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It's important to shop around when comparing mortgage lenders in Colorado, as certain companies specialize in different mortgage types or cater to specific consumers. While one lender may offer the lowest rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, that might not be true for the lender's VA loans. This is especially important when one tenth of a percentage point can mean the difference of thousands of dollars. To simplify things, we've reviewed dozens of lenders in The Centennial State and isolated our top picks in the segments below.
The Best Mortgage Rates Among Colorado Lenders
For a customized rate quote, check out our lender reviews for the top picks among the categories below. New homebuyers should understand that interest rates alone won't capture all the factors that might impact your mortgage loan. Borrowers should also take other concerns into account including customer service, unique terms and closing costs.
To help you better evaluate your options, we've selected our top picks for best mortgage lenders based on a variety of characteristics, including how well they met borrower needs in certain key areas. We reviewed multiple characteristics, ranging from the transparency of their rates to the variety of terms each lender offered.
Best Mortgage Lender for First-Time Homebuyers: U.S. Bank
Among the major consumer banks with branches in Colorado, U.S. Bank proved to be the most convenient choice for homebuyers who want experienced in-person consultations from licensed loan officers. With hundreds of bank locations between Denver and Grand Junction, U.S. Bank offers the best balance of branch access and loan products. It was also the second-largest originator of mortgage loans in Colorado over the past five years, exceeded only by Wells Fargo.
While smaller than other national banks, U.S. Bank provides better service coverage in Colorado than any other lender, and it has avoided the negative press coverage that has plagued its larger rivals. In fact, in a 2017 J.D. Power study on primary mortgage servicers across the country, U.S. Bank ranked No. 7 nationally, placing ahead of Chase Bank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. For people who find it crucial to connect with a real person as part of their mortgage shopping experience, it's difficult to find a mortgage lender more accessible than U.S. Bank within the state. Direct lenders and online businesses may offer better rates or no-fee loans, but they can't match the reach of U.S. Bank's brick-and-mortar network in Colorado.
U.S. Bank also makes sense for people who already rely on it for checking and savings services. Having your mortgage balance with the bank would make it much easier to keep all your accounts in one place. In addition, you may find that your loan offer from U.S. Bank will be more favorable if you already have an existing banking relationship. Since it's important for local branches to broaden connections with existing customers, they may be willing to offer you preferential interest rates in an effort to keep your business.
Best Mortgage Lender for Refinancing: Quicken Loans
We listed Quicken Loans as our No. 1 pick for mortgage refinancing due to its competitive rates and flexibility. Additionally, while Wells Fargo's position as America's largest mortgage lender has been declining due to its recent public relations debacle, Quicken Loans has been growing its market share significantly over recent years, and it was awarded J.D. Power's highest customer satisfaction rating in both primary mortgage originations and mortgage servicing for the past eight and four years, respectively.
When compared side by side with Wells Fargo, the largest mortgage originator in the state, we saw that Quicken's rate quotes were either on par or cheaper than Wells Fargo's best offerings. However, unlike the structured loan terms provided by large banks, Quicken Loans also offers a unique YOURgage program that allows borrowers to structure a custom fixed-rate loan for any term between eight and 29 years. In addition, if you're trying to refinance a conventional mortgage into a special government loan offered through the VA or FHA, Quicken Loans is equipped to do that, too.
Best Online Mortgage Lender: Guaranteed Rate
Guaranteed Rate is our top choice as the best online mortgage lender currently available to most Coloradans. Although we recognize Quicken Loans as another excellent online option, we found that Guaranteed Rate supplied a more intuitive website and wider range of online tools to help borrowers evaluate their costs. Guaranteed Rate's diverse selection of mortgage loans also appeals to a larger variety of borrowers, especially those who don't know which type of home loan will best fit their needs.
The biggest advantage at Guaranteed Rate is the lender's transparency. Where most direct lenders use their websites as a means of collecting your contact information for one-on-one dealing, Guaranteed Rate goes one step further and provides a detailed summary of your borrowing options and top recommendations. The company's site allows you to enter your home value, desired down payment and credit score in order to receive customized quotes on multiple types of mortgages.
Even if you're more concerned about costs than convenience, Guaranteed Rate's mortgage rates generally beat the quotes we obtained from competing brick-and-mortar lenders in Colorado. Both its interest rates and underwriting fees tend to benefit from the fact that it costs less to operate as an online-only lending business. Like SoFi and other new mortgage companies, Guaranteed Rate is able to pass on those savings to consumers in an effort to attract customers willing to trade face-to-face service for a cheaper home loan.
Best Mortgage Lender for VA Loans: J.G. Wentworth
J.G. Wentworth isn't Colorado's biggest or oldest VA lender, but it offers the ideal balance of low interest rates and reasonable closing costs for both veterans and active service members. The lender even allows you to finance the usual upfront VA funding fee into your mortgage balance, which is an important feature that reduces the amount of cash due at closing. Most large banks prohibit this practice.
J.G. Wentworth is best known for providing structured settlements, but its recent entry into mortgage lending brings added competition to the market for VA loans in Colorado. Larger VA-centric lenders like USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union have lower interest rates and established reputations for customer service, but J.G. Wentworth's much lower closing costs can benefit veterans who need to make every dollar count in meeting the initial costs of a home loan. This can be important for veteran homebuyers and service members stationed at Fort Carson or Peterson Air Force Base.
By financing the VA funding fee, J.G. Wentworth allows customers to spread that cost over the full 30-year term of a VA loan. This leads to higher monthly payments but lowers your closing costs by thousands of dollars. Combined with a flat origination fee of $750 and the $0 down payment option of the VA loan program, this option makes J.G. Wentworth's mortgages even more cost-effective for Coloradans who qualify for a VA loan.
Best Mortgage Lender for Poor Credit: American Financing
American Financing is our top recommendation for borrowers with bad credit, or those who have trouble scraping together the funds for a down payment. Not only is the company an approved lender through the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority's (CHFA) home purchase assistance programs, but data obtained from S&P Global Market Intelligence showed that American Financing was the No. 1 originator of government-guaranteed Federal Housing Administration loans over the past five years. That indicates a track record of lending through the FHA program that's difficult to match.
American Financing advertises "salary-based mortgage consultants," who are trained to tailor your mortgage loan to your budget. American Financing is also authorized to provide financial assistance through the CHFA to qualifying homebuyers in Colorado. That includes CHFA's FirstStep, Advantage, Preferred and SmartStep homebuyer programs. Borrowers who need help with meeting down payment requirements for a home may qualify for special down payment financing through CHFA at 0%, or they may even qualify for grants that don't need to be repaid after a certain period of time. Borrowers looking for special state-backed financing programs will have better luck finding them through regional lenders like American Financing than large national banks or online-only lenders.
How We Chose the Best Mortgage Lenders in Colorado
We weighed the following criteria while evaluating mortgage loan companies in Colorado.
- Total cost: interest rates and closing costs
- Product: terms, programs and specialty
- Servicing: transparency, complaint data and branch network
We reviewed each lender's rates, terms and closing costs. While interest rates were important, we also evaluated each lender's terms on a total cost basis, factoring in both closing costs and fees. We attempted to view each lender holistically rather than zeroing in on individual traits.
Customer service records and lender experience can help predict how likely it is for your mortgage to close without incident. We looked at a number of qualitative factors including publicly available complaint data, number of loan originations and size of lender branch networks. A borrower in Garfield County, Colorado, may have access to fewer lenders than a similar borrower in El Paso County. These factors can help determine the consistency of customer service across the state and how accessible each lender might be in less-populated regions.
Finally, we looked at the competitive advantage of each respective lender, whether any special financing programs or discounts were available with certain lenders, and unique terms that weren't ubiquitous across the industry. As an example, most lenders offer conventional fixed-rate mortgages, but there's a smaller universe of lenders capable of underwriting special government-sponsored mortgage programs like FHA, VA and USDA loans. Whether these terms were available, and each lender's relative expertise, played large roles in determining whether it was selected as the top pick for each category.
Most Popular Home Loan Companies in Colorado
Below, we've listed the top five most popular mortgage companies for Colorado over the past five years. These lenders are ranked in order of total number of residential mortgages originated based on data supplied by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Top 5 Biggest Colorado Residential Mortgage Lenders, 2013–2019
|Rank||Company||Mortgage originations||Average mortgage amount|
Although these lenders were the most active in the state, they may not have been selected for our best lender categories, which looked at a variety of other factors in addition to origination volume. Homebuyers shopping for a mortgage may find the chart above useful for comparison purposes.
When mortgage shopping, it's important to compare all the characteristics of your top picks, contrasting their records for customer service, closing costs, and special terms and conditions. There may also be unique issues that matter to you that weren't covered in this article. Make sure you tailor your mortgage selection to match your unique needs.
Mortgage Brokers Near Me in Colorado
Licensed mortgage brokers can help you shop across multiple lenders and save time in the process. They act as the intermediary between you and the mortgage loan companies. They differ from mortgage loan officers, who work on behalf of a mortgage company and only offer loans from a single lender. By contrast, mortgage brokers shop your home loan across multiple lenders to find the right match for you.
A reputable mortgage broker can help take the guesswork out of loan shopping, as they'll work to find the loan that best fits your needs. Below, we've compiled a list of licensed mortgage brokers in your area.
|Windom Capital Inc||3560 Evergreen Pkwy, Suite 101, Evergreen CO 80439||(303) 679-2585|
|Universal Lending Home Loans||5680 Greenwood Plaza Blvd, Suite 145, Greenwood Village CO 80111||(303) 759-7367|
|Velocity Lending LLC||300 S Howes St, Fort Collins CO 80521||(970) 672-0010|
|Mac 5 Mortgage||225 Union Blvd, Suite 350, Lakewood CO 80228||(720) 881-2537|
|First Class Financial Services||1777 S. Harrison St, #1505, Denver CO 80210||(720) 904-9048|
|Colorado Lenders, Inc.||2500 Arapahoe Ave, Suite 200, Boulder CO 80302||(303) 578-9202|
|Churchill Mortgage Colorado Springs||104 S Cascade Ave, 201A, Colorado Springs CO 80903||(719) 633-8483|
|Bennett Mortgage Group||13791 E. Rice Place, Suite 108, Aurora CO 80015||(720) 224-8404|
|Central Rockies Mortgage Corporation||30 W Benchmark Rd, #102, Avon CO 81620||(970) 845-7000|
|Inspired Home Lending||814 4th Ave, Longmont CO 80501||(303) 774-0600|