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Ten Largest Mortgage Lenders

Tabitha Jean Naylor
House on stack of money

Finding a mortgage lender can be a challenge considering today's real estate market. Some of the biggest challenges faced by new home buyers and those wishing to refinance are the drastic changes to the approval process, and the requirements that must be met. To find a lender willing to work with you and offer the most competitive rates, you first need to know you are working with a quality lender. Here are ten of the top ranked lenders, according to Consumer Affairs and Advisory HQ. Each of these lenders is ranked amongst the top in the industry due to the number of mortgages closed annually, as well as the variety of loans they offer.

1. AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation

Located in Atlanta, GA, AmeriSave is now one of the largest online mortgage companies in America.

Programs

Both new home buyers and existing homeowners looking to refinance can qualify for a variety of mortgages, including VA, FHA, USDA, and non-government backed loans.

Pros and Cons

The entire underwriting process is completed in-house, which often results in quicker processing times and more personalized levels of service. It's important to note, however, that AmeriSave frequently uses third-party loan servicing companies like JP Morgan Chase, PNC Financial Services, Bank of America, and Ocwen Financial Corp., which may result in additional fees to your mortgage and a diminished quality of customer service.

2. Jersey Mortgage Company

Founded in 1938, Jersey Mortgage Company offers an extensive portfolio of mortgage options to borrowers living in Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Programs

Homeowners can qualify for VA, FHA, and USDA loans, as well as special programs for first-time homebuyers and many other non-traditional mortgage types not available elsewhere.

Pros and Cons

An extensive amount of mortgage options are available, but only residents of the aforementioned five states can take advantage of the loan programs through Jersey Mortgage Company.

3. Quicken Loans

Since 1985, Quicken Loans has funded over two million mortgages and is now the second largest mortgage lender in the United States.

Programs

Quicken Loans only offers fixed-rate conventional mortgages.

Pros and Cons

The company does not underwrite VA, FHA, and jumbo mortgages, and many mortgages are transferred to third party for servicing once the loan closes.

4. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is a well-recognized name in the banking industry and one of the largest lenders in the U.S.

Programs

The company is home to a diverse array of mortgage types, including fixed and adjustable rate mortgages, new construction loans, FHA, VA, HARP, and HELOC's.

Pros and Cons

A personal representative works with you throughout the entire underwriting process to ensure there are no delays in closing. While there are an extensive variety of options available, it's important to note you may not find the same level of rate flexibility as you would from companies that specialize only in mortgages.

5. JP Morgan Chase

Ranked among the top mortgage underwriters in the country, JP Morgan Chase has a conventional mortgage portfolio over $172 billion.

Programs

Chase offers fixed-rate, ARM, Jumbo, FHA, HARP, and VA loans, as well as the DreamMaker® mortgage, which was designed for those with less than perfect credit.

Pros and Cons

Besides a variety of different lending programs, eligible new home buyers and those who are refinancing may also qualify for a Chase Homebuyer Grant, which contributes up to $1,500 towards closing costs and other associated costs related to getting a new mortgage. It's important to note dealing with a large bank can be stressful due to processing delays.

6. CitiMortgage

Citibank

If you're in the market for a new home, CitiMortgage makes the process simple and offers an "On-Time Closing Guarantee," which pays up to $1,500 should the loan fail to close on time.

Programs

Loan programs available to both home buyers and homeowners interested in refinancing include 5/1, 7/1 and 10/1 LIBOR ARMs, 15/20/30 year fixed-rate mortgages, and HARP loans.

Pros and Cons

Citi is a well-known financial institution that takes borrower security very seriously. Unfortunately, the company does not underwrite FHA or VA loans, and the minimum credit score required for loan approval is 620.

7. Bank of America

Along with being one of the largest mortgage underwriters in the country, Bank of America (BoA) is also one of the largest financial institutions in the world.

Programs

Bank of America offers conventional fixed-rate mortgages, as well as fixed-period ARMs, hybrid ARMS, FHA, and VA.

Pros and Cons

Because of its size, BoA offers new home buyers and those looking to refinance one of the most extensive selections of mortgages available. For those who are already BoA customers, the pre-qualification process is streamlined and can be accessed using your online ID and PIN. One of the biggest drawbacks to working with BoA is the lack of personalized service and slower-than-average response times.

8. US Bank

US Bank is one of the largest banks in the country and underwrites a variety of mortgage options.

Programs

Among the loans offered are FHA, VA, Jumbo, conventional fixed-rate, construction, investment property, and adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs).

Pros and Cons

Once the online application for a new home purchase or refinance is submitted, borrowers know within minutes how much they are qualified to borrow with no impact to their credit rating. The biggest drawback with U.S. Bank is that lending guidelines are strict, and the company requires a minimum credit score of 700 for loan approval.

9. Nationstar Mortgage

Founded in Dallas, TX in 1994, Nationstar offers loans to new home buyers in 49 states, as well as those seeking to refinance.

Programs

Through Nationstar, borrowers can access an extensive range of mortgages, including FHA, Fannie Mae, FHLMC, VA, USDA, and Jumbo.

Pros and Cons

Nationstar was recognized as a 5-Star servicer in 2015 through the Fannie Mae STAR program for its commitment to world-class customer service and foreclosure prevention. The company cannot underwrite loans in New York due to stringent online mortgage legislation there.

10. Lending Tree

Lending Tree operates much the same way other online comparison sites do. Once you apply for a new mortgage, your qualifications are matched with lenders offering loans you will qualify for.

Programs

Borrowers can qualify for conventional and non-conventional fixed and adjustable rate mortgages, jumbo, FHA, VA, and USDA loans through LendingTree.

Pros and Cons

Using algorithms provided by each individual lender, Lending Tree offers one of the most diverse portfolios of mortgage options in the country, provided you have a minimum qualifying credit score of 580. Since Lending Tree does not offer in-house financing, you will always deal with a third party, which can sometimes cause time-consuming delays.

Where to Go From Here

When looking for a lender, it's important to look beyond size. Although larger lenders typically do offer more options, smaller lenders often have more flexible underwriting criteria and better rates since overhead isn't as high. While it's never a good idea to get quotes from 10 different lenders, a good rule of thumb is to speak with three so you have an accurate assessment of what types of mortgage options are available to you based on your credit, collateral, and capacity to pay.

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Ten Largest Mortgage Lenders