Best Mortgage Lenders

We compared 86 companies and chose the top mortgage lenders

  • Online lender
    Rocket Mortgage
  • Flexible terms
    New American Funding
  • Customer service
    AmeriSave Mortgage

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    Best Mortgage Lenders

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    Financing is a major part of the homebuying process. And since we’re talking about potentially borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more), finding the best mortgage lender for your financial situation is almost as important as finding the property itself. With so many mortgage lenders in the marketplace, though, it can feel overwhelming finding the right one.

    The best mortgage lenders offer a well-rounded approach for customers. Competitive interest rates and fees, a variety of mortgage products, a straightforward process, and wide availability are a few of the qualities most helpful to homebuyers and those who are refinancing.

    Short methodology

    To make our top picks, the ConsumerAffairs Research Team vetted 86 mortgage companies reviewed by more than 5,000 people. 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.
    • 4,475,815 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
    • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
    • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
    • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

    Current mortgage rates

    Rates are effective 07/13/2024 and are subject to change without notice. APR shown is provided by a partner of ConsumerAffairs.

    7.064%0.0%Get Rates

    The APR shown of 7.064% 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%.

    6.782%0.0%Get Rates

    The APR shown of 6.782% 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%.

    6.078%0.0%Get Rates

    The APR shown of 6.078% 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%.

    6.335%0.0%Get Rates

    The APR shown of 6.335% 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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    More details about our top 8 mortgage lender picks

    Best online lender

    Rocket Mortgage

    Loan types
    Conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo, YOURgage and ONE+
    Minimum FICO score
    580 for government-backed loans; 620 for conventional
    Minimum down payment
    0% to 3.5%

    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.

    Some 80% of reviewers who commented on Rocket Mortgage’s customer service were happy or satisfied with the level of service they received.

    Additionally, 43 individuals reviewed Rocket Mortgage based on its online service and app usage. Of these reviewers, 93% were satisfied with how Rocket Mortgage operates online and through the mobile app.

    Reviewer Rebecca from New York said that she was extremely nervous to use an online mortgage company because it seemed too impersonal. But she was happy with Rocket Mortgage and said, “Any time I had a question, it was answered. They were knowledgeable, sincere, and efficient. Going with an online company I really thought it would be a lot of phone tag, emails, and waiting. I never waited more than an hour before someone replied, or called me to touch base.” She said Rocket Mortgage would also call her just to reassure her that everything was moving forward according to schedule.

    Best for flexible terms
    Loan types
    Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, refinancing, reverse mortgages, etc.
    Minimum FICO score
    580 to 640
    Minimum down payment
    0% to 3.5%

    New American Funding is a tech-driven mortgage company that works with borrowers from diverse financial 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, so you can find the best repayment terms for your particular financial situation.

    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, too, helping you maintain your lender relationship.

    New American Funding is one of the highest-rated companies on ConsumerAffairs for customer service, with 99% of reviewers expressing happy or satisfied comments. (In making our rankings, we rated AmeriSave higher for customer service because it has almost 400 more positive reviews regarding customer service than New American Funding.)

    Bob from Idaho built his 11th home and was struggling to get out of the 24-month construction loan he previously had with US Bank. He found New American Funding to be the most helpful, even having a notary meet him in Las Vegas when he was traveling. “People need to think out of the box, and I'm grateful for companies like New American that go above and beyond to make sure the customer doesn't leave feeling disgruntled,” he said.

    Best for customer service
    Loan types
    Adjustable or fixed-rate conventional, FHA, VA, USDA and cash-out refinancing
    Minimum FICO score
    600 to 620
    Minimum down payment
    3% to 3.5%

    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. A wide assortment of positive reviews online highlight the company’s emphasis on customer service.

    If you’re buying a house, you can get pre-qualified and close on the loan in as little as 25 days. It’s possible for refinancing to take 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%.

    AmeriSave received over 670 positive customer service reviews in the past three years on ConsumerAffairs. Numerous reviews comment on an easy, hassle-free application and loan process.

    For example, Christina in Georgia commented: “The process at AmeriSave was very easy. The application was very self-explanatory. Their customer service was very good. The payment is easy to manage and the ability to take some equity out of the home to pay off other debts was amazing.”

    Best for quick closing

    Network Capital

    Loan types
    Conventional, FHA, VA and refinancing
    Minimum FICO score
    580 to 620
    Minimum down payment

    Network Capital has competitive rates and a straightforward process for FHA, VA and conventional loans in 43 states. No USDA, HELOC or home equity loans are available. An online application process can get you started with a quick-closing loan through Network Capital.

    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. You can close on a home loan in as few as 15 business days (from “intent to proceed” to signing the closing documents).

    For a lender to be rated as a top pick for quick closing, it needs to rank well in its loan processing service. Of the ConsumerAffairs reviewers who mentioned Network Capital’s loan processing, 97% were happy with it. Additionally, 99% of reviewers who commented on Network Capital’s punctuality were happy with the speed of the service.

    One New York reviewer said, “The process with Network Capital went extremely fast. It started at the end of September and I signed the papers on the 4th of October. Everything was supposed to have been done by the 11th. They did a great job.”

    Jason from California experienced a fast refinance as well and said, “Not only were they competitive with the rates but got my Refi done in just 7 days. It was an amazingly fast and stress-free process.”

    Best for low fees
    Loan types
    Conventional, FHA, VA, ARMs, interest-only, jumbo and HELOC
    Minimum FICO score
    580 to 620
    Minimum down payment

    Guaranteed Rate Mortgage operates both online and in-person, including branches in every state. It offers a wide range of mortgage products, such as fixed- and variable-rate options, VA loans, jumbo loans and an interest-only loan. It also offers a HELOC and cash-out refinancing.

    Borrowers may appreciate the online application process, where you can easily upload your documentation and possibly even receive same-day approval. Guaranteed Rate Mortgage also posts current mortgage rates online and offers personalized rate quotes during the pre-qualification process, so you can easily see where your rate might land.

    Additionally, Guaranteed Rate offers incentives such as waiving lenders’ fees for VA loans, which can reduce some of the mortgage fees.

    Overall, ConsumerAffairs readers give Guaranteed Rate Mortgage mixed reviews.

    Jane in Chicago did a refinance with Guaranteed Rate and had an issue with payment not being applied to the loan, but she was happy with how quickly customer service resolved the issue. “Our loan officer made sure the error was fixed IMMEDIATELY, which it was in less than a week,” she said.

    Best for first-time homebuyers

    Zillow Home Loans

    Loan types
    Conventional, FHA and VA
    Minimum FICO score
    580 to 620
    Minimum down payment
    0% to 3.5%

    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), but it’s great for first-time homebuyers because the platform is so easy to navigate for both searching and the loan application.

    Zillow Home 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.

    Many ConsumerAffairs reviewers purchased their first home through Zillow and had a smooth process.

    Ben from North Carolina said, “Cristina ** made our first home-buying experience amazing! She clearly walked us through all of the steps (repeatedly, when we’d forget, and was happy to do so) and made sure we knew what to expect throughout our home buying process,” he said, explaining that he was clueless to the homebuying process before working with Zillow.

    Carlos from Connecticut said his agent “helped make our first home purchasing experience a memorable one. A lot of loan officers I spoke to with other banks I can tell they just wanted the commission.”

    Best for military members

    NewDay USA

    Loan types
    Minimum FICO score
    Minimum down payment

    Since 2009, NewDay USA has helped over 100,000 military-connected buyers secure a home loan. It is available nationwide and specializes in providing home loans and refinancing options to veterans and active military members, as well as their eligible spouses.

    A benefit to using NewDay USA is its all-cash offer option. This unique feature enables veterans to leverage the value of their home to make competitive, all-cash offers on a new property.

    We also like that NewDay USA is actively involved in military life. In the past, it has sponsored the Army-Navy football match and provided over $2 million in four-year scholarships for JROTC military high schools across the nation to the children of fallen and disabled military veterans. Additionally, the NewDay USA Foundation contributes 5% of its net income to veteran charities.

    Not every lender specializes in VA loans or is well-versed in the unique mortgage benefits and needs of a military-connected buyer. NewDay USA focuses only on VA loans, and ConsumerAffairs reviewers rated its employees and experts highly competent. Over the past three years, 97% of our reviewers have been happy or satisfied with the qualifications of NewDay USA’s service team.

    Reviewer Anthony from Alabama had gone through the mortgage process before and was well aware of how disjointed working with the wrong lender could be. He said his experience with NewDay USA was much easier: “My account representative Stuart was there at each step, communicating clearly where we are in the process. The processor Kristin was amazing. Friendly and professional. She made you feel like more than just a client.”

    James from Kentucky also shared, “They are some of the best people I have had the pleasure to deal with. They will get the job done and done with the best possible outcome for a veteran trying to finance their home. They have or find any of the needed experts to get documents or certifications to complete the necessary Veterans Administration requirements to complete the loan process with the best possible results for the veteran's loan.”

    Best for manufactured and mobile homes
    Loan types
    Manufactured and mobile homes
    Minimum FICO score
    No minimum
    Minimum down payment
    As low as 0%

    21st Mortgage Corporation offers specialized lending for manufactured and mobile homes in 46 states. In many states, it also offers land and home loans. Down payments start at 0% for qualified buyers, but it can be as much as 35% for buyers with less than stellar credit scores and little to no collateral to back their loans.

    We like 21st Mortgage Corporation because it offers flexibility in the manufactured and mobile home financing space. Not only can buyers finance new or used homes, but certain homes can also have moving costs financed. Additionally, 21st Mortgage Corporation will work with a wide range of buyers — even buyers with low or zero credit history.

    Because of the unique nature of this home type, pre-qualifications are not offered. However, you can estimate your rate and monthly payment with its online payment estimator. The company also claims it streamlines the process so you can have funding quickly.

    ConsumerAffairs reviewers were very pleased with how their loan process went with 21st Mortgage Corporation. Over 90% of the reviews were happy or satisfied with the process.

    Customer Suellen from Virginia said, “We were very pleased in the speed and ease of working with 21st Mortgage! Loved the daily/as-needed updates on the status of every item, and who was responsible for it. Made the process less stressful for both us and the seller, and allowed is to go from initial application to closing in just over a month!”

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      Mortgage lenders buyers guide

      The process of buying a new home can feel daunting, but getting your new keys is also incredibly rewarding.

      This mortgage lenders buyers guide will help you understand the different types of mortgages, compare lenders and explain what you need to know about getting preapproved and financially ready to make an offer.

      What is a mortgage?

      A mortgage is a type of loan for purchasing real estate, such as a home. Individuals borrow money from a lender, which is typically a bank, credit union or mortgage company, specifically for financing the purchase of the property.

      The property itself serves as collateral — which is an asset the lender can repossess through the foreclosure process if the borrower defaults on the loan. The borrower repays the loan amount plus interest over an agreed-upon period, often spanning several years or decades.

      » MORE: Homeownership statistics by state

      Types of mortgages

      The two main types of mortgage loans are conventional and government-backed mortgages.

      A conventional loan is simply a loan through a private lender and is not backed by any government entity. Examples include:

      • Conforming: These must meet Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac requirements. In 2024, the maximum conforming loan limit in most of the country is $766,550. Conforming loans are the most popular mortgage type.
      • Nonconforming: These loans do not meet the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac requirements.
      • Jumbo: Jumbo loans are nonconforming loans with amounts exceeding the conforming loan limit. You need good credit (often 700-plus) and a large down payment for eligibility.
      • Fixed-rate: Fixed-rate loans means your interest rate remains the same throughout the life of the loan.
      • Adjustable-rate: Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) start with a fixed interest rate for an initial period, but the interest rate eventually adjusts based on market conditions.

      When a government entity backs a loan, it’s less risky for a private lender. This often translates to greater savings and less strict credit requirements for the borrower. Examples of government-backed loans include:

      • FHA: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Federal Housing Authority backs FHA loans, which offer lower down payment options for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit.
      • VA: Partially backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VA loans offer a low- or no-down payment option and less strict credit requirements for U.S. military veterans, service members and their surviving family members.
      • USDA: Backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan program, a USDA loan offers a low- or no-down payment option for homebuyers purchasing in rural areas.

      There are other mortgages available that do not fall under these typical categories, such as a home renovation loan, home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC).

      How to choose a mortgage lender

      You want to compare lenders and offers to make sure you’re getting the best loan for your needs. To help, you might want to work with a mortgage broker who can help you compare rates and terms from the best mortgage lenders and find the top deal.

      But if you prefer to do it on your own, you’ll first need to decide the type of mortgage you prefer (conventional or government-backed) and the type of rate (fixed vs. adjustable). You’ll also need to look at how long of a term you want (e.g., 15- or 30-year) and if the lenders you’re considering offer those terms. Some other factors to consider include:

      • Down payment - While it’s considered typical to put a 20% down payment on a house, which helps borrowers avoid PMI, some lenders will allow 5% (or less for government-backed loans).
      • Lender fees - In addition to closing costs, look at what fees you’ll need to pay to secure your mortgage. These may include lawyer fees, homeowner association fees, property tax or origination fees.
      • Points - Check if the lender offers the option to buy mortgage points, which are a way to buy down the interest rate on your loan.
      • Application process - Can you apply completely online or will you have to do it in-person? Depending on where you live, where you’re purchasing a home and other accessibility issues, how you’ll apply for a mortgage can make a difference.
      • Approval times - How long will it take for the lender to approve your application? And, once approved, how long will it take to close? If you need a quick approval and closing, you’ll need to make sure the lender can meet that time frame.

      Before making your final decision, take the time to read online reviews, such as those published on ConsumerAffairs, to get a picture of what working with a company might be like. You might also ask friends, family and real estate agents for recommendations.

      » MORE: Mortgage broker vs. lender

      Mortgage requirements

      Mortgage requirements vary depending on the type of mortgage you apply for, but most lenders require the following:

      • A good credit score: This is set by the lender or loan type, but the higher your score, the better mortgage interest rates you will receive.
      • Proof of income and employment: You will need to provide proof of steady income and employment, such as pay stubs, tax returns and W-2 forms.
      • Low debt-to-income (DTI) ratio: This is the ratio of your total monthly debt payments to your gross monthly income. The best mortgage lenders typically prefer a maximum DTI ratio of 43%.
      • Down payment: The minimum down payment amount can vary significantly based on the type of loan and your credit score.

      » MORE: Mortgage delinquency rates

      What credit score is needed for a mortgage?

      Conventional loans require a minimum credit score of 620, but many lenders might require a higher score or a higher down payment if your score is around the 620 range.

      USDA and VA loans do not have a minimum credit score, so you will have to check with your lender for what score they require. If you qualify for an FHA loan, you will have more credit score flexibility since you can have a credit score as low as 500 and still qualify for a home.

      How much do you need for a down payment?

      You can buy a conventional home loan with as little as 3% down and an FHA loan with as little as 3.5% down. USDA and VA loans do not have down payment requirements, so borrowers can put nothing down and still qualify for a home loan.

      The good news is that you don’t need 20% for your down payment. In fact, the 20% down payment is only recommended to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI).

      For FHA borrowers with credit scores between 500 and 579, you will be required to put 10% down.

      » READ MORE: How much is PMI?

      How are mortgage rates determined?

      “Mortgage rates are influenced by a combination of factors, and understanding these factors can help buyers secure the best mortgage rate, even in a high-rate environment,” said Shmuel Shayowitz, president and chief lending officer at Approved Funding.

      He said that mortgage rates are affected by the following:

      • Buyer’s creditworthiness
      • Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio (i.e., the loan cost compared to the appraised value of the property)
      • The loan term length
      • The size of the down payment
      • Market conditions
      • Market competition

      Even in high-interest rate environments, Shayowitz said that buyers can get the best rate by improving their credit score and increasing their down payment. Additionally, he recommended buying points.

      “Buyers can choose to pay points upfront to reduce their mortgage rate,” he said. “Each point is typically equal to 1% of the loan amount. By paying points, buyers can effectively buy down their rate.”

      Applying for a mortgage

      Applying for a mortgage can seem like a daunting prospect, but if you break it down into one step at a time then it becomes more manageable.

      • Evaluate your financial situation: This means understanding your credit score and any potential credit challenges a lender may spot.
      • Search for a mortgage lender: Shopping around and comparing the best mortgage lenders helps you find the lowest rates, most manageable repayment terms and a lender you’re comfortable working with.
      • Apply online and get pre-qualified: Online applications can speed up the process and nail down a monthly payment range you’re comfortable with. Pre-qualification lets you know how much money you might qualify for without a hard credit check.
      • Review your preliminary mortgage options and make a selection: Your lender may offer more than one loan option, which means you can calculate different scenarios for your budget.
      • Get preapproved: A preapproval is when a lender shows you the exact interest rate you will receive and the exact amount you can borrow. At this point, the lender will run a credit check.
      • Find a property and make an offer: With a pre-qualification or preapproval letter in hand, you can stand out amongst buyers as someone who is serious about purchasing.
      • Receive final loan approval: The lender will require an extensive set of documents for final approval. Submitting these documents on time can expedite the closing process.
      • Close your loan: It’s time for signing the paperwork and making the down payment (if applicable). Typically you work with both a lender and real estate attorney during this final step.

      Most lenders offer an online application option, which can help speed up the process, but if you prefer an in-person experience, you should take this into consideration when selecting a potential mortgage lender.

      » MORE: What is a closing disclosure?


      What is the difference 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 intermediary between the borrower and the lender.  Working with a broker can save time and money, especially if you want to compare multiple lenders.

      Can I 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, which makes it riskier for the lender. As a result, lenders often charge higher interest rates and require larger down payments for construction loans.

      » MORE: What is a USDA construction loan?

      Is it better to get a mortgage from a bank or a private lender?

      This depends on your specific financial situation, but there are pros and cons for both a bank or private lender. A bank typically offers competitive interest rates and unique loan programs, but can take longer for loan processing and strict credit requirements. A private lender usually offers a wide variety of loans, including specialized ones and with less strict credit requirements, but often doesn’t have an in-person location and typically has higher interest rates.

      How long does it take to get a mortgage?

      The total time to obtain a mortgage — from application approval to closing — is typically anywhere from 30 to 60 days. However, this timeline may change depending on several factors, such as a delay in the underwriting process or appraisal scheduling.

      How much down payment do I need to get a mortgage?

      Depending on your mortgage type, it can vary from 3% to 20% of the home’s purchase price. There’s typically no down payment requirement for a VA loan, while FHA loans require at least 3.5%. If you put less than 20% down on a conventional mortgage, you must pay a monthly private mortgage insurance fee.

      » NEXT: Income needed for a 300k mortgage


      To make our picks for top mortgage lenders, the ConsumerAffairs research team started with 86 mortgage companies. To narrow it down, we first eliminated those that had minimal transparency regarding annual percentage rates (APRs), fees, etc. In rare cases, we may have kept a pick that lacked this information upfront if it offered something else noteworthy, such as fast closing or a rate guarantee.

      We then filtered out any lender that was available in fewer than 40 states and, if it had reviews on ConsumerAffairs, if its score was below 4 at the time of publishing.

      From this narrowed list, we compared lenders based on a range of factors, including:

      • Variety of loans: We gave priority to lenders that had a wide variety of mortgage options to choose from, including a mix of conventional, jumbo and government-backed loans (FHA, VA and USDA).
      • Variety of terms: We also prioritized lenders that offered a range of term options beyond the standard 15 or 30 years.
      • APRs: We considered the starting APRs for both fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and chose those that were under 7% at the time of research. Note that rates are subject to frequent change and starting rates may have increased or decreased since our assessment.
      • Guarantees: We prioritized lenders that offered close-on-time guarantees, price guarantees, rate locks and other incentives for borrowers.
      • Closing times: We looked at the average closing times quoted by each lender, giving priority to those that had closing times of under six weeks.
      • Customer service: We considered whether the lender offered customer service via multiple channels (in-person locations, telephone and live chat) and the number of positive reviews it had from ConsumerAffairs readers.

      Customer ratings and experience are important to us when we’re choosing companies that are the best fit for our readers. However, for those companies on our list with no ratings or no recent positive ratings on ConsumerAffairs, there were other factors that made them good mortgage lender picks.

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