Best Mortgage Lenders 2019

The "best" bank or lender for a mortgage will always change depending on your personal situation, but we compared home loan estimates from a dozen major institutions to find out which ones make the most sense in different situations. You can read more about our selections or enter your own details below to obtain more specific quotes.

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the companies. We may be compensated through affiliate programs. For a full list of our advertisers, see our disclosure page.

LenderBest For…Min. Credit ScoreHighlights
Quicken Loans Rocket MortgageOnline mortgage services580
  • Online application and document uploads
  • Largest mortgage lender in U.S. by volume
SoFiFirst-time homebuyers-
  • Alternative "social credit" underwriting for mortgages
  • Accommodates applicants with high student debt
ChaseBrick-and-mortar mortgages620
  • One of the largest U.S. consumer banks
  • Easy access to many other financial products
PennyMacFHA loan applicants580
  • Lower interest rates on FHA loans
  • Improved online platform for applying and managing loan
J.G. WentworthVeterans and servicemembers620
  • Strong focus on VA loans and customer service
  • Convenient online tools for communicating with lender

Best Online Mortgage Lender: Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans

While it's one of the first mortgage lenders to develop an online platform for delivering home loans, Quicken also stands out for its strong record of customer satisfaction in both loan origination and payment servicing. While it's not a good choice if you prefer an in-person service experience, Quicken's Rocket Mortgage may surprise you with how easily it works.

Consider this if you're looking for a convenient online mortgage lender with impressive customer service.

Good For…Bad For…
  • People who want a swift and convenient loan process
  • Users comfortable uploading documents and tracking applications online
  • Borrowers who plan on purchasing discount points
  • People who prefer in-person service and guidance
  • Applicants with lower credit scores or high debt-to-income
  • Consumers looking for home equity loans or HELOCs

Read the Full Review

Compared to traditional mortgage lenders, Quicken provides faster rate quotes and approvals through its online platform, Rocket Mortgage. You can scan and upload any necessary documents to your account online, which logs and tracks the status of your application. Rocket Mortgage won't work well for people who want to meet directly with their loan officer during the mortgage process, but Quicken has still topped the JD Power rankings in customer satisfaction for the past five years. However, Quicken doesn't carry options for home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).

Best Mortgage Lender for First-Time Buyers: SoFi

SoFi's low down payments and new methods of assessing borrower credit make it an ideal option for first-time home buyers who find traditional lenders too restrictive. While most mortgage lenders examine financial records such as credit history or outstanding debt, SoFi emphasizes "social" details that it claims can better predict future financial behavior.

Consider this if you want a mortgage lender with low down payments and fewer requirements for your first home.

Good For…Bad For…
  • People looking to purchase their first home
  • Consumers with limited or no credit history
  • People with high personal debt like student loans
  • People who don't want an online mortgage process
  • People who don't meet SoFi's "social" criteria

Read the Full Review

SoFi is a company squarely aimed at millennials, which explains why its new methods of assessing borrowers makes it easier to apply with a shorter credit history and higher debt. This makes SoFi a good fit for recent grads whose large student loans result in a high debt-to-income ratio that traditional lenders might balk at. Still, SoFi won't work if you don't meet the company's own guidelines for acceptable risk. As the name "Social Finance" implies, SoFi judges borrowers on their educational background and professional history. If you don't meet these alternative standards, it may be difficult to get approved.

Best Bank for a Mortgage: Chase

Among the major US banks, Chase delivers the best combination of lower fees, greater detail and a better rating in customer satisfaction. While banks as a group aren't the most exciting or dynamic mortgage option, lenders like Chase remain popular because they're available everywhere and offer a wide range of other financial services.

Consider this if you'd prefer a widely available mortgage lender with easy access and competitive rates.

Good For…Bad For…
  • Existing Chase customers who prefer brick-and-mortar service
  • Bank customers trying to minimize origination fees
  • People looking for detailed mortgage estimates online
  • Mortgage shoppers interested in the lowest rates
  • People living in or moving away from Chase branches in major cities

Read the Full Review

If you already bank with Chase, applying for a home loan here makes it easier to manage your finances. You'll be able to make mortgage payments in the same app you use for Chase checking, savings and credit cards. This makes it simple to stay up to date with your mortgage each month. Compared to other banks, Chase also charges lower origination fees, while its online tools are more helpful than most major competitors. But like all brick-and-mortar banks, Chase isn't the place to find the lowest mortgage rates or closing fees.

Best FHA Mortgage Lender: PennyMac

If you're shopping for FHA loans, PennyMac is a direct lender that offers competitive rates for both fixed-rate and adjustable FHA mortgages. While it's a private company unrelated to either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, PennyMac's interest rates rank among the lower estimates we've found among lenders that participate in the FHA loan program.

Consider this if you want an FHA loan with low down payment options and low rates.

Good For…Bad For…
  • Homebuyers who need a lower down payment option
  • Users who prefer looking at mortgage options online
  • People looking for jumbo loans on bigger homes
  • Borrowers who prioritize excellent customer service

At PennyMac, you'll find lower interest rates on all FHA home loans. Such rates can save you significant amounts on your mortgage if you stay in your home for the long term. However, PennyMac isn't an option if you're purchasing or refinancing a property worth more than the conforming loan limit. In most parts of the US, this limit is $424,100, although some high-cost areas allow a higher loan limit of $636,150. Borrowers looking for more than that won't be able to apply with PennyMac.

Best VA Loan Lender: J.G. Wentworth

J.G. Wentworth may not be the only mortgage lender to specialize in VA loans, but its combination of VA loan expertise, good customer service and convenient online tools make it our top choice for veterans who are purchasing homes or refinancing. While it doesn't deliver superior interest rates or operate many brick-and-mortar locations, J.G. Wentworth offers a flexible application experience that is supported by reliable guidance from loan officers you can reach by phone.

Consider this if you qualify for a VA loan and want a mortgage lender with a comprehensive online experience.

Good For…Bad For…
  • Veterans looking at VA loans for purchase or refinance
  • People who want quick and reliable service options online or by phone
  • People that prioritize good customer service in a mortgage lender
  • Borrowers shopping for the lowest interest rate
  • People who prefer having access to in-person service
  • Residents in HI, ID, MO, NV or NY

Read the Full Review

J.G. Wentworth's main advantage is its focus on VA loans, which is easily the most cost-effective way for most veterans to buy a home. A lender like J.G. Wentworth ensures you'll receive in-depth advice on how to get the most out of the VA loan program. Unlike most traditional competitors, J.G. Wentworth offers a strong mix of service options. Its app and website let you track your progress and upload documents at your convenience, while its loan officers are available by phone to address more detailed issues.

Chris Moon

Chris is a Senior Research Analyst at ValuePenguin who has covered deposit accounts and home loans since 2016. He has contributed insights and opinions to the New York Times and many other publications.

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