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5 best mortgage lenders in California

If you’re looking to buy a home in California, here are five of the Golden State’s leading lenders.

With 840 miles of coastline and arguably the best weather in the US, California is home to some of the country’s most expensive real estate. If you’re in the market for a new place to call your own, one of these California mortgage lenders could help you buy your dream home.

What are the best mortgage lenders in California?

How we picked the best lenders

We selected these five lenders based on several criteria we found in our research including fees, loan amounts, interest rates and eligibility requirements. We considered reviews from sites such as Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Learn more about Finder’s rating methodology

Best for customer satisfaction

Quicken Loans

Finder Rating: 4.34 / 5 ★★★★★

When it comes to customer service, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better choice than Quicken Loans. Every year for the past decade, consumer intelligence company J.D. Power has ranked this lender above all others in terms of customer satisfaction. Quicken Loans has repeatedly received this distinction based on its rates, fees, loan options, approval process and communications.

Best for first-time homebuyers

Chase Bank

When buying your first home, it can be helpful to have as much hand-holding as possible. Chase's website makes mortgages simple and straightforward by providing instructional videos and articles that walk you through every step of the process. Chase has nearly 1,000 branches in California, so you'll likely be able to meet with a lending advisor in person if needed.

Best for veterans

Navy Federal Credit Union

Former members of the armed services deserve the best when buying a home. And compared to other California mortgage lenders, Navy Federal is an ideal fit for veterans. Mortgages through Navy Federal are backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and they include exclusive benefits that aren't available to civilians. And considering there are more Navy Federal branches in California than in any other state, this lender is a popular pick for veterans and active-duty servicemembers alike.

Best for low rates

New American Funding

If you're looking for the lowest interest rates in California, New American Funding could be a fit for you. This lender might not have as much brand recognition as the others on this list, but the interest rate could be unbeatable for qualified applicants.

Best local lender

Bank of America

Although many modern lenders let you apply for a mortgage online and manage it entirely from your web browser, many prefer to sit down with someone face to face. Bank of America has more than 850 branches throughout California, making it easy to talk to a loan officer in person, no matter where in the state you live.

How do I choose the best lender for me?

There’s certainly no shortage of mortgage lenders in California, which can make choosing the right one a challenge. A few tips to keep in mind when you’re shopping around:
  • Consider customer reviews. Check Trustpilot and the BBB’s website to see what others think.
  • Get several preapprovals. Compare loan estimates to see which lender offers the sweetest deal.
  • Negotiate the best rate. Use your research to talk your preferred lender down to a lower rate.
  • Understand any uncertainties. Read the fine print and ask about anything you’re unsure of.

Compare mortgage lenders

Compare top brands by home loan type, state availability and credit score. Select See rates to provide the lender with basic property and financial details for personalized rates.

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product Loan products offered State availability Min. credit score
Rocket Mortgage
(NMLS #3030)
Rocket Mortgage
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, Refinance
Available in all states
Apply online for free and lock in your rate for 90 days.
(NMLS #1136)
HELOC, Home Equity loans
Available in all states
Connect with vetted lenders quickly through this free online marketplace.
Veterans United
(NMLS #1907)
Veterans United
Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Jumbo, Refinance
Available in all states
Veterans United stands out from other lenders for its focus on serving the military community.

Compare up to 4 providers

Average rates and fees in California

Even though California is home to some of the country’s most expensive real estate, the state’s mortgage rates generally trend below the national average. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in California average 3.125%, and are expected to remain relatively low well into 2021. Closing costs in California averaged 1.05% of the sales price according to 2019 data from ClosingCorp. Continue researching mortgage rates in California or compare closing costs in California for more information.

Should I use a broker?

This list only includes direct lenders in California because only they can approve and finance mortgage loans. If you’re too busy to shop around for the best deal — or if you’d rather have someone do the legwork for you — it might be in your best interest to work with a broker.

Be wary, though. Brokers’ interests may not align with your own, and they’ll almost certainly apply fees you could have otherwise avoided. Many brokers do abide by above-board practices, however. To find the best broker for your needs, compare the rates various brokers charge, and read reviews to ensure your top choice offers exceptional support.

Bottom line

The best mortgage lenders in California each offer their own strengths and weaknesses. Depending on your unique situation, one of them might be a perfect match for you. Compare and contrast what they each have to offer, or continue exploring your home loan options.

Home loans ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top home loan providers and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: rates and fees, product selection and borrower experience.

Read the full methodology of how we rate home loan providers.

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