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Best Mortgage Lenders in Illinois in 2018

Illinois has dozens of mortgage lenders advertising similar-sounding mortgage products, with rates and fees that are often difficult to distinguish from one another. We compiled a list of mortgage lenders offering the best rates and service for a home loan in the state, based on who you are and what your mortgage goals look like.

Best Mortgage Rates in Illinois

In Illinois, online banks compete with direct lenders to provide the best mortgage rates. These include EverBank and Ally Bank, both of which offer deposit accounts in addition to home loans.

Lowest Mortgage Rates for Illinois

LenderRateAPRMonthly P+I
EverBank3.75%3.84%$741
ConsumerDirect3.88%3.88%$752
Sebonic Financial3.88%3.91%$752
Ally Bank4.00%4.06%$764

Estimates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage for $200,000 with 20% down payment and 740 credit score

Direct lenders also reported competitive interest rates in Illinois, especially when compared to brick-and-mortar banks. Another advantage with these lenders was that their APRs stayed relatively close to their nominal rates. This shows that such lenders not only charge lower monthly mortgage payments, they also keep the upfront fees to a minimum. The greater the difference between APR and mortgage rate, the greater your closing costs on the mortgage.

But while it makes sense to avoid high interest rates on your mortgage, we found that rate and closing costs were just one of several important factors in choosing a lender. Simply shopping for the lowest available rate tends to overlook considerations like down payment requirements, quality of service and loan type. With so many moving parts to the equation, we found that the best mortgage lender will look different based on where your priorities lie.

Best Mortgage Lender for First Time Homebuyers: Quicken

We chose Quicken Loans as the best mortgage lender for buying your first home in Illinois. Quicken's combination of affordable FHA loan rates, convenient online application and high-quality service make it an ideal introduction to the home loan process.

FHA Loans in Illinois

LenderRateAPRMonthly P+I
Quicken Loans3.50%4.86%$867
Guaranteed Rate3.63%4.77%$881
Wells Fargo4.63%5.68%$993

Estimates for a $200,000 FHA purchase loan with 3.5% down payment and 740 credit score

If you're looking at buying your first house, Quicken's online mortgage process is one of the easiest ways to start educating yourself on the available options. Unlike traditional lenders, the company doesn't require people to call in or meet with a loan officer before obtaining rate estimates. Quicken Loans gives customers a transparent application process, better options for user input and high quality customer service when things get complicated.

Quicken's focus on user experience makes it an easy choice for those who don't have much experience in shopping for home loans, but it also delivers competitive interest rates for FHA loans. These loans are guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration and thus allow borrowers to post much smaller down payments than a standard loan. An FHA loan with a competitive lender like Quicken makes sense for first-time homebuyers trying to avoid high upfront costs.

Best Online Mortgage Lender: Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate does business nationwide as an online lender, with competitive rates and lender credits that outperform most traditional banks or brick-and-mortar lenders. In addition, the company's Chicago roots ensure that it's a particularly relevant choice for people living in Illinois.

Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Loans

Loan TypeRateAPRMonthly PaymentLoan Costs
30-Year Fixed3.88%3.97%$1,268$990
15-Year Fixed3.25%3.42%$1,640$790
7-Year ARM3.50%3.99%$1,234$890
5-Year ARM3.38%4.04%$1,223$1,290

Estimates for a $200,000 purchase loan with 20% down payment and 740 credit score

With few exceptions, Guaranteed Rate returned the lowest estimates on a 30-year mortgage rate in our analysis of purchase loan options in Illinois. Even when compared with lenders that did charge a lower interest rate, Guaranteed Rate offered a superior value through its generous application of lender credits. These credits are typically given to borrowers as compensation for taking a higher rate, but Guaranteed Rate attaches credits to rates that are already quite low.

In our analysis of the 30-year purchase loan, Guaranteed Rate's lender credits actually exceeded the company's origination costs. This left extra credits that could help pay for other expenses like homeowner's insurance or third-party services required as part of the mortgage origination process. Finally, Guaranteed Rate's convenient web interface grants users greater control over their loan application than you'll find in the traditional lending process.

Best Lender for In-Person Service in Illinois: Chase

If you're buying your home in Illinois, Chase's wide network of branches and standardized product offerings make it a good place to start looking for mortgage loan estimates. Chase operates hundreds of bank locations in the state, making it ideal for borrowers who want direct access to the loan officer handling their application.

Mortgage Loans at Chase Bank

Loan TypeRateAPRMonthly PaymentLoan Fees
30-Year Fixed4.00%4.09%$764$995
15-Year Fixed3.50%3.60%$1,144$395
7/1 ARM4.25%4.19%$787$595
5/1 ARM4.25%4.17%$787$795

Estimates for a $200,000 purchase loan with 20% down payment and 740 credit score

Chase is one of the largest banks in the country, and it uses this advantage to deliver reliable mortgage service. Wherever you are in Illinois, you probably aren't too far from a Chase branch where locally-based loan officers can help you in person. Having access to a familiar face counts for a lot in complicated transactions such as mortgages, and Chase adds even more value with a modern approach to online banking. As a mortgage lender, the bank won't get you the lowest in rates or fees. However, Chase's all-in-one approach to customer service makes sense if you want a consistent and reliable experience.

map of Chase branches in the US, by county

It's also worth noting that Chase isn't necessarily looking to maximize its profit from your mortgage. As rising costs and legal red tape drive many banks away from home lending, Chase continues to provide mortgages mostly because its banking and credit card customers want them. This means Chase is less likely to nickel-and-dime you at every point in the origination process or pressure you to close a loan. Of course, this also means Chase may not try as hard to keep your business by matching competitor quotes.

Best Lender for a VA Home Loan: USAA

USAA is a popular choice for auto loans and deposit accounts aimed at military veterans, but it's also a leading provider of VA loans in Illinois. Its rate quote for a zero-point VA loan in Illinois turned out to be the best offer among the major VA lenders we examined.

Best VA Lenders in Illinois

LenderMortgage RateAPRMonthly P+IEstimated Points and Fees
Navy Federal3.13%3.53%$964$6,750
JG Wentworth3.49%3.68%$1,009$795
USAA3.50%3.60%$1,010$1,125
Quicken Loans3.50%3.95%$1,010n/a

Fixed-rate estimates for a 30-year VA loan of $225,000 with 0% down payment and 740 credit score

While USAA's VA loan didn't top our rankings in any one category, the company's reputation for high customer satisfaction proved to be the deciding factor in a competitive field of VA-oriented lenders. While smaller lenders such as J.G Wentworth charge less in origination fees and major rivals like Navy Federal advertise lower interest rates through the purchase of points, USAA gives you affordable value in both. We selected it as the first choice for a VA loan because that affordability is backed up by USAA's industry-leading scores in prompt and reliable customer service, as determined by JD Power.

USAA is also a good place to obtain home financing if you prefer to keep all your finances in one convenient place. It delivers the same blend of value and quality in auto loans, deposit accounts and credit cards. Keep in mind that USAA limits its membership to qualified members of the armed forces and to veterans. This is probably not an issue if you already qualify for a VA loan, but checking your eligibility with USAA should be the first step you take.

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