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Best Mortgage Lenders

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    Financing is a major part of the homebuying process. And since we’re talking about potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more), finding the best mortgage lender for your financial situation is almost as important as finding the property itself. With so many mortgage lenders in the marketplace, though, it can feel overwhelming finding the right one.

    Our research team vetted 86 mortgage companies reviewed by more than 5,000 people. You can read our full methodology to learn more about how we compared different lenders and chose our top picks.

    Our editor's top picks

    Note that our picks may be Authorized Partners who compensate us. This does not affect our recommendations or evaluations but may impact the order in which companies appear.

    Why trust ConsumerAffairs?
    • Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
    • 4,338,283 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
    • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
    • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
    • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

    Current mortgage rates

    Rates are effective 11/10/2023 and are subject to change without notice. APR shown is provided by a partner of ConsumerAffairs.

    7.896%-0.01%Get Rates

    The APR shown of 7.896% is available for a 30-year fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

    7.497%0.0%Get Rates

    The APR shown of 7.497% is available for a 20-year fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

    6.807%0.0%Get Rates

    The APR shown of 6.807% is available for a 30-year VA fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

    6.635%0.0%Get Rates

    The APR shown of 6.635% is available for a 10-year fixed rate loan in the amount of $200,000 for consumers with loan-to-value of at least 80%.

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    Compare our top 10 mortgage companies

    Rocket MortgageRocket MortgageNew American FundingNew American FundingAmeriSave MortgageAmeriSave MortgageNetwork Capital Funding CorporationNetwork Capital Funding CorporationPenFed MortgagesPenFed MortgagesNorthpointe BankNorthpointe BankUS Bank MortgagesUS Bank MortgagesGuaranteed Rate MortgageGuaranteed Rate MortgageZillow Home Loans, LLCZillow Home Loans, LLCNavy Federal Credit Union MortgageNavy Federal Credit Union Mortgage
    # of reviews1,5458285,5351,12620420211812
    Our pick for Online lender Flexible terms Customer service Quick closing Credit union lender No down payment Bank lender Low fees First-time home buyers Military members
    Purchase options Conventional, jumbo, FHA and VA loans FHA, USDA, conventional, refinance, HELOC and reverse FHA, VA and USDA loans Conventional, FHA, VA and refinancing Conventional, jumbo, FHA and VA loans, HELOC Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, jumbo loan,HELOC and home equity Conventional, FHA, USDA, VA and jumbo loans, HELOC and home equity Conventional, FHA, VA, ARMs, interest-only,jumbo and HELOC Conventional, VA and FHA loans Conventional, VA, HELOC
    Refinancing options Cash-out, rate and term Cash-out, rate and term, cash-in Cash-out, rate and term Cash-out, rate and term Cash-out, rate and term Cash-out, rate and term Cash-out, rate and term Cash-out, rate and term Varies by state Cash-out, rate and term
    Min. credit score 580 to 620 580 to 640 600 to 620 580 to 620 580 to 650 Undisclosed Undisclosed 580 to 620 580 to 620 Undisclosed
    Max. loan amount $2.5 million Undisclosed $1.5 million Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed
    Read reviews Read reviews Read reviews Read reviews Read reviews Read reviews Read reviews Read reviews Read reviews Read reviews
    All information accurate as of time of publication.

    More details about our top 10 mortgage lender picks

    Best online lender

    Rocket Mortgage

    Loan types
    Conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo, YOURgage and ONE+
    Minimum FICO score
    580 for government-backed loans; 620 for conventional
    Minimum down payment
    0% to 5%

    Rocket Mortgage is an online mortgage company developed by one of the largest national lenders (Quicken Loans). Loans are available nationwide. Borrowers can get conventional, jumbo and some government-backed loans with a rate lock of 90 days. No HELOC loans are available, but home equity loans are.

    The application process takes place entirely online. The minimum credit score required depends on the type of loan you’re interested in (lower for FHA and VA). It can take up to three days to get preapproved, and the time to close averages between 30 and 45 days.

    Some of the reasons Rocket Mortgage stood out were:

    • Mortgage options for borrowers with lower credit scores
    • Fast approval and closing
    • Nationwide availability

    Before choosing Rocket Mortgage, consider the following:

    • No HELOCs available
    • No in-person services

    Rocket Mortgage receives a mix of positive and negative reviews. On one hand, you have reviews such as Kregg from Minnesota touting: "Loula was awesome. This is the second time she has helped me buy my house. She really does care and does everything possible to get it done. I will recommend her to everyone. My deals have never been easy and she has always worked through all the issues.”

    However, some reviews noted trouble with various issues and were unhappy with the customer service solutions.

    Jodie from Colorado noted: “I called three weeks before they were scheduled to pay my annual insurance premium and asked them not to pay it to my current carrier because I was changing companies. They disbursed it anyway even though the account said DO NOT PAY. Now I have to try to get the money back to return it to them so that my escrow account is not short from a double payment when they disburse the money to the new carrier.”

    Best for flexible terms
    Loan types
    Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, refinancing, reverse mortgages, etc.
    Minimum FICO score
    580 to 640
    Minimum down payment
    0% to 5%

    New American Funding is a tech-driven mortgage company that works with borrowers from diverse financial backgrounds. You can complete the entire application online, and preapproval typically takes a day or two. The company works with lenders across the credit score spectrum, so you may be able to qualify even if you have poor credit (through its I CAN program).

    Borrowers can get a variety of mortgage loans with New American Funding, including conventional, FHA, USDA and refinancing. Reverse mortgages and home equity loans are also available, as are zero-down payment options, so you can find the best repayment terms for your particular financial situation.

    A team of loan officers helps find the best mortgage option for you. Closing times vary, but there is a close-on-time guarantee. New American Funding services loans after closing, too, helping you maintain your lender relationship.

    Some of the highlights for New American Funding include:

    • Close-on-time guarantee
    • Options for people with nontraditional credit history
    • Helpful loan officers for first-time homebuyers

    Consider the following if you choose New American Funding:

    • Select fees will apply
    • May have to pay points to keep mortgage rate
    • Few physical branches

    New American Funding receives high customer satisfaction ratings and multiple positive reviews from ConsumerAffairs readers.

    For example, Kyler in Oklahoma writes: “New American Funding is at least worth a try. They are out of reach for Oklahoma in terms of being able to actually have an office. If you're looking for someone with an office here, it probably wouldn't be ideal. But if it's something that you're okay with, it wouldn't be an issue.”

    Numerous reviews remark on overall satisfaction with the lending process, including Constance from Florida, who writes: “The rep answered any questions I had and sent the paperwork. It was a very fast and easy process.”

    Best for customer service
    Loan types
    Adjustable or fixed-rate conventional, FHA, VA, USDA and cash-out refinancing
    Minimum FICO score
    600 to 620
    Minimum down payment
    0% to 3.5%

    AmeriSave is a direct lender in 49 states (not New York) and Washington, D.C. It has a relatively easy-to-navigate online application, helpful loan officers and competitive interest rates. A wide assortment of positive reviews online highlight the company’s emphasis on customer service.

    If you’re buying a house, you can get pre-qualified and close on the loan in as little as 25 days. It’s possible for refinancing to take less than a month.

    Borrowers will need a minimum credit score of 600 (620 for some mortgages) and a down payment of up to 3.5%. Multiple mortgage options are available, including government-backed and conventional loans. Home equity loans and HELOCs are available as well.

    The application process takes place entirely online, so if you want an in-person option, you’ll need to use another lender. There are no origination or application fees for mortgages (fees do apply for HELOCs and home equity loans), but you will need to pay closing costs up to 5%.

    AmeriSave’s stand-out features include:

    • Variety of loan options
    • No origination or application fees
    • Fast closing times

    Before choosing AmeriSave, consider the following:

    • No in-person branches
    • Not available in New York

    Amerisave receives a wide variety of positive reviews from ConsumerAffairs readers. Numerous reviews comment on an easy, hassle-free application and loan process.

    For example, Christina in Georgia commented: “The process at AmeriSave was very easy. The application was very self-explanatory. Their customer service was very good. The payment is easy to manage and the ability to take some equity out of the home to pay off other debts was amazing.”

    Best for quick closing
    Loan types
    Conventional, FHA, VA and refinancing
    Minimum FICO score
    580 to 620
    Minimum down payment

    Network Capital has competitive rates and a straightforward process for FHA, VA and conventional loans. No USDA, HELOC or home equity loans are available. An online application process can get you started with a quick-closing loan through Network Capital.

    You can check the rate options online through the Network Capital website; fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages are available. The credit score you’ll need to qualify for a loan varies (580 for government-backed, 620 for others), and you’ll need a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 36% or lower for a conventional loan.

    There are no origination, application or underwriting fees, but you should expect to pay closing costs that will include an appraisal fee, title fees and escrow.

    Network Capital offers loans to borrowers in 43 states. It does not serve Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada or Utah. You can close on a home loan in as few as 15 business days (from “intent to proceed” to signing the closing documents).

    Things we like about Network Capital include:

    • Quick closing times
    • No lender fees
    • Adjustable and fixed-rate loans available

    Consider the following if choosing Network Capital:

    • Relatively limited loan programs
    • Only available in 43 states
    • Maximum 36% DTI ratio allowed for conventional mortgages

    It’s easy to find positive reviews with Network Capital among ConsumerAffairs readers. Multiple positive reviews remark on the great experiences borrowers have had with Network Capital.

    Jacqueline from Washington said, “We were looking to reduce some bills and get a roof put on. The refi with Network Capital was awesome. Tyler did an awesome job. He was very attentive and he constantly checked in and we were communicating quite well with each other.”

    Carl in New York also had positive remarks: “Network Capital Funding Corporation was very courteous. They checked out the situation. And it was interesting how far the loan officer went to try to help me.”

    Best credit union lender
    Loan types
    Conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo, HELOC
    Minimum FICO score
    580 to 650
    Minimum down payment
    0% to 3.5%

    PenFed Mortgages is the home loan division of PenFed Credit Union, and it offers an array of mortgage products, including conventional, FHA, jumbo and VA loans, plus a HELOC or refinancing option.

    PenFed Mortgages provides a large amount of valuable information online for anyone who is a new homebuyer or has plenty of experience purchasing. It also features a complete online loan application, making it as easy as possible for getting prequalified or preapproved.

    PenFed does require a higher credit score for conventional loans, starting at 650, which is higher compared to other conventional loan lenders. Jumbo loans also include a high credit score requirement, starting at 700.

    A few factors that stood out for us for PenFed include:

    • Full online application process
    • No origination fees and lender credits
    • Power Buyer program with a 60-day rate lock

    Before choosing PenFed for your mortgage, consider the following:

    • Higher credit score (650+) required for conventional loans
    • Physical branches only available in 12 states and on some military bases

    While there are limited reviews for PenFed Mortgages specifically on ConsumerAffairs, there are some reviews for the credit union overall from mortgage customers.

    A reviewer in Virginia said, “Had an question with my mortgage payment and while the service member didn't know an immediate answer, they did some quick research and made some helpful suggestions to resolve the problem. I felt like they were genuine and wanted to help vs. transfer me to person after person to resolve the issue.”

    However, one reviewer from Oregon was frustrated with the refinancing process when they “found out my application was denied due to high DTI. So I write down every issue that they had and then find out that I need to get a HELOC if I want to pull money out for debt payoff. You think someone would've said that at the beginning of my loan process. Also all of a sudden my DTI is too high and is an issue when I was told several times I could pay it when the loan was funded.”

    Best for no down payment
    Loan types
    Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, jumbo, construction, renovation loans, HELOC, home equity
    Minimum FICO score
    Minimum down payment
    0% to 5%

    Michigan-based Northpointe Bank offers a wide variety of mortgage options, from conventional, FHA, USDA and VA loans, to specialized options such as construction and renovation loans. Northpointe Bank also offers HELOCs, home equity loans and refinancing options, too, making it a one-stop solution for a majority of mortgage needs. What stands out with this company, though, is its numerous no down payment options available.

    Although Northpointe Bank only has one physical location in Grand Rapids, Michigan, it offers loan products across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. You should note, however, that not all loan products are available in every state.

    Although Northpointe Bank doesn’t disclose its minimum credit score requirements, most lenders require a score of at least 620 for a conventional, 500 for FHA, 580 for VA and 640 for USDA loans, but if you have specific questions about your credit score, then reaching out for preliminary information is a good approach.

    Some of the things we like about Northpointe Bank include:

    • Huge assortment of mortgage products
    • No down payment options available
    • Can track your loan progress through mobile app

    You’ll want to keep the following in mind if you’re considering Northpointe Bank:

    • No online application
    • Limited physical branch location

    There are no reviews for Northpointe Bank on ConsumerAffairs as of publishing.

    Best bank lender
    Loan types
    Adjustable or fixed-rate conventional, FHA, VA, USDA and cash-out refinancing
    Minimum FICO score
    Contact U.S. Bank
    Minimum down payment
    0% to 3.5%

    Headquartered in Minneapolis, US Bank is one of the largest banks in the country and offers a wide range of mortgage products. It offers conventional, FHA, USDA, VA and jumbo loans in all states and home equity loans and HELOCs. Borrowers can take advantage of a rate-lock program, although it’s only valid for 45 days.

    US Bank sets itself apart from other lending institutions with its state-specific rate information. Borrowers can easily search the latest rates for where they live and get a better sense of what a monthly mortgage payment might look like.

    Some highlights for US Bank include:

    • Provides state-specific rates online
    • Available in all 50 states
    • Fast pre-qualification process
    • Offers online mortgages or working with a physical branch

    Keep the following in mind when considering US Bank:

    • Not all states have physical branches
    • Rate-lock program is only 45 days

    While there are limited reviews for US Bank Mortgages specifically on ConsumerAffairs, there are some reviews for the bank overall from mortgage customers.

    Latasha in Wisconsin said, “I have nothing but great things to say about US Bank home mortgage. I am satisfied with the customer service I have received and my mortgage as a whole. I had no problems refinancing from another company in which I had an arm rate to a fixed rate with US Bank.”

    Of the few reviews for US Bank Mortgages specifically, reviewers expressed concerns with the underwriting and overall loan process. Mike from Arizona stated: “Working on a home loan with U.S. Bank for 6 months. Getting hung up in Underwriting every time I get close to the finish line. Their request for supplemental information are beyond judicious and a definitive breach of privacy. Their goal it seems is to torment customers by making unreasonable and unobtainable demands.”

    Best for low fees
    Loan types
    Conventional, FHA, VA, ARMs, interest-only, jumbo and HELOC
    Minimum FICO score
    580 to 620
    Minimum down payment

    Guaranteed Rate Mortgage operates both online and in-person, including branches in every state. It offers a wide range of mortgage products, such as fixed- and variable-rate options, VA loans, jumbo loans and an interest-only loan. It also offers a HELOC and cash-out refinancing.

    Borrowers may appreciate the online application process, where you can easily upload your documentation and possibly even receive same-day approval. Guaranteed Rate Mortgage also posts current mortgage rates online and offers personalized rate quotes during the pre-qualification process, so you can easily see where your rate might land.

    Additionally, Guaranteed Rate offers incentives such as waiving lenders’ fees for VA loans, which can reduce some of the mortgage fees.

    Guaranteed Rate Mortgage stood out for us for the following reasons:

    • Large assortment of loan products
    • Lender fee waived for VA loans
    • Fast approval process
    • Streamlined online application

    Before choosing Guaranteed Rate, you’ll want to keep the following in mind:

    • No home equity loan option

    Overall, ConsumerAffairs readers give Guaranteed Rate Mortgage mixed reviews.

    Jane in Chicago did a refinance with Guaranteed Rate and had an issue with payment not being applied to the loan, but was happy with how quickly customer service resolved the issue. “Our loan officer made sure the error was fixed IMMEDIATELY, which it was in less than a week,” she said.

    However, Mark from Ohio had a different experience, saying, “Guaranteed, and their agents have continued to lack ‘any’ transparency, or customer service. I have previously purchased 6 homes and have never endured so many lies, misrepresentation, utter incompetence and a lack of customer service. Do yourself a big favor, stay away, far away.”

    Best for first-time homebuyers
    Loan types
    Conventional, FHA and VA
    Minimum FICO score
    580 to 620
    Minimum down payment
    0% to 3.5%

    Popular home search site Zillow now offers conventional, VA and FHA loans for purchasing and refinancing. You’ll need a credit score of 580 to 680 to qualify (varies based on the type of loan), but it’s great for first-time homebuyers because the platform is so easy to navigate for both searching and the loan application.

    Zillow Home Loans are available in 47 states (not in New York, New Jersey and West Virginia). It’s an online-only process, but it takes just a few minutes to get preapproved. The time it takes to close ranges from one week to about two months.

    The company could provide more information online about its rates, closing costs, rate lock and other features borrowers need to consider before getting a mortgage. Contact the company directly for answers to your questions on these topics.

    Some highlights of Zillow Home Loans include:

    • Low down payments
    • Fast approval process
    • Quick closing times

    Before choosing Zillow Home Loans, consider the following:

    • Lack of information online about fees and other requirements
    • No USDA, HELOC or home equity loan options
    • Higher-than-average minimum credit score for some loans

    Zillow has somewhat mixed reviews among ConsumerAffairs readers. For instance, Ammar from North Carolina said it has a “great website, and works with ethics and helps customers with their needs, their first priority customer satisfaction, their customer Service on point and can direct you with all your needs, they are willing to help with anything.”

    Other reviews aren’t as positive, though, but it typically relates to frustration with the information online. For example, one reviewer from Texas said: “Their home price evaluation is not accurate, Zillow needs to enhance the process to estimate the value of the home based on many factors like one story or two stories, gated, and the location and community.”

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      What is a mortgage?

      A mortgage is a type of loan for purchasing real estate, such as a home. Individuals borrow money from a lender, which is typically a bank, credit union or mortgage company, specifically for financing the purchase of the property.

      The property itself serves as collateral — which is an asset the lender can repossess through the foreclosure process if the borrower defaults on the loan. The borrower repays the loan amount plus interest over an agreed-upon period, often spanning several years or decades.

      Different types of mortgages

      Mortgages come in multiple forms, but the two main types of mortgage loans are conventional and government-backed mortgages.

      A conventional loan is simply a loan through a private lender and is not backed by any government entity. Examples include:

      • Conforming: These must meet Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac requirements. In 2023, the maximum conforming loan limit in most of the country is $726,200. Conforming loans are the most popular mortgage type.
      • Nonconforming: These loans do not meet the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac requirements.
      • Jumbo: Jumbo loans are nonconforming loans with amounts exceeding the conforming loan limit. You need good credit (often 700-plus) and a large down payment for eligibility.
      • Fixed-rate: Fixed-rate loans means your interest rate remains the same throughout the life of the loan.
      • Adjustable-rate: Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) start with a fixed interest rate for an initial period, but the interest rate eventually adjusts based on market conditions.

      When a government entity backs a loan, it’s less risky for a private lender. This often translates to greater savings and less strict credit requirements for the borrower. Examples of government-backed loans include:

      • FHA: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Federal Housing Authority backs FHA loans, which offer lower down payment options for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit.
      • VA: Partially backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VA loans offer a low- or no-down payment option and less strict credit requirements for U.S. military veterans, service members and their surviving family members.
      • USDA: Backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan program, a USDA loan offers a low- or no-down payment option for homebuyers purchasing in rural areas.

      There are other mortgages available that do not fall under these typical categories, such as a home renovation loan, home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC).

      » MORE: Types of mortgage loans

      How to compare mortgage lenders

      When considering a mortgage, you’ll want to compare lenders and offers to make sure you’re getting the best loan for your needs. To help, you might want to work with a mortgage broker who can help you compare rates and terms from multiple lenders and find the best deal.

      But if you prefer to do it on your own, you’ll first need to decide the type of mortgage you prefer (conventional or government-backed) and the type of rate (fixed vs. adjustable). You’ll also need to look at how long of a term you want (e.g., 15- or 30-year) and if the lenders you’re considering offer those terms. Some other factors to consider include:

      • Down payment - While it’s considered typical to put a 20% down payment on a house, which helps borrowers avoid private mortgage insurance, some lenders will allow 5% (or less for government-backed loans).
      • Lender fees - In addition to closing costs, look at what fees you’ll need to pay to secure your mortgage. These may include lawyer fees, homeowner association fees, property tax or origination fees.
      • Points - Check if the lender offers the option to buy mortgage points, which are a way to buy down the interest rate on your loan.
      • Application process - Can you apply completely online or will you have to do it in-person? Depending on where you live, where you’re purchasing a home and other accessibility issues, how you’ll apply for a mortgage can make a difference.
      • Approval times - How long will it take for the lender to approve your application? And, once approved, how long will it take to close? If you need a quick approval and closing, you’ll need to make sure the lender can meet that time frame.

      Before making your final decision, take the time to read online reviews, such as those published on ConsumerAffairs, to get a picture of what working with a company might be like. You might also ask friends, family and real estate agents for recommendations.

      » MORE: Mortgage broker vs. lender

      Applying for a mortgage

      Applying for a mortgage can seem like a daunting prospect, but if you break it down into one step at a time then it becomes more manageable.

      • Evaluate your financial situation: This means understanding your credit score and any potential credit challenges a lender may spot.
      • Search for a mortgage lender: Shopping around and comparing lenders helps you find the lowest rates, most manageable repayment terms and a lender you’re comfortable working with.
      • Apply online and get pre-qualified: Online applications can speed up the process and nail down a monthly payment range you’re comfortable with. Pre-qualification lets you know how much money you might qualify for without a hard credit check.
      • Review your preliminary mortgage options and make a selection: Your lender may offer more than one loan option, which means you can calculate different scenarios for your budget.
      • Get preapproved: A preapproval is when a lender shows you the exact interest rate you will receive and the exact amount you can borrow. At this point, the lender will run a credit check.
      • Find a property and make an offer: With a pre-qualification or preapproval letter in hand, you can stand out amongst buyers as someone who is serious about purchasing.
      • Receive final loan approval: The lender will require an extensive set of documents for final approval. Submitting these documents on time can expedite the closing process.
      • Close your loan: It’s time for signing the paperwork and making the down payment (if applicable). Typically you work with both a lender and real estate attorney during this final step.

      Most lenders offer an online application option, which can help speed up the process, but if you prefer an in-person experience, you should take this into consideration when selecting a potential mortgage lender.

      » MORE: How to apply for a mortgage


      What is the difference between a mortgage lender and broker?

      A mortgage lender is a financial institution that finances the home loan for a fee. A mortgage broker is a intermediary between the borrower and the lender.  Working with a broker can save time and money, especially if you want to compare multiple lenders.

      Can I get a mortgage loan to build a house?

      Yes, construction loans are a type of home loan available to finance building a brand-new home. A regular construction loan is different from a mortgage because there is no existing property to use as collateral for the loan, which makes it riskier for the lender. As a result, lenders often charge higher interest rates and require larger down payments for construction loans.

      Is it better to get a mortgage from a bank or a private lender?

      This depends on your specific financial situation, but there are pros and cons for both a bank or private lender. A bank typically offers competitive interest rates and unique loan programs, but can take longer for loan processing and strict credit requirements. A private lender usually offers a wide variety of loans, including specialized ones and with less strict credit requirements, but often doesn’t have an in-person location and typically has higher interest rates.

      How long does it take to get a mortgage?

      The total time to obtain a mortgage — from application approval to closing — is typically anywhere from 30 to 60 days. However, this timeline may change depending on several factors, such as a delay in the underwriting process or appraisal scheduling.

      How much down payment do I need to get a mortgage?

      It depends on the mortgage but some offer a no- or low-down payment option, while other mortgage types require at least 20% down. For example, there’s typically no down payment requirement for a VA loan, while FHA loans require at least 3.5%. If you put less than 20% down on a conventional mortgage, you must pay a monthly private mortgage insurance fee.


      To make our picks for top mortgage lenders, the ConsumerAffairs research team started with 82 mortgage companies. To narrow it down, we first eliminated those that had minimal transparency regarding annual percentage rates (APRs), fees, etc. In rare cases, we may have kept a pick that lacked this information upfront if it offered something else noteworthy, such as fast closing or a rate guarantee.

      We then filtered out any lender that was available in fewer than 40 states and, if it had reviews on ConsumerAffairs, if its score was below 4 at the time of publishing.

      From this narrowed list, we compared lenders based on a range of factors, including:

      • Variety of loans: We gave priority to lenders that had a wide variety of mortgage options to choose from, including a mix of conventional, jumbo and government-backed loans (FHA, VA and USDA).
      • Variety of terms: We also prioritized lenders that offered a range of term options beyond the standard 15 or 30 years.
      • APRs: We considered the starting APRs for both fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and chose those that were under 7% at the time of research. Note that rates are subject to frequent change and starting rates may have increased or decreased since our assessment.
      • Guarantees: We prioritized lenders that offered close-on-time guarantees, price guarantees, rate locks and other incentives for borrowers.
      • Closing times: We looked at the average closing times quoted by each lender, giving priority to those that had closing times of under six weeks.
      • Customer service: We considered whether the lender offered customer service via multiple channels (in-person locations, telephone and live chat) and the number of positive reviews it had from ConsumerAffairs readers.

      Customer ratings and experience are important to us when we’re choosing companies that are the best fit for our readers. However, for those companies on our list with no ratings or no recent positive ratings on ConsumerAffairs, there were other factors that made them good mortgage lender picks.

      Not sure how to choose?

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