inding the best mortgage lender as a first-time home buyer can be a daunting experience. Since this is your first time in the vast mortgage landscape, you want someone who understands and guides you throughout the process. Of course, you must choose a lender with affordable options, but that's just one of the several factors that come into play. You should choose a lender with good expertise, borrower experience, easy availability, and personalized service.
We know you might feel overwhelmed with the plethora of options available in the market. But don't worry; we have compiled a list of the best mortgage lenders for first-time home buyers so that you can choose the one that best fits your needs. So, let's dig in.
At a glance
- AmeriSave - No loan origination fee
- Homefinity - Fast underwriting and closing
- Homelend Mortgage - No lender fees
- Lower - Great home-buying package
- Old National Bank -First-time home buyer programs
- Real Genius - Transparency of rates
- Sage Mortgage - Fast funding
- Veterans United Home Loans - Great VA loans
- Wyndham Capital Mortgage - Automated preapprovals
- Watermark Home Loans - Digital mortgage experience
Amerisave is a mortgage lender based in Atlanta, Georgia. It is licensed in 49 states and has been in the mortgage business for over 20 years. It offers a wide range of loan options, such as conventional, USDA, VA, FHA, HELOC, and more, at affordable rates.
As a first-time home buyer, you want to save as much money upfront on a mortgage. Thus, Amerisave can be the best option for you since it has a no-origination fee policy on FHA, USDA, and VA mortgages. Apart from this, it has many loan options, fixed rates, and stellar customer service to help you close on your dream home.
Best Match For
- No loan origination fees on FHA, USDA, and VA loans.
- Variety of loan products.
- Easy preapproval and customized rate quotes.
- They offer mortgage, solar and more.
- You must submit personal information to view rates.
- Not available in New York state.
- High credit score requirement for government-insured loans.
Homefinity is an online mortgage lender headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. It is affiliated with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation and is licensed in all states except Nevada, New York, and Washington D.C.
What sets Homefinity apart from others is its fast underwriting and closing. Usually, when buyers are more than sellers, there is tough competition to buy a home. With quick loan closing, you can have added advantage over other potential buyers.
- Fast underwriting and closing.
- Personalized loan.
- Proper guidance throughout the process.
- Competitive interest rates.
- Convenient online application.
- Not available in Nevada and New York.
HomeLend Mortgage is a digital mortgage lender affiliated with Kwik Mortgage. It was founded in 1998 and offers a full menu of mortgage products, including conventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, etc.
As a first-time home buyer, you should deal with a lender who has been in the mortgage business for an extended period. They have seen and understand the mortgage market and can seamlessly guide you throughout the home-buying journey. Though HomeLend mortgage is a veteran in the mortgage business, it offers a modern digital experience, with an online portal that borrowers can use to track their applications, e-sign, and more.
- No lender fees.
- Quick preapproval.
- Quick lending.
- Digital process.
- Superior technology.
- Decades of experience.
- Only available in 23 states.
- Must share personal information for custom rate quotes.
- No USDA loan.
Lower is an online mortgage lender offering homeowners a wide range of mortgage products and is available in 42 states. You can quickly get preapproved within one day of application and close your loan within a month. It also offers homeowners insurance and an FDIC-insured home fund so that you can save up for a home faster.
For the first-timer, Lower offers a home readiness quiz tool to help determine whether you are ready to buy your first home. It provides everything for your home: buying and selling, home insurance, finding an agent, and saving for your following monthly payments. It has all these in one place, so you don't have to look around.
- Fully online process.
- Competitive rates.
- Flexible schedule.
- Easy availability and assistance.
- No hard credit check before the loan application.
- Tools to help you save for a home.
- Not available in Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.
- High fees.
Old National Bank is one of the oldest and largest banks in the Midwest, established in 1834. It offers a wide range of resources, such as mortgage loan options, special assistance programs, and mortgage calculators for home buyers. You can quickly get pre-qualified and get mortgage consultation from professionals to determine the loan that best fits your needs and budget.
That being said, it offers special programs and guides for first-time buyers. Its signature banking product, Homeready mortgage, addresses the common financial challenges first-time buyers face and offers expanded eligibility so that they can quickly close on their first home. The down payment is as low as 3%, and there are no restrictions on how you can manage the fund for the down payment.
- Online as well as a physical presence.
- Wide range of mortgage resources for homebuyers.
- Wide range of mortgage options.
- Mortgage expert consultation.
- First-time home buyers guide.
- Physical branches are available in five states only.
Real Genius, formerly Consumer Direct Mortgage, is an online lending division of the First Bank headquartered in Delaware Beach, Florida. You can get preapproved in as little as 15 minutes and use an affordability calculator to find a home that fits your budget. Also, it has a wide range of loan options for home buying and resources to help in the process.
For first-timers, it has a free guidebook to help them avoid common mistakes and purchase their first home with confidence. Also, since it is transparent about its rates, you can obtain the rate quotes without sharing your personal information.
- Low rates.
- Low lender fees.
- Personalized loan options.
- Rate a quote that doesn't require your personal information.
- Free first-time home buyer guide.
- No USDA loans.
Sage Mortgage is an online mortgage company headquartered in Fort Mill, South Carolina. It is owned by Red Ventures and was established in 2020. It is licensed in 26 states and offers conventional purchase and refinance loans. Furthermore, pre-qualified and preapproval are provided in a matter of minutes. You can also use an online borrower portal to upload your loan documents, monitor your loan status, and contact your loan officer.
Though Sage Mortgage is a newcomer in the business, it offers fast funding and a streamlined digital process to ease the loan process. As a first-time buyer, timing is critical, and working with a lender that provides fast funding and keeps track of your loan status is essential.
- Fast funding.
- Easy application process.
- Helpful service.
- Limited national presence.
- Limited loan options.
Veterans United Home Loans is a pioneer in VA loans and has been named as a top VA purchase lender for six consecutive years from 2016 to 2021. The company is headquartered in Columbia, Missouri, and has been in business since 2002. It also offers prequalification, preapproval, and an online application process and helps veterans become homeowners. Though it specializes in VA loans, it also offers other mortgage loans.
If you are military-affiliated and looking to buy a home for the first time, then VA loans are the best option since you can get the loan at a $0 down payment. Since Veterans united home loans specializes in VA and is the top VA lender in the nation, look no further.
- Free credit counseling service.
- Lower mortgage rate.
- No down payment.
- Less stringent qualification.
- Low monthly payments.
- Limited branches.
Wyndham Capital Mortgage is a digital mortgage lender based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Established in 2001, it offers a wide range of mortgage options, including conventional, FHA, VA, and USDA loans. It is available in all states except Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New York.
What sets Wyndham Capital Mortgage apart is that it understands the essence of a time when you find the home of your dreams. Thus, it has special priority purchase mortgage preapproval designed to allow you to search with confidence knowing how much house you can afford. Accordingly, you can customize your underwritten preapproval and deliver a property-specific offer letter from your smartphone when you find the one. This way, you can close your loan faster and stand out from other potential buyers.
- Automated preapprovals
- Faster closing
- Automated lending process
- Easy availability
- No physical branches
Watermark home loans offer a wide range of mortgage products at industry-leading rates and an easy paperless process. It has cutting-edge digital tools, a simple online process, and experienced mortgage professionals who help you get a custom-fit mortgage. It has many mortgage options, including conventional and government-insured loans.
The best thing about Watermark home loans is that it understands that going to the bank for every step of the loan process is a hassle. Thus, it offers a digital mortgage enabling you to apply for and process the loan online. This way, you can focus on other aspects of your home buying while getting an affordable loan for your dream home.
Best fit for
- Free rate quotes.
- No closing cost.
- Online application.
- Comparatively lower rates.
- No rate transparency.
Choosing the best mortgage lender is one of the crucial steps of the home-buying process. You should consider several factors while selecting the lender since the mortgage is a big financial commitment, and you cannot afford to go wrong. Your mortgage lender can break or make your first home-buying experience. So, make sure you choose the one who understands your needs and guides you throughout the process.
Also, read 12 Tips For The First-Time Home Buyer
Note: Bankrate powers all of the full reviews included in this article.