Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.

5 best mortgage lenders in Florida

Thinking about moving to the Sunshine State? Here’s a look at its top lenders.

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked

Editor's choice: LendingTree

LendingTree logo
  • Easy to get started
  • View rates from multiple lenders
  • Get alerts when a better deal is available
Compare with LendingTree
Famous for its warm weather, thrilling theme parks and 1,350 miles of coastline, Florida is among the most popular places to live in the US. If you’re interested in buying a home there, one of these Florida mortgage lenders could be your best bet.

Best Florida mortgage lenders in 2020

How we picked the best lenders

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

Best for first-time buyers

SunTrust

620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment
If you’ve never bought a home before, you’re probably discovering that — although undoubtedly exciting — it’s a relatively complex process. That’s why it can be helpful to have an expert walk you through it.

SunTrust/Truist specializes in first-time mortgages, and this lender is especially well-suited to helping Floridians because it has more than 400 branches in the state, across 188 cities and towns. With such a large footprint, first-time buyers can meet face-to-face with a loan officer from Pensacola to Miami and everywhere in between. Note that SunTrust and BB&T have merged to form Truist.

  • Low down payments. Some SunTrust/Truist mortgages require down payments of only 3%.
  • Special programs. SunTrust/Truist offers mortgage programs exclusively for doctors, dentists and high-income entrepreneurs.
  • Bilingual banking. SunTrust’s website was designed with Spanish-speakers in mind.
  • Above-average interest rates. SunTrust/Truist’s rates trend slightly above most other lenders.
  • Application required. To view your custom rate, you’ll first need to fill out an application.
Loan types Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, FHA, USDA, VA, HELOC
Minimum credit score 620
Minimum down payment 3%
States available Not available in: AK, AZ, HI, OR
Fees Expect fees to include appraisal fees, title charges, closing fees and state taxes.

Ask your loan consultant for the specific fees associated with your pending loan, and keep an eye out for additional fees in your loan documentation.

Best for veterans

Veterans United

660
Min. credit score
0%
Min. down payment
With more than 1.4 million veterans, Florida is home to more former service members than nearly any other state. If you were previously enlisted in the Armed Forces and you’re looking to put down roots here, Veterans United has excellent offers for Floridians.

Veterans United provides a wide variety of loan options, and veterans aren’t required to leave any down payment. Plus, this lender has far more five-star reviews on Trustpilot than other leading VA loan providers.

  • Many mortgage options. Veterans United offers several types of mortgages, including conventional, FHA, refinance, USDA and VA.
  • Military-minded. In addition to working with veterans, Veterans United’s workforce is largely composed of former military members.
  • Lighthouse Program. If you’re unable to get approved for a mortgage, Veterans United has a credit-counseling program that can help you improve your odds for eligibility.
  • Limited branches. Veterans United only has one branch in Florida, and that’s in Tampa.
  • Not great for civilians. Only members of the military qualify for the best rates.
  • No HELOCs. Veterans United doesn’t provide home-equity loans or lines of credit.
Loan types VA, USDA, FHA, Refinance, Conventional
Minimum credit score Conventional: 660
VA: 620
Minimum down payment 0%
States available Available in all states
Fees VA funding fees between 1.25% and 3.3%, plus 1% origination fee.

Others: Closing costs, and third-party fees for appraisal, recording and your credit report.

Best for freelancers

New American Funding

620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment
These days, it seems like everyone is working from home due to the COVID-19 crisis. But even prior to the pandemic, Florida was home to more freelancers and self-employed workers than nearly any other state. It can be a struggle for freelancers to secure mortgages because their income isn’t always steady, but New American Funding makes it a bit easier.

Rather than leaving it up to computers to approve or deny loans, this lender manually reviews all applications, giving freelancers a chance to demonstrate why there’s more to their finances than meets the eye.

  • Personalized service. New American Funding underwrites all loans manually, which tends to be favorable for freelancers and other self-employed individuals.
  • I CAN Mortgage. This unique program allows you to select mortgage terms anywhere from 8 to 30 years.
  • Undisclosed fees. New American Funding doesn’t disclose the fees it charges, making it difficult to know exactly what you’ll pay.
  • No online preapproval. You can’t collect a quote or apply for preapproval online. Instead, you have to speak with a lender to process your application.
Loan types Conventional , Refinance, Jumbo, HELOC, FHA, VA, USDA, Reverse
Minimum credit score 620
Minimum down payment 3%
States available Not available in: HI, NY
Fees Expect fees to include appraisal fees, title charges, closing fees (Courier fees, processing fees, administrative fees, rate-lock fees, and broker fees), and state taxes.

New American Funding doesn't disclose actual costs on its website. Ask your loan consultant for the specific fees associated with your pending loan, and keep an eye out for additional fees in your loan documentation.

Best for refinancing

LoanDepot

LoanDepot logo
Finder Rating: 3 / 5

★★★★★

Go to site
at Loan Depot's secure site
Read review
620
Min. credit score
3.5%
Min. down payment
If you think you might refinance your mortgage in the future, LoanDepot is a solid choice. This lender offers lifetime guarantees on refinanced mortgages — meaning that after you refinance with LoanDepot once, the company will waive your lender fees and reimburse appraisal fees on any future refinances.

And while LoanDepot does operate nationally, this lender has a sharper focus on Florida, with more branches in the Sunshine State than anywhere else in America.

  • Honest loan officers. All of LoanDepot’s employees must adhere to a strict no-steering policy, which ensures impartial guidance.
  • No prepayment fee. There’s no penalty if you pay off your entire loan early.
  • Brick-and-mortar branches. LoanDepot has more than 20 physical locations throughout Florida.
  • Steep origination fees. LoanDepot may charge an origination fee of up to 5%.
  • No HELOCs. LoanDepot doesn’t provide home-equity loans or lines of credit.
  • Paying points. LoanDepot’s APR may include up to 3 points for origination, discounts and lender fees.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, Home Equity, Refinance
Minimum credit score Conventional: 620
FHA: 580
VA: 620
Minimum down payment 3.5%
States available Available in all states
Fees LoanDepot doesn’t disclose this information on its website, so speak to your loan officer about additional home loan fees you might pay. Borrowers should expect an origination fee of 1% to 5%

Best local lender

Florida Home Funding

Florida Home Funding logo
N/A
Min. credit score
3.5%
Min. down payment
Many nationwide lenders have a lot to offer, but sometimes it’s better to work with a local expert that’s intimately familiar with the area. That’s where Florida Home Funding shines.

Since 2001, this lender has specialized in Central Florida mortgages, and it’s among the most reputable mortgage companies in the state. Florida Home Funding has outstanding reviews across several popular review sites, and the president of the company frequently appears on WFTV Channel 9 as Central Florida’s mortgage expert.

  • Outstanding reviews. Florida Home Funding has a near-perfect rating of 4.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot.
  • One location. Florida Home Funding only has one brick-and-mortar location, and that’s in Orlando.
  • No banking services. Unlike some larger lenders, Florida Home Funding doesn’t offer comprehensive banking solutions.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Non-owner occupied
Minimum credit score 580, but 620 is preferable
Minimum down payment 3.5%
States available Only available in: FL
Fees Florida Home Funding doesn’t disclose all of its fees online, but the lender does offer mortgages with no closing costs. Ask your loan officer for a breakdown of all fees.

Which lender is best for me?

A vast number of mortgage lenders operate in Florida, making it challenging to find the right one. When researching the best lender for your specific needs, here are some quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Read reviews. Unsure about a lender? Check review sites to see if previous customers have had positive experiences.
  • Get a few preapprovals. The more estimates you collect, the more leverage you’ll have with lenders.
  • Don’t be afraid to bargain. Always try to negotiate a lower rate and better terms.
  • Don’t skim the agreement. Go over the fine print with a fine-tooth comb to ensure there aren’t any surprises.

Compare more mortgage lenders

Name Product Loan products offered State availability Min. credit score
Better.com
(NMLS #330511)
Better.com
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, Refinance
Not available in: HI, MA, MN, NV, NH, VT, VA
620
Online preapproval in minutes and no origination fees with this direct lender.
Axos Bank
(NMLS #524995)
Axos Bank
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, Home Equity/HELOC, Refinance
Available in all states
620
Purchase, refinance, and home equity options available with lender fees as low as $0 (restrictions apply).
LoanDepot
(NMLS #174457)
LoanDepot
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, Home Equity, Refinance
Available in all states
620
Access a wide range of mortgage and home equity options in person or online with this direct lender.
LendingTree
(NMLS #1136)
LendingTree
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Home Equity, HELOC, Reverse, Refinance
Available in all states
620
Connect with vetted home loan lenders quickly through this online marketplace.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Average rates and fees in Florida

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the average interest rate for 30-year mortgages in Florida is currently 3.063%. This rate is slightly below the national average of 3.07%, and it’s the lowest rate offered in Florida in more than two years. Due to the pandemic, rates are forecasted to remain low for several months and likely longer.

Data from ClosingCorp shows that closing costs in Florida averaged 2.3% of the sales price in 2019. To learn more, explore mortgage rates in Florida or compare closing costs in Florida so you can know what to expect.

Should I use a broker?

This list exclusively features direct lenders in Florida because mortgage loans can only be approved and financed by lenders like these. If you’re new to home buying and are worried about getting a bad deal, you might be considering working with a mortgage broker.

Mortgage brokers can make your life easier by comparing and contrasting the various loans you qualify for. Be careful, though, as some unscrupulous brokers may charge you excessive fees you could have otherwise avoided.

To find the best broker for you, shop around and compare the rates they charge. Carefully review the fine print before agreeing to anything, and check out online review sites to see what their previous customers have had to say.

Bottom line

Now that you have a better understanding of what the best mortgage lenders in Florida have to offer, compare their rates and choose the one that’s the best fit for you. And if you think you can qualify for a better deal, continue exploring other options.

Frequently asked questions

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.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site