Arkansas Mortgage Lender

    How To Find The Best Mortgage Lender In Arkansas

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    Compared to the rest of the United States, Arkansas boasts a lower cost of living. Here, you can purchase a brand-new home at the median price of just $156,800. 

    If you want to get the best deal and potentially save thousands of dollars, you need to choose the right mortgage lender. Factors such as lender availability, what loan types they offer, their unique rates, and the application process can directly influence your decision. 

    If you want to work with the best mortgage lenders in Arkansas, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, you’ll learn about the best Arkansas mortgage lenders in 2021 and how to pick the best one. 

    How To Pick The Best Mortgage Lender In Arkansas

    When shopping for the right mortgage lender in Arkansas, below are four factors that you should consider. 

    Loan Types

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    There are many ways to secure a home loan: through your bank, a credit union, or a private lender. If you’re unfamiliar with the different types of home loans on the housing market, here is a rundown of what they are and how they work.

    • Conventional loans: These loans are available through private lenders such as banks, credit unions, and mortgage agencies. They adhere to borrowing limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 
      • Fixed-rate: These loan types have unchanging interest rates available in 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30-year terms. 
      • Adjustable-rate (ARM): Unlike fixed-rate home loans, their adjustable counterparts have unchanging interest for a given period. After this, rates fluctuate according to changes in a market index chosen by the lender.
    • Government-backed loans: If you have poor credit or don’t have the money to make a sizable down payment, government loans by the Federal Housing Authority, Department of Veterans Affairs, and US Department of Agriculture can make it easier for you to qualify for a home loan. 
    • Mortgage refinance: Refinancing is ideal for homeowners who need to consolidate debt or pay off an existing loan. 
    • Home equity lines of credit (HELOC): Consumers who already have an existing home can use it as collateral to pay off other debts or purchases. 

    Application Process

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    If you are buying a new home for the first time, you want to work with a loan officer who can offer ample guidance throughout the process. When you apply for a mortgage, ask your potential loan officer the following questions: 

    • Do you take applications online? While not the end-all, be-all of what makes a good loan officer, communicating online can make it easier for consumers who are frequently traveling, busy, or live far from a physical location. 
    • Do you publish your mortgage rates publicly? Being able to compare mortgage products and fees allows homebuyers to budget before making a decision. 
    • Do your mortgage lenders give additional assistance? The best mortgage lenders are helpful and can guide you through important decisions. They can also provide valuable information about the process and options for financial assistance.  

    Affordability

    Interest rates change all the time, but some lenders make it easier for customers to find and purchase a home that suits their budget. You can determine a lender’s affordability by paying attention to these factors: 

    • Minimum credit score: On average, a loan officer will have a credit approval minimum of 620 to ensure that customers can reliably pay off their monthly dues. However, some lenders offer greater leniency to first-time, low-income homebuyers, helping them secure homes within budget.  
    • Minimum down payment: The typical home loan requires a down payment of at least 20%. However, some lenders allow you to put as little as 3% or offer down payment assistance, which makes it easier to own a home even with little capital. You could also secure a traditional loan with less than 20%, although lenders may require you to pay PMI – this can add 0.2% to 2% to your monthly premiums. Ultimately, it's about balancing what you can afford upfront versus what you can afford to pay in the long run. 
    • Additional fees: Most lenders charge 1% to 2% of the entire loan amount for their services provided. These might include origination fees, inspections, underwriting, and closing costs. However, not all lenders charge the same. Keep an eye out for their origination, title, and document preparation costs. Also, consider asking your lender if they can waive some of the fees or fold them into the loan.

    Customer Reviews & Satisfaction

    If a customer is happy with a specific mortgage lender’s services, you’ll likely hear about it online. Sites like the Better Business Bureau and JD Power provide consumer insights and reviews that you can use to guide your decisions. These websites rate Arkansas lenders according to trustworthiness, the range of home loans provided, how easy it is for clients to access information, and more.

    The Top 5 Arkansas Mortgage Lenders 

    Below are the top five mortgage lenders in Arkansas that can help you buy your first home. 

    Caliber Home Loans: Best For Low Down Payment

    Minimum credit score: 620

    Minimum DP: 3% 

    Loan types offered:

    • Purchase
    • Refinance
    • Jumbo
    • FHA
    • VA
    • USDA 

    BBB Rating: A+

    JD Power rating: 828

    Overview: Caliber Home Loans is one of the highest-volume mortgage lenders in the United States and has a wide variety of options for first-time homebuyers. Its HomeOne program provides educational information and requires only a 3% down payment for new homebuyers with a credit score of 620. Buyers who live off-location or prefer to communicate online can use Caliber’s mobile loan app for a streamlined application process. 

    Availability: Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia

    Loan Depot: Best For FHA Loans

    Minimum credit score: 580

    Minimum DP: 5%

    Loan types offered: 

    • Conventional loans
    • Refinance
    • Jumbo
    • FHA
    • VA

    BBB Rating: A+

    JD Power rating: N/A

    Overview: If you can’t qualify for a traditional home loan or don’t meet its required standards, Loan Depot offers alternative income verification. On top of that, you can also take advantage of its many budget-saving options. You can also renovate your property with an FHA 203(k) or apply for a traditional FHA loan with a down payment as low as 5%. 

    Availability: Available in all 50 states

    Rocket Mortgage: Best For Online Convenience

    Minimum credit score: 680 (conventional), 580 (FHA)

    Minimum DP: 3%

    Loan types offered:

    • Conventional loans
    • Jumbo
    • FHA
    • VA
    • Refinance 

    BBB Rating: A+

    JD Power rating: 883

    Overview: This mortgage lender is the most popular in the United States for its quick and easy online process. It also offers an impressive range of home loan products and lower-than-average credit score requirements. 

    If you can’t qualify with a traditional lender through traditional means, you can upload information such as bank and investment statements for your Rocket Mortgage loan officer to look over. Applicants can pre-qualify in as quickly as 10 minutes. 

    Availability: Available in all 50 states 

    Guild Mortgage: Best For First-Time Homebuyers

    Minimum credit score: 620%

    Minimum DP: 3%

    Loan types offered: 

    • Purchase loans
    • Refinance
    • Reverse
    • FHA
    • VA
    • USDA

    BBB Rating: B+

    JD Power rating: N/A

    Overview: This company offers a generous array of flexible home loans for first-time buyers and has a down payment minimum of just 3%. If you are buying a home for the first time, you can easily search for a property through the company’s website and complete a mortgage application online. Clients can also track and review their progress remotely, submitting documents through the Guild platform.

    Availability: Available throughout America

    Wells Fargo: Best Variety Of Loan Products

    Minimum credit score: 620

    Minimum DP: 3%

    Loan types offered:

    • Purchase loans
    • Refinance
    • Jumbo
    • FHA
    • VA
    • USDA 

    BBB Rating: N/A

    JD Power rating: 840

    Overview: For years, Wells Fargo has provided the widest range of home loans in America to date. To guide your decision, they also publish an always-update list of mortgage rates online. Customers can apply for online pre-approval and communicate with a Wells Fargo loan officer through their LoanTracker account.

    Availability: Every state except Vermont

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    The Bottom Line

    Arkansas’ low cost of living and high quality of life make it one of the most popular places to move to in the U.S. With the right loan officer, you can buy the property of your dreams even more affordably. By taking your time to study different loans and find a licensed lender, buying a house shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg!

    If you’re interested in valuable resources and information on the home loans process, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Wesley Mortgage, LLC. We can kick start your home buying journey with valuable tips and resources on how to secure your dream property!

    Written By Ed Wallace
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