Best Mortgage Lenders

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Not everyone can buy their home in cash. For most of us, we need to take out a mortgage in order to afford our homes. With the hundreds of mortgage companies on the market, it can feel overwhelming to decide which mortgage company is best for you.

The best mortgage lenders have competitive rates, a variety of mortgage products, a straightforward process and wide availability.

To make our top picks, the ConsumerAffairs Research Team vetted 66 mortgage companies reviewed by more than 5,478 people in the last year.  You can read our full methodology to learn more about how we compared different lenders and chose our top picks.

Note that our picks may be Authorized Partners who compensate us. This does not affect our recommendations or evaluations but may impact the order in which companies appear.

Why trust ConsumerAffairs?
  • Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
  • 4,189,804 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
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  • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

Current mortgage rates

Rates are effective 02/05/2023 and are subject to change without notice. APR shown is provided by a partner of ConsumerAffairs.

ProductAPR
6.665%0.1%Get Rates

The APR shown of 6.665% 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%.

6.009%0.0%Get Rates

The APR shown of 6.009% 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%.

5.759%0.09%Get Rates

The APR shown of 5.759% 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%.

5.424%0.0%Get Rates

The APR shown of 5.424% 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%.

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Help me Decide
New American Funding logoNew American FundingRocket Mortgage logoRocket MortgageAmeriSave Mortgage logoAmeriSave Mortgagenbkc bank logonbkc bankBetter Mortgage logoBetter MortgageZillow Home Loans, LLC logoZillow Home Loans, LLCHomefinity logoHomefinityCardinal Financial logoCardinal FinancialNetwork Capital Funding Corporation logoNetwork Capital Funding CorporationMorty logoMorty
Rating4.84.04.74.84.14.04.84.94.94.2
# of reviews7721,1565,26460317114110651,08547
Minimum credit score 580 to 640 580 to 620 600 to 620 Varies 620 Undisclosed 580 Undisclosed 580 to 620 620
Loan amount range Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available
Repayment terms Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available
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All information accurate as of time of publication.

Compare our top 10 mortgage companies

Your mortgage lender should be your partner during every step in the home financing (or refinancing) process, offering advice and answering questions to help you feel confident in your decision.

New American Funding
  • Loan types: FHA, USDA, conventional, refinance, HELOC and reverse
  • Minimum FICO score: 580 to 640
  • Minimum down payment: 0% to 5%
  • NMLS ID 6606

New American Funding is a tech-driven mortgage company that works with borrowers from different backgrounds. You can complete the entire application online, and preapproval typically takes a day or two. The company works with lenders across the credit score spectrum, so you may be able to qualify even if you have poor credit (through its I CAN program).

Borrowers can get a variety of mortgage loans with New American Funding, including conventional, FHA, USDA and refinancing. Reverse mortgages and home equity loans are also available, as are zero-down payment options.

A team of loan officers helps find the best mortgage option for you. Closing times vary, but there is a close-on-time guarantee. New American Funding services loans after closing, helping you maintain your lender relationship.

  • Close-on-time guarantee
  • Options for people with nontraditional credit history
  • Helpful loan officers for first-time homebuyers
  • Select fees will apply
  • May have to pay points to keep mortgage rate
  • Few physical branches
Many ConsumerAffairs readers report they had a great experience overall. Many noted the company’s loan officers are helpful throughout the homebuying process, which is especially beneficial for first-time buyers. “They made us feel like we really mattered and weren’t just a number, like most loan companies make you feel. That says a lot in today’s mortgage arena,” Brenda in New Mexico said after refinancing with New American Funding.
Rocket Mortgage
  • Loan types: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA and refinancing
  • Minimum FICO score: 580 to 620
  • Minimum down payment: 0% to 5%
  • NMLS ID 3030

Rocket Mortgage is an online mortgage company developed by one of the largest national lenders (Quicken Loans). Loans are available nationwide. Borrowers can get conventional, jumbo and some government-backed loans with a rate lock of 90 days. No HELOC loans are available, but home equity loans are.

The application process takes place entirely online. The minimum credit score required depends on the type of loan you’re interested in (lower for FHA and VA). It can take up to three days to get preapproved, and the time to close averages between 30 and 45 days.

  • Mortgage options for borrowers with lower credit scores
  • Fast approval and closing
  • Nationwide availability
  • No HELOCs available
  • No in-person services
ConsumerAffairs readers who used Rocket Mortgage appreciate its simple process. “All I needed to do was sign permission and they obtained all the necessary information. There was no need to look for pay stubs [or] W-2 forms and fax or email them,” Teresa in Georgia said.

Everything is online except for home inspection and final closing, according to Liviu in New Jersey, who refinanced with Rocket Mortgage recently. “As someone who doesn't want to endlessly talk on the phone with salespeople — I completely appreciate this process,” Liviu said, “and the rates were among the best I got.”

AmeriSave Mortgage
  • Loan types: Adjustable or fixed-rate conventional, FHA, VA, USDA and cash-out refinancing
  • Minimum FICO score: 600 to 620
  • Minimum down payment: 0% to 3.5%
  • NMLS ID 1168

AmeriSave is a direct lender in 49 states (not New York) and Washington, D.C. It has a relatively easy-to-navigate online application, helpful loan officers and competitive interest rates.

If you’re buying a house, you can get pre-qualified and close on the loan in as little as 25 days. Refinancing can be completed in less than a month.

Borrowers will need a minimum credit score of 600 (620 for some mortgages) and a down payment of up to 3.5%. Multiple mortgage options are available, including government-backed and conventional loans. Home equity loans and HELOCs are available as well.

The application process takes place entirely online, so if you want an in-person option, you’ll need to use another lender. There are no origination or application fees for mortgages (fees do apply for HELOCs and home equity loans), but you will need to pay closing costs up to 5%.

  • Variety of loan options
  • No origination or application fees
  • Fast closing times
  • No in-person branches
  • Not available in New York
Overall, borrowers are pleased with AmeriSave. “Everything was perfect and just what they promised is what I got,” Evvy in Illinois said. Another reviewer, Maria in Pennsylvania, chose AmeriSave because the rep could give a ballpark loan estimate without running a full credit report: “Everybody else wants to run your credit, so that's a big difference for me. I also had questions throughout the process, and the guy I worked with was knowledgeable and helpful. Above all, he listened to what I needed and gave me very fair options for me to choose from.”
nbkc bank
  • Loan types: Conventional, FHA, VA, new construction, HELOC and refinancing
  • Minimum FICO score: Varies
  • Minimum down payment: Varies
  • NMLS ID 409631

Nbkc bank offers mortgages, car loans, personal loans and bridge loans. If you’re shopping for a mortgage, you can choose from conventional, new construction, FHA and VA loans. The bank also offers HELOCs and refinancing options.

The credit score and minimum down payment you’ll need aren’t disclosed; you’ll need to apply or contact the bank directly for that information. You’ll also need to apply or contact the bank to find out any fees. Preapproval time and days to close can vary.

The bank is based in Kansas City but offers online lending services in all 50 U.S. states. However, if you’re looking for a HELOC, you must reside in the Kansas City metro area.

  • Loans available nationwide
  • Online and in-person options
  • New construction loans available
  • Lack of transparency around fees and other requirements
  • HELOCs only available in a limited area
Many ConsumerAffairs readers are repeat customers of nbkc bank and highlight its quality customer service, competitive rates and fast process. Tom in Washington has completed refinance and purchase transactions through nbkc, and both were positive experiences. “A minimum of paperwork setting things up was required from me. The process was always on time as promised, and Matt stayed on top of things at all times and was always available to answer questions,” Tom said.
Better Mortgage
  • Loan types: Conventional, jumbo, FHA and refinancing
  • Minimum FICO score: 620
  • Minimum down payment: 3% to 20%
  • NMLS ID 330511

Better is a direct lender available in 49 U.S. states (not Nevada). The application process is quick and streamlined. It typically takes about three minutes to get preapproved; you can expect to close within six weeks after that.

Borrowers can get conventional, jumbo, FHA and refinancing loans as long as they have a minimum credit score of 620. There are no lender fees on home loans at Better Mortgage, and the company offers a “Better Price Guarantee,” which promises to match competitors’ offers and provide a $100 credit toward closing costs.

The application process is completely online, so if you would like an in-person option, you’ll need to consider another lender. However, the application is easy to use and navigate. Note that Better does service its loans, but at some point, your loan may be sold to another servicer or company (this does not affect the terms of your mortgage).

  • Highly accessible digital platform with lots of features
  • No application, closing or other fees
  • Offers a “Better Price Guarantee”
  • May sell your loan to an investor in the secondary mortgage market
  • Currently doesn’t offer VA loans or USDA loans
  • Higher minimum credit score requirement for FHA loans than some competitors
Positive reviews often mention the easy online application, quick underwriting process and reasonable rates. “Better Mortgage had the lowest rate and the process was very efficient,” according to Christian in Michigan. Elizabeth in Oregon pointed out that it’s easy to track progress online. Others chose Better because of specific benefits or features, and some said certain features of the process — getting all your options upfront without all the back-and-forth with a loan officer — are game changers.
Zillow Home Loans, LLC
  • Loan types: Conventional, VA, FHA and refinancing
  • Minimum FICO score: 580 to 680
  • Minimum down payment: 0% to 3.5%
  • NMLS ID 10287

Popular home search site Zillow now offers conventional, VA and FHA loans for purchasing and refinancing. You’ll need a credit score of 580 to 680 to qualify (varies based on the type of loan).

Zillow loans are available in 47 states (not in New York, New Jersey and West Virginia). It’s an online-only process, but it takes just a few minutes to get preapproved. The time it takes to close ranges from one week to about two months.

The company could provide more information online about its rates, closing costs, rate lock and other features borrowers need to consider before getting a mortgage. Contact the company directly for answers to your questions on these topics.

  • Low down payments
  • Fast approval process
  • Quick closing times
  • Lack of information online about fees and other requirements
  • No USDA, HELOC or home equity loan options
  • Higher-than-average minimum credit score for some loans
Overall, ConsumerAffairs readers are pleased with the Zillow experience. They describe an easy application process and good customer service, often singling out specific representatives. Ashley in North Carolina said that during the "entire process, from application to final approval, closing, funding, the Zillow loan team made sure my best interests and financial scenarios were pursued and achieved, efficiently and painlessly.”
Homefinity
  • Loan types: Conventional, FHA, VA and refinancing
  • Minimum FICO score: Varies
  • Minimum down payment: 0% to 3.5%
  • NMLS ID 2289

Homefinity is a direct mortgage lender with multiple home purchase and refinancing options. It does not offer home equity loans or HELOCs. The company is part of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. You can get started by filling out the online application or scheduling a phone call with a loan rep.

Homefinity offers customizable quotes for fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages. Note, though, that the quote is not the same as a preapproval.

While you can easily check rates, the company is not transparent about many borrower requirements, including minimum credit score and fees. You should receive a Loan Estimate form within three days of your application to help you plan for closing and other related costs.

  • Transparent about rates
  • Easy-to-use portal for uploading documents and information
  • Lack of transparency around borrower requirements and fees
  • No in-person services
Although some ConsumerAffairs reviewers felt the mortgage process could be cumbersome, most reviewers say it was simple and streamlined. “The overall process was relatively easy,” according to Kathleen in New Mexico. “I had delayed refinancing, as I was dreading retrieving the needed documents; however, Homefinity linked my employer, tax records and bank statements, so very little fell on me.”
Cardinal Financial
  • Loan types: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, USDA, VA and refinancing
  • Minimum FICO score: Varies
  • Minimum down payment: Varies
  • NMLS ID 66247

Cardinal Financial is a national lender that combines personal support and digital processes. It provides guidance online, over the phone and in person. In addition to traditional home loans, the lender offers disaster relief loans, new construction loans and down payment assistance programs. HELOCs and home equity loans are not available.

The minimum credit score you need for a Cardinal Financial mortgage depends on the type of loan you want; government-backed loans require a score of 580, while conventional loans require a score of 620. For a jumbo loan, you’ll need a score of 660. Down payments vary as well.

The company is not transparent online about its loan costs and fees, and it doesn’t publish its rates. It offers both fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages.

  • Proprietary loan origination system to upload documents and see loan details
  • Available nationwide
  • Offers government-backed FHA, VA and USDA loans
  • Closing delays reported by some reviewers
  • Less transparent about rates and fees
Positive reviews commonly say that reps are helpful throughout the process. Many people say the loan officers are straightforward, honest and kind, answering all questions promptly and delivering excellent borrower support. “Everything was done online except at the end when they sent a notary to my home so I could sign all the loan documents,” said Dawn in Iowa.
Network Capital Funding Corporation
  • Loan types: Conventional, FHA, VA and refinancing
  • Minimum FICO score: 580 to 620
  • Minimum down payment: Varies
  • NMLS ID 11712

Network Capital has competitive rates and a straightforward process for FHA, VA and conventional loans. No USDA, HELOC or home equity loans are available.

You can check the rate options online through the Network Capital website; fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages are available. The credit score you’ll need to qualify for a loan varies (580 for government-backed, 620 for others), and you’ll need a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 36% or lower for a conventional loan.

There are no origination, application or underwriting fees, but you should expect to pay closing costs that will include an appraisal fee, title fees and escrow.

Network Capital offers loans to borrowers in 43 states. It does not serve Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada or Utah. You can close on a home loan in as few as 15 business days (from “intent to proceed” to signing the closing documents).

  • Quick closing times
  • No lender fees
  • Adjustable and fixed-rate loans available
  • Relatively limited loan programs
  • Only available in 43 states
  • Maximum 36% DTI ratio allowed for conventional mortgages
Many reviewers praise the customer service representatives and the company’s willingness to work with them through issues. They also note the easy application process. “I work in finance myself and wish our process was as smooth as how Network Capital made it seem,” a reviewer in Florida said. They said the process was “a lot easier than anticipated.”
Morty
  • Loan types: Conventional and refinancing
  • Minimum FICO score: 620
  • Minimum down payment: 3% to 20%
  • NMLS ID 1429243

Morty is an online mortgage broker, calling itself a “mortgage concierge” that can help you find 15-year, 20-year and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 5/1, 7/1 and 10/1 adjustable-rate mortgages. In addition to single-family homes, Morty can secure financing for duplexes and condos as long as they are used as a primary residence.

You’ll need a 620 minimum credit score and a 3% (or higher) down payment, as well as no more than a 43% DTI ratio. It takes about five to 10 minutes to determine if you’re preapproved, and depending on where you live, you might be eligible for personalized loan options.

The company guarantees a quick process, offering borrowers $2,000 if they miss their closing date. Additionally, with Morty’s Quick Close Advantage, the process can be expedited, with a potential closing date in as little as 14 days.

Morty is a licensed broker in 46 states and Washington, D.C (not available in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Missouri and Nevada). It doesn’t currently offer government-backed loans (FHA, VA, USDA), mortgages for second homes or financing for investment properties.

  • Fast closing guarantee
  • Multiple rate options
  • Loans for duplexes and condos
  • No government-backed loans
  • Not available in all states
ConsumerAffairs readers report that Morty offers good rates, an easy-to-use online platform and helpful loan officers. Craig in Tennessee said they were “skeptical of the value of a broker, but the Morty team located the most competitive loan for my needs, helped work through several obstacles, streamlined the communication to the lender and closing agent, and provided an awesome web interface to track progress and communicate with me most effectively.”

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    How does a mortgage work?

    A mortgage is a loan that's used to buy real estate — typically residential property. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it’s an “agreement between you and a lender that gives the lender the right to take your property if you fail to repay the money you've borrowed plus interest.”

    The two main types of mortgage loans are conventional and government-backed mortgages. Mortgages, which act as a lien or legal claim against a property, are usually between 15 and 30 years. There are also 10-year term options.

    The mortgage interest rate is the amount the lender charges the borrower for the loan.

    Mortgage rates can be fixed or adjustable. A fixed-rate mortgage has the same interest rate for the entire loan term, whereas an adjustable-rate mortgage has a rate that regularly changes according to an index and margin used by the lender.

    How to apply for a mortgage

    To get a mortgage, you’ll need to first complete an application. For many lenders, you can do so entirely online. You’ll also want to check your credit score, determine how much house you can afford and compare lender rates and other requirements (like DTI ratio and down payment amount).

    Keep in mind that the mortgage lender makes a hard inquiry on your credit when you apply. Hard inquiries cause your credit score to take a small dip, so only complete an application when you’re serious about putting in an offer on a home.

    The application process varies depending on your preapproval status and other factors, but everyone who applies for a mortgage generally goes through these five steps:

    Lenders want to verify information relating to your monthly income, credit score and assets. You’ll typically need proof of income, like W-2s or federal tax returns from the past two years, and several months of pay stubs. Gather any statements about your assets or long-term debts, including car notes and student loans. Make sure you have documents such as recent bank statements and a government-issued photo ID ready, too.
    Fill in all required information. For instance, check if you’re applying with a co-borrower and indicate the type of mortgage and amount you need to borrow. You’ll also need to provide personal and financial information for the lender to assess your DTI ratio, and disclose if you’ve filed for bankruptcy or if there are any outstanding judgments against you.

    You’ll also need to provide property details, including cost information. Lenders consider the loan-to-value ratio (LTV) — the loan amount divided by the appraised property value — to assess how risky your mortgage loan is in the current market.

    After a lender receives your application, you should get a Loan Estimate within three business days. All lenders are required to use the same template, which makes it easy to compare interest rates, fees and projected monthly payments.

    Features you’ll review include:

    • Loan amount: This is the total amount of money you borrow for the mortgage loan.
    • Interest rate: This is expressed as a yearly percentage of the amount you borrow.
    • Estimated total monthly payment: This shows the projected monthly payment, including principal, interest, mortgage insurance and escrow.
    Once you commit to a lender, all your application information is scrutinized. A processor pulls your tax records and confirms your income, and then an underwriter evaluates how risky it is to give you a loan. This process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

    If you're denied a mortgage loan, you have the right to know why. You can ask your loan officer what went wrong — you might be able to get the loan if you make a bigger down payment or get a co-signer.

    After you’ve been approved, you’ll need to agree to the terms. Review the fine print carefully before you sign. You don’t want to be surprised by anything later on.

    What to do if you’re denied

    If you’re denied a mortgage, don’t stress. It happens. Common reasons for being denied a loan include leaving out crucial information on the application, an inability to verify some portion of your income, a recent application for a personal loan or line of credit, a job change or an overdraft on a checking account. You might be able to resubmit an application and have it reevaluated.

    If all else fails, you can try to apply for a mortgage loan with another lender. If you’re approved, then closing is the next step toward homeownership.

    FAQ

    How much is a mortgage?

    Your mortgage payment is generally determined by four elements: principal, interest, taxes and insurance (also known as PITI). These include the balance on the home loan, your rate, property taxes and insurance, including mortgage insurance and homeowners insurance.

    What is the difference between a mortgage lender and broker?

    There are a number of differences between a mortgage lender and broker. A mortgage lender is a financial institution that finances the home loan for a fee. A mortgage broker is a middleman between a borrower and a mortgage lender.  Working with a broker can save time and money, especially if you want to compare multiple lenders.

    Can you get a mortgage loan to build a house?

    Yes, construction loans are a type of home loan available to finance building a brand-new home. A regular construction loan is different from a mortgage because there is no existing property to use as collateral for the loan.

    What should I watch out for with a mortgage lender?

    When picking a mortgage lender, you’ll want to check reviews and ratings to see what other customers are saying. Some of the worst mortgage companies consistently get reports of hidden fees, bad customer service and aggressive marketing tactics.

    Additional red flags to watch out for include:

    • Pressure to rush through the process or borrow more than you need or can afford
    • Unusually high rates and fees compared with other lenders
    • Being asked to sign blank loan documents or lie on your application

    Methodology

    To make our picks for top mortgage lenders, the ConsumerAffairs Research Team started with the full list of 66 mortgage companies on this guide. To narrow it down, we first eliminated those with an overall satisfaction rating below 3.5 stars, leaving 38.

    To dig a little deeper, we analyzed 5,478 recent verified reviews that have been published on our site over the last 12 months (Jan. 10, 2021, through Jan. 10, 2022). Companies had to have at least twice as many 5-star reviews as 1-star reviews during this time to stay in the running.

    With 21 lenders and brokers remaining, we then graded each company on loan product selection, rate and fee transparency, online reputation and availability. Our top 10 picks are ranked by a scoring system similar to a grade-point average.

    Compare Mortgage Lender Reviews