Best Mortgage Lenders and Refinancing Companies

Choosing the right mortgage loan is as essential as the loan itself. Your home is one of the biggest and most important expenses you may incur in life.

That’s why finding the best mortgage and refinance lenders that offer unbeatable rates and features can make such a difference to your finances. A few differences in interest rates or other terms can equate to tens of thousands of dollars either spent or saved. However, with so many options available on the market, it’s hard to know where to start.

There are traditional lenders and online lenders, local ones, and large multinational ones, plus many lenders specializing in different types of loans. The best way to get started is to browse some of the top lenders and find a few that match your needs.

On the other hand, refinancing your mortgage can be a smart financial move if you do it the right way. You can tap into your home equity, get a lower interest rate, or even shorten your loan term. All of these are great outcomes for you and your wallet. But here’s something that’s not so great; picking the wrong mortgage refinance lender can be suicidal and turn your aspiration into a nightmare overnight.

This one major mistake can potentially cost you tons of money in closing costs, hidden fees, and high-interest rates. You can avoid that by learning just a little bit about what to expect throughout the refinance process and how to find the right lender.

We’ll walk you through everything you need to know, and also give you some suggestions for the best mortgage lenders and refinancing companies.

Best Mortgage Lenders and Refinancing Companies

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Best Mortgage Lenders and Refinancing Companies

A great mortgage lender for one person might not be the best for another, so we’ve organized our selection based on varying criteria. Companies made a list based on their reputation for customer service, average mortgage rates, and fees, ease of application, and availability of clear information. We’ve also looked at the extent to which they’ve mended their ways since the housing crisis.

Below are our picks for the best mortgage lenders and refinancing companies:

1. LendingTree


LendingTree offers a ton of benefits when it comes to refinancing your mortgage. First, the online process is extremely easy and can even get you a rate quote in less than three minutes.

LendingTree isn’t a direct lender and instead matches you up with multiple loan offers with lenders so you can compare your options. It makes LendingTree’s refinance options much more robust than many other online lenders.

For example, you can convert an adjustable-rate mortgage into a fixed rate or refinance your FHA or even VA loan. You can also cash out home equity as part of your refinance or choose from multiple loan terms.

If you’re still in the information-gathering stage of your refinance journey, LendingTree’s website has tons of useful resources. Play around with numbers to check out different scenarios using tools like their refinance calculator and cost estimator.

2. SoFi


SoFi is a California-based online lender that offers private student loans, student loan refinancing, personal loans, and home loans, among other products and financial services. The company was founded in 2011 and currently services over 700,000 clients across the nation.

SoFi’s innovative approach to lending makes it an excellent choice for consumers with a busy lifestyle that doesn’t have time for multiple visits to a local branch and feels more comfortable with a full digital experience instead.

With SoFi, consumers can apply for 15 and 30-year fixed-rate loans, as well as for different adjustable-rate loans and cash-out loans. Since SoFi is an online lender, it can offer consumers lower rates than the average lender.

It can also process the information faster, streamlining the refinance process. The company also allows consumers to refinance with a 90% loan-to-value ratio, which is 10% more than the industry standard.

3. LoanDepot


LoanDepot makes the refinance process smooth and simple. The company is so popular for refinancing. It has funded more than $70 billion for mortgage loan refinancing.

LoanDepot also waives refinance fees and reimburses appraisal fees for all future refinances after your first refinance with LoanDepot.

Loan offers at LoanDepot are not incentivized to promote one product over another, unlike other scandal-ridden banks. This means you won’t be pressured into taking a loan that doesn’t make sense for your unique needs and borrowing situation.

Whether you have better credit, more income, a more valuable home or want to pull out cash for an upgrade, there are many reasons to consider a refinance.

As long as it will save you money in the long-term, it usually is not a bad idea to refinance for a lower interest rate. With LoanDepot, you will find a better refinancing experience than average.

4. New American Funding

New American Funding

New American Funding is a top lender for those with a low credit score or the self-employed. Why? New American Funding looks at every application manually before approving or denying a loan.

Some online lenders approve or deny instantly based on computer algorithms, making it hard to get a loan with bad credit. This is not so at New American Funding.

Because each loan is manually reviewed, they may look at other factors such as good savings and a high income. Regardless of your finances, however, they do enforce a minimum of 580 credit score for approval.

Some lenders will offer a loan with a score down to 550 or 500 in some cases, but you probably won’t get the same quality experience as with New American Funding.

Once you’re approved, paying your mortgage on-time every month should help improve your credit score. Over time, you may even build a credit score high enough to refinance at a lower interest rate.

But for now, New American Funding is a great place for low credit applicants to get started. New American Funding is a family-owned independent mortgage lender.

The company is headquartered in Orange County, California and is a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae direct lender, seller, and servicer. You must be able to show proof of income to get approved for a mortgage refinance.

Most consumers provide pay stubs or W-2s as evidence, but self-employed individuals who lack this type of documentation may find that getting approval is a considerable challenge.

5. U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank has slightly lower interest rates and APRs than other large banks, and your mortgage application can be completed online. This gives you a reliable traditional lender that offers a low and very competitive mortgage rate.

U.S Bank offers more fixed-rate term options than is typical, with 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year loans available. The larger selection of terms are fantastic for meeting people’s future plans – or providing more short-term property purchase lending for older people who are investing in property.

In addition to home-equity loans and lines of credit, U.S. Bank offers a Smart Refinance loan with zero closing costs. While such no-cost loans often have higher interest rates, it’s a good option if you don’t plan to stay in your home too long after refinancing.

U.S. Bank is the fifth-largest bank in the country, with branches in 29 states. It ranked seventh in J.D. Power’s 2017 customer satisfaction survey, and it has a relatively low incidence of complaints compared to many of its competitors.

Their customer service members of staff are both available in bricks and mortar properties, as well as online – making them an extremely approachable bank. We recommend U.S Bank for people who want a more flexible term on their mortgage length and would prefer a traditional and more reliable mortgage lender.

6. Lenda


Lenda is a direct lender that makes it quick and easy to apply for a mortgage. Rather than requiring tons of paperwork, you can upload all of your documentation directly online. They are known for their excellent customer service.

If you’re worried about the amount of cash it takes to close, consider getting a quote from this lender. With low overhead costs, they don’t charge origination fees or broker fees, but still stay competitive with interest rates. Plus, the average time to closing is just 13 days, which is much faster compared to the rest of the industry.

There are also plenty of options for the length of loan terms. However, it’s still a growing company and may not be available in your state. They are currently only available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Check with them to see if they’ve expanded to your specific location before gathering information for a quote request.

U.S. Bank is the fifth-largest bank in the country, with branches in 29 states. It ranked seventh in J.D. Power’s 2017 customer satisfaction survey, and it has a relatively low incidence of complaints compared to many of its competitors.

Their customer service members of staff are both available in bricks and mortar properties, as well as online – making them an extremely approachable bank. We recommend U.S Bank for people who want a more flexible term on their mortgage length and would prefer a traditional and more reliable mortgage lender.

7 Citi Mortgage

Citi Mortgage

If you have a low income, you also probably have a low down payment. This makes FHA loans and VA loans – two major government-backed lending programs, top choices for you.

If you want either an FHA or VA loan, Citi Mortgage is a good choice. Citi Mortgage is related to Citibank, one of the largest banks in the United States. Because Citi is so big, they offer mortgage options for nearly anyone who qualifies.

That doesn’t mean everyone will qualify, but if you do qualify for the FHA or VA loan programs, you have a good chance of approval from Citi Mortgage. Citi is not one of the biggest mortgage lenders in the United States compared to some others on this list, which was part of its recent motivation to invest in a new online mortgage origination system. When it is fully deployed, it is sure to make the borrowing experience better and more efficient.

8. Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant offers both fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages, and you can qualify with a down payment as low as 3% of the price of the home. On a $200,000 house, that equates to just $6,000 needed in cash for your down payment.

You can qualify anywhere in the country and enjoy a low origination fee of only $995. If having cash-on-hand is an issue for you when purchasing a home, check out Alliant to see how they stack up to other mortgage lenders.

9. Chase


With its’ over 5,000 branches across the country, Chase Bank is one of the leading banks in the United States. The company is one the best banks and mortgage lenders in the world. When it comes to traditional bank, Chase Bank has the experience to help consumers get loan by assisting in interacting with a human mortgage banker to get the job done.

According to a survey, Chase has helped millions of American households in one way or the other, which is not limited to credits, banking, and much more. They have mobile apps and online facilities to help you manage your mortgage better.

Types of Mortgage Refinance Loans

Before refinancing a mortgage, it is crucial to understand the different types of loans that are available and research the requirements for each, not just to increase your chances of getting approved, but to make sure you get the best deal.

There are two main types of refinance loans: conventional and government-backed. Conventional loans follow the guidelines established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) created by Congress to provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to the mortgage market.

1. Conventional Loans

Since conventional loans are backed by either one of these two agencies, they are more flexible and offer lower interest rates. However, just as with any other loan, low-risk borrowers have a better chance of getting approved than those with less-than-stellar credit scores and high debt-to-income ratios.

Conventional refinance loans include:

Rate-and-termThis is the most basic type of refinancing and is ideal for consumers who want to lower their mortgage payments or shorten the life of their loan.

With a rate and term, the loan amount stays the same, but you can negotiate better terms, rates, or both. Rate-and-term loans can also be used to switch from an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed-rate mortgage or vice versa.

Cash-outThis type of loan allows borrowers to increase the loan amount to cash-in on their equity. For example, if your mortgage balance is $300,000 and your house is worth $400,000, you can refinance up to that amount, and keep the remaining $100,000.

Many borrowers opt for a cash-out refinance to consolidate higher-interest debt or to make home improvements and increase the value of their property.

Regardless, borrowers must keep in mind that doing this could potentially increase their mortgage payments if they can’t secure better terms or rates.

Cash-in: This option is designed for homeowners whose property is worth less than their mortgage or whose loan-to-value ratio is too high.

In a cash-in refinance, the borrower brings in money to lower their loan amounts to an acceptable level that meets the loan-to-value requirements established by the lender. Cash-in refinances can also be used to eliminate mortgage insurance and get lower interest rates.

2. Government-backed Loans

Any government program can subsidize Government-backed loans. They have a lower credit score and down payment requirements and are designed to make home-ownership more affordable for people who may not qualify for a conventional loan.

Government-backed loans include:

FHA: These are guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and are issued by banks and other lending institutions. FHA loans are best for those with a “fair” credit score.

One of the main advantages of this loan is that it allows down payments of as little as 3.5%. On the downside, borrowers are required to keep their mortgage insurance for the life of the loan.

However, the cost of the mortgage insurance can be reduced if the borrower gives a down payment of 5% or more on a 30-year loan, or 10% or more on a 15-year loan.

VA: These loans are part of the GI Bill of 1944 and are guaranteed by the S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Only American veterans, military service members and eligible surviving spouses can request them. In most cases, VA loans don’t require a down payment or private mortgage insurance.

USDA: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guarantees these loans. Just like VA loans, they don’t require a down payment. They are for moderate-to-low income borrowers living in a desirable rural or suburban area.

USDA loans have no limit, but they do require a debt-to-income ratio of 29% or less before applying, and mortgage insurance is required.

The Following Table Displays the Best Mortgage and Refinancing Companies

No. The Best Mortgage and Refinancing Companies in the US Website
1 LendingTree
2 SoFi
3 LoanDepot
4 New American Funding
5 U.S. Bank
6 Lenda
7 Citi Mortgage
8 Alliant Credit Union
9 Chase

How to Choose a Good Mortgage Lender?

Securing a good mortgage option requires identifying a mortgage broker that it is knowledgeable about the market. For this reason, the growing mortgage market and the high demand for mortgages have seen a rise in the number of brokerage companies providing services on the market.

You may find difficulties in selecting the right mortgage broker who will give you the services you require at an affordable fee. Your Mortgage Broker should be experienced in this field for you to get the best deal.

Before you choose a mortgage broker, here are some of the factors you should consider:

1. Knowledge and Experience

If you don’t know why you’re reaching out, can the broker you’re speaking to help you better define your goals? If not, maybe you should not be working with that person.

A mortgage professional should ask questions about you and the elements that will go into your transaction at every step of the way. You want to make sure your new loan is the best option available to you based on your specific needs.

Most lenders can do most things; however, if you’re looking for something specific, you may want to do a little more legwork to find the right partner.

Ask your real estate agent, financial advisor, or tax accountant for a recommendation. Those in the financial field will know others who specialize in certain areas and have experience in mortgage matters.

2. Market coverage

To access the best mortgage deal, you need to analyze as many options as possible available on the market. Some mortgage brokers do not have adequate penetration into the market while some like You Mortgage Broker has more than fifty mortgage lenders, a phenomenon allowing them to get what you want and deliver it to you.

You should ask the agent the number of mortgage providers he has in his closet before allowing him to advise you on the mortgage options.

3. A Clear Explanation of the Process

You’ll have enough to worry about when purchasing a home, so you don’t want the mortgage process to add more undue stress to it. Make sure the process is explained to you clearly by your lender so you know what to expect and when to expect it.

The last thing you’ll want is for unexpected changes to increase your bottom line.

As a homebuyer, your first step is to get pre-qualified, then go out and find your home. Once you’re under contract, the lender will handle your financing and your real estate agent will handle your interaction with the seller and the settlement company.

4. Cost

Different agents offer services at varied prices. To save money while receiving the right service, you should carry out market research and look at the various fees charged by different brokers before embarking on one.

Some mortgage brokers have a good provision that includes offering free insurance review as well as charging you nothing before finding you the best mortgage option of your preference. You should focus on one with exceptional and exclusive rates that will enable you to save while receiving excellent service at the same time.

5. Transparency

Your mortgage broker must be open about furnishing all details regarding the mortgage. Ensure you have a good rapport with your mortgage broker and have all your questions cleared about what you are getting into.

Professional mortgage brokers take the effort to understand your specific need and craft a plan that offers the best benefits.

6. Customer Service

Customer service is somewhat of a lost art these days. The internet has made everything easier and we have immediate access to resources right at our fingertips.

It’s important that when you’re shopping for a mortgage that you aren’t just seen as “Loan …..,” but that you’re treated like a valued customer and get the service you deserve.

Chances are you are not the only client your lender is working with, but you should expect to hear from your lender on a regular basis and get responses to questions in a timely manner.

The general public does not buy a house every day, so something will likely be confusing or unclear.

The lender should be explaining every development to you, so you know what to expect and when to expect it

7. Variety of Services

Picking a mortgage option entails three elements that encompass a mortgage lender, the amount borrowed, and terms of the mortgage. All these aspects should be right to get the best deals.

Therefore, a mortgage broker should enable you to get a mortgage lender who will lend you at a cheaper rate to allow you to manage the repayment.

The bottom line is that you should choose the ideal mortgage broker that will facilitate the process of you obtaining a suitable mortgage option.

8. Get References and Reviews

Start by making a list of potential mortgage brokers based on references from friends and colleagues. Research them online and read customer reviews before you choose to move ahead. Check for their experience in the field as well as the necessary accreditation requirements.

9. Ensure the Service Fits your Particular Need

If you are a realtor looking to customize a dated home or a renovation professional hoping to add equity through new improvements, your needs from a mortgage service would be as different as chalk and cheese.

Therefore, it is recommended to choose a mortgage broker who can cater for your specific needs adeptly.

Should I Get a Loan from a Mortgage Company or Bank?

Full-service banks are also referred to as federally chartered financial institutions. They provide mortgage loans as well as other banking products such as savings and checking accounts, and commercial business loans. A mortgage loan is just a part of their business. Full-service banks are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC).

Mortgage companies, on the other hand, are regulated by each state and more strictly as well. There are many benefits associated with using mortgage companies for your loan.

The first advantage is that they have access to varieties of loan products than a full-service bank. Banks’ loan programs are designed within guidelines created by FHA, Mae, VA, Freddie Mac, and Fannie. But your loan will be declined if your situation doesn’t meet their requirements.

Mortgage companies are selling servicing which makes them have access to loan programs that are designed and provided by different loan providers, majorly huge national banks. Mortgage companies directly and independently close and fund the loan, unlike a mortgage broking company.

These companies can customize their loan process in a better way than a bank because they only service mortgage loans. This benefit is essential as you can quickly close a loan. Being able to close a loan promptly is important in a competitive real estate market. Shorter rate lock is also a factor with them and this leads to cheaper rates and fees when loans are closed quicker.

Is Refinancing a Good Option?

This question is what comes to the mind of many homeowners when they are planning to refinance a mortgage. There are lots of documentations involved in refinancing, just like it is when you got the mortgage itself. You want to understand if it’s truly worth it before you spend your time on handling the stress of getting a loan.

The overall closing costs and the rate will determine how the refinancing will worth your time. An important factor is the interest rate, and it is also one of the most popular reasons for refinancing. You may either cost or save a huge amount of money on a quarter of 1% difference in rate.

What is Cost of Refinancing a Mortgage?

For instance, let us agree that your mortgage has $400,000 as balance. The overall closing costs will be within the range of 2 to 4 % of the loan amount if you plan to refinance the loan into a new one. You should be ready to pay within $8,000 to $16,000 for the refinancing of this loan. Mortgage refinancing as a process can be costly. The fees charged by loan providers for funding the loan is called closing costs.

It falls within the range of 1 to 5% of the loan value. These closing costs can generally be added into the mortgage loan. Refinancing your mortgage can be a costly process. These closing costs can typically be rolled into the mortgage loan. Let’s look at the typical costs involved in loan refinancing:

  • Loan Application Fee: You are getting a new mortgage when refinancing is done on your mortgage. The loan application fee is charged at $100 to $300 by lenders. Some loan providers can reduce or even waive this fee depending on your negotiation with them.
  • Loan Origination Fees: This involves how mortgage companies show appreciation to the services being rendered by the loan officer handling your application. The fees on the average are between 1 to 3% of the loan value.
  • The Home Appraisal: This is a professional quote of a property’s market value. To determine the value of your property in most cases, loan providers will request a new appraisal on your home.
  • Document Fees: There are varieties of paper works that need to be signed before you can complete your loan, and this includes disclosures, sellers, truth-in-lending, and so on. You may have to pay around $200 to $400.
  • Title Search Fee: A search will be done by the title company to determine the legitimate of the seller for selling the property. This is generally known as a deed. The title search fee may cost you around $200 to $400.
  • Recording Fee: To have the refinancing aspect of the general record, recording fees are evaluated. State or local government organizations determine these fees. Prepare to pay between $25 and $250.
  • Flood certification: Life or flood loan insurance coverage may be required from homeowners of property located in a flood zone designated by the federal government. Be prepared to pay around $50 to $150 to acquire a certification.
  • Home Inspection Fee: A home inspection is not a requirement in most cases, only a few lenders request for it. The inspection is done by a professional to determine if there are any potential issues with the property. Home inspection costs around $300 to $500 on average.
  • Attorney fees: Loan providers may charge a certain fee if checking the legitimacy of your documents requires their service. This fee can be between $300 and $1,200.
  • Survey Fee: This involves document boundaries for the home. A professional survey will cost you around $100 to $350.
  • Discount Points: This is an interest you pay up-front to reduce your loan’s interest rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are no rules stipulating that a homeowner must refinance their mortgage with the same lender. It is often beneficial to stick with the same company, as they have in-depth knowledge of your payment history.

The same company is likely to offer you a more competitive rate and other advantages. But if you shop around and find a better offer from another lender, you are within your rights to refinance your mortgage with them.

Yes, a lower credit score will negatively impact your refinancing plans. When you are refinancing your mortgage, you are applying for another loan. Whether it is through the same institution or another, they will run a hard credit check during the application process.

If your credit score is lower, you may have to deal with a higher interest rate on the refinanced mortgage. It may help if you have a long history with your existing lender, but that may still not outweigh the negatives of a lower credit score.

Many Americans grow up learning about the 20% rule where mortgage down payments are concerned. While it is true that in the past, homeowners would put down that amount when they were buying a home.

However, studies show that most first-time homebuyers are not putting down anywhere near 20%. In fact, the figure is now 7% for first-time buyers, while the average payment for repeat buyers is 16%.

Provided you have substantial savings, secure a low-interest rate, and have a high paying job, putting down 7% to 10% on your home is not considered a risk.

It is often a lengthy process to qualify for a home loan, even if you receive initial approval from the lender. They must conduct credit checks and other assessments to determine your eligibility for the loan.

While the process is running, it is best to avoid certain activities. These include applying for a new credit card or auto loan, co-signing or guaranteeing a loan for another person, changing jobs, skipping payments on existing bills, or charging a lot of money onto existing credit lines.

Closing costs are the expenses that you incur during the final stages of the home buying process. Some of these costs are paid by the seller, while the buyer is responsible for the others.

If you are buying a home, you are expected to pay half of the title and escrow fees associated with the home. These include costs for title insurance, notary fees and taxes.

Other closing expenses include lender fees, homeowners insurance, inspection fees, brokerage administrative fees and more.

Yes, it is possible to obtain a construction to permanent loan when you want to build a home on an empty lot. The loan starts by providing you with the money you need to build the house.

When your home is built, the remaining balance of the loan becomes a traditional mortgage that you pay over many years.

Combining the loans into a single loan helps the homeowner save on fees, while allowing you to lock in a single interest rate for the duration of the loan.


A good lender can walk you through all of these considerations, whether in person, on the phone, or through online resources. Do the research it takes to make sure you’re making a smart decision on your next home refinance.

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