Best Mortgage Lenders

Buying a home is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, financial decisions in any person’s life. But how do you go about getting the enormous amount of money required and enjoy the property especially if you are at the start of your career? You get a loan. But not just any loan, given the enormity of such a move, only the best mortgage lenders would do. Fortunately, we’ve done the leg work to offer you the complete run-down on home loan lenders and the industry in general. Just scroll down and get all the info.

The Top Mortgage Lenders in the United States

Rocket Mortgage Logo

Rocket Mortgage

Our process puts you in control.

Rocket Mortgage, formerly Quicken Loans, is a lender from Downtown Detroit, Michigan, with a nationwide presence backed by nearly four decades of experience. It is currently owned by RKT Holdings, LLC, and is one of the industry leaders when it comes to customer satisfaction.

  • Pre-approval Time: 24 hour
  • Days to Close: 30–50 days
  • Rates: 2.5% to 2.99%
  • APR: 2.957% to 3.455%
  • Minimum Credit Score: 620
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio requirement: up to 43%
  • Minimum Down Payment: 0%
  • Loan types: Fixed-rate, Adjustable-rate, FHA, FHA-Streamline, VA, Jumbo, Yourgage
  • Lender Fees: up to $500
  • Online application: Yes
  • Best for online mortgage
LendingTree Logo

LendingTree

You Win

This financial comparison site will give you the nitty-gritty aspects regarding what multiple providers on the market are offering so you can compare between them seamlessly. In the 25 years LendingTree has been in business, the company has served more than 100 million customers.

  • Pre-approval Time: Variable
  • Days to Close: Variable
  • Rates: 2.25% to 4.25%
  • APR: 2.43% to 4.43%
  • Minimum Credit Score: 600
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio requirement: 49%
  • Minimum Down Payment: 0%
  • Loan types: Fixed-rate, Adjustable-rate, High-balance, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Second mortgage, Reverse mortgage
  • Lender Fees: Yes, variable
  • Online application: Yes
  • Best for whole-market brokering

 

Flip Funding Logo

Flip Funding

Nationwide Real Estate Investment Financing

This private lender specializes in loans for real estate investors and operates nationwide. Their catalog is tailored especially for the needs of those who seek to make investments in properties in the United States, offering a viable alternative from the perils of traditional mortgages.

  • Pre-approval Time: about 10 minutes
  • Days to Close: around 10 business days
  • Rates: 4.25% to 8%
  • APR: Variable
  • Minimum Credit Score: 600
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio requirement: Variable
  • Minimum Down Payment: 0%
  • Loan types: Fix and flip, Bridge loans, Rental, New Construction, Multi-family/mixed-use, Commercial
  • Lender Fees: Yes, variable
  • Online application: Yes
  • Best for Residential Investors

 

Commercial Loan Direct Logo

Commercial Loan Direct

Commercial Loans Made Simple

This national commercial real estate correspondent and mortgage banking company has more than 200 programs available and is offering a wide range of loans for commercial properties of over $1 million.

  • Pre-approval Time: One business day
  • Days to Close: 30 to 360 days
  • Rates: 2.13% to 9.75%
  • APR: Variable
  • Minimum Credit Score: Variable
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio requirement: 1:1 with global net worth
  • Minimum Down Payment: Variable
  • Loan types: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA/HUD, Conduit/CMBC, Bridge, Construction, SBA, USDA
  • Lender Fees: Yes, variable
  • Online application: Yes
  • Best for Commercial Investors

 

Types of Mortgage Lenders  

Feeling the analysis paralysis while looking for the best mortgage lenders is not uncommon especially given the multiple types of loans and providers out there. Depending on what you choose, you may get a better deal if you buy a certain property, pay less in fees, interest and all in all, have a better experience. To shed some light on the topic, we’ll run down the major types of lenders and the mortgage options they provide to give you a better idea of what type of mortgage loan would be the best fit for your needs.

Private Mortgage Lenders

These lenders tend to offer short-term loans of up to three years, although the timing heavily depends on how you negotiate it, given the nature of the loan. Obtaining a private home loan means bypassing institutional lenders and is usually the choice of people who cannot get a mortgage through more traditional means. If you decide to go with this type of lender, make sure that you have a professional lawyer in your corner to draw up the agreement. 

Online Mortgage Lenders

Everything is moving online these days and home loans are no exception. While getting a mortgage through the internet might seem a bit shady, the best online mortgage lenders offer convenience, automation, and digital tools to make things easier for potential borrowers. Also, just because the majority of the process takes place online, it doesn’t mean human contact is necessarily out of the picture. You may still solicit to meet face to face with a representative before pulling the trigger. 

Direct Mortgage Lenders

As opposed to other institutions, direct lenders use their own money to fund the mortgages they offer. In this category, you’ll find the likes of banks and credit unions. When you interact with this type of company, they take care of all the processing work, as well as the financing part. 

Mortgage Refinancing Companies

When you refinance a home loan you trade the old mortgage for a new one and potentially even get a new balance. Also, the process involves your lender paying down your old loan. You’ll find this type of deal at traditional lenders, as well as specialized mortgage refinance companies

Mortgage Lenders for First-Time Buyers

First-time home buyers may be a little more disadvantaged than those who have already built up their credit score with a long-term loan before. That said, the best mortgage lenders for first-time buyers would have reasonable requirements and provide you with educational resources to help you navigate through the different types of mortgages. 

Reverse Mortgage Lenders

Instead of using it directly to purchase a home, with the property up for collateral, a reverse mortgage doesn’t necessarily include buying a house. Instead, the borrower uses a property that they already own to obtain cash, with the equity they have in the home as collateral. 

Reverse mortgage lenders don’t require installments, instead, the entire loan balance must be paid back when the borrower dies, sells their house, or moves permanently. 

Second Mortgage Lenders

Home loan companies offer this type of deal to those who already have a mortgage. It is made while the first is already in effect. If the borrower defaults, the first mortgage gets all the proceeds from liquidating the property until it is all paid off. The potentially unfortunate part is that since the second mortgage doesn’t receive payments until the first one is paid off entirely, the interest rate for the second mortgage is higher while the amount borrowed is lower than for the first.

Commercial Mortgage Lenders

Since credit that exceeds a certain amount is in part uninsured, entrepreneurs and investors often look to mortgage loan companies to expand their credit amount. They may obtain crediting for financing commercial real estate that they use for their business or rent out to someone else. These lenders, therefore, cater to people who look to buy retail malls, shopping centers, office buildings, hotels, etc. 

Mobile Home Mortgage Lenders

Yes, you read that correctly. Home mortgage loan lenders provide this type of credit to persons who wish to purchase a mobile home, such as a trailer. Currently, approximately 6% of all occupied housing stateside consists of manufactured homes. We should also note that although this type of loan is available, a lot of those who request it get denied, due to their poor financial condition. 

Subprime Mortgage Lenders

Even if obtaining a home loan may be difficult for those who have poor credit, it isn’t always impossible. Subprime mortgages are issued to persons with low credit ratings who were deemed to be at a greater risk of defaulting than those getting a prime mortgage. Of course, the mentioned loan type also involves a higher interest and is, in general, more adjustable, meaning that the interest may grow at specific points in time. 

Mortgage Lenders for Bad Credit 

Those with bad or low scores on their credits who want to purchase a property should not despair. Although it can be more difficult to obtain a home loan and getting a good deal is even harder, there are lenders who cater to their needs as well. 

Note that your credit score is not just a random number, but rather, represents how likely you are to pay back a loan you are offered. Generally, bad credit is deemed as anything which falls under 630. 

Moreover, although there are a lot of low credit score mortgage lenders willing to help, the type of loan you actually end up getting will depend on how low your credit actually is. In general, FHA, VA, and USDA-backed programs have lower requirements for borrowers than regular mortgages. However, it’s the lender that ultimately decides if they are willing to offer you a deal or not. 

Another factor bad credit mortgage lenders will review is your debt-to-income ratio. To calculate yours, divide the total of your monthly debt by your monthly pre-tax income. If it’s under 36%, your chances are on the positive side. Then, they will consider your employment history and what amount you can put up as a down payment. 

Before applying for a mortgage with a bad credit score, consider whether all the information on your credit report is correct. If you suspect it is inaccurate and/or incomplete, you can challenge it yourself or choose a reputable credit repair company to do it for you. 

How to Get a Mortgage — The Process Explained

Regardless of whether you have decided to buy your first or second home, or are looking to refinance, or have found the best mortgage lenders for bad credit borrowers, the process won’t differ much. Here are the steps we recommend that you follow.

Estimate the budget

Before picking up the phone and dialing your lender’s number, it’s important that you first do a little planning. Make some calculations and see how much home you can afford, and how much you are actually willing to spend. Don’t forget to budget for additional expenses like closing costs and insurance. Don’t max out on your budget either, but allow yourself some room for unforeseen future financial circumstances. 

Get a pre-approval letter

Now that you know your budget, it’s time to make it official and get a letter from the lender. You will use this as leverage when negotiating with the seller, as they will know you are serious and can afford the purchase. 

Find the home you want and make an offer

Now that you got pre-approved by one of the good mortgage lenders, it’s time to check out the market and find the property you like. 

Get a home inspection

Although sometimes skipped, this step will ensure that you get a good deal and a fair price on the property you are getting.

Go rate shopping

Even if you already have a lender which has pre-approved you, it doesn’t mean you necessarily must stick with them if you can get a better deal elsewhere. Ask around at different lenders and see if you can lower your rates. 

Complete the full application

At this stage, after you’ve gone through the best mortgage companies and decided which will suit you best, lock them down with a full application and settle all the paperwork.

Get a home appraisal

This is required for the loan to be approved and it also is a helpful step for you as you know for sure that you are getting a fair deal.

Processing and underwriting

This is mostly a waiting period for you as a buyer, and most of the action will take place behind the scenes as the lender conducts their own appraisal of the property, verifies the information you provided in your application, etc. 

Closing

Once the paperwork goes through, your loan is ready to roll. You’ll have to pay the closing costs (planned for in the first step of this process) and receive the mortgage funds for your new home. 

Reviews of the Best Mortgage Lenders

Rocket Mortgage

The biggest and most well-known lender on our list, Quicken Loans rebranded itself as Rocket Mortgage in July 2021 to reflect how easy it is to take out mortgages with them. Their app is available anywhere, anytime, and further speeds up the mortgage process.

Pros:

Cons:

As it is the best mortgage lender for online shopping, getting a deal with Rocket is not only fast but also smooth and straightforward. It’s no wonder that this company has been awarded the industry prize for the best primary mortgage origination for 11 consecutive years and best primary mortgage servicing for seven consecutive years.

Also, as one of the top mortgage companies, Rocket Mortgage has some of the lowest rates we have ever seen and the APRs they offer are also killer deals. Furthermore, this company has a lot of products to offer, including both government and conventional loans.

Besides the usual loans, this company also provides its own product, YOURGage, which gets you a fixed-rate loan term from eight to 29 years, which is great if you want more flexibility than what a standard mortgage offers.

On the other hand, this lender is not suitable for those with a low credit score, as their minimum is 620. Rocket Mortgage also does take lender fees.

Lending Tree

Lending Tree is not a direct lender but a broker which lists the best home loan lenders, to provide users with multiple options. Therefore, it has one up over traditional mortgage firms with its diverse offer.

Pros:

Cons:

In addition to offering some of the best mortgage loans, LendingTree also boasts some of the lowest rates and APRs in the industry. It also gathers deals from all around the market, so you will also find a lot of loan types, be they conventional or government-backed.

One aspect for which Lending Tree stands out is the high debt-to-income limit threshold which is at 49%, the highest one from this list.

What isn’t that great about Lending Tree is their lack of transparency, although it is somehow understandable, given the nature of the brokerage involved. Unfortunately, borrowers do not get access to a lot of valuable information beforehand when working with this firm or some of the best-rated mortgage companies it intermediates.

Another disadvantage is that most of the lenders from the site do apply fees.

Flip Funding

Flip Funding is an innovative concept, designed to shake up the traditional mortgage market and support small investors and regular people who want to invest in real estate. It’s especially great for those looking to use unconventional vehicles like house flipping and bridge loans.

Pros:

Cons:

Given that investing is a dynamic occupation, Flip Funding provides some of the fastest approval and closing times, on top of flexible loans and practices designed specially to make the process investor-friendly.

Also, this company will fund purchases even for properties for which traditional financial institutions, including the best home mortgage lenders, might deem too risky. 

On the flip side, the loans often have less favorable terms, including high rates and more fees. 

Commercial Loan Direct

Commercial Loan Direct specializes in offering deals to investors and entrepreneurs looking to purchase a commercial property. It is the best place to get a mortgage loan if you represent a business, so check among your local mortgage lenders for CLD.

Pros:

Cons:

One of the biggest advantages of working with a lender that is specialized in commercial deals is that, for most loans, you will vouch for your eligibility with your global net worth (which is composed of your personal net worth and your businesses’) and not with your debt-to-income ratio, as with traditional lenders.

Another aspect that prompted us to list Commercial Loan Direct as one of the top mortgage lenders is the company’s low rates, especially given their niche. Getting commercial property usually comes with much higher interest, so the deals offered here are a tremendous relief and show once again that it is the best mortgage company for commercial deals. 

The less advantageous parts of working with this firm consist of their lack of transparency, as you don’t get a lot of important information upfront, like the minimum credit score and down payment required. Also, this lender does charge fees.

FAQ

What are the top-rated mortgage lenders?

The most respected companies in the United States are Quicken Loans, Lending Tree, Flip Funding and Commercial Loans Direct, although there are a lot of other great ones on the market.

Is it better to get a mortgage from a bank or a mortgage company?

Unlike a broker, the loaning companies sell the servicing directly and have the actual cash. As such, banks can make the process easier, although you don’t get a complete view of the market, which only a broker can offer. Which is best depends on your needs.

What is the lowest credit score for a mortgage?

Expect to obtain some sort of deal if you have at least a 500 credit score, although the best lenders for home loans would require higher than that.

How do I compare mortgage lenders?

When you compare mortgage lenders, consider the closing costs, down payment requirement, credit score needed, fees, and private mortgage insurance.

Which mortgage lenders provide the best options for first-time buyers?

If you want to use a mortgage to purchase your first home, we recommend that you look at what either Quicken Loans or Lending Tree has to offer. Although new borrowers may not have had the time to build up a credit score, they may still obtain a good enough deal from one of the best mortgage lenders