New Yorkers have plenty of options when looking for a mortgage lender. But with so many choices, it can be hard to decide which company to trust with something as important as a home purchase.
That’s where SmartAsset comes in. We researched lenders large and small and analyzed a variety of factors important to New York homebuyers.
How We Determine the Best Mortgage Lenders in New York
SmartAsset reviewed the top mortgage lenders in New York, looking at loan originations, loan availability and variety, physical presence in New York, customer satisfaction, online bill pay, fees and rates and customer service. Below, we give you details on the best lenders we found.
|Overall|| ||Compare Rates|
|Guaranteed Rate |
|Runner Up|| ||Compare Rates|
|Bank of America |
|In Person Borrowers|| ||Compare Rates|
|Rocket Mortgage |
|Online Borrowers|| ||Compare Rates|
Best Overall New York Mortgage Lender: Chase Bank
It’s only fitting that the top New York mortgage lender is a bank that’s founded and headquartered in New York, New York. Chase Bank received top marks for a variety of factors, including attractive rates and fees, customer service and satisfaction, website and mobile functionality, loan variety and more. For New Yorkers looking for the best rates, this was one of the top lenders. Chase consistently has lower rates than many comparable large lenders, such as Wells Fargo and CitiMortgage. It often even beats out internet-based lenders, such as Quicken Loans.
Chase offers conventional mortgages, jumbo loans, FHA and VA loans and an option called the DreaMaker® Mortgage. This mortgage loan is for those with limited income. It requires as little as 3% down and comes in the form of a 30-year fixed-rate loan. Chase also offers refinance options for New Yorkers hoping to lower their monthly mortgage payments.
As for the customer experience, Chase delivers 92 hours of live phone support. You can also email, tweet, fax or visit a branch. In addition to accessibility, Chase has a relatively low ratio of complaints to mortgage originations. This is relatively rare among big bank lenders. Generally, the larger you are, the more complaints you receive. CitiMortgage and Bank of America, two comparable banks, have a much higher complaint percentage.
Along with offering low rates and fees and a good customer experience, Chase offers online prequalification. It’s easy to navigate the website, which contains useful information, offers mortgage tools and resources and presents information through video on top of the written content.
The only real downside to a Chase mortgage would be if you want a USDA loan. If that’s what you’re after, you might want to give the runner-up, Guaranteed Rate, a try.
Runner-up for Best New York Mortgage Lender: Guaranteed Rate
Guaranteed Rate, a mortgage lender that debuted in 2000, is a great option for New Yorkers who would like to apply for USDA loans or work with a non-bank lender. The company has five locations within New York State and also offers mortgage originations online. You’ll find an up-to-date digital experience at this firm. You can apply for a prequalification online through a smooth interface; check rates, mortgage loan options and testimonials; and watch videos all from the comfort of your home computer or mobile device.
In addition to offering a wide array of mortgage loan products, Guaranteed Rate has low rates for many of its loan offerings. You can often find lower rates with the company than with Chase, our No. 1 New York lender. However, keep in mind rates change and depend on your credit score, down payment and debt-to-income ratio.
One drawback to Guaranteed Rate is that the origination fee can be higher than average when compared to other lenders. But, it’s important to note the company is not attached to a bank. That means as a standalone lender, the fees are likely required for actual administrative needs, and not included as a way to just make money off borrowers. However, if you like bundling your services in one spot, such as having your checking and savings accounts, retirement, credit cards and mortgage all at a single institution, you may find Chase Bank or Bank of America better picks.
Best Lender for In-Person Service in New York: Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the top four largest banks in the U.S. That means you’re likely to find a location relatively close to your town or city if you live in New York State. That’s perfect if you’d prefer to sit down with a loan representative about making a home purchase. While face-to-face service is available, you can also accomplish everything online if you choose. Bank of America has a fully-functional online experience that includes prequalification, homebuyer education, video content, calculators and resource and a frequently asked questions section. You can schedule an appointment or a callback and representatives are available over the phone six days a week.
Current Bank of America customers may find it easy to apply for a home loan through the bank with which they already have a relationship. It can make everything a little smoother when your mortgage and your assets are housed with the same financial institution. It’s by no means a requirement to apply for a home loan, but it’s something to consider to make your life easier.
Overall, Bank of America’s rates and fees are about average, and customer satisfaction is not as high as our first two picks for best lender in New York. That means if you’re a first-time homebuyer, you may want to select a lender that has better customer satisfaction (such as Chase or Guaranteed Rate), as it can be tough to navigate the intricacies of home lending without excellent customer service.
That said, if you want the human experience, Chase or Guaranteed Rate cannot match Bank of America’s accessibility.
Best Online Lender for New York: Rocket Mortgage
Rocket Mortgage is the online application face of Quicken Loans, the largest online lender in the U.S. New Yorkers will enjoy the speediness of the company’s loan approval process. Rocket promises you’ll “get an approval to buy a home or refinance your mortgage in minutes” and a “rocket-fast closing where you want, when you want.” In addition to fast service, Rocket boasts a large number of loan options. Choose from conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA and USDA loans as well as a 1% down payment option and the company’s signature YOURgage.
The YOURgage loan allows you to pick your fixed-rate conventional loan term, starting at eight years and going up to 30. That means if you want to do something unusual, like 17 years, you can. Another advantage is that you can pay as little as 3% down.
Of course, there are a few downsides to consider. For one, the website isn’t transparent. It’s hard to see what loans are available as well as what rates. That means you’ll have to fill out a prequalification even to find that preliminary information. You also won’t find home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), two financing options you’ll find at bank lenders. As a mortgage-only lender, Rocket is limited to purchase loans and refinances.