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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 not only cost but also the quality and value of lender services to determine where you should begin looking for a home loan. Read more about our findings on the best lenders in the Evergreen State or use the table below to see where current interest rates stand.
The Best Mortgage Rates Among Washington Lenders
If you're looking for the best mortgage loan in Washington State, read about the lenders below for good places to start shopping. 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. Nevertheless, you'll still need to make room in your budget for bigger closing costs like taxes and insurance. These extra costs can change the value of your loan so, it is important to consider other factors when evaluating mortgage lenders.
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.
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 Mortgage Lender for Refinancing: Bank of America
We found that Bank of America is the best mortgage refinancing choice for homeowners in Washington, thanks to its combination of rates and a slew of secondary home equity products that provide more financial flexibility. As a major financial institution, the bank provides not only the standard refinancing services but also home equity loans and lines of credit (HELOCs) that should be useful if you're interested in doing more with the equity you've accumulated so far.
There are several other reasons to think about refinancing your loan at Bank of America. Of the country's three largest banks, Bank of America scored highest in J.D. Power's 2017 survey of customer satisfaction for mortgage lending. Moreover, the company's position as a major national bank means that you'll have easy branch access wherever you live in Washington, as well as a generally more reliable online banking experience than you might with a smaller bank.
Best Online Mortgage Lender: Quicken Loans
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. Online lenders give you the advantage of being able to do all the legwork from home, and Quicken has consistently led the way in this new model of home lending.
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 VA Loan Lender: 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.
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.
Best Mortgage Lender for Poor Credit: Guild Mortgage
If you're struggling to find the right mortgage offers in Washington because of a lower credit score, applying for an FHA loan through Guild Mortgage may be your most efficient option. Not only is Guild Mortgage the most active FHA lender in the state, it was also rated by J.D. Power as one of the best mortgage providers in terms of customer satisfaction. The combination of the FHA program's lower credit and down payment requirements with Guild's high level of service creates a solid opportunity for Washingtonians who might otherwise be left out of owning a home.
With an FHA loan from Guild Mortgage, your credit score can be as low as 660 and still qualify for a mortgage, depending on other financial factors. These requirements are the same at most FHA lenders, but Guild's high ratings in areas like applicant interaction, closing, and problem resolution make it uniquely appropriate for low-credit borrowers who are likely to want additional guidance and support from their lender. Whether you're considering the FHA program to buy a place in Spokane or Seattle, Guild should be a reliable place to start your search.
How We Chose the Best Mortgage Lenders in Washington
The mortgage lenders we selected as the best options for Washington stood out in multiple areas that we examined. This included not only the cost of their home loans as defined by interest rates and closing fees but also the value of their services and product features. Because mortgages bring borrowers and lenders together in a long-term relationship, it's important to choose a lender that is willing and able to follow through on its commitments and provide solutions when things don't go according to plan.
- Cost: Closing costs and interest rates
- Servicing: Transparency, customer ratings and complaint data
- Options: Loan types, features and lender flexibility
The list above summarizes the factors that helped us determine Washington's top home loan lenders. Although we began our analysis of every lender based on cost, we went on to review their product lineup and history of customer service in order to determine whether they delivered value as well as affordability. Mortgage borrowers need the ability to understand and control the type of financing they sign up for, and the best companies tend to be ones that are both transparent about the process and flexible when it comes to loan options.
Most Popular Home Loan Companies in Washington
In the course of our research on Washington's mortgage lending industry, we found data on some of the state's largest home loan companies. If you'd like to start your search for a mortgage at a popular brand, consider the following list of lenders with the highest number of originations in Washington over the past five years.
Top 5 Washington Residential Mortgage Lenders, 2013-2019
|Rank||Company||Mortgage Originations||Average Mortgage Amount|
|3||Bank of America||58,100||$260,254|
|4||Boeing Employees Credit Union||84,412||$151,261|
|5||Caliber Home Loans||34,122||$342,787|
While you may see more than one of these lenders featured in our top picks above, we didn't choose all of the largest lenders simply because of their success in Washington. We had to consider other issues, such as customer service records and accessibility—credit unions, for instance, restrict their membership to select groups of people. If you choose to look into any of these lenders, we encourage you to evaluate them based on the criteria we've used with our own lender recommendations.
Mortgage Brokers Near Me in Washington
Mortgage brokers are licensed professionals whose job is to help their clients find the best possible mortgage loan. They accomplish this by shopping for quotes based on the client's financial information and connecting with local lenders that they may already know. If you'd prefer to pay for mortgage broker services rather than find your own lender, check out the list of Washington brokers below to get started.
|Mortgage Broker||Address||Phone Number|
|All Square Mortgage Inc.||(425) 466-8900|
|NSB Mortgage||(866) 672-6841|
|Heritage Home Loans||(509) 991-3493|
|Wave Lending Group||(253) 539-1700|
|Belay Mortgage Group||(971) 235-1917|
|American Pacific Mortgage||(206) 799-2632|
|Cross Country Mortgage||(206) 650-4041|
|Catlin Capital||(509) 242-7880|
|Martin Metzdorf Group||(425) 595-3165|
|The Mortgage Porter||(206) 718-9488|