Jason Fell
Jason Fell Last Updated: January, 23, 2023, 10:41pm

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Shopping around for different mortgage options can be quite a headache. There are a million factors that you’ll need to take into consideration when looking for the right mortgage. Even seemingly insignificant factors can have an extreme impact on your finances. One-tenth of a percentage point might not sound like much, but it can add up to thousands of dollars over time. 

The average monthly mortgage payment for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is $2,064, and the average increases to $3,059 for 15-year fixed mortgages. If you can’t currently afford monthly payments around this amount, it might be a good idea to hold off on buying a home for a while. 

If you can afford them, then these are the four mortgage lenders that you should look into first:

  1. PNC Bank
  2. Chase Bank
  3. Rocket Mortgage
  4. Ally Bank
1

PNC Bank

Learn MoreOn PNC’s Website
Overview
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PNC Bank is based in Pittsburgh and was founded back in 1983. Since its inception, PNC has quickly become one of the most popular options for loans of all types, including mortgages. 

There is a lot to like about working with PNC, and we recommend starting your mortgage search with them. The main benefit is that they offer the widest variety of mortgages on this list. With PNC, it will be much easier to find a loan that fits your exact needs instead of trying to adjust your needs to fit a mortgage. For example, some mortgage options and loan programs don’t require a down payment, and other opportunities don’t require PMI.

  • Mortgage Types: Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Jumbo, HELOC, Community, and Medical Professional
  • Interest Rates: Vary, but typically lower than the national average
  • Terms: 10 to 30 years
  • Down Payment: As down as 0% with a USDA loan
  • Minimum Credit Score Requirement: At least 620
  • Average Closing Time: Between 30 and 45 days
  • Preapproval: As little as 30 minutes
  • Availability: All 50 states

There aren’t any downsides to taking out a mortgage with PNC Bank. The biggest issue would be that they don’t offer home renovation loans, which shouldn’t be a dealbreaker for new homeowners. 

Another potential complaint could be that there are only 27 states with a physical PNC Bank branch. However, exceptional online customer support is available everywhere, and most other options on this list are online-based only. 

With their competitive rate quotes and the simple loan process, it’s hard to beat the options at PNC bank. 

2

Chase Bank

Learn MoreOn Chase’s Website
Overview
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Chase is a national bank founded in New York City in1799. With a history spanning more than 220 years, it’s safe to say that Chase is one of the most experienced mortgage lenders in the country. 

There are a few key features that come with using Chase. The best feature is the excellent variety of resources made available. A few different calculators help you determine your mortgage payments and home affordability. Additionally, there are educational courses and home advisory clinics available as well. 

Chase also offers online customer support, which stands out among the competition, and mortgage discounts for existing Chase customers. The last feature worth mentioning is the Chase Closing Guarantee, which gives you $2,500 if the closing date is missed. 

  • Mortgage Types: Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, ARM
  • Interest Rates: Vary, but typically lower than the national average
  • Terms: 10 to 30 years
  • Down Payment: As low as 3% with the DreaMaker loan 
  • Credit Score Requirement: At least 620
  • Average Closing Time: Around 21 days
  • Preapproval: Up to two days
  • Availability: All 48 states in the contiguous U.S. (plus Washington D.C.)

The main downside of Chase is that it doesn’t offer USDA or HELOC options. However, these mortgage types aren’t prevalent, and most options on this list don’t include them. Another issue is that Chase isn’t available in Alaska or Hawaii. 

Lastly, the discount for existing Chase customers isn’t known to everyone. While the deal is pretty generous, you’ll need a significant balance in your Chase deposit or investment account to qualify.

3

Rocket Mortgage

Learn MoreOn Rocket Mortgage’s Website
Overview
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Rocket Mortgage (previously known as Quicken Loans) has been in business since 1985. The Detroit-based financial institution has been one of the most popular mortgage options since its founding. 

The two main reasons why Rocket Mortgage makes this list are convenience and versatility. Rocket Mortgage is an online-based company which means it’s accessible everywhere and has an excellent app. It’s also very beneficial for a variety of home purchases. You can use a Rocket Mortgage loan to buy or refinance a single-family home, condo, second home, or investment property. 

  • Mortgage Types: Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, ARM
  • Interest Rates: Vary, but typically the same as the national average
  • Terms: 10 to 30 years, but the YOURgage option allows you to select a custom term from eight to 29 years
  • Down Payment: As low as 3.5% with an FHA loan
  • Credit Score Requirement: Can go as low as 580 in some cases
  • Average Closing Time: Around 47 days
  • Preapproval: Typically takes about 10 minutes
  • Availability: All 50 states in the U.S.

The biggest downside of Rocket Mortgage is that it will require a hard inquiry of your credit report. As a mortgage company that tries to beat conventional mortgages and current mortgage rates, Rocket’s mortgage application process for loan offers comes with credit history checks. 

Hard inquiries can hurt your credit score, so you must ensure your score is as high as possible before applying for a mortgage here.

Another issue is that Rocket Mortgage doesn’t offer USDA, HELOC, construction loans, mobile home mortgages, or loans to purchase foreclosures.  While it’s excellent for refinancing and home equity loans, Rocket Mortgage can only do so much. 

The last concern with Rocket Mortgage is that there are no brick-and-mortar locations. However, it is an excellent online lender, with great online customer support, an online application, and a user interface that makes up for this fairly well. 

4

Ally Bank

Learn MoreOn Ally Bank’s Website
Overview
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Ally Bank was founded by General Motors in 1919 and has undergone a few name changes since then. It’s been known as Ally Bank since 2010 and has quickly become a popular option for people needing a mortgage.

The best part about Ally Bank is that some of their loans can eliminate PMI with just a 10% down payment. The industry standard requires a 20% down payment to negate PMI. The lender fees are some of the cheapest on this list, and the online customer support is excellent. 

Another benefit of Ally Bank is that they consider alternative credit data (such as rent and utility payments) that can increase the conditions of a mortgage. The last thing worth noting is that existing Ally customers can receive up to $500, which can be applied toward closing costs.

  • Mortgage Types: Conventional, Jumbo, ARM
  • Interest Rates: Vary, but typically lower than the national average
  • Terms: 15 to 30 years
  • Down Payment: As low as 3% with the HomeReady loan
  • Credit Score Requirement: At least 620
  • Average Closing Time: Around 36 days
  • Preapproval: As little as three minutes
  • Availability: Everywhere in the U.S. except for Hawaii, Nevada, New Hampshire, and New York

The most significant problem with Ally Bank is that their mortgage options are lacking compared to other lender offers on this list. Ally Bank doesn’t provide any FHA, USDA, VA, HELOC, or land loans and is only available in 46 states. 

The lack of brick-and-mortar locations can be frustrating at times. However, the online customer service and applications are solid enough to compensate for this issue. 

More information about home mortgage loans

It’s no secret that the housing market has become highly competitive in recent years. The high demand and low supply have resulted in astronomical costs for homebuyers. The average upfront cost of buying a new home is currently $43,874

While that might not sound too bad, this total only includes a down payment, closing costs, and the first monthly payment. Roughly 48.4% of American households have an annual income less than these initial upfront costs.

The Federal Reserve recently increased the interest rates on mortgages which will only make owning a house more expensive. In theory, this move should help the costs of homes to stabilize or possibly drop. However, you’ll be paying more in interest over the life of your mortgage. 

Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do over time to help save some money on your mortgage, starting with knowing about loans. 

There are plenty of terms to know, including VA loans, guaranteed rate and adjustable-rate mortgages, loan officers, and so-called jumbo loan products. Then, there’s also private mortgage insurance (PMI), an extra fee you might need to pay your mortgage company if your down payment is less than 20% on a conventional loan. 

Get the right mortgage to maximize your savings

It would be an understatement to say that the U.S. housing market has been unpredictable over the last few years. A low inventory of available homes and a boom in online real estate services have skyrocketed home prices. 

Mortgages have always been a standard part of buying a new home. But with this current housing market, it’s virtually impossible to buy a house without a mortgage.

The good news is that mortgages are not a particularly difficult type of loan to obtain. Naturally, there are plenty of restrictions and requirements, but far fewer of them than conventional loans. 

The hardest part about taking out a mortgage is selecting the best one for you. You’ll need to consider many factors, including the mortgage broker, mortgage calculator, origination fees, minimum down payment, interest rate, loan amount and loan term length, and average monthly payment. 

Taking out a mortgage is an enormous responsibility; you must shop around and compare your options. Start with the mortgage lenders listed above, but don’t be afraid to continue your search if you don’t get an offer you like. Mortgages last for decades and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Don’t settle for anything less than perfect. 

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