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7 Top Lenders for Refinancing Your Mortgage

Refinancing your mortgage could lower your interest rate and monthly payment, helping you save money each month and in the long run. Or, you may be able to use a cash-out refinance to borrow against the equity you've built in your home, giving you money to reinvest in the house or pay for other expenses.

When refinancing your mortgage, you'll take out a new loan and use the proceeds to pay off your existing mortgage. The process is often similar to taking out a mortgage for the first time, and you may need to get an appraisal and pay closing costs.

To find the best offer, you should shop mortgage lenders before refinancing and consider rates, fees, terms and more (more on that below). And, you don't have to stick with the same lender you have now. Many large banks, community banks, credit unions, non-bank lenders and online lenders offer mortgage refinancing. Finding the right fit can take time, but with some research, you can narrow the list of potential best-fit lenders.

Seven Top Mortgage Refinance Lenders

Here are seven top mortgage lenders to consider as you do your research.

Better

Better is a relatively new online-only mortgage lender that launched in the mid-2010s. Its focus on technology and automation means you can quickly get a quote or preapproved for refinancing, and could lead to a faster closing.

The company's loan officers don't earn commission on loans, which could relieve some of the sales pressure you may otherwise experience. Better also doesn't charge any origination fees, although you may have to pay other closing costs.

If you find a better offer elsewhere, Better maintains it will beat it by at least $100, or match it and give you $100. However, Better doesn't offer mortgages in every state and doesn't offer VA loans or USDA loans.

  • Refi loan types: Conventional, jumbo and FHA
  • Minimum credit score for conventional loans: 620 (680 for cash-out refinancing)
  • J.D. Power 2019 mortgage origination satisfaction score (out of 1,000): Not rated
  • J.D. Power 2019 mortgage servicer satisfaction score (out of 1,000): Not rated

Bank of America

As a large, traditional bank, Bank of America offers a variety of mortgage refinancing options. Refinancing is available with either a fixed or adjustable rate, and there are cash-out refis as well. Bank of America also offers conventional and jumbo loans, along with government-backed FHA and VA loans. However, it doesn't refinance USDA loans.

If you're a current Bank of America customer and part of the Preferred Rewards program, you could also receive $200 to $600 off of the origination fee, depending on your status in the program.

  • Refi loan types: Conventional, jumbo, FHA and VA
  • Minimum credit score for conventional loans: Not available from lender
  • J.D. Power 2019 mortgage origination satisfaction score (out of 1,000): 843
  • J.D. Power 2019 mortgage servicer satisfaction score (out of 1,000): 794

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation

Fairway is a national mortgage lender with over 400 branch locations, although you may be able to complete the application and closing process remotely if you'd prefer. It offers both fixed- and variable-rate loans, cash-out refis and loans from the three main government-backed mortgages programs, FHA, USDA and VA loans.

One drawback is that you can't find many details about the loans, such as mortgage rate ranges, online. However, Fairway received high marks in J.D. Power's origination satisfaction study.

  • Refi loan types: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, USDA and VA
  • Minimum credit score for conventional loans: Not available from lender
  • J.D. Power 2019 mortgage origination satisfaction score (out of 1,000): 865
  • J.D. Power 2019 mortgage servicer satisfaction score (out of 1,000): Not rated

Guild Mortgage

Headquartered in San Diego, Guild Mortgage is a growing mortgage lender that's expanded from its West Coast base and now operates in most states. The company scored well with both J.D. Power's mortgage origination and servicer studies, and has an eClose option that allows you to sign most of the closing documents electronically before finishing the closing in person.

Guild Mortgage also offers a wide range of mortgage loans, including cash-out refis, fixed or variable rates, and conventional, jumbo and government-backed loans.

  • Refi loan types: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, USDA and VA
  • Minimum credit score for conventional loans: 620
  • J.D. Power 2019 mortgage origination satisfaction score (out of 1,000): 828
  • J.D. Power 2019 mortgage servicer satisfaction score (out of 1,000): 864

LoanDepot

LoanDepot is one of the largest non-bank mortgage lenders and offers a variety of loan refinance types, including FHA 203k loans, which allows you to use the estimated value of your home in the future to take out cash for renovations. There are also non-203k FHA and VA refinancing options, along with conventional and jumbo mortgages, but LoanDepot doesn't offer USDA loan refinancing.

You can start the application and submit your information online or over the phone. But to complete the loan closing, you may need to visit one of LoanDepot's retail stores or meet with representatives at your house. After refinancing, you could qualify for LoanDepot's lifetime guarantee, and the company will waive lender fees and reimburse appraisal fees if you refinance the loan with it again in the future.

  • Refi loan types: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, FHA 203k and VA
  • Minimum credit score for conventional loans: Not available from lender
  • J.D. Power 2019 mortgage origination satisfaction score (out of 1,000): 849
  • J.D. Power 2019 mortgage servicer satisfaction score (out of 1,000): Not rated

Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans is a well-known mortgage lender and one of the largest in the country. It offers a wide range of loan types, including the customizable YOURgage, which lets you pick a repayment term from eight to 29 years on a fixed-rate mortgage and could be appealing if you want to refinance without changing your term.

The company has earned the highest J.D. Power rating for both customer satisfaction among primary mortgage originators and mortgage servicers for 10 and six consecutive years, respectively. In 2015, Quicken also launched Rocket Mortgage, one of the first lenders to offer a completely online service. However, neither Quicken Loans or Rocket Mortgage have retail offices if you'd prefer to meet in person.

  • Refi loan types: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA and USDA
  • Minimum credit score for conventional loans: 620
  • J.D. Power 2019 mortgage origination satisfaction score (out of 1,000): 880
  • J.D. Power 2019 mortgage servicer satisfaction score (out of 1,000): 878

Veterans United Home Loans

As its name implies, Veteran's United focuses on U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) mortgage loans—and it's one of the largest VA lenders. Along with mortgage loans to purchase a home, Veterans United offers both VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (or "streamline") refinancing and a cash-out refinancing option.

If you currently have a VA loan and want to refinance into a non-VA loan, then Veterans United might not be a good fit. But if you're trying to go the other way, you may be able to do so with a cash-out VA loan refi.

  • Refi loan types: VA streamline and VA cash-out
  • Minimum credit score for VA loan refinancing: 660
  • J.D. Power 2019 mortgage origination satisfaction score (out of 1,000): 891
  • J.D. Power 2019 mortgage servicer satisfaction score (out of 1,000): Not rated

What to Look for in a Mortgage Refinance Lender

As you research these and other lenders (don't forget to check out your local community banks and credit unions), here are several factors to consider:

  • Loan types: Consider the types of mortgages and repayment terms available. For example, many lenders offer 15-, 20- and 30-year loans with fixed rates. However, you may want a loan with a shorter term or an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) with a low teaser rate if you plan on selling the home and moving soon. Also, if you have a government-back mortgage, such a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, you may want to look for FHA-approved lenders.
  • Closing costs: Closing costs may be slightly lower for a refinance than an initial mortgage, but lenders could still charge around 2% to 5% of the loan amount. Some lenders pay the closing costs or offer loans with no closing costs, but they may charge you a higher interest rate as a result.
  • A cash-out option: If you're looking for a cash-out refinance, make sure the lender offers this type of loan. See how much equity you can take out based on your total loan-to-value ratio.
  • Customer service: Great customer service can be hard to quantify, but it's certainly nice to experience. Unfortunately, you can't control whether your mortgage will be sold or your mortgage servicing transferred to a different company. However, you could still look for lender reviews or rewards that mention particularly good or bad service.

Of course, many people who refinance want to get a lower interest rate on their mortgage, and that's certainly an important factor. The rate you receive can depend on a variety of factors, however, including your credit, debt-to-income ratio, loan amount, loan type and whether you pay discount points or receive credits. Checking your credit report and credit score before you apply and taking action to improve your score if necessary could help you get a more favorable interest rate on your loan.

Once you've narrowed down lenders based on the other criteria, you could try to get prequalified for refinancing from several lenders to see which offers you the best rate. Then bring the best offer back to the other lenders to see if they can beat the rate or charge less in fees—or both. You could even go through several rounds of negotiating before you choose your new lender.

If you're happy with your current lender, also check to see what it can do for you. It may be able to match or beat the rates other lenders are offering you, and sometimes lenders will give you a loyalty discount to stay.

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