Best Mortgage Lenders in Arkansas in 2019

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LenderBest ForMin. Credit ScoreHighlights
Arvest BankFirst-Time Homebuyers620
  • Largest branch network in Arkansas
  • Most popular lender in Arkansas over the past 5 years
Quicken LoansRefinancing580
  • Fastest growth among top lenders in Arkansas
  • Highest customer satisfaction rating from J.D. Power for 8 years in a row
Guaranteed RateOnline Loans620
  • One of the lowest rates of customer service complaints among any lender
  • Competitive rates for qualifying borrowers
USAAVA Loans620
  • 2nd Most Popular VA lender in Arkansas
  • Top rating from J.D. Power's 2018 Primary Mortgage Servicer Customer Satisfaction study
Simmons BankPoor Credit580
  • One of Arkansas' top 5 FHA lenders by volume
  • Arkansas Development Finance Authority approved lender
LenderBest ForMin. Credit Score
Arvest BankFirst-Time Homebuyers620
Quicken LoansRefinancing580
Guaranteed RateOnline Loans620
USAAVA Loans620
Simmons BankPoor Credit580

If you're shopping for a home in the land of opportunity, it's a good idea to cross-shop home loans across multiple mortgage lenders. Depending on the cost of your future home, minor rate differences can add up to thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your loan. Start comparing lenders in Arkansas by entering your details into the quote box below, or read about our top picks by clicking on the name of a lender.

Best Mortgage Lender for First-Time Home Buyers: Arvest Bank

As the leading mortgage lender in Arkansas, Arvest Bank is an excellent choice for home buyers seeking experienced in-person consultations. It's also an Arkansas Development Finance Authority-approved lender, which allows it to offer down payment credits to qualifying first-time home buyers in Arkansas.

Consider this if You're looking for an accessible local lender who offers first-time home buyer assistance.

Good For…Bad For…
  • First-time home buyers looking for experienced in-person guidance
  • First-time home buyers seeking a variety of loan options
  • Borrowers looking for a quick online rate quote

Arvest services 99% of its loans in-house, which means you can avoid any headache caused by third-party loan servicers. This emphasis on quality control has resulted in only eight complaints reported through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over the past five years. To put that into perspective, Wells Fargo registered 92 complaints over the same period, making Arvest the clear winner when it comes to customer service.

Arvest holds the largest branch network in Arkansas, with 141 locations throughout the state. It's also the state's most popular mortgage lender, having originated over 46,700 residential mortgages over the past five years. That's over double the volume of its closest competitor. If Arvest isn't the right bank for you, take a look at our other national recommendations for first-time home buyers.

Best Mortgage Lender for Refinancing: Quicken Loans

We chose Quicken Loans as the best lender for homeowners seeking to refinance their existing mortgage, thanks to the speed and efficiency of its Rocket Mortgage program. It's also the fastest-growing lender among Arkansas' five most popular mortgage companies, according to data obtained from S&P.

Consider this if You're looking for a fast-and-easy refinancing solution.

Good For…Bad For…
  • Existing homeowners exploring cash-out options
  • Straightforward expedited refinancing
  • Not particularly competitive when it comes to rates
  • No home equity financing options

Read the Full Review

Quicken Loans refinanced more than 10,000 mortgage loans over the past five years; it's also quickly gaining popularity as both a VA and FHA lender. Although it doesn't offer home equity financing, Quicken makes up for it with its wide range of conventional, reverse and streamlined refinancing options. Homeowners refinancing through Quicken can also structure their new mortgage into any term they want between eight and 29 years, which is a level of flexibility that's rarely offered by other lenders.

If you have any doubts about whether an online mortgage lender can offer services comparable to a traditional brick-and-mortar lender, you need not worry, as Quicken Loans received J.D. Power's highest rating in customer satisfaction for eight years in a row. The fact that it's one of America's fastest-growing lenders makes it worth getting a quick quote from Quicken.

Best Online Mortgage Lender: Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate is an excellent choice for borrowers with great credit and low debt-to-income ratios. The Chicago-based online lender offers competitive rates for those who qualify. It also performed exceptionally well when it came to customer service.

Consider this if You have decent credit and want a competitive rate quote from an online lender.

Good For…Bad For…
  • Well-qualified borrowers with low debt-to-income ratios
  • People looking for a quick no-obligation rate quote
  • People who struggle to meet the minimum loan requirements
  • Borrowers who want a face-to-face lending experience

Read the Full Review

Compared to the many online mortgage lenders available in the state, Guaranteed Rate is the best option for Arkansas home buyers who want to explore different loan types with affordable rates. By entering a few details into Guaranteed Rate's website, you can get preliminary rate quotes for almost a dozen different mortgage products, making it easier for borrowers to compare different loans in one place.

Guaranteed Rate also obtained one of the lowest ratios of complaints to loan originations in the mortgage market, registering complaints for just 0.04% of all loans originated over five years. By contrast, 2.4% of all Bank of America mortgages originated over the same period recorded complaints at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Best Mortgage Lender for VA Loans: USAA

We've selected USAA as our top Arkansas lender for VA loans because it specializes in helping service members and boasts exceptional customer service ratings. It also offers borrowers access to a private network of real estate agents, dedicated to helping veterans find homes.

Consider this if You're an active service member looking for a home and a VA loan.

Good For…Bad For…
  • Veterans who want to keep all their finances in one place
  • Borrowers who also need assistance finding a home
  • People not affiliated with the military
  • Borrowers who can qualify for the lowest rates

Read the Full Review

Even though USAA doesn't offer the lowest rates around, membership with USAA grants you access to a solid network of loan officers and real estate agents. The agents specialize in helping veterans and active service members find homes. On top of this, if you purchase or sell a home through its realtor network, USAA can grant you up to $24,000 in cash back depending on the sale price of the property.

USAA makes an excellent one-stop shop for military personnel stationed at Fort Smith and Pine Bluff; it's also the most popular VA lender in the state that is specifically focused on lending to veterans. If you're shopping for a VA loan, it's a good idea to check where current VA rates are, so you're equipped to compare multiple rate quotes.

Best Mortgage Lender for Poor Credit: Simmons Bank

Simmons Bank is a good choice if you have low-to-moderate income or otherwise have trouble qualifying for a conventional mortgage loan. Simmons originated almost 1,500 FHA loans over the past five years, making it one of the top five FHA lenders in Arkansas.

Consider this if You're looking for a lender that offers home buyer assistance.

Good For…Bad For…
  • Borrowers with low-to-moderate income
  • People with limited credit histories
  • People looking for home equity loans
  • People who want to put more money down

Simmons Bank is an Arkansas Development Finance Authority-approved lender (ADFA), which allows it to offer state-sponsored down payment and closing cost credits for qualifying home buyers. Simmons Bank can help borrowers qualify for grants of up to 4% to help cover closing costs. It also offers dollar-for-dollar mortgage tax credits for first-time and low-to-moderate income home buyers.

Simmons is the second most popular mortgage lender in Arkansas, and has 86 branches located throughout the state. This makes it easy for prospective home buyers to drop in and obtain a quick rate quote. You can even prequalify for a mortgage through its website by entering a few key details about your financial background. If you're unsure whether Simmons Bank is right for you, take a look at our other top national recommendations for FHA lenders.

Most Popular Home Loan Companies in Arkansas

If you're shopping for a mortgage in Arkansas, it's a good idea to use these companies to compare quotes, as they will likely be at, or close to, the average market rate. Keep in mind that these lenders may not have been selected among our top picks, as we compared each lender holistically on a number of factors. We've cited the five most popular mortgage lenders in Arkansas below, based on the total number of residential home loans originated over the past five years.

Top 5 Biggest Arkansas Residential Mortgage Lenders, 2013–2018

RankCompanyMortgage originationsAverage mortgage amount
1Arvest Bank47,740$144,350
2Simmons Bank19,658$166,420
3First Security Bank16,085$171,430
4Quicken Loans14,347$141,805
5Centennial Bank13,704$168,242

Make sure you review each lender by comparing its record for customer service and any unique features it offers in addition to interest rates. When buying a home, remember to consider any other factors buying a home that matter to you that may not have been covered in our reviews.

How We Chose the Best Mortgage Lenders in Arkansas

While interest rates played a large role in our decision, we also reviewed each lender's unique terms and fees. When interest charges, fees and closing costs were viewed side by side, lenders who otherwise offered the same rate ended up thousands of dollars apart. This complexity explains why we rated lenders on multiple criteria:

  • Total cost: interest rates and closing costs
  • Product: terms, programs and specialty
  • Servicing: transparency, complaint data and branch network

The quality of a lender's customer service required more in-depth analysis. We highlighted any unique terms a lender offered that were not common in the industry. For example, while almost every mortgage company offers conventional fixed-rate mortgages, fewer companies specialize in niche financing programs like USDA or FHA loans. We chose to emphasize these lenders where applicable.

We looked at customer service records and complaints from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to forecast the likelihood of issues arising during the lending process. We also evaluated the size of each lender's branch network as well as the depth of its online lending platform, which helped us measure accessibility. These points further influenced our picks when it came to customer service.

Mortgage Brokers Near Me in Arkansas

Mortgage brokers shop for home loans on your behalf and are an excellent resource for first-time home buyers unfamiliar or uncomfortable with shopping for home loans. They're worth considering if you're having trouble qualifying for a mortgage on your own. Take a look at the table below to find a mortgage broker near you.

NameAddressPhone Number
Citywide Professional Lending, Inc.650 S. Shackleford Rd. #400, Little Rock, Ark. 72211(501) 975-3575
NwaLending.com2829 Hyland Park Rd., Fayetteville, Ark. 72701(479) 841-6610
Central Arkansas Finance939 Locust St., Conway, Ark. 72034(501) 932-0209
First Arkansas Mortgage Co.5606 J.F.K. Blvd., North Little Rock, Ark. 72116(501) 771-4488
Nosari Home Mortgage1001 Hwy 62 E. Mountain Home, Ark. 72653(870) 425-8351
First Arkansas Financial, Inc.7067, 906 S. Rock St., Sheridan, Ark. 72150(870) 942-5050
Union Home Mortgage118 E. 2nd St., Russellville, Ark. 72801(479) 264-3099
Westerman Mortgage1401 Malvern Ave. Ste. 110, Hot Springs, Ark. 71901(501) 781-0028
ENG Lending Inc.1602 S. Pine St., Cabot, Ark. 72023(501) 941-1647
The Carroll Mortgage Group, Inc.9101 N. Rodney Parham Rd. #1, Little Rock, Ark. 72205(501) 228-9797
Madison Miller

Madison is a former Research Analyst at ValuePenguin who focused on student loans and personal loans. She graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.A. in Financial Economics with a double minor in Business and Psychology.

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Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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