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With hundreds of available options, your expenses and homebuying experience are heavily influenced by the mortgage company you pick. The difference of 0.50% in your mortgage rate can mean as much as $17,000 in extra interest charges over the span of a 30- year mortgage. That's why it pays to shop across multiple lenders for your best terms possible. Read about our top picks in different mortgage categories, or use our quotebox above to receive customized rate quotes in Michigan.
The Best Mortgage Rates Among Michigan Lenders
One of the simplest ways to compare lenders is to sort your choices by interest rate. While these quotes give you an idea of what to expect, they're not the only numbers you should be concerned with. Getting a mortgage requires that you handle upfront costs including down payments and servicing fees. Even setting these aside, the APRs that you'll be looking at don't necessarily take into account nonstandard scenarios like an early exit from the loan.
Interest rates alone won't capture all the factors that might impact your borrowing experience. You should also consider qualities like customer service and closing fees. To help you better evaluate lenders in different categories, our top picks for the best mortgage lenders look at a variety of characteristics and how well they match up to different borrower needs. We looked at every dimension of a lender, ranging from the transparency of their rates to the variety of terms they offer.
Best Mortgage Lender for First-Time Homebuyers: The Huntington National Bank
Among mortgage lenders that offer in-person services in Michigan, The Huntington National Bank earned our top spot due to its strong network of physical locations and an industry-leading reputation for customer service. In fact, J.D. Power ranked Huntington Bank third nationally for customer satisfaction among primary mortgage servicers for 2017.
First-time homebuyers often look for established brands that offer face-to-face consultations with experienced loan officers who can help walk them through their first-home purchase. The Huntington National Bank fulfills these roles admirably, as it has over 460 branch locations scattered throughout the state, almost twice the size of its next largest competitor Chase Bank. This makes it easy to find a loan officer regardless of whether you live in Emmett or Lenawee County.
Huntington also outscores much larger brands like Bank of America and Wells Fargo in two key areas: mortgage rates and customer service. Among all the brick-and-mortar mortgage lenders licensed to operate in Michigan, Huntington earned the highest ratings for customer satisfaction in both mortgage origination and loan servicing. And though Huntington's website doesn't provide custom rate estimates, the rates we did see turned out to be fairly competitive when compared to major competitors in the region. Huntington Bank is also capable of helping borrowers apply for down payment grants through the Michigan State Housing Development Agency, which can provide first-time homebuyers as much as $7,500 in down payment grants in qualifying areas.
Best Mortgage Lender for Refinancing: Lake Michigan Credit Union
If you're looking to refinance an existing mortgage, or cash out on your home equity, we recommend checking with Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU), as the lender offers the most competitive rates we've seen for refinancing among major lenders in the state. It doesn't hurt that LMCU was the second-most prolific originator of refinancing and home equity loan products in Michigan over the past five years.
Not only is LMCU willing to refinance your mortgage at competitive rates, but the lender guarantees that it will match any competitor's best offer or credit your account for $300 off your closing costs. This helps ensure that LMCU customers are getting the best rates and rewards enterprising borrowers for shopping around.
Finally, borrowers seeking to cash out through the home equity route, rather than through refinancing are in luck, as LMCU also offers some of the lowest rates on home equity loans around, which can be obtained for any period between five and 15 years. LMCU also provides no-fee HELOCS, which contain a fixed-rate conversion option that can be exercised at no cost out of pocket. However, as LMCU is a credit union, borrowers will need to apply for membership to qualify for its loan products.
Best Online Mortgage Lender: Quicken Loans
Michigan's largest mortgage lender, Quicken Loans, is also the best choice for obtaining mortgages through an online platform. Quicken's Rocket Mortgage is designed to make the application and approval process much faster than traditional mortgage underwriting, which makes it an excellent choice if you need to finance your home purchase as quickly as possible. Additionally, borrowers in Hillsdale or Wexford Counties don't have to worry about playing second-fiddle to Dearborn, as one of the strengths of the online lender is its consistency of customer service, regardless of where you live.
The mortgage rates advertised on Quicken's website aren't necessarily the lowest available, but the company's digital mortgage tools allow you to run through the entire process without leaving your desk. With Rocket Mortgage, you can view rate estimates, upload documents and check the status of your application on your own schedule. Quicken also offers government-backed loans like FHA and VA mortgage loans, making it a decent place to start shopping for a home loan regardless of the specific loan you need.
Best Mortgage Lender for VA Loans: J.G. Wentworth
When it comes to quality of service and the overall affordability of a VA loan in Michigan, we found that J.G. Wentworth is the best option in the state. J.G. Wentworth specializes in VA lending, which means that its mortgage loan officers are better-equipped to help you navigate the requirements of the VA mortgage program. Veterans and active-duty military service members in Lansing, Battle Creek and elsewhere in Michigan have an experienced online mortgage partner in J.G. Wentworth.
Based on our analysis of VA loan rates and customer complaint data from the CFPB, J.G. Wentworth offers value in two areas. Its interest rate and APR for a standard 30-year fixed-rate VA loan turned out to be lower than estimates obtained from either USAA or Veterans United Home Loans, two of the largest lenders specializing in VA loans within Michigan. Among the three, J.G. Wentworth also received the lowest ratio of complaints-to-mortgage-originations as recorded by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over the past five years, surpassing USAA and Veterans United in both rates and customer service.
Best Mortgage Lender for Poor Credit: Mortgage 1
Borrowers struggling with down payments or bad credit should look into an FHA loan with Mortgage 1. This lender is the second-largest originator of FHA loans in the state, which allows borrowers to qualify for mortgages with down payments as low as 3.5% and credit scores as low as 580. Additionally, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), which provides first-time homebuyers with down payment assistance, listed Mortgage 1 as its No. 1 approved lender for the past five years, indicating that Mortgage 1 is well-versed in MSHDA's MI Home Loan program, and works closely with the Authority to make home ownership affordable for Michigan residents.
Mortgage 1 takes a hybrid approaching to mortgage lending and combines traditional face-to-face loan consultations with automated electronic approvals, through its "Mortgage in a SNAP" electronic platform. If you reside in a county that's far away from its existing 35-plus branch locations, you can still apply, prequalify and even speak face-to-face with a loan officer through the lender's phone/online application. While Mortgage 1's branches are concentrated around Warren County, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, with a few sprinkled throughout the rest of the state, borrowers that live in less-populated areas can still complete their entire mortgage application online and over the phone with guidance from one of the lender's 196 loan officers.
How We Chose the Best Mortgage Lenders in Michigan
We took a consumer perspective when evaluating our top picks for mortgage lenders in Michigan and weighed the following criteria:
- Total Cost: interest rates, closing costs
- Product: terms, programs, specialty
- Servicing: transparency, complaint data, branch network
We looked at each lender's rates, terms and closing costs. While interest rates played a large role in lender selection, we also closely evaluated each lender’s terms on a total cost basis, factoring in both closing costs and fees. Our main focus when comparing mortgage lenders was to take a bird's-eye approach that weighed all parts of the broader picture.
Customer service and lender experience play huge roles in determining whether your closing proceeds smoothly. We reviewed a number of qualitative factors including publicly available complaint data, the speed of closings and size of lender branch networks. For example, a borrower in Mason County, Michigan, may have access to fewer lenders than a similar borrower in Macomb County. We, therefore, graded certain lenders on the size of their branch networks and consistency of customer service.
Finally, we found it important for lenders to offer special programs and terms. Most lenders offer conventional fixed-rate mortgages, but fewer lenders are capable of underwriting government-sponsored mortgage programs like FHA, VA and USDA loans. Whether these terms were available, and each lender’s relative expertise in these programs, played a large role in determining the best-in-class lender for each category.
Most Popular Home Loan Companies in Michigan
We've listed the top five most popular mortgage companies for Michigan homebuyers in the chart below. These lenders are ranked in order of total number of residential mortgages originated over the past five years, based on data supplied to us by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Top 5 Biggest Michigan Residential Mortgage Lenders, 2013-2019
|Rank||Company||Mortgage Originations||Average Mortgage Amount|
|2.||Lake Michigan Credit Union||61,425||$152,546|
|3.||Huntington National Bank||55,482||$159,841|
|5.||Bank of America||39,507||$144,349|
Although these lenders were considered the most active in the state, they weren't necessarily selected for our best lender categories, which looked at a variety of other factors aside from origination volume. Homebuyers shopping for their first mortgage may wish to use the lenders above as their baseline for comparison.
Companies excluded from our list are not necessarily mediocre lenders. When mortgage shopping, it's important to compare your top choices on a holistic basis, counting their records for customer service, closing costs and special terms and conditions, in addition to the competitiveness of their rates. There might also be unique issues that matter to you that we didn't cover in this article. Make sure you tailor your mortgage-shopping experience to match your unique needs.
Mortgage Brokers Near Me in Michigan
Licensed mortgage brokers can help you shop for loan terms that fit your needs. They act as the intermediary between you and the mortgage loan companies and can shop your loan across multiple lenders. They differ from mortgage loan officers, who work on behalf of a mortgage company and only offer loans from a single lender.
A reputable mortgage broker can be helpful if you want to take the guesswork out of loan shopping, as they'll work to find the loan that best fits your needs. Below, we've put together a list of licensed mortgage brokers in your area.
|Northern Mortgage Services||2828 Wilson Avenue SW, Grandville MI 49418||(616) 532-5551|
|HomeSure Lending||322 W. Lincoln Ave. Suite 300, Royal Oak MI 48067||(248) 955-3250|
|Cranbrook Loans||41800 Hayes Road, Clinton Twp MI 48038||(586) 649-2600|
|Epic Mortgage Group||12750 S. Saginaw St #102, Grand Blanc MI 48439||(810) 606-1075|
|Calhoun Mortgage, Inc.||915 N Michigan Ave, Suite 109, Howell MI 48843||(517) 225-5250|
|First Community Mortgage||601 W. Michigan Street, New Buffalo MI 49117||(317) 306-1175|
|Team Mortgage Company||500 Cascade West Parkway SE, Grand Rapids MI 49546||(616) 974-9710|
|TDM Inc.||521 W. Court St. Flint MI 48503||(810) 238-2600|
|Star Mortgage of America Inc.||415 Rounds Dr, Suite B, Fenton MI 48430||(810) 232-0603|
|Prospect Home Financing||624 N State St, St. Ignace MI 49781||(906) 553-4845|