Best Online Mortgage Lenders of May 2022


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With improved technology, people are doing more online than ever before — including every step of the home buying process.


Even before the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, 50% of borrowers chose their lender based on whether or not it had an online application.


But for all the potential ease and speed of an online mortgage, some lenders may have their downsides, too. Just because a mortgage lender has online abilities doesn't mean you're getting the best deal possible. Evaluating a lender based on transparent pricing, accessibility to most borrowers, an extensive product offering, and a reputable history with customer satisfaction are important qualities, too.


That’s why it’s imperative you shop and compare a few mortgage lenders before committing.


A study by the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau (CFPB) cites a variant of 0.5% between mortgage rates with two equally qualified candidates between lenders.


To help you navigate the process, NextAdvisor reviewed 49 different mortgage lenders and scored each one on categories including online convenience, transparency, accessibility, loan product variety, and customer satisfaction. We then find it down to the following list of the best online mortgage lenders of February 2022.


EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

As with all of our mortgage lender reviews, our analysis is not linked by any partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information about our scoring methodology, click here.


Top 10 Best Online Mortgage Lenders of February 2022

1. Guaranteed Rate

Best With Fast Preapprovals and Closings, 4.8/5 Stars

Guaranteed Rate is a Chicago-headquartered firm with a strong online presence and 400 branch locations spread across the country. We ranked the company a top choice lender because of its top-of-the-line digital experience, helpful consumer tools, solid customer service, variety of loan products, including all three government loans, and large quality footprint.


Guaranteed rate received fewer consumer complaints compared to most other lenders we reviewed. The company logged less than one complaint per 1,000 loans originated with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) consumer complaint database, the agency responsible for collecting, monitoring, and responding to U.S. consumer complaints about financial services and products.


Guaranteed Rate's Standout Feature:

From start to finish, borrowers can complete the mortgage application, upload documents, and even sign closing paperwork online where e-closings are allowed. Guaranteed Rate says it can provide a preapproval letter in around 15 minutes and the company goal is to be clear to close within 10 days.


A Drawback for Guaranteed Rate:

Certain loan products, such as construction loans, reverse mortgages, and home equity products, you can start the application with Guaranteed Rate, but they'll take the application and broker it to another lender.


2. Navy Federal Credit Union

Best for Military Families, 4.8/5 Stars

Headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, Navy Federal Credit Union serves all 50 states and has 344 branches worldwide. Navy Federal Credit Union was a high-scoring lender by NextAdvisor because of its quality availability, price transparency, streamlined online application process, and loan product variety. It has a slightly above average complaint ratio of 2.8 complaints per 1,000 loans with the CFPB. But this lender offers no-down payment and flexible credit requirements on most mortgage products to qualified military service members and their families.


Navy Federal Credit Union Standout Feature:

Navy Federal Credit Union offers a unique relock rate option: You can lock in your interest rate and relock it twice if rates improve before closing.


A Drawback for Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union's footprint is quality but only lends to eligible military families.


See our full review of Navy Federal Credit Union here.


3. Rocket Mortgage

Top Lender for Customer Satisfaction, 4.6/5 Stars

Rocket mortgage is the online lender for Quicken Loans and is one of the largest mortgage lenders in the U.S. We ranked the Detroit-based company as one of the best online mortgage lenders because of its simple online application process, large quality footprint, low level of consumer complaints, the transparency and accessibility of its rates and fees, and the company's wide offering of mortgage loan products.


Rocket Mortgage's Standout Feature:

Rocket Mortgage stands out for the company's high level of customer satisfaction. Rocket Mortgage originated over one million loans in 2020, making it the largest lender we reviewed by total volume. Despite its magnitude, the company has lower-than-average consumer complaints registered on the CFPB consumer complaint database. We found 0.48 complaints per 1,000 loans — or less than half a complaint per 1,000 loans occurred. This figure is very low compared to the average complaint ratio of 2 complaints per 1,000 loans among other online lenders we reviewed.


A Drawback for Rocket Mortgages:

It’s not clear on the Rocket Mortgage site which types of loans it offers or what the minimum credit score requirements are for different mortgages. The FAQ lists a few types of loans and its requirements, but there isn't a complete public list of every loan offered. So you'll have to call or chat with a representative to get some critical questions answered.


4. Veterans United Home Loans

Top Lender Among Military Families, 4.6/5 Stars

Veterans United Home Loans, headquartered in Missouri, is a mortgage lender that specializes in VA home loans in all 50 states. Veterans United is incredibly active in the VA loan space. The U.S. the Department of Veterans Affairs lists Veterans United in the top three among VA loan lenders by volume for five consecutive years. While the company focuses heavily on VA loans, they also offer conventional, jumbo, FHA, and USDA loans.


Veterans United has a fully digitized and easy online application process. Compared to other online lenders we've reviewed, the company had one of the lowest complaint ratios logged with the CFPB: Less than half of one complaint per 1,000 loans originated.


Veterans United Standout Feature:

Veterans United provides a wealth of information on its website regarding the loan process. This information covers topics on the eligibility requirements and benefits of a VA loan, such as 0% down payment, no private mortgage insurance (PMI), and competitive interest rates despite credit blemishes. The webpage also has articles detailing what to expect through the loan process, closing, how to prepare for homeownersship, home loans basics, credit, and underwriting.


A Drawback for Veterans United:

Veterans United seems to focus heavily on VA loans, and although the website was easy to navigate, it was difficult to find information on their other loan offerings for conventional, jumbo, FHA, or USDA products. A customer service representative confirmed they are available.


See our full review of Veterans United Home Loans here.


5. North American Savings Bank

Best for the Non-Traditional Borrower, 4.8/5

Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, North American Savings Bank (NASB) is a full-service bank that lends in all 50 states. North American Savings Bank has an extensive mortgage menu than most, including options for veterans, first-time homebuyers, self-employed people, and borrowers with less-than-perfect credit histories. That’s because the bank offers VA loans, FHA loans, and mortgages for people who don’t fit conforming loan standards. NASB also has a streamlined online application process with transparent pricing for browsing borrowers.


NASB's Standout Feature:

NASB has several programs that can help non-traditional borrowers get a home. For instance, its non-conforming home loans advertize flexible underwriting guidelines for borrowers with credit issues. Another unique loan product is the Bank Statement Loan. It allows self-employed borrowers to show income using bank statements rather than tax returns. The bank also has a Good Neighbor Home Loan Program, which is designed for people looking for homes in low- to moderate-income areas in certain parts of Kansas and Missouri. There are no lender fees through this program, and borrowers can receive closing cost assistance.


A Drawback for NASB:

NASB minimum credit score requirements for its VA and FHA loans at 620, which is slightly higher than some competitors.


6. Trust Bank

Best for Full Service Banking, 4.5/5 Stars

Truist Bank, now merged with Suntrust and BB&T under its name, has an extensive footprint across the U.S. through its thousands of brick-and-mortar branches and online presence. Along with the company's solid menu of mortgage products, easy-to-use online application process, transparency of rate and fee information, and average number of complaints compared to other reviewed lenders, the brand's website is easy to navigate with several useful resources to help with the borrowing process, such as calculators, videos, and sample mortgages.


Truist Bank's Standout Feature:

Truist offers a comprehensive menu of online or in-person banking accounts such as checking, savings, money market, and CDs. If you are in the market for a bank, looking to switch banks, or already have a Truist account, there is an allure of convenience to also have your mortgage through the same institution. Some lending institutions also give incentives or discounts to existing account holders.


A Drawback for Truist:

Because Suntrust and BB&T are still in the process of merging under the Truist brand, gathering mortgage product information online is slightly confusing navigating between each individual site. We recommend sticking to the Truist site for ease of use.


7. Sebonic Financial

Best Online Application Process, 4.5/5 Stars

Sebonic Financial is the mortgage lender division of North Carolina-headquartered Cardinal Financial. Sebonic Financial scored well with NextAdvisor because of the company's high-end digital borrowing experience, full mortgage product lineup which is available in all 50 states, and the lender's history of below-average customer complaints with the CFPB. Based on 2020 data, Sebonic has less than one complaint per 1,000 loans originated in the same year.


Although Sebonic's mortgage rates and fees are not listed on the company website, the online system, Octane, makes it easy to access a quote without a credit check or drawn-out process.


Sebonic Financial's Standout Feature:

Sebonic's proprietary borrowing platform, Octane, is a standout feature. With Octane, borrowers can get a fast rate quote, start an application, upload documents, and sign closing documents, with real-time updates along the way. We found Octane to be one of the best online application processes compared to other lenders we've reviewed. It’s easy-to-use, high-tech, and we appreciate the ability to have a full-online digital experience with the option to speak to loan officers.


A Drawback for Sebonic Financial:

Mortgage rates aren't published on the lender's website. After filling out a rate-quote form online, someone from Sebonic will call or email you with available rate offers. You'll answer a few qualifying questions, but won't need to do a credit check before getting the rate quote.


8. Pennymac Loan Services

Best Online Experience, 4.5/5 Stars

Pennymac Loan Services isn't a well-known name. But the California-based mortgage lender stands out for its convenient online application process, ability to get a rate quote without a credit check, transparency of rates and fees, and low frequency of consumer complaints with the CFPB. In 2020, the CFPB reported less than 0.30 complaints per 1,000 loans. Pennymac offers most major mortgage products and all three-government loans in 49 states, with 16 brick-and-mortar branch locations.


Pennymac's Standout Feature:

The brand had one of the lowest complaint ratios lenders we reviewed, but the more noticeable standout feature is the overall online experience. At NextAdvisor, we value price transparency and accessibility. Pennymac met this expectation with daily rate and fee updates and customizable rate quotes on its user-friendly webpage.


A Drawback for Pennymac:

Pennymac does not carry niche products such as home equity loans, construction loans, renovation loans, jumbo mortgages, and reverse mortgages.


See our full review of Pennymac Loan Services here.


9. Watermark Home Loans

Best for the Self-Employed Borrower, 4.5/5 Stars

Watermark Home Loans based out of Irvine, CA, and currently licensed in 38 states. The company is named one of NextAdvisor's best mortgage online lenders of February 2022 because of its streamlined online application process, transparent and accessibility of pricing, lower-than-average consumer complaints, and solid loan product lineup.


Borrowers can receive a customized rate quote by filling out a form online with basic information such as your income, address, and estimated home value. You will get an email with a few different quote options to review with options for discount points, lender credits, or closing costs options. Watermark Home Loans advertises national daily rate averages along with data indicators of how much each loan type’s rate has moved up or down in the last 30 days.


Watermark has a lower-than-average number of consumer complaints: Less than one complaint per 1,000 originated loans in 2020, according to the CFPB's consumer complaint database.


Watermark Home Loans' Standout Feature:

Watermark Home Loans advertises a “Non-QM loan,” or “Non-Qualified Mortgage.” According to the website, non-traditional borrowers, such as the self-employed, those with a history of bankruptcy, or those with less attractive debt-to-income ratios can use this loan type to potentially qualify for a mortgage.


A Drawback of Watermark Home Loans:

Watermark Home Loans is currently only licensed in 38 states. Although, a Watermark representative told us a few more state licenses will become available this year, further expanding the company footprint.


10. LenderFi

Best Pricing Transparency, 4.5/5 Stars

Headquartered in Calabasas, CA, LenderFi offers mortgages in 45 states with an easy-to-use online application process. LenderFi was named one of NextAdvisor’s best online lender because the company provides a unique feature to its rate quotes: A full, transparent, line-by-line breakdown of all rates and fees before even getting a credit check. Discount points are clearly advertised with how they affect the APR and monthly payment. The quote even homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance (if applicable), property tax costs, and all third-party closing fees.


What's more, the company has a below-average number of consumer complaints (per 1,000 loans originated) logged with the (CFPB).


LenderFi's Standout Feature:

The company advertises that it does not charge lender fees as part of the closing costs. Third-party fees, such as appraisal, title closing insurance, and inspection costs still apply. But LenderFi says no additional lender costs are passed to the borrowers. Instead, all lender-related costs are rolled into the quoted rate and APR.


A Drawback for LenderFi:

LenderFi does not offer any government-sponsored loans, such as VA, FHA, or USDA loans at this time.


Honorable Mention: Costco Mortgage Program

Best Lender Marketplace, Not Rated

The Costco mortgage program does not originate mortgages, so it was not included in the list of best mortgage online lenders. However, the useful marketplace is worth an honorable mention. Costco members have access to a network of participating mortgage lenders offering discounts and incentives for borrowing through this channel. Through the Costco mortgage website, you can fill out a universal application, compare loan offers, and cash-in on discounts marketplace or lender fees if you choose a lender through this program. The marketplace platform is easy to navigate with transparent pricing and terms. You can get a rate quote online in minutes and will only be contacted by the lender with your expressed permission.


Online Mortgage Pros and Cons

Online mortgages can be more streamlined and automated, and therefore less expensive to process than traditional mortgages. But the same automated processes that make online loans easier to process can also create problems. If your situation is outside the norm, and you require the expertise of a mortgage professional, you may want to consider the in-person branch experience.


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