Georgia homebuyers have plenty of mortgage lending options, whether you're looking at properties in the heart of Atlanta or quieter cities like Brunswick. But choosing the ideal company for a home purchase or mortgage refinance requires more than just rate-shopping. We looked at the available mortgage options in Georgia to identify the best choice in different types of home loan scenarios.
- Best Mortgage Rates in Georgia
- Best Mortgage Lender for First Time Homebuyers
- Best Online Mortgage Lender
- Best Lender for In-Person Service in Georgia
- Best Lender for a VA Home Loan
Best Mortgage Rates in Georgia
We found that mortgage rates in Georgia were substantially lower than in many other parts of the US, but rates stayed fairly consistent across different areas of the state. Direct lenders tended to produce better rate estimates than traditional mortgage lenders such as banks.
Lowest Mortgage Rates for Georgia
|Best Rate USA||3.75%||3.75%||$741||$0|
Estimates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage for $200,000 with 20% down payment and 740 credit score
The low rates and loan fees in several of these online estimates make smaller lenders seem like the obvious choice, but finding the right company to finance your home purchase requires more than just opting for the cheapest monthly payment. For instance, not all mortgage lenders provide FHA loans or VA loans, so you'll have to filter your search accordingly if you're interested in one of those government-sponsored mortgage programs.
Customer service quality is another important consideration in dealing with mortgage lender offers. Although this is harder to measure than interest rates and fees, you don't want to sign a mortgage agreement with a lender that's going to misrepresent its offer or lose track of your monthly payments. We looked at lenders in Georgia from the standpoint of reliability and transparency to figure out which ones do the best job for each type of borrower.
Best Mortgage Lender for First Time Homebuyers: Quicken
Among mortgage lenders active in Georgia, FHA loan estimates from Quicken proved to be the best option we saw for new homebuyers. Beyond the affordability of its interest rate, Quicken's established a reputation for delivering a great customer experience both before and after you sign a loan agreement.
FHA Loans in Georgia
|Bank of America||3.75%||4.32%||$894|
Estimates for a $200,000 FHA purchase loan with minimum down payment and 740 credit score
The biggest reason you'd want to buy your first home in Georgia with Quicken's Rocket Mortgages is its affordable deal on the FHA loan. If you're trying to purchase your first home, using the FHA loan program can help you reduce both your down payment and the required credit score for your initial mortgage. These two factors make up the biggest barrier to new borrowers, and Quicken's participation in the FHA loan program represents an affordable solution to both.
However, the advantages of choosing Quicken for your first mortgage in the Peach State aren't limited to the savings alone. The lender's use of online loan applications make it simple for new customers to explore the possible loan scenarios at Quicken and keep track of their progress as the origination moves forward. By keeping applicants in the loop and able to participate at their own pace, Quicken ensures that you have enough information to understand the process of getting your first home loan.
Best Online Mortgage Lender: Guaranteed Rate
Online lenders have begun providing some of the most competitive mortgages in Georgia, and Guaranteed Rate stood out in our analysis with the best home loan rates found in the pack. The company provides Georgians with flexible options for purchase and refinancing, including FHA loans and VA loans at 15- to 30-year terms.
Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Loans
|Loan Type||Rate||APR||Monthly P+I|
|30-Year FHA Loan||3.75%||4.61%||$741|
|30-Year VA Loan||3.63%||4.00%||$730|
Estimates for a $200,000 purchase loan with 20% down payment and 740 credit score. The APR and monthly costs for ARMs can increase based on changes in the index rate
While Quicken is also a popular online lender, we chose Guaranteed Rate as the better option for Georgians based on the loan estimates we received for home addresses located within the state. The two mortgage lenders advertised fairly similar rates, but a closer look at the mortgage points show that Guaranteed Rate's offers tend to cost less in terms of initial fees. Although Quicken is by far the bigger name in online mortgages, you should start with Guaranteed Rate if your first priority is minimizing loan expenses.
Best Lender for In-Person Service in Georgia: SunTrust
A familiar name in traditional consumer banking, SunTrust proved to be the best available option for in-person mortgages in the state of Georgia. With its wide network of branch locations and a wide array of home loan programs, SunTrust presents an easy solution for Georgians who want to be sure they're doing business with a familiar face.
Mortgage Loans at SunTrust
|Loan Type||Rate||APR||Monthly P+I||Discount Points|
|Agency 30-Year Fixed||4.13%||4.20%||$776||0.20|
|Agency 15-Year Fixed||3.49%||3.65%||$1,143||0.35|
|FHA 30-Year Fixed||3.90%||4.99%||$910||0.36|
|VA 30-Year Fixed||4.00%||4.24%||$955||0.11|
Agency loan estimates for a $200,000 loan amount with minimum required down payment and credit score.
SunTrust isn't the cheapest mortgage lender available, but it's the most cost-effective option among the lenders that provide dependable access to in-person services in Georgia. While major banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America also have large networks of physical locations, SunTrust consistently offered better combinations of mortgage rate and loan fees for the estimates we received. SunTrust also scored fairly high in JD Power's survey of customer satisfaction in loan servicing, giving homebuyers in Georgia one more reason to consider it for their mortgage.
There's also a good chance that you already own a checking account or deposit your savings with SunTrust. If you're an existing customer, the bank is likely to offer you preferential rates on a new home loan as a relationship bonus. Keeping all your accounts in one place also streamlines your month-to-month finances by allowing you to set up automatic payments on your mortgage from a SunTrust checking or savings account. This makes SunTrust a good mortgage option for people who prefer the traditional banking experience.
Best Lender for a VA Home Loan: USAA
As in many other states, USAA is our pick for the best VA lender in Georgia, thanks to its friendly mortgage rates and excellent performance in customer satisfaction metrics.
Best VA Lenders in Georgia
|Lender||Mortgage Rate||APR||Monthly P+I||Estimated Points and Fees|
Fixed-rate estimates for a 30-year VA loan of $225,000 with 0% down payment, 2.15% VA funding fee and credit score of 740
With a large military community in areas like Fort Benning, Georgia is home to hundreds of thousands of potential VA loan applicants who could benefit from USAA's member-only rates and fees. USAA consistently offers better VA loan rates than any standard bank we've reviewed, including Wells Fargo or Bank of America. It's also one of the few lenders who will finance your VA funding fee, an upfront cost of at least 2.15% on the loan balance. This keeps your initial expenses down and leaves you with more resources to cover other closing costs such as homeowner's insurance premiums.
USAA is already well-known for its commitment to high quality service in auto loans and checking accounts, and its approach to mortgage lending seems no different. In our overview of mortgage-related complaints filed with the CFPB, USAA posted one of the lowest rates of complaint compared to the volume of loans it handles. While it's one of the strongest recommendations we can offer in the area of VA loans, USAA requires you to apply for membership as a qualified servicemember or veteran. While this won't be an issue if you qualify for a VA loan already, it may mean that you'll find it most convenient to move all your finances to USAA.