Washington has plenty of strong lending options for both purchase and refinancing, but every lender brings its own strengths and specializations to the table. We looked at dozens of banks and direct lenders to determine which ones represent the best mortgage option in different borrower situations.
- Best Mortgage Rates in Washington
- Best Mortgage Lender for First Time Homebuyers
- Best Online Mortgage Lender
- Best Lender for In-Person Service in Washington
- Best Lender for a VA Home Loan
Best Mortgage Rates in Washington
In Washington, the lowest mortgage rates offered for a standard 30-year home loan varied little among the top four lenders. These were all direct mortgage lenders with home loan estimates that significantly undercut the interest rate numbers we saw from traditional banks.
Lowest Mortgage Rates for Washington
|Hart West Financial||3.75%||3.77%||$1,111|
Estimates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage for $300,000 with 20% down payment and 740 credit score
As the APR figures show, these direct lenders charged relatively small loan fees to go along with their low interest rates. Since the APR on a mortgage reflects the added effect of upfront expenses, a mortgage estimate with very similar interest rate and APR numbers indicates that the loan has fewer or lower fees. Nevertheless, you'll still need to make room in your budget for bigger closing costs like taxes and insurance.
Mortgage points are another cost to consider: while none of the lenders we found above charged mortgage points on their loan offers, it's possible that you could achieve similar rates at a different lender by agreeing to pay an additional amount upfront. You could also choose to purchase points when you apply at these lenders, achieving an even lower rate and lowering your monthly payments. This is often a good strategy if you prefer to save money in the long run, although you'll also need to consider how long you plan on staying in your home.
Best Mortgage Lender for First Time Homebuyers: Guaranteed Rate
Guaranteed Rate's combination of low FHA interest rates and smooth online mortgage tools makes it our recommendation for first-time homebuyers in Washington. In addition, Guaranteed Rate's addition of lender credits greatly reduced the loan fees on several of the estimates we received.
Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Loans
|Loan Type||Rate||APR||Monthly Payment||Loan Costs|
|30 Year FHA Fixed||3.75%||4.87%||$1,897||($810)|
|30 Year Conventional Fixed||4.13%||4.99%||$1,866||($10)|
|15 Year Conventional Fixed||3.63%||4.33%||$2,507||$690|
Estimates for a $300,000 purchase loan with 3.5% down payment and 740 credit score
Among Washington mortgage lenders offering FHA loans, Guaranteed Rate provided the best estimate for a first-time buyer. The FHA loan program's minimum down payment of 3.5% makes it an ideal financing choice for new homeowners, who often want to keep their upfront costs low as possible. Guaranteed Rate's lender credits go even further in reducing your closing costs. We found that the credits actually exceeded the company's flat $1,290 origination costs, leaving extra credits that could help pay for other expenses like FHA mortgage insurance.
Best Online Mortgage Lender: Quicken Rocket Mortgage
Among online mortgage lenders, Quicken's Rocket Mortgage loan program proved to be the best available option in Washington based on its convenient tools, speedy processing and record of high customer satisfaction.
Quicken Rocket Mortgage Rates
|Loan Type||Rate||APR||Monthly P+I|
Estimates for a $300,000 home loan with 20% down payment and 740 credit score
While its home loan rates for Washington are fairly average, Quicken delivers mobile and online tools that introduce a unique level of on-demand service: you can upload documents and monitor the progress of your loan application when and where you choose. More traditional consumers might be skeptical of a mortgage experience with no face-to-face interaction, but Quicken's phone and web services seem to make up the difference. Quicken is not only one of the largest lenders in the country but also one of the best-rated for customer satisfaction.
Best Lender for In-Person Service in Washington: U.S. Bank
If you feel that having personal access to a local loan officer is an absolute must, then U.S. Bank's strong network of branches and wide range of mortgage products make it the most versatile option for in-person home loan servicing in Washington.
U.S. Bank Mortgage Loan Rates
|Loan Type||Rate||APR||Monthly P+I||Fees|
|30-Year Fixed (conforming)||3.88%||3.95%||$1,111||$2,069|
|30-Year Fixed (Jumbo)||4.00%||4.02%||$1,910||$3,448|
|30-Year Fixed FHA||3.63%||4.68%||$678||$1,280|
|15-Year Fixed (conforming)||3.25%||3.37%||$843||$1,034|
|5/1 ARM (adjustable)||3.25%||3.80%||$843||$1,034|
Estimates for mortgages with 20% down payment and 740 credit score. Jumbo estimate for a $500,000 loan; all other estimates for $150,000
Though U.S. Bank's mortgages didn't stand out in any one category, they represent the best all-around choice among lenders that maintain physical offices in the state of Washington. U.S. Bank covers conventional, jumbo and government-backed mortgages, making it easy for you to walk in and find the loan that fits your particular needs. If you already own a U.S. Bank checking or savings account, you may qualify for a reduced relationship rate or fee discounts on a new mortgage with the bank.
Best Lender for a VA Home Loan: J.G. Wentworth
While major brands like USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union dominate VA loans in Washington, J.G. Wentworth offers uncommon value for veterans seeking to finance a home purchase. This direct lender's low upfront fees turned out to be more competitive than VA loan estimates from either of its larger rivals.
Best VA Lenders in Washington
|Lender||Mortgage Rate||APR||Monthly P+I||Estimated Points and Fees|
|Veterans United Home Loans||3.88%||4.13%||$1,059||n/a|
Fixed-rate estimates for a 30-year VA loan of $225,000 with 0% down payment and 740 credit score
J.G. Wentworth didn't have the top rate for a VA loan among the companies we looked at, but a closer look at the discount points revealed that it came out to be the best deal all-around. Navy Federal's low rate assumed that borrowers would pay several extra points to bring down the interest rate, resulting in much higher closing costs. J.G. Wentworth was one of the only VA lenders that charged a flat origination fee of $795, as opposed to competitors that charged up to 1% of the loan amount—$3,000 in our example.
As a direct lender, J.G. Wentworth can't provide the comprehensive financial services you'll easily find at Navy Federal or USAA. This makes it less optimal if you want to keep your deposits, loans and credit cards all in one place. But if you're only looking at VA loans, J.G. Wentworth's low fee and convenient online tools make it a strong contender in Washington. If reducing your initial loan costs is important, consider grabbing a quote from J.G. Wentworth as part of your home loan shopping.