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Best Mortgage Lenders in South Dakota in 2019

If you’re buying or refinancing a home in South Dakota, doing your homework and finding the right lender can reduce the amount of legwork you need to do during your application and keep headaches to a minimum. We reviewed dozens of lenders in the The Mount Rushmore State to find the best options for you. Read our lender reviews to find out more.

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The Best Mortgage Rates Among South Dakota Lenders

If you're looking for today's best mortgage rates in South Dakota, take a look at our rate table for good places to start your search. We've reviewed dozens of licensed mortgage brokers in South Dakota and compiled a list of the most competitive companies.

The estimates below reflect the cost of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for a home purchase of $200,000, assuming a 20% down payment and 740 credit score for a home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Read more about our top picks for best-in-class mortgage lenders in the sections below.

Most consumers look for the lowest available rates to finance their mortgages, but rates alone aren't enough to identify a reliable lender. There are other factors to consider including each lender's unique terms and conditions, origination fees, and history of customer satisfaction. In order to pick the right lender, you will need to look beyond rates and find the lender that can meet your top priorities as a borrower.

We identified the most important categories where borrowers shopped for mortgages and then distilled our collection of borrowers to find the best-in-class mortgage loan company for each. We evaluated each mortgage lender on a number of factors including rates, fees, customer service, terms, branch network and market share.

Best Mortgage Lender for First-Time Homebuyers: CorTrust Mortgage

CorTrust Mortgage
CorTrust Mortgage

CorTrust Mortgage is our top pick for first-time homebuyers, thanks to its exemplary record of customer service and large branch network in South Dakota. The lender boasts an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and only a single complaint over the past five years in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) complaint database.

CorTrust Mortgage also participates in the South Dakota Housing Development Authority's (SDHDA) First Time Homebuyer's program, which offers grants for first-time homebuyers in South Dakota; this makes it an ideal choice for individuals purchasing their first properties.

As a first-time homebuyer, you may want hands-on help from an experienced loan officer at each step of your mortgage application process. CorTrust Mortgage has operated in South Dakota over the past 25 years, and its loan officers are familiar with local regulations. As a full-service mortgage broker, the company provides free consultations over the phone or in-person at one of its 22 branch locations. Most borrowers can find a CorTrust Bank near them, regardless of whether they live in Minnehaha or Yankton County.

Best Mortgage Lender for Refinancing: Citibank

Citibank
Citibank

Of all the lenders in South Dakota, we found that Citibank had the most comprehensive selection of refinancing options. No other lender offered the same combination of friendly rates and variety of term options, which is helpful if you want to lower your monthly payments or maximize overall savings. Borrowers looking to tap into their home equity can obtain low variable rates with Citibank's home equity lines of credit, which offer low introductory rates that stay locked for the first 12 months.

When refinancing, most people seek to lower their mortgage rates, lower their payments or cash out on their existing home equity. Citibank provides options that suit all three purposes. While most lenders offer 30- or 15-year terms, Citibank allows borrowers the added choices of refinancing into 20- or 10-year terms, along with multiple lock periods for adjustable-rate loans. Finally, for those who prefer to cash out on home equity directly rather than refinance their property, Citibank provides home equity loans and home equity lines of credit with attractive introductory rates and minimal closing costs.

Best Online Mortgage Lender: Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans
Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans is our top choice among online-only lenders in South Dakota. Quicken's streamlined application experience and its ability to process all your mortgage paperwork online makes it the best choice for borrowers who want the convenience of applying from home. Quicken Loans underwrote the largest number of mortgage loans of any online-only lender in South Dakota and it ranks No. 1 nationally for customer service according to J.D. Power.

Borrowers who want automation and a simplified mortgage application can find a trusted lender in Quicken Loans. Not only is Quicken one of the fastest-growing online mortgage lenders in the past five years, but it was also ranked first in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power for both its originations and loan servicing. While its rates aren't the most competitive, Quicken's consistent customer satisfaction record makes it our top pick for an online mortgage in South Dakota.

Best VA Loan Lender: Veterans United Home Loans

Veterans United
Veterans United

We think Veterans United Home Loans is one of the best options for veteran homebuyers, regardless of your branch of service. Veterans United is the most active mortgage lender in South Dakota specializing in VA loans. If you're in the market for a VA-related mortgage product, you'll be in good hands with Veterans United, since many of the company's loan officers are veterans themselves.

VA Loans offer qualifying active-duty military personnel and veterans rates that are lower than those you can get on a conventional mortgage. Best of all, VA loans require no down payment or private mortgage insurance, which means that you may be able to buy a home with little to no money down. As a lender that has built its business on lending to those who served, Veterans United Home Loans has few rivals that can match its level of expertise on VA loans.

Best Mortgage Lender for Poor Credit: First Dakota National Bank

First Dakota National Bank
First Dakota National Bank

First Dakota National Bank ranks No. 1 on our list of South Dakota lenders for homebuyers with bad credit, thanks to its leading role in originating FHA loans. Homebuyers with bad credit are often turned away when applying for a conventional mortgage, but FHA mortgage loans have much lower credit requirements and only require down payments as little as 3.5%.

Over the past five years, First Dakota originated more loans through the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) Mortgage Program than any other lender in South Dakota. This stands in stark contrast to national lenders like Wells Fargo, who actually increased their credit standards for FHA loans in 2015. As a result, you’re more likely to find loan officers knowledgeable in FHA lending at First Dakota than other lenders in South Dakota.

How We Chose the Best Mortgage Lenders in South Dakota

In identifying the best mortgage companies in South Dakota, we focused on multiple factors in addition to their interest rates. Our top picks took a consumer focus and weighted the criteria below:

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

We evaluated lenders side-by-side based on how competitive their rates were, the variety of their offerings and the amount of their closing costs. While interest rates are a large factor in determining costs, we viewed the lender’s terms on a total cost basis, also factoring in closing costs and fees. It’s important to avoid tunnel vision when simply comparing lenders based on rates.

Many customers view mortgages as commodities that can be compared solely on cost. However, as recent public relations disasters show, customer service and experience in lending can play a huge factor on whether your closing goes smoothly. We therefore, compared lenders on a number of qualitative factors as well, including publicly available complaint data, speed of underwriting process and branch coverage.

Finally, finding the right lender can center around whether they offer the program that’s right for you. The majority of lenders offer conventional fixed-rate mortgages, but fewer lenders are set up to do government-sponsored mortgage programs that reduce borrowing costs for veterans, low-income and first-time homebuyers. Fewer lenders still offer state-sponsored lending programs. Whether these programs were available, and the lender’s relative experience in those programs, played a large part in determining best in-class lenders for each category.

Most Popular Home Loan Companies in South Dakota

We've selected the top five most popular mortgage companies in South Dakota, ranked by number of mortgage originations. These lenders were selected based on the total number of mortgages originated within the past five years based on data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Top 5 Biggest Residential Mortgage Lenders in South Dakota, 2013-2019

CompanyMortgage OriginationsAverage Mortgage Amount
First Dakota National Bank821$158,527
CorTrust Bank396$133,530
Great Western Bank325$132,146
First National Bank316$123,805
Wells Fargo & Co.228$128,860

While these lenders proved to be the most active mortgage originators in the state, they weren't necessarily selected for our categories above. Borrowers looking for the best fit may wish to evaluate their top picks against the lenders above.

Kenny Zhu

Kenny covers Mortgage, Business and Lending content for ValuePenguin and has worked in the financial industry since 2013. He produces studies, guides and opinion pieces on consumer finance.

Comments and Questions

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

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