5 Best Mortgage Refinance Companies of June 2021

·21 min read

Interest rates are projected to stay low well into the rest of 2021. Refinancing could help lower your monthly mortgage payment by allowing you to change the terms of your mortgage. To help, we selected our top picks for the best mortgage refinance lenders as an extension of Money’s Best Mortgage Lenders and Best VA Loans.

To ease your mortgage refinance process, we also have a mortgage refinance calculator that can help you estimate how much you might be able to save.

Our Top Picks for Mortgage Refinance Companies

  • Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans

  • Bank of America

  • loanDepot

  • Navy Federal Credit Union

  • Nationwide

Best Mortgage Refinance Reviews

Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans Review – Best Refinance Lender Overall

Pros

Cons

Best rated for customer support

No in-person service

Ranked as the nation’s top refinance originator by the MBA

Streamlined online application process with eClosing

Features a mortgage refinance rates calculator

Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans (NMLS#3030) ranks as our best refinance mortgage lender overall because of its excellent track record in customer satisfaction, in-depth digital software, and web-based customer support.

Through Rocket Mortgage, Quicken’s digital platform, customers can automatically import their property taxes and home insurance information upon entering their address. Using eClosing, customers can modify their rate, repayment term, and costs to see other payment options.

Loan Types Offered:

  • Conventional 15 and 30-year mortgage

  • Adjustable-rate mortgage loans

  • Government-backed loans (FHA and VA loans)

Rocket Mortgage, an online lender, has consistently ranked first place in the 2020 JD U.S Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study, outperforming other lenders every year. Although the company is deeply rooted in online technology, it also has over 3,000 Home Loan experts available seven days a week to help you complete your application over the phone.

Bank of America Review – Best For Member Discounts

Pros

Cons

Exclusive membership discounts available on both purchase and refinance closing costs

No renovation loans

Physical branch locations available nationwide

Considers alternative credit data such as utility bills and rental payment history

Bank of America (NMLS# 399802) is our top mortgage refinance company for member discounts because of its Preferred Rewards program. With this service, members can qualify for a closing cost reduction of up to $600 from their purchase or refinance origination fees.

The program works in tiers ranging from Gold to Platinum Honors, with discount levels based on the tier for which each customer qualifies. A member’s tier is determined by qualifying balances in Bank of America banking and/or Merrill investment accounts.

Loan Types Offered:

  • Home equity loans

  • Fixed-rate mortgages

  • Adjustable-rate refinance loans

  • FHA and VA loans

  • Cash-out refinancing loans

Another perk of doing business with Bank of America is its comprehensive digital services, including an online tool to track the progress of your mortgage loan and refinance application in real-time. While the company doesn’t state a credit score requirement on its website, you can consult one of their loan officers to see if you qualify for refinancing.

loanDepot Review – Best For Online Mortgage Refinancing

Pros

Cons

mello smartloan” digital platform streamlines the entire loan process, from application to closing

Loan rates are not available online

200 locations nationwide and over 1,700 affiliated licensed loan professionals

loanDepot (NMLS# 174457) stands out for its “mello smartloan,” an end-to-end digital portal that employs artificial intelligence to verify asset and employment details and can also perform credit checks and begin the appraisal process.

loanDepot also has licensed loan consultants available to help the consumer select the best mortgage product for their particular financial situation. By calling their lending officers, you can also request information on their mortgage rates, which are unfortunately not readily available on their website.

Loan Types Offered:

  • Fixed- and adjustable-rate loans

  • Jumbo loans

  • Government-backed loans (VA and FHA loans)

  • Home Affordable Refinance Program Loans (HARP)

Choosing loanDepot for a mortgage refinance is rewarded with a lifetime guarantee. The company offers to waive lender fees and reimburse appraisal fees on future refinances after you’ve refinanced with them at least once.

Navy Federal Credit Union – Best from Credit Union

Pros

Cons

Online pre-approval application

Membership is limited to veterans, active-duty military, and their families

Sellers can contribute up to 6% of the value of the home towards closing costs

No FHA, USDA loans, construction loans, or reverse mortgages.

Doesn’t require private mortgage insurance (PMI)

Navy Federal (NLMS #399807) has mortgage refinancing options ranging from 10- to 30-year loan terms for their VA Streamline (IRRL) and Homebuyers Choice. Navy Federal also offers the Military Choice loan for those who have exhausted their VA loan option. However, they don’t offer FHA, USDA loans, construction loans, or reverse mortgages.

Loan Types Offered:

  • Conventional

  • Cash-Out

  • VA loans, VA Streamline

  • Fixed and adjustable-rate mortgage loans

  • Jumbo loans

Realty Plus and Navy Federal Title Services are tools that facilitate the mortgage refinance process for homebuyers looking to refinance or sell and buy new property. Realty Plus connects you with a real estate agent and an agent coordinator to assist you with your mortgage application. Further, if you close your mortgage with Navy Federal using Realty Plus, you can get $400-$8,000 cash back.

Nationwide: Best for Borrowers with Poor Credit

Pros

Cons

Refinance No Cash-Out and Cash Out options

Only operates in eight states: California, Colorado, Texas, Idaho, Washington, Oklahoma, Montana, North Dakota

Options for self-employed and low credit buyers

Will match competitor’s loan estimate offers

Free consultations

Nationwide Home Loans (NMLS #331347) ranks as a top choice for borrowers with poor credit for their Lease Option Program. The Lease Option Program requires that you have at least a 10% down payment and enough income for rent payment. Nationwide buys the home, and you sign a lease agreement with an option to buy within three years.

During those three years, you can live in your new home (paying the lease) while Nationwide helps you improve your credit score, sort out income reporting requirements, or perform whatever other steps are necessary to help you get ready to purchase the home.

Loan Types Offered:

  • VA loans

  • FHA loans

  • Conventional loans

  • Jumbo loans

Nationwide also offers a Best Rate Guarantee, where they match a loan estimate from another lender.

...) Other Companies We Considered

When we looked at the refinance mortgage lending industry, we found that many of the biggest mortgage refinance lenders didn’t necessarily offer the best refinance products, though they might excel in other areas. This eliminated some lenders, such as Guaranteed Rate or better.com.

Chase Review

Highlights from Chase (NMLS #399798)

What we liked

The deal breakers

Third-largest originator of mortgage loans in the country

Subject of several regulatory actions with the CFPB within the last five years (although none filed within the last three years)

Large variety of loan products, including adjustable-rate mortgages, 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year mortgages, FHA and VA loans, and the DreamMaker Mortgage Program

High number of customer complaints with the CFPB

Competitive mortgage interest rates

About Average rating in JD Power customer satisfaction survey

Online Refinance Learning Center with calculators for loan estimates, interest rates and terms, refinancing guides, and other homebuying resources

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating

Regulatory Actions with the NMLS

Minimum Credit Score

Refi Loan Types

810/1000

9

620

DreaMaker®, Fixed-rate, FHA, VA, Jumbo, ARM

Guild Mortgage Review

Highlights from Guild Mortgage (NMLS#3274)

What we liked

The deal breakers

Online mortgage application, e-signatures, and digital loan process tracking

Not available in New York or New Jersey

Direct lender services its own loans

Rates aren’t available online unless you apply

Typically won’t charge origination fees

Does not disclose fees or closing costs

Branches only in 25 states

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating

Regulatory Actions with the NMLS

Minimum Credit Score

Refi Loan Types

803/1000

3

640

Fixed, ARM, Cash-out, FHA, VA, USDA, Jumbo

U.S. Bank Review

Highlights from U.S. Bank (NMLS #402761)

What we liked

The deal breakers

Good variety of refinance loan offerings: traditional, cash-out, and a customer credit offer option that rewards homeowners with an existing first mortgage with U.S. Bank

Customer satisfaction rating was below average

Great online tools, with a fully digital application and a proprietary app

Mortgage rates on website assume a higher-than-average credit score

Provides general mortgage rates, with the option to input your state and narrow down results

No personalized quotes online

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating

Regulatory Actions with the NMLS

Minimum Credit Score

Refi Loan Types

802/1000

0

620

Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Cash-out, IRRL

PNC Bank Review

Highlights from PNC Bank (NMLS#446303)

What we liked

The deal breakers

Has current mortgage rates on its site, as well as helpful calculators

Process can’t be fully completed online

Home insight planner and application tracker

No branches in: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Lousiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, or Wyoming

Considers non-traditional credit history

Need to apply for an estimate to see loan details

Fees not clearly indicated on website

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating

Regulatory Actions with the NMLS

Minimum Credit Score

Refi Loan Types

791/1000

2

620

Fixed, ARM, Cash-out, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA

Caliber Home Loans Review

Highlights from Caliber Home Loans (NMLS #15622)

What we liked

The deal breakers

Flexible borrower qualifications

Information on interest rates and lender fees isn’t readily found on their webpage

Considers payment history instead of credit score or debt-to-income ratio, which makes it a great option for those with low credit scores or the self-employed

Charges a prepayment penalty

Accepts borrowers with a DTI of up to 50%

No discounts that reduce mortgage interest rates

Down payments can be as low as 3%

Below Average rating in the JD Power customer satisfaction survey

Streamlined application process

Variety of mortgage products including adjustable-rate mortgages, 10- to 30-year fixed mortgage, FHA, USDA, VA, and jumbo loans

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating

Regulatory Actions with the NMLS

Minimum Credit Score

Refi Loan Types

778/1000

1

620

Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA

Better.com Review

Highlights from Better.com (NMLS#330511)

What we liked

The deal breakers

Fast online process, with competitor price-match program

Online-only, no brick and mortar

No loan officer commissions or fees for lender origination, application, or underwriting

Not available in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada or New Hampshire

Smart tech automatically looks for and applies eligible discounts

Limited loan options

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating

Regulatory Actions with the NMLS

Minimum Credit Score

Refi Loan Types

Not Rated

4

620

Fixed, ARM, Conventional

Guaranteed Rate Review

Highlights from Guaranteed Rate (NMLS#2611)

What we liked

The deal breakers

Online and mobile services allow borrowers to upload and sign documents electronically

$150 application fee

300 branches across 45 states

Loan amounts and qualification requirements not disclosed

No home equity loans or lines of credit

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating

Regulatory Actions with the NMLS

Minimum Credit Score

Refi Loan Types

Not Rated

4

620

Fixed, ARM, Jumbo, FHA, VA

Reali Loans Review

Highlights from Reali Loans (NMLS#)

What we liked

The deal breakers

Completely online process

Website makes customers enter their data to provide any info

No origination fees

Limited selection of loan types

Customized rate quotes

Only available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington

5% minimum down payment

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating

Regulatory Actions with the NMLS

Minimum Credit Score

Refi Loan Types

Not Rated

5

620

Fixed

LenderFi Review

Highlights from LenderFi (NMLS#133056)

What we liked

The deal breakers

Comprehensive online capabilities

Not available in Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, New York, or Utah

No lender fees

Limited loan options

Minimal paperwork and quick closing times

Must go through quote process to gain information on loans

No local branch offices

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating

Regulatory Actions with the NMLS

Minimum Credit Score

Refi Loan Types

Not Rated

2

620

Fixed, ARM, Cash-out

Alliant Credit Union Review

Highlights from Alliant (NMLS#197185)

What we liked

The deal breakers

Rate watch sends a notification when rates have hit your target

No government-backed loans

Completely online application process

Doesn’t disclose loan fees

No in-person banking

Must be a member

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating

Regulatory Actions with the NMLS

Minimum Credit Score

Refi Loan Types

Not Rated

1

620

Fixed, ARM, Jumbo

Veterans United Home Loans Review

Highlights from Veterans United Home Loans (NMLS#1907)

What we liked

The deal breakers

Free credit counseling

Only has physical branches in 18 states

Representatives available 24/7

Won’t refinance FHA or USDA loans

Does not disclose closing costs or fees

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating

Regulatory Actions with the NMLS

Minimum Credit Score

Refi Loan Types

Not Rated

3

640

Fixed, ARM, Jumbo, VA IRRRL, Cash-out

SunTrust Review (now Truist)

Highlights from SunTrust (now Truist) (NMLS#399803)

What we liked

The deal breakers

Online mortgage application and tracking software

Customized rates are only available with an application

Comprehensive educational resources

Branches only available in: Alabama, Arizona, Washington DC, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia

Rates and fees not available online

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating

Regulatory Actions with the NMLS

Minimum Credit Score

Refi Loan Types

Not Rated

0

620

Cash-out, VA IRRRL

AmeriSave Mortgage Review

Highlights from AmeriSave (NMLS#1168)

What we liked

The deal breakers

Complete most of the application process online

High number of regulatory actions with the NMLS

Wide variety of loan options

$500 application fee

Closing time average of 25 days

Not available in New York or the District of Columbia

Doesn’t disclose origination fees or closing costs

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating

Regulatory Actions with the NMLS

Minimum Credit Score

Refi Loan Types

Not Rated

14

620

Rate and Term, Cash-out, FHA, USDA, VA

Ally Bank Review:

Highlights from Ally Bank (NMLS #181005)

What we liked

The deal breakers

Online application

Mortgage applications can only be completed with an in-person visit.

Fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, and jumbo loans available

Not enough information about rates, terms, and credit score requirements on their website

Quotes don’t impact your credit score

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating

Regulatory Actions with the NMLS

Minimum Credit Score

Refi Loan Types

Not Rated

2

680

Fixed-rate, ARM, Jumbo

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation Review

Highlights from Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation (NMLS #2289)

What we liked

The deal breakers

One of the largest refinance mortgage loan originators in the country, with over 400 locations

No accessible information on interest rates, required credit scores, minimum and maximum loan amounts, lender fees, or available discounts

Better than Most rating in JD Power’s customer satisfaction survey

Loan products include adjustable-rate mortgages, conventional loans, fixed-rate mortgages, jumbo, FHA, USDA, and VA loans

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating

Regulatory Actions with the NMLS

Minimum Credit Score

Refi Loan Types

Not Rated

3

620

Fixed-rate, ARM, Cash-Out

Wells Fargo Review

Highlights from Wells Fargo (NMLS #399801)

What we liked

The deal breakers

The second-largest originator of mortgage loans in the country

Subject to several regulatory actions by the CFPB for improper handling of mortgage loans and placing loans into forbearance without the borrower’s knowledge

Variety of mortgage loan products including FHA, VA, and Guaranteed Rural Housing programs, jumbo loans, 15-, 20- and 30-year mortgages, and adjustable-rate mortgages

A high number of customer complaints with the CFPB

Traditional banking plus online tools that allow borrowers to get a rate quote, upload documents, verify employment, and e-sign

About Average rating in JD Power customer satisfaction survey

Loan consultants available in-person at a bank branch or by phone

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating

Regulatory Actions with the NMLS

Minimum Credit Score

Refi Loan Types

Not Rated

9

620

Fixed-rate, FHA, VA, Jumbo, ARM, Cash-out

Mortgage Refinance Guide

Why Should You Refinance Your Mortgage?

Refinancing can lower the interest rate on your mortgage, help you obtain a lower monthly payment, and even get a shorter term. Homeowners also choose to refinance their homes for expansion or reparations. They can even use their home equity to consolidate debt or other financial emergencies. While some people may look at mortgage refinancing as a way to pay off credit card debt, this should only be considered if your debt is very high and keeps growing due to interest rates.

A refi is also the best way to get rid of private mortgage insurance (PMI) after you have reached 20 percent equity in your home.

Types of Mortgage Refinance

icon: calendar with percentage sign and down arrow
icon: calendar with percentage sign and down arrow

Rate-And-Term Refinance

Also known as a “no cash-out refinance,” a rate-and-term refinance adjusts the interest rate or the term (or both) of an existing mortgage while its balance stays the same. This option often has a lower interest rate than cash-out loans.

icon: circular arrow with dollar sign inside and zero
icon: circular arrow with dollar sign inside and zero


Zero-Closing-Cost Refinance

Some lenders offer “no-closing-cost” or “zero-closing-cost” refinance loans for those who qualify. These let you roll up closing costs into your mortgage loan. While you’ll still pay closing costs and interest on those fees, it won’t be upfront.

icon: hand holding a dollar bill
icon: hand holding a dollar bill


Cash-Out Refinancing

A cash-out refinance converts the home equity you’ve accumulated into cash, similarly to a home equity line of credit (HELOC). You’re essentially replacing your existing mortgage loan with a new loan that’s higher than your current mortgage balance. In turn, you get the difference in home equity as a tax-free cash advance paid to you at closing.

What to Watch Out For: The borrower may end up with a higher interest rate and may extend the life of the loan. Keep in mind that you should only borrow an amount that’s feasible to pay off.

icon: down arrow in a circle with dollar sign
icon: down arrow in a circle with dollar sign


Cash-In Refinance

A cash-in refinance lets you pay down an existing mortgage to lower your mortgage loan balance during a refi negotiation. Contrary to cash-out refinancing, this option may improve the chances of an underwater mortgage qualifying for a refinance. Generally, most lenders require an LTV ratio of at least 80%.

icon: piece of paper with x sign
icon: piece of paper with x sign


Streamline Refinance

Streamline refinance allows borrowers to refinance an existing FHA-insured mortgage with limited documentation or underwriting. These loans don’t require appraisals, in most cases only employment verification.

What Do You Need to Refinance Your Mortgage?

Regardless of the type of loan, there are three primary considerations lenders consider when applying for a new mortgage refinance: credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and average loan-to-value ratio (LTV).

Debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of Less Than 50%

Your debt-to-income ratio consists of all of your monthly debt payments added up and then divided by your gross monthly income. The DTI helps lenders determine your ability to manage payments and plays a key role when applying for refinancing.

Lenders usually require that your debt-to-income ratio be 50% or less to qualify for an FHA loan refinance. Meanwhile, conventional loans may allow DTI ratios of up to 43%, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

To get you started, we have a tool to calculate your current DTI ratio.

A Healthy FICO Credit Score

Refinance lenders have minimum credit score requirements. Experian, Equifax, and My Fico are authorized FICO score retailers. However, you can still obtain free copies of your credit report from the three main credit reporting bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian — at annualcreditreport.com once a year.

Average Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV) of 20% or More

The LTV is the amount of the loan you want to take out divided by the appraised value of your home. Most lenders require that borrowers have at least 20% in equity to qualify for a refinance.

Should I refinance with my current lender?

You can refinance and renegotiate the terms of your current loan with your lender, but it’s still wise to shop around and request loan estimates from multiple lenders, and look into current mortgage rates. You might find lender offers that are better deals in terms of refinance rates, loan products, or closing costs. While many lenders have their own calculators, you can also use our mortgage refinance calculator to get an idea of how much you could be saving.

Mortgage Refinance Checklist

When applying for a mortgage refinance, lenders will ask you for specific documents. Check out the list below to ensure you have everything you need:

✓ A copy of your government-issued ID or Social Security card

✓ A recent copy of your credit report

✓ Proof of income for the last 30 days

✓ W-2s for the past 2 years

✓ Federal tax returns (personal and business) for at least the last 2-3 years

✓ Written explanation if employed less than two years or if there’s a gap or change in employment

✓ Statements of outstanding debt and all current expenses

✓ Address of property to be refinanced and purchase contract

Homeowners insurance information such as the agent’s name and contact information

✓ Statements of assets

✓ Bankruptcy/ discharge papers if applicable

Enterprise-backed Mortgage Refinances

Starting this summer, eligible borrowers will be able to refinance their mortgage at a reduced interest rate and lower monthly payments. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), borrowers could save an estimated $100 to $250 a month.

To qualify, borrowers must:

  • Have a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) for the house they live in

  • Have an income at or below 80% of area’s median income

  • Have no missed payments in the past six months, and no more than one missed payment in the previous 12 months

  • Have a debt-to-income ratio below 65% or a FICO credit score of at least 620

  • Have a mortgage loan to value (LTV) ratio lower than 97%

Best Mortgage Refinance FAQs

What is refinancing?

Refinancing a mortgage is, essentially, replacing a current loan with a new one – whether changing the terms, interest rates, or amount borrowed. In the best cases, refinancing can help you save money on your mortgage payments by negotiating low rates or reducing your term.

When to refinance a mortgage?

The best time to refinance a mortgage is when the interest rates are lower than the one you locked in at the time of closing your mortgage. Lower interest rates will allow you to reduce your term and monthly payments.

How much does it cost to refinance a mortgage?

Refinancing your mortgage can cost around 2% to 6% of your loan amount.

What is the best refinance company?

Shopping around for a mortgage refinance company will help you get the best financial deal. We compared the best refinance companies and came up with a list of top companies, including Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans (Best Overall), Bank of America (Best for Member Discounts), and loanDepot (Best for Online Convenience).

What are today’s mortgage refinance rates?

Mortgage and mortgage refinance rates have been declining since 2019, hitting historical lows in 2020. Here are the most recent numbers.

How We Chose the Best Mortgage Refinance Companies

Customer experience

Our methodology considered lenders that provided online tools, pre-approval, discounts, or exclusive refinance programs above those that didn’t.

Data analysis

We considered lender size, reputation, and complaints. As part of our research, we consulted the Mortgage Bankers Association, J.D. Power’s U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study, and the NMLS (Nationwide Multistate Licensing System, or “Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System”).

Consumer feedback and expert input

We vetted each based on the most important attributes of a lender — price, process, and service — according to expert interviews and consumer feedback from a short poll that ran on Money’s social media platforms.

Summary of Money’s Best Refinance Companies of May 2021

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