Florida Mortgage and Refinance Rates
As of Saturday, September 18, 2021, current rates in Florida are 2.97% for a 30-year fixed, 2.26% for a 15-year fixed, and 2.88% for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).
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Florida mortgage overview
Make sure you shop around for mortgages to find the best offer. In Florida, you have several options:
- Florida conventional mortgages: Considered the standard type of home loan, conventional mortgages have qualification requirements. Generally, a FICO score of 620 and a debt-to-income ratio of 45 percent or less can help you get one. To get the best rate on a conventional mortgage, you’ll need a credit score of 740 or higher. These types of loans typically require larger down payments than government-backed mortgages. In order to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI), which protects the lender in the event you default, you’ll usually need to make a down payment of 20 percent.
- Florida FHA loans: If your credit history disqualifies you for a conventional mortgage, you may want to look into FHA loans. Because these are backed by the government through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), lenders who issue these loans are more comfortable extending these offers to borrowers with less than favorable credit and income. FHA loans usually require smaller down payments than conventional loans. With a credit score of 589 or higher, you typically need a 3.5 percent down payment. If your score is 500, you’d need to put 10 percent down — but that’s still lower than what’s usually required of conventional loans.
- Florida VA loans: Backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA loans help veterans and other qualifying members of the armed services own homes. You can get one through a VA-approved lender in Florida. These loans don’t require any down payment. They don’t require PMI either. However, you usually need to pay a VA funding fee. Still, this fee usually ranges from 2.3 percent to 3.6 percent of the purchase price.
Top 5 Bankrate mortgage lenders in Florida
- Better.com – Best overall
- Interfirst Mortgage Company – Best for refinancing
- Cardinal Financial Company – Best for low-credit score borrowers
- First Mortgage Direct Corporation – Best no-fee lender
- Lower – Best for first-time homebuyers
Bankrate helps thousands of borrowers find mortgage and refinance lenders every day. To determine the top mortgage lenders, we analyzed proprietary data across more than 150 lenders to assess which on our platform received the most inquiries within a three-month period. We then assigned superlatives based on factors such as fees, products offered, convenience and other criteria. These top lenders are updated regularly.
Better.com - Best overall
Better.com hasn’t been in the business for as long as some other mortgage lenders have, but since its founding in 2016, the online lender has already redefined the borrowing experience by eliminating lender fees and reducing the total time to close to just 21 days. Plus, you’ll never need to wait for responses to your questions — the lender offers 24/7 customer service via phone, text and email.
Strengths: No lender fees; great customer reviews on Trustpilot; near-instantaneous preapproval letters (three minutes)
Weaknesses: No VA or USDA loans; higher credit score requirement for all loan programs
Read Bankrate's Better.com mortgage review
Interfirst Mortgage Company – Best for refinancing
If you’re looking to refinance your mortgage in The Sunshine State, Chicago-based Interfirst Mortgage Company could be a worthwhile candidate to consider. Since it doesn’t charge any lender fees, your transaction will be cheaper overall. You’ll also be able to take advantage of the convenience of e-signing your documents — a key point of differentiation during the pandemic.
Strengths: Doesn’t charge lender fees; A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
Weaknesses: Doesn’t advertise rates online; requires a minimum down payment of 15 percent
Read Bankrate's Interfirst Mortgage Company review
Cardinal Financial Company – Best for low credit score borrowers
Based in Charlotte, Cardinal Financial Company could be a fit if you’re concerned that your credit history, or lack thereof, might stand in the way of being approved for a mortgage in Florida. The lender considers credit scores as low as 550 for FHA products, and it’s also willing to use manual underwriting if you don’t have a credit score to help qualify you for a loan.
Strengths: Offers affordable housing and down payment assistance; lower credit score requirements; great customer reviews on Trustpilot
Weaknesses: Doesn’t list rates or fees online
Read Bankrate's Cardinal Financial mortgage review
First Mortgage Direct – Best no-fee lender
First Mortgage Direct has been in business since 2008 and is based in Kansas City. The lender is a subsidiary of First Mortgage Solutions, which has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. The lender prides itself on three key components — honesty, integrity and experience — and borrowers will appreciate it for a fourth reason: It doesn’t charge any lender fees.
Strengths: Aims for personal touch by assigning an individual loan officer to each application; preapprovals within 48 hours
Weaknesses: Doesn’t advertise average rates online; refinances take around 60 days
Read Bankrate's First Mortgage Direct review
Lower – Best for first-time homebuyers
As home prices continue to rise in Florida (and basically everywhere else), you might need help saving enough for a down payment for your first home. Lower’s HomeCash Match program can help you get on track with saving and match up to $500. There is a $995 fee for purchases, but that price tag could be worth it in exchange for great customer service: The lender scores a 4.8 out of five stars based on more than 350 reviews on Trustpilot.
Strengths: Free Refi for Life program means you won’t pay any fees if you refinance your mortgage; advertises rates online; transparent fee structure
Weaknesses: No branch locations; charges lender fees
Read Bankrate's Lower mortgage review
First-time homebuyer programs in Florida
Home prices have been rising faster than wages in Florida, and that creates challenges for first-time buyers. In fact, Florida is home to the two housing markets where prices outpaced home prices by the widest margin over the past decade, according to Bankrate research. The Sunshine State offers programs designed to help first-time homebuyers. As long as you haven't owned a home within the past three years, you may qualify for most of them. Learn more about Florida's first-time homebuyer programs.
The Florida Finance Housing Corp. offers loans to help people pay for down payments and closing costs. You can receive this assistance only if you get a mortgage through Florida Housing.
The organization also oversees the Salute Our Soldiers Military Loan Program, which provides 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to veterans and active duty military personnel. The program also offers up to $10,000 in down payment assistance and closing cost assistance. In addition, the organization offers mortgage credit certificates (MCC), which provide tax credits worth up to 50 percent of the loan amount.
Florida mortgage refinancing
With interest rates at historic lows, you may be able to lower your monthly payment and save thousands by refinancing your loan to a lower rate. You can use Bankrate’s mortgage refinance calculator to see how much you can save.