The best refinance mortgage companies are where to turn if you’re looking to refinance your mortgage loan, something that could be particularly prudent if it’s been a while since you last refinanced. Thanks to the current low rate environment, refinancing could lead to a substantial reduction in monthly payments – it’s estimated that around 2 million Americans could save more than $400 a month – or you may find you’re able to reduce your mortgage term, which could save huge amounts in interest over the life of the mortgage.
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There are many other benefits that may be afforded to you by refinancing, but the key to a successful transaction is finding the top rated refinance companies that can help in your endeavors. We’re here to help, with the following guide designed to help point you in the right direction of those companies that can offer you the ideal refinance mortgage loan for your needs.
We’ve highlighted those firms that can cater to a range of different requirements, from the best online lender to the company perfectly suited to the risk-adverse, as well as the best low-fee option and the top comparison site if you need a bit of extra support in your search for good refinance companies. There’s a special mention for the lender we’ve rated as being the best overall, too, so you’re bound to find a loan to suit.
We can help with other mortgage requirements, too, perhaps if you’re a first-time buyer searching for the best mortgage lenders, or are seeking the best reverse mortgage companies to boost your retirement income. Whatever your needs, we’ll be able to help, and thanks to the resurgent mortgage market, now could be an ideal time to see what’s out there.
What the experts say
According to advice from Experian, when searching for the best refinance mortgage companies, it's important to feel comfortable with the lender that you choose. It may prove the case that a particular refinance company doesn't quite offer the lowest rates but has convinced you with the standard of its customer service and communications. As a result, the best mortgage companies will usually offer a good combination of the following, and preferably all three:
Lowest interest rate: If you want a lower interest rate than you're paying on your current mortgage deal, shortlist all the lenders that offer the lowest mortgage rates right now. Mortgage loan amounts are usually so large that even a small reduction in mortgage rate will result in significant savings over the term of a loan.
Lowest fees: All mortgages come attached with fees. In the first instance, there's upfront fees (or closing costs) that must be paid when your new mortgage is agreed - if you want to keep these fees really low, you'll probably end up paying a higher mortgage rate. And secondly, there's ongoing fees, including charges if you're late making a payment, pay your mortgage off early, and so on. When refinancing, it's important to make sure the fees you pay don't outweigh the savings you'll make.
Great customer service: Relationships with mortgage companies tend to last years rather than months, so you'll want to find a lender that treats its customers well. At the start, you'll probably need help when applying, and going forward, you'll want updates and maybe advice on how your mortgage is progressing. Try to get a sense for how responsive a company is, their approach to sorting problems, and whether their customer service agents appear well-informed and willing and able to help.
Best refinance mortgage company
Rocket Mortgage, a subsidiary of Quicken Loans, is without doubt one of the slickest and most appealing of the best refinance mortgage platforms. The website is modern, welcoming and clear, giving users immediate access to the relevant loans and refinancing options that you might need. Importantly, it's also possible to complete the entire application process online if you so wish.
Rocket Mortgage has almost 3,000 reviews on Trustpilot, with an average rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars. Around two-thirds (65%) of reviewers rate the Rocket Mortgage experience as being Excellent, with praise regularly forthcoming for the seamless nature of the application process and how polite and helpful the customer service agents are. Less favorable reviews tend to focus on delays endured in closing mortgage loans.
Right from the start you can focus on the particular aspect of mortgage refinance that’s relevant to you – releasing equity, reducing payments, shortening terms – and can find out more information about how each process works and what it means for your budget. The site also includes stacks of well-presented information through a FAQ section, blogs and videos that talk you through refinancing options and solutions.
It's worth noting that using Rocket Mortgage will affect your credit score as soon as you apply, although the upside is the accuracy of the resultant quote, giving you an excellent indication of the deal that you can finally expect. And if you want to avoid the credit impact at first, it's also possible to use the refinance and affordability calculators to get a rough idea of your anticipated costs.
- Read our full Rocket Mortgage review
Best refinance mortgage company online
SoFi offers a relatively pain-free, very fast, extremely efficient and nicely streamlined refinance application solution. Everything is online, all you might like to see is accessible and you get the results of your mortgage enquiry in minutes. You can pre-qualify and pre-approve online and you can use the Home Loan Help Center to find out the information you need around credit scores and paperwork.
SoFi has received around 2,500 reviews on Trustpilot, and earns an average rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars. Although the reviews take in much more than just refinance mortgages, that a hugely significant 79% of customers have rated SoFi as Excellent is reassuring nonetheless, with the ease of their application processes gaining a lot of plaudits. Most grievances typically surround overly long closures and loan rejections.
The customer reviews are mostly positive and the company itself is really proactive in responding to negative reviews as well, which is a nice change from the norm. That said, SoFi isn’t easy to use when it comes to finding out detailed information about its various packages and the initial administrative exercise of setting up and form-filling can be a bit more taxing than with some of its competitors. It should also be considered that the minimum credit score of 680 asked of its borrowers is a little loftier than some of its rivals too.
However, as a digital-only platform, SoFi manages to keep the rates and fees it charges customers relatively low, and are mercifully kept to a minimum in number, with no hidden or unnecessary expenses.
- Read our full SoFi review
Best refinance mortgage company for the risk-adverse
If you're searching for the very best refinance mortgage companies, U.S. Bank is reputable, certified and packed full of features. Here you can refinance, you can mortgage, and you can do all the different bits in between. This is a great choice for someone who already has a U.S. Bank portfolio or someone who wants to work with a reputable company that gets them from point A to point B without risk. U.S. Bank has made a lot of effort to create a refinance solution that’s accessible and easy to understand.
Around 750 reviews of U.S. Bank have been posted on ConsumerAffairs over the past year, with an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars. Testimonials relating purely to refinance mortgages are hard to find, but on a general basis, reviewers praise the personalized customer care the bank delivers and the professionalism of its staff. Where customers are unhappy, it's often because of frustrations with tracking down the correct departments and being kept waiting.
If you have a favorable credit score and decent downpayment, U.S. Bank really comes to the fore, and with a presence in every single state, is truly available to all. You can use their calculators and pre-qualification processes to work out how much you can borrow and whether or not you’re going to save on your existing mortgage., while its customers reserve particular praise for the available online tools and support.
Perhaps understandably for such an established banking behemoth, the administrative side of things does not usually compare well with the streamlined solutions available from some of the newer digital kids on the block. Some additional costs might also see the overall price of the proposition rise a little beyond the norm too. However, at times such as now, reputation, steadfastness and trust - along with the broadness of its offerings overall - can count for a lot.
- Read our full U.S. Bank review
Best refinance mortgage company for low fees
Reali Loans is a good refinance mortgage option if keeping the fees that you must pay in check is a priority. The company also consistently receives good customer reviews and offers a simple and straightforward process for applications and approvals. You will find the platform easy to use and the overall process very low on frustration and high on capability.
Reali has received just 260 reviews on TrustPilot at the time of writing, but with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, this small band of reviewers are certainly content. A huge 86% of those rate the service provided by Reali as Excellent, and it's difficult to find an instance where a bad word is spoken about the various agents who are regularly name checked in reviews.
Estimated quotes will arrive almost instantaneously, followed by an explanation of ways to strengthen and fine-tune them, while there is the added option to experiment with different interest rates, monthly payment amounts and loan terms. As it is also possible to revisit your fees, this is where Reali's excellent reputation for charges comes in - that the company is often willing to remove unnecessary charges and commissions is a significant plus point too.
The only thing that drops Reali Loans down in the rankings is that it doesn’t offer any home equity products, so that is off the refinancing table. That it is only available in 12 states also restricts its appeal, but if you are fortunate enough to live somewhere where access allows, a relatively stress-free refinancing experience usually awaits.
- Read our full Reali Loans review
Best for cost-effective refinancing
With some great APRs, relatively low fees and friendly FICO credit score expectations, Guaranteed Rate offers customers an accessible and cost-effective refinancing option. The platform is clean and well-designed, with information easy to find. Indeed, it is possible to quickly locate their refinancing tools and their various requirements around down payments and credit scores, while the refinance calculator can be used to work out costs before you set down the application road.
Guaranteed Rate has received over 370 reviews on ConsumerAffairs over the past year, at an average rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars. The online experience, mortgage options and professionalism of staff all earn praise, while complaints tend to surround unanswered queries and applications that have dragged on longer than they should, or came to an abrupt halt altogether.
One of the excellent value-added services that Guaranteed Rate offers to customers is its research center. Here you can find real-time neighborhood data information using your ZIP code or city name. The tool gives you insight into cost trends, taxes, ratings and more. It’s very useful for you if you want to know more about the value of your home and your refinancing options.
For prospective borrowers concerned that their credit history is perhaps not all that it could be, the minimum FICO score required by Guaranteed Rate of 580 is much lower than that of many of its rivals. In addition, the company has several physical offices behind its online presence, something that may appeal to those who prefer the more traditional method of managing their finances face-to-face. One thing to note is that the final list of services required by the lender usually ends up quite lengthy; there is nothing untoward and everything is clearly laid out for you to see, but the overall cost might creep up on you as a bit of a surprise.
- Read our full Guaranteed Rate review
Best site for comparing refinance mortgages
LendingTree’s online marketplace brings together offers from various lenders – some well-known banks and some smaller lenders vying for your business on nearly any kind of loan, often with lower rates. This means by using their database you will find the best refinancing rates from the most competitive companies, regardless of whether you are looking for an established and reliable lender or newer company.
LendingTree has received over 9,000 reviews on TrustPilot, earning a highly impressive average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars in the process. With the site providing the widest range of financial services, reviews solely focused on refinancing are hard to find. However, in general, customers applaud the professionalism of LendingTree, the expertise of its staff, and the depth of product options it quickly provides. Those who are unhappy tend to be receiving too many calls from agents chasing up leads.
You can also find a lot of information on the website, including estimated rates based on your location, loan amount and credit score. In addition, you can preview each lender’s estimated fees. This provides you with a lot of information and gives you the knowledge you need to make an educated loan - knowing what it will mean both for you and your future home.
Once you fill in the offer form, lenders will begin calling you with offers - this can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it saves you the legwork of finding a refinance lender, but on the other, it also means their sales team will have your contact details, and will phone and email you about their latest offers. Depending on how much you value your privacy and hate direct sales, it might be better to find refinance lenders through good old fashioned research. Encouragingly though, LendingTree is trying to improve on its call handling system to prevent customers from being overwhelmed by sales staff, and wants to provide easier to find opt-out options.
As you compare rates and offers, pay close attention to the annual percentage rates; this will give you a more accurate sense of the loan’s actual cost. Once you choose an offer, the rest of your mortgage or refinance application happens with that lender. This site is best for people that are looking to find the lowest rates possible on a refinance as it gives you a robust, comprehensive view of the market and includes many smaller lenders you may have overlooked.
- Read our full LendingTree review
Best refinance mortgage companies advice
Choosing the best refinance mortgage companies
The best mortgage refinance company for you will depend on several factors, such as location, budget and whether you like to deal with loan officers in person or are comfortable conducting all your transactions online or by phone.
Big banks offer many types of loans and are likely to continue servicing your loan rather than sell it off to another company. They’re a good option if you like the convenience of having your checking account and mortgage in the same place. Some banks even offer certain discounts or credit card points for customers who take out mortgages with them.
On the other hand, a small local lender could have more familiarity with real estate in the area, and its loan officers might have more flexibility to cut deals on rates and fees. Online-only lenders like SoFi, meanwhile, have low overhead costs, which could translate to better rates and lower fees for you.
The bottom line is shopping around is key, and you should aim to get a quote from at least three lenders to see which can provide the best loan for your needs.
When should you refinance your mortgage?
Most people will seek out the best refinance mortgage companies if they believe it's possible to secure a lower interest rate than what they are paying on their current mortgage deal. With rates having been either at or near to record lows for much of last year, millions of homeowners have found it profitable to refinance, and many more could put themselves in a better financial position if they were to switch deals too.
That said, it's also important to check the terms of your current mortgage in case there is a penalty for leaving the deal. Some mortgages charge a fee for paying off a loan early in the first few years of the mortgage, so any costs that might arise from this need to be considered when working out whether moving to the best refinance lender is worth your while.
On a similar theme, refinancing a mortgage will ultimately only be worth it if you intend to stay in your current house for a while. This is because of the closing costs that home movers are required to pay, including for the mortgage application, lender processing costs, appraisals, and so on.
Others might consider refinancing their mortgage in order to shorten the length of their mortgage plan. Refinancing from a mortgage with a 30 year term to one of 15 years would see you own your house a whole lot sooner and likely save money on interest payments at the same time. However, as such a move means you'll be making higher monthly payments, it is an option that should only be taken if you're certain your finances can take the strain, and have worked out exactly what mortgage you can afford.
Consolidating debt is another reason many people look to refinance their mortgage, and involves borrowing against the equity in your home to raise enough money to pay off the debts that you owe. If you’re paying high interest rates on debts held on perhaps credit cards, auto loans and student loans, it could be worth consolidating it all down into a mortgage loan, if the monthly payment works out less than the combined total of the individual payments that you’re making.
Using some of the home equity that has built up to pay for home improvements is another common reason that Americans look to refinance their mortgage. If moving is not on the agenda, making the most of your current home is a must, and could drive up the value of your property in the process.
Is now a good time to refinance your mortgage?
Whether now is a good time to approach the best refinance mortgage lenders will depend on your current circumstances and perhaps even what you think the future might hold.
Anyone looking to refinance right now will need to make sure that they are in a good position to qualify, particularly as mortgages have tended to become harder to secure amid the pandemic. In this regard, the health of your credit score is vital, as the lowest mortgage rates – and therefore the ones that could make a real difference to you financially – are only offered to those with the best credit. To secure one of the best rates, you will usually need a “very good” credit score or better, so a rating above 740. If your credit requires a little attention, the best credit repair services are definitely worth a look.
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