4 Best Mortgage Lenders of January 2022

Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we receive compensation from our partner lenders, whom we will always identify, all opinions are our own. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to here as “Credible.”

Buying a home is stressful. Fortunately, choosing the right mortgage lender can help alleviate that stress.

A mortgage lender known for its good service, low rates, and a variety of loan options, can ensure your home purchase goes both smoothly and affordably. This is particularly true amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, when social distancing limitations, volatile rates, drawn-out processing times, and stricter qualifications are complicating matters.

Credible is partnered with some of the best home loan lenders in the country. As you shop around for your upcoming home purchase, make sure to use Credible and compare prequalified rates from our four partner lenders below.

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Let’s take a look at Credible’s partner lenders:

  1. Caliber Home Loans
  2. LoanDepot
  3. Rocket Mortgage
  4. Stearns Lending

1. Caliber Home Loans

  • Best for: A variety of loan products

If you’re looking for a wide range of mortgage options, Caliber Home Loans can help. The lender offers everything from conventional loans to FHA, USDA, VA, and even renovation-specific mortgages.

Mortgage types Conventional (fixed and adjustable), FHA, USDA, VA, jumbo
Min. credit score 580
Min. down payment 3% (conventional)
Loan terms 10 to 30 years (fixed-rate)
3/1, 5/1, 7/1, 10/1, and 5/5 (ARMs)


  • Lots of loan options
  • Handy mobile app
  • Brick-and-mortar branches for those who need more assistance


  • No publicly available rates
  • No HELOCs or home equity loans

Read Credible’s full review of Caliber Home Loans for more details.

2. LoanDepot

  • Best for: A quick closing

LoanDepot is an online mortgage lender that specializes in fast closings — it claims to be up to 50% quicker than the industry average. It’s also the No. 8 VA mortgage lender in the country, issuing nearly 32,000 VA loans just last year.

Mortgage types Conventional (fixed and adjustable), VA, FHA
Min. credit score 580 (FHA), 620 (conventional)
Min. down payment 5% (conventional)
Loan terms 10, 15, 20, and 30 years (fixed-rate)
3/1, 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1 (ARMs)


  • Fast closings
  • Lots of VA experience
  • Online-based process


  • No USDA loans available
  • Can’t see rates or fees without creating an account

Read Credible’s full review of LoanDepot for more details.

3. Rocket Mortgage

  • Best for: An online experience

Rocket Mortgage is a tech-driven mortgage lender that lets you apply for your mortgage wholly online or via its mobile app. Its parent company, Quicken Loans (which services Rocket’s mortgages), was ranked the top mortgage servicer for customer satisfaction last year by J.D. Power.

Mortgage types Conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo
Min. credit score 580
Min. down payment 3% (conventional)
Loan terms 15 and 30 years


  • Transparent about rates
  • Easy, online-based application process
  • Good customer service


  • Online-based application process may not be ideal for non-salaried borrowers
  • No ARMs (adjustable-rate mortgages)

Read Credible’s full review of Rocket Mortgage for more details.

4. Stearns Lending

  • Best for: Non-traditional workers

Stearns Lending is a retail and wholesale mortgage lender. The company offers a wide range of loan options, including non-qualified mortgage (non-QM) products, which are typically used by self-employed borrowers and others with non-traditional income.

Mortgage types Conventional, FHA, USDA, VA, non-QM, jumbo
Min. credit score 580 (FHA, VA), 620 (conventional, USDA)
Min. down payment 3% (conventional)
Loan terms Contact lender


  • Lots of loan options
  • Good for non-traditional income earners
  • Free seven-day rate lock extensions available


  • Loan terms and interest rates aren’t displayed on site
  • Limited branch availability

Read Credible’s full review of Stearns Lending for more details.

Other mortgage lenders to consider

These aren’t the only mortgage lenders you can consider by any means. For more potential mortgage options, see below.

Keep in mind that these lenders are not Credible partners, so you won’t be able to compare rates or get customized quotes using Credible’s online platform.

Lender Details
JMAC Home Loans Loan types: Conventional, FHA, USDA, jumbo, non-QM
Credit score: 620 (FHA, conventional), 680 (jumbo)
Down payment: 3% (conventional), 3.5% (FHA), 10% (jumbo)
United Wholesale Mortgage Loan types: Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, jumbo
Credit score: 620
Down payment: Contact lender
Bank of America Loan types: Conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo
Credit score: Contact lender
Down payment: 3% (conventional), 3.5% (FHA), 0% (VA), contact lender for jumbo requirements
Chase Loan types: Conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo, Chase DreaMaker
Credit score: Contact lender
Down payment: 5% to 20% (conventional), 3.5% (FHA), 20% (jumbo), 0% (VA), 3% (Chase DreaMaker)
Wells Fargo Loan types: Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, jumbo
Credit score: Contact lender
Down payment: 3% (conventional), 3.5% (FHA), 0% (USDA, VA)
PNC Bank Loan types: Conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo, USDA
Credit score: Contact lender
Down payment: 3% (conventional), FHA (3.5%), 0% (USDA, VA)
Veterans United Loan types: VA, VA jumbo loans
Credit score: 640
Down payment: 0%
Navy Federal Loan types: Conventional, VA
Credit score: N/A
Down payment: 5% (conventional), 0% (VA), 0 to 10% (ARMs)
SoFi Loan types: Conventional (fixed-rate only)
Credit score: Contact lender
Down payment: 5%

See: What You Need to Know About Working With a Mortgage Broker

Frequently Asked Questions

Is now a good time to buy a home?

The best time to buy a house will vary from person to person. Generally, it’s a good time to buy if your finances are healthy and you’re in a relatively steady place in life.

This might mean you:

  • Have decent credit
  • Have a handle on your debt
  • Are clear on where you want to live for the next few years
  • Are in a steady job or have other stable income

These conditions all lend themselves to a more successful — and affordable — home purchase.

Learn More: How to Buy a House: Step-by-Step Guide

How much home can I afford?

Properly estimating your budget is critical if you want to ensure you can afford your home. Experts generally recommend spending no more than 30% of your monthly income on housing, so tally up your earnings and work backward.

You’ll also want to factor in things like insurance, maintenance, HOA dues, and other fees that come with buying a home. And, of course, don’t forget the savings you’ll need for your down payment and closing costs.

Use Credible’s monthly payment calculator below to see how much home you can afford:

Enter your loan information to calculate how much you could pay

Total Payment

Total Interest

Monthly Payment

With a
home loan, you will pay
monthly and a total of
in interest over the life of your loan. You will pay a total of
over the life of the

Need a home loan?
Credible makes getting a mortgage easy. It only takes 3 minutes to see if you qualify for an instant streamlined pre-approval letter.

Find Rates Now

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score.

What do I need to qualify for a mortgage?

Exact mortgage qualifications vary by program and lender. Typically, lenders will look at your credit, debts, down payment, and the property you’re buying to determine eligibility.

Here’s a general look at what you may need to qualify for a mortgage loan:

  • Credit score: FHA loans require between a 500 to 580 credit score, depending on your down payment. With conventional loans, you can expect to need at least a 620 credit score or higher.
  • DTI: Your debt-to-income ratio, or how much of your income goes toward debt payments, will usually need to be 43% or less.
  • Down payment: You’ll typically need anywhere between 3% and 20%, depending on your loan program.

Find Out: How to Choose a Mortgage: Tips for Getting the Best Loan

How much should I put down for a down payment?

Again, down payment requirements depend on your loan program and mortgage lender, but in some cases, you may not even need one. USDA and VA loans, for example, have no down payment requirement.

Tip: Keep in mind that the bigger your down payment is, the more affordable your monthly payment will be. With a 20% down payment or higher, you can avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI) and potentially qualify for a lower interest rate.

How can I get pre-approved for a mortgage?

If you’re serious about buying a home, you’ll want to get pre-approved. A mortgage pre-approval lets you know what you can afford, and it also instills confidence in sellers and could give you a leg up in a bidding war.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you’ll have to fill out the lender’s application. Some of the documents you’ll need for a pre-approval include:

  • Recent pay stubs
  • Recent bank statements
  • W-2s
  • Tax returns

Most mortgage companies also require a credit check at some point in the process. Credible’s pre-approval process is slightly different. We don’t require a hard credit check, which means you can secure a streamlined pre-approval letter without affecting your credit score.

How do I choose the best mortgage lender?

Comparing several mortgage lenders is critical — to getting the best rate and to ensuring you receive great service. Credible makes this easy. With Credible, you can compare prequalified rates from our partner lenders and secure a streamlined pre-approval letter in just a few minutes.

When comparing lenders, you’ll want to look at:

  • Past customer reviews and ratings
  • Interest rates and APRs (annual percentage rate)
  • Loan products and available terms
  • Application process (online vs. paper)
  • Closing times and rate lock periods

You might also consider evaluating the educational content they have available. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, having these sorts of resources on hand can be extremely helpful.

Find Out: The Types of Mortgage Lenders and How to Choose Between Them

Methodology: Credible evaluated loan and lender data points in seven categories to identify “best companies” for mortgages. We looked at each lender’s interest rates, fees, and the availability of repayment terms and discounts. We also considered each company’s eligibility requirements, minimum down payment (for purchase), and the level of customer service provided. Because every lender has its own system for evaluating borrowers, the best loan or lender will depend on an individual’s unique circumstance, the loan features that are most important to them, and the interest rate and terms they qualify for.

About the author

Aly J. Yale

Aly J. Yale

Aly J. Yale is a mortgage and real estate authority. Her work has appeared in Forbes, Fox Business, The Motley Fool, Bankrate, The Balance, and more.

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