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9 best mortgage lenders in New Jersey

Hoping to buy a home in the Garden State? Here’s a look at the best mortgage lenders in New Jersey.

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From Hoboken to the Pine Barrens, and from the suburbs to the shore, New Jersey is an incredibly diverse state with some of the most desirable real estate on the East Coast. Whether you’re thinking about setting down roots in the north, south or the central part of the state, the best mortgage lenders in New Jersey can help you buy a home you’ll love.

Best New Jersey mortgage lenders in 2020

How we pick mortgage lenders

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

Best 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

Several of the best New Jersey mortgage lenders have feature-rich websites that work well on any size screen, but few are as slick as Better Mortgage’s web presence. Whether you use a smartphone, tablet or laptop, you’ll likely find Better’s website intuitive and easy to use.

Aside from its website, Better also offers mortgages without origination fees. Plus, Better can price-match competitors if you happen to find a better rate elsewhere.

  • Excellent website. Better’s website has a clean layout that’s easy to use on screens of all sizes, and first-time homebuyers are especially likely to feel at ease with the online application process.
  • No origination fee. Unlike other lenders on this list, Better doesn’t charge origination fees or application fees.
  • Can price-match competitors. If a different lender approves you for a more attractive offer, Better will match that price or give you $100.
  • Not all loan types are available. Better doesn’t currently offer government-backed VA or USDA loans.
  • No app. Other lenders have mobile apps in addition to their websites, but Better doesn’t.
  • No brick-and-mortar branches. Better doesn’t have any offices you can visit, 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.

Best for a wide range of credit scores

Rocket Mortgage

620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment

If your credit score isn’t as high as it could be, buying a home can be challenging. But with Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans, you can get approved for an FHA loan with a FICO score as low as 580.

Rocket Mortgage’s website also expedites the loan process by allowing you to receive a conditional prequalification in about 10 minutes. And this lender offers more loan options than many of its competitors, and Rocket Mortgage won’t penalize you if you pay off your loan ahead of schedule.

  • Low credit scores are OK. Rocket Mortgage can approve you for an FHA loan even if your credit score is as low as 580.
  • Increased flexibility. Rocket Mortgage offers various loan terms, giving you more control over the length of your loan and your monthly payments.
  • Prepayment isn’t a problem. Some lenders charge you a penalty fee if you pay off your home loan early, but Rocket Mortgage doesn’t.
  • Application fee. Rocket Mortgage charges you anywhere from $400 to $750 to process your home loan application.
  • Not all loans are available. Rocket Mortgage doesn’t currently offer loans for mobile homes or construction.
  • Online only. Rocket Mortgage doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar branches, so this lender might not be a good fit for you if you want to work with a loan officer in person.
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

Bank of America

620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment

Bank of America has only been around since 1998, but its roots date back to 1904 when it opened as the Bank of Italy in San Francisco. Today, BoA is among the country’s largest financial institutions, and it’s a major player in the US mortgage industry.

Compared to most other mortgage lenders in New Jersey, BoA interest rates tend to be marginally lower. So if your goal is to pay the least amount of interest possible, Bank of America is certainly worth considering.

  • Lower APRs. BoA tends to offer lower interest rates than most other lenders in New Jersey.
  • Alternative credit data accepted. If your credit score isn’t anything to brag about, BoA will consider factors such as your rent and utility bills when determining your eligibility for a home loan.
  • Banking customer discounts. If you already have a checking account, savings account or credit card with BoA, you could save up to $600 on your loan’s origination fee.
  • Customer service complaints. BoA only has a rating of 2.3 out of 5 on WalletHub, and customer service is among reviewers’ chief criticisms.
  • Sketchy past. Following the 2008 financial crisis, BoA had to pay $76 billion in fines for misleading investors about mortgages.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, Home Equity/HELOC, Refinance
Minimum credit score Conventional: 620
FHA: 600
Minimum down payment 3%
States available Available in all states
Fees Expect fees to include origination, appraisal, 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.

Most popular lender

PNC Bank

620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment

Founded in 1845 and headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, PNC Bank is the most popular mortgage lender among New Jerseyans. This institution offers a wide range of mortgage options, and it has more than 300 locations in New Jersey, making it the largest bank in the Garden State.

PNC’s website also has many more features and resources than most other lenders on this list. No matter where you want to live in the state, there’s a good chance some of your future neighbors bought their homes with the help of PNC.

  • Variety of home loans. Besides offering most standard types of home loans, PNC also offers special mortgages for rural housing and medical professionals, plus combination mortgages that can help you avoid paying private mortgage insurance.
  • Reduced down payments. PNC’s community loans let you buy a home with a low down payment even if you don’t have a lot of cash in the bank.
  • Full-featured website. PNC’s easy-to-navigate website includes current mortgage rates based on your preferred loan type and ZIP code, but the quoted rates don't account for your credit score.
  • Mixed reviews. According to the BBB, PNC has an average rating of 1.17 out of 5 based on 142 reviews about its overall banking services. However, on Zillow, PNC has a score of 4.95 out of 5 based on more than 1,900 reviews for its home-lending services.
  • Unclear fees. PNC’s website doesn’t detail the various fees and closing costs this lender charges for mortgages.
  • Can’t complete the process online. Although PNC Bank’s website offers a wealth of features, you can’t fully complete the mortgage process online — you have to speak with a loan officer.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Home Equity/HELOC, Refinance
Minimum credit score Conventional: 620
Minimum down payment 3%
States available Available in all states
Fees PNC's website doesn't detail which fees this lender charges, but you can expect to pay for origination, appraisal, title search and document recording.

Best for refinancing

AmeriSave

620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, AmeriSave mostly focuses on refinancing existing loans rather than processing new mortgages. If your home’s current value is greater than the amount you still owe on the property, AmeriSave can refinance your loan at a reduced interest rate.

This lender also has a polished website and generally positive reviews, which makes it a solid choice for homeowners interested in saving a substantial amount of money over the life of their loan.

  • Strong reviews. As of October 2020, AmeriSave is rated 4.2 out of 5 on Trustpilot and 4.76 out of 5 on Zillow. Customers praise the company for its low rates and smooth process.
  • Borrow against your home’s value. If you have at least 20% equity in your home, you can qualify for a cash-out refinancing, giving you access to funds you can use to pay off student loans, consolidate credit card debt or tackle major home-improvement projects.
  • Impressive mobile experience. AmeriSave’s website allows you to upload and sign documents — even from your smartphone.
  • Can’t do everything online. Although you can complete most aspects of the mortgage process online, you’ll have to work with a loan officer to finalize your home loan.
  • $500 application fee. Unlike other New Jersey mortgage lenders, AmeriSave charges a $500 application fee that you may not get refunded.
  • Home equity options aren’t available. AmeriSave doesn’t currently offer home equity loans or lines of credit.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Refinance
Minimum credit score Conventional: 620
FHA: 600
Minimum down payment 3%
States available Not available in: NY
Fees AmeriSave charges $500 for applying as part of the origination fee.

Best for first-time homebuyers

Freedom Mortgage

620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment
Buying a home in New Jersey can seem like a monumental undertaking if you’ve never purchased a residence before. Fortunately, Freedom Mortgage offers several resources and guides to help first-time buyers understand the entire process. This lender also has a tool that makes it easy to find a local loan officer, plus Freedom Mortgage may still approve you for a loan even if you have a low credit score or a low-to-moderate income level.
  • Eagle Eye Program. Freedom Mortgage offers this notification service to alert you of any home-financing opportunities that might interest you.
  • Bad credit is no problem. You might still get approved for a mortgage even if your credit score is as low as 540.
  • Fluctuating income is OK. Freelancers and gig workers can sometimes struggle to get a home loan, but Freedom Mortgage may still approve your loan application even if your income isn’t always steady.
  • No online application. To apply for a mortgage, you must contact a loan officer.
  • Home equity options aren’t available. Freedom Mortgage doesn’t offer home equity loans or lines of credit.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Refinance
Minimum credit score Conventional: 620
FHA: 540
VA: 580
USDA: 640
Minimum down payment 3%
States available Available in all states
Fees While not listed, expect to pay about 2% to 5% of your home’s total price in fees, including origination, application and third-party fees.

Best for customer service

Guaranteed Rate

620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment

New Jerseyans love low rates and affordable fees when buying a home, but quality customer service can be even more critical. And when it comes to treating homebuyers right, few lenders can compare to Guaranteed Rate. This lender has a near-perfect score of 4.96 out of 5 based on nearly 11,000 reviews on Zillow.

Customer service isn’t the only area where this lender shines. As its name suggests, Guaranteed Rate also provides some of the Garden State’s most competitive mortgage rates.

  • Outstanding service. Guaranteed Rate’s customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive, and borrowers report that the lender’s online representatives are especially helpful and responsive.
  • Low rates. Guaranteed Rate offers some of the most competitive interest rates in New Jersey.
  • Transparency. Guaranteed Rate’s website includes details about the factors this lender considers when calculating rates.
  • Must have good credit. To qualify for Guaranteed Rate’s best terms, you must have a credit score of at least 620.
  • Limited support options. Although this lender excels at customer support, you can only contact representatives via phone or email because live chat isn’t currently an option.
  • Support suffers at branches. Customers rave about Guaranteed Rate’s online support, but numerous borrowers have left negative reviews about 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 regional lender

Investors Bank

Investors Bank logo
620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment

Founded in 1926 and originally known as the Washington Rock Building & Loan Association, Investors Bank is a full-service, publicly traded bank headquartered in Short Hills, New Jersey. Today, Investors Bank has 154 branches across New Jersey, Manhattan and Long Island.

Unlike other lenders on this list, Investors Bank owns foreclosed homes it sells directly to the public. This makes Investors Bank one of the few New Jersey mortgage lenders that can help you both find and buy a home in the state.

  • Special types of mortgages. In addition to standard types of home loans, Investors Bank also provides co-op mortgages, LLC mortgages and affordable housing mortgages, among other specialized programs.
  • Great reviews. Investors Bank has an admirable rating of 4.92 out of 5 on Zillow based on 435 reviews and an equally impressive rating of 4.5 out of 5 on WalletHub based on 514 reviews. Customers love the smooth process and professionalism of the loan officers.
  • Sells foreclosed homes. Unlike the other mortgage lenders on this list, Investors Bank owns and sells foreclosed properties, which can make your search for a new home much easier.
  • Some government-backed mortgages aren’t available. Investors Bank doesn’t offer FHA or USDA loans.
  • Higher credit score requirements. With some loans, you need to pay more if your credit score is below 680.
  • Undisclosed fees. Investors Bank’s website doesn’t clearly state what fees this lender charges.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA
Minimum credit score Conventional: 620
Minimum down payment 3%
States available Only available in: NJ, NY
Fees Investors Bank charges an origination fee that varies depending on loan type. Other fees are not disclosed.

Best marketplace

LendingTree

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

While other companies on this list are direct lenders, LendingTree is a mortgage marketplace that displays rates from various New Jersey lenders all in one place. This platform allows you to compare several mortgage rates and terms, so you can quickly determine which lenders are best suited for you.

LendingTree can save you a great deal of time — and money — during your search for a mortgage, but there is one significant drawback. By agreeing to use this service, you permit LendingTree to share your contact information. So expect to receive numerous calls and emails from lenders.

  • Vast selection of lenders. LendingTree’s mortgage marketplace includes rates from more than 500 lenders.
  • No fee to use. LendingTree doesn’t charge its users any fees, and none of the lenders the site pairs you require upfront fees either.
  • Notifications when prices drop. LendingTree can alert you when you’re likely to get the best rates.
  • Unwanted calls and emails. You’re likely to receive a slew of unsolicited phone calls and emails when you use LendingTree.
  • Hard credit inquiry. When you use LendingTree, the site performs a hard credit inquiry, which will negatively affect your credit score for at least a few 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 New Jersey mortgage lenders to choose from, and finding the right one can take time. During your search, keep these tips in mind:

  • Read recent customer reviews. If you’re unsure about a specific lender, visit popular review websites to see if recent borrowers have good things to say about their experiences.
  • Gather a few preapprovals. When you have several preapprovals from different lenders, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate a better rate.
  • Never accept the initial offer. There’s almost always a little bit of wiggle room when it comes to home loans, so never accept an offer without trying to talk the loan officer down to a lower rate.
  • Pore over the fine print. Don’t skim any documents during the mortgage process, as lenders often hide hidden fees in the smaller print.

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 New Jersey

As of October 15, 2020, the average mortgage rate in the US is 2.81%, but it’s currently slightly higher in New Jersey. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the mortgage rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in New Jersey average 3.00%. And while closing costs in the US typically range between 2% and 5%, closing costs in New Jersey averaged just 1.67% of the sales price according to 2019 data from ClosingCorp.

Continue researching mortgage rates in New Jersey or compare closing costs in New Jersey for more information.

Should I work with a broker?

With the exception of LendingTree’s mortgage marketplace, this list only includes direct lenders in New Jersey because they are the only ones that can approve and finance mortgage loans. If you’d like some help finding the best lender for you, consider working with a mortgage broker.

In general, most mortgage brokers are trustworthy, yet some may charge unnecessary fees you could avoid by working directly with a lender. To find the best broker in your area, compare their rates and check review sites to ensure the brokers provide excellent support.

Bottom line

The best mortgage lenders in New Jersey have a lot to offer, but no two of them are the same. Based on your unique needs, one of them is likely to be an excellent choice for you. Consider what they each have to offer and apply for prequalification today, or continue exploring other home loans.

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