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9 best mortgage lenders in Illinois

Hoping to buy a home in the Land of Lincoln? Here’s a look at the best mortgage lenders in Illinois.

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Although Chicago’s bustling streets may spring to mind when many people think about Illinois, the Prairie State is home to a vast range of rural and urban real estate with something for everybody. From Peoria’s picturesque riverfront to Rockford’s rich culture, and from the college town of Champaign to the capital of Springfield, there’s a lot more to Illinois than the Windy City. If you’re hoping to set down roots anywhere in the state, the best mortgage lenders in Illinois can help you buy a home you’ll love.

Best Illinois mortgage lenders in 2020

How we pick mortgage lenders

Finder selected these Illinois mortgage lenders based on several factors, including their fees, interest rates, website features and minimum requirements. We also considered customer reviews from sites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Trustpilot and Zillow. Learn more about Finder’s rating methodology.

Best for online experience

Better.com

Better.com logo
Go to site
at Better.com's secure site
Read review
620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment
Many of the best Illinois mortgage lenders have polished websites that work well on any device, but few of these websites are as impressive as Better Mortgage’s. Whether you use a smartphone, tablet or laptop, you’ll likely find Better’s website more intuitive than the sites developed by competing lenders on this list. Additionally, Better can price-match competitors if you happen to find a better rate elsewhere, and this lender offers some mortgages without origination fees.
  • Intuitive website. Better’s website features a straightforward layout on screens of all sizes, and first-time homebuyers, in particular, are likely to feel at ease with the intuitive application process.
  • No origination fee. Unlike most lenders on this list, Better doesn’t charge origination fees or application fees for its home loans.
  • Price-matching. If a competing lender approves you for a lower rate or more compelling terms, Better will match that offer or give you $100.
  • Limited loan types. Better doesn’t provide government-backed USDA or VA loans.
  • No mobile app. Other lenders have dedicated apps in addition to websites, but Better doesn’t.
  • No physical locations. Better doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar branches, so you can’t meet with a loan officer in person.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, Refinance
Minimum credit score Refinance: 680
All other loans: 620
Minimum down payment 3%
States available Not available in: HI, MA, MN, NV, NH, VT, VA
Fees Better doesn’t charge origination fees, but you can expect to pay other third-party fees for appraisal, title services, recording changes, etc.

Most popular lender

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
There are hundreds of mortgage lenders to choose from in Illinois, but among them all, LoanDepot is the most popular in the state. This lender offers several competitive loan options, including builder loans for construction projects. Plus, the company has a streamlined website that works well on desktops and smartphones alike.
  • Impartial advice. LoanDepot’s loan officers are required to follow a no-steering policy, so they won’t try to talk you into a home loan that’s good for them but bad for you.
  • No prepayment penalty. LoanDepot won’t require you to pay a penalty fee if you pay off your mortgage ahead of schedule.
  • Appraisal fees aren’t always necessary. This lender’s loan officers may be able to save you hundreds of dollars by identifying the best loan for you without first requiring an appraisal.
  • Origination fees are mandatory. Unlike some Illinois lenders, LoanDepot charges origination fees of up to 5% on all home loans.
  • Rates aren’t online. You’ll have to contact a loan officer to determine your exact mortgage rate.
  • Bad reviews. LoanDepot has several recent reviews on Trustpilot that call out the company for slow processing times, unresponsive representatives and generally poor customer service.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, 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 for a wide range of credit scores

Rocket Mortgage

620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment
If your credit score isn’t anything to brag about, you might face an uphill battle when trying to buy a home in Illinois. Fortunately, Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans has looser requirements that make homeownership possible for borrowers with below-average credit scores. Even if your FICO score is around 580, you can still qualify for a home loan through this lender. Plus, Rocket Mortgage offers home loan options you won’t find with other lenders on this list.
  • Increased flexibility. Rocket Mortgage can give you more control over your monthly payment by offering you increased flexibility on your home loan.
  • No prepayment penalty. Although some lenders will assess an added fee if you pay off your mortgage early, Rocket Mortgage won’t penalize you for this.
  • Speedy service. Getting a conditional prequalification on Rocket Mortgage only takes a few minutes, and your home loan could close in less than one week.
  • Hefty deposit fee. Many Illinois lenders don’t charge application fees, but Rocket Mortgage will assess a $400 to $750 fee to process your mortgage.
  • Limited loan types. If you’re hoping to get a loan for a mobile home or new construction, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
  • No brick-and-mortar branches. Rocket Mortgage doesn’t have any physical offices, so if you’re counting on in-person service, you should consider another lender.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, Refinance
Minimum credit score Conventional: 620
FHA: 580
VA: 620
Jumbo: 700
Minimum down payment 3%
States available Available in all states
Fees Rocket Mortgage charges a one-time “good faith deposit” on its home loans, payable by credit or debit card. A $400 to $750 fee covers your credit report, a home appraisal and loan processing fees.

Your deposit is refundable after you close your loan with Rocket Mortgage. It’s subtracted from your closing costs, so you pay less overall for your mortgage.

0.5%–1% origination fee.

Best for low rates

Guild Mortgage

620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment
For many aspiring homeowners, choosing a mortgage lender boils down to identifying the one that offers the lowest rate. And compared to other lenders in Illinois, Guild Mortgage has the most competitive rates in the state. This lender offers a wide variety of home loan programs, and the company’s website has several guides and calculators so you can know exactly what to expect.
  • Competitive rates. Compared to other lenders in Illinois, Guild Mortgage tends to offer the lowest rates for home loans.
  • Down-payment support. Many first-time homebuyers can qualify for forgivable grants or loans.
  • Customer satisfaction. According to the market research company J.D. Power, Guild Mortgage ranks among the nation’s top 10 mortgage lenders for customer satisfaction.
  • Only one location in Illinois. Guild Mortgage can help you get a home loan anywhere in Illinois, but the company only has one branch in the state. If face-to-face support is essential to you, your options are limited.
  • No home-equity options. This lender offers several loan programs, but it doesn’t provide home equity loans or lines of credit.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Reverse, Refinance
Minimum credit score Conventional: 620
Minimum down payment 3%
States available Not available in: NJ, NY
Fees Fees vary depending on the loan type

Best for refinancing

Guaranteed Rate

620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment

Many of the best mortgage lenders in Illinois focus primarily on helping borrowers buy homes, but several can also help existing homeowners reduce their mortgage payments by refinancing. And among these refinancers, Guaranteed Rate stands out as the best choice in the state.

Guaranteed Rate offers a straightforward, four-step approval process to help you refinance your mortgage. Plus, the company provides cash-out refinances that let you tap into your home’s equity.

  • Outstanding service. Based on nearly 11,000 reviews on Zillow, this lender has a score of 4.96 out of 5. Borrowers commonly report that the lender’s support representatives are incredibly helpful and responsive.
  • Low rates. Compared to other lenders, Guaranteed Rate offers some of the most competitive interest rates in Illinois.
  • No prepayment penalty. Guaranteed Rate won’t penalize you if you pay off your mortgage early.
  • Must have good credit. You must have a credit score of at least 620 to qualify for Guaranteed Rate’s best terms.
  • Limited support options. Guaranteed Rate doesn’t offer live chat support, so you can only contact representatives via phone or email.
  • Inferior in-person support. Although borrowers rave about Guaranteed Rate’s online support, many customers have complained about the quality support at the lender’s physical locations.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Home Equity/HELOC, Refinance
Minimum credit score Conventional: 620
Other mortgages: As low as 580, depending on type
Minimum down payment 3%
States available Available in all states
Fees Appraisal, credit report, flood certification, state taxes and title insurance

Best for first-time homebuyers

Caliber Home Loans

620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment
It’s common to feel overwhelmed when buying your first home, but Caliber Home Loans can make the ordeal much more manageable. This lender’s website includes a useful first-time home-buying guide to walk you through the process, and there’s a helpful tool that lets you find a loan consultant in your area. Plus, Caliber’s Home Possible program can help low-to-moderate-income Illinoisans buy a home — even if they have bad credit.
  • Fast closing. Caliber claims it can close home loans in as few as 10 days in a best-case scenario, though most loans take two to three weeks to close.
  • Bad credit accepted. Caliber accepts credit scores as low as 580 for some loan types.
  • Intuitive app. Caliber’s mobile app lets you monitor your application’s approval status.
  • Home equity isn’t an option. Caliber doesn’t offer home equity loans or lines of credit.
  • Rates aren’t readily available. Unlike many other lenders, Caliber doesn’t publish its rates.
  • Limited customer service. Caliber doesn’t offer chat support, and you can only call for help during business hours.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Refinance
Minimum credit score Conventional: 620
FHA: 580
Minimum down payment 3%
States available Available in all states
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 regional lender

First Centennial Mortgage

First Centennial Mortgage logo
620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment
First Centennial Mortgage is a family-owned residential lender headquartered in Aurora, Illinois. And although it might not have as recognizable a name as other lenders on this list, First Centennial has ranked among the fastest-growing private companies in the US for the past three years. This lender operates across all regions of the US. But its strongest presence is in Illinois, where it has several branches and is considered by many to be among the best mortgage companies in the state.
  • Renovation loans. First Centennial offers HomeStyle Renovation loans that let you repair, improve or expand upon your home’s interior and exterior.
  • Excellent reviews. Based on more than 900 reviews on Zillow, First Centennial has a rating of 4.97 out of 5.
  • Award recipient. The Illinois Housing Development Authority named First Centennial as one of the top three lenders in the Chicagoland area.
  • No rate calculator. First Centennial’s website doesn’t have a rate calculator, so you’ll have to apply to get an accurate rate.
  • No home-equity options. First Centennial doesn’t offer home equity loans or lines of credit.
  • No mobile app. Many lenders on this list offer mobile apps, but First Centennial doesn’t.
Loan types Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA
Minimum credit score 620
Minimum down payment 3%
States available AR, CA, CO, FL, IL, IN, MI, MN, MO, OH, OR, PA, TX, WA, WI
Fees First Centennial Mortgage charges origination fees that may include processing fees, underwriting fees and administrative fees, among other charges.

Best for customer service

Draper & Kramer Mortgage Corp

Draper & Kramer Mortgage Corp logo
620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment
Customer service is critical when it comes to home loans, and compared to other mortgage lenders in Illinois, Draper & Kramer Mortgage Corporation offers the best service in the state. Based on more than 1,267 reviews on Zillow, this lender has an exceptional score of 4.98 out of 5. Draper & Kramer also offers some of the most attractive mortgage rates in Illinois, and it has more branches here than anywhere else in the US.
  • Outstanding reviews. Draper & Kramer is among the highest-rated mortgage lenders in the state.
  • Feature-rich website. This lender’s site is optimized for smartphones and includes a variety of resources and rate calculators.
  • Discount program. Draper & Kramer’s Homebuyer Privileges program offers up to $7,500 in discounts on furniture, appliances, home decor, moving services and more.
  • Must work with a loan officer. You can’t complete Draper & Kramer’s application process online.
  • Limited customer support. Customer support is only available weekdays during business hours.
Loan types Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Home Equity/HELOC, Reverse, Refinance
Minimum credit score 620
Minimum down payment 3%
States available Available in all states
Fees Draper & Kramer charges an origination fee plus closing costs.

Best marketplace

LendingTree

LendingTree logo
Go to site
at LendingTree's secure site
Read review
620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment

Unlike the direct lenders on this list, LendingTree is a mortgage marketplace that can instantly give you an overview of several Illinois lenders at once. After answering a few questions on this company’s website, you’ll see a list of local lenders and their rates. This makes it easy for you to quickly find out which companies are the best match for your needs.

LendingTree can save you a substantial amount of time when shopping for a mortgage in Illinois. However, the company shares your contact details with solicitors — so be prepared for an influx of unwanted calls and emails.

  • Loads of lenders. LendingTree’s marketplace features more than 500 different lenders.
  • Fewer fees. LendingTree doesn’t charge borrowers to use its platform, and the lenders on the site won’t ask for any upfront fees.
  • Money-saving notifications. LendingTree can alert you when mortgage rates in Illinois drop to lower levels.
  • Unsolicited calls and emails. By using LendingTree, you give the company permission to share your contact details with mortgage providers that may call and email you.
  • Impact on credit. LendingTree conducts a hard credit inquiry when you sign up. You’ll get a hit on your credit score by a few points that will stay on your credit report for up to 24 months.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Home Equity, HELOC, Reverse, Refinance
Minimum credit score Conventional: 620
FHA: 500
VA: 620
USDA: 640
Jumbo: 800
Minimum down payment 3%
States available Available in all states
Fees Expect to pay about 2% to 5% of your home’s total price in fees, including application, origination and third-party fees.

Which lender is best for me?

There are hundreds of mortgage lenders in Illinois, and choosing the best one for your situation can take a considerable amount of time. But by keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be more likely the get competitive terms with a lender you like:

  • Read recent reviews. Evaluate potential lenders by reading recent reviews on sites such as Trustpilot and Zillow.
  • Collect several preapprovals. You’ll be in a better position to negotiate a lower rate when you have a preapproval from at least a few lenders.
  • Negotiate for a lower rate. It never hurts to ask for a lower rate, especially if your credit report shows you’ve borrowed responsibly in the past.
  • Don’t simply sign on the dotted line. Few people like reading legalese, but remember your finances are on the line, so never sign paperwork without carefully reviewing every word.

Compare 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.
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.
SoFi
(NMLS #1121636)
SoFi
Conventional, Home equity, Refinance
Not available in: AK, HI, MO, NH, NM, NY, SD, WV
620
No hidden fees, multiple loan terms, and member discounts available.
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).
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Compare up to 4 providers

Average rates and fees in Illinois

As of November 16, 2020, the average 30-year fixed-mortgage rate in the US is 2.96%, but it’s currently slightly lower in Illinois. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the mortgage rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in Illinois average 2.875%. And according to 2019 data from ClosingCorp, Illinois closing costs averaged between 1.87% and 2.8% of the sales price, which is low compared to several other states.

Should I work with a broker?

Aside from LendingTree, which is a mortgage marketplace, the companies on this list are all direct lenders that can approve and finance your mortgage. But if you’d like some help finding the best lender, you might consider working with a mortgage broker.

Mortgage brokers can pair you with a reputable lender, but not all brokers have your best interests in mind. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous brokers may charge you unnecessary fees to line their own pockets. To find a broker you can trust, be sure to read as many recent reviews as you can.

Bottom line

The best mortgage lenders in Illinois each shine in their own way, but not all of them will be right for you. Carefully consider your needs versus their offerings, and choose the mortgage lender that seems best suited for your situation. Apply for a home loan from any of these lenders today, or compare other popular 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.

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