Best Mortgage Lenders Of September 2023

A row of housesImage by Shutterstock/Illustration by Bankrate

When you set out to get a mortgage, you’ll find many options, from well-known banks to online lenders. Here are Bankrate’s picks for the best mortgage lenders, including borrower requirements — so you know which you might qualify for — and loan terms, so you can figure where you might get the best deal. Does Insurance Cover You If Your Car Is Stolen?

Best mortgage lenders

PNC Bank

PNC Bank mortgage review

Availability Available in all U.S. states
Loans offered Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA
Credit requirements 620 for conventional, jumbo and FHA loans; 640 for USDA loans
Down payment minimum 3% for conventional loans; 3.5% for FHA loans
Where to find Branch locations and online

Cardinal Financial

Cardinal Financial mortgage review

Availability Available in all U.S. states
Loans offered Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA
Credit requirements 580 for conventional and USDA loans; 550 for FHA and VA loans
Down payment minimum 3% for conventional loans; 10% for jumbo loans; 3.5% for FHA loans; none for VA and USDA loans
Where to find Branch locations and online

NBKC Bank

NBKC Bank mortgage review

Availability Available in all U.S. states
Loans offered Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA
Credit requirements 620 for conventional, FHA and VA loans; 680 for jumbo loans
Down payment minimum 3% for conventional loans
Where to find Branch locations (limited) and online

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank mortgage review

Availability Available in all U.S. states
Loans offered Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA
Credit requirements 620 for conventional loans; 740 for jumbo loans
Down payment minimum 3% for conventional loans; 3.5% for FHA loans; none for VA and USDA loans
Where to find Branch locations and online

Valley Bank

Valley Bank mortgage review

Availability Available in all U.S. states
Loans offered Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA
Credit requirements Undisclosed
Down payment minimum 3%-5% for conventional loans
Where to find Branch locations (limited) and online

Veterans United Home Loans

Veterans United Home Loans review

Availability Available in all U.S. states
Loans offered Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA
Credit requirements 620 for conventional and VA loans
Down payment minimum 3% for conventional loans; 3.5% for FHA loans; none for VA and USDA loans
Where to find Branch locations and online

Summary: Best mortgage lenders of September 2023

Lender Credit requirements Down payment minimum Bankrate review
PNC Bank 620 for conventional, jumbo and FHA loans; 640 for USDA loans 3% for conventional loans; 3.5% for FHA loans PNC Bank mortgage review
Cardinal Financial 580 for conventional and USDA loans; 550 for FHA and VA loans 3% for conventional loans; 10% for jumbo loans; 3.5% for FHA loans; none for VA and USDA loans Cardinal Financial mortgage review
NBKC Bank 620 for conventional, FHA and VA loans; 680 for jumbo loans 3% for conventional loans NBKC Bank mortgage review
U.S. Bank 620 for conventional loans; 740 for jumbo loans 3% for conventional loans; 3.5% for FHA loans; none for VA and USDA loans U.S. Bank mortgage review
Valley Bank Undisclosed 3%-5% for conventional loans Valley Bank mortgage review
Veterans United Home Loans 620 for conventional and VA loans 3% for conventional loans; 3.5% for FHA loans; none for VA and USDA loans Veterans United Home Loans review

How to compare mortgage lenders

Your first step to finding the best mortgage lender is to comparison shop. Borrowers who do more upfront research tend to save more money than those who go with the first lender they find. It’s best to get quotes from three lenders, at minimum. Because rates fluctuate frequently, it’s best to get these quotes on the same day so you have an accurate basis of comparison. Power Outages, Spoiled Food & Homeowners Insurance

As you compare loan estimates, look at the APR (annual percentage rate) and interest rate quoted by each lender. Consider what’s important to you as far as experience, too. For some, how fast a lender can turn around a preapproval letter or close a loan is critical. If you have specific needs or financing preferences — for example, you want an FHA loan — you might also want focus on the top mortgage lenders who specialize in those products.

Once you determine what your needs and preferences are, get started by comparing mortgage rates and finding a lender in your area through Bankrate.

Current mortgage rates

Bankrate regularly publishes mortgage rates for purchases and refinances, based on its latest lender surveys. They include: 

FAQ about mortgages

What are the different types of mortgages?

There are several types of mortgage loans: conventional loans; jumbo loans; FHA, VA and USDA loans; and fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages. Conventional loans, offered by private financial institutions, are ideal for borrowers with strong credit scores. Jumbo loans are for higher-priced homes that exceed Federal Housing Finance Agency borrowing limits. FHA, VA and USDA loans are either government-guaranteed or government-insured and designed for borrowers with lower credit scores and low or no down payment, military members (VA loans) or those buying in a rural area (USDA loans). Fixed-rate mortgages have the same interest rate for the life of the loan, while the rate on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) can fluctuate.

How do you get a mortgage?

Before applying for a mortgage, it’s important to bolster your credit score and savings and have a clear understanding of how much you can afford and what type of loan would best fit your needs. In addition, gather documentation about your finances so you’re prepared to complete a mortgage application when the time comes. Once you’ve taken these initial steps, begin comparing mortgage lenders based on factors such as annual percentage rate (APR), fees and your overall experience. It’s best to get rate quotes from at least three different lenders. When you know which lender you want to work with, get preapproved so you can start house-hunting with financing in hand. Mortgage Rate Forecast
How much money do you need for a down payment?
The minimum down payment requirement varies based on loan type. If you qualify, you can obtain a 3 percent-down conventional loan, a 3.5 percent-down FHA loan or a no-down payment VA or USDA loan. If you want to avoid paying mortgage insurance, however, you’ll need to make a down payment of 20 percent.

Methodology

To determine the best mortgage lenders, Bankrate evaluates more than 85 lenders for factors relating to affordability, availability and customer experience, assigning each a Bankrate Score out of five stars. Based on this methodology, the best mortgage lenders generally have a Bankrate Score of 4.9 stars or higher. Note: The Bankrate Score considers a mortgage lender’s products and services only; it is not a reflection of a lender’s internal operations or practices.

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