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Find the Best Mortgage Lenders and Refinancing Companies

Mortgages make the dream of homeownership a reality for millions of Americans. Our research team vetted 41 mortgage lenders that are rated by more than 47,466 customers to help you find the best mortgage lender for your home. Read our guide to compare loan types, eligibility requirements, rates and terms.

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Compare Reviews for Top Mortgage Lenders

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Quicken Loans
Read 5,292 Reviews

Conventional mortgages and FHA, VA and jumbo loans. Refinancing options available to lower payments, change terms or take cash out. Fast online application through RocketMortgage. 3% to 6% closing costs. 90-day locked rates.

Learn More Call Now Toll Free (844) 936-3123
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AmeriSave Mortgage
Read 3,755 Reviews

Offers affordable mortgages and an easy online approval process. Custom quotes with no obligations, commitments or hidden fees. Provides conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA and USDA loans. No application or origination fees.

Learn More Call Now Toll Free (866) 815-0655
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North American Savings Bank
Read 81 Reviews

Offers mortgages, refinancing, emergency loans and more. Special services for veterans. Multiple locations across the Kansas City, Missouri, area. Limited nationwide services online. Online mortgage rate calculator.

Learn More Call Now Toll Free (844) 489-1676
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Rocket Mortgage
Read 206 Reviews

Online mortgage company. Provides multiple mortgage options and refinancing programs. Part of the Quicken Loans family. 24/7 online services. No in-person assistance. Connects you with home loan experts.

Learn More
Read 1,538 Reviews

Compares rates and quotes from multiple lenders for a variety of loan types. Free services. Use of the site doesn’t affect credit score. Provides a list of loan options tailored to the user’s situation.

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First Internet Bank
Read 346 Reviews

Online full-service bank. Personal and business products. Fixed, ARM, jumbo, FHA, VA and home equity mortgages. No physical branches. Mobile banking through app. Free ATM card with most accounts.

Get a Quote Call Now Toll Free (855) 767-2424
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Mr. Cooper
Read 9,596 Reviews

Provides new home loans and mortgage refinancing. Offers competitive interest rates. Award-winning mobile app. Online loan tracking. Guarantees closing date or the company makes your first mortgage payment. Rewards program.

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21st Mortgage Corporation
Read 1,725 Reviews

Provides financing for manufactured or mobile homes. Offers a variety of loans, insurance and resources to help you find and buy your new manufactured or mobile home. 100% financing options for some borrowers.

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Caliber Home Loans
Read 3,299 Reviews

Offers conventional and government mortgages including VA, FHA and USDA loans. Refinancing options available. Loan consulting online and in person nationally. Close on a home in as little as 10 days. Online mortgage calculator.

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PHH Mortgage
Read 4,383 Reviews

Provides mortgage, homebuying and refinancing services and offers a wide variety of loan options. Loan experts help with lowering interest rates and shortening loan terms. Competitive rates. Terms up for 40 years.

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ClearPath Lending
Read 1,029 Reviews

Nationwide mortgage lender based in California. Offers VA, FHA, conventional and jumbo loans in almost every state. Specializes in fixed-rate and adjustable-rate loans and guarantees low prices. Pre-qualifications in 15 minutes.

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Network Capital Funding Corporation
Read 572 Reviews

Offers a wide variety of loan products with competitive rates. Accepts credit scores as low as 550 and down payments as low as 3%. No lender, application or origination fees. Costs competitive with federal rates.

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Vanderbilt Mortgage
Read 2,073 Reviews

Provides mortgage financing for manufactured, mobile and modular homes. Mortgages include conventional, FHA, biweekly and land loans. Programs for low credit scores. Closing fees usually from 3% to 5%. Online mortgage calculator.

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Homebridge Financial Services
Read 888 Reviews

Private lending firm for homebuyers. Traditional and niche wholesale and retail loans. Options for purchasing, refinancing and renovating. Licensed in all 50 states except Utah. Down payments as low as 3% and financing up to 100%.

Get a Quote Call Now Toll Free (855) 321-7366
Wells Fargo Mortgage
Read 1,526 Reviews

Offers home, refinancing and equity loans. Online and in-store services available. Work with a local consultant. Interest rates vary depending on customer qualifications. Closing costs typically 2% to 5% of the purchase price.

What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan secured by real estate, typically a residential property. Unless you have enough cash on hand to purchase a house outright, a mortgage is a legal document you must sign to buy or refinance a property.

Conventional mortgages require a minimum 620 credit score.

Conventional mortgages require a minimum 620 credit score.

The word “mortgage” comes from the Old French phrase “mort gage,” which means “death pledge.” With a mortgage, the borrower is obligated to pay the full debt amount, or figuratively “kill” the loan. In this sense, “death” refers to the debt and “pledge” is a surety or promise. A mortgage is also sometimes called a lien against property, claim against property or deed of trust in some states.

Of all the different types of mortgage loans, conventional and government-backed mortgages are most frequently used to finance a home. Government-backed mortgage loans — FHA, VA and USDA programs — typically require credit scores higher than 580 and down payments from 0% to 3.5%. Since conventional loans are riskier for lenders, most require credit scores of 620 and 5% to 20% down payments.

How does a mortgage work?

A mortgage functions as a lien or legal claim against a property. In exchange for immediate funds, the borrower must repay the loan with interest and fees over time. The financed property serves as collateral for the loan — if mortgage debt is not repaid, the bank or creditor has the right to repossess the property.

To get a mortgage, you must sign a legal agreement that gives your home loan lender the right to take the property if you don’t repay your loan. You also must sign a promissory note stating that you agree to repay the mortgage loan in full, with interest and under your lender’s repayment terms. Lenders evaluate your debt-to-income ratio to determine how well you manage your debts — borrowers with debt-to-income ratios above 43% are typically considered risky and may not qualify for a mortgage loan.

Mortgage amortization is the process of paying down home loan debt over time. Homeowners build equity by making payments on their mortgage principal. If you get a second mortgage, you borrow funds with your house as collateral for the loan but don’t have to use the funds to purchase a home. Home equity loans and lines of credit are types of second mortgages.

How does mortgage interest work?

Mortgages come with different loan terms and interest rates. The term refers to the life span of the loan, which is usually between 15 and 30 years. The mortgage rate refers to the amount of interest the lender charges in exchange for the loan.

Mortgage rates can be fixed or adjustable. A fixed-rate mortgage has the same interest rate for the entire term, whereas an adjustable-rate mortgage increases or decreases based on a changing index. The most popular type of adjustable-rate mortgage is the 5/1 ARM, which has a fixed rate for the loan's first five years and then can adjust each year after that.

Mortgage rates and terms have the most impact on how much you’ll pay over the life of the loan.

How does refinancing work?

Mortgage refinancing companies replace your existing mortgage with a new loan. The two most common types of home refinance loans are rate-and-term refinancing and cash-out refinancing.

Through rate-and-term refinancing, you can change your term, get a new rate and pick a new type of loan and lender. Rate-and-term refinancing doesn’t affect your principal balance, and it’s possible to save on interest in the long term if rates have gone down since you first financed your mortgage.

With a cash-out refinance, you access your home equity in exchange for a higher principal. For example, imagine you owe $50,000 on your mortgage and want a $10,000 loan. Through a cash-out refinance or home equity loan, you could accept a $60,000 loan and receive $10,000 in cash after closing.

Many homeowners refinance their mortgage to lower their monthly payments, get a better rate, convert home equity into cash or pay off their loan faster. Some mortgage refinance lenders also specialize in debt consolidation strategies. For more, read about how to refinance a mortgage.

Mortgage broker vs. lender

There are many places to find a mortgage — national and regional banks, local credit unions and online mortgage lenders or brokers — so it can be confusing to know the best place to look or where to start.

What is a mortgage broker?

A mortgage broker is a middleman between a borrower and a wholesale mortgage lender. You can compare multiple estimates from different lenders through a mortgage broker. Using a mortgage broker to find a home loan can save money and time, but it’s also more expensive. Mortgage broker fees are up to 1.5% to 2% of the total real estate loan.

What is a mortgage lender?

A mortgage lender is the banking institution that finances the home loan for a fee. Mortgage lender origination and closing fees vary by lender and from state to state. Mortgage banks and portfolio lenders are types of direct mortgage lenders. Direct lenders process applications and originate and underwrite loans. A lender is different from a mortgage servicer, which processes loan payments, responds to borrower inquiries and manages escrow accounts.

How much is a mortgage?

The average mortgage is $840 to $1,200 per month. Most financial experts suggest keeping your mortgage payment below 30% of your monthly gross income and your total debt-to-income ratio less than 36%. Use our mortgage calculator to determine how much house you can afford.

Keep in mind that the total cost of a mortgage is more than just the price of your house. As you compare mortgage companies, consider closing costs, mortgage points and prepayment penalties.

  • Down payment: A down payment is the percentage of the total sale price that you put down upfront. Down payments can vary by loan type, location and lender. Mortgage insurance is typically required when you make a less substantial down payment.
  • Closing costs: Closing costs amount to 2% to 5% of the home loan and include application fees, lender fees, attorney fees, escrow deposits and fees, courier fees, homeowners association transfer fees, inspection fees and title insurance.
  • Mortgage points: Sometimes called discount points, mortgage points are optional fees paid to your lender in exchange for a lower interest rate. Each point costs 1% of the mortgage loan amount.
  • Prepayment penalties: A prepayment penalty is a fee that some lenders charge when a borrower pays their mortgage loan off early, either through refinancing or overpaying each month. The average prepayment fee is 80% of six months of interest.

What makes up a monthly mortgage payment?

Once you’ve covered all the upfront costs of a home loan, your monthly mortgage payments include principal, interest, taxes and insurance. In some cases, other regular expenses include homeowners association or condo fees.

  • Principal: The principal is the balance of the loan amount you borrowed. Each month, your mortgage payment reduces the principal.
  • Interest: Interest is the amount you agree to pay your lender in exchange for a mortgage loan. Fixed interest rates stay the same throughout the term of the loan. Adjustable interest rates can vary over the life of the loan.
  • Property taxes: Property taxes are often included in mortgage bills. Lenders keep your property tax payments in an escrow account until they are due and then pay them on your behalf.
  • Mortgage insurance: Mortgage insurance protects the lender if you stop making payments on your loan. The two types of mortgage insurance are private mortgage insurance (PMI) and mortgage insurance premiums (MIP). For conventional mortgages, you can avoid the need to pay for PMI by making a down payment of 20% or more. For FHA and other government-backed loans, you can avoid MIP after 11 years by putting at least 10% down.
  • Homeowners insurance: Homeowners insurance covers damage from fire, storms, theft and other perils. Most lenders require homeowners insurance and charge premiums on your mortgage bills.

How to get the best mortgage rate

The easiest way to get the best interest rate is to compare multiple mortgage lenders and refinancing companies, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Other tips for getting a great mortgage deal include improving your credit, making a larger down payment, buying mortgage points and selecting an adjustable-rate mortgage loan.

  • Compare all mortgage options: As you shop around, get quotes from at least three lenders and be sure to consider all your loan options — for example, USDA loans are ideal for those who live outside of an urban community. Remember that you can also negotiate with lenders to get better deals.
  • Improve your credit score: To get the best interest rate on your mortgage, you need to have excellent credit. Take the time now to pay off your credit cards and don’t take out any new loans while you’re getting ready to apply for a home loan.
  • Make a larger down payment: A larger down payment often gets you a lower interest rate. Try to save up for a 20% down payment to avoid having to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). If you can’t put down 20%, aim for at least 5% — that's where you start seeing a decrease in interest rates.
  • Consider mortgage points: Mortgage points are optional upfront payments that reduce your interest rate. One point typically costs 1% of the loan. When interest rates are high, buying mortgage points can save you money in the long term.
  • Go for the ARM: You can usually get a better upfront mortgage rate by getting an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) rather than a fixed-rate mortgage. Keep in mind, though, that your monthly payments may increase after the fixed-rate period ends if you opt for an ARM.

How to apply for a mortgage

After you’ve checked your credit score, figured out how much house you can afford and researched the best mortgage lenders, it’s time for some paperwork. The application process varies depending on preapproval status and other factors, but everyone who applies for a mortgage generally goes through these five steps:

1. Collect important documents
Lenders want to verify information relating to your monthly income, credit reports and cash savings. You need 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. Get your recent bank statements and a government-issued ID ready.
2. Fill out the application
Conventional mortgage loan applications are uniform across lenders — if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. First, there is a box to check if you are applying with a spouse or co-borrower (if applicable, you both must sign). Then, you fill in the type of mortgage, interest rates and loan terms (fixed, graduated, adjustable or other).

The application asks for details about the property, including its original cost and present lot value. 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.

The application also asks for personal and financial information to assess your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). You must provide details about your residence and employment history for the last two years and answer questions about your gross income and number of dependents. You must itemize all regular monthly expenses plus other liabilities or assets. Liabilities can include notes, child support and revolving account charges. Applicants are also required to disclose if they’ve filed for bankruptcy in the last seven years or if there are any outstanding judgments against them.

The best mortgage companies employ expert loan officers who can help with your specific financial situation. Finally, you (and a co-borrower, if applicable) must sign the application again at the bottom to acknowledge that the information provided is true.

3. Review Loan Estimates from several lenders
After a lender receives your application, you should get a Loan Estimate within three days. All lenders are required to use the same Loan Estimate, which makes it easy to compare interest rates, fees and projected monthly payments.
  • Loan amount: This is the total amount of money you borrow for the mortgage loan. This amount could go up if your lender rolls some of your closing costs into your loan.
  • Interest rate: The Loan Estimate indicates if the interest rate is adjustable or fixed. The total interest percentage (TIP) tells you the total amount of interest the loan requires. Make sure you’re getting the lowest interest rate possible and hold on to your original Loan Estimate when it’s time to close to ensure you’re getting the same rate you were offered.
  • Monthly projected payments: This section of the Loan Estimate breaks down the amount you pay each month for principal, interest and mortgage insurance and the estimated escrow fees.
  • Origination fees: Mortgage lenders charge loan origination fees for services like mortgage application and underwriting. Origination fees are usually a small percentage (between 0.5% and 2%) of the total loan amount, though some mortgage lenders offer fixed fees of $1,000 or less.
4. Make a commitment
After you’ve compared rates and fees and found a trusted mortgage lender, it’s time to make a decision. It’s OK to take your time on this step, so don’t let a pushy loan officer make you feel cornered into a final decision. When you’re comfortable, contact the mortgage lender you like best and tell them you’re ready to buy a house.
5. Wait for approval
Remember the official mortgage application you filled out and had to sign twice? Once you commit to a lender, all that 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.

Keep in mind that it’s more difficult to get a mortgage now than it was before the Great Recession. Common reasons that mortgage applicants are unexpectedly denied a loan include leaving out crucial information on their application, the inability to verify some portion of their income, a recent application for a personal loan or line of credit, job change or overdraft on a checking account.

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

Who are the best mortgage lenders near me?

Mortgage lenders in your city can help you with the ins and outs of the local market. We looked at our favorite companies across the U.S. to help you find a mortgage company near you.

Mortgage questions

What is a good mortgage interest rate?
With any mortgage loan, a lower interest rate is better. Depending on the type of loan you select, current interest rates range from about 2.5% to 8.5%. Mortgage interest rates vary from year to year and tend to be higher when the economy is doing well.

A good fixed interest rate in 2020 is about 3.5% on a 30-year term or 3% on a 15-year term. Lenders charge less interest when you promise to repay the principal in less time. A good mortgage interest rate on an ARM is between 2.5% and 3.5%. Keep in mind that mortgage interest rates vary from lender to lender and also by state.

How do you get rid of PMI?
If you put down less than 20% initially, you can get rid of private mortgage insurance (PMI) once you build up 20% home equity. You can avoid PMI altogether by making a down payment higher than 20% of the property’s purchase price.

If your home’s value has increased to the point that you owe less than 78%, you can request that your lender removes PMI. To do this, you must pay for an appraisal to validate the increased value of your home. Many lenders won’t consider removing PMI until you have made payments for at least two years, so check with your bank or mortgage lender before getting an appraisal.

How do you get preapproved for a mortgage?
Lenders consider your credit history and current financial information to determine whether you can be preapproved for a mortgage. The most common documents required to get preapproved for a home loan include:
  • W-2 wage statements
  • Recent tax returns
  • Pay stubs
  • Credit report
  • Bank statements
  • Investment account statements
  • Monthly debt statements
  • Copy of your driver’s license
  • Social Security number

If you’re preapproved, you receive a mortgage preapproval letter with the loan amount for which you qualify. Each preapproval letter is valid for up to 90 days. A mortgage preapproval letter lets you start making offers on homes.

Getting pre-qualified is different from getting preapproved for a mortgage. Mortgage pre-qualification is a less formal process that gives you a general idea of how much of a loan you are eligible for. To get a mortgage preapproval, a lender examines your financial situation much more thoroughly to determine your maximum loan amount and interest rates.

Keep in mind that the mortgage lender pulls a hard inquiry on your credit when you apply for preapproval. Hard inquiries cause your credit scores to take a small dip, so only try to get preapproved when you’re serious about putting in an offer on a home.

Is it better to get a mortgage from a bank or mortgage company?
Depending on your circumstances, there are advantages to both banks and mortgage companies. Mortgage companies offer a more extensive range of loan products, but banks sometimes offer better rates and pricing. If you already have a good relationship with your local bank, you might have a better experience. If you want to compare several home loan options at once, a mortgage company saves you time.

Banks sometimes have stricter eligibility requirements, so riskier applicants typically get a better deal from a mortgage company. If your credit score is less than ideal, you may not be eligible for a conventional mortgage through a bank. Mortgage companies often work with a vast network of lenders, so they can provide more options that cater to homebuyers with low credit scores or higher debt-to-income ratios.

When picking a mortgage provider, don’t be afraid to shop around. Getting multiple quotes from different companies and banks before you make a decision helps you find the best lender for your situation.

What is the easiest mortgage to qualify for?
Government-backed loans are the easiest mortgages to qualify for since they are the least risky for lenders. FHA loans, which are backed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), are the most popular government-backed mortgage loans.

To qualify for an FHA loan, you only need a credit score of 580 and a minimum down payment of 3.5%. Those with credit scores below 580 can still qualify for an FHA loan if they can make a 10% down payment.

How do I find out who my mortgage lender is?
To find out who your mortgage lender is, look on your mortgage statement. Most mortgage contracts give your lender the right to resell your loan to another servicing company. If this happens, it can be confusing to tell who currently owns your mortgage loan. Ask your mortgage servicer (the number is on each monthly mortgage statement) or look it up online through Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS).
Can you get a mortgage to build a house?
Construction loans are 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. A construction-to-permanent loan is a type of construction loan that converts into a mortgage once the construction is complete. Also called “single-close” construction loans, these are the most streamlined ways to finance a build and get a mortgage on your new home.
What is a good down payment on a house?
While a down payment of 20% is recommended to avoid paying mortgage insurance, most homebuyers put down about 6% of the home’s purchase price as a down payment. The amount required depends on the type of loan. FHA loans, for example, require at least 3.5%, while VA or USDA loans don’t require down payments. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you may qualify for local, state or federal down payment grants.

Paying a smaller down payment offers lower upfront costs to purchasing a home. With grants and other programs, your down payment may be as low as $0. However, you will need to pay mortgage insurance on loans with less than 20% down. Mortgage insurance is paid with your monthly mortgage payment and typically ranges from 0.5% to 5% of the loan’s value per year.

How do payments on a mortgage work?
Your monthly mortgage payment is broken out into several smaller payments of principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI). The principal amount is applied directly to your outstanding balance, while interest is charged based on your interest rate and current balance. Taxes and insurance costs are saved in an escrow account until they’re charged to your mortgage account biannually or annually.
What is a HECM?
The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is a reverse mortgage backed by the federal government. This program lets you draw on your home’s equity to borrow money.
Which loan is best for first-time homebuyers?
The right loan for you depends on your financial circumstances and personal details. Many first-time homeowners opt for FHA loans, due to lower interest rates, down payment requirements and credit score requirements. However, if you are eligible for VA (for veterans) or USDA (for rural properties) loans, you can qualify for additional interest breaks and no down payment requirements. Conventional loans are typically chosen by those with higher credit scores and more liquid savings to draw from.
What is the difference between loan officer and mortgage broker?
Loan officers work for financial institutions and handle the lending process. On the other hand, mortgage brokers negotiate with lenders on your behalf to find a loan option with the best terms for you.
What credit score do you need for a mortgage?
Borrowers can qualify for FHA loans with credit scores as low as 580. To qualify for conventional or other loans, a minimum score of 620 is typically required.

Who are the best mortgage lenders?

Choosing the right mortgage lender is an important decision. Unless you sell your home or refinance with a different lender, the mortgage lender you choose to purchase your home with will be a relationship you have for 15 to 30 years.

Use the list below to jump right to our top mortgage lender picks.


To choose our top picks, we compared ratings and reviews from more than 40 mortgage lenders. To start, we eliminated any company that received less than a 4 out of 5-star rating on ConsumerAffairs and any company with less than 500 ratings on the site. We wanted to ensure we were only considering companies that received a clear trend of positive feedback from real customers.

With our list narrowed down, we compared our top picks against each other across key areas, including types of mortgage loans offered and credit score requirements. You will see that information laid out in the reviews below.

Mortgage rates fluctuate based on the overall health and stability of the economy and can change as often as daily, so we did not use that to inform our top picks. We recommend comparing current rates across lenders at the time of your application to ensure you’re getting the best rates available.

Our top mortgage lender picks

Compare the mortgage lenders below to find the best lender for your next home loan.

Our pick for flexible credit requirements
Network Capital Funding Corporation

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Accredited Partner
  • Minimum credit score: None
  • Loan types: Conventional, FHA, VA, HomeReady, HomePossible

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Network Capital Funding offers fixed- and adjustable-rate conventional mortgages, VA loans, FHA loans and HomeReady and Home Possible mortgage programs.

The lending company doesn’t require a minimum credit score in most states. We like that its approach to lending opens up homeownership opportunities to those without perfect credit histories, which isn’t always available. However, there are some waiting-time requirements if you have bankruptcies, short sales and foreclosures on your credit history: between two to four years for a bankruptcy and between three to seven years for short sales or foreclosures.

Qualified borrowers are eligible to pay $0 lender fees, including application, origination, processing and underwriting. The Network Capital Funding application process is simple, and loan officers help you gather all the necessary documents. Some applicants can close in as few as 15 business days.

Network Capital Funding also specializes in mortgage refinancing programs for debt consolidation, home improvements and personal use. Network Capital Funding is licensed in 25 states.

Our pick for refinancing
ClearPath Lending

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Accredited Partner
  • Minimum credit score: Not specified
  • Loan types: Conventional, FHA, VA and jumbo

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ClearPath Lending is a direct lender with competitive home loan and refinancing rates. Fixed- and adjustable-rate products are available and it offers conventional, FHA, FHA Streamline, VA, VA IRRRL and jumbo home loans.

ClearPath Lending offers several mortgage products to lower or switch your interest rate, shorten the length of your term or cash out your home equity. Prospective customers can find out if they pre-qualify online and use the free mortgage refinance calculator tools to help make their decision.

ClearPath Lending loan experts can also help put you in touch with local real estate agents. Unfortunately, the company is not available in every state; it’s licensed in over 30 states across the country.

Our pick for portfolio loans: Vanderbilt Mortgage

Our pick for portfolio loans
Vanderbilt Mortgage

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Accredited Partner
  • Minimum credit score: Not specified; programs in place for those with credit issues
  • Loan types: Portfolio, land and home, home upgrade

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Vanderbilt mortgages is a housing lender specializing in manufactured and modular home financing. The company offers a few unique home loan products:

  • Portfolio Home Loans: Portfolio loans are nongovernment loans with fewer requirements.
  • Land and Home Mortgage Program: This program finances a new home, land and land improvements within a single payment.
  • Fresh Start Home Loan Program: The Fresh Start program is specifically designed for individuals and families with less-than-perfect credit.
  • Home UpGrade Loan: For those who already own a home, Vanderbilt can finance upgrades or renovations with this loan program.

Our pick for flexible loan terms
Caliber Home Loans

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Accredited Partner
  • Minimum credit score: 620
  • Loan types: Conventional, HomeOne, HomeStyle, Home Possible, HomeReady, FHA, USDA, VA

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Conventional mortgages through Caliber Home Loans are available in a variety of term options. There are fixed-rate mortgages in terms ranging from 10 to 30 years (instead of the typical 15 or 30), and adjustable-rate mortgage terms are 3/1, 5/1, 7/1, 10/1 or 5/5. Down payments on conventional loan products from Caliber can be as low as 3%.

Caliber can also approve a number of government-backed loans, including loans from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA, FHA 203(k), FA streamline refinance), USDA and VA, including VA Streamline Refinance loans, also known as a VA IRRRL.

Caliber Home Loans serves all 50 states.

Our pick for conventional home loans
Bank of America Mortgage

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  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Loan types: Conventional, FHA, VA, Affordable Loan Solution, Freddie Mac Home Possible

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Banking giant Bank of America has a dedicated home loan program available to members and nonmembers, but Preferred Rewards clients may be able to qualify for a reduction in mortgage fees.

The bank offers mortgage, refinance and home equity loan products, and loans are available with down payments as low as 3% through Bank of America’s Affordable Loan Solution mortgage and the Freddie Mac Home Possible program.

Core home loan offerings from Bank of America include standard fixed- and adjustable-rate conventional mortgages as well as FHA and VA loans for qualifying borrowers. Daily rates are clearly advertised on the lender’s website.

Our pick for low-income buyer program
Chase Mortgage

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  • Minimum credit score: Varies by loan program; as high as 700
  • Loan types: Conventional, FHA, DreaMaker, VA, Jumbo

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Chase offers conventional and government-backed home loan programs with down payment requirements between 0% to 20%, depending on the type of loan. Most conventional loans from Chase will require a down payment of at least 5%, while programs designed to make homeownership easier may have lower down payment requirements between 0% and 3.5%.

The DreaMaker program is Chase’s mortgage loan program designed for lower-income buyers. The program offers low down payment options, reduced mortgage insurance and the potential for a $2,500 Chase Homebuyer Grant, which can be applied to closing or used to lower your interest rate. You must meet certain income requirements to qualify for the DreaMaker program.

Chase offers an online tool to estimate your rate and payment before you even apply for the loan. You can also complete an online application to get pre-qualified for a loan, which can be helpful during the homebuying process.

You can apply for a home loan online or in person with a home lending advisor if you prefer.

Our pick for closing cost assistance

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  • Minimum credit score: 620 (conventional)
  • Loan types: Conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo

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Citi offers conventional, jumbo and government-backed home loan programs. It also has its own Citi HomeRun Mortgage program designed to offer a low down payment option and less strict credit requirements to make homeownership more attainable. Unlike many low down payment or low-income targeted mortgage products, the HomeRun program does not require mortgage insurance, and you can use the loan to purchase a single-family home, condo or duplex.

In addition to the HomeRun program, Citi also has a Lender Paid Assistance program, where qualifying borrowers can receive up to $5,000 in credit toward closing costs. Fixed and adjustable rates and short- and long-term home loans are available through Citi’s many offerings. Citi also offers refinancing and home equity loans.

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    Compare Reviews for Top Mortgage Lenders

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    by Michele Lerner Mortgage & Real Estate Contributing Editor

    Michele Lerner, author of “HOMEBUYING: Tough Times, First Time, Any Time”, has been writing about personal finance and real estate for more than two decades. Michele writes for regional, national and international publications in print and online for a variety of audiences including consumers, real estate investors, business owners and real estate professionals.