8 best mortgage lenders of 2024

Group of friends entering a new house with a boxImage: Group of friends entering a new house with a box

In a Nutshell

The mortgage that's right for you depends on your credit history, financial situation and the type of loan you need. We've rounded up our top picks of the best mortgage lenders for different types of home loans, based on factors such as credit and down payment requirements, availability, closing timeline, rate match guarantees, cash back programs and more.
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If you’re in the market for a new home, finding the right mortgage is just as important as finding the right property.

Credit requirements, fees, interest rates, loan terms, product offerings and closing timelines vary from lender to lender and can make a big difference in the cost of your mortgage.

It’s important to review your loan options carefully to make sure you get a product that fits your needs with the fewest fees and lowest rate possible.

We’ve rounded up our picks for the eight best mortgage lenders to help you decide which may be right for you.

Best for conventional loans: Rocket Mortgage

Why Rocket Mortgage stands out: At Rocket Mortgage, you can apply for a home loan entirely online and check the status of your application from your computer or mobile device. You can save money on closing costs by earning points through the company’s Rocket Rewards program.

Plus, its Fresh Start program helps you boost your credit scores, which may improve your chances of qualifying for a loan or getting a lower rate.

Rocket Mortgage at a glance

Credit requirementsConventional, FHA, and VA: 580 or 620, depending on circumstances
Jumbo: 680
Notable featureOffers flexible fixed-rate loan terms through the YOURgage® program

Read reviews about Rocket Mortgage.

Best for FHA loans: Movement Mortgage

Why Movement Mortgage stands out: If you qualify, Movement Mortgage provides fully underwritten preapproval upfront — usually within six hours. It also advertises that the majority of its loans are processed within seven business days or less. The company offers a range of loan terms, and you can apply online or over the phone.

You can get an FHA loan from Movement Mortgage with a down payment of just 3.5% — the minimum required down payment for this type of loan — and you can use gift funds to cover the entire 3.5%. Because they’re backed by the government, FHA home loan requirements are typically less stringent than conventional loans.

Movement Mortgage at a glance

Credit requirementsFHA: 620
VA: 580 or 680 depending on loan amount and term
Other loan types: Not disclosed
Notable featureVariety of mortgage options including low and no down payment loans and renovation loans

Read reviews about Movement Mortgage home loans.

Best for VA loans: Navy Federal Credit Union

Why Navy Federal Credit Union stands out: Navy Federal Credit Union offers VA loans with flexible loan terms ranging from 10 to 30 years and has been serving military members since 1933. With 24/7 customer service, you can get the help you need no matter where you’re stationed.

When you buy a home through Navy Federal’s RealtyPlus program, you can get up to $9,000 cash back to help pay for closing costs, and a rate match guarantee. If the company can’t match a competitor’s rate, it’ll give you $1,000 after you close with the competing lender.

You can get preapproved, receive step-by-step guidance and check your loan status with HomeSquad using the company’s online banking portal or mobile app.

Navy Federal Credit Union mortgages at a glance

Credit requirementsNot disclosed
Notable featureVariety of home loans, including options for investors and to use home equity

Read reviews about Navy Federal Credit Union home loans.

Best for USDA loans: Freedom Mortgage

Why Freedom Mortgage stands out: At Freedom Mortgage, you can get a USDA purchase loan or USDA streamline refinance loan. The company offers prequalification, so you can see your estimated rate and loan term without affecting your credit scores. Freedom Mortgage’s purchase promise guarantees that your mortgage will close on time or the company will give you $1,000.

If you’re approved and close a loan with Freedom Mortgage, its Eagle Eye program notifies you when interest rates drop or the value of your home increases, so you can decide if refinancing is right for you.

Freedom Mortgage at a glance

Credit requirementsUSDA: 640
FHA and VA: 550
Conventional loans: 620
Notable featureOffers homeowners insurance and discounts on home security systems through partners

Read reviews about Freedom Mortgage home loans.

Best for jumbo loans: HSBC

Why HSBC stands out: HSBC offers jumbo loans of up to $10 million, depending on your relationship with the bank. The company has products for financing the purchase of primary residences and investment properties and allows non-occupying immediate family members to provide financial assistance. HSBC also offers a closing cost credit on some loans.

HSBC mortgages at a glance

AvailabilityNationwide, except Alaska and West Virginia
Credit requirementsFamily-assisted financing: 700
Other loan types: Not disclosed
Notable featureGood options for first-time homebuyers

Read reviews about HSBC mortgage loans.

Best for refinancing: Cross Country Mortgage

Why Cross Country stands out: Cross Country Mortgage refinances several types of mortgages, including conventional loans, VA, USDA, FHA and HARP loans. The company offers fixed and adjustable-rate products, and you can choose to refinance your entire loan balance or get cash out.

Cross Country Mortgage says it can close most loans in as little as 21 days.

Cross Country Mortgage at a glance

Credit requirementsNot disclosed
Notable featureMany home loan types available, including renovation loans and HELOCs

Read reviews about Cross Country Mortgage home loans.

Best for first-time homebuyers: Chase

Why Chase stands out: Chase Bank offers first-time homebuyers low down payment options with flexible credit guidelines and income limits. Eligible applicants can receive homebuyer grants, and you can receive $500 toward closing costs after completing a homebuyer education course.

Chase’s homebuyer assistance finder tool helps house hunters locate down payment assistance programs and other aid from local or state agencies in their area to make buying a home as affordable as possible.

Chase mortgages at a glance

Credit requirementsNot disclosed
Notable featureHomebuyer assistance finder tool helps house hunters locate down payment assistance programs and other aid from local or state agencies

Read reviews about a Chase mortgage.

Best for unconventional mortgage types: Cardinal Financial

Why Cardinal Financial stands out: Cardinal Financial offers several less common mortgage types, including condo, 203(k), 203(b), and unique home (e.g., manufactured, tiny, container) loans. You can get a rate quote online, and the company’s online loan origination platform — Octane — makes it easy to upload documents, track your loan application and receive notifications when your loan hits a milestone.

Cardinal Financial mortgages at a glance

Credit requirementsConventional: 620
FHA, USDA, VA: 580
Jumbo: 660
Unique home: 620
Other loan types: Not disclosed
Notable featureGood variety of home loans, including construction loans

Read reviews about Cardinal Financial mortgage loans.

How to apply for a mortgage

Before applying for a mortgage, there are a few things you should do to get your finances ready to buy a house.

  1. Check your credit. Your credit is one of the most important factors lenders consider when reviewing your application. People with higher credit scores typically have an easier time getting a loan and qualifying for lower rates. If there are inaccuracies on your credit reports, resolve them before applying for a mortgage.
  2. Pay down debt. Your debt-to-income ratio is one way lenders assess your ability to make your mortgage payments each month. DTI requirements vary by lender and loan type, but you generally need a DTI of 36% to 43% — or lower — to qualify for a mortgage.
  3. Set your budget. Take advantage of online mortgage calculators to determine how much you can comfortably afford to spend on a home. Don’t forget to include property taxes, homeowners insurance and private mortgage insurance (if applicable) to get an accurate picture of your total monthly mortgage expenses.
  4. Gather your documents. Your loan representative will need a variety of documents when you apply for a home loan, including tax returns, proof of income, bank and investment statements, gift letters, photo ID and your renting history (if applicable).

Is it better to get a mortgage with a bank or other lender?

It depends on your financial situation and the type of loan you’re applying for. Banks typically have more stringent lending requirements than other lenders, but the only way to know for sure if you qualify and what rate (if any) you’ll receive is to apply.

Since credit requirements, mortgage fees and interest rates vary from lender to lender, it’s a good idea to get quotes from multiple companies before choosing a lender. To minimize the impact rate shopping has on your credit, credit-scoring models often count multiple inquiries within a specific timeframe as a single inquiry.

What is the easiest type of mortgage to get approved for?

If you’re eligible, government-backed mortgages, such as FHA, USDA, and VA loans typically have less stringent credit requirements than conventional loans.

Our methodology: How we picked these home loans

We reviewed nearly 40 mortgage lenders to come up with our top picks. We considered factors such as credit requirements, the ability to prequalify, availability, application options, closing timelines and other features that may help applicants save money. 

About the author: Jennifer Brozic is a freelance financial services writer with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in communication management from Towson University. She’s committed… Read more.