Houston is a big city with a lot of mortgage lenders to choose from. How do you know which mortgage lender is right for you? A mistake on a purchase this large could have financial impacts for years to come. That's why it's so important to shop around and compare interest rates, lender fees, and mortgage broker terms offered by different lenders.
There can be a significant difference between mortgage lenders depending on which you choose. In fact, two similarly qualified borrowers could see a difference of as much as 0.5% between mortgage rates with different lenders, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). And that's a difference that can add up to thousands of dollars over the life of a loan.
To help you on your home buying journey, we'll compare some of the best mortgage lenders in Houston and guide you through the valuable steps to find the one that is right for your needs. We'll also give you a list of the top 7 mortgage lenders in Houston so you can start your comparison shopping today!
How do I compare Houston mortgage lenders?
When you are comparing the best Houston mortgage lenders, you will want to consider the following factors:
-The interest rate and lender fees charged by the company
-The terms of the loan (e.g., fixed vs. adjustable rate)
-The type of loan program offered by the lender (e.g., FHA loans, VA loans, conventional loans, USDA loans, etc.)
-The reputation of the lender or financial institution
Why is it important to shop around for lenders?
It's important to shop around for lenders because not all lenders are created equal! Some lenders may offer better rates and terms than others. It's also important to find a lender that you feel comfortable working with and who can provide good customer service. Shopping around for lenders is the best way to find the one that is right for you and your needs. It can end up saving you a lot of time, money, and headache in the long run.
Top seven mortgage lenders in Houston:
Rocket Mortgage/Quicken Loans
Rocket Mortgage -formerly Quicken Loans- offers a wide variety of loan programs, competitive rates, and excellent customer service. It’s also a great option for buyers with lower credit scores, and its online system makes it easy to get pre-qualified for a loan amount in minutes.
A big downside is that Rocket Mortgage runs a hard inquiry to provide personalized interest rates, which means your credit score may take a small hit. Additionally, it doesn’t offer USDA loans, HELOCs, construction loans, or mortgages for mobile homes.
SoFi is a newcomer to the home loan industry. They may be better known for refinancing student and auto loans. However, they do offer fast pre-qualification and a 0.25% price reduction when you lock in a 30-year rate for a conventional loan.
As another big business online lender, SoFi doesn’t offer FHA, VA, or USDA loans. Unfortunately, if you need a home loan, that limits your options significantly.
LoanDepot has no application fees or prepayment penalties for any of its loans, with quick preapproval.
Unfortunately, LoanDepot Mortgage rates aren't available online. Instead, you'll need to contact a loan officer. Additionally, it does not offer home equity loans or lines of credit.
Like LoanDepot, Ally bank also does not charge mortgage lender fees. And the Ally HomeReady loan allows for a slightly smaller downpayment at 3%.
You may start to see a pattern here, but ALly also does not offer FHA loans, USDA loans, VA loans, or HELOCs. In this hot housing market, that takes a lot of options off the table for potential home buyers.
Chase is a well-known and trusted banking institution. You can use their online mortgage calculator to help you determine what loan amount you will qualify for. Chase offers discounts for existing customers, and the Chase DreaMaker℠ loan allows for a slightly smaller down payment at 3%.
However, although Chase has a broad reach, it still does not offer USDA loans. And existing customers might be disappointed to learn that many discounts only apply to those who have large balances in their Chase deposit and investment accounts.
Better.com is one of the few lenders that will accept alternative credit data, such as utility and rent payments, to help lock in a lower interest rate.
Unfortunately, once again, if you are looking to purchase a home with a VA or USDA loan, you are out of luck. Better.com focuses on conventional loans and some FHA loans.
Texas United Mortgage
If you're buying a home in Texas, it pays to go with a local market expert. The team at Texas United Mortgage understands the specific needs of local homebuyers and can provide insider knowledge. For example, the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) provides up to 5% in down payment and closing cost assistance to qualified borrowers but has very specific eligibility requirements. You want a mortgage lender who knows the ins and outs of all things Texas! Texas United Mortgage offers a variety of mortgage loans: FHA loans, VA loans, USDA loans, jumbo loans, and refinancing.
Texas United Mortgage has 14 offices across Texas - but is not currently available outside the Lone Star State.
Find the right mortgage lender for your needs
Now that you know some of the best mortgage lenders in Houston, you can start shopping around for the one that is right for you. When you are comparing lenders, be sure to consider the factors we mentioned above. You will also want to choose a lender that offers the type of loan program that you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for an FHA loan, make sure the lender you are considering offers this program.
Different loan types
Once you have found a few lenders that you are interested in, be sure to contact them and ask any questions you may have about their loan programs.
Specifically, make sure they are experienced in working with the specific loan type you will be seeking. This way you can be confident they understand specific requirements and any potential low down payment options or payment assistance programs you may use to your benefit.
Conventional loans are home mortgages that are not insured or guaranteed by the government. Such conventional loans are typically available with either a fixed or adjustable interest rate and are available in a variety of terms.
An FHA loan is a mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA loans are available to borrowers with a credit score of 580 or higher. Borrowers with a credit score of 500-579 can get an FHA loan if they can make a down payment of at least ten percent. However, many buyers can secure a home loan with as little as 3.5% down.
A VA loan is a mortgage that is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans are available to eligible veterans, active duty service members, and reservists.
A USDA loan is a mortgage that is guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture. USDA loans are available to eligible borrowers in rural areas.
Home equity loan
A home equity loan is a type of mortgage refinance loan that uses the equity in your home as collateral. Home equity loans are available to borrowers with a credit score of 620 or higher and typically have less competitive rates.
A HELOC is a home equity line of credit. A HELOC uses the equity in your home as collateral and allows you to borrow against it. HELOCs are available to borrowers with a credit score of 620 or higher.
When you are ready to start shopping for the best Houston mortgage lenders, be sure to consider all of your options. Compare interest rates, fees, and loan programs to find the one that is right for you. With so many great lenders to choose from, you are sure to find the perfect one for your needs! And if you’re ready to work with true experts in Houston, contact Texas United Mortgage today.