12 Best Mortgage Lenders of October 2021

at Better

Better: NMLS#330511

5.0

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it
Good for: tech-savvy borrowers who prefer an online experience.

Pros

  • An online process with human help as needed.

  • Makes it easy to see customized mortgage rates.

  • Offers an "underwriter reviewed" preapproval letter in as little as 24 hours.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Doesn't do VA or USDA loans.

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at Rocket

Rocket Mortgage: NMLS#3030

4.5

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it
Good for: borrowers who appreciate smartphone and online convenience for a fully digital home loan experience powered by Quicken Loans.

Pros

  • Caters to self-service users who want to apply for a home loan online and talk to a human only as necessary.

  • Estimates the loan amount you’ll qualify for within minutes.

  • Offers document and asset retrieval capabilities.

Cons

  • If you’re a “look me in the eye” type of customer, you’re out of luck.

  • Getting a customized interest rate requires a credit check, which can lower your credit score by a few points.

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at New American

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

4.5

Min. Credit Score

640

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it
Good for: borrowers who need to be evaluated on the basis of nontraditional credit and those interested in various down payment assistance programs.

Pros

  • Uses manual underwriting to evaluate creditworthiness, in some cases.

  • Offers a fully online mortgage application, rate quotes, document upload and loan tracking.

Cons

  • Mortgage rates offered to borrowers are higher than the government-reported median of all lenders.

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at Guaranteed-rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

5.0

Min. Credit Score

580

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it
Good for: borrowers seeking conventional or government-backed loans, and a totally online experience.

Pros

  • Offers the ability to securely upload and digitally sign loan documents.

  • Displays detailed sample rates for many of its loan products.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or lines of credit.

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at nbkc bank

0.0

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

%

Why we like it
Good for:
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at Loan Depot

loanDepot: NMLS#174457

3.5

Min. Credit Score

740

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it
Good for: borrowers looking to refinance or who want to start the application process online.

Pros

  • Offers digital income, asset and employment verification.

  • Offers multiple renovation loan options.

  • Has over 200 affiliated loan stores nationwide for customers who prefer face-to-face service.

Cons

  • Mortgage rates aren't available online; you'll need to contact a loan officer.

  • Does not offer home equity loans or lines of credit.

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at Veterans United

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

4.5

Min. Credit Score

640

Min. Down Payment

0%

Why we like it
Good for: veterans, active-duty service members and eligible reservists looking for VA or non-VA loans.

Pros

  • Offers 24/7 customer service over the phone.

  • Has online application and pre-qualification.

  • Offers a free credit counseling service.

  • Employs advisors from each branch of the armed forces.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Veterans United has physical branch offices in only 18 states.

  • Charges higher rates and fees than some other lenders.

  • Information on FHA, USDA and conventional loans is harder to find on its website.

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at NASB

NASB: NMLS#400039

5.0

Min. Credit Score

640

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it
Good for: active military members and veterans, as well as for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit or nontraditional income sources.

Pros

  • Devotes much of its business to serving military families with VA loans.

  • Considers nontraditional income sources, in some cases.

  • Offers competitive rates and origination fees.

Cons

  • No online loan process updates or tracking.

  • No home improvement mortgages or home equity loan products.

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at Better

0.0

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

%

Why we like it
Good for:
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at Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans: NMLS#3030

4.5

Min. Credit Score

660

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it
Good for: borrowers looking for just about all of the services your neighborhood mortgage lender offers — with online convenience.

Pros

  • Quicken Loans couples a fully online application with available mortgage advisors for those who want a human touch.

  • Instantly verifies employment and income for many working Americans.

  • Offers custom fixed-rate loan terms that are between eight and 30 years.

  • Provides a wide variety of loan types, including renovation loans and some government-backed mortgage products.

Cons

  • Quicken Loans doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Quicken's lender fees can be stout and they don't offset those fees with particularly low mortgage rates.

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at Connexus

Connexus: NMLS#649316

4.0

Min. Credit Score

640

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it
Good for: home buyers who want a low-down-payment conventional mortgage

Pros

  • Offers a range of fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages in most states.

  • Displays sample rates for its entire array of loan products, and you don't need to provide personal information to get a custom rate quote.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer FHA, VA or USDA loans.

  • Lacks document upload and online loan tracking capabilities.

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at Chase

Chase: NMLS#399798

4.5

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it
Good for: borrowers who want a name-brand bank, with offices in more than half the states, that charges lower rates and fees than many other lenders.

Pros

  • Allows electronic submission and tracking of loan documents.

  • Carries a wide variety of mortgage types and products.

  • Generally offers good rates and charges reasonable fees.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home improvement loans, such as FHA 203(k) and HomeStyle.

  • You have to speak with a home loan adviser to complete the application.

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at Alterra Home Loans

Alterra: NMLS#133739

3.5

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it
Good for: first-time home buyers and those with nontraditional incomes.

Pros

  • Offers an ITIN qualification path for undocumented borrowers.

  • Has a digital application process.

  • Offers several mortgage options for low- to moderate-income borrowers.

  • Borrowers can qualify with income from self-employment and other nontraditional sources.

Cons

  • No mortgage rates published online.

  • No home equity loans or lines of credit.

  • Generally has higher rates and fees than other lenders.

  • Branch offices not available in all states.

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at PrimeLending

PrimeLending: NMLS#13649

3.5

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it
Good for: borrowers looking for closing cost assistance, as well as those seeking to renovate or to build a new home.

Pros

  • Full online application includes document uploads and automated loan updates.

  • Offers a "float-down" interest rate lock.

  • Offers a proprietary closing-cost assistance program.

Cons

  • No online mortgage rates — you have to contact the lender for info.

  • Doesn't offer home equity products.

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at Flagstar Bank

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

5.0

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it
Good for: borrowers who want a wide range of choices — not only among mortgage products, but also in the shopping channel they prefer, whether a branch, online or on the phone.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of loan types and products, including FHA, VA and USDA.

  • Has a full suite of online conveniences.

  • Does well with rate transparency, and monthly payment estimates add mortgage insurance, when applicable.

Cons

  • Home equity lending is geographically limited.

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at Navy Federal

Navy Federal: NMLS#399807

5.0

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it
Good for: military members and their families looking for low-down-payment mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of affordable mortgage products designed for military members.

  • Has an online application for preapproval.

  • Offers low rates compared with most lenders.

Cons

  • Website does not provide customized mortgage rates based on credit score or other factors before you apply.

  • Credit union membership is limited to veterans and current military members, their families, and certain federal employees, retirees and contractors.

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at Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo: NMLS#399801

5.0

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it
Good for: borrowers looking for a national lender with a wide selection of mortgage products for home buyers in all financial stages

Pros

  • Provides numerous online conveniences, including loan application and process updates.

  • Current rates clearly posted for various loan products.

  • Offers a wide variety of loan types and products.

Cons

  • New applications for home equity lines of credit suspended during COVID-19 crisis.

  • Government actions and scandals have damaged consumer trust in recent years.

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