With over a thousand lenders in Maryland to choose from, it's daunting to figure out where you should apply for a mortgage. We looked at interest rates, origination fees and service quality to recommend some of the best mortgage lenders in the state for various types of borrowers.
- Best Mortgage Rates in Maryland
- Best Mortgage Lender for First Time Homebuyers
- Best Online Mortgage Lender
- Best Lender for In-Person Service in Maryland
- Best Lender for a VA Home Loan
Best Mortgage Rates in Maryland
So far in 2017, mortgage rates in Maryland have stayed close to the overall U.S. average. Our analysis of rates for a purchase mortgage at the state's median home value of $300,000 revealed that the lowest mortgage rate offers can be found among smaller direct lenders, many of whom advertise their offers online.
Lowest Mortgage Rates for Maryland
|United Mutual Funding||3.38%||3.46%||$1,377||$1,895|
|Best Rate USA||3.50%||3.50%||$1,392||$0|
Estimates on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage for $300,000 with 20% down payment and 740 credit score.
Among Maryland lenders with the lowest rate offers, we found that several quoted identical rates, with no additional fees. However, these estimates sometimes miss the whole story. While many direct lenders do eliminate their origination fees, you'll still have to deal with a substantial amount of other expenses in your down payment, property taxes, homeowners insurance and the cost of third-party services like property appraisal. These items form the bulk of your closing costs in any mortgage, but the APR on many mortgage offers leave them out of the calculation. This makes it important to evaluate lenders on qualities other than just interest rate.
Best Mortgage Lender for First Time Homebuyers: Quicken Loans
For Marylanders considering their first home purchase, Quicken combines competitive rates with an application experience that's easier to navigate if you've never gone about obtaining a mortgage. Although Quicken doesn't provide any in-person support, you'll be able to track your progress online and call in on the telephone whenever you need direct support.
First-Time Purchase Mortgages in Maryland
|Lender||Rate||APR||Monthly Payment||Down Payment|
|Bank of America||3.88%||4.36%||$1,480||5.0%|
Estimates for a $300,000 loan amount with minimum down payment and 740 credit score.
In Maryland and elsewhere, Quicken Loans is one of the most successful companies among the new breed of online mortgage lenders. Besides claiming to offer faster mortgage funding, Quicken has built online tool features that make it simpler to understand where you are in the origination process. This increased transparency may prove useful to people who don't quite know what to expect in getting a mortgage for their first home.
Some of Quicken's loan products also work especially well for first-time homebuyers in Maryland, with the company offering relatively low FHA loan rates. The FHA loan program isn't unique to Quicken, but it turned out to have one of the best offers among the major banks and direct lenders we surveyed. In addition, Quicken's participation in the FHA program allows it to offer a low down payment of 3.5%, which can help minimize the upfront costs of your first home loan.
Best Online Mortgage Lender: J.G. Wentworth
Quicken isn't your only online mortgage option in Maryland: if you aren't a first-time buyer, we found J.G. Wentworth to be the best online mortgage lender in the state, with lower rates and APRs for mortgages at the same loan amount and credit score.
J.G. Wentworth Mortgage Loans
|Loan Type||Rate||APR||Monthly P+I|
|30-Year VA Loan||3.49%||3.68%||$1,076|
Estimates for a $300,000 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.
J.G. Wentworth might not be the largest online mortgage lender operating in Maryland, but its low rates make it a strong option if you're trying to lower your monthly mortgage payment. While it's relatively new to mortgage lending, the company provides online tools that work just as well as those of more established competitors, resulting in a faster origination process that's supported by phone service from experienced professionals. J.G. Wentworth also emphasizes its lower fees, with a flat origination fee of $795 on every loan. This allows you to put more of your money into your down payment, resulting in a larger home purchase or a cheaper loan process.
But like all online mortgage lenders, J.G. Wentworth's services suffer from a lack of in-person services. If you're a consumer who finds it easier or more reassuring to deal with a real person in large transactions like a home purchase, the most that J.G. Wentworth offers is telephone support and options to track your application online. This limitation applies both during the origination and afterwards, when you're making monthly payments. But if you're one of the many homeowners willing to work with a lender in an online-only format, the savings you get from J.G. Wentworth's slimmer loan costs may be worth the sacrifice of personal service at a brick-and-mortar location.
Best Lender for In-Person Service in Maryland: PNC Bank
For the more locally-minded consumer, PNC Bank is Maryland's most accessible brick-and-mortar mortgage lending option. Funding your home purchase or refinancing with PNC offers the benefit of direct service as well as the heightened expertise of a loan officer who may have a better understanding of your community and personal situation.
Mortgage Loans at PNC Bank
|Loan Type||Rate||APR||Monthly Payment|
Estimates for a $300,000 purchase loan with 20% down payment and 740 credit score
As a large regional bank with hundreds of branches, PNC is an easy place to start shopping for a mortgage. It carries conventional, jumbo and government-backed mortgage products that arm customers with greater flexibility when they decide on how to finance their home purchases. For Marylanders who already have deposits and investments with PNC, applying for a mortgage here can simplify their money management. Existing customers also have some options to save. For instance, PNC Wealth Management clients receive a 0.25% mortgage rate discount on any fixed-rate jumbo mortgage with the bank.
However, PNC isn't without drawbacks. For one thing, its home loan rates and fees aren't particularly low when compared to mortgages at other banks, and they actually lead to higher costs than at most direct lenders. Moreover, the bank hasn't really distinguished itself as a high-quality mortgage servicer in recent years. In 2017, JD Power assigned PNC a customer satisfaction score in mortgage servicing that fell just below the industry average. While the large scale of PNC's operations mean that your local branch will give you a standardized level of support, your experience here probably won't go above and beyond what competing lenders can provide.
Best Lender for a VA Home Loan: USAA
For Maryland's veterans and current members of the military, USAA's VA loan options constitute the best value. USAA's military-only membership rules let the company tailor its mortgages and other products to the unique requirements of veterans and their families. These include zero-down home loans, preferential interest rates and a customer service reputation that's almost second to none.
Best VA Lenders in Maryland
|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.
USAA gives servicemembers and veterans one of the most affordable means of achieving homeownership in the state of Maryland. While USAA isn't a credit union like its chief rival Navy Federal, it follows similar rules in keeping its membership limited to people who have professional or personal connections to the armed forces. If you qualify to join USAA, that's great news: its VA loan products offer some of the best loan rates we were able to obtain. While its estimated closing costs were quite high compared to other VA lenders, we found that much of the difference was due to USAA's unusually extensive and transparent disclosure of likely costs.