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Mortgage lender last piece of the puzzle

Best mortgage lenders of April 2024

Jirsak / Shutterstock

Fact Checked: Leslie Kennedy

🗓️

Updated: April 01, 2024

Partners on this page provide us earnings.

While most people get excited about choosing a new home, nobody dreams about choosing a mortgage lender.

But taking the time to compare the best mortgage lenders is essential if you want the right loan type, best mortgage rate and most flexible terms for your needs.

When comparing the best mortgage lenders, be on the lookout for the types of mortgage loans available. The best mortgages can vary by their rates and terms, customer service options and other features, like whether you can apply online and what the penalties are if you break the mortgage during your term.

Since there are literally thousands of home loan lenders out there, finding the best mortgage for you can be overwhelming. That’s why we pulled together this list of the 10 best mortgage lenders, pulled from the top 25 providing the largest volume of home loans today.

10 best mortgage lenders by category

4.5

Best mortgage lender for first time buyers: Rocket Mortgage

Quick Facts

- Offers conventional, VA, FHA and jumbo loans
- Customizable loan option lets you choose your exact term from 8 to 29 years
- Formerly known as Quicken Loans and Rock Financial
- Licensed in all 50 U.S. states and D.C.

Why we like Rocket Mortgage:

If you’re keen to compare different mortgage options but unsure where to begin, Rocket Mortgage can get you off to a fast start.

This online lender, formerly known as Quicken Loans, offers a handy mortgage comparison tool that lets you see loan options at a glance. It also provides an online application process, allowing you to get pre-approved and apply for a mortgage from the comfort of your couch.

Qualifying borrowers can even opt for a no-closing-cost mortgage, which allows you to roll your closing costs into your loan rather than paying them upfront. While many lenders offer no-down-payment loans — like VA loans, for example — a no-closing-cost loan is far from a universal option.

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or experienced homeowner, Rocket Mortgage offers a wealth of resources to support you during the homebuying process. Its Learning Center features hundreds of articles on mortgage topics, and several calculators are available on the site, as well.

Rocket Mortgage

Pros

Pros

  • Several educational tools available for borrowers

  • Easy to compare loan options

  • Convenient online application process

Cons

Cons

  • No USDA loans available

  • No option to apply for a loan in person

4.5

Best mortgage lender for rate transparency: Chase

Quick Facts

- Offers multiple conventional, jumbo, FHA and VA loans
- Provides easy to understand resources for homebuyers
- Licensed in all 50 U.S. states and D.C.

Why we like Chase:

While some mortgage lenders make you jump through hoops to view rates, Chase is not one of them.

Borrowers searching for rate transparency will appreciate the option to simply input their zip code on the Chase website and see current mortgage rates for their area.

Searching for rates brings up a helpful table that lists the current rates for 30- and 15-year conventional loans, 30-year FHA loans, adjustable-rate loans and jumbo loans.

Being able to access these rates quickly and easily sets Chase apart from competitors that may require you speak with a loan officer or get pre-approved in order to see an estimated rate.

Besides its rate transparency, Chase also breaks down the homebuying process into simple steps on its website, which can make the whole ordeal less daunting for borrowers.

You can also start your application online, though you will need to connect with a loan officer to complete it.

Chase

Pros

Pros

  • Option to view current mortgage rates online

  • Breaks down the homebuying process into simple steps

  • Can start your application online

Cons

Cons

  • Does not offer USDA loans

  • Need to speak with a loan officer to complete application or for mortgage loan options

4

Best mortgage lender for personalized service: loanDepot

Quick Facts

- Has more than 1,700 licensed lending officers and more than 200 branches across the U.S.
- Offers conventional, FHA, jumbo, ARM and VA loans
- Licensed in all 50 U.S. states and D.C.

Why we like loanDepot:

For borrowers seeking a customized experience, loanDepot could be a comfortable fit.

While digital tools and applications can be convenient, sometimes you want a human being to walk you through. LoanDepot has a broad network of loan officers as well as hundreds of physical branches across the country.

Borrowers also benefit from a straightforward, step-by-step application process clearly outlined on the loanDepot site, which can make applying for a mortgage less overwhelming.

And if you need to close quickly, loanDepot may be able to help you out. Typical closings take 30, 45 or 60 days, but this lender says it has closed loans as quickly as seven days.

As an added benefit, loanDepot also offers a unique guarantee for its loyal customers. If you choose to refinance an existing loan with them, you’ll pay no lender refinancing fees.

loanDepot

Pros

Pros

  • Broad network of loan officers

  • Straightforward, step-by-step application process

  • Option to close on loans quickly

Cons

Cons

  • No option to check rates online

  • Need to speak with a loan officer to start application

4

Best for variety of loan options: Caliber Home Loans

Quick Facts

- Offers multiple conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA and USDA loans
- Provides a specialized loan option for self-employed borrowers

Why we like Caliber Home Loans:

Eager to explore all of your mortgage options? Caliber Home Loans is ideal for comparison shoppers of home loans.

Multiple loan products are available in most categories — including fixed- and adjustable-rate conventional, FHAVAUSDAjumbo, 203k and other loans — making Caliber Home Loans a one-stop shop for all sorts of borrowers.

Borrowers can also access unique products through Caliber’s Smart Series loans. It offers a product specifically for self-employed professionals, a jumbo loan for those with complex credit situations and a mortgage designed for real estate investors.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer seeking a low-down-payment loan or an experienced real estate investor shopping for your next home, Caliber Home Loans likely offers the loan product you need.

It also provides helpful educational resources as well as a unique and convenient feature: the option to search for a home directly through its website.

Caliber Home Loans

Pros

Pros

  • Many loan types available

  • Helpful educational resources for borrowers

  • Option to search for homes on their website

Cons

Cons

  • Cannot check rates online

  • Need to speak with a loan consultant to begin application

4

Best mortgage lender for prequalification: U.S. Bank

Quick Facts

- Offers multiple conventional, jumbo, FHA and VA loans
- Side by side comparison of loan options
- Licensed in 26 U.S. states

Why we like U.S. Bank:

Prequalifying for a mortgage involves providing some basic personal info to get an estimate of what size loan you might get approved for and potential rates.

If you’re in the early stages of comparing the best mortgage lenders, U.S. Bank lets you quickly prequalify through its website. That way, you can get an idea of what they may offer in relation to other lenders.

It’s worth noting that prequalifying is different than getting preapproved for a mortgage. The preapproval process is slightly more involved, generally requiring income verification in addition to sharing basic info.

Beyond its handy prequalification feature, U.S. Bank lets borrowers browse current mortgage rates on its website and provides several loan options.

U.S. Bank

Pros

Pros

  • Option to prequalify online

  • Transparent about rates

  • Step by step guide for first time homebuyers

Cons

Cons

  • Does not offer USDA loans

  • Not available across the country

4

Best lender for fast closings: CrossCountry Mortgage

Quick Facts

- Offers conventional, FHA, VA, USDA and jumbo loans
- Licensed in all 50 U.S. states and D.C.
- Closes most loans in 21 days

Why we like CrossCountry Mortgage:

For borrowers eager to close on their home loan quickly, CrossCountry boasts that it can finalize most loans in just 21 days — and certain loans in just seven.

Its FastTrack Credit Mortgage Approval program works similarly to a standard pre-approval but will push you along further in the vetting process than usual.

Instead of just providing proof of income and credit information to your lender for a quick check, your documents will go straight to an underwriter for rigorous examination. Typically, mortgage underwriters enter the picture later, when your offer on a home is accepted.

This way, you’ll have a firm commitment in hand when you find your dream home, allowing you to show up other bidders who may be forced to include a financing contingency in their offers.

Besides its quick closings, Cross Country also offers a helpful guide for first-time homebuyers that outlines the entire buying process step-by-step. Its resource center also has some useful guidance on different loan types and a convenient terms glossary to help you understand mortgage jargon.

CrossCountry Mortgage

Pros

Pros

  • Dedicated program for quick closings

  • Helpful resource center

Cons

Cons

  • Website is not very well-organized

  • No easy way to view rates online

4

Best loan for mortgage borrowing costs: Guaranteed Rate

Quick Facts

- Offers conventional, FHA, VA and jumbo loans
- Licensed in all 50 U.S. states and D.C.
- More than 500 branches available

Why we like Guaranteed Rate:

Are you wondering how much you’re likely to pay in closing costs and mortgage insurance premiums? Unfortunately, not many of the best mortgage lenders offer these estimated costs upfront — but Guaranteed Rate does.

Like some other lenders on our list, Guaranteed Rate lets you view its current mortgage rates online, but it takes things a step further. It also estimates what you’ll pay in mortgage insurance premiums and even HOA fees, and it provides projected payments for each loan type it offers.

This can be enlightening for new and experienced borrowers who are interested in getting a comprehensive picture of their homebuying costs.

In addition to its transparency around borrowing costs, Guaranteed Rate lets you complete a preliminary loan application online. You can also speak with a mortgage expert or email customer service if you have questions about your application.

Guaranteed Rate

Pros

Pros

  • Option to start application online

  • Can view rates online

  • Offers transparency around borrowing costs

Cons

Cons

  • Does not offer USDA loans

4.5

Best for homebuyer guarantees: Freedom Mortgage

Quick Facts

- Offers conventional, FHA, VA and USDA loans
- Licensed in all 50 U.S. states and D.C.
- Provides unique guarantees for its customers

Why we like Freedom Mortgage:

For homebuyers looking for reassurance, Freedom Mortgage is an intriguing option.

It backs up its statements with written guarantees, offering borrowers peace of mind that it will keep its promises — and if it doesn’t deliver, you could earn cash.

Freedom offers three specific guarantees for borrowers:

  • A close-on-time commitment: If your loan doesn’t close during the stated time period, Freedom will give you $1,000.
  • A rate commitment: It will match a competitor’s rate or give you $250 if it cannot.
  • A value commitment: You get $250 back on closing costs if you get a Freedom Mortgage loan.

While these guarantees offer some peace of mind, they aren’t the only benefits of working with Freedom Mortgage.

You can also get homeowners insurance and home warranty coverage through the Freedom website, which can be convenient because you’ll likely be shopping for these coverages anyway.

Freedom Mortgage

Pros

Pros

  • Homeowners insurance and home warranty coverage available

  • Local branches available if you prefer to speak with a loan officer in person

Cons

Cons

  • Learning center is difficult to find on its website

4

Best lender for specialty home buying programs: Flagstar Bank

Quick Facts

- Conventional, FHA, VA and jumbo loans available
- Recently merged with New York Community Bancorp, Inc.
- Offers home loans in all 50 U.S. states and D.C.

Why we like Flagstar Bank:

If you’re a first-time homebuyer or have other unique circumstances, Flagstar Bank could be the resource you’re looking for.

This lender offers several specialty loans, down payment assistance and homebuyer grant options.

Some of its programs are location-specific — for example, Flagstar offers several benefits for borrowers in California and Michigan — but others are available nationwide.

Qualifying homebuyers may be eligible for federal grants to make their home accessible for disabled or older adults, replace windows or make other qualified repairs, or get down payment assistance.

Low-down-payment loans and specialty loans for borrowers who don’t have a Social Security number are also available.

Customer service is readily available — prospective borrowers can access a live chat feature to help with common questions or call a loan officer directly to get support. Live chat is a fairly unique option among lenders.

Flagstar Bank

Pros

Pros

  • Offers several specialty homebuying programs and grants

  • Live chat feature offered

Cons

Cons

  • Does not offer USDA loans

4.5

Best for stress-free lending: Movement Mortgage

Quick Facts

- Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA and jumbo loans offered
- Has loan officers in 775+ locations
- Loans available in all 50 U.S. states and D.C.

Why we like Movement Mortgage:

Movement Mortgage offers borrower-centric lending designed to help streamline traditionally cumbersome processes and reduce borrower stress.

Unlike many mortgage lenders that begin underwriting loans late in the game, Movement starts this process early on so that borrowers aren’t scrambling to gather documents right before their scheduled closing.

It also has processes in place to help get homes appraised quickly so there are no hold-ups.

While Movement Mortgage can offer a quick closing, its systems for making the application process simple set it apart from competitors.

Plus, Movement is dedicated to giving back to the communities where it lends, investing a portion of its profits in schools, housing developments and health clinics through its Movement Foundation.

Movement Mortgage

Pros

Pros

  • Simple lending process designed to reduce borrower stress

  • Uses its profits to give back to the community

Cons

Cons

  • Limited educational resources for homebuyers

  • Mortgage rates are not available on its website

Methodology: Best mortgage lenders

The best mortgage companies' rankings are determined by the Moneywise editorial team and are based on factors and features that everyday users care about most. We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. The best mortgage lenders featured in this article were independently selected, but please be aware that some products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

Moneywise rates products and services on a sale of 1 to 5 stars, where 5 stars is the best rating possible. Ratings are rounded up to the nearest 0.5 of a star. 

Our top mortgage lender rating system is based on the factors that mean the most to the everyday user. These factors include:

  • Credit requirements
  • Loan availability
  • Type of loans offered
  • Ease of application
  • Rates offered
  • Tools and educational materials
  • Customer support
  • User experience

We collect data from providers' websites, by using the services and watching demonstrations as required. The data from these top home loan lenders is analyzed and the result is a star rating. Each factor is weighted depending on the category in which the product is being evaluated, in order to ensure it meets the needs of different users like beginners or advanced users.

Our goal is to provide an independent review, and give you the information you need to make a decision on which service is best for you.

About our author

Jess Ullrich
Jess Ullrich, Freelance Contributor

Jess is a financial writer who's been creating digital content since 2009. Before transitioning to full-time freelance writing, she was an editor at Investopedia and The Balance. Her work has been published on NextAdvisor by Time, Bankrate, Investopedia, and more. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, spending time with family, and exploring the outdoors.

Disclaimer

The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.