Best Mortgage Lenders Of April 2024

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When you’re shopping for a mortgage, you have many options, from big banks to online lenders to local credit unions. We’ve researched and evaluated many types of lenders across affordability, availability and borrower experience to select the very best. Here are our picks for best mortgage lenders in April 2024.

Best mortgage lenders

Lender Bankrate Score Credit requirements Down payment minimum
Bethpage Federal Credit Union 4.9 620 for conventional loans, 500 for FHA loans 3% for conventional loans, 3.5% for FHA loans
Veterans United Home Loans 4.9 620 for conventional and VA loans 3% for conventional loans, 3.5% for FHA loans, none for VA and USDA loans
Cardinal Financial 4.8 580 for conventional loans, 550 for FHA and VA loans, 580 for USDA loans 3% for conventional loans, 3.5% for FHA loans, none for VA and USDA loans
First Mortgage Direct 4.8 620 for conventional loans, 580 for FHA and VA loans 3% conventional loans, 3.5% for FHA loans, none for VA and USDA loans
New American Funding 4.8 620 for conventional loans 3% for conventional loans, 3.5% for FHA loans, none for VA and USDA loans
USAA 4.8 640 for VA loans None for VA loans
U.S. Bank 4.8 620 for conventional loans, 740 for jumbo loans 3% for conventional loans, 3.5% for FHA loans, none for VA and USDA loans
Wells Fargo 4.8 620 for conventional loans 3% for conventional loans, 3.5% for FHA loans, none for VA and USDA loans
  • Green circle with a checkmark inside
    Pros
    • Displays daily rates online
    • Rates tend to be lower than the national average
    • Offers HELOCs
    Red circle with an X inside
    Cons
    • Must be a member
    • Doesn’t offer USDA loans
    • Only offers VA refinances

How we scored Bethpage Federal Credit Union

Bethpage Federal Credit Union scores high marks across the board thanks to its competitive rates and longstanding reputation. The credit union doesn’t offer every type of mortgage, however, and doesn’t work with borrowers in Texas.

  • Green circle with a checkmark inside
    Pros
    • Specializes in VA loans
    • 24/7 customer service over the phone; free credit counseling for service members
    Red circle with an X inside
    Cons
    • Doesn’t offer HELOCs or home equity loans
    • Limited number of branches

How we scored Veterans United Home Loans

Veterans United Home Loans receives top ratings for its VA loan rates, reputation and information-packed website, which answers virtually any question you might have about VA loans. The lender also offers other types of mortgages, and its customer support team is available 24/7.

  • Green circle with a checkmark inside
    Pros
    • Mortgages for virtually every type of property, from new-construction to tiny homes
    • Participates in first-time homebuyer and down payment assistance programs nationwide
    Red circle with an X inside
    Cons
    • No mortgage rates on its website
    • No home equity products

How we scored Cardinal Financial

Cardinal Financial scores highly for offering competitive rates on a large range of mortgage types with a variety of credit qualifying requirements. The lender also has positive ratings with the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot, along with a robust website.

  • Green circle with a checkmark inside
    Pros
    • Customized online quote tool
    • No origination or hidden fees
    Red circle with an X inside
    Cons
    • Preapprovals take slightly longer compared to other lenders

How we scored First Mortgage Direct

First Mortgage Direct gets higher scores thanks to no origination fees and an array of loan options available to borrowers across the U.S.

  • Green circle with a checkmark inside
    Pros
    • Displays current mortgage rates online
    • Initiatives that focus on serving minority borrowers, including down payment grants; more than 170 branch locations
    Red circle with an X inside
    Cons
    • Not available in Hawaii or New York

How we scored New American Funding

New American Funding rates highly due to lower-than-average rates on its traditional and non-QM loan options, plus a fee-free refinance option for returning borrowers. The lender also offers ancillary perks like moving concierge and insurance services.

  • Green circle with a checkmark inside
    Pros
    • 24/7 customer service
    • Specializes in VA loans and doesn’t charge VA loan origination fees
    Red circle with an X inside
    Cons
    • Only available to military members and families

How we scored USAA

USAA receives top marks for its experience with military borrowers and their families, including offering top-notch customer service 24/7 and showcasing its latest rates on its website.

  • Green circle with a checkmark inside
    Pros
    • Several down payment and closing cost assistance programs
    • Discounts for banking customers
    Red circle with an X inside
    Cons
    • Refinance timeline can be lengthy

How we scored U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank scores high for affordability due to offering many types of homebuying assistance and discounts for banking customers. Like other big banks, it’s also available to borrowers nationwide. It also received an above-average customer satisfaction rating from J.D. Power.

  • Green circle with a checkmark inside
    Pros
    • Displays current mortgage rates online
    • Massive branch network
    • Low-down payment options
    Red circle with an X inside
    Cons
    • Dialed back its mortgage offerings to those with banking relationships
    • No longer offers HELOCs
    • Below-average customer satisfaction scores and negative past customer reviews

How we scored Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo receives perfect scores for affordability and availability thanks to its competitive advertised rates, wide offerings of loans and large branch network.

How to compare mortgage lenders

Your first step to finding the best mortgage lender is to comparison shop. Borrowers who do more upfront research tend to save more money than those who go with the first lender they find. It’s best to get quotes from three lenders, at minimum. Because rates fluctuate frequently, it’s also best to get these quotes on the same day.

As you compare loan estimates, look at the APR (annual percentage rate) and interest rate quoted by each lender. Consider what’s important to you as far as experience, too. For some, how fast a lender can turn around a preapproval letter or close a loan is critical. If you have specific needs or financing preferences — for example, you want an FHA loan — you might want to focus on the top mortgage lenders who specialize in those loans.

Once you determine what your needs and preferences are, get started by comparing mortgage rates.

Best mortgage lenders by category

FAQ

  • There are several types of mortgage loans: conventional conforming loans; jumbo loans; FHA, VA and USDA loans; and fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages. Conventional loans, offered by private financial institutions, are ideal for borrowers with strong credit scores. Jumbo loans are for higher-priced homes that exceed Federal Housing Finance Agency borrowing limits. FHA, VA and USDA loans are either government-guaranteed or government-insured and designed for borrowers with lower credit scores and low or no down payment, military members (VA loans) or those buying in a rural area (USDA loans). Fixed-rate mortgages have the same interest rate for the life of the loan, while the rate on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) can fluctuate.
  • Before applying for a mortgage, it’s important to bolster your credit score and savings and have a clear understanding of how much you can afford and what type of loan would best fit your needs. In addition, gather documentation about your finances so you’re prepared to complete a mortgage application when the time comes. Once you’ve taken these initial steps, begin comparing mortgage lenders based on factors such as annual percentage rate (APR), fees and your overall experience. It’s best to get rate quotes from at least three different lenders. When you know which lender you want to work with, get preapproved so you can start house-hunting with financing in hand.
  • The minimum down payment requirement varies based on loan type. If you qualify, you can obtain a 3 percent-down conventional loan, a 3.5 percent-down FHA loan or a no-down payment VA or USDA loan. If you want to avoid paying mortgage insurance, however, you’ll need to make a down payment of 20 percent.
  • To determine the best mortgage lenders overall, Bankrate periodically evaluates more than 80 lenders for factors relating to affordability, availability and borrower experience, assigning each a Bankrate Score out of five stars. The best mortgage lenders overall generally have a Bankrate Score of 4.8 stars or higher. Learn more about our methodology.



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