Best Mortgage Lenders in South Carolina

ValuePenguin is a consumer finance website dedicated to providing consumers with objective advice for the financial decisions they make every day. We've spent hundreds of hours comparing lenders in South Carolina, from Greenville to Myrtle Beach, to find the best lenders for you.

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Recommended ForClick for ReviewMin. Credit ScoreHighlights
First-Time HomebuyersFirst Citizens Bank620
  • Second-largest branch network in South Carolina
  • SC Housing approved lender
RefinancingQuicken Loans580
  • Most popular lender for refinances in the state
  • Highest customer satisfaction rating from J.D. Power for 8 years in a row
Online LoansGuaranteed Rate620
  • Above-average customer service ratings from J.D. Power
  • Intuitive online and mobile platforms
VA LoansNavy Federal Credit Union620
  • Most popular credit union for veteran homebuyers in South Carolina
  • Branch locations in major U.S. military installations
Poor CreditMovement Mortgage580
  • South Carolina's Fastest-growing FHA lender
  • SC Housing approved lender
Recommended ForClick for ReviewMin. Credit Score
First-Time HomebuyersFirst Citizens Bank620
RefinancingQuicken Loans580
Online LoansGuaranteed Rate620
VA LoansNavy Federal Credit Union620
Poor CreditMovement Mortgage580

Finding the best mortgage lender in South Carolina depends on finding the right combination of affordable interest rates, on-time loan processing and reliable customer service. Read about our top picks in the Palmetto State below.

Best Mortgage Lender for First-Time Home Buyers: First Citizens Bank

First Citizens Bank is our top pick for first-time homebuyers, thanks to its hyperlocal focus and its status as a South Carolina State Housing Finance & Development Authority (SC Housing) lending partner.

Consider this if You're looking for a simple no-frills mortgage with competitive rates.
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Good For …Bad For …
  • Housing grants and tax credits from SC Housing
  • First-time homebuyers seeking for face-to-face service
  • VA and FHA loans
  • Borrowers seeking loans for second homes or investment properties

First-time homebuyers are often uncomfortable with the idea of shopping for a mortgage loan and prefer guidance from an experienced lender. First Citizens Bank has 138 locations throughout the state, making it easy to talk face to face with a loan officer, regardless of whether you live in Greenville or Myrtle Beach. Its rates are competitive and on par with major competitors: BB&T and Wells Fargo.

Where First Citizens really shines is its fees, which can make up around 0.11% of your total loan amount at closing, while other lenders in the area typically charge in the neighborhood of 0.2%. As an SC Housing-approved lender, First Citizens is also authorized to offer tax credits and down payment assistance for qualifying first-time homebuyers. If First Citizens isn't the right lender for you, take a look at other recommendations for first-time homebuyers.

Best Mortgage Lender for Refinancing: Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans is our No. 1 choice for homeowners looking to refinance in South Carolina, thanks to the alacrity of its Quicken Rocket Mortgage program and its competitive refinancing rates.

Consider this if You're looking for competitive refinancing rates.
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Good For …Bad For …
  • People who want a fast and easy mortgage refinancing
  • People who want flexibility when picking their loan term
  • People who want the lowest rates on their purchase loans
  • Homeowners looking for home equity financing

Read the Full Review

Homeowners willing to shop mortgage loans online are in good hands with Quicken Loans, as Quicken obtained J.D. Power's highest customer satisfaction rating for eight consecutive years in a row. It’s also one of the three most popular mortgage companies in America.

Quicken offers some of the lowest rates around on its refinance mortgages. You can structure your new loan into any term you want between two and 28 years, which represents exceptional flexibility for a mortgage lender. However, the rates and fees on its purchase mortgages are higher than average, making it less than ideal for anyone trying to buy a new home. If Quicken isn't the right lender for you, compare refinance rates at other lenders using our loan comparison tool.

Best Online Mortgage Lender: Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate is our No. 1 contender among online lenders with low rates and high customer service ratings.

Consider this if You're a well-qualified borrower looking for the best rates.
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Good For …Bad For …
  • Extensive comparison tools to help borrowers compare loan products
  • Homebuyers with high incomes and excellent credit scores
  • People with bad credit
  • Homeowners looking for home equity financing

Read the Full Review

Tech-savvy homebuyers know that they can apply, prequalify and close on a mortgage, all from the comfort of their own living rooms. However, even though it's technically an online lender, Guaranteed Rate maintains five physical branch locations throughout South Carolina, in Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Florence and Simpsonville. The lender offers some of the best rates around for well-qualified homebuyers.

Guaranteed Rate's online tools let you tailor your loan selection to optimize for the cheapest rate or lowest monthly payment, depending on your preference. With the exception of home equity loans, it offers almost every mortgage type on the market. Nevertheless you'll need a decent credit profile if you want to qualify for Guaranteed Rate's most lucrative offerings. If an online lender isn't your cup of tea, consider taking a look at our other lender recommendations.

Best Mortgage Lender for VA Loans: Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union landed the No. 1 spot among specialty VA lenders in South Carolina. Thanks to its status as a credit union, it offers lower VA rates than the big banks and received exceptional customer service ratings from J.D. Power.

Consider this if If you're looking for a credit union with low rates and exceptional service.
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Good For …Bad For …
  • Service members looking for a reliable credit union
  • Veterans who want to buy a home with no money down
  • Borrowers unaffiliated with the military

Veterans and service members alike have access to the lucrative no-money down VA loan, which lets military personnel achieve their dream of homeownership, while keeping more money in their wallets. Navy Federal takes this offer one step further, requiring no mortgage insurance payments on its VA loans, while allowing up to a 4% seller contribution toward your closing costs.

If you're looking for a VA specialist in South Carolina, look no further than Navy Federal, as the credit union originated over 3,800 VA loans in South Carolina over the past five years. It's the fifth-largest VA lender in the state but has the second-highest customer service rating from J.D. Power of any company focused on lending to veterans. If you're shopping for a VA loan, take a look at where current VA mortgage rates are, so you know what to expect when comparing quotes from different lenders.

Best Mortgage Lender for Poor Credit: Movement Mortgage

Movement Mortgage offers some of the best options for low-to-moderate income homebuyers in South Carolina, thanks to its wide selection of low-down-payment mortgage loans.

Consider this if You're trying to minimize your out of pocket costs.
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Good For …Bad For …
  • Mortgage loans with low down payment requirements
  • low-to-moderate income and bad credit homebuyers
  • Homeowners looking for home equity financing
  • Borrowers trying to comparison shop online

Movement Mortgage offers home loans specifically designed to help low-to-moderate income homeowners achieve homeownership, including loans FHA, USDA, VA, Fannie Mae HomeReady and Freddie Mac Home Possible loans. These programs are backed by government agencies and feature lower credit thresholds for qualifying homebuyers. The lender also employs at least 16 loan officers across the state, which is helpful if you're looking for an in-person consultation.

Movement Mortgage is an approved SC Housing Lender, which means that the lender can apply for down payment assistance and tax credits on your behalf if you're a qualifying homebuyer. This includes up to $15,000 in assistance for meeting closing costs, which can be forgiven within 10 years. If you're interested in an FHA loan or other low-down payment program from Movement Mortgage, take a look at current FHA rates to get a quick estimate of what your mortgage rate might look like.

Most Popular Home Loan Companies in South Carolina

If you're shopping for a mortgage in South Carolina, it's worth reviewing quotes from the top lenders to see where average rates stand. Here are the five most popular mortgage companies in South Carolina, based on the total number of residential mortgages originated over the past five years.

Top 5 Biggest South Carolina Residential Mortgage Lenders, 2013–2019

RankCompanyMortgage originationsAverage mortgage amount
1Wells Fargo43,444$294,705
2Quicken Loans36,100$167,118
4Bank of America29,457$188,416
5First Citizens Bank28,859$141,145

When comparing lenders, it's a good idea to consider each company's record for customer service in addition to their interest rates. Make sure you also factor in any elements that matter to you, which may not have been covered in our reviews.

How We Chose the Best Mortgage Lenders in South Carolina

While interest rates played a large role in our decision, we also reviewed each lender's unique terms and conditions. When comparing interest charges, fees and closing costs, lenders who offered the same interest rate ended up thousands of dollars apart in fees. Therefore, we chose to compare the following criteria:

  • Total cost: interest rates and closing costs
  • Product: terms, programs and specialty
  • Servicing: transparency, complaint data and branch network

We chose to highlight any terms a lender offered that weren't common in the industry. For example, while every mortgage lender in the country offers conventional fixed-rate mortgages, fewer companies specialize in niche programs like USDA or state bond financing. We chose to highlight these traits where appropriate.

We also reviewed customer complaints from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to forecast the likelihood of issues arising during the origination and servicing process. We assessed the size of each lender's branch network as well as the usability of its online platform to measure each lender's accessibility and reputation for customer service.

Mortgage Brokers Near Me in South Carolina

Mortgage brokers compare offers from multiple lenders on your behalf and are an excellent resource for first-time homebuyers and anyone uncomfortable with the mortgage shopping process. They differ from loan officers in that they're able to offer loans from multiple competing lenders rather than a single company. Use the table below to find a licensed mortgage broker near you.

NameAddressPhone Number
First Nations Home Mortgage Inc136 Kimberly Dr, Travelers Rest, SC 29690(864) 905-2606
Mortgage Options3122, 6140 St Andrews Rd, Columbia, SC 29212(803) 732-5787
Anchor Mortgage, LLC895 Island Park Dr suite 204, Daniel Island, SC 29492(843) 225-7334
Classic Home Mortgage330 Harrison Bridge Rd # C, Simpsonville, SC 29680(864) 962-9121
Oasis Home Mortgage3405 Salterbeck St #102, Mt Pleasant, SC 29466(843) 300-7558
Homefront Mortgages, Inc.140 W Richardson Ave suite b, Summerville, SC 29483(843) 810-4564
New South Mortgage Corporation130 River Landing Drive, Suite 1-D, Daniel Island, SC 29492(843) 412-3949
Palmetto First Mortgage4757 US Highway 17 Bypass South, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577(843) 294-1600
The Mortgage Company225 Seven Farms Drive #201, Daniel Island, SC 29492(843) 471-1740
Market Point Mortgage, LLC33 Market Point Dr. Suite 2004, Greenville, SC 29607(864) 527-0444

Madison is a former Research Analyst at ValuePenguin who focused on student loans and personal loans. She graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.A. in Financial Economics with a double minor in Business and Psychology.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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LendingTree can help you find and compare mortgage rates, all without affecting your credit.
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on LendingTree's secure website. NMLS #1136: terms and conditions apply