Best Online Mortgage Lenders In 2024 | Bankrate (2024)

Best Online Mortgage Lenders In 2024 | Bankrate (1)

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5 min readPublished January 03, 2024

Written by

Andrew Dehan

Andrew Dehan

Edited by

Troy Segal

Troy Segal

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Online mortgage lenders are a powerful presence in the home financing world: In fact, the biggest player, both in terms of loan number and dollar volume — Rocket Mortgage — is online-only. So it behooves any smart aspiring homeowner to consider at least one in their mortgage search.

To assemble our list of the best online lenders, we’ve reviewed over 80 firms, considering factors like their technology, loan offerings and requirements, and their customer support. We’ve then ranked them according to affordability, availability and borrower experience.

Hre’s our list of the top online mortgage lenders for 2024.

Bankrate’s picks for best online mortgage lenders

Online mortgage lenderBankrate ScoreMinimum credit scoreMinimum down payment
First Mortgage Direct4.8/5620 for conventional loans, 580 for FHA loans, 580 for VA loans3% for conventional loans, 3.5% for FHA loans, none for VA loans and USDA loans
SoFi4.6/5620 for conventional loans, 600 for FHA loans, 600 for VA loans3%-5% for conventional loans, 3.5% for FHA loans, none for VA loans
Rocket Mortgage4.6/5620 for conventional loans, 680 for jumbo loans, 580 for FHA loans, 580 for VA loans3% for conventional loans, 10%-15% for jumbo loans, 3.5% for FHA, none for VA loans
Mr. Cooper4.6/5620 for conventional loans, 580 for FHA loans, 600 for VA loans3% for conventional loans, 3.5% for FHA loans, none for VA loans
Better4.6/5620 for conventional loans, 580 for FHA loans3% for conventional loans, 3.5% for FHA loans, none for VA loans
Tomo4.5/5620 for conventional loans3% for conventional loans, 3.5% for FHA loans, none for VA loans
Alliant Credit Union4.5/5Undisclosed5% for conventional loans
Homefinity4.5/5620 for conventional loans, 600 or higher for FHA loans and VA loans (can be lower in some cases)3% for conventional loans, 3.5% for FHA loans, none for VA loans or USDA loans

Best Online Mortgage Lenders In 2024 | Bankrate (2)

First Mortgage Direct

Learn morein our Bankrate review

  • First Mortgage Direct has competitive rates, and unlike other lenders, it doesn’t charge an origination fee. Combine this with its nationwide availability and its wide variety of loan offerings, and you can see why it’s our top pick for an online mortgage lender in 2024.

Best Online Mortgage Lenders In 2024 | Bankrate (3)

SoFi

Learn morein our Bankrate review

  • SoFi is a great option for an online mortgage lender, especially if you’re already a SoFi member — which can land you a special discount. They’re also quick, allowing you to prequalify in minutes.

Best Online Mortgage Lenders In 2024 | Bankrate (4)

Rocket Mortgage

Learn morein our Bankrate review

  • As the nation’s largest mortgage lender and a pioneer of online lending, Rocket gets high scores for its borrower experience and availability.

Best Online Mortgage Lenders In 2024 | Bankrate (5)

Mr. Cooper

Learn morein our Bankrate review

  • Mr. Cooper has a great online experience with rates that consistently rank below Bankrate averages. Plus, it offers a wide range of mortgage products with availability throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Best Online Mortgage Lenders In 2024 | Bankrate (6)

Better

Learn morein our Bankrate review

  • Better offers conventional, FHA and VA loans nationwide with no origination, application, processing or underwriting fees. They’re also known for their speed, with their “One Day Mortgage” process, which promises an underwriting decision in 24 hours.

Best Online Mortgage Lenders In 2024 | Bankrate (7)

Tomo

Learn morein our Bankrate review

  • Up-and-coming Tomo is a small online lender whose focus on borrower experience has garnered it many positive reviews. While it’s not available everywhere, and it doesn’t offer refinances, borrowers can find plenty of information on its site, including a handy rate estimation tool.

Best Online Mortgage Lenders In 2024 | Bankrate (8)

Alliant Credit Union

Learn morein our Bankrate review

  • For members, Alliant offers the adjustable-rate Alliant Advantage Mortgage, which requires no down payment or mortgage insurance, and comes with a loan limit of $500,000. Couple that with less fees than average and listing actual rates on its site, and you can see why Alliant makes the list of the best online mortgage lenders in 2024.

Best Online Mortgage Lenders In 2024 | Bankrate (9)

Homefinity

Learn morein our Bankrate review

  • Homefinity (a subsidiary of Fairway Independent Mortgage) provides speedy, convenient service across most of the nation. With their online focus, you have access to up-to-the-minute rate information and a bevy of calculators. Plus, they offer a wide range of mortgage products, including special financing for medical professionals.

  • How we chose the best online mortgage lenders: To determine the best online mortgage lenders, Bankrate evaluated more than 80 lenders for factors relating to affordability, availability and borrower experience, assigning each a Bankrate Score out of five stars. Based on this methodology, the best online mortgage lenders in 2024 generally have a Bankrate Score of 4.3 stars or higher. Note: The Bankrate Score considers a mortgage lender’s products and services only; it is not a reflection of a lender’s internal operations or practices.

How to find the best online mortgage lender for you

Getting financing for a home is a process, so many borrowers are attracted to online mortgage lenders simply for their convenience, efficiency and speed. These are important factors to consider when looking for the best online mortgage lender, but it’s also crucial to compare costs for your individual situation, and take the time to read mortgage lender reviews to learn what to expect from the online experience. When comparing digital lenders, look for:

  • The kinds of loans they offer
  • Credit and down payment requirements
  • Application and origination fees
  • Rate-lock and other perks
  • What support options are available

Next steps to apply for an online mortgage

  • Step 1: Strengthen your credit score – Before applying for a loan, take a hard look at your credit history and work to improve your score by paying down outstanding balances. Also, resist taking on any more debt and/or applying for any other loans or lines of credit.
  • Step 2: Set a budget – It’s important to understand how much house you can afford before you go shopping. Note that you may be preapproved for more money than what you can comfortably afford.
  • Step 3: Understand your mortgage options – There are a few different types of mortgages. Know what they are and which one you want.
  • Step 4: Compare several lenders – Rate-shop with at least three different lenders to get the best deal on rates, fees and terms.
  • Step 5: Get preapproved for a mortgage – Apply for mortgage preapproval with several lenders to compare offers and get accurate loan pricing for your specific situation. Preapproval shows sellers that you’re a serious shopper and that you have the financial backing to bid on a home.

Online mortgage FAQs

  • An online mortgage is a home loan originated by a lender based either entirely on the web, with a digital end-to-end experience from application to closing, or a brick-and-mortar company with in-person locations and online services. While several big banks have built out their capabilities to include a digital mortgage platform, many mortgages are also being originated by non-bank institutions, like LoanDepot and Rocket Mortgage.

  • With an online mortgage, all or many of the steps in the lending process can be completed electronically, whether through an app or online portal. These steps might include: preapproval or prequalification; application and document upload; loan processing and underwriting; and closing (sometimes called an e-closing). By streamlining these steps — and, in the case of a digital lender, having no offices and overhead — online mortgages tend to have lower rates and overall costs.

  • There are several benefits to getting an online mortgage, including:

    • Lower mortgage rates and fees due to low overhead
    • Online preapproval or prequalification, often in minutes, and shorter timelines for underwriting and closing overall
    • Real-time status updates

    However, they also come with downsides, like:

    • The fact that you can’t always connect with a human for questions or support
    • You may not be able to learn what rates you qualify for without getting preapproval
    • An increased chance of a security breach, identity theft or fraud

As an expert in personal finance and mortgage lending, with years of experience in the industry and a track record of helping individuals navigate their financial journey, I'm well-versed in the concepts and intricacies of mortgages, online lending, and the factors that borrowers should consider when selecting a mortgage lender.

The article you've provided offers insights into the realm of online mortgage lending and highlights various key concepts related to this topic. Let's break down the information and explore each concept in detail:

  1. Online Mortgage Lenders: These are financial institutions that offer mortgage loans primarily through digital platforms, allowing borrowers to complete the entire lending process online, from application to closing. Examples include Rocket Mortgage, SoFi, Mr. Cooper, and Better.

  2. Selection Criteria for Best Online Mortgage Lenders:

    • Affordability: Refers to the competitiveness of the interest rates and fees offered by the lender.
    • Availability: Indicates the accessibility of the lender's services, including its geographic coverage and loan product offerings.
    • Borrower Experience: Relates to the overall satisfaction and convenience experienced by borrowers throughout the lending process.
  3. Bankrate Score: A rating system used by Bankrate to evaluate and rank mortgage lenders based on factors such as affordability, availability, and borrower experience. Lenders with higher scores are considered more favorable options for borrowers.

  4. Factors Influencing Mortgage Choice:

    • Loan Types: Different mortgage lenders offer various types of loans, including conventional, FHA, VA, and jumbo loans.
    • Credit and Down Payment Requirements: Criteria set by lenders regarding minimum credit scores and down payment amounts for loan approval.
    • Fees: Charges imposed by lenders, such as origination fees, application fees, and processing fees.
    • Support and Services: Availability of customer support, online tools, and resources provided by the lender to assist borrowers.
  5. Steps to Find the Best Online Mortgage Lender:

    • Strengthening credit score
    • Setting a budget
    • Understanding mortgage options
    • Comparing lenders
    • Getting preapproved for a mortgage
  6. Online Mortgage FAQs:

    • Definition of online mortgages
    • Benefits of online mortgages (lower rates, quicker processes)
    • Downsides of online mortgages (limited human interaction, potential security risks)

By understanding these concepts and considerations, borrowers can make informed decisions when selecting an online mortgage lender and navigating the mortgage application process effectively.

Best Online Mortgage Lenders In 2024 | Bankrate (2024)
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