Personal Finance
Advertiser Disclosure

Best Mortgage Lenders for 2024

best mortgage lenders
iStock

Our evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships, but we may earn a commission from our partners’ links. This content is created independently from TIME’s editorial staff. Learn more about it.

Updated April 11, 2024

A home mortgage is one of the biggest loans that most people will ever take out, allowing them to buy a home with a repayment term that can last multiple decades. Because a mortgage (and its terms) will likely follow you for many years to come, it’s important to choose the right lender from the very start.

Read on to see our list of the best mortgage lenders, which types of loans they offer, and how to determine whether or not you’re likely to qualify. Note that the mortgage rate you are offered will depend on a number of factors, including your credit score and the property you’re considering.

Best mortgage lenders compared

Best mortgage lenderBest forMinimum credit scoreMinimum down paymentBetter Business Bureau (BBB) RatingDays to close
Low down payment
620 for most loan types
1%
A+
30 to 45 days (as few as 15 days on certain loans)
Ally
Online pre-approval
620 for most loan types
3%
A-
4 to 6 weeks (average)
Chase
Existing customer discounts
Not disclosed
3% (0% for VA)
A-
As low as 21 days, depending on loan type
Flagstar
New construction or renovation loans
620 for most loan types
3.5% (0% on select professional, new home, renovation, and VA loans)
A+
N/A
Guild Mortgage
Buyer guarantees
620 for most loan types
3%
A+
17 days
New American Funding
Fast closing
620 for most loan types
3%
A
14 days

Find more mortgage lenders

Our recommendations for the best mortgage lenders

Best for low down payment: Rocket Mortgage

BBB Rating: A+

Loan types: Conventional, ARM, jumbo, FHA, VA

Why we chose it: As the nation’s biggest non-bank mortgage originator, Rocket Mortgage can help you both buy and sell a home. It offers a mortgage down payment program that gives you the option to put as little as 1% down on your conventional home loan. Many lender rebates and discounts are also available. There are a number of different loan options offered through Rocket Mortgage, most of which require a minimum credit score of 620.

Pros:

  • As low as 1% down on conventional loans.
  • Many lender rebates and promotions available.
  • Both buy and sell your home through Rocket.

Cons:

  • No USDA loans.
  • No in-person branch locations.
  • No construction loans.

Best for online pre-approval: Ally

BBB Rating: A-

Loan types: Fixed rate conventional, adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), jumbo

Why we chose it: Online mortgage pre-approval gives you a clear idea of the rates and loan amounts for which you qualify, and can also make you a more enticing buyer to potential sellers. Ally is an online mortgage lender that offers pre-approval in as little as three minutes on a number of fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loan products. Ally does not charge lender fees, either. There are no application, origination, processing, or underwriting fees, potentially saving you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on your loan.

Pros:

  • No lender fees.
  • Online pre-approval in as little as three minutes.
  • Faster-than-average closing time.

Cons:

  • No Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Federal Housing Administration (FHA), commercial property, or manufactured home loans.
  • 10.01% down payment (or more) required on jumbo loans.
  • Closing must be completed in person.

Best for existing customer discounts: Chase

BBB Rating: A-

Loan types: Fixed-rate conventional, ARM, jumbo, FHA, VA

Why we chose it: The lower your mortgage’s interest rate, the less you’ll pay monthly and over the repayment of your loan. New and existing Chase investment or banking customers may be eligible for rate discounts as high as 1% when taking out a home mortgage loan or even refinancing an existing loan. This could mean a monthly payment that is hundreds of dollars less and saves you thousands over the course of your loan repayment.

Pros:

  • Mortgage rate discounts for banking and investment customers.
  • Many different loan types.
  • Down payment as low as 3% accepted on conforming loans.

Cons:

  • Not available in all states.
  • No USDA loans.
  • Multiple loan fees, including application and origination.

Best for new construction or renovation loans: Flagstar

BBB Rating: A+

Loan types: Fixed-rate conventional, ARM, FHA, VA, jumbo, USDA, Housing Finance Agency (HFA), renovation, new construction, speciality, professional, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

Why we chose it: Flagstar offers a variety of different home mortgage loans in all 50 states. These loans also include products designed specifically for buyers building a new home or taking on a home renovation project, and may include interest-only payments while the property is under construction. Depending on the loan and the borrower, 0% down is even available and ITIN loans are offered to eligible borrowers without a Social Security number.

Pros:

  • 0% down on select new construction and home renovation loans.
  • Discounts available to first responders, veterans, military members, and more.
  • Loans available to borrowers without a Social Security number.

Cons:

  • Customer service isn’t available on Sundays.
  • Grants and down payment/homebuyer assistance programs not available in all states.
  • Closing must be done in person.

Best for buyer guarantees: Guild Mortgage

BBB Rating: A+

Loan types: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, USDA, VA, new construction, home renovation, manufactured home, bridge, ITIN, reverse

Why we chose it: Guild offers many different guarantees and home-buying protection programs for a variety of home mortgage loans, including a one-year rate buydown, 120-day rate lock, credit approval protection, a no-lender-fee refinance, and a 17-day closing Homebuyer Express guarantee that offers $500 toward closing costs if your loan’s closing is delayed. Guild Mortgage loans aren’t available in all states and minimum credit scores can be higher on certain loans than you’ll find with other lenders.

Pros:

  • Guaranteed 17-day closing time.
  • One-year rate buydown.
  • Long rate-lock period.

Cons:

  • Not available in all states.
  • Limited customer service availability.
  • Higher credit score minimums on certain loans.

Best for fast closing: New American Funding

BBB Rating: A

Loan types: Fixed-rate conventional, ARM, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, accessory dwelling unit (ADU), construction, reverse, buydown, interest-only

Why we chose it: New American Funding offers a 14-day–close guarantee that ensures your loan will be underwritten and close as soon as possible. If not, you’ll be given a lender credit that can go toward your closing costs. This lender also offers a wide range of home mortgage products including some with low or no down payment requirements.

Pros:

  • 14-day close guarantee.
  • More mortgage loan options than any other lender on this list.
  • Low- and no-down payment options offered.

Cons:

  • Application isn’t entirely digital.
  • Not available in all states.
  • Personalized rates not offered online.

Methodology

In order to create this list of the best mortgage lenders, we looked at many different criteria and factors. We compared many of the top mortgage lenders in the U.S., considering where each offers home loans and what type of mortgage loans are available. We also looked at factors such as borrower eligibility requirements, interest rates, down payment requirements, and both discounts and buyer protection programs. We also considered how easy it was to rate shop and apply, and how long each lender takes (on average) to close a new mortgage loan.

How to select the right mortgage lender

If you aren’t sure how to pick the right mortgage lender, here are some questions you may want to ask:

Which kind of loan do you need?

There are many different types of home mortgage loans, and not every lender offers each. In order to find the right mortgage lender for you, you’ll want to first narrow down the type of loan you need based on your home type, location, and qualifications.

How much do you want to borrow?

Depending on how much the home you want to buy is and how much you plan to put down, you may need a conforming, non-conforming, or even a jumbo mortgage loan. But again, not all lenders offer each type. How much you plan to borrow may impact which lenders and loan types are available to you.

What rates are offered?

Each lender offers its own interest rates based on factors like creditworthiness, loan type, location, loan amount, down payment amount, and repayment term. It’s always wise to shop around with multiple lenders so you can see which rates they offer and what you qualify for, to save the most money possible.

What terms are available?

The longer your mortgage term, the lower your monthly payment will be. However, it also means you will pay more in interest in the long term than borrowing over a shorter period. Use a mortgage calculator to determine which options work best for your budget.

Alternatives

When it comes to buying a home, a mortgage is the most common option to finance your purchase. However, there may be some alternatives to consider if you really want to buy a property but don’t qualify—or aren’t interested in—a traditional home mortgage loan.

Owner finance

You may come across an opportunity to buy a home via owner financing, which means that the seller is willing to be your lender and let you pay them for the home directly over an agreed period of time. There are pros and cons to owner financing, but it may be a viable alternative for anyone who can’t qualify for a traditional mortgage or is able to negotiate better terms with a current owner.

Pay cash

Of course, if you don’t want to take out a loan for a big purchase — whether it’s a house, car, or other expensive item — you have the option to just buy it outright. While most people won’t be able to pay for their dream home in cash, you may be able to buy a less expensive property without a mortgage loan by saving up a bit longer first, snagging a deal, or selling your current home and downsizing, moving to a less expensive locale or both.

More about mortgage lenders

Here’s a bit more about mortgage lenders and how these types of home loans work.

What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a secured installment loan that is used to purchase real property, such as a primary home. Mortgage lenders use the property as collateral to secure the loan, which is repaid in monthly installments, usually over a 15- or 30-year period.

How do mortgage interest rates work?

Interest on a mortgage loan is charged against the loan’s principal balance, or how much was borrowed in order to purchase the home. The interest rate is applied to the remaining balance according to the loan’s amortization schedule. The homeowner’s monthly payment is then applied to interest and the principal balance until the loan is paid off.

Mortgage interest rates are determined according to a few different factors, such as market rates, the type of home loan, how much is being borrowed, the borrower’s credit score, and even location. Some mortgage rates are fixed while others are adjustable, meaning they change over time.

Pros and cons of mortgages

Pros:

  • Allow borrowers to make a very large purchase (a home) without needing to save the entire amount in cash.
  • Can be repaid over multiple decades.
  • Offers tax and credit score benefits.

Cons:

  • Is a significant debt that is secured by your home.
  • Borrowers pay interest charges over the life of the loan.
  • Eligibility requirements can be difficult to meet if you have poor credit.

How much money do you need for a mortgage down payment?

For most conventional mortgage loans, you’ll need to come up with at least 3% to 5% of the purchase price of the home as a down payment. This upfront contribution is your “skin in the game” and ensures that the lender doesn’t take on too much of the loan’s risk. Some loans and lenders may allow for 0% or 1% down, depending on the type of loan and factors like your credit history, but these are less common. Additionally, if your down payment is less than 20%, most lenders will require you to take out private mortgage insurance (PMI).

TIME Stamp: Start by shopping around to get best rate quotes

Mortgages allow homebuyers to purchase a property that they might not otherwise be able to afford. Finding the right mortgage loan can be tricky and requires you to consider factors such as loan type, interest rates, repayment terms, down payment requirements, eligibility, and more. By shopping around and getting rate quotes before choosing a lender, you can not only lock in the best loan for your home purchase, but also save yourself a lot of money in the process.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Who is the best company to get a mortgage with?

The best mortgage lender for you depends on exactly what you need most. Some only offer conventional mortgage loans while others may also offer USDA, VA, and FHA loans that provide added benefits. Some lenders have lower interest rates than others or more favorable eligibility requirements, making it easy for you to get the best possible loan for your next home purchase.

What is the best bank for mortgages?

There are many bank and non-bank mortgage lenders in the U.S. offering a range of conventional, ARM, jumbo, and government-sponsored mortgages (including USDA, VA, and FHA loans). The best one for you depends not only on the type of loan you need but also your down payment amount, credit score, house price, desired interest rate, and eligibility factors. A good place to start is with your own bank, which may offer more favorable terms and rates for existing customers.

Who is currently offering the best mortgage rates?

The best interest rates are usually offered on the loans with the shortest repayment terms, such as a 10-year fixed rate mortgage. Borrowers with excellent credit are also typically offered the best rates. You can shop around to gather rates from multiple lenders before making your decision. You can also snag lower rates by putting down a larger down payment. You may also want to check with lenders that you already have a relationship with, such as your existing bank or credit union, to see whether you might qualify for special relationship discounts.

What is the best place to get a house loan?

The best mortgage loans may be offered by a lender with whom you have an existing relationship, such as your everyday bank or credit union or a previous mortgage lender you’ve worked with. You should also shop around to find the best rates and terms for this specific purchase, based on where you’re buying, how much the home costs, the down payment you wish to contribute, how much you can afford to pay monthly, and the type of mortgage loan you need.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

1.2219.1914+1.66.1