The best mortgage lenders for 2022

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Bankrate's Nouri Zarrugh highlights the Best Mortgage Lenders of 2022

Whether it’s your first or fifth time buying a home or refinancing, getting a mortgage is a process. Because a mortgage is likely the largest loan you’ll ever take on, it pays to have the right lender in your corner. To help you determine the one that fits your needs, we reviewed and scored more than 80 lenders, including some of the biggest banks and brand names, credit unions and even regional players, and chose the best lenders across categories like jumbo loans and refinancing. These are the winners of the 2022 Bankrate Awards for Best Mortgage Lenders.
How we picked these lenders
  • Bankrate assessed lenders for affordability, including APR (which encompasses fees and interest rate) and diversity of loan products.
  • We considered factors such as convenience and speed in terms of approvals and closings.
  • We also evaluated the borrower’s experience, focusing on the application process and access to customer service.

Best mortgage lender overall

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Bank of America

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights Deep product offering More than 4,200 branches Alternative credit counseling available

This megabank offers preapproval and prequalification, with rapid preapproval available for online applicants. Prequalification and closing timelines vary based on documentation requirements and other factors. Mortgage applicants with Bank of America can take advantage of alternative options to traditional credit reports, like rent payment history.

  • Available to borrowers nationwide
  • Advertises daily mortgages rates
  • Array of loan options, competitive pricing and timely approvals and closings

The winner of best mortgage lender overall scored highly across the methodology criteria, and also had to be available to all borrowers nationwide and advertise daily mortgage and refinance rates on its website. In the event of a tie, the lender with either the higher APR (based on Bankrate's sample scenario) or the higher customer rating on Bankrate was chosen.

Best mortgage lender for first-time homebuyers

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First Midwest Bank

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights Focus on first-time buyers Large product scope (50+ loan types) 30-minute prequalifications

Launched during the Great Depression, First Midwest Bank grew with the goal to "treat the person in the overalls and the person in the business suit the same way." First Midwest markets down payment assistance programs that help first-time buyers get into the ownership game. The bank is also an approved lender in some state-sponsored first-time buyer loan programs.

  • Available to borrowers in the majority of states
  • Range of loan products for first-time homebuyers, including down payment assistance
  • Banking customer discounts, competitive pricing and exceptional service
The winner of best mortgage lender for first-time homebuyers scored highly across the methodology criteria, and also had to offer conventional, FHA and VA loan products and down payment assistance (either directly or as an approved lender in a state housing program). In the event of a tie, the lender with either the higher APR (based on Bankrate's sample scenario) or the higher customer rating on Bankrate was chosen.

Best mortgage lender for refinancing

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Lower

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights Online-only lender Promises preapprovals within a day Offers fast closings

Lower boasts many options to refinance, including rate-and-term (lower mortgage rate and/or faster payoff), cash-out and streamline (no appraisal) refinancing. Borrowers who already have a loan through Lower qualify for the lender’s “Free Refi For Life” program, which means you won’t be charged an application or lender fee on a future refinance. The lender also offers HELOCs and second mortgages.

  • Advertises daily mortgage rates
  • Offers low-cost or no-closing-cost refinances
  • Competitive pricing and convenient online process
The winner of best mortgage lender for refinancing scored highly across the methodology criteria, and also had to advertise daily refinance rates on its website and offer a low-cost or no-closing-cost option. In the event of a tie, the lender with either the higher APR (based on Bankrate's sample scenario) or the higher customer rating on Bankrate was chosen.

Best mortgage lender for cash-out refinancing (tie)

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Navy Federal Credit Union

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights Serves military members Rate-match guarantee Fast closings

Navy Federal Credit Union offers a rate-match guarantee, matching a better rate found at another lender or paying you $1,000 after closing. In addition, it allows borrowers to relock their rate for free if rates fall before closing. In some cases, borrowers can get preapproved instantly through Navy Federal’s home loan management platform, HomeSquad.

  • Advertises daily mortgage rates
  • Originates a high volume of cash-out refis
  • Emphasis on member services, including discounts and 24/7 support
The winner of best mortgage lender for cash-out refinancing scored highly across the methodology criteria, and also had to have a high cash-out refinance origination volume, according to 2020 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, and advertise daily refinance rates on its website.

Best mortgage lender for cash-out refinancing (tie)

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Wyndham Capital Mortgage

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights Digital lender Cost transparency Flexible underwriting

Wyndham Capital Mortgage offers a $10,000 limited guarantee (with certain stipulations) to assure that loans close on time, and charges no lender fees or hidden costs. For borrowers with a history of making their mortgage payments but are unable to qualify for a mortgage or refinance, Wyndham Capital Mortgage also offers flexible underwriting.

  • Advertises daily mortgage rates
  • Originates a high volume of cash-out refis
  • Accelerated approvals and closings and a focus on service
The winner of best mortgage lender for cash-out refinancing scored highly across the methodology criteria, and also had to have a high cash-out refinance origination volume, according to 2020 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, and advertise daily refinance rates on its website. Wyndham Capital Mortgage was chosen as a more widely available alternative to Navy Federal Credit Union, which was also named a best lender for cash-out refinancing.

Best mortgage lender for borrowers with low or bad credit

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eClick Lending (Celebrity Home Loans)

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights Convenient online rate tool Offers quick closings Potential discounts for repeat borrowers

eClick Lending is the online-only division of Celebrity Home Loans and operates in several states. It’s known for its quick closing times and wide variety of loan products that are available for lower-credit borrowers — some don’t even require a credit check at all.

  • Offers conventional, FHA, VA and USDA mortgages
  • High marks from borrowers
  • Ease of online process
The winner of best mortgage lender for low-credit borrowers scored highly across the methodology criteria, and also had to offer FHA, VA and USDA loans. In the event of a tie, the lender with either the higher APR (based on Bankrate's sample scenario) or the higher customer rating on Bankrate was chosen.

Best VA mortgage lender

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Veterans United Home Loans

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Highlights Specializes in VA loans 24/7 customer service over the phone Free credit counseling for service members

Veterans United tailors to serving active and retired military members and their families. The lender operates in all 50 states and advertises that their loans have no hidden costs or lock-in fees. Although the number of branches is limited, the lender offers 24/7 customer service by phone and online.

  • Experienced in VA loans
  • Very competitive pricing
  • Credits available for returning borrowers
The winner of best VA mortgage lender scored highly across the methodology criteria, and also had to have a high VA loan volume as of FY 2021, according to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs data. In the event of a tie, the lender with either the higher APR (based on Bankrate's sample scenario) or the higher customer rating on Bankrate was chosen.

Best no-fee mortgage lender

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LowRates.com

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights Online-only Stellar customer ratings Offers down payment assistance in addition to no fees

LowRates.com is available in the majority of states and Puerto Rico, with no fees for borrowers and one of the market’s most diverse product suites. Its "TRU Approval" process expedites full underwriting to less than 24 hours.

  • Advertises daily mortgage rates
  • No lender fees
  • Lower pricing overall 
The winner of best no-fee mortgage lender scored highly across the methodology criteria, and also had to have no origination fee and advertise daily mortgage and refinance rates on its website. In the event of a tie, the lender with either the higher APR (based on Bankrate's sample scenario) or the higher customer rating on Bankrate was chosen.

Best FHA mortgage lender

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New American Funding

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights Focus on lending to minority borrowers Showcases current rates online Great customer reviews

New American Funding offers a range of FHA products including purchase loans and streamline and cash-out refinances. The lender operates in all 50 states, and although it does not publicize exact requirements for FHA borrowers, it advertises that less-than-perfect credit is not an automatic disqualifier.

  • High FHA loan volume
  • Wide variety of FHA products offered
  • Flexible credit requirements for FHA borrowers
The winner of best FHA mortgage lender scored highly across the methodology criteria, and also had to have a high FHA loan origination volume, according to 2020 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, and offer a broad range of FHA loan products. In the event of a tie, the lender with either the higher APR (based on Bankrate's sample scenario) or the higher customer rating on Bankrate was chosen.

Best lender for jumbo loans

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Cherry Creek Mortgage

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights Wide range of loan programs Helpful calculators Publishes rates

Cherry Creek Mortgage offers jumbo loans with as little as 5 percent down and with total loan values up to $3 million. The lender operates in about 40 states, and it has been well-reviewed by borrowers. It extends jumbo loans to borrowers with credit scores of 700 or higher. 

  • Lower jumbo down payment minimum
  • Higher jumbo loan amount maximum
  • Reasonable credit requirements
The winner of best jumbo mortgage lender scored highly across the methodology criteria, and also had to offer a combination of a higher jumbo loan amount and a lower jumbo loan down payment requirement. In the event of a tie, the lender with either the higher APR (based on Bankrate's sample scenario) or the higher customer rating on Bankrate was chosen.
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