Montana Mortgage Lender

    Montana Mortgage Lender: Get To Know The State’s 5 Best Lenders

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    If you love outdoor adventures and wildlife, then Montana is an ideal place for you. The state is known for its sprawling grasslands and mountainous terrain. It's also great for those who like camping, rock climbing, and hunting.

    But before you can buy a property in Montana, you need to find a trustworthy and reliable mortgage lender. To do this, you need to research the lenders' backgrounds and compare their rates and fees.

    Thankfully, we've done all the hard work for you. In this guide, we've hand-picked five of the best Montana mortgage lenders. We'll also share our thoughts on picking the best mortgage company to finance your new home.

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    How To Choose A Mortgage Lender

    Before we list down the top lenders in Montana, let's first talk about how we rate mortgage companies. We evaluate them based on the following.

    Mortgage Types

    The best mortgage lenders are those that offer a wide variety of mortgage options. That way, borrowers can choose a loan type that fits their needs and preferences.

    Here are some of the most common mortgage products available:

    • Conventional loans: Conventional loans refer to any type of mortgage that's not guaranteed by a government entity. They can be used to finance most types of properties, such as vacation homes or investment properties. They also come with fewer eligibility and documentary requirements.
    • Conforming loans: Conforming loans are loans that meet the limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). In 2021, the one-unit limit for properties in Montana is $548,250, on par with the national average. Conforming loans should also meet the funding criteria of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
    • Jumbo loans: Jumbo mortgages are those with loan amounts that exceed limits set by the FHFA. Since these loans carry greater risk for the lender, they usually come with higher interest rates.
    • Fixed-rate mortgages: Fixed-rate loans are those with an unchanging interest rate. Borrowers may select from 5-, 10-, 15-, 20-, to 30-year fixed-rate loans.
    • Adjustable-rate mortgages: ARMS are those with a fixed interest rate for a set period. After that period ends, the lender will adjust the interest rate annually based on a specific market index.
    • Government-backed loans: Government-backed mortgages are those that are guaranteed by a government agency. They have more flexible credit requirements and lower interest rates compared to conventional loans.
    • Mortgage refinancing: This means paying off an existing mortgage then replacing it with another loan. Borrowers refinance to change the terms of their mortgage or take advantage of low rates.
    • Home equity lines of credit: This type of mortgage allows homeowners to borrow against available equity. The loan terms state that they must use their existing property as collateral.
    • Interest-only mortgage: For this type of loan, borrowers only pay the interest for a certain period. The principal can be repaid at a later date as a lump sum or in installments. Since borrowers have lower monthly payments at the beginning, they can use their money to cover other expenses, like home improvement.

    Affordability

    Since interest rates change regularly, we look at other factors to determine a mortgage lender's affordability. To be specific, we consider aspects that make loans more accessible, such as:

    • Minimum FICO score: Most lenders require a minimum credit score of 620. However, some lenders offer loans to people with lower scores. Some lenders may also consider alternative credit data, such as utility bill payment history, to determine a borrower's creditworthiness.
    • Minimum down payment: In most cases, you need to make a 20% down payment before you can secure a mortgage. These days, though, some borrowers offer loans to buyers who can only pay 3% of the purchase price, provided that they also pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI).
    • Closing costs: These refer to fees and charges related to processing a mortgage application. These fees usually reach 3%-5% of the total loan amount, though some lenders choose to waive them to stay competitive.
    • First-time homebuyer programs: The best lenders partner with government entities to offer affordable loans to first-time homebuyers. These loans usually come with low mortgage rates or low minimum down payment amounts.

    Application

    The best mortgage lenders make it quick and easy for prospective buyers to secure a loan. Here are some of the questions we ask to assess a lender's application process:

    • Can a borrower submit an online application? Today, mortgage lenders are expected to have a secure and intuitive website where people can submit applications, sign and upload documents, and track the status of their applications.
    • Is the lender transparent about its rates? Trustworthy and dependable mortgage lenders post their rates online without requiring people to send personal information. Free access to rates also makes it easier for buyers to compare lenders and see which one offers the best deal.
    • How fast can the mortgage lender close the deal? A mortgage lender that can review your application and close the deal within a month or two is ideal. That way, you can move into your new home as soon as possible.

    Customer Service And Satisfaction

    Great mortgage lenders are those that can build good relationships with customers. To assess a certain mortgage company's customer service, we refer to two agencies: JD Power and Better Business Bureau.

    JD Power is a marketing research firm that publishes annual customer satisfaction studies. Meanwhile, the BBB is an agency that determines a company's trustworthiness. It assigns a letter grade to companies (F to A+) based on a variety of factors, including how well the company responds to customer complaints.

    Availability

    When choosing a Montana mortgage lender, it's best to go for one that has physical branches in the state. That way, you can meet with an officer face-to-face to ask about details regarding your mortgage.

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    5 Best Montana Mortgage Lenders

    Based on the criteria above, here are our top picks for the best Montana mortgage lenders.

    Veterans United Home LoansCarrington Mortgage ServicesAmeriSaveBank of AmericaRocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans
    Best forProduct availabilityFast turnaround, bad creditVA loansLarge loan amountsOnline service
    Loans
    Conventional loan
    FHA loan
    VA loan
    USDA loan
    Conforming mortgage loan
    Jumbo loan
    Fixed-rate loan
    Adjustable-rate mortgage
    Other criteria
    Min. credit score (FICO)FHA640500600600580
    VA640500600660580
    USDA640500600--
    Conventional640620620620620
    Jumbo640620700740740
    Min. down payment0%3%0%3%3%
    BBB rating (A+ to F)A+A+A+A+A+
    JD Power rating (out of 1000)873741N/A860883

    1. Veterans United Home Loans: Best For Product Availability

    Veterans United offers a wide variety of loan products. In Montana, it is one of the few companies that offers all types of government-insured mortgages, such as FHA, VA, and USDA loans. You can also turn to the lender if you'd like to refinance your home.

    One advantage of choosing Veterans United is its customer service. Its customer service team is available by phone 24/7. You can also pre-qualify and apply online. If you are interested in getting a VA loan, you can consult specialists on their staff.

    Keep in mind that Veterans United's rates and fees may be higher compared to other lenders. Its minimum credit score may also be higher than most competitors.

    Availability: Available nationwide, with branch offices in 21 states

    2. Carrington Mortgage Services: Best For Fast Turnaround, Bad Credit

    Carrington Mortgage is a California-based mortgage lender that specializes in offering loans to people with low credit scores. It takes pride in considering alternative credit data in underwriting.

    The lender offers a wide variety of loan types, including conventional and government-insured mortgages. FHA loans have an especially low credit score requirement.

    Note that while Carrington Mortgage has an online presence, you will still need to speak with a loan officer for preapproval and to ask for a quote. That makes its mortgage process a little more complicated compared to online lenders.

    Availability: Available nationwide (except MA and ND); also available in Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands

    3. AmeriSave: Best For VA Loans

    AmeriSave is our top choice for military members and their families. The lender is known for offering low credit score requirements as well as low- to no minimum down payment mortgages.

    AmeriSave is one of the first lenders to offer a fully online mortgage application process. Most people can also prequalify for a mortgage without having to go through a hard credit inquiry.

    Aside from VA loans, the lender also offers other loan types, such as FHA and USDA loans. However, the lender does a soft credit inquiry before offering mortgage rates for each of these loan products.

    Availability: Available nationwide (except NY) and DC

    4. Bank of America: Best For Large Loan Amounts

    Bank of America is our top pick for people who want a jumbo loan. You can get up to $5 million from the bank depending on your qualifications. If you're already a banking client, you may also be eligible for APR or closing cost discounts.

    Bank of America offers you the option to complete the application process online. It also has a handy mobile app that has all the functionalities of the desktop site.

    The bank offers a wide variety of financial products, not just mortgages. Since the lender has a large number of clients, you might find it more difficult to get a more personalized service.

    Availability: Available in all 50 states

    5. Rocket Mortgage By Quicken Loans: Best For Online Service

    Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans is the largest online lender in the United States. It's known for offering fast, convenient, and reliable online service. It also offers a variety of loan types, such as conventional and government-insured mortgages.

    The best part about choosing Rocket is that any buyer can expect to get prequalified minutes after submitting their application to the lender. Plus, it offers some of the lowest interest rates in the industry.

    However, since Rocket is an online lender, you cannot meet with an officer face-to-face. Also, keep in mind that the lender also does a hard credit score inquiry, which may lower your rating by a few points.

    Availability: Available in all 50 states and DC

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    Closing Thoughts

    The housing market in Montana is booming. After all, it's a great place to live if you want to be in a place with plenty of wide-open spaces and safe neighborhoods.

    For more information about getting a home loan in Montana, get in touch with Wesley Mortgage, LLC! Our mortgage brokers can help you with the following:

    • Choosing the best lender and selecting among loan products
    • Researching programs for first-time homebuyers
    • Comparing mortgage rates and applying for a loan online
    • Understanding the closing process
    Written By Ed Wallace
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