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9 best mortgage lenders in South Carolina

No matter where you want to live in SC, one of these mortgage lenders will likely be your best bet.

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Whether you want to live along the coast, in Piedmont or by the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’re bound to get the lowest rate and most appealing terms with one of these South Carolina mortgage lenders.

Best South Carolina mortgage lenders in 2020

How we pick mortgage lenders

We chose these mortgage lenders based on their rates, fees, requirements and website features. We also considered customer reviews from Zillow, Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), among other sites. Learn more about our rating methodology.

Best online experience logo
Go to site
at's secure site
Read review
Min. credit score
Min. down payment
Although numerous banks and credit unions in South Carolina offer home loans, more and more consumers are attracted to the convenience provided by online lenders. And while there are several online lenders to choose from, none can match Better Mortgage when it comes to the user experience. Better’s website offers an intuitive interface on tablets, smartphones and traditional computers. Plus, Better price-matches competitors and waives origination fees in many instances.
  • Online experience. Better’s website works well on any size screen, and the intuitive application process is ideal for inexperienced buyers.
  • Price-matches other lenders. If another mortgage lender approves you for a lower rate, Better will match that offer or give you $100.
  • Fewer fees. Better doesn’t charge application fees, and it waives origination fees in some cases.
  • Some loan types aren’t available. Better doesn’t offer home-equity loans, VA loans or USDA loans.
  • No smartphone app. Better has a mobile-friendly website, but it doesn’t have a standalone app.
  • No branches. Better doesn’t have any physical branches, so you won’t be able to look a loan officer in the eyes.
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 mortgage marketplace


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

All of the other companies on this list are direct lenders, meaning they can provide your mortgage themselves. However, LendingTree is a mortgage marketplace that makes it easy for you to compare rates from numerous lenders throughout South Carolina.

Simply answer a few questions about the kind of loan you’re in the market for, and LendingTree shows you a list of lenders and their respective rates. LendingTree can save you a significant amount of time during your hunt for a mortgage, but the company also shares your contact details with third parties, which is a significant drawback for many of its customers.

  • Lender portfolio. LendingTree has rates and terms from hundreds of mortgage lenders.
  • Free to use. There’s no fee to compare lenders on LendingTree.
  • Money-saving notifications. LendingTree can alert you when mortgage rates in South Carolina drop.
  • Calls and emails. LendingTree shares your contact details with companies that may contact you.
  • Could hurt your credit. According to numerous complaints on the BBB’s website, third-party lenders associated with LendingTree performed hard credit inquiries on customers without their consent.
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.

Most popular lender

Rocket Mortgage

Min. credit score
Min. down payment

While there are many well-liked mortgage lenders in South Carolina, Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans stands out as the most popular of them all. This lender has a massive presence in the state, in part because it makes the borrowing process quick and painless.

With Rocket Mortgage, you can qualify for a conditional prequalification in less than 10 minutes. This lender also offers more home loan programs than many of its competitors, and you can still get approved even if you have a low credit score.

  • Fast service. You can get a conditional prequalification from Rocket Mortgage in less than 10 minutes, and your home loan could close in less than one week in a best-case scenario.
  • More flexibility. Rocket Mortgage gives you more flexibility with your loan terms so that you can control the amount of your monthly payment.
  • Prepayment is OK. Rocket Mortgage won’t penalize you for paying off your mortgage early, but other South Carolina lenders will.
  • Application fee. Many other lenders won’t charge you to process your application, but Rocket Mortgage will assess a fee of $400 to $750.
  • Some loans aren’t available. This lender doesn’t provide loans for mobile homes or new construction.
  • No physical locations. Rocket Mortgage doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar branches, so you can’t meet 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 customer service

Veterans United

Min. credit score
Min. down payment

Getting a low mortgage rate is a priority for many aspiring homebuyers, but customer service can be equally important. And compared to other lenders in South Carolina, Veterans United has the best customer service.

As of December 2020, Veterans United has a near-perfect rating of 4.9 out of 5 based on more than 5,800 reviews on Trustpilot. And on Zillow, Veterans United has a score of 4.8 out of 5 after nearly 4,000 reviews. And while you don’t need to be a service member to get a mortgage with Veterans United, vets generally get better rates and terms than civilians.

  • Around-the-clock support. You can speak to a live support representative at any hour of the day.
  • Employees are veterans. Many of Veterans United’s 3,500 employees are current or former members of the military.
  • Unimpressive rates. Veterans United’s conventional loans aren’t competitive compared to other lenders in South Carolina.
  • Only one SC branch. Veterans United only has a single location in the state, which is in Greenville.
  • No home equity options. This lender 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 3.5%
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 a wide range of credit scores


Min. credit score
Min. down payment
When it comes to applying for a home loan, your credit score plays a pivotal role in determining whether you get approved. And while many lenders require you to have a healthy score to get approved, PennyMac is somewhat more lenient in this department. Even if your credit score is as low as 580, PennyMac may still approve you for a mortgage.
  • Bad credit isn’t a deal-breaker. You can still get a home loan from PennyMac even if you don’t have a great credit score.
  • Low income is OK. Most mortgages from PennyMac don’t require you to earn a specific salary to be eligible.
  • Transparent rates. You can easily view PennyMac’s mortgage rates on the company’s website.
  • Higher fees. PennyMac charges higher fees than many other lenders in South Carolina.
  • Questionable customer service. As of December 2020, PennyMac has more than 300 one-star reviews on Trustpilot and more than 600 complaints on the BBB’s website.
  • Application fee. Not all lenders on this list charge application fees, but PennyMac does.
Loan types Conventional, Refinance, FHA, VA, USDA, Jumbo, HELOC
Minimum credit score 620 for Conventional and VA loans
580 for FHA loans
700 for Jumbo loans
Minimum down payment 3%
States available Not available in: NY
Fees Origination fee: $0 for PennyMac VIP members; $1,100 for other applicants
Appraisal deposit fee: $465 to $1,000
Broker fee: $100 to $300, depending on loan type.

Best rates

Academy Mortgage

Academy Mortgage logo
Min. credit score
Min. down payment
Many of the best mortgage lenders in South Carolina offer attractive rates, but Academy Mortgage tends to have the state’s lowest rates. Unfortunately, you have to contact a loan officer to get an actual quote, as Academy Mortgage doesn’t disclose its rates online. But aside from that minor inconvenience, there’s a lot to like about this Utah-based lender. Academy Mortgage has outstanding customer reviews, a wide variety of loan types and one of the most intuitive websites we’ve seen.
  • Low rates. Compared to other mortgage lenders in South Carolina, Academy Mortgage tends to offer the lowest rates.
  • Mortgage programs. Unlike other lenders on this list, Academy Mortgage offers all major types of home loans.
  • Down-payment assistance. Academy Mortgage offers State Housing Agency Loans and DPA programs that can save thousands of dollars.
  • No SC branches. Academy Mortgage has branches in nearly 40 states but not in South Carolina.
  • No online chat. Many mortgage lenders offer online chat support, but Academy Mortgage doesn’t.
  • No online rates. You have to contact a loan officer to find out your specific mortgage rate.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, USDA, VA, HELOC, Reverse, Refinance
Minimum credit score Conventional :620
USDA: 620
Minimum down payment 3%
States available Available in all states
Fees Academy Mortgage charges several fees detailed on its website.

Best regional lender

South Carolina State Federal Credit Union (SCU)

South Carolina State Federal Credit Union (SCU) logo
Min. credit score
Min. down payment
Several lenders on this list operate from coast to coast, but many don’t have strong ties to South Carolina. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but many South Carolinians want to work with a mortgage company that’s committed to the Palmetto State. And among the regional lenders that call this state home, South Carolina State Credit Union ranks above the rest. This lender was founded in 1952 and has more than 80,000 members across the state. It also has flexible lending options that are on par with many nationwide lenders.
  • Online application. You don’t have to contact a loan officer to start the process.
  • Rates are available online. This lender discloses its exact mortgage rates online.
  • Land loans. Unlike many other leading lenders in the state, SCU offers land loans.
  • Limited loan types. SCSCU doesn’t offer USDA loans, VA loans or refinances.
  • Lackluster website. Several other lenders on this list have more modern websites than SCU.
  • Must become a member. You must join the credit union to get a mortgage, so you’ll have to jump through a few extra hoops you won’t face with other lenders.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, HELOC, FHA
Minimum credit score 620
Minimum down payment 5%
States available Only available in: SC
Fees This lender doesn’t disclose the fees it charges.

Best for refinancing

South Carolina Federal Credit Union

South Carolina Federal Credit Union logo
Min. credit score
Min. down payment
If you already own a home and are interested in refinancing your mortgage, many local lenders can help you reduce your monthly payment, but South Carolina Federal Credit Union might be your best bet. This lender offers excellent rates on refinances, which could save you thousands of dollars per year. Plus, the credit union makes it easy to check your rate simply by filling out a short form.
  • Refinancing rates. South Carolina Federal Credit Union offers excellent rates on refinances.
  • Specialized loans. Unlike other lenders, this credit union provides loans for mobile homes and lots.
  • Rates are available online. SCFCU makes it easy to view rates for refinances and other loans.
  • Mixed reviews. As of December 2020, SCFCU has a rating of 3.4 out of 5 on WalletHub. Many complaints relate to customer service and administrative issues.
  • No premium support. This lender doesn’t offer support via chat or a 24/7 phone line.
  • No VA or FHA loans. South Carolina Federal Credit Union doesn’t offer VA or FHA loans.
Loan types Conventional, Home Equity/HELOC, Refinance
Minimum credit score 620
Minimum down payment 3.5%
States available Only available in: SC
Fees SCFCU charges closing costs that may include fees for origination, appraisal, underwriting and flood certification, among other expenses.

Best for first-time homebuyers

Ameris Bank

Ameris Bank logo
Min. credit score
Min. down payment
Buying your first home can be incredibly stressful if you’re unfamiliar with the process, but Ameris Bank can make it easier and more affordable. This Georgia-based lender offers two types of home loans specifically for first-time buyers. The Ameris Dream loan program is for first-time homebuyers who have limited funds for a down payment, and Ameris’s First-time Homebuyer loan provides financial assistance for qualified buyers.
  • First-time buyer programs. Ameris Bank has two money-saving loans for first-time buyers.
  • Special programs. Ameris offers construction loans, rehabilitation loans and specialized home loans for medical professionals.
  • Limited support. Ameris Bank doesn’t offer live chat support or 24/7 telephone service.
  • Troubling reviews. As of December 2020, 49 of the 50 most recent reviews for Ameris Bank on WalletHub have one-star ratings, mostly due to complaints about the company’s customer service.
Loan types Conventional, Jumbo, Home Equity/HELOC, FHA, VA, USDA, Reverse, Refinance
Minimum credit score Conventional:620
FHA: 580
Minimum down payment 3%
States available Only available in: AL, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, TN, VA
Fees Ameris Bank charges an origination fee that includes charges for underwriting and documentation preparation, among other expenses.

Which North Carolina mortgage lender is best for me?

Determining which North Carolina mortgage lender is best suited to meet your needs can take several hours — if not days or even weeks. But if you keep these pointers in mind, you’ll be more likely to get a great rate from a quality lender.

  • Research review sites. Before you even think about applying for a loan from a particular lender, read every customer review you can find. No lender is universally loved, but if you read the same complaints about a company over and over again, it should raise a red flag.
  • Collect multiple preapprovals. By collecting preapprovals from various lenders and letting loan officers know what options are available to you, you’ll be more likely to get the best rate possible.
  • Always ask for a lower rate. Mortgage lenders usually have some flexibility with the numbers they offer you, so it never hurts to ask for a lower rate or more appealing terms.
  • Pore over the fine print. Lenders often try to hide fees or restrictions in the fine print on their websites and agreements, so be sure to read every word before signing anything.

Compare mortgage lenders

Name Product Loan products offered State availability Min. credit score
(NMLS #330511)
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, Refinance
Not available in: HI, MA, MN, NV, NH, VT, VA
Online preapproval in minutes and no origination fees with this direct lender.
(NMLS #1136)
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Home Equity, HELOC, Reverse, Refinance
Available in all states
Connect with vetted home loan lenders quickly through this online marketplace.
(NMLS #1121636)
Conventional, Home equity, Refinance
Not available in: AK, HI, MO, NH, NM, NY, SD, WV
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
Purchase, refinance, and home equity options available with lender fees as low as $0 (restrictions apply).

Compare up to 4 providers

Average rates and fees in South Carolina

As of December 10, 2020, the average 30-year fixed-mortgage rate in the US is 2.92%, but it’s currently slightly lower in Virginia. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the mortgage rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in South Carolina averages 2.75%. And according to 2019 data from ClosingCorp, South Carolina closing costs averaged 1.45% of the sales price, which is much lower than 2% to 5% it costs in several other states.

Should I work with a broker?

Depending on how willing you are to find the best mortgage lender for you, getting a home loan can take a considerable amount of time. That’s why many South Carolinians choose to work with mortgage brokers. Brokers can save you a ton of time — and money — by choosing the best lender for your needs, but, unfortunately, not all brokers are trustworthy. If you’re thinking about working with a broker, be sure to read as many recent customer reviews as you can before you agree to do business with them.

Bottom line

The best mortgage lenders in South Carolina each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and no two companies are exactly alike. Spend some time comparing each of these lender’s strengths and weaknesses, then apply for a home loan with the provider best suited to your needs. Fill out an application now, or compare other leading mortgage lenders in South Carolina.

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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