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9 best mortgage lenders in North Carolina

Looking to buy a home in North Carolina? Here are the best mortgage lenders in the Old North State.

From Wilmington to Winston-Salem and from Asheville to the Outer Banks, North Carolina is home to some of the best real estate on the Eastern Seaboard. If you’re hoping to set down roots along the Atlantic Ocean, near Nantahala National Forest or anywhere in between, the best mortgage lenders in North Carolina can help you realize your dreams of homeownership.

What are the best mortgage lenders in North Carolina?

How we pick mortgage lenders

We selected these North Carolina mortgage lenders based on several factors, such as their fees, rates, website features and minimum requirements. Customer reviews from sites such as Zillow, Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) also played a role. Learn more about Finder’s rating methodology.

Best online experience

Better

Better logo
Go to site
at Better's secure site
Read review
620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment
Many of the best North Carolina mortgage lenders have websites that function smoothly on tablets, mobile phones and laptops, but few of these sites are as polished as Better. No matter what size screen you use, you’re bound to find Better’s online presence more intuitive than the other lenders on this list. Plus, Better price-matches other lenders, and it waives origination fees on some of its mortgage programs.
  • User experience. Better’s website is optimized for screens of all sizes, and first-time home-buyers are likely to feel comfortable with the intuitive application process.
  • Price-matching. If a competing lender approves you for a lower rate or more enticing terms, Better will either match that other offer or give you $100.
  • Fewer fees. Better doesn’t charge origination fees or application fees for home loans like many other lenders on this list do.
  • Limited loan types. Better doesn’t provide home-equity loans or government-backed FHA, VA or USDA loans.
  • No mobile app. Several lenders on this list offer standalone apps, but Better only has a website.
  • No physical locations. Better doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar branches, so you can’t meet with a loan officer face to face.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, Refinance
Minimum credit score Refinance: 680
All other loans: 620
Minimum down payment (Conventional) 3%
States available Not available in: HI, MA, MN, NV, NH, VT, VA

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 other companies on this list, which are direct lenders, LendingTree is a mortgage marketplace that lets you compare rates from hundreds of home loan providers across the country. Simply answer a few questions on LendingTree’s site, then you’ll see a list of North Carolina lenders and their respective rates.

Using this site can save you a substantial amount of time while shopping for a mortgage, but LendingTree will share your contact information with third parties — so be prepared for an influx of unsolicited calls and emails.

  • Hundreds of lenders. LendingTree’s marketplace features rates from more than 500 mortgage lenders.
  • Free to use. It doesn’t cost anything to use LendingTree, and the lenders featured on the site don’t ask for upfront payments.
  • Helpful alerts. LendingTree can notify you when mortgage rates in North Carolina drop.
  • Unsolicited calls and emails. By using LendingTree, you agree to let the company share your contact information with third parties that may contact you.
  • Hurts your credit. When you use LendingTree, the company performs a hard inquiry upon your credit history, which will lower your credit score and stay on your credit report for two years.
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 (Conventional) 3%
States available Available in all states

Best for first-time homebuyers: Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage logo
Go to site
at Rocket Mortgage's secure site
Read review
620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment
If this is your first time buying a home, you might feel like you’re in over your head. Fortunately, Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans can make the process painless by granting you a conditional prequalification in only 10 minutes. This lender also offers more home loan programs than many other lenders in North Carolina. And even applicants with low credit scores can still get approved for a home loan through Rocket Mortgage.
  • Speedy service. It only takes a few minutes to get a conditional prequalification from Rocket Mortgage, and if everything goes smoothly, your home loan could close in less than one week.
  • You’re in control. Rocket Mortgage offers you more flexibility with your home loan’s terms, so you have more control over your monthly payment.
  • No prepayment penalty. Other lenders in North Carolina assess additional fees if you manage to pay off your mortgage early, but Rocket Mortgage doesn’t.
  • Mandatory deposit. Rocket Mortgage charges $400 to $750 to process your mortgage application, while other lenders don’t charge a fee for this.
  • Not all options are available. Rocket Mortgage doesn’t offer loans for new builds or mobile homes.
  • No branches. This lender doesn’t have any physical locations you can visit, so you can’t meet with a loan officer face to face.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, Refinance
Minimum credit score Conventional: 620
FHA: 580
VA: 620
Jumbo: 700
Minimum down payment (Conventional) 3%
States available Available in all states

Best for low rates

BNC National Bank

620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment
Getting a low rate is a priority for many aspiring homeowners, and BNC National Bank in North Carolina offers the best rates around. Different from the Bank of North Carolina, which was acquired by Pinnacle Financial Partners in 2017, BNC National Bank is a full-service bank headquartered in North Dakota, although its mortgage division operates out of Kansas. And in addition to offering the most competitive rates in the state, BNC National Bank is also a top VA mortgage lender, and it earns high marks for customer service.
  • Competitive rates. BNC National Bank offers some of the lowest mortgage rates in North Carolina.
  • Good for veterans. This bank is among the nation’s top lenders for government-backed VA loans.
  • Quality customer service. As of December 2020, BNC National Bank is rated 4.69 out of 5 on Zillow, and it only has two complaints in the past three years according to the BBB.
  • No online preapproval. You can prequalify for a mortgage on this lender’s website, but you can’t get preapproved until a loan officer manually reviews your application.
  • No branches in North Carolina. BNC National Bank doesn’t have any branches in North Carolina, so you can’t meet with a loan officer in person.
  • Rates aren’t available online. This lender doesn’t publish its mortgage rates online.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Refinance
Minimum credit score 620
Minimum down payment (Conventional) 3%
States available Available in all states

Best for refinancing

Freedom Mortgage

620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment

Some of the lenders on this list exclusively help aspiring homeowners buy places to live, but others, like Freedom Mortgage, allow current homeowners to refinance their mortgages and reduce their monthly payments.

Freedom Mortgage offers a variety of refinancing options for homeowners with conventional or government-backed home loans. And if you choose to refinance through this lender, you can look forward to a lower interest rate and more flexibility with your loan terms.

  • Multiple refinancing programs. Freedom Mortgage offers rate-and-term refinances for conventional mortgages and streamline refinances for VA, FHA and USDA home loans.
  • Bad credit isn’t a deal-breaker. You can still get approved for a mortgage even if your credit score is as low as 540.
  • Unsteady income isn’t a problem. If your income varies from one month to the next, Freedom Mortgage may still approve you for refinancing.
  • Limited locations. Freedom Mortgage only has two brick-and-mortar branches in North Carolina — one in Wilmington and the other in Burlington — so it may be inconvenient to meet with a lender in person.
  • No online application. To apply for refinancing, you must contact a Freedom Mortgage loan officer directly.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Refinance
Minimum credit score Conventional: 620
FHA: 540
VA: 580
USDA: 640
Minimum down payment (Conventional) 3%
States available Available in all states

Best for customer service

Veterans United

640
Min. credit score
3.5%
Min. down payment
Getting a low mortgage rate is certainly important when buying a home, but customer service can be even more critical. And compared to other lenders in North Carolina, Veterans United has the best customer service. Based on more than 5,700 reviews on Trustpilot, this lender has a remarkable rating of 4.9 out of 5 as of December 2020. And on Zillow, it has a score of 4.8 out of 5 after nearly 4,000 reviews. You don’t need to be a service member to get a mortgage with Veterans United, though vets can expect better rates and terms than civilians receive.
  • 24/7 customer support. Veterans United offers phone-based customer service all day, every day.
  • Employees were enlisted. A significant portion of this lender’s employees are current or former members of the military.
  • Variety of loans. Veterans United provides government-backed loans and refinancing options.
  • Mediocre rates. This lender’s conventional loans aren’t competitive compared to others on this list.
  • Limited locations. Veterans United only has two branches in the state: one in Fayetteville and one in Jacksonville.
  • No home equity loans. Veterans United doesn’t offer home equity loans or lines of credit.
Loan types Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Jumbo, Refinance
Minimum credit score Conventional: 640
Jumbo: 640
VA: 640
Minimum down payment (Conventional) 3.5%
States available Available in all states

Best for a wide range of credit scores

Fairway Independent

620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment

The average credit score in North Carolina is 686, but many hopeful homeowners have scores well below that number. If your credit score isn’t anything to brag about, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation may still approve you for a home loan.

This Wisconsin-based lender provides various mortgage options, including some specialty programs most other lenders don’t offer. And unlike some companies on this list, Fairway will approve applicants with credit scores as low as 580 for VA and FHA loans.

  • Specialized loans. This lender provides unique mortgage programs for educators and medical professionals in North Carolina.
  • Mortgage diversity. Fairway Independent provides reverse mortgages and renovation mortgages in addition to most standard home loans.
  • Bad credit is OK. Fairway may approve you for a VA or FHA loan if your credit score is as low as 580.
  • Hurts your credit. This lender conducts hard credit inquiries that reduce your credit score even if you don’t get approved.
  • Vague website. Fairway Independent’s website doesn’t mention many of the fees this lender charges.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Refinance, Reverse
Minimum credit score Conventional: 620
VA: 580
FHA: 580
Minimum down payment (Conventional) 3%
States available Available in all states

Best regional lender

State Employees’ Credit Union

620
Min. credit score
0%
Min. down payment
Instead of choosing a lender that’s headquartered hundreds or thousands of miles away, many hopeful homeowners in North Carolina would prefer to work with a company that has a history in the area. And among all of the lenders based in the Tarheel State, North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) ranks above the rest. SECU was founded in a basement in Raleigh in 1937, and more than 80 years later, it’s still delivering one of the best home-buying experiences in the state.
  • Fewer fees. This lender doesn't charge fees for your application or to pull your credit report.
  • Transparency. SECU publishes its lending rates and APRs on its website.
  • Assistance program. If you fall behind in your payments, SECU will help you catch up.
  • No government-backed loans. SECU doesn’t provide FHA, USDA or VA loans.
  • Must be a member. You must be a member of the credit union to qualify for a mortgage.
Loan types Conventional, Refinance, HELOC
Minimum credit score 620
Minimum down payment (Conventional) 0%
States available Only available in: GA, NC, SC, TN, VA

Most popular

Truist

Truist logo
620
Min. credit score
3%
Min. down payment
The name Truist might not ring a bell as it’s only been around for a year, but you’re likely familiar with the two banks that joined forces to create this company: SunTrust Bank and Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T). When these two banks merged in 2019, Truist became the 8th-largest bank in America and the most popular mortgage lender in North Carolina. And when you account for both BB&T and SunTrust branches, the company has nearly 400 locations across North Carolina, making it easy to meet with a loan officer in-person anywhere in the state.
  • Most branches in NC. Between SunTrust and BB&T branches, Truist has more locations in North Carolina than any other lender.
  • Premier loans. Truist has specialized mortgage programs for medical professionals and high-income entrepreneurs.
  • Great for first-time buyers. Truist has programs designed to help first-time homebuyers.
  • Above-average interest rates. 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.
  • Merger messiness. Despite the new name, Truist continues to operate as both BB&T and SunTrust, which may confuse some borrowers.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, HELOC, Refinance
Minimum credit score 620
Minimum down payment (Conventional) 3%
States available Not available in: AK, AZ, HI, OR

How do I choose the best lender for me?

Finding the best North Carolina mortgage lender for your needs can take a considerable amount of time. But by keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be more likely to get competitive terms with a lender you can trust.
  • Read all reviews. Check Zillow, Trustpilot, the BBB and other review websites to see what previous customers have to say about a particular lender.
  • Collect more than one preapproval. By collecting several preapprovals from competing lenders, you’ll increase your odds of getting the best mortgage rate.
  • Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. It never hurts to ask a lender to lower their rate by a few tenths of a point.
  • Carefully read the fine print. Some lenders try to hide fees in fine print on their websites and documents. Be sure you read and understand every word before signing anything.

Compare mortgage lenders and brokers

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.
Name Product Loan products offered State availability Min. credit score
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.
Better
(NMLS #330511)
Better
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).
Rocket Mortgage
(NMLS #3030)
Rocket Mortgage
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, Refinance
Available in all states
620
Streamline your mortgage from quote to final payment — all from your computer or phone.
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.
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Average rates and fees in North Carolina

As of November 23, 2020, the average 30-year fixed-mortgage rate in the US is 2.95%, but it’s currently slightly lower in North Carolina. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the mortgage rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in North Carolina average 2.875%. And according to 2019 data from ClosingCorp, North Carolina closing costs averaged 1.19% of the sales price, which is much lower than the 2% to 5% it costs in several other states.

Should I work with a broker?

Choosing the right lender can take a serious amount of time, which is why many hopeful homebuyers choose to work with mortgage brokers. Mortgage brokers can do the legwork for you and figure out which lender is best equipped to meet your needs.

However, not all brokers can or should be trusted. Unfortunately, some brokers may attempt to charge you unnecessary fees you could have otherwise avoided. To identify a trustworthy broker, be sure to read as many recent customer reviews as you can.

Bottom line

The best mortgage lenders in North Carolina each have something unique to offer, but it’s unlikely that all of them will be a good match for you. Carefully compare each of their strengths and weaknesses, and apply for a mortgage with the lender that best matches your needs. Start the application process now, or compare other popular mortgage lenders in North Carolina.

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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