Georgia Mortgage and Refinance Rates
As of Sunday, September 19, 2021, current rates in Georgia are 3.02% for a 30-year fixed, 2.29% for a 15-year fixed, and 2.42% for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).
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Georgia mortgage overview
If you’re looking for a new home (or to refinance your current mortgage) in Georgia, be aware that housing affordability can vary greatly. Home prices tend to be higher in Atlanta and in counties with high median household incomes, like Forsyth.
FHA loan limits point to the wide range of prices. As of 2020, FHA limits vary by county, from $314,827 (Worth County and many others) to $515,200 (Greene County). Georgia’s limit for conventional mortgages is $510,400, except in Greene County, where the limit is $515,200.
When considering homes to buy, know that sellers aren’t obligated to disclose any issues; however, the Georgia Association of Realtors has made it standard practice with their own disclosure forms. Still, sellers may not reveal everything.
Most lenders will require you to purchase homeowners insurance, even though Georgia law does not require you to have it. Georgia is also one of several states with a separate hurricane deductible, which is commonly higher than the standard deductible.
If you default on your mortgage in Georgia — a non-judicial foreclosure state — the lender can foreclose without filing suit or appearing in front of a judge, and only has to send a notice of intent to foreclose at least 30 days before the date of the proposed foreclosure sale.
Top 5 Bankrate mortgage lenders in Georgia
- Better.com – Best overall
- Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation – Best for VA loans
- Interfirst Mortgage Company – Best for refinancing
- Cardinal Financial Company – Best for FHA loans
- 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 isn’t just a better approach to getting a mortgage in Georgia: It’s one of the best overall due to the lender’s lack of fees, fast turnaround times and 24/7 customer support. The lender also scores a large round of applause from past customers: a 4.5 out of five based on more than 600 reviews on Trustpilot.
Strengths: No lender fees; mortgage rates published on the lender’s website; preapprovals in three minutes and closings in 21 days
Weaknesses: No VA or USDA loans; requires a minimum 620 credit score for all loans, including FHA
Read Bankrate's Better.com mortgage review
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation – Best for VA loans
While many lenders have shifted to an all-online approach, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation continues to maintain a nationwide network of more than 400 branch locations to offer in-person assistance to borrowers. This lender is one of the main names in lending to military servicemembers, veterans and their spouses: In 2020, it funded more than 17,000 VA loans for a total of more than $5.6 billion.
Strengths: 40-plus locations across Georgia; mobile app offers easy application tracking and document uploading; A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
Weaknesses: Doesn’t advertise mortgage rates or list borrower requirements online
Read Bankrate's Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation review
Interfirst Mortgage Company – Best for refinancing
This Chicago-based lender can issue a preapproval in one day and help you close your loan in 45 days. While it’s a good option for new purchase loans, we think it’s an especially good pick for refinancing due to its lack of lender fees. You’ll still have to pay standard closing costs, but the no-fee policy means you’ll be a bit closer to the break-even point.
Strengths: No lender fees; all-online process
Weaknesses: Must have at least a 620 credit score to qualify; doesn’t advertise refinance rates online
Read Bankrate's Interfirst Mortgage Company review
Cardinal Financial Company – Best for FHA loans
Also doing business as Sebonic Financial, Cardinal Financial Company is an established name in the mortgage market. The North Carolina-based lender has been in business since 1987, and like other lenders, it participates in down payment assistance programs to make that upfront sticker price on a new home in Georgia a bit more manageable.
Strengths: Considers credit scores as low as 550 for FHA loans; FHA to FHA streamline refinance loans do not require an appraisal; excellent customer reviews on Trustpilot
Weaknesses: Doesn’t publish mortgage rates online or information about specific lender fees
Read Bankrate's Cardinal Financial mortgage review
Lower – Best for first-time homebuyers
Save $500 for your down payment and get $500 for your down payment — that’s the promise of Lower’s HomeCash Match program. The lender does charge a $995 lender fee for your first purchase, but if you ever need to refinance your mortgage, it’ll waive lender fees on the transaction. The lender conducts all business online and has two corporate offices in Ohio and Maryland.
Strengths: Advertises mortgage rates online; Free Refi for Life program saves money if you decide to refinance down the road
Weaknesses: $995 lender fee for new purchases; C+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
Read Bankrate's Lower mortgage review
First-time homebuyer programs in Georgia
Georgia offers down payment assistance loans through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Georgia Dream Homeownership program. The program also offers Georgia Dream loans for first-time homebuyers. All buyers must take a homeowner education course or take housing counseling sessions.
The down payment assistance programs Georgia first-time homebuyers may qualify for are:
- Georgia Dream Standard Down Payment Assistance, offering eligible borrowers a zero-interest loan up to $5,000
- Georgia Dream PEN Down Payment Assistance, offering eligible borrowers a zero-interest loan up to $7,500; PEN stands for “Protectors, Educations & Nurses,” so part of the eligibility criteria is employment in protection (police, highway patrol, correctional, fire and EMS), active military, education or healthcare fields
- Georgia Dream Choice Down Payment Assistance, offering eligible borrowers a zero-interest loan up to $7,500; your household must include an individual living with a disability in order to qualify for this option
With all Georgia Dream Down Payment Assistance programs, repayment is deferred until you sell, refinance or no longer use the home as a primary residence. Borrowers must contribute at least $1,000 to the purchase of the home, in addition to meeting other requirements, depending on the program.
Georgia Dream loans are available through participating lenders. First-time homebuyers or buyers who have not owned a home in the last three years may be approved for an FHA, USDA, VA or conventional loan for their home. The program offers low interest rates and can be combined with Georgia Dream Down Payment Assistance programs.
To be eligible for a Georgia Dream loan, borrowers must have a credit score of at least 640, with liquid assets totaling less than $20,000 or 20 percent of the home’s price, whichever is greater. Qualifying income and purchase price limits vary by county.
Georgia mortgage refinancing
There aren’t any regulations or requirements specific to Georgia to look out for when you’re applying to refinance your home; however, local housing trends may impact your chances of approval. While some markets in Georgia have seen an appreciation in values (giving homeowners more equity), there are many other markets in the state where home values have declined.
Use Bankrate’s mortgage refinance calculator to see how much you can save by lowering your rate.