These days, more aspects of our lives than ever are available to take care of online, from grocery shopping all the way to banking. The world of obtaining a mortgage or refinancing a home is no exception to this phenomenon, and more companies are heading to the internet and app interfaces to promote and execute their business.
Overall, the goal of these sorts of companies is to make mortgages not only more accessible but hopefully easier to understand as well. While this sounds like a great idea on paper, that doesn't mean that all the different lenders out there are performing up to snuff, especially with so many different options out there.
Because financing your home is a significant financial decision, you deserve to have a reliable and competent company on your side that won't overcharge you for your services and can work with your budget needs. To help you choose a business that meets all these qualifications, we've compiled a guide to the best online mortgage lenders.
10 Best Online Mortgage Lenders
Lenda is an excellent option for anyone looking to apply for a mortgage online and gets it approved and closed quickly; you don't want to end up dealing with a time crunch and lose out on offer, after all. This speed is also possible thanks to the automated platform that helps cut down on refinancing time and cuts out the need for an upfront broker and origination fees.
On top of these benefits, Lenda allows for monitoring of your loan and its progress 24/7 through its online portal. While robust, though, it does have some limitations: you won't be able to receive a VA or USDA government loan through the platform, and, depending on your state, you may not be able to loan through Lenda at all.
Lending Tree's appeal is in its comparison tool for lenders; instead of submitting your information to several different websites to receive a quote and repeating a process, you can quickly get multiple results in place. This setup makes Lending Tree excellent for people trying to get a handle on the market and where else you may go for your final loan.
Aside from a quick comparison process, Lending Tree also has their loan products available, which will be part of your mortgage list. If you choose a Lending Tree product, you'll be able to use the information you submitted to complete your mortgage application as well. And even if you don't like Lending Tree's offers, you'll have an idea of where else to work.
Rocket Mortgage has some of the best web lender experiences for self-service, with the bare minimum of human interaction. Sure, if you need the assistance of a mortgage advisor, you can contact them, but you won't have to if you don't want to. And with that quick access, you can quickly if you qualify for a Rocket Mortgage within minutes.
You can also authorize Rocket Mortgage to access your asset statements and other relevant documents. However, even with that capability, Rocket Mortgage can't look at credit data outside of debt-to-income ratios and credit scores. You also won't be able to receive a HELOC or home equity loan through this company, either.
When you start to search for loan rates and options on Guaranteed Rate, you don't need to upload your personal information before you can see loan rates and product options. Instead, you can start with your zip code and your loan amount. If you're interested in moving forward, you can speak with a qualified loan officer to assist.
Guaranteed Rate allows you to work with all your required documents digitally, from uploading to signing them. However, you'll need to pay both an application and loan origination fee to complete a mortgage with Guaranteed Rate, which can be costly, even with the $250 cred for digital customers.
Quicken Loans is the same company behind Rocket Mortgage, but there are some differences between what you can with the services. Quicken Loans has a bit more of a focus on personal interaction, though you can still handle things on your own if you like. You have some of the same data collection resources of Rocket Mortgage on your side.
Quicken Loans allows you access to FHA-backed, USDA, and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loans, which can have low down payments. You even can customize your loan terms, from right to thirty years. However, you still have the same cons as Rocket mortgage to deal with, such as not dealing with alternative credit data or providing HELOC and home equity loans.
If you have trouble receiving a loan from a traditional service, then SoFi is one of the best online mortgage lenders for you. Thanks to SoFi's unique loan approval criteria, you can receive different flexible loan options, between ten to fifty percent. The average closing time on a SoFi is twenty-eight days, and you can obtain a loan pre-qualification in one sitting.
Even if your down payment is less than twenty percent, SoFi does not require PMI, and you also won't need to pay any application, broker, or loan origination fees. While primarily helpful for mortgages, you can also count on SoFi to provide student loan refinancing. However, even with SoFi's flexible qualifications, you'll still want a stable income and savings before you apply.
As an online mortgage service, Better Mortgage is comparable to how TurboTax operates. The more information you put into the site, the more it will adjust to your data and ask questions to guide you through the application process. According to Better Mortgage, it can take as little as three minutes to complete the initial preapproval application process.
For people looking for a higher-value home, Better Mortgage offers ten percent down with no mortgage insurance on jumbo loans. However, you won't be able to receive an:
- home equity loans
Better Mortgage also doesn't do business in all fifty US states, so check if you qualify before starting the application process.
SunTrust works with the aim of providing speed and transparency to all its customers, and its online portal has tools for a mortgage application and loan tracking. They also offer loan options for multiple types and work with competitive interest rates. Their bilingual services can help both English and Spanish speaking customers, and the Doctor Loan Program is available for medical professionals.
While SunTrust does provide services online, they do have physical locations, and chat and phone contact with customer support. However, their physical branch locations are only available in eleven states, which can't serve all customers. Rent and utility payments are not a part of the scoring data's standard underwriting pool.
If you've had trouble with receiving a loan because of your income, PennyMac's online mortgage services don't have any minimum requirements. You can work with electronic document submission and other online mortgage support. However, if you want to have assistance from a loan officer, they're available for phone support.
While not the fastest refinance process around, PennyMac's services still have relatively qu8ick turnarounds. If you need a rate lock, it's free. However, New York residents don't have access to PennyMac loans, and you'll find a limited number of branch locations. Depending on what mortgage you take with them, you may need to pay an application or appraisal deposit fee.
For an online mortgage lender that doesn't charge lender fees, turn to Network Capital. If you need it, Network Capital will also help you gather your application documents. If you need a low-to-moderate income style conventional mortgage—like Fannie Mae Home Ready and others—you can receive them. Jumbo mortgages with ten percent down and no monthly mortgage insurance are also available.
Network Capital doesn't offer home equity borrowing on their own, but you can receive it through affiliates. Self-employed borrowers also have the option to qualify with alternative income documentation. However, if you want to visit a physical office, they're only available in three states, so then you may have some limits.
Tips for Choosing an Online Mortgage Lender
While online mortgage lenders do bring an extra level of convenience to the home application process, but you still need to put the effort in to find one that's not only reputable, but also ready to work with your needs, and rate interests. As you evaluate which of these best online mortgage lenders you may want to apply to, consider these factors.
Your Credit Score and Other Financial Information
Mortgage lenders often have different qualifications for who can apply for their loans. One of the first numbers that apply is usually your credit score, with some companies only accepting applications from those who meet a certain threshold. Before you start comparing lenders, you should know your score. If you don't, cross that company off the list.
Also, you'll also need to have a thorough understanding of your financial situation. How much of a mortgage rate can you afford to add to your regular budget? Look over what types of loans there are, which ones will work for you and if a lender offers that type of mortgage as part of their services.
Convenience to Work With and Customer Service
If you're considering an online mortgage lender, then you're likely looking for the convenience of self-service and ready access, no matter where you are. However, some lenders will have better available customer service than others, which can be essential if you find yourself confused or needing assistance.
Online reviews can usually provide you with an idea of a company's customer service. It may also be necessary to you which services they provide, especially since not all online lenders will have offices to visit. At the bare minimum, you should look for a lender that offers quality phone service, even if you choose to handle most of the process yourself.
Of course, any business will have some negative customer experience in its reviews, whether it be in lack of approval or even issues in the closing progress. However, there are some red flags that you should keep an eye out for that are a sign to stay away. For example, a negative write up in a newspaper or poor ratings from the Better Business Bureau probably means you should go elsewhere with your loan.
Even if you have a base loan amount, the interest rate will ultimately impact what the final payout of your mortgage will be. If you're smart with evaluating your financial situation, then you shouldn't have many issues with being able to afford your payments. Even so, there's no need to overpay for a loan if you don't have to.
With that in mind, choosing a company based on its interest rate is rather common, even in traditional lending circles. Don't settle for one lender without looking at others. Mortgage lender comparison sites, like Credible, can be helpful, but that may only give you a preliminary idea of what you can expect for your interest.
To help determine these numbers, you'll likely need to complete a pre-approval or pre-qualification process first. Once you've used the other tips to narrow down your options, you can then apply to your top lenders to get a concrete value for your interest rate. This process will also give you the opportunity to compare other terms.
If you plan on using this strategy, you should complete all your applications within fourteen days of each other. If you do so, all the inquiries will show up as a single entity on your credit report, protecting your score. Once you've determined which company has the best interest rate, you can move forward with your chosen mortgage.
Wrapping Up: Best Online Mortgage Lenders
Investing in a house can be a huge event, and a mortgage will likely be part of sorting out your finances. If you want the convenience of an online lender, then you can count on any of our top picks to get you started and narrow the pool of candidates.