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The Best Refinance Mortgage Lenders of 2021
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The best refinance lenders offer low rates on new mortgages to replace your current home loan and save you money if you qualify. They also provide you with the online information you need to make an informed decision about whether refinancing makes financial sense.
The top 5 best refinance loan lenders
The 30-year fixed-rate loan is the most popular refinance mortgage because it offers the lowest payment spread out over 30 years. Therefore, we chose our top-five lenders, in part, based on how low their rates are. Lenders were also given a rating of 0 to 5 (0 being the lowest and 5 the highest) for the quality of their online information.
Below is a snapshot of the top 5 best refinance loan lenders.
|Lender||Median APR offered||OIQ score|
|The Federal Savings Bank||2.44%||5|
|Filo Mortgage, LLC||2.45%||4|
|Intercontinental Capital Group||2.63%||3|
To determine the best refinance lenders, we analyzed data from actual 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loan terms that lenders have offered to borrowers on LendingTree. We filtered by lenders active in at least 10 states, then chose the top five lenders by median annual percentage rate for the past 12 months. Finally, we gave the lenders “online information quality” (OIQ) points based on how easy it was to find on the lender’s website quality information about getting a mortgage, available loan products, mortgage tools and how to apply for a mortgage. A 5 rating means the lender provides all the information bells-and-whistles you need; anything below that means their online information is not quite as robust.
- LoanSnap, Inc. was founded in 2018 and is headquartered in San Francisco. The company is a direct lender and offers “smart home loans” in 20 states, with an artificial intelligence platform that chooses mortgage options based on a digital analysis of the applicant’s entire financial profile.
- LoanSnap offered a 30-year fixed median APR of 2.40% for refinance loans on the LendingTree platform.
- OIQ rating. LoanSnap scored an OIQ rating of 5 with a home page that features details about the products offered, as well as an overview of how their loan platform differs from those of other mortgage lenders. The blog and FAQ contain helpful educational articles about mortgages and different loan types. Visitors can click on the “Get Started” button to complete an online mortgage application.
The Federal Savings Bank
- The Federal Savings Bank is a veteran-owned, federally-chartered bank licensed to originate loans in all 50 states. The bank offers a wide variety of mortgage products including reverse mortgages, as well as traditional bank products like checking and savings accounts.
- The Federal Savings Bank offered a 30-year fixed-rate median APR of 2.44% for refinance loans on the LendingTree platform.
- OIQ rating. The Federal Savings Bank scored an OIQ rating of 5, with a well-designed home page that features links to information about loan products and helpful articles about buying a home with a mortgage. Borrowers will find a diverse selection of mortgage calculators and a “Get Started” button to complete an application.
Filo Mortgage, LLC
- Filo Mortgage, LLC is a mortgage broker licensed to originate mortgages in 20 states. The company is headquartered in Fort Washington, Pa., and offers no-lender-fee loans and digital loan technology for a faster loan process.
- Filo Mortgage offered a 30-year fixed-rate median APR of 2.45% for refinance loans on the LendingTree platform.
- OIQ rating. Filo Mortgage scored an OIQ rating of 4 with loan product and rate information featured on the home page, as well as links to FAQs and “Expert’s Corner” articles on a variety of mortgage-related topics. The “Apply Now” button is easy to find, but we took a point off for the lack of mortgage calculators or other tools for consumers to calculate mortgage payments.
- Loansteady, LLC is a mortgage company licensed to originate mortgages in 22 states. The company offers many different mortgage products, including first-time homebuyer programs and loans backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
- Loansteady offered a 30-year fixed-rate median APR of 2.45% for refinance loans on the LendingTree platform.
- OIQ rating. scored an OIQ rating of 5 with detailed information about buying and refinancing a home throughout the site. Borrowers can estimate monthly payments using a variety of different mortgage calculators and read “Learning Center” articles about different home loan topics. In addition, the “Apply Online” button is also easy to find.
Intercontinental Capital Group, Inc.
- Intercontinental Capital Group, Inc. is a direct lender licensed to originate home loans in 46 states. The company is headquartered in Melville, N.Y., and offers traditional purchase and refinance loan programs as well as reverse mortgages.
- Intercontinental Capital Group offered a 30-year fixed rate median APR of 2.63% for refinance loans on the LendingTree platform.
- OIQ rating. Intercontinental Capital Group scored an OIQ rating of 3. The home page’s “Articles” link provides some informational articles about mortgages, but lacks details about different mortgage loan types and doesn’t offer any educational tools like mortgage calculators or FAQs. There is an “Apply Now” link at the bottom of the home page, although the “Reach Out Now” buttons allow borrowers to complete an online loan application.
Tips for getting the best refinance loan rates
FAQs about refinance requirements
- What is a refinance? A refinance is when you replace your current mortgage with a new loan, usually at a lower rate or better terms.
- Why should I refinance my mortgage? You should refinance if you can save money on your payment with current refi mortgage rates, take cash out to pay off debt or make home improvements or switch to a shorter term to pay your loan off faster. You should also refinance to remove private mortgage insurance (PMI) because your home equity has grown to 20%, replace an FHA mortgage with a conventional loan or swap an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) with a fixed-rate program.
- What are the refinance requirements? The minimum mortgage requirements for a refinance typically set the lowest credit score at 620 score for a refinance. You must also verify that your total debt divided by your income is 45% or less, also known as your DTI ratio (though exceptions are possible up to 50%). For refinance mortgages you need at least 3% equity, although you’ll avoid private mortgage insurance if you have at least 20% equity (PMI pays your lender back for losses if you lose your home in a foreclosure).
- What are the different home refinance options? There are three types of refinances:
- No-cash-out refinance. With a no-cash-out refinance, you take out a new loan for the same balance as your current mortgage and pay your closing costs out of pocket. It’s also called a rate-and-term refinance.
- Limited-cash-out refinance. This type of refinance allows you to roll your closing costs into a higher loan amount. However, limited cash-out refinances cap you at receiving only 2% of your loan amount or $2,000, whichever is less.
- Cash-out refinance. You can usually tap up to 80% of the appraised value of your home with a cash-out refinance. This type of refinance is popular to pay off high-interest rate credit cards or make home improvements.
- No-closing-cost refinance. A no-closing-cost refinance refers to not having to pay any costs out of pocket by accepting a higher interest rate and asking the lender to pay the closing costs on your behalf. However, you’ll make a higher monthly payment and pay more interest over the life of the loan.
- How many times can I refinance? You can refinance multiple times if you qualify and get some sort of financial benefit out of it. Some government-backed streamline refinance mortgage programs may require you to make a set number of payments before you can refinance.
- Is a refinance worth it? Calculate your breakeven to determine if a refinance is worth it. Just divide your total costs by your monthly savings. If you’ll remain in the home for the number of months it takes you to breakeven, then the refinance probably makes sense.