You’ve dreamed of owning your own home or upgrading to something nicer than what you’re currently in. Now that your finances are in order, you’re ready to move forward with finding the perfect home that meets you and your family’s needs. And you’re so excited about the home search that you forget to scope out the best mortgage lenders first to determine if the budget you had in mind was sound and what type of down payment and monthly obligation you’re looking at.
So, you set out to find exactly what you’re looking for. And after a few homes, you walk into the one that’s just right for you. But there’s only one problem: your finances aren’t suited to handle the purchase. Bummer, and you’ll have to start from scratch. Sound familiar?
It’s easy to get so drawn into searching for a new home that you forget how important it is to secure the most competitive mortgage for your financial situation. But this doesn’t have to be you. In fact, you can be well-prepared before you even step foot into a home that’s on the market. Plus, you can get through the pre-approval process without pulling your hair out.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best mortgage lenders to lend you a helping hand.
Since 1998, Lending Tree has helped consumers secure financing for big-ticket purchases, like your first or next home, at the tap of a fingertip. They’re an online loan marketplace that allows borrowers to view loan offers from multiple lenders at once. Lending Tree also offers online tools, including mortgage calculators and mortgage rates in real-time, to help you make an informed lending decision.
Lenders in the Lending Tree network offer convention, FHA, and VA loans. The loan products and terms that you qualify for will depend on your income, credit score, employment history, cash reserves, and the amount you have available for a down payment.
If pre-qualified, you can view offers from up to five lenders by answering a few questions on their website. It won’t take more than a few minutes, and you’ll know where you stand and how to best move forward with the mortgage application process.
PennyMac Home Loans
Penny Mac is an A+ rated and BBB Accredited direct mortgage lender. They have been around for over 10 years and served over one million customers to date.
They offer conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Investment Property, and Jumbo loans. Along with their vast selection of mortgage offerings, they also boast the Mortage Access Center (m.a.c.). In a nutshell, m.a.c. allows prospective buyers to complete the mortgage process from start to finish in the comforts of their own home. This means you can get pre-qualified, complete the entire mortgage application, view updates on your loan status, and upload the requested documentation all in one place.
You can get started with Penny Mac by submitting an inquiry online or calling 1-855-445-8557. And if you like the rate quote you receive and wish to move forward, you can begin the formal application process right away.
A subsidiary of Quicken Loans, Rocket Mortgage has redefined the home loan process by streamlining the way you secure a mortgage. There’s no paperwork involved and you’ll have a Verified Approval Letter in your hands within 24 hours of your documentation being received and verified by a loan officer.
To explore your rates, you’ll need to share some information about your finances via the website. If you’re a good fit, loan offers will be presented to you the same day. And you’ll have the ability to adjust down payment amounts directly on the dashboard to reach the desired monthly mortgage payment.
Even better, you have 90 days to decide if a mortgage offer is a good fit, thanks to the RateShield Approval program. (Quick note: this benefit only applies to consumers seeking a 30-year fixed-rate, convention, FHA, or VA home loan.
Vylla is a one-stop shop for prospective homebuyers. You can search for the perfect home and secure financing directly from their website. And through the help of a home specialist, you’ll be able to navigate the home buying process, step by step, without pulling your hair out.
They also have several tools on their website to make your home buying experience seamless and pleasant, including the Infohub that is full of tips you’ll need every step of the way. Or you can use one of their affordability calculators to determine the perfect loan for you based on your desired monthly payment or purchase price.
You can initiate a loan inquiry by signing up on the website. Once you’ve entered your name, email address, phone number, and created a username and password, you’ll be directed to a questionnaire to help you determine what loan options may be a good fit.
Brick and Mortar Lenders
Carrington Mortgage Services
Carrington Mortgage Services is a direct lender that prides itself on stellar customer service. Accredited with an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, they have been serving consumers since 2007 and have funded over $22 billion in home loans since 2011.
They offer an array of mortgage products that can be tailored to suit your needs, including conventional, jumbo, adjustable-rate, FHA, USDA, and VA homes loans. Carrington Mortgage Services also has a First Time Buyers program that has flexible qualification criteria and allows you to secure a fixed rate mortgage with a low down payment. In addition, their Flexible Advantage home loan product caters exclusively to first-time homebuyers, those who are self-employed or those with less than perfect credit or a relatively high debt to income ratio.
To explore your loan options, call 1-888-267-0584 to speak with a loan officer. You can also visit one of their offices to get the ball rolling. They currently have locations in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, and Maryland.
CitiMortgage wants every prospective borrower that crosses their path to be equipped with the knowledge they need to make an informed home loan decision. For this reason, they have an assortment of tools on their website to help you navigate the mortgage process. And if you’re a customer, you may qualify for even lower rates than what’s advertised through Citi Mortgage Relationship Pricing.
Currently, CitiMortgage offers fixed-rate and adjustable rate mortgages, as well as FHA, VA, and Jumbo Loans. You may also qualify for a HomeRun mortgage that is designed for borrowers that may not have a ton of cash for a large down payment or need more flexible credit criteria.
Their SureStart Pre-approval process is very straightforward and will give you a snapshot of your loan options within minutes. You’ll also be able to view your credit score directly from the dashboard so you’ll know where you stand and if you should work to improve it before selecting a home in an effort to secure a lower interest rate.
To speak with a Home Lending Officer about your mortgage options through Citi, call 1-800-248-4638. They’re available Monday through Saturday and will be able to help you get on the right path to find a suitable loan product for your financial situation right away.
Since opening their doors in 2010, Loan Depot has funded over $30 billion in new home purchases for consumers across the US. They are headquartered in Southern California but have over 150 offices nationwide with licensed loan officers standing by waiting to help you find the perfect mortgage product for your financial situation. You should also know that LoanDepot is the fifth largest retail mortgage originator in the nation.
Loan Depot offers fixed and adjustable rate mortgages, Jumbo loans, VA loans, and FHA loans. Qualification criteria vary by loan product but having less than perfect credit or minimal funds on hand to make a down payment won’t necessarily prevent you from qualifying for a loan. In fact, some of their loan products are catered towards customers with credit challenges or that fall into lower income brackets.
If you’re interested in exploring mortgage products from Loan Depot, visit one of their local branches. You can also call 1-888-983-3240.
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or are looking to purchase the home of your dreams, SunTrust Mortgage has a loan product for you. Their offerings include fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages, FHA Loans, USDA Loans, VA Loans, and Jumbo Loans.
Unlike other mortgage providers on the market, they have a Doctor Loan program that is designed to get Licensed Residents, Interns, Fellows in MD, DO, and DPM programs and licensed Physicians and Dentist into a new home. Fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages are available, and you may be eligible for 100 percent financing if qualified.
They also boast a Medical Professional Mortgage program that grants exclusive perks to those employed in the medical field. If qualified, you won’t be required to carry mortgage insurance, and you could get approved with as little as three percent down. Furthermore, SunTrust permits seller contributions of up to three percent to lower how much you have to come out of pocket when closing on your new home.
If you’re interested in exploring mortgage options from SunTrust that may be available to you, call 1-877-320-6591 or visit one of their branches to speak with a loan officer. You can also get pre-qualified online by applying through the SmartGUIDE app.
U.S. Bank makes it easy to acquire the home loan knowledge you need and get pre-qualified in minutes. Their website is full of resources to help you navigate the mortgage maze and you can also apply at the tap of a fingertip.
As a prospective borrower, you may be eligible for a conventional fixed-rate loan, adjustable-rate mortgage, FHA loan, VA loan, or Jumbo loan. But if you’re looking to flip homes in the near future or even build your own home, you may want to check out their investment property loans or new construction and lot loans.
Are you already doing business with U.S. Bank? That’s great news as you may be eligible for a discount of 0.25 percent of the loan amount, which can be deducted from the closing costs (capped at $1,000).
To retrieve a mortgage eligibility letter (if qualified), visit the U.S. Bank Loan Portal to apply. You can also call 1-888-291-2334 or visit a branch to speak with a Loan Officer.
Alliant Credit Union
Alliant prides itself on one-to-one interaction with each of its clients. They go the extra mile to help prospective homeowners achieve their goal of purchasing a home and keep as much of their hard earned money in their pocket as possible.
You can choose from a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage, and the rates are some of the lowest on the market. Even better, you can lock in your rate for 60 or 120 days with all loans or new construction loans, respectively.
There’s no application fee, and you may not be required to make a down payment if you’re a first-time homebuyer that’s well-qualified. Furthermore, there are no application or escrow waiver fees, and your origination fee could be as little as $995.
Another major perk is the cash back rebate program, which grants you up to $6,500 when you purchase your new home through the Alliant Home Rewards program. But if you sell your existing home and purchase a new home through the program, you could receive up to $13,000 cash back within 45 days of the closing date.
Considering a home loan from Alliant Credit Union? Call 1-800-365-7003 to speak with a home loan specialist that can help guide you in the right direction. And if pre-qualified, you can customize your loan quotes to better suit your financial needs.
NASA Federal Credit Union
NASA Federal Credit Union is another viable option for mortgage loan products if you prefer a credit union over an online or traditional lender. If you qualify for membership, there are several mortgage options to explore, including fixed and adjustable-rate loans, FHA loans, and VA loans.
And if you’re having trouble finding a loan that works for you, they also offer specialized mortgage programs to help get you into the home of your dreams. You can apply for consideration online, in a branch, or by calling 1-888-627-2328.
Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union offers a variety of loan products geared towards service members. Their offerings include conventional fixed-rate loans, adjustable-rate mortgages, VA loans, and FHA loans. You may also be eligible for the following unique loan products, including the Military Choice or 100% Financing HomeBuyers Choice loans. Both are fixed-rate loans with up to 100 percent in financing available and have less stringent qualification criteria.
Interested in a second home or investment property? Navy Federal Credit Union has loan products that can assist you in making those purchases as well.
They have dedicated loan specialists on hand to help you evaluate your financial situation to determine loan products that are the best fit, walk you through the mortgage application, and arrange the closing. Even better, you won’t have to worry about your loan being sold off to another lender as they guarantee to personally service your loan until it’s paid in full. And if you’d prefer to learn as much as you can about what goes into buying a home before reaching out, check out their online knowledge center.
If you’d like to explore the possibility of working with Navy Federal Credit Union to get you into a new home, give them a call at 1-888-842-6328. You can also chat with a representative or apply directly from their website. And should you decide to move forward and work with a RealtyPlus agent in their network, you could receive up to $5,050 cash back when you close on your home.
USAA gives consumers searching for a home loan the best of both worlds. Not only will you have an array of mortgage options to choose from but you will also have access to some of the lowest rates amongst lenders in the industry.
Home loan options include conventional loans, first-time homebuyer loans, VA loans, Jumbo loans, and adjustable-rate mortgage loans. USAA also has loan products if you’re looking to purchase a second home for vacations or secure an investment property.
They also have a wide selection of educational resources on their website via the learning center to help you understand how the mortgage process works. And you can track the progress of your loan application directly from the online dashboard.
Best of all, you can earn up to $24,000 ($1,230 on average) in cash back through the Real Estate Rewards Network when you close on your new home. This program connects you with a seasoned realtor with a stellar track record to help you find the perfect home. There are over 16,000 realtors in the network, and the program is available nationwide.
Call 1-800-531-0341 to speak with a representative from the mortgage department about loan options that may be a good fit. You can also start the pre-approval process online and receive a quick response so you’ll know how to best move forward.
The Bottom Line
Chances are you probably didn’t have the time of your life when searching for the right lender and submitting all the documentation to get pre-approved. After all, the home search is way more fun. But you’re wallet will thank you for your diligence in the long run.