The best mortgage refinance lenders of November 2020

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*Minimum credit scores are for conventional loans, or for VA loans from Navy Federal and Veterans United. 

Refinancing your mortgage can be a great way to secure a better interest rate, lower your monthly payments, or get rid of private mortgage insurance.

You don't necessarily need to refinance with the same lender you used for your initial mortgage, though. You might find a better fit — and a better deal — with a different company this time around.

We've chosen lenders that offer a variety of mortgages you can refinance into and have received an A+ in trustworthiness from the Better Business Bureau. Many of our top picks also thrive in customer satisfaction and accept alternative forms of credit if you don't have a credit score, making it easier to qualify.

You may notice this list looks similar to our guide for the best mortgage lenders. In both cases, we chose lenders who are trustworthy, prioritize customer satisfaction, and make the process relatively affordable.

The pros of Rocket Mortgage:

The cons of Rocket Mortgage:

The pros of Veterans United:

The cons of Veterans United:

The pros of Fairway Independent:

The cons of Fairway Independent:

The pros of Guild Mortgage:

The cons of Guild Mortgage:

The pros of New American Funding:

The cons of New American Funding:

The pros of PNC Bank:

The cons of PNC Bank: The pros of NBKC:

The cons of NBKC:

The pros of Navy Federal:

The cons of Navy Federal:

The pros of Chase: The cons of Chase:

The pros of Carrington:

The cons of Carrington:

The pros of Bank of America: The cons of Bank of America:

The pros of US Bank:

The cons of US Bank:

We looked at over two dozen mortgage lenders that refinance loans. Here are the ones we didn't choose as our favorites:

To choose the top mortgage refinance lenders of November 2020, we looked at four main factors:

What makes a mortgage refinance lender good?

A mortgage lender should offer the kind of mortgage refinance that best suits your needs. For example, if you already have an FHA loan, you might want to refinance into another FHA loan. 

A lender should be relatively affordable. You shouldn't need a super-high credit score to get a loan. It should also offer good rates and charge reasonable fees.

You want a lender that's known for high customer satisfaction, and one that's trustworthy. That's why we've looked at ratings from JD Power and the Better Business Bureau for each lender on our list.

Is it better to refinance with my current lender or with a new one?

It depends. If you value convenience, then you might prefer using your current lender. You'll already know how the company works and be familiar with its customer service operations.

However, just because a lender offered the best rate or lowest fees when you got your initial mortgage doesn't necessarily mean it will offer the best deal when you refinance. Your financial situation also may have changed since you got your first mortgage. For example, if your credit score has dropped, then you may need to find a lender that has a lower minimum credit score.

Which lenders offer the best mortgage refinance rates?

The answer could change by the day. Take a look at Business Insider's daily mortgage and mortgage refinance rate updates to see the average rates for various term lengths. If you have a good financial profile but a lender is charging you a higher rate than today's national average, you may want to look elsewhere.

But a low interest rate isn't the only expense that matters. Ask lenders for an itemized list of fees. Comparing closing fees among lenders is another way to see which is offering the best deal.

How can I get a good rate on my new mortgage?

To secure a low rate, focus on three main factors: credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and home equity.

You'll need a 620 credit score to get a conventional loan with most lenders, although some require higher. But the higher your score, the better rate you should get. To improve your credit score, focus on making payments on time, paying down debts, and letting your credit age if you aren't in a rush to refinance.

Your debt-to-income ratio is the amount you pay toward debts each month, divided by your gross monthly income. Lenders typically want to see a debt-to-income ratio of 36% or less. To get a lower ratio, you either need to pay down debts or earn more.

The more equity you've built in your home, the lower your rate should be. Calculate your loan-to-value ratio, or how much you still owe versus how much your home is worth. Many lenders want you to have at least 20% equity, but you may be able to refinance with a lower percentage if you have a great credit score and low debt-to-income ratio.

Who are the worst mortgage lenders?

The worst lenders are ones with F ratings from the Better Business Bureau, because a bad score indicates a company isn't trustworthy.

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Published on: 11/23/20, 2:14 PM