The best mortgage lenders should offer you the best financial experience possible, and help you secure your home. There are too many lenders out there, so we whittled it down to the 7 most tried-and-true mortgage loan companies with the history and experience to prove why they deserve to be on this exclusive list.
You shouldn’t just sign up with the first lender that you come across. We took time to dig through the fine print and the nitty gritty to truly find the cream of the crop.
Selecting the best mortgage lenders for 2022 wasn’t easy. It’s time to find out where you should be putting your faith and your mortgage loan application, starting with the overall best company and working down from there.
Better.com is making homeownership simpler, faster — and most importantly, more accessible for all Americans. They are my #1 recommended choice after researching over a dozen mortgage lenders.
Best Mortgage Lenders
Summary of Best Mortgage Lenders of May 2022
Best Fixed Rates
Best Credit Union
1. Better.com - Best Overall
Better.com mortgage products are some of the most well-liked in the business, and that’s because Better gives you, well, a better experience. Their AI helps you find the cheapest way to access the home loan you want through programs and codes, but at the same time, there is a restriction on what government loan types are available.
You may see some restriction in what mortgage types you can apply for. Still, their AI will beat competitor prices, and if they can’t, they pay you $100 in cash. I mean, it doesn’t get much better than that, does it?
Some products are restricted, but no service is going to be 100% perfect (otherwise we wouldn’t need this long list).
2. Figure.com - Best for Refinancing
Figure.com is best for refinancing because they come with some odd stipulations. For one, you have to use the maximum HELOC loan cap that they offer, and two, there are a lot of properties that simply aren’t eligible.
Refinancing is different though, which is where their relatively low fees, fast funding time, and ease of use come in to save the day. You’ll also actually get competitive rates that beat many of their online, less-transparent competitors, and that’s something to celebrate in its own right.
3. New American Funding - Best for 1st Time Home Buyers
New American Funding is a financial institution, but they have a mission. With heart and vigor behind their name, it makes you want to work with them that much more.
While their mortgage products are available in all U.S. states, some users saw differences in their rates depending on which state they chose.
The website is difficult to navigate and information may not update as fast as it should, but with knowledgeable customer service representatives and a complete start-to-finish online experience, you can be funded in a relatively short amount of time and set foot in your new home as soon as possible.
4. loanDepot - Best for Home Equity Lines
loanDepot is the perfect mix of the online world and still having in-store locations available. Unlike some lenders, you don’t have to do 95% of the process online and then schedule to go into a location; you can be pre-approved and then funded all through their website.
While they could stand to be more transparent about their rates on their website instead of making you contact them for it, LoanDepot is professional and handles every transaction with the utmost class and clarity.
Overall, one of the best lenders out there, especially for home equity lines.
5. AmeriSave Mortgage - Best Direct Lender
The products are transparent, the fee structure is right in your face so you don’t get hit with anything from the sideline, and they’re great to deal with when you can reach their customer service.
Everything is direct which makes the overall time taken to go from pre-approval to actually closing your mortgage much shorter than other online lenders in the same league.
6. WesLand Financial - Best Fixed Rates
WesLend Financial is a name most of us haven’t heard before, but they offer the best fixed-rate mortgages on the market for new homebuyers and returning homebuyers alike.
The website can be difficult to navigate and sign up on, but with an entirely online process, we would have expected this to be remedied as soon as possible.
The products are great, it’s just getting to them that’s a hassle, and then trying to find the fees in the UI mess of their site. Thankfully, their representatives are knowledgeable and can help you with everything.
7. Bethpage Federal Credit Union - Best Credit Union
If you want to work with a credit union instead of a strictly online mortgage lender, Bethpage Federal Credit Union is a fair choice that’s gained nationwide notoriety.
With competitive mortgage rates and a full-service branch in Long Island, you can get all of the financial products you need in one location.
However, they definitely put an emphasis on mortgage loans, because some of their other products just don’t punch up to most other credit unions.
If you use them solely for your home mortgage, you’ll benefit the most. They’re transparent, comprehensive in the information and coverage they offer, and get your mortgage loan funded faster than most.
How to Choose The Best Mortgage Lender
Here are some fast tips on how to find the best mortgage lender for you, and how to make every lender want to work with you.
- Shape up your credit history right now; if it’s in line before you apply for a mortgage, lenders will be eager to offer you a good rate.
- Understand all the different types of lenders; once you know more about finance and lending in general, you’ll appear more confident and be less likely to have a mortgage salesman try to pull a fast one on you.
- Determine your buying power before you walk through the door for pre-approval; your buying power is a multitude of different factors, so know your worth before you sit down with anyone.
- Ask questions about the specifics of how they do business, not necessarily about the loan contract itself; put them in the hot seat.
- Compare lender rates, but understand that terms matter more than the rates themselves.
Types of Mortgage Loans
Homebuyers should be aware of five different types of mortgage loan products that institutions will attempt to sell to them.
- Conventional Loans: The most typical loans that we see. Reserved for those with a good credit score.
- Adjustable Rate Mortgages: If you’re only staying in the home temporarily or to sell it, an ARM loan may suit you, but more often than not it leads to larger payments down the line.
- Government Issued Loans: Low credit score buyers can borrow under programs like FHA loans to reduce their down payment and become a homeowner faster.
- Jumbo Loans: If you want a high-cost home and have a high-level credit score, these loans are what you’ll be sold on 90% of the time.
- Fixed Rate Mortgage: Fixed rates mean that you pay the same amount of money for the duration of your mortgage, so there are no surprises down the line like there are with an ARM loan.
Fixed Rates vs. Adjustable Rates (ARM)
In short, a fixed rate loan is one that requires you to pay the same flat amount for the entire duration of the loan terms. If that’s 30 years, then you pay the same mortgage on your home for 30 straight years and you’re done.
Adjustable rate loans are designed for house flippers and anyone who moves around a lot. Depending on the current housing market, you can pay very little for your home, or you can pay more than you’re supposed to if the market swings in the opposite direction.
Not good for anyone who wants to pick a home and settle in for the duration. Nearly all home loans are fixed rate. Try to avoid adjustable rate if you can unless you meet specific criteria that would make it beneficial for you.
There are plenty of different financial products (loan types and terms), and make no mistake, mortgage lenders will try to sell you what they can.
Understanding which type of loan you want before you contact anyone about even getting pre-approved is important. You need to steer the ship throughout the entire process of getting a mortgage loan.
Methodology for Picking the Best Home Mortgage Lenders
When selecting this elite list, we took numerous factors into account including: public opinion, public opinion history, TrustPilot scores, BBB accreditation, time spent in business, complaints and reports, fees and regulations, types of loans offered, credit score requirements, and overall reputation and standing of the companies and their CEOs.
We know that choosing the best mortgage lender for your own needs comes with difficulty. At Personalincome, we want to make the choice as simple as possible for you by laying it all on the line.
Mortgage Lender FAQ's
There are a few situations and sentences you should avoid when talking to a mortgage lender. These are some of the most offensive; avoid these to ensure the meeting and potential business goes smoothly.
- Anything that isn’t 100% truthful and transparent.
- Excuses for why lapses in bill payments exist when looking over your credit history.
- Asking what the maximum amount you can borrow is; they’ll let you know.
- Anything about future purchases outside of a mortgage.
- Ask about how the terms change if you switch jobs.
- Talk about any gift amounts of money you received to aid with the mortgage.
- Talk about foreclosure in any capacity; you should know about this when you walk through the door.
The pre-approval process never goes the way you envision it. Get pre-approved by a lender first so you know what your buying power is, and what you can reasonably afford without necessarily maxing out your potential mortgage.
This will bring you into a clear and level-headed thinking space and help you plan for the future accordingly. This process may also limit the neighborhoods you can afford, which is a helpful, albeit upsetting reality check.
Begin with a pre-qualification. This shows you, based on your income and credit, if you will qualify for most mortgages. If the results are favorable, apply for pre-approval at a lender and see what they give you.
You will have to provide documentation to provide proof of identity and proof of income at this stage. Pre-approval typically doesn’t take long one way or the other.
Before applying for a mortgage, be sure to have the following documents at-the-ready:
- 3-7 years of recent tax returns
- Proof of income (as many pay stubs as possible to establish history)
- Bank statements providing proof of current lump cash
- Credit report with detailed credit history
- Photo ID for proof of identity
- History as a renter (it can help you out in some instances)
These should all be enough to help you establish your creditworthiness, trustworthiness, identity, and leave the lenders with no questions.
Lenders want high down payments to reduce volatility, or risk. For an FHA loan, you typically ned 3.5% for a down payment. Most loans with lower credit scores require a 10% down payment.
If you want to avoid PMI in most cases, lenders will list their requirements (the 20% rule isn’t really a “rule”) which will help you avoid higher payments over the course of your mortgage term.
Anywhere from 2.5% to 10% should be adequate for most mortgages.
Buy or refinance your home with Better Mortgage for a seamless online mortgage experience backed by superior customer support.