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7 Best Mortgage Lenders of January 2023

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For many Americans, a mortgage is the key to becoming a homeowner. But with so many lenders to choose from, it can be a daunting task to find the right one for you. 

To make that process easier, Expertise compared dozens of lenders to determine the seven best mortgage lenders in the country. Our picks offer a variety of loan products, simple application processes, and high customer satisfaction ratings from third-party institutions such as Trustpilot and J.D. Power. 

Read on for our reviews of the best mortgage lenders in America.

Our Top Picks

 Comparing the Top Mortgage Lenders

Company

Ranking

Best for

Rocket Mortgage

Ranking

5.0Expertise.com ranking

Best for

Best Overall

Guaranteed Rate

Ranking

4.5Expertise.com ranking

Best for

Fully Digital Experience

Better

Ranking

4.5Expertise.com ranking

Best for

No Lender Fees

Ally

Ranking

4.5Expertise.com ranking

Best for

Our pick for: Quick online custom rates

PennyMac

Ranking

4.0Expertise.com ranking

Best for

Government-Backed Loans

Truist

Ranking

4.0Expertise.com ranking

Best for

Medical Professionals

Bank of America

Ranking

4.0Expertise.com ranking

Best for

Low Down Payments

How We Ranked the Best Mortgage Lenders

Beginning with a list of 22 mortgage lenders, we evaluated each company based on a variety of criteria, including:

  • Customer satisfaction rankings

  • Mortgage rate transparency

  • Loan fees and costs

  • Minimum down payment and credit score requirements

  • Ease of application

  • State availability

  • Loan types offered

While interest rates are certainly an important factor when choosing a mortgage lender, we did not take into account the current available rates within our methodology section. This is because rates fluctuate often and your exact rate will depend on your location, credit score, and credit report.

Because of this, we instead reviewed companies based on whether they provide transparent interest rate information on their site and whether you can get a custom quote online.

1. Rocket Mortgage

Best Overall

Rocket Mortgage

5.0Expertise.com ranking

Key Takeaways

  • BBB rating: A+
  • J.D. Power ranking: 750/1,000

Pros

  • Allows you to pay off loan early without prepayment fees or penalties
  • Available nationwide
  • Offers a simple digital application process

Cons

  • Requires an application fee ($400-$750) just to apply
  • No USDA loans
  • No branch locations

Company highlights:

  • Loan types: Fixed, adjustable-rate, conventional, jumbo, FHA loans, VA 

  • Minimum down payment: 3%

  • Minimum credit score: 620

  • State availability: Nationwide

Why we chose Rocket Mortgage: Rocket Mortgage, previously known as Quicken Loans, is the largest retail lender in the country by loan volume. The company ranked number one in our list for its excellent third-party reviews, easy-to-apply process, and loan programs for customers on a tight budget. 

The company scored number one on J.D. Power’s 2022 Mortgage Origination Customer Satisfaction Study, which looks at overall customer satisfaction including communication, level of trust, and how easy the company made it to work with them. Rocket Mortgage also received an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau and a 3.7/5 rating from TrustPilot. 

The company makes it easy on potential homebuyers to apply for a loan with the option to own the process from start to finish fully online. Rocket Mortgage’s customer service team is available to answer any questions via phone from 5 a.m. PST to 5 p.m. PST, Monday through Friday. Chat support is available from 5 a.m. PST to 5 p.m. PST, seven days a week. However, there are no branch locations, so you will not be able to have a face-to-face experience during the application process. 

The company has several programs and loan options for applicants with lower credit scores or smaller down payments. Rocket Mortgage accepts credit scores as low as 580 for FHA loans and VA loans, which is a good option for those with subpar credit. The lender also has a Fresh Start program that helps potential borrowers improve their credit score before applying.

2. Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate

4.5Expertise.com ranking

Key Takeaways

  • BBB rating: A+
  • J.D. Power ranking: 731/1,000

Pros

  • Offers at-home closings in some states
  • Advertises sample rates online
  • Can issue preapproval in 15 minutes

Cons

  • Does not offer HELOC or home equity loans
  • No reverse mortgage programs

Company highlights:

  • Loan types: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, rate-and-term and cash-out refinancing, interest-only

  • Minimum down payment: 3%

  • Minimum credit score: 620

  • State availability: Nationwide

Why we chose Guaranteed Rate: Founded in 2000, Chicago-based Guaranteed Rate is known for its quick and easy online application process, at-home closings, and options for borrowers with limited down payment funds and low credit scores.

Guaranteed Rate stands out among its peers for its fully digital application process. Customers can use the online portal to apply, upload, and sign documents. The company also offers a mobile app that customers can use to apply or contact a loan officer. This flexibility allows the company to close loans up to two days quicker than competitors. 

One unique feature that Guaranteed Rate offers is its at-home closing capability. The company’s FlashClose platform allows borrowers to complete the entire closing process from the comfort of their own home. Using a webcam, documents are e-signed and a licensed remote notary completes the notarization. It’s worth noting that this option is not available in every state.

The company allows borrowers to apply with alternative credit data if they do not have a credit score. Guaranteed Rate also has a suite of loans well-suited to borrowers with low credit scores and limited down payment funds. 

These loans include: 

  • HomeReady®

  • HomePossible®

  • Fannie Mae 97%

  • Freddie Mac HomeOne®

3. Better Mortgage

Better Mortgage

4.5Expertise.com ranking

Key Takeaways

  • BBB rating: B
  • J.D. Power ranking: 692/1,000

Pros

  • No commissions or fees charged
  • 24/7 customer support
  • “Better Price Guarantee” offers to beat competitor pricing

Cons

  • No USDA loans
  • No branch locations
  • No home equity or HELOC loans

Company highlights:

  • Loan types: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, rate-and-term and cash-out refinancing, bridge loan

  • Minimum down payment: 3%

  • Minimum credit score: 620

  • State availability: Nationwide

Why we chose Better Mortgage: Founded in 2016, Better Mortgage is an online lender aimed at making the homebuying process simpler, faster, and more transparent. Borrowers can apply 100% online and the company regularly updates generic interest rate information (with the option to get a personalized rate quote) online. 

Better Mortgage does not charge an origination fee like most lenders do. These fees are typically between 0.5% and 1.5% of your overall loan amount. So for a $300,000 home, Better Mortgage could save you between $1,500 to $4,500 in fees. Better Mortgage’s loan officers do not receive a commission, so they may be more inclined to find the best mortgage option for you rather than the most expensive one. 

The lender offers a Better Price Guarantee, which promises to match the price of a competitor’s cheaper loan estimate — and credits you $100. The lender also offers an on-time closing guarantee, and if it doesn’t, in most cases, Better Mortgage will pay you $2,000. 

When it comes to customer service, Better Mortgage is available to answer any and all questions 24/7. The company also receives positive customer service reviews on both Better Business Bureau (A+ rating) and TrustPilot (4.2 out of 5).

4. Ally

Ally

4.5Expertise.com ranking

Key Takeaways

  • BBB rating: A
  • J.D. Power ranking: 731/1,000

Pros

  • Doesn’t charge lender fees
  • Quick pre-approval process
  • Lists transparent interest rate information online

Cons

  • Not available nationwide
  • No FHA, VA or USDA loans
  • No branch locations

Company highlights:

  • Loan types: Conventional, jumbo, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, rate-and-term and cash-out refinancing

  • Minimum down payment: 3%

  • Minimum credit score: 620

  • State availability: 40 states excluding Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming

Why we chose Ally: Established in 2016, Ally has become a standout in the mortgage industry for its 100% online application that you can complete in 15 minutes or less, no lender fees, and down payments as low as 3%.

Ally Bank is a great choice for first-time home buyers. Through Fannie Mae's HomeReady loan option, you can make a down payment as low as 3% and save on private mortgage insurance. The company also offers a helpful education course to help first-time homebuyers financially prepare for and better understand the home buying process. 

While most lenders list generic interest rate information on their site for a limited type of loans (or, more frustratingly, they don’t list interest rate information at all), Ally takes it a step further. With the company’s customized rate quote tool, shoppers can personalize their quotes without sharing your personal information. The tool also helps explain how discount points could impact your closing costs and interest rates to help you better compare Ally’s rates with other lenders. 

One downside to Ally is the company doesn’t offer any government-insured mortgage products FHA, VA, or USDA loans. These loans are often ideal for borrowers with lower credit scores and limited down payment funds. 

5. PennyMac

PennyMac

4.0Expertise.com ranking

Key Takeaways

  • BBB rating: A+
  • J.D. Power ranking: 687/1,000

Pros

  • Wide variety of loan types
  • Displays transparent interest rate information
  • May waive origination fees for FHA or conforming loans if you purchase rather than refinance

Cons

  • Loans are not available in New York
  • Limited brick-and-mortar offices
  • No first-time home buyer grants or programs

Company highlights:

  • Loan types: Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, rate-and-term, jumbo, cash-out and streamline refinancing, home equity line of credit (HELOC), home equity loan, investment property, flex-term

  • Minimum down payment: 3-5%

  • Minimum credit score: 620

  • State availability: 49 states excluding New York

Why we chose PennyMac: Founded in 2008, PennyMac offers an extensive range of loan products, includes transparent interest rate information on their website, and allows you to lock in a rate for up to 60 days with “Lock & Shop.”

For potential home buyers looking to compare multiple lenders and interest rates, PennyMac makes that easy by clearly displaying the current lowest interest rates by loan type online. You can also get an instant customized rate by filling out a short form that doesn’t require sensitive personal information.  

If you choose to purchase a home with an FHA or conforming loan, PennyMac may waive your $1,100 origination fee. Additionally, if you purchase a home with a VA mortgage, PennyMac may reduce the origination fee equal to 0.95% of the loan amount by $1,100. 

The company also offers a “Lock and Shop” option for customers pre-approved for a purchase loan to lock in a rate prior to locating a property. This lock period lasts for up to 60 days. 

 6. Truist

Truist

4.0Expertise.com ranking

Key Takeaways

  • BBB rating: A+
  • J.D. Power ranking: 718/1,000

Pros

  • Offers wide variety of loan types
  • Fully online application process
  • Low down payment mortgage options

Cons

  • Lender fees are not disclosed on website
  • Cannot get customized rates online without starting an application
  • Branches aren’t available in all states

Company highlights:

  • Loan types: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, rate-and-term and cash-out refinancing, home equity line of credit (HELOC), construction and renovation loans

  • Minimum down payment: 3%

  • Minimum credit score: 620

  • State availability: 47 states excluding Alaska, Arizona, and Hawaii

Why we chose Truist: Truist, formed by a merger between BB&T and SunTrust, is a top 10 commercial bank headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. When it comes to mortgages, Truist offers a wide variety of loan options, online application process, and physical branch locations in the Southeast if a traditional mortgage process is important to you. 

Truist stands out among competitors for its low down payment mortgage options, which can be especially enticing for first-time buyers or those with less available funds for a down payment. Those loans include: 

  • VA loan (zero down)

  • USDA loan (zero down)

  • Multiple affordable home loan options (3% down)

  • FHA loan (3.5% down)

  • Doctor loan (zero down)

Truist also offers a variety of specialty loans, including a doctor loan and construction loan. The doctor loan is for medical professionals with high salaries but limited available funds for a down payment. 

The construction loan is meant for borrowers who are building a brand-new home and requires interest-only payments during construction. Truist offers this loan as a construction-to-permanent loan, meaning the loan will convert to a regular mortgage when construction wraps up. 

While Truist does list generic current interest rate information on its website, if you want a customized interest rate, you’ll need to speak with a loan office or start an online application. Be aware that if you opt to start an application, you’ll be required to register with the site and provide some personal information.

7. Bank of America

Bank of America

4.0Expertise.com ranking

Key Takeaways

  • BBB rating: A+
  • J.D. Power ranking: 731/1,000

Pros

  • Existing customers may be eligible for discounts
  • Accepts non-traditional credit for first-time buyers with its Community Affordable Loan Solution
  • Customers can pre-qualify and apply for a loan online

Cons

  • Doesn’t disclose many loan requirements online
  • Does not offer USDA or renovation loans
  • Not available nationwide

Company highlights:

  • Loan types: Conventional, FHA, VA, refinancing, jumbo, adjustable rates, fixed rates

  • Minimum down payment: 5%

  • Minimum credit score: 620

  • State availability: 42 states excluding Alabama, Idaho, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming 

Why we chose Bank of America: Bank of America is one of the largest brick-and-mortar banks in the country.While customers can apply for a mortgage entirely online, those that prefer a traditional experience with face-to-face meetings with loan officers can do so at one of the 4,200 branches spread across the U.S. 

Bank of America is known for its variety of low down payment programs. 

  • America’s Home Grant program: Bank of America offers a lender credit of up to $7,500 that you can use towards non-recurring closing costs, like title insurance and recording fees, or to permanently buy down the interest rate. The funds do not require repayment.

  • Down Payment Grant program: Bank of America provides borrowers with up to 3% of the home purchase price (up to a maximum of $10,000) to use for a down payment. This program is available in select areas. 

In addition, the company considers alternative credit data (like rent and utility payments) rather than traditional credit scores. This can be helpful for borrowers who haven’t established much credit history with a good track record of on-time payments. 

Bank of America also rewards its current customers with discounts to help with the home-buying process. Some customers may qualify for a discounted mortgage origination fee. To qualify, the borrower must enroll in Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program and to keep a three-month combined daily average balance of $20,000 in qualifying Bank of America banking accounts and/or Merrill investment accounts. 

How To Compare Mortgage Lenders

Before you begin comparing mortgage lenders, it’s helpful to know that each lender sets its own underwriting criteria, fees, and interest rates. Translation: You may find a better offer from one lender than you will from another. This makes it all the more important to compare quotes from several lenders before making a decision. 

A good interest rate is one of the key factors you’ll want to search for when comparing lenders. However, interest rates are not the only factor to consider. 

You’ll also want to compare:

  • Lender fees such as origination fees, broker fees, etc. that will impact your total loan cost. 

  • Down payment and credit score requirements are also important to compare, as they can differ from lender to lender.

  • Company reviews to get a sense of their reputation with current customers.  Getting a mortgage is quite a process, so it’s helpful to choose a lender that makes it easy to ask questions and provides resources online to educate you on the home buying process. 

Last but not least, consider what’s important to you when it comes to a mortgage experience. Are you in a hurry to close? Search for a lender that has a fast pre-approval process. 

Are you interested in a specific loan type? Try searching for the top lenders for that particular loan type to avoid wasting your time researching a lender that doesn’t offer that type of loan. 

FAQ

Below, we answer some of the commonly asked questions about mortgages. 

Our Verdict

Rocket Mortgage is the 2022 top lender for customer satisfaction from J.D. Power and has ranked highly for the past 11 years. Rocket Mortgage offers a streamlined digital application experience and the ability to pay off your loan early without any penalties or fees. 

The company has an A+ rating from the BBB and a 3.7/5 score from TrustPilot. Rocket’s generous customer service hours allow customers to feel supported at every step of their home buying process. 

While we believe Rocket Mortgage is an excellent mortgage lender choice, we realize it may not be ideal for every potential borrower. For local mortgage lenders near you, check out our directory of trusted lenders.

Methodology

Beginning with a list of 22 mortgage lenders, we evaluated each company based on a variety of criteria, including:

  • Customer satisfaction rankings: We scored companies based on their rankings from the Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot, and the 2022 J.D. Power U.S. Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. 

  • Mortgage rate transparency: Companies that clearly list sample interest rates for a variety of loan types on their website scored higher in this category compared to lenders that do not advertise rates. We also awarded points to companies that made it easy to get an online customized quote without having to divulge personal information.

  • Loan fees and costs: We scored companies higher that are transparent about their loan fees and costs associated with their mortgages. 

  • Minimum down payment and credit score requirements: We compared each company's minimum down payment and credit score requirements for a conventional loan. 

  • Ease of application: We rated each company on how easy it is to apply for a loan. Companies that offer a fully digital experience scored the highest. 

  • State availability: Lenders that operate nationwide scored the highest in this category.  

  • Loan types offered: We awarded points to companies that offer the most common loan types, with companies offering more loan types scoring higher in this category. 

While interest rates are certainly an important factor when choosing a mortgage lender, we did not take into account the current available rates within our methodology section. This is because rates fluctuate often and your exact rate will depend on your location, credit score, and credit report. 

Because of this, we instead reviewed companies based on whether they provide transparent interest rate information on their site and whether you can get a custom quote online. 

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