There’s no way around it, buying a home is a long term financial commitment. Unless you pay in cash (which very few people do), buying a home entails signing up for either a 10- or 30-year mortgage. That means you’ll be making monthly installments to pay off your home loan for up to three whole decades.
With this in mind, it’s clear that finding the right lender is incredibly important. Higher interest rates can cost you thousands over the lifespan of your mortgage. When shopping for a mortgage, the two things you need to keep at the forefront of your mind are the mortgage interest rate and the required down payment.
According to Value Penguin, the average interest rate for a 30-year mortgage in the U.S. as of May 31, 2019 is 4.41%. However, rates range from as low as 3.5% to as high as 7.84%, so finding the right lender can have a major impact on your finances for the foreseeable future.
Lets’s look at five of the best mortgage companies in California, as well as their minimum down payments, fee structure, and any other information that can help you make a decision.
The Top 5 Mortgage Companies in California
What makes SoFi particularly unique is that they don’t require borrowers to take out PMI (private mortgage insurance) with a down payment of less than 20%. This is unusual, but the cost ends up coming out of your pocket anyway; SoFi charges rates that account the risk of default.
With a starting APR of just 3.274%, SoFi’s rates are reasonable. The maximum loan amount in 2019 on a single-unit home is $484,350, but this can change for larger homes or states with a higher housing costs.
loanDepot is a great lender for those who already have a mortgage and are looking to refinance. The company offers low rates on 30-year fixed mortgages and provides adjustable mortgage rates as well. The lender provides a large variety of mortgage options, so borrowers will be spoiled for choice.
loanDepot offers online quotes without the need to provide a social security number. They are highly reputable direct lender, with an A rating from the Better Business Bureau and a 9.5 out of 10 rating on Trustpilot.
New American Funding
Borrowers with a poor credit score may be able to secure a mortgage with New American Funding. This lender has a number of services that cater to borrowers with bad credit. For example, they will evaluate applicants using manual underwriting.
New American Funding also offers loans for prefab homes, and will help borrowers find state programs that provide down payment assistance. The company will accept a minimum down payment of just 3%, which is great for low-income borrowers. The minimum credit score required to secure a mortgage is 620.
CitiMortgage offers great customer service and will accept low down payments without charging extra for PMI. Citibank is a well-respected and highly trusted company, so anyone doing business with them should feel confident that there won’t be any foul play.
In addition to fixed and adjustable rate mortgages, CitiMortgage also offers FHA and VA loans. Borrowers can put down as little as 3% for their down payment without needing to pay for PMI. The lender also considers alternative credit data and offers a discount to existing Citibank customers.
For those interested in going through the entire mortgage application process online, Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans is a great choice. The lender offers decisions in just minutes, making it one of the quickest ways to secure a loan, period.
To help expedite the application process, Rocket Loans allows potential borrowers to submit their financial documents online. In fact, the entire mortgage application process can be carried out completely on your phone — it’s truly a mortgage company for the digital age.
The minimum required credit score to secure a mortgage with Rocket Loans is 620. They will accept a minimum down payment of 3%.
Finding the right mortgage can be confusing. Luckily, an experienced real estate agent can help guide you through the process one step at a time. They’ll also be able to help you find a home that meets the requirements of your mortgage.
If you’re looking to buy a home, Clever can help. Buyers that work with a Clever Partner Agent are eligible for a Home Buyer Rebate that can help cover closing costs. If you purchase a home over $150,000 your receive $1,000 back or up to 1% back on homes over $500,000.