Louisiana Mortgage Lender

    How To Find The Best Louisiana Mortgage Lender

    With the median home price sitting at $163,100, Louisiana boasts many affordable homes. However, low home prices aren't everything when you’re looking to buy a house. There’s a lot of other things to consider, like picking the right lender and making sure you can afford the loan.

    You’ll need to search for the best mortgage lender if you want to make your dream home in Louisiana happen. But since different lenders offer different financial products, choosing the right lender isn’t easy. Read on to find out the best Louisiana mortgage lenders and find out five key criteria for finding the best lender for your new home!

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    Choosing A Louisiana Mortgage Lender 

    With all the options out there, it can be hard to choose one Louisiana mortgage lender. That’s why we’ve compiled five key criteria you can use to compare multiple lenders and find which one is the best choice to fund your new home in Louisiana.

    Mortgage Products Offered

    A lender that offers many loan types can cater to the needs of varying consumers. It’s a good idea to know what kind of loans Louisiana mortgage lenders offer so you can choose the one that fits your needs best.

    Here are the most common loan types offered by lenders in Louisiana:

    • Conforming mortgages: Conforming mortgages are any home loans valued under local lending limits. Louisiana mortgage limits are set at $548,250.
    • Jumbo mortgages: This loan type allows you to exceed local lending limits, albeit at higher mortgage rates.
    • Fixed-rate mortgages: These loans have static interest rates for their entire term. Their stability makes them good for consumers making their first home purchase.
    • Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs): Interest rates on an ARM change with index fluctuations. To provide initial stability, they often have a short period of low and fixed interest rates before it adjusts annually.
    • Government mortgages: These federal government-backed options offer advantages like low rates and reduced down payments. The three main government loan types are provided by the Federal Housing Authority, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the United States Department of Agriculture.
    • Mortgage refinance: Taking a refinance means getting a new loan to pay off your old one. This helps you save money by getting a better refinance rate or changing your loan terms. You can also convert home equity into cash by taking a refinance.
    • Home equity lines of credit (HELOC): A type of home equity loan that works like a credit card with your property as collateral.

    Affordability 

    Louisiana mortgage rates are subject to constant change and vary depending on a consumer’s unique situation, so we don’t focus on this as a consideration for affordability. Instead, we’ll examine how easy it is for consumers to qualify for a home purchase loan from Louisiana mortgage providers based on four criteria:

    • Minimum credit score: Your FICO score is usually the first thing lenders check to ensure you qualify for a loan. Most lenders look for a credit score of at least 620, but some of them may have higher or lower minimum credit scores.
    • Minimum down payment: Most lenders require a 20% down payment to qualify for a loan, but some lenders allow you to pay a minimum of 3% down. However, paying less than 20% down will require you to pay private mortgage insurance.
    • Closing costs: Mortgage lenders may require you to pay for additional closing costs – this may consist of application fees, origination costs, and other related expenses. 
    • Homebuyer assistance programs: Many states offer homebuyer assistance programs that provide loans with low mortgage rates or closing cost grants. While primarily aimed at first-time homebuyers, some of them are also open to repeat homebuyers.

    Application Process

    Another important consideration in your search is the ease of applying for a Louisiana mortgage. There are three key points when discussing a lender’s application process:

    • Availability of online application: An online application form is a large benefit for consumers since not everyone has the time to visit mortgage lender offices. 
    • Online rate information and other tools: You’ll have an easier time comparing lenders if they display Louisiana mortgage rate estimates and rate calculators on their website. Some Louisiana lenders may supply them on their home page, while others require that you provide financial information first.
    • Length of the application process: Applying and closing a mortgage takes time. Your processing time may vary depending on the lender’s workload. Most lenders close your loan in a few weeks to several months. 

    Customer Service And Ratings

    Having a lender that provides excellent service to its customers is a major benefit, which is why review scores are an important point of consideration in our Louisiana mortgage lender review. For a better measurement of this, we use consumer research data from two research organizations: J.D. Power and the Better Business Bureau.

    The Better Business Bureau measures a company’s trustworthiness among consumers with a letter grade. It evaluates several factors such as how a brand answers complaints as well as any government actions.

    J.D. Power is a market research organization that analyzes various industries. Its analysis/results are published annually, with the latest study being published in 2020. 

    Access To Services

    Lender accessibility is another important point. This criterion examines two key details:

    • Whether a lender provides mortgage services nationwide
    • How many branches it has and whether they’re evenly spread across the country

    Having only a few branches in several states isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. However, a mortgage lender with many branches in multiple states makes it easier for customers to get face-to-face consultations with mortgage brokers and officers. 

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    The Best Louisiana Mortgage Lenders

    With the five criteria above in mind, we’ve compiled our up-to-date list of top Louisiana mortgage lenders. These five Louisiana mortgage companies are all the best at something, so be sure to choose the one that best fits your requirements.

    1. Rocket Mortgage By Quicken Loans – Best Online Lender

    Credit score requirement: 620 for conventional & VA mortgage, 580 for FHA mortgage

    Down payment requirement: 3%

    Mortgage products offered: 

    • Fixed mortgage
    • Adjustable mortgage
    • Jumbo mortgage
    • FHA & VA mortgage
    • Mortgage refinancing

    BBB Rating: A+

    J.D. Power score: 883 (top-ranked in the 2020 study)

    Overview: Rocket Mortgage offers a wide variety of mortgage loan products similar to its parent company Quicken Loans. However, unlike Quicken, Rocket Mortgage has no physical locations – the entire mortgage process is done on its website.

    Rocket provides an easy and quick mortgage application process that can be completed within half an hour. It can also download your financial information so you don’t have to input them yourself. 

    Lender availability: Licensed to lend in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, but no branch offices

    2. Bank Of America – Best For Closing Cost Discounts

    Credit score requirement: 620 (640 for FHA loans and 660 for VA loans)

    Down payment requirement: 3%

    Mortgage products offered: 

    • Fixed mortgage
    • Adjustable mortgage
    • Jumbo mortgage
    • VA & FHA mortgage
    • Mortgage refinancing
    • HELOCs

    BBB Rating: A+

    J.D. Power score: 860 (second-best in 2020 study)

    Overview: As one of the largest banks currently doing business, Bank of America offers a wide variety of financial products. To complement its suite of mortgage products, this company provides a program called the Community Homeownership Commitment. This program provides down payment assistance and closing cost grants in select areas. 

    Potential borrowers can apply either online, by phone, or at the nearest branch. Once you’ve applied, you can track the loan’s progress through the Loan Navigator portal, meaning you don’t have to call your loan officer every few days. 

    Existing Bank of America clients get several benefits to complement its excellent service. Qualifying clients can take advantage of closing costs and interest rate discounts. 

    Lender availability: Licensed to originate loans nationwide with over 4,600 branches

    3. Veterans United Home Loans – Best For Military Families

    Credit score requirement: 640

    Down payment requirement: 0%

    Mortgage products offered: 

    • Fixed mortgage
    • Adjustable mortgage
    • Jumbo mortgage
    • Government-sponsored mortgage products
    • Mortgage refinancing

    BBB Rating: A+

    J.D. Power score: 873 in 2020 study

    Overview: Veterans United is the largest VA lender in the nation, serving current and former military members and eligible reservists. In addition to VA mortgages, it also originates FHA, USDA, and conventional home loan options.

    You can apply for a Veterans United loan through an online portal or over the phone. During your process, you also get 24/7 phone assistance. Its advisors are hired from all branches of the armed forces, so you’ll likely get the help that’s relevant to your unique situation.

    Lender availability: Available nationwide, but only has branches in 18 states

    4. Better Mortgage – Fast Closing Times

    Credit score requirement: 620 (500 for FHA)

    Down payment requirement: 3%

    Mortgage products offered: 

    • Fixed mortgage
    • Adjustable mortgage
    • Jumbo mortgage
    • FHA mortgage
    • Mortgage refinancing

    BBB Rating: B

    J.D. Power score: N/A

    Overview: Better is a 2014-founded mortgage lender that operates entirely online. Its mortgage service is mostly aimed at first-time homeowners and consumers with non-traditional credit situations. Better also boasts faster-than-average closing times. You can complete a loan application and get pre-approved within three minutes, then have it closed within 32 days – 10 days faster than the industry average.

    However, the coronavirus pandemic has impacted Better’s business more than other lenders. It was suspended from originating FHA loans but has now regained permission to issue them in 10 states: Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. 

    Lender availability: Services available in 46 states and the District of Columbia. The four states not covered are Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire. 

    5. Guild Mortgage – Best In Loan Variety

    Credit score requirement: 620

    Down payment requirement: 3%

    Mortgage products offered: 

    • Fixed mortgage
    • Adjustable mortgage
    • Jumbo mortgage
    • Government-sponsored mortgage products
    • Mortgage refinancing

    BBB Rating: B+

    J.D. Power score: 864 (ranked third in the 2019 study)

    Overview: Guild Mortgage’s mortgage brokers and loan officers specialize in government-sponsored loans, although it offers conventional mortgage options as well. In addition to the wide variety of purchase loans and refinancing, Guild also offers several other loan types like a low-down mortgage to purchase manufactured property and renovation loans. 

    Guild offers borrowers a fully online application process with all the requisite features, like document uploading and loan progress tracking. 

    Lender availability: Licensed to originate mortgages nationwide with branch offices in 31 states 

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    Closing Thoughts 

    From affordable homes to good food, there are many reasons to live in Louisiana. If you’re looking for a dream home in The Bayou State, getting the right Louisiana mortgage lender with the best rates can help you make it happen.

    Want to learn more about the mortgage and refinance rates in the state? Contact Wesley Mortgage, LLC today! Our team is ready to help you through the mortgage process for your dream home in Louisiana!

    Written By Ed Wallace
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