Best Online Mortgage Lenders of January 2022

*Minimum credit scores are for conforming loans, or for VA loans from Navy Federal and Veterans United. If you qualify for another type of loan, you might be able to secure a loan with a lower score.

The bottom line: Bank of America is a good mortgage lender overall, but you’ll need a decent credit score to qualify for a mortgage.

The pros of Bank of America:

  • Wide range of mortgage types, including HELOCs
  • Down payment and closing cost assistance programs that vary by state
  • You may receive a discount on fees if you’re already a Bank of America customer
  • A+ rating from the BBB

The cons of Bank of America:

  • No USDA loans, home equity loans, reverse mortgages, or construction loans
  • Doesn’t accept alternative forms of credit

The bottom line: is a great option for a fully online application process, but you can only get a conventional or FHA mortgage.

The pros of

  • Can see personalized rates online before applying
  • Three-minute preapproval application
  • Receive a preapproval letter in under 24 hours
  • Low closing costs

The cons of

  • Does not have VA or USDA mortgages; no home equity loan, HELOC, reverse mortgage, or construction loan
  • Not available in Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Nevada
  • Can’t apply with alternative credit data (like utility bills) because you have a low or no credit score
  • B rating from the BBB

The bottom line: Carrington is a worthwhile option, particularly if you have a low or no credit score and need to apply with alternative data.

The pros of Carrington:

The cons of Carrington:

  • No home equity loans, HELOCs, reverse mortgages, or construction loans
  • Can’t see personalized rates online
  • Not available in Massachusetts or North Dakota

The bottom line: Fairway Independent Mortgage is a good lender for people who want to explore their options. It provides many types of home loans and has several term lengths to choose from.

The pros of Fairway Independent:

  • Wide range of loan options
  • A+ rating from the BBB
  • Accepts alternative forms of credit
  • Easy-to-navigate website
  • Option to close on your mortgage digitally instead of in person

The cons of Fairway Independent:

  • No home equity loans, HELOCs, or construction loans
  • Rates aren’t posted online

The bottom line: Guaranteed Rate is a good lender for several types of home loans, including interest-only mortgages that can be hard to find elsewhere. It also allows you to apply with alternative data if you don’t have a credit score.

The pros of Guaranteed Rate:

  • Accepts alternative credit data if you do not have a credit score
  • Easy-to-use website
  • Close digitally, not in person
  • A- rating from the BBB

The cons of Guaranteed Rate:

  • No home equity loan, HELOC, reverse mortgage, or construction loan
  • Can’t see personalized mortgage rates online

The bottom line: Guild Mortgage is a good option for many types of people, because it has multiple home loans for borrowers in different situations.

The pros of Guild Mortgage:

  • Wide range of mortgage types
  • Accepts alternative forms of credit
  • Option to close online instead of in person

The cons of Guild Mortgage:

  • No home equity loans, HELOCs, or construction loans
  • A- rating from the BBB
  • Unavailable to residents of New Jersey or New York

The bottom line: NBKC Bank is a worthwhile option if you have a good credit score and value online convenience.

The pros of NBKC:

  • A+ rating from the BBB
  • Live online chat makes it easy to speak with an expert about your questions

The cons of NBKC:

  • No USDA loans, home equity loans, HELOCs, reverse mortgages, or construction loans
  • Doesn’t accept alternative forms of credit

The bottom line: New American Funding is a strong mortgage lender overall, and its buydown loan and I CAN loan make it easy to customize a mortgage to your specific needs.

The pros of New American Funding:

  • Special types of mortgages, like a buydown loan and I CAN mortgage, that help you tailor your term and payments to your needs
  • A+ rating from the BBB
  • Accepts alternative forms of credit

The cons of New American Funding:

  • No USDA loans, home equity loans, HELOCs, or construction loans
  • Not available to residents of Hawaii or New York

The bottom line: Rocket Mortgage is a great option if you have a good credit score and value customer service.

The pros of Rocket Mortgage:

  • Ranked as the top lender for customer satisfaction from J.D. Power for 11 consecutive years, and ranked No. 2 in 2021
  • A+ rating from the BBB
  • Quick, easy online experience
  • Terms as short as eight years

The cons of Rocket Mortgage:

  • No USDA loans, home equity loans, HELOCs, construction loans, or reverse mortgages
  • No physical locations
  • Doesn’t accept alternative credit data — you must show your credit score to get a mortgage

The bottom line: US Bank is a good lender if you want to explore your options, because it has a wide range of loan types.

The pros of US Bank:

  • Offers a wide range of loans
  • A+ rating from the BBB
  • Provides VA loans to people with a 600 credit score
  • Receive up to $1,000 toward refinance closing costs if your original mortgage is with US Bank

The cons of US Bank:

Other mortgage lenders we considered

We evaluated over two dozen

mortgage lenders

before picking our favorites. Here are the other lenders we looked at and reasons they didn’t make the cut:

  • Navy Federal Credit Union: Navy Federal does have a good online application process, but membership is limited to certain people.
  • Chase: Chase doesn’t have as many down payment assistance programs as Bank of America, but you may qualify for up to $5,500 through its DreaMaker mortgage.
  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union: If you have a 650 credit score, PenFed offers $500 to $2,500 in lender credit for all members, depending on how much you borrow. The credit union doesn’t have FHA or USDA mortgages, though.
  • USAA: USAA only offers VA mortgages right now.
  • LoanDepot: LoanDepot is a solid lender, but it doesn’t have any features that set it apart from the crowd.
  • Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo has had multiple public controversies over the past few years regarding claims of racist lending practices, creating fake bank accounts, and charging customers for insurance products they didn’t sign up for.
  • Caliber Home Loans: Caliber is a strong lender, but there are no standout features.
  • SunTrust: SunTrust has a competitive mortgage specifically for doctors.
  • Veterans United: Veterans United offers several types of mortgages, not just VA mortgages. It’s difficult to find information for non-VA mortgages on its website, though.
  • CMG Financial: CMG has unique grant opportunities and mortgages. They could be good options, but these programs aren’t for everyone.
  • Flagstar Bank: This lender offers several types of home loans, but none of its features make it stand out.
  • Movement Mortgage: Movement Mortgage will process your mortgage within seven business days, so it’s a good option if you’re in a hurry.
  • Ally: Ally has a fully online process, but the bank only has conventional mortgages.


We considered lenders that let you do most of your application process online, and many of them help you track your payments and balance online. To choose the best

online mortgage

lenders, we evaluated the following factors: 

  • Loan types. Did a lender offer several types of loans to suit customers’ needs, such as conventional loans, government-backed loans, and home equity loans?
  • Customer satisfaction. If the lender appeared in the J.D. Power 2021 Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Survey, we looked at its ranking. If it wasn’t in the survey, then we read online customer reviews.
  • Affordability. We looked at lenders’ minimum credit scores and down payment amounts. We also checked whether they offer government-backed loans, which can be more affordable for borrowers with less-than-perfect financial profiles. Finally, we looked at whether it considers alternative forms of credit, like utility bills and rent payments, for you to qualify.
  • Ethics. Each of our top picks received a B+ or higher from the Better Business Bureau, which measures companies’ trustworthiness. We also considered any public controversies in the last three years.

Are these mortgage lenders trustworthy?

The Better Business Bureau grades companies based on responses to customer complaints, honesty in advertising, and transparency about business practices. Here are the BBB grades for our top online mortgage lenders:

Most of our picks have an A+ from the BBB. The exceptions are, Guaranteed Rate, and Guild Mortgage. has a B due to the high volume of complaints on the BBB website. Guaranteed Rate has an A- and Guild Mortgage has an A-, both due to government action against the lenders. 

In 2020, Guild Mortgage paid the United States $24.9 million when it was accused of approving FHA mortgages for people who didn’t qualify, resulting in loan defaults.

Guaranteed Rate is paying the government $15 million. A former employee claimed that the lender pressured underwriters into lying so that the government would insure FHA and VA loans. The Department of Justice said that the lender attempted to stop these illegal practices even before the federal investigation began, though.

Some of the other lenders on our list have some recent controversies, too, despite strong BBB grades.

In 2020, the Department of Justice charged Bank of America for unfairly denying home loans to adults with disabilities, even though they qualified for loans. Bank of America paid around $300,000 total to people who were refused loans. In 2019, the Department of Labor required Bank of America to pay $4.2 million to people who claimed the bank discriminated against women, Black, and Hispanic applicants in the hiring process.

The US Justice Department required Rocket Mortgage’s parent company Quicken Loans to pay $32.5 million for alleged mortgage fraud in 2019. The Justice Department claimed Quicken Loans approved mortgage applications it shouldn’t have. Although Quicken Loans paid the settlement, the company never admitted to mortgage fraud.

Frequently asked questions

What is an online mortgage lender?

An online mortgage lender is one that lets you do most (or all) of the mortgage application process online. Some even let you close digitally. There are online-only lenders, like and Guaranteed Rate, but many large brick-and-mortar lenders have also started adding robust online features.

What type of online mortgages can I get?

Online mortgage lenders offer all of the same mortgages as traditional, brick-and-mortar lenders. Your exact options will depend on the lender, though. We’ve listed which types of home loans each of our top picks offers under its section.

Are online mortgage lenders cheaper?

Not necessarily. Each lender charges different fees and interest rates, but those numbers aren’t directly related to whether it’s an online or physical business. Applying for preapproval with multiple lenders before shopping for homes can give you an idea of which will give you the best deal. You can also ask for a loan estimate, or an itemized list of fees, from multiple lenders once you’ve chosen a home.

Experts’ advice on choosing a mortgage lender

We consulted mortgage and financial experts to inform these picks and provide their insights about mortgage lenders.

PFI Mortgage expert panel


Our experts have also provided advice about how to know whether you’re ready to get a mortgage, and how to decide which type of mortgage is best for you.

Here’s what they had to say about mortgages. (Some text may be lightly edited for clarity.)

What factors should someone take into consideration when choosing a mortgage lender?

Anthony Park, author:

“The canned answer is to just go with the lowest rate. However, you also want to take into account who’s going to serve your loan best. Are repayments going to be easy for you? Who is most likely to be able to help you if you need to take out a HELOC or refinance later, versus somebody who’s more of a one-off type?

“They may have the lowest rates to get you involved, but they might have very, very little hand holding after the fact. I wouldn’t recommend paying an exorbitant amount more for potential services in the future, but just don’t always necessarily go with the rock-bottom lowest rate. There’s sometimes a cost with that.”

Laura Grace Tarpley, Personal Finance Insider:

“Apply for preapproval with multiple lenders. Each lender’s preapproval letter states how much it would lend to you, and it locks in your interest rate. It’s an effective way to compare lenders and see which will give you the best deal.

“But try to apply with all the lenders within a month or so. When you apply for preapproval, a lender does a hard credit inquiry. A bunch of hard inquiries on your report can hurt your credit score, unless it’s for the sake of shopping for the best rate. If you limit your rate shopping to a month or so, credit bureaus will understand that you’re looking for a home and shouldn’t hold each individual inquiry against you.”

How can someone decide between a conventional mortgage vs. a government-backed mortgage?

Anthony Park, author:

‘It really depends on if you qualify. If you do qualify for FHA or VA mortgages, those are no-brainers. just because the terms are so favorable. If you don’t qualify, you fall back by default onto conventional mortgages.”

Julie Aragon, Aragon Lending Team:

“The most common government loan that’s widely available to almost everyone is the FHA loan. There’s a couple of reasons why somebody would go with FHA instead of conventional one. Their credit is a little on the crummy side, let’s say below 700. You can get conventional with down to a 620 score, but the mortgage insurance gets really expensive. FHA doesn’t discriminate — no matter how perfect or crappy your credit is, the mortgage insurance is the same.”

How can someone know whether they’re financially ready to buy a home?

Lauryn Williams, CFP:

“You should have funds left over after everything is said and done as it pertains to purchasing the home. So if you don’t have an emergency fund plus a down payment, you’re probably not ready to purchase a home. Another thing I think about is credit card debt. While you can be approved for a mortgage with credit card debt and student loans and very little cash on hand, you put yourself in a very risky situation.”

Laura Grace Tarpley, Personal Finance Insider:

“You should be able to afford the extra costs that come with owning a home, like home repairs or lawn care. You didn’t have to budget for those things when you rented, because the landlord was responsible for maintenance.”

Mortgage and refinance rates by state

Check the latest rates in your state at the links below. 

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Washington DC
West Virginia

Laura Grace Tarpley, CEPF

Editor, Banking & Mortgages

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