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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

See rates
on Better's secure site
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.

Best marketplace

LendingTree

See rates
on LendingTree's secure site

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.

Best for first-time homebuyers

Rocket Mortgage

See rates
on Rocket Mortgage's secure site
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.

Best for low rates

BNC National Bank

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.

Best for refinancing

Freedom Mortgage

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.

Best for customer service

Veterans United

See rates
on Veterans United's secure site
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.

Best for a wide range of credit scores

Fairway Independent

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.

Best regional lender

State Employees’ Credit Union

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.

Truist

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.

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

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
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.
AmeriSave
(NMLS #1168)
AmeriSave
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Refinance
Not available in: NY
620
Great customer reviews and customized rate quotes in three minutes with no SSN needed.
Veterans United
(NMLS #1907)
Veterans United
Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Jumbo, Refinance
Available in all states
620
Veterans United stands out from other lenders for its focus on serving the military community.
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.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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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