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13 Best Mortgage Lenders of 2022
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There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to mortgage financing. The best mortgage lenders will vary depending on the type of loan you need — whether you prefer a completely digital loan experience or need a special home loan program. LendingTree considered a number of factors, including rates, variety of loan programs and online experience to determine the 13 best mortgage lenders below.
Overview of the 13 best mortgage lenders of 2022
|LENDER||LENDINGTREE RATING*||BEST FOR||MINIMUM CREDIT SCORE||MINIMUM DOWN PAYMENT|
|AmeriSave||8/10||Overall online mortgage experience||580 VA/FHA||0% VA/USDA|
|Better Mortgage||8/10||Conventional loans||620 Conventional||3% Conventional|
|Rocket Mortgage||9/10||Refinance loans||580 FHA/VA||0% VA|
|Northpointe Bank Mortgage||8/10||Variety of loan programs||Not published||0% VA/USDA|
|Veterans United Mortgage||9/10||VA home loans||640||0% VA/USDA|
|Churchill Mortgage||8/10||Nontraditional credit||620||0% VA/USDA|
|PrimeLending||7/10||Completely-digital mortgage process||Not published||0% VA/USDA|
|PenFed Mortgage||8.5/10||Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans||650||0% VA|
|CashCall Mortgage||8.5/10||Non-QM loan options||560||0% VA|
|Nations Lending||7/10||Manufactured homes||580 VA/FHA||0% VA|
|Alterra Home Loans||6/10||Spanish-speaking customers||600 FHA||0% VA/USDA|
|Top Flite Financial Mortgage||7/10||Bad-credit mortgages||500 FHA||0% VA/USDA|
|OneWest Bank||4/10||Jumbo loans||Not published||3% Conventional|
*LendingTree mortgage lender rating system
LendingTree’s mortgage lender rating is based on a 10-point scale that factors in several features, including digital application and closing processes, available loan products and online and in-person accessibility. LendingTree’s editorial team calculates each rating based on a review of information available on the lender’s website. Lenders receive a half-point on the “standard product offerings” criterion if they offer at least two of the four standard loan programs (Conventional/FHA/VA/USDA). In some cases, additional information was provided by a lender representative.
LendingTree’s 13 best mortgage lenders of 2022
AmeriSave — Best overall online mortgage experience
AmeriSave is a fintech lender offering digital mortgages in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The company’s website features a “Knowledge Center” packed with educational mortgage articles, online rate and product details and information about how to qualify for a mortgage.
Better Mortgage — Best for conventional loans
Better Mortgage is a New York-based direct lender that advertises a 100% online process with five-second rate quotes and three-minute preapprovals. The company specializes in conventional loans and doesn’t charge origination, underwriting, application or processing fees.
Rocket Mortgage — Best for refinance loans
Rocket Mortgage was developed by Quicken Loans to give borrowers a platform for online mortgage shopping in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Borrowers can find refinance rate, product and educational mortgage information on the lender’s website. Rocket Mortgage also offers the Quicken Mortgage® YOURgage® product, which allows borrowers to choose terms between eight and 29 years, versus the standard 15- and 30-year term options found at most lenders.
Northpointe Bank Mortgage — Best overall variety of loan programs
Northpointe Bank is a full-service commercial bank, offering an expansive array of mortgage options and standard banking products. The lender offers construction, renovation and land loans, as well as down payment assistance and non-QM loan products for borrowers with special income or credit situations.
Veterans United Home Loans — Best for VA loans
Veterans United Home Loans offers eligible military borrowers a wide variety of loans backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including the VA energy-efficient mortgage (EEM) program. The website is filled with helpful information about how to get a VA loan with 24/7 access to a loan officer, which can be helpful for borrowers serving overseas.
Churchill Mortgage — Best for nontraditional credit
Churchill Mortgage is an employee-owned lender based in Brentwood, Tenn., that operates in 47 states. The company offers loans to people without credit scores, as long as they provide alternative proof they are creditworthy, such as payment histories for rent, cellphone, child care and insurance bills).
PrimeLending — Best for completely digital mortgage experience
PrimeLending is a national lender based in Dallas that issues mortgages in all 50 states. Loanplicity, the lender’s proprietary loan system allows customers to manage the process online from application to eClosing. PrimeLending’s website claims it offers more than 400 different loan products, including 15 different fixer-upper loan programs.
PenFed Mortgage — Best for adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs)
Pentagon Federal Credit Union, called PenFed for short, is the second-largest credit union in the country, offering mortgages in all 50 states. Borrowers looking for the temporary savings of an adjustable-rate mortgage will find ARM options with initial rate periods of three, five, seven, 10 and 15 years. ARM loans typically offer lower rates during the initial fixed-rate period, and then adjust based on the terms of the chosen loan.
CashCall Mortgage — Best for non-QM loan options
CashCall is a national lender licensed to issue mortgages in all 50 states, operating out of Irvine, Calif. The lender provides unique non-QM loan programs that don’t require standard tax documentation, like tax returns or paystubs. Customers may qualify to buy a home with 12 months’ worth of bank statements, or by using the projected rent from an investment property purchase.
Nations Lending — Best for manufactured home mortgages
Nations Lending offers standard loan products and is licensed to lend in all 50 states. It is one of few lenders offering home loans on manufactured homes with credit scores as low as 580. However, the homes must be permanently affixed to a foundation to be eligible for financing.
Alterra Home Loans — Best for Spanish-speaking customers
Alterra Home Loans is a national mortgage lender founded with a mission of helping Hispanic first-time homebuyers. The company is one of the largest Hispanic-owned lenders in the country, with loan officers fluent in both English and Spanish. Alterra Home Loans offers both standard loan products and a special ITIN program for borrowers who don’t have a Social Security number.
Top Flite Financial — Best for bad-credit mortgages
Top Flite Financial, founded in 2002, is licensed to lend in 34 states and issues mortgages to borrowers with credit scores as low as 500. The company offers low-credit-score mortgage options for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and its proprietary Step Forward Program.
OneWest Bank — Best for jumbo loans
OneWest Bank is a full-service bank headquartered in California that offers home loans nationwide. Borrowers that need large loans to purchase expensive homes may qualify for jumbo loans up to $5 million.
How to get a mortgage
You’ll save time and money if you follow six basic steps to getting a mortgage.
- Get your paperwork together. Lenders need to verify that you can repay the loan, and typically request paystubs, W-2s and bank statements. If you’ve got bumps in your credit history, provide letters of explanation and let them know why you’re a good loan candidate.
- Pick the right loan for your finances. Although your loan officer will usually help guide you to the right loan product, here’s a brief list of the most common loan types and who they might be a fit for:
|LOAN TYPE||IT'S A GOOD OPTION IF:|
- Know basic lending requirements. Besides minimum credit score requirements, lenders also verify the following:
- Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. Your DTI ratio is calculated by dividing your total debt by your pretax income. The “qualified mortgage” rule recommends a DTI ratio at or below 43%, although lenders may make exceptions.
- Your closing cost funds. You’ll pay an average of 2% to 6% of your loan amount toward closing costs, depending on your loan amount. You’ll need to budget for those funds or ask the seller to pay them on your behalf.
- Shop for a lender and lock your rate. Get rate quotes on the same day from at least three to five lenders and compare their loan estimates. Once you make your choice, ask the lender to lock in your rate.
- Pay for an appraisal and provide approval conditions. In most cases, you’ll need a home appraisal to verify your home’s value. Once the lender approves your loan, it may request additional conditions before your closing.
- Review your closing disclosure and sign your closing papers. Your lender is required to review a closing disclosure at least three business days before your closing. If everything looks good, you’ll sign paperwork and provide any funds needed to cover the down payment and closing costs. Once the lender sends your money, you’re officially a homeowner.
How do I choose the best mortgage lender?
Choosing the best mortgage lender isn’t always about the best rates and costs. In some cases, the best mortgage lender for you may:
- Have the experience to handle tough credit issues. Some mortgage banks specialize in mortgages for borrowers with scores as low as 500, or with recent major credit issues like bankruptcies or foreclosures.
- Offer special programs that bypass standard income documents. If your earnings are hard to document on tax returns, check out lenders that offer non-QM loans that allow you to provide bank statements to verify your income instead.
- Give you extra financial incentives if you also bank with them. Some banks and credit unions offer discounts on your mortgage closing costs if you already bank with them.
Should I shop for a home or find a mortgage company first?
You should find a mortgage company and get preapproval before you shop for a home — if you want sellers to take your offer seriously.
What should you do before applying for a mortgage?
There are three things you should do before applying for a mortgage:
- Spruce up your credit by paying off maxed-out credit cards and minimizing new credit accounts
- Keep your down payment funds in an account for at least 60 days before you apply for a mortgage
- Don’t switch jobs, or switch from a salaried job to a commission or self-employed position
How do I find the mortgage lender with the lowest rate?
Three words: Shop, shop, shop. Lenders’ rates change daily, and some lenders may discount their rates to get more purchase or refinance customers in a given month. Studies have shown shopping with at least three to five lenders saves thousands in both costs at the closing table and interest charges over the life of the loan.
What is PITI?
Mortgage PITI is short for the four basic components of your monthly mortgage payment: principal, interest, taxes and insurance.
- Principal: The amount you pay each month toward your loan balance.
- Interest: The fee your lender charges each month based on your interest rate.
- Taxes: Charged by the local taxing authority and based on the assessed value of your home. The yearly tax bill is divided by 12 and included in your monthly payment.
- Insurance: More commonly known as homeowners insurance, this covers your home against losses from fire, theft, or other hazards. The premium is divided by 12 and added to your monthly payment.
Conventional mortgage insurance is called private mortgage insurance (PMI) and is normally added to your monthly payment. On an FHA loan, you’ll pay two types of FHA mortgage insurance on an FHA loan: An upfront lump-sum amount called the upfront mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP), and an annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) that’s divided by 12 and added to your monthly payment.
To determine the 13 best mortgage lenders we reviewed fully vetted data from nearly 60 published LendingTree mortgage reviews and evaluated key areas, including:
- Online convenience and accessibility
- Helpful online articles about mortgages and homebuying
- Variety of mortgages and special loan types offered
- Online information about how to qualify for different mortgage products
- Access to loan officers after normal business hours
- Options for home loan borrowers with bad credit
- Number of years of experience originating mortgage loans
- Lender-published online mortgage rate information