. In total, we analyzed 6,245 verified reviews.

We then graded the remaining lenders and brokers on availability, online reputation and digital features, such as free online quotes, easy-to-navigate applications and the option to make monthly payments through a secure portal. Rankings are based on weighted scores, similar to a grade-point average.

Once we selected our top picks, we vetted each through the NMLS Consumer Access portal and confirmed that they have a secure website.

ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page.
  1. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), “Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.” Accessed Dec. 13, 2021.
  2. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), “Consumer Assistance Topics: Mortgages.” Accessed Dec. 13, 2021.
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