10 Best Mortgage Refinance Lenders of October 2022

Best Mortgage Refinance Lenders
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Right now, there are still 4 million homeowners who have a 30-year mortgage rate that is 0.75% or more above today’s rates. If you’re one of those millions, you could stand to save thousands of dollars in interest or free up monthly cash flow with a refinance. 

A year and a half ago, mortgage rates began plummeting to historically low levels. Since then, 8.8 million households took advantage of a rate and term refinance, according to a recent report by mortgage data firm Black Knight

To make sure you’re getting the best deal possible, you’ll want to choose the best mortgage refinance lender for your specific situation. The Consumer Financial Protections Bureau (CFPB) cites a variant of 0.5% between mortgage rates with different lenders for two similar candidates. That’s why it’s imperative you shop and compare a few mortgage lenders

It’s not just about the rate, though. Finding a refinance lender with transparent pricing, online conveniences, accessibility to most borrowers, an extensive product offering, and a reputable history with customer satisfaction are important qualities, too. 

Deciding which mortgage refinance lender is the best choice is a challenge with so many options available. To help you navigate the process, NextAdvisor reviewed 36 different refinance  lenders and scored each one on categories including transparency, accessibility, online convenience, loan product variety, and customer satisfaction. We then narrowed down the list to the following list of the 10 best mortgage refinance lenders. 

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

As with all of our mortgage lender reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information about our scoring methodology, click here.

10 Best Refinance Lenders of June 2022

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • More than 400 branch locations nationwide
  • Operates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Fully online mortgage application process
  • Detailed advertised rates for many of its loan products
  • Online preapproval 15 minutes
  • Fast closings
Cons
  • Lenders fees not available online
  • Some loan types are brokered off to other lenders
The Bottom Line

Guaranteed Rate is a Chicago-headquartered firm with a strong online presence and 400 branch locations  across the country. We ranked the company a top lender because of its top-of-the-line digital experience, helpful consumer tools, solid customer service, and variety of loan products, including all three government loans.

Guaranteed rate received fewer consumer complaints compared to most other lenders we reviewed. The company logged less than one complaint per 1,000 loans originated with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) consumer complaint database, the agency responsible for collecting, monitoring, and responding to U.S. consumer complaints about financial services and products.

See our full review of Guaranteed Rate here.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Specializes in providing services and advice to the military community
  • Offers no-down-payment mortgages
  • Has flexible credit requirements
  • Doesn’t charge private mortgage insurance
  • You can lock in your interest rate and relock it twice if rates improve
Cons
  • Membership is limited to service members, veterans, and certain government contractors
  • Doesn’t offer FHA loans and USDA loans
  • You’ll have to request a customized rate quote
The Bottom Line

Headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, Navy Federal Credit Union serves all 50 states and has 344 branches worldwide. Navy Federal Credit Union was a high-scoring lender by NextAdvisor because of its price transparency, streamlined online application process, and loan product variety. It has a slightly above average complaint ratio of 2.8 complaints per 1,000 loans with the CFPB. But this lender offers no-down payment and flexible credit requirements on most mortgage products to qualified military service members and their families.

See our full review of Navy Federal Credit Union here.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Quick and easy preapproval process
  • Entirely remote application and approval process
  • Lends in 50 states
  • Wide range of loan options
  • Strong customer service reputation
Cons
  • No physical locations
  • You’ll need to call or chat with a representative for some loan information
  • No construction loans or renovation loans
  • Advertised rates may include discount points, which increase your upfront costs
  • Difficult to find mortgage menu of loans
The Bottom Line

Rocket mortgage is the online lender for Quicken Loans and is one of the largest mortgage lenders in the U.S. We ranked the Detroit-based company as one of the best mortgage lenders because of its simple online application process, low level of consumer complaints, the transparency and accessibility of its rates and fees, and the company’s wide offering of mortgage loan products.

Rocket Mortgage stands out for the company’s high level of customer satisfaction. Rocket Mortgage originated over one million loans in 2020, making it the largest lender we reviewed by total volume.  We found 0.48 complaints per 1,000 loans — or less than half a complaint per 1,000 loans occurred. This figure is very low compared to the average complaint ratio of 2 complaints per 1,000 loans among other lenders we reviewed.

See our full review of Rocket Mortgage here.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Mortgage loans available in all 50 states
  • Educational content available through the company’s website
  • Highly experienced in VA loans as a top three VA loan originator for five consecutive years
  • Low number of consumer complaints with the CFPB
  • Offers a number of loan programs including VA, jumbo, conventional, FHA, and USDA
  • Full online application process
Cons
  • Limited online rate information; must call to see other rate options such as discount points
  • Difficult to find information regarding non-VA loan options
  • Does not offer home equity loans or lines of credit
The Bottom Line

Veterans United Home Loans, headquartered in Missouri, is a mortgage lender that specializes in VA home loans in all 50 states. Veterans United is incredibly active in the VA loan space. The U.S. the Department of Veterans Affairs has listed Veterans United in the top three among VA loan lenders by volume for five consecutive years. While the company focuses heavily on VA loans, it also offers conventional, jumbo, FHA, and USDA loans.

Veterans United has a fully digitized and easy online application process. Compared to other lenders we’ve reviewed, the company had one of the lowest complaint ratios logged with the CFPB: less than half of one complaint per 1,000 loans originated.

See our full review of Veterans United Home Loans here.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Lends in 50 states
  • Has unique loans products for borrowers with credit issues or are self-employed
  • Advertises daily interest rates for purchase and refinance loans
  • Can get lower rate if rate drops during 90-day rate lock period
  • Streamlined online application process
  • Can get customized rate quote without hard credit check
Cons
  • 12 in-person branches, but only in Missouri
  • Does not offer USDA loans, construction loans, renovation loans, and home equity products
  • Higher credit score standards on FHA and VA loans
The Bottom Line

Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, North American Savings Bank (NASB) is a full-service bank that lends in all 50 states. North American Savings Bank has a more extensive mortgage menu than most, including options for veterans, first-time homebuyers, self-employed people, and borrowers with less-than-perfect credit histories. That’s because the bank offers VA loans, FHA loans, and mortgages for people who don’t fit conforming loan standards. NASB also has a streamlined online application process with transparent pricing for browsing borrowers.

See our full review of North American Savings Bank (NASB) here.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Offers a full lineup of the major mortgage programs
  • Advertises sample mortgage rates on both the SunTrust and BB&T websites
  • Mortgages available in 47 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Can submit an application online, by phone, or in person
Cons
  • Gathering mortgage product information is slightly confusing because of the merger
  • Mortgages not available in Hawaii, Alaska, or Arizona
The Bottom Line

Truist Bank, now merged with Suntrust and BB&T under its name, has an extensive footprint across the U.S. through its thousands of brick-and-mortar branches and online presence. Along with the company’s solid menu of mortgage products, easy-to-use online application process, transparency of rate and fee information, and average number of complaints compared to other reviewed lenders, the brand’s website is easy to navigate with several useful resources to help with the borrowing process, such as calculators, videos, and sample mortgages.

Truist offers a comprehensive menu of online or in-person banking accounts such as checkingsavingsmoney market, and CDs. If you are in the market for a bank, looking to switch banks, or already have a Truist account, there is an allure of convenience to also have your mortgage through the same institution. Some lending institutions also give incentives or discounts to existing account holders.

See our full review of Truist Bank here.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Offers a streamlined digital application and closing process
  • Funds conventional loans, jumbo loans, and all three government-backed loan programs
  • Available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Interest-only jumbo ARMs available
Cons
  • Mortgage rates aren’t published on the lender’s website
  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans, HELOCs, renovation loans, reverse mortgages, or construction loans
  • In-person branches only available in Charlotte, North Carolina; Gaithersburg, Maryland; and Las Vegas, Nevada
The Bottom Line

Sebonic Financial is the mortgage lender division of North Carolina-headquartered Cardinal Financial. Sebonic Financial scored well with NextAdvisor because of the company’s high-end digital borrowing experience, full mortgage product lineup which is available in all 50 states,  and the lender’s history of below-average customer complaints with the CFPB. Based on 2020 data, Sebonic has less than one complaint per 1,000 loans originated in the same year.

Although Sebonic’s mortgage rates and fees are not listed on the company website, the online system, Octane, makes it easy to access a quote without a credit check or drawn-out process. With Octane, borrowers can get a fast rate quote, start an application, upload documents, and sign closing documents, with real-time updates along the way. We found Octane to be one of the best online application processes compared to other lenders we’ve reviewed. It’s easy-to-use, high-tech, and we appreciate the ability to have a full-online digital experience with the option to speak to loan officers.

See our full review of Sebonic Financial here.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Advertises daily interest rates for purchases and refinances
  • Customized rate quote available online
  • User-friendly online experience
  • Available in 49 states (not available in New York)
  • Maintains 16 branch locations spread across nine states
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer home equity products, jumbo mortgages, reverse mortgages, construction loans, and renovation loans
  • Doesn’t share information about minimum qualification requirements on its website
The Bottom Line

Pennymac Loan Services isn’t a well-known name. But the California-based mortgage lender stands out for its convenient online application process, ability to get a rate quote without a credit check, transparency of rates and fees, and low frequency of consumer complaints with the CFPB. In 2020, the CFPB reported less than 0.30 complaints per 1,000 loans. Pennymac offers most major mortgage products and all three-government loans in 49 states, with 16 brick-and-mortar branch locations.

The brand had one of the lowest complaint ratios among lenders we reviewed, but the more noticeable standout feature is the overall online experience. At NextAdvisor, we value price transparency and accessibility. Pennymac met this expectation with daily rate and fee updates and customizable rate quotes on its user-friendly webpage.

See our full review of Pennymac Loan Services here.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Solid mortgage menu of products including all three government loans
  • Unique loan product for the non-traditional self-employed borrower
  • Calculators and tools very helpful
  • Easy digital application process
  • Low level of consumer complaints
Cons
  • Only originates mortgages in 38 states (more states coming soon)
  • A breakdown of lender closing fees is not provided with rate quote
The Bottom Line

Watermark Home Loans based out of Irvine, CA, and currently licensed in 38 states. The company is named one of NextAdvisor’s best mortgage lenders of 2022 because of its streamlined online application process, extensive loan product menu including standard conventional, jumbo, and refinance loans, but also all three government-backed loans (FHA, VA, and USDA). Another stand out product by Watermark is its “non-qualified mortgage” meant to serve borrowers with unique income criteria, such as the self-employed.

Watermark has a fully digital online application process with document uploading capabilities. The company also offers an online notary service so you can opt to complete closing paperwork all online versus in person. 

Borrowers can receive a customized rate quote by filling out a form online with basic information and then will get an email with a few different quote options to review that lays out clearly discount points, lender credits, or closing costs options. Watermark Home Loans advertises national daily rate averages along with data indicators of how much each loan type’s rate has moved up or down in the last 30 days.

Watermark has a lower-than-average number of consumer complaints: Less than one complaint per 1,000 originated loans in 2020, according to the CFPB’s consumer complaint database.

See our full review of Watermark Home Loans here.

 

 

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Rate quotes can be obtained online without a credit check
  • Quick and easy to reach a loan representative by phone
  • Very friendly customer service
  • Does not charge lender fees
  • Super transparent pricing
Cons
  • Short list of loan types: No VA, USDA, or home equity loans
  • Loans are not offered in all 50 states
  • Company’s website has minimal educational content
The Bottom Line

Headquartered in Calabasas, CA, LenderFi is named one of NextAdvisor’s best lenders because of the company’s easy-to-use online application process. LenderFi provides a unique feature to its rate quotes: A full, transparent, line-by-line breakdown of all rates and fees before even getting a credit check. Discount points are clearly advertised with how they affect the APR and monthly payment. The quote even estimates homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance (if applicable), property tax costs, and all third-party closing fees.

What’s more, the company has a below-average number of consumer complaints (per 1,000 loans originated) logged with the (CFPB).

The company advertises that it does not charge lender fees as part of the closing costs. Third-party closing fees, such as appraisal, title insurance, and inspection costs still apply. But LenderFi says no additional lender costs are passed to the borrowers. Instead, all lender-related costs are rolled into the quoted rate and APR.

See our full review of LenderFi here.

Honorable Mention

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Costco members get discounts on lender fees
  • Applicants can compare loans from several lenders
  • The mortgage application process is quick and automated
Cons
  • Fee discounts are only available to Costco members
  • Not a direct lender, but a marketplace program
The Bottom Line

The Costco mortgage program does not originate mortgages, so it was not included in the list of best mortgage lenders. However, the useful marketplace is worth an honorable mention. Costco members have access to a network of participating mortgage lenders offering discounts and incentives for borrowing through this channel. Through the Costco mortgage marketplace website, you can fill out a universal application, compare loan offers, and cash-in on discounts or lender fees if you choose a lender through this program. The marketplace platform is easy to navigate with transparent pricing and terms. You can get a rate quote online in minutes and will only be contacted by the lender with your expressed permission.

See our full review of the Costco Mortgage program here.

Types of Refinance Options

Cash-Out Refinance

A cash-out refinance is when you get a new mortgage loan and use it to pay off the existing loan, except you borrow more than what you owe and take cash for the difference. The point of a cash-out refinance is to access a lump sum of money. Common reasons to do a cash-out refinance are to pay down high-interest debt, like credit cards, or fund a worthwhile home improvement project. 

Keep in mind, cash-out loans usually have higher interest rates and will likely increase a monthly mortgage payment. 

Rate-and-Term Refinance

A rate-and-term refinance is when you pay off the current loans with a new loan with a new rate and term. The primary purpose of a rate-and-term refinance is to lower the original interest rate and lower the monthly mortgage payment. Freeing up monthly cash flow can help borrowers pay down other debts, save for emergencies, or invest in retirement. 

A rate-and-term refinance will either lengthen the loan term, for example:

  • Replace a 30-year loan that’s been paid down by five years with another 30-year loan. This will extend the loan’s payoff timeline.
  • Replace a 30-year loan with a shorter term, like a 15-year loan. This tactic will shorten the loan’s life and debt timeline while reducing overall paid interest.   

VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL)

Veteran (VA) loan holders can utilize a VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) to lower their interest rate and monthly payment. VA IRRRL typically requires less paperwork and sometimes lower standards to prove creditworthiness. 

In addition to closing costs, IRRRL has a 0.5% funding fee. Depending on the situation, such as creditworthiness and equity status, it may be worth seeing if a VA loan could benefit from refinancing into a conventional mortgage to avoid the funding fee. 

FHA Streamline Refinance 

Similar to the VA IRRRL, borrowers with an FHA mortgage can use the FHA Streamline Refinance to take advantage of a lower rate with less-than-typical paperwork and credit verification standards.

USDA Streamlined Assist Refinance

A USDA streamlined assist refinance gives USDA home loans borrowers with low equity the opportunity to refinance into more favorable payment terms. Like the VA and FHA streamline programs, it allows USDA loans to be refinanced with a lower burden of proof on documentation and creditworthiness. 

How to Find the Best Mortgage Refinance Lender  

Outside of price and lender reliability, narrowing down your choice comes down to what is best for you and your personal circumstances. Depending on your goals and needs as a borrower, one lender could be a better fit than another. Here is what to consider:

Experience

Each lender may specialize in certain types of refinance loans. For example, if you are refinancing from an FHA loan into a conventional loan you’ll want a lender with the expertise and ability to service this type of refinance.

Trust and Comfortability

You never want to feel pressured into making a loan choice you’re not comfortable with. Settle on a lender that makes you feel comfortable with each financial decision. 

Refinancing With Existing Bank or Lender

Sometimes refinancing with the same lender that originated your previous loan may offer discounts or incentives for refinancing with them. Also, some banks offer incentives or discounts if you also have an account with them, such as a checking, savings, money market, or CDs

For example, people with an existing mortgage or a personal checking account with U.S. Bank, could save 0.25% on closing costs (up to $1,000) with a refinance through the company. 

Inquiring about refinancing with your existing bank and your previous lender is a great place to start. But don’t stop there. Compare at least two to three quotes from various lenders to make sure you get the best deal.  

Why It’s Important to Shop Mortgage Refinance Lenders

It’s important to compare offers from a variety of refinance lenders because each will evaluate your financial situation differently. To secure the best rate, fees, and terms for your situation, most financial experts recommend comparing at least two to three different quotes. Here is what to consider: 

Comparing Rates With Different Refinance Lenders

The interest rate you end up with is heavily influenced by your credit history, loan-to-value (LTV), debt-to-income ratio (DTI), and income. But finding the best rate can also be influenced by the lender itself. That’s why getting multiple quotes is in your best interest. A difference of 0.50% doesn’t sound like a lot but can save you thousands of dollars over the loan’s life. 

To illustrate the benefits of refinancing, here’s an example:

Original loan: 

  • 30-year fixed
  • 4.25% interest rate
  • $400,000 loan
  • 10% down payment 
  • According to the NextAdvisor mortgage calculator, after three years, the loan balance remaining is $340,500.

Here is what a new 30-year refinance loan at 3% interest would look like:

LOAN BALANCE INTEREST RATE MONTHLY PRINCIPAL AND INTEREST TOTAL INTEREST REMAINING 
Current Loan$340,5004.25%$1,770$232,000
New Loan After Refinance$340,5003%$1,435$176,400
Difference1.25%$335$55,600

With this example, taking out a new 30-year loan with a lower interest rate of 3% lowers the monthly payment by $335 and you’d pay $55,600 less in total interest. 

Comparing Closing Fees With Different Refinance Lenders 

Securing the lowest interest rate isn’t the only factor you need to consider when comparing mortgage refinance lenders. Two lenders can advertise the same interest rate but charge wildly different closing fees. A low rate with high closing costs can eat away at the savings you thought the low rate provided. 

One sure-fire way to evaluate the difference between offers is to look at the loan’s APR. The APR factors in many of the loan’s fees, in addition to the interest rate, over the loan’s full term. 

Consider this example on a 30-year fixed, $200,00 loan:

Loan Amount Interest RateClosing CostsAPR
Loan A$200,0003%$6,0003.233%
Loan B$200,0003.125%$2,0003.204%

Loan A is the more tempting offer since it has a lower interest rate, but higher lender fees. Loan B may be overlooked because of its higher interest rate. But it has lower lender fees and a lower overall APR. 

When comparing offers, the best apple-to-apples comparison is comparing the APR on each Loan Estimate. The best approach is to do plenty of research, narrow it down to a list of two to three, get prequalified with each, and compare the Loan Estimates side by side.

Don’t wait too long in between applications, though. According to Experian, multiple hard credit inquiries related to mortgages are counted once in a 30-day period. 

For more information on specific refinance lenders, NextAdvisor has an extensive library of mortgage refinance lender reviews here.

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How We Chose the Best Mortgage Refinance Lenders

Our Methodology

To find the best mortgage refinance lenders, we first looked at all the mortgage lenders NextAdvisor has reviewed so far. The lenders chosen to be reviewed are based on consumer search interest. To narrow the list to the best mortgage refinance lenders, we developed a scoring framework using a weighted average score between 0 and 5, with more weight awarded to the criteria we determined to be the most important.

Our list doesn’t take into account key financial factors like mortgage rates, APRs, and fees, because those depend on market conditions and your individual creditworthiness. Instead of focusing on those numbers, it’s best to first determine the qualities you want in a lender and how to find the best mortgage rates. Then you’ll be prepared to find the best lender for you.

The factors we used to evaluate the best mortgage lenders:

  • Online Convenience: A lender is scored 1 through 5 based on the company’s online application experience. A 5 is awarded if the company’s mortgage application can be completed fully online with a streamlined process, including uploading documents and a customized rate quote. A lower score is awarded if additional phone calls are needed to process an application or for a poor online user experience.
  • Transparency: Lenders are scored 0 through 5 based on the accessibility and transparency of mortgage rates, lender fees, and credit check requirements for rates and/or fees. A 5 is awarded if the lender advertises rates and fees on its websites and doesn’t require a hard credit check to get rates and/or fees. Conversely, a lower score is awarded when consumers cannot easily access rate and fee information and/or must go through a hard credit check to access them.
  • Nationwide Availability: Lenders are scored 1 through 5 based on the company’s geographical footprint. A lender can score a 5 if it operates in all 50 U.S. States.
  • Loan Product Variety: Lenders are scored 1 through 5 based on their loan product menu and variety of products offered. A high score of 5 is given if most or all mortgage products are available, with a lower score awarded for a limited mortgage menu.
  • Customer Satisfaction: To measure customer satisfaction, we reviewed the number of complaints filed against each lender with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2020. We divided the total consumer complaints with the total number of loans originated over the same time period to get a complaint ratio per 1,000 loans originated. We sourced the total loans originated using publicly accessible data provided under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and regulated by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC).