10 Best Mortgage Refinance Lenders of May 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 of February 2022. 

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 February 2022

1. Guaranteed Rate

Best With Fast Preapprovals and Closings, 4.8/5 Stars

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

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.

Refinance products offered:

Guaranteed Rate’s Standout Feature:

From start to finish, borrowers can complete the mortgage application, upload documents, and even sign closing paperwork online where e-closings are allowed. Guaranteed Rate says it can provide a preapproval letter in around 15 minutes and the company goal is to be clear to close within 10 days. 

A Drawback for Guaranteed Rate:

Certain loan products, such as construction loans, reverse mortgages, and home equity products, you can start the application with Guaranteed Rate, but they’ll take the application and broker it to another lender. 

See our full review of Guaranteed Rate here

Best for Military Families, 4.8/5 Stars

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 nationwide availability, 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.

Refinance products offered:

Navy Federal Credit Union Standout Feature: 

Navy Federal Credit Union offers a unique relock rate option: You can lock in your interest rate and relock it twice if rates improve before closing. 

A Drawback for Navy Federal Credit Union 

Navy Federal Credit Union’s footprint is nationwide but only lends to eligible military families.  

See our full review of Navy Federal Credit Union here. 

3. Rocket Mortgage

Top Lender for Customer Satisfaction, 4.6/5 Stars 

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, large nationwide footprint, low level of consumer complaints, the transparency and accessibility of its rates and fees, and the company’s wide offering of mortgage loan products. 

Refinance products offered: 

Rocket Mortgage’s Standout Feature: 

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. Despite its magnitude, the company has lower-than-average consumer complaints registered on the CFPB consumer complaint database. 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.

A Drawback for Rocket Mortgages: 

It’s not clear on the Rocket Mortgage site which types of loans it offers or what the minimum credit score requirements are for different mortgages. The FAQ lists a few types of loans and its requirements, but there isn’t a complete public list of every loan offered. So you’ll have to call or chat with a representative to get some critical questions answered.

See our full review of Rocket Mortgage here

4. Veterans United Home Loans

Top Lender Among Military Families, 4.6/5 Stars

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 lists Veterans United in the top three among VA loan lenders by volume for five consecutive years. While the company focuses heavily on VA loans, they also offer 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

Refinance products offered: 

Veterans United Standout Feature:

Veterans United provides a wealth of information on its website regarding the loan process. This information covers topics on the eligibility requirements and benefits of a VA loan, such as 0% down payment, no private mortgage insurance (PMI), and competitive interest rates despite credit blemishes. The webpage also has articles detailing what to expect through the loan process, closing, how to prepare for homeownership, home loans basics, credit, and underwriting

A Drawback for Veterans United: 

Veterans United seems to focus heavily on VA loans, and although the website was easy to navigate, it was difficult to find information on their other loan offerings for conventional, jumbo, FHA, or USDA products. A customer service representative confirmed they are available. 

See our full review of Veterans United Home Loans here. 

5. North American Savings Bank 

Best for the Non-Traditional Borrower, 4.8/5

Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, North American Savings Bank (NASB) is a full-service bank in 50 states. North American Savings Bank has an 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. 

Refinance products offered: 

NASB’s Standout Feature: 

NASB has several programs that can help non-traditional borrowers get a home. For instance, its non-conforming home loans advertize flexible underwriting guidelines for borrowers with credit issues. Another unique loan product is the Bank Statement Loan. It allows self-employed borrowers to show income using bank statements rather than tax returns. The bank also has a Good Neighbor Home Loan Program, which is designed for people looking for homes in low- to moderate-income areas in certain parts of Kansas and Missouri. There are no lender fees through this program, and borrowers can receive closing cost assistance.

A Drawback for NASB: 

NASB minimum credit score requirements for its VA and FHA loans at 620, which is slightly higher than some competitors. 

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

6. Truist Bank

Best for Full Service Banking, 4.5/5 Stars

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. 

Refinance products offered: 

Truist Bank’s Standout Feature: 

Truist offers a comprehensive menu of online or in-person banking accounts such as checking, savings, money 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. 

A Drawback for Truist:

Because Suntrust and BB&T are still in the process of merging under the Truist brand, gathering mortgage product information online is slightly confusing navigating between each individual site. We recommend sticking to the Truist site for ease of use. 

See our full review of Truist Bank here. 

7. Sebonic Financial

Best Online Application Process, 4.5/5 Stars

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. 

Refinance products offered:

Sebonic Financial’s Standout Feature: 

Sebonic’s proprietary borrowing platform, Octane, is a standout feature. With Octane, borrowers can get a fast rate quote, start a cash-out refinance 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.

A Drawback for Sebonic Financial: 

Mortgage rates aren’t published on the lender’s website. After filling out a rate-quote form online, someone from Sebonic will call or email you with available rate offers. You’ll answer a few qualifying questions, but won’t need to do a credit check before getting the rate quote. 

See our full review of Sebonic Financial here.

8. Pennymac Loan Services

Best Online Experience, 4.5/5 Stars

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. 

Refinance products offered: 

Pennymac’s Standout Feature: 

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.  

A Drawback for Pennymac:

Pennymac does not carry niche products such as home equity loans, construction loans, renovation loans, jumbo mortgages, and reverse mortgages. 

See our full review of Pennymac Loan Services here.

9. Watermark Home Loans

Best for the Self-Employed Borrower, 4.5/5 Stars

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 February 2022 because of its streamlined online application process, transparent and accessibility of pricing, lower-than-average consumer complaints, and solid loan product lineup. 

Borrowers can receive a customized rate quote by filling out a form online with basic information such as your income, address, and estimated home value. You will get an email with a few different quote options to review with options for 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.  

Refinance products offered:

Watermark Home Loans’s Standout Feature: 

Watermark Home Loans advertises a “Non-QM loan,” or “Non-Qualified Mortgage.” According to the website, non-traditional borrowers, such as the self-employed, those with a history of bankruptcy, or those with less attractive debt-to-income ratios can use this loan type to potentially qualify for a mortgage.

A Drawback of Watermark Home Loans: 

Watermark Home Loans is currently only licensed in 38 states. Although, a Watermark representative told us a few more state licenses will become available this year, further expanding the company footprint. 

See our full review of Watermark Home Loans here. 

10. LenderFi

Best Pricing Transparency, 4.5/5 Stars

Headquartered in Calabasas, CA, LenderFi offers mortgages in 45 states with an easy-to-use online application process. LenderFi was named one of NextAdvisor’s best lenders because the company 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)

Refinance products offered:

LenderFi’s Standout Feature:

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. 

A Drawback for LenderFi:

LenderFi does not offer any government-sponsored loans, such as VA, FHA, or USDA loans at this time. 

See our full review of LenderFi here.

Honorable Mention: Costco Mortgage Program

Best Lender Marketplace, Not Rated

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. 

Refinance products offered:

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).

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