Maine Mortgage Lender

    Finding The Best Maine Mortgage Lender: Our 5 Top Picks

    Maine’s median home value sits at $190,400, far lower than the national median of $269,039. Its place as the 27th most expensive state means the perfect home in Maine is much more affordable compared to places like Massachusetts and New York. 

    Low home prices are a good place to start, but it won’t matter without a good mortgage lender. Different mortgage lenders offer loan products that cater to various needs – it’s essential to find a lender offering loans that fit your budget and requirements.

    Find out our picks for the best Maine mortgage lenders in this article. Not only that, but we’ll also help your search by providing you with key criteria in choosing the best mortgage lender. 

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    Choosing A Mortgage Lender

    Picking the best lender requires a lot of legwork. To simplify your search, we’ve chosen five key factors that can help you compare multiple lenders and choose the one that best suits your needs. 

    Mortgage Loan Products Offered

    Different financial products cater to different homebuyers, so mortgage lenders who have more loan types on offer would have an edge in this category. Here are some of the most common mortgage loan products available on the market today:

    • Conforming mortgages: Home loans that fall under local mortgage loan limits. The maximum loan amount in the Pine Tree State is $548,250. 
    • Jumbo mortgages: An alternative to conforming loans that allow borrowers to surpass local loan limits. However, they usually have higher interest rates. 
    • Fixed-rate mortgages: True to their name, these loans have fixed interest rates throughout the entire life of the loan. This stability makes them popular among new home buyers and long-term financial planners. 
    • Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs): These loans have interest rates that fluctuate according to market conditions. However, they have an initial period of fixed interest rates that range between 3 and 10 years. 
    • Government loans: Most government-backed mortgage options offer perks like low rates and reduced down payments for eligible homebuyers. The three most prominent government loan types are provided by the Federal Housing Authority, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the United States Department of Agriculture. 
    • Mortgage refinancing: A refinance entails taking out a new mortgage to pay off your existing one. This is usually done to save money through better refinance rates or change your mortgage terms. Cash-out refinances can also convert part of your home equity into cash.
    • Home equity lines of credit (HELOC): A credit card-like loan that uses your property as collateral.

    Affordability 

    Lenders determine your rates by assessing your ability to repay the mortgage. Since mortgage rates are subject to constant change and low rates are never guaranteed, we examine how easy it is to get a loan from mortgage lenders. 

    Our four affordability criteria are:

    • Minimum credit score: Your FICO score is essential in determining whether or not you qualify for a loan because it shows how likely you are to make your debt payments on time. This score ranges from 300 to 850, but many lenders set a minimum of 620 to qualify for their loan products. 
    • Minimum down payment: Most lenders require you to pay at least 20% down. However, many lenders allow you to pay as little as 3% down, but this may saddle you with private mortgage insurance expenses.
    • Closing costs: Your lender may require you to pay additional fees, like application and origination fees, when closing your loan. The amount of these fees varies by lender, but they generally cost about 2-5% of your loan amount. However, some lenders may waive these fees, generally by folding them into your interest payments. 
    • Homebuyer assistance programs: Most states have housing authorities that offer assistance programs. These programs can range from low-rate mortgages, down payment loans, to closing cost grants. While they’re mostly geared for people buying their first home, many of them are also offered to repeat homebuyers.

    Application Process

    The ease of applying for a mortgage is also an important point of consideration. Three key details make up this criterion:

    • Availability of online application: Being able to complete the mortgage process online is a sizable advantage, especially for people who are busy or live far away from mortgage lender offices. However, the lack of an online mortgage application isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker.
    • Online rate information: Having mortgage rate information displayed on the website makes it easier for you to research and compare rates. 
    • Length of the application process: Time is a key factor in mortgage lending because you may be racing to buy a home before someone else snatches it up. Depending on the lender, your loan application may be closed within a few weeks or even several months. 

    Customer Service And Ratings

    A mortgage is a major financial commitment, so you’ll want a lender that’s always there to help you. One way of seeing whether a lender has good customer service is by looking at review scores. To properly measure this, we use data from two rating organizations: J.D. Power and the Better Business Bureau.

    J.D. Power is a market research firm specializing in customer feedback across many industries. It publishes study results annually, ranking lenders based on its research scores. 

    Meanwhile, the Better Business Bureau specializes in scoring a business’s trustworthiness. It measures this quality with a letter grade ranging from F to A+ based on factors like how well a business handles complaints and whether it’s been subject to government actions. 

    Access To Services

    Our last point of consideration is the lender’s accessibility. Even if a lender offers the lowest rates and high-quality customer service, it won’t mean anything if it doesn't originate loans in your area. 

    If a lender is licensed to operate in multiple states, you should also check how many branches it has – and see if there’s one near you. Having a branch office near where you live makes it easier for you to get face-to-face assistance with their loan officers or mortgage brokers.

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    The Best Maine Mortgage Lenders 

    With the five criteria discussed above, we’ve picked five of the best lenders in Maine. These lenders all have different specializations and cater to different people, so make sure you choose the one that best suits your needs.

    1. Fairway Independent Mortgage – Best For Product Variety 

    Credit score requirement: 620 (580 for FHA & VA loans)

    Down payment requirement: 0-5%

    Loan products offered: 

    • Fixed-rate mortgage
    • ARM
    • Jumbo mortgage
    • VA, FHA, USDA home purchase loans
    • Mortgage refinancing

    BBB Rating: A+

    JD Power rating: 865 in 2019

    Overview: This Wisconsin-based lender was founded in 1996 and has provided more than $65 billion in home loans. It offers a wide variety of loan types catering to all types of homebuyers. 

    In addition to helping home purchases, Fairway also offers renovation loans. Its HomeStyle Renovation Loan combines purchase and renovation loans into one mortgage. 

    Fairway offers online loan applications through the FairwayNOW mobile app as well as its site. Potential borrowers can also make a phone call or visit a branch for loan applications with the help of a mortgage officer. 

    Lender availability: 700 offices across all 50 states and the District of Columbia

    2. Rocket Mortgage – Best For Online Lending

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

    Down payment requirement: 3%

    Loan products offered: 

    • Fixed-rate home purchase loan
    • ARM
    • Jumbo home purchase loan
    • FHA & VA home loans
    • Refinance loans

    BBB Rating: A+

    JD Power rating: 883 (top-ranked in the 2020 study)

    Overview: Rocket Mortgage is Detroit-based lender Quicken Loans’ online mortgage arm. This means its wide variety of loan products mirrors all products offered by Quicken Loans. 

    Since it’s founded as an online lender first and foremost, Rocket has no physical locations. All loan applications through the company must be done online, and its site makes sure that the process is as easy as possible. It also provides robust online capabilities and features like electronic paperwork signing so you can go through the entire process without leaving the home.

    Lender availability: No branch offices, but covers all 50 states and the District of Columbia

    3. New American Funding – Best Lender For First-Time Home Buyers

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

    Down payment requirement: 3%

    Loan products offered: 

    • Fixed-rate mortgage
    • ARM
    • Jumbo mortgage
    • Government-sponsored home purchase loans
    • Refinance loans

    BBB Rating: A+

    JD Power rating: N/A

    Overview: California-based lender New American Funding is one of the few national lenders that are still family-owned. Despite this, the latest loan origination volume data places it as a top 20 lender in the nation. 

    This company prides itself on serving the underserved populations, with claims that 28% of its loan volume was provided to Hispanic and Black customers. It also offers bilingual phone support in English and Spanish.

    New American Funding uses manual underwriting, helping people with non-traditional credit qualify for loans. Therefore, New American Funding may take a little longer to process your application – the average closing time sits around 35 days.

    Lender availability: Home loans are available across all states and the District of Columbia, but the lender only has 200 branches in 31 states.

    4. Navy Federal Credit Union – Best Mortgage Lender For Veterans

    Credit score requirement: N/A

    Down payment requirement: 0% minimum for military families

    Loan products offered: 

    • Fixed-rate purchase loan 
    • ARM
    • Jumbo purchase loan
    • VA home loans
    • Mortgage refinance loans

    BBB Rating: N/A

    JD Power rating: 867 in the 2020 study

    Overview: Navy Federal was founded to fulfill the military community’s banking needs. This Virginia-based credit union serves veterans, active military members, some federal employees, as well as their families. 

    Navy Federal’s two premier loan types are the HomeBuyers Choice Mortgage and the Military Choice Mortgage. Both of these are zero-down loans without mortgage insurance fees geared for first-time homeowners and military borrowers, respectively. You can even save money in the short term by folding your closing fees into your interest payments.

    Lender availability: Licensed to provide home loans for the entire nation with 322 branch locations in 30 states

    5. Carrington Mortgage Services – Best For Low Credit Scores

    Credit score requirement: 620 (500 for FHA & VA loans, 550 for USDA loans)

    Down payment requirement: 3%

    Loan products offered: 

    • Fixed-rate purchase loan
    • ARM
    • Government-backed home loans
    • Refinance loans

    BBB Rating: A+

    JD Power rating: 703 in the 2020 study

    Overview: Carrington offers low-credit borrowers an opportunity to qualify for home loans easier when compared to other lenders. Instead of underwriting potential customers solely by their credit score, it also considers nontraditional data like bank statements and rent payment history. This way, freelancers and self-employed people have a better chance of getting home loans. 

    Carrington offers an online application form complete with electronic document signing but does not have any loan tracking features. This means you need to check in with your loan officer every time you want details on your loan’s status. 

    Lender availability: Licensed to originate loans in all states except Massachusetts and North Dakota, but only 6 locations in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, and Maryland.

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    Closing Thoughts 

    Maine doesn’t just offer affordable homes – there’s a reason why people call this place Vacationland. The natural beauty and the fresh seafood make the Pine Tree State a good place to buy your perfect home! If you’re planning to live in Maine, choosing the right lender and finding the best rates means you’re one step closer to realizing that dream and saving money while you’re at it.

    Looking for more information and advice about home loan and refinance rates in Maine? Contact Wesley Mortgage, LLC today! Our professional team is more than ready to guide you on the mortgage process for your perfect home in Maine!

    Written By Ed Wallace
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