How We Determine the Best Mortgage Lenders for First-Time Homebuyers
When you’re a first-time homebuyer, there’s a lot at stake. It’s likely to be far and away the largest purchase you’ll make in your lifetime. With thousands of dollars on the line for something as important as your first home, it’s no wonder borrowers want to find the best lender possible. SmartAsset kept all the needs new homebuyers have when researching and creating this list. The Best Mortgage Lenders for First Time Home Buyers.
We considered firms that had the most loan and down payment options to find you the flexibility often required when paying for a first home. We looked at customer service complaints, customer service availability, first-time homebuyer guides, rates, fees, online user-friendliness and more. Our list gives you the best in each category whether you’re looking for an online lender or using VA benefits for your first mortgage.
SmartAsset reviewed top mortgage lenders in areas such as down payment programs, loan availability, first-time homebuyer education, customer satisfaction, prequalification and preapproval process, online bill pay, fees and rates and customer service. These rankings are the result of our research.
Rocket Mortgage® by Quicken Loans® offers you a quick and easy way to get preapproved.
When you’re in the research phase, this can be a big help. However, as a first-time homebuyer, you may prefer an in-person application experience.
Still, it can’t hurt to see what type of deal you can get from an online lender. Rocket Mortgage® offers conventional, FHA, USDA and VA loan options with rates that are lower than average.
Wells Fargo – The Best Mortgage Lenders for First Time Home Buyers
Wells Fargo offers the Your First Mortgage program, which allows 3% down payments if you choose a fixed-rate mortgage. The flexible income guidelines may also help you qualify if you struggle to meet the debt-to-income requirements set by lenders. You may also qualify for help with your closing costs if you attend one of Wells Fargo’s homebuyer education courses.
The current interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is lower than average. In addition to conventional loans, Wells Fargo offers FHA and VA Loans, as well as participation in government-sponsored programs like USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing Loans.
Bank of America
In order to purchase a home, you’ll at least have to pay a minimal amount at closing, known as the down payment. That rate can be as high as 20 percent, which may be tough for a first-time homebuyer.
Bank of America offers special programs for homebuyers who have a qualifying credit score and income, including America’s Home Grant® program, which provides up to $7,500 in closing cost assistance.
Bank of America offers conventional, FHA and VHA loans, with rates for 30-year-fixed loans that are lower than some competitors.
Both before your pre-qualification and long after closing, you can contact a mortgage specialist to discuss any questions or concerns. SunTrust offers extended service hours through its hotline. You’ll also have access to a wide range of loan assistance programs, including Fannie Mae’s HomeReady® and Freddie Mac’s Home Possible® financing programs for lower-income homebuyers.
SunTrust offers conventional, FHA, VA and USDA Rural Development loans, with interest rates for conventional loans that are lower than competitors.
CitiMortgage – The Best Mortgage Lenders for First Time Home Buyers
If you have an account with Citibank, you should request a quote from their mortgage department.
Citi Mortgage Relationship Pricing provides discounts on interest rates and closing costs based on the amount of your account balance at the time of application.
Interest rates for 30-year fixed loans are higher than some competitors, but Citi offers conventional, FHA and VA loans, as well as a HomeRun program that can save money for those who qualify.
If you’ve logged some time in the military, Veterans United’s loans will likely be the best deal. Unlike other veteran-marketed loan programs, Veterans United only accepts active duty and veteran military members.
In addition to no-down-payment loans, you’ll also eliminate the private mortgage insurance you’ll have to pay with other mortgages.
Veterans United is also more forgiving of lower credit scores. Interest rates are lower than average.
Luxury Mortgage – The Best Mortgage Lenders for First Time Home Buyers
Luxury Mortgage makes it easy for all types of homebuyers to get approved for a mortgage. Their flexible requirements can help you get financing, with no employment or income verification and no minimum DTI. Luxury Mortgage offers traditional loan terms, as well as more flexible home payment plans with their 40-year loan program.
It’s also easier to get approved if you’re self-employed. Tax returns are not required and you’ll only need one year of self-employment income history and a minimum credit score of 580. Luxury Mortgage can also help you get approved on assets alone, like your bank statements, stocks and bonds, or retirement accounts.