How We Determine the Best Jumbo Mortgage Loan Lenders
Buying a home in an expensive area can push you over conventional loan limits that mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac set. As of 2018, conventional limits are $453,100 in most areas and $679,650 in high-cost areas such as Dukes County, Massachusetts and Los Angeles County, California.
That means if you require a mortgage higher than those limits, you’ll need to apply for a jumbo loan. These types of loans can have different qualification requirements since your monthly mortgage payments will be higher than the average loan, which means higher risk for the lender.
To find you the top jumbo loan lenders, SmartAsset analyzed dozens of lenders in a variety of categories. Read on to find the best jumbo loan lender for your homebuying needs. SmartAsset’s data set included large bank lenders as well as internet-based, mortgage-only startup lenders. We ranked each mortgage provider on a variety of factors, including loan availability, rates, fees, customer satisfaction, customer service, web and mobile experience, preapproval/prequalification process and transparency.
|Quicken Loans |
|Best Overall|| ||Compare Rates|
|Ally Mortgage |
|Runner-up|| ||Compare Rates|
|SoFi Mortgage |
|Less than 20% down|| ||Compare Rates|
|Bank of America |
|Traditioanal Lenders|| ||Compare Rates|
Best Overall Jumbo Loan Lender: Quicken Loans
Quicken Loans came in as SmartAsset’s No.1 jumbo loan lender after ranking high for customer service, loan term availability, customer satisfaction, jumbo loan content and web experience. The online-only mortgage lender is known for a great customer experience and a quick mortgage application process. You can prequalify online with Quicken Loans’ Rocket Mortgage service or request an agent call you with more details. Quicken offers home purchase or refinance loans up to $3 million. Cash-out refinances are offered up to $500,000. Available jumbo loan terms include fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages.
One of Quicken’s highlights is its blog, Zing! You can find articles covering topics ranging from VA jumbo loans to down payments for jumbo loans. The blog provides content covering all aspects of homeownership. In addition to a dedicated personal finance blog, Quicken’s resources include calculators, first-time homebuyer guides and frequently asked questions sections. If you can’t find the answer you need from the company’s content, Quicken has an online chat feature and 85 hours of live phone support a week.
Where Quicken falls short is with rates. While the company offers plenty of loan options and flexible terms, for the most part, rates are higher than those at competitors. If that matters to you, Ally Bank, the runner-up, may be a better choice. Another potential downfall is that Quicken only offers services remotely. You have to apply over the phone or online, and you don’t have the option to stop by a retail location. If that’s something you prefer to do, you’d be best served by Bank of America, our fourth lender overall and one of the largest banks in the U.S. with plenty of retail options to choose from.
Runner-up Best Overall Jumbo Loan Lender: Ally Bank
Jumbo loan homebuyers who want the best rates will want to give Ally Bank a try. This internet-based bank regularly offers some of the lowest mortgage rates along with some of the most competitive high-interest savings accounts. It’s the bank for savvy shoppers who want the most for their money. Like most lenders, you will need at least 20% down to qualify for a jumbo loan with this bank. The company also came in second due to high customer service and satisfaction marks, decent transparency and an overall useful and coherent online experience.
Ally Bank offers different jumbo loan terms to choose from, including fixed-rate loans in 30-, 25-, 20-, 15- and 10-year terms. Adjustable-rate mortgages offered include 10/1, 7/1 and 5/1 terms. While Ally’s site doesn’t offer as much jumbo loan content as Quicken Loans’ site, you will find useful homebuying guides, mortgage process outlines, calculators, rate information and contact details.
A downside to Ally Bank other than the obvious - no physical locations - is a lack of government loan options. FHA loans and VA loans are available as jumbo loans in certain instances, but you won’t find conventional or jumbo government loan options at Ally. You’ll have to choose another lender, such as Quicken Loans or Bank of America for those options.
Best Jumbo Loan Lender for Homebuyers Without a 20% Downpayment: SoFi
SoFi is a San Francisco, California-based online loan startup that started in the student loan arena. It’s one of the few companies that offers mortgage loans with no origination fees. Along with that, SoFi allows homebuyers to put as little as 10% down for jumbo loans up to $3 million with no borrower-paid private mortgage insurance (PMI). This is a huge benefit as many lenders will require a 20% down payment (like Ally Bank) or will require you to get PMI if you don’t meet the minimum down payment.
The down payment advantage isn’t the only highlight. SoFi scored high for competitive interest rates, customer service and satisfaction, transparency and online experience. As an internet-based company headquartered in San Francisco, you can expect the company’s desktop and mobile experience to be top-notch. Online prequalification, preapproval and homebuyer education are all available remotely without the need to speak to a representative. There’s an informative frequently asked questions section, with questions ranging from “What types of properties are eligible?” to “Are there prepayment penalties?” For those who’d rather watch and listen to information, there are videos available that help you get a feel for SoFi.
SoFi’s downsides are a combination of our first two lenders’ cons. For starters, SoFi is online only, so you won’t have the option to meet a mortgage representative in person. The other drawback is that SoFi doesn’t have any government loan options, like Ally Bank. That means you’ll have to qualify for a traditional jumbo loan - not a VA or FHA jumbo loan. The best lender to satisfy both of those requirements is Bank of America, our pick for best traditional bank jumbo loan lender.
Best Traditional Bank Jumbo Loan Lender: Bank of America
If you’d rather work with an established, physical financial institution when applying for a jumbo loan, Bank of America is a top option. The national banking giant is one of the four largest banks in the U.S., and you can finds its branches across the country.That means you have the ability to apply for your mortgage in person if you choose. Bank of America also offers government loan options such as VA and FHA jumbo loans. Another highlight is rate transparency: you can easily find current rates by navigating to the company’s website. There isn’t the bait and switch that many lenders use to get you to give up your contact info just to get a rate quote.
You can also prequalify online. Current Bank of America customers can sign in under their account and apply from there, but new customers will have to create a log-in. Bank of America promises the prequalification process takes only minutes and that you can complete it from the comfort of your home computer. In addition to online prequalification and rate information, Bank of America has a comprehensive homebuyer education content library. Choose from articles, FAQs, videos and video transcripts, mortgage calculators and more. Another bonus of working with Bank of America is the option to bundle financial services. You can have a checking or savings account, credit cards, retirement accounts and other types of loans all housed at the same institution if you choose.
The drawback to this national bank is lower-than-average customer satisfaction scores. To be fair, the other three biggest banks in the U.S. - Chase, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank - have lower customer service scores than Quicken Loans, Ally Bank and other newer, internet-based lenders. It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker for some homebuyers, but it’s something to know up front before choosing to work with the company.