If you’re searching for a way to lower your current mortgage rate, pay off your balance faster or put your home equity to good use, our list of the best refinance lenders will come in handy.
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Rocket Mortgage — Best online refinance experience
Rocket Mortgage’s digital online platform gives refinance mortgage customers online rate information and plenty of refinance articles to help them get up to speed on the different types of refinances. Rocket Mortgage also offers the unique Quicken Mortgage® YOURgage®, which allows you to pick any loan term between eight and 29 years, versus the standard 15- and 30-year options most lenders offer.
Veterans United Mortgage — Best for VA refinancing
Veterans United Home Loans specializes in offering mortgages backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Borrowers will find an impressive array of VA refinance mortgage programs, including the interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL) program, VA cash-out refinances and jumbo VA refi products. Active and retired military borrowers have 24/7 access to loan officers, and the website contains excellent resources for learning about all types of VA loans.
CashCall — Best for alternative refinance options
CashCall Mortgage is licensed to lend in all 50 states, although most of its loans are originated in California. The company offers two alternative refinance programs that don’t require traditional income documents, such as tax returns and W-2s. CashCall also offers a 30-year fixed bank statement program and an investment property cash-flow loan, with mortgage rates quoted online for both options.
Carrington Mortgage Services — Best for low credit score refinance
Carrington Mortgage Services provides refinance loans for borrowers seeking FHA or VA loans who have credit scores as low as 500. Borrowers with foreclosures or bankruptcies in their recent pasts may also qualify.
Lower.com — Best for online refinance experience
Lower.com is an online direct mortgage lender founded in 2018 that offers a wide variety of home loan products. Customers can refinance all standard types of loan products and review helpful information about mortgages and available interest rates online. Although the website doesn’t provide details about how to qualify for its products, loan officers are available on weekends and after hours to cover information not found online.
SunTrust Mortgage (Truist) — Best overall refinance lender
SunTrust recently merged with BB&T Mortgage to become Truist. The newly-formed company offers standard refinance options, including ones for jumbo loans, and a well-rounded selection of online articles and product details for borrowers to peruse. Refinance rates are also available online, and loan officers can be reached after hours and on weekends.
How to refinance your mortgage
DECIDE WHY YOU WANT TO REFINANCE. Know what your financial goal is before you apply for a refinance. Switching to a different refinance type later could cost you time and money.
PICK THE RIGHT PROGRAM. Make sure your financial profile is a good fit for the refinance type you’re interested in. Some programs (like the FHA streamline and VA IRRRL) require you currently have an FHA or VA loan. Cash-out refinance rates tend to be higher and require an appraisal to verify your home’s value.
SHOP AROUND FOR THE BEST DEAL. Check with three to five lenders before you make a final decision, paying close attention to the lenders’ fees. Be sure to get your quotes on the same day — rates change daily.
LOCK IN YOUR RATE. Your refinance rate isn’t guaranteed until it’s locked in. Keep track of your lock expiration date to avoid costly extension fees.
PROVIDE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS AND CLOSE. Once your loan is locked, the lender will request paperwork to wrap things up. Delays could end up costing you if you have to extend your lock.
How do I choose the best refinance lender?
A great way to choose the best refinance lender for you is to shop at least three to five mortgage lenders and compare refinance rates. You may save thousands in interest and costs over your repayment term.
Mortgage refinance FAQs
What is a refinance?
A refinance is when you replace your current mortgage with a new loan, usually at a lower rate or with better terms.
Should I refinance my mortgage?
You should refinance your mortgage if you can:
- Save money on your payment with a lower mortgage refinance rate
- Reduce the time it takes to pay your loan off with a shorter term (like a 15-year fixed rate)
- Tap equity to make home improvements or consolidate debt
- Get rid of private mortgage insurance (PMI) because you have 20% equity
What are the different types of mortgage refinances?
There are four types of refinances:
- No cash-out refinance. With a no cash-out refinance, you take out a new loan for the same balance as your current mortgage and pay your closing costs out of pocket. It’s also called a rate-and-term refinance.
- Limited cash-out refinance. This type of refinance allows you to roll your closing costs into a higher loan amount. However, limited cash-out refinances cap you at receiving only 2% of your loan amount or $2,000, whichever is less.
- Cash-out refinance. You can usually tap up to 80% of the appraised value of your home with a cash-out refinance, though eligible VA homeowners can borrow up to 90% of their home’s value with a VA cash-out refinance. This type of refinance is popular for paying off high-interest-rate credit cards or making home improvements.
- No-closing-cost refinance. A no-closing-cost refinance allows you to avoid paying any costs out of pocket by accepting a higher interest rate or loan amount, and instead asking the lender to pay the closing costs on your behalf. However, you’ll make a higher monthly payment and pay more interest over the life of the loan.
What are the refinance requirements?
The requirements vary depending on the type of loan program you choose. The table below shows the basic refinance guidelines for conventional, FHA, VA and USDA refinances:
|Refinance program||Minimum credit score||Maximum LTV ratio*||Maximum DTI ratio|
|Conventional rate-and-term refinance loan||620||97%||45% to 50%|
|FHA rate-and-term refinance loan||580||97.75%||43%|
|FHA streamline refinance loan||N/A Must prove on time-mortgage payments||N/A No home appraisal required||N/A No income verification required|
|VA rate-and-term refinance loan||No minimum per VA guidelines||100%||41%|
|VA interest rate reduction refinance loan||N/A Must prove on time-mortgage payments||N/A No home appraisal required||N/A No income verification required|
|USDA streamline refinance loan||N/A Must prove on time-mortgage payments||N/A No home appraisal required||N/A No income verification required|
*Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is measured by dividing your total loan amount by your home’s value.
How often can you refinance a home?
You can refinance multiple times if you qualify and get some sort of financial benefit out of it. Some government-backed streamline refinance mortgage programs may require you to make a set number of payments before you can refinance.
Is a refinance worth it?
Calculate your break-even point to determine if a refinance is worth it. Just divide your total costs by your monthly savings. If you’ll remain in the home for the number of months it takes you to break even, then the refinance probably makes sense.
LendingTree’s “best of” refinance methodology
To determine the six best refinance loan lenders, we reviewed fully vetted data from more than 30 published LendingTree mortgage reviews and evaluated key areas, including:
- Online convenience and accessibility
- Helpful online articles about refinance mortgages and homebuying
- Variety of refinance loan types offered
- Online information about how to qualify for a refinance loan
- Access to loan officers after normal business hours
- Options for bad-credit refinance borrowers
- Number of years of experience originating refinance loans
- Lender-published online mortgage refinance rate information
*LendingTree mortgage lender rating system
LendingTree’s mortgage lender rating is based on a 10-point scale that factors in several features, including digital application and closing processes, available loan products and online and in-person accessibility. LendingTree’s editorial team calculates each rating based on a review of information available on the lender’s website. In some cases, additional information is provided by a lender representative.