There are plenty of reasons to settle down in Nebraska – the state is famous for its low cost of living, low unemployment rate, and overall high quality of life. But before you can buy a home in Nebraska, you need to find a dependable and trustworthy mortgage lender. To do that, you need to research your loan options and compare each lender's rates and fees.
To make the entire process easier for you, we've rounded up five of the best mortgage lenders in the state. We've also prepared a guide on choosing the best mortgage lender. By the end of this guide, you'll know exactly which company you should choose for your mortgage loan.
How To Choose A Mortgage Lender
Before we share our top picks for the best mortgage lenders in Nebraska, let's discuss our methodology. Generally, we evaluate mortgage lenders based on the following criteria:
When choosing a lender, pick one that offers the type of loan that fits your individual needs. Here are some of the most common mortgage loan products available today:
Conventional loans: Conventional loans are home loans that are not backed by any government entity. They can be used to fund most types of properties, including vacation homes.
Conforming loans: These are mortgages that meet the borrowing limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). In Nebraska, the one-unit limit is $548,250 for 2021, on par with the national average.
Jumbo mortgage: Jumbo loans exceed the conforming loan limits set by the FHFA. These mortgages can be used to finance a property with a very high price.
Fixed-rate loans: Fixed-rate mortgages have a set interest rate. Generally, you can pick from a 5-, 10-, 15-, 20- or 30-year fixed mortgage. Most people prefer this type of loan because it allows them to predict how much their monthly mortgage payment will be until the loan matures.
Adjustable-rate mortgages: ARMs have an initial fixed-interest period, with rates lower than comparable fixed-rate loans. After that period ends, the lender will adjust the interest annually based on a market index, which could increase or decrease your rates.
Government-backed loans: Government-backed loans are insured by the United States federal government. Designed for low to moderate-income borrowers, these loans usually come with lower mortgage rates and lower minimum down payment amounts.
Mortgage refinancing: Refinancing is the process of paying off an existing home loan and then replacing it with a new one. This is a good way to take advantage of lower interest rates or change the mortgage loan terms.
Home equity lines of credit (HELOC): HELOCs are personal loans where you borrow money from a financial institution and use your property as collateral. They come with lower interest rates compared to other financial products.
Reverse loans: Reverse mortgages allow homeowners to borrow against the equity of their homes. Borrowers can receive funds as a fixed monthly payment or as a lump sum.
Interest-only mortgages: This is a type of mortgage loan in which borrowers are only required to pay the interest for a fixed period of time. That equates to lower monthly payment amounts for the first few years of the mortgage.
Since interest rates change daily, it's not ideal to gauge a mortgage lender's affordability based on rates. Instead, we look at factors that make getting a mortgage more accessible for buyers:
Minimum FICO score: Most lenders require that borrowers have a credit score of at least 620. However, some lenders offer mortgage products to people with lower credit. There are also lenders that consider alternative credit data – like your utility bills – aside from your credit report. This gives borrowers the opportunity to prove their creditworthiness, even if they have a poor or no credit history.
Minimum down payment (DP): Usually, you need to make a 20% DP when getting a conventional mortgage. However, you can get a conventional mortgage for as low as 3% of the purchase price, as long as you get private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Closing costs: These include the fees associated with processing your loan application. In most cases, these charges can reach 3%-5% of the total loan amount. However, some lenders forego these charges or fold them into your loan to edge out their competitors.
First-time homebuyer programs: The best mortgage lenders offer down payment assistance programs or home loans with affordable rates, often in partnership with the state government. These programs make it more affordable for repeat or first-time home buyers to buy a property.
When evaluating a lender's mortgage application process, we ask the following questions:
Can a borrower apply for a mortgage online? The best lenders give buyers the ability to submit loan documents and complete the entire mortgage process online. This is ideal for people who are too busy or live too far away to visit a physical location.
Is the lender transparent with its mortgage rates? We prefer lenders that post Nebraska mortgage rates on their website. This makes it easy for buyers to compare rates and see which company offers the best deal.
How fast can the lender close applications? The best lenders are those that have a simple and fast closing process – you don’t want to miss out on a home just because the lender couldn’t close fast enough. Ideally, they should be able to close a mortgage within 2 to 4 weeks.
Customer Service And Satisfaction
It's best to choose a mortgage company that has excellent customer service. That way, you can be sure that your concerns are resolved in a fast and stress-free manner.
To assess a company's customer service, we refer to studies from two agencies: JD Power and the Better Business Bureau. JD Power is a research firm that conducts annual consumer satisfaction studies. Meanwhile, the BBB is an organization that gives a letter grade to companies based on, among other factors, their ability to handle customer complaints.
It's always good to choose a lender that has a physical location in Nebraska, especially if you prefer speaking with loan officers face-to-face. That makes it easy to ask questions about the mortgage loan or follow up on the status of applications.
5 Best Nebraska Mortgage Lenders
Following the criteria above, here are our top picks for the five best Nebraska mortgage lenders.
Min. credit rating (FICO)
Min. down payment
BBB rating (A+ to F)
JD Power rating (out of 1000)
First Midwest Bank
Construction and refinancing
Flexible loan terms
Navy Federal Credit Union
1. Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans: Best Online Lender
Rocket Mortgage is the online lending arm of Quicken Loans, the largest mortgage company in the United States. Not only does it offer a wide range of mortgage loan options, but it also has the easiest online application process. Just enter your personal and financial information on the company website, and you can pre-qualify for a loan within minutes.
Since Rocket is an online lender, the company does not have any physical locations. You will need to call or chat with a loan officer if you have questions or concerns. The company also conducts a hard credit inquiry on applicants, which may tick a few points off your credit score.
Availability: This mortgage lender offers home loans in all 50 states and Washington, DC.
2. Guild Mortgage: Best For First-Time Homeowners
Loan types offered:
Guild Mortgage is our top pick for first-time home buyers. The lender offers several government-backed loan products, including FHA, VA, and USDA loans. The company's mortgage brokers can also help you apply to programs that offer DP and closing cost assistance.
Another reason to choose Guild Mortgage is that the company allows buyers to complete the entire mortgage process online. Plus, they promise to close mortgages within three weeks if you've been preapproved.
Availability: Guild Mortgage is licensed to service loans nationwide, except in New Jersey and New York. It also has a physical location in Omaha, Nebraska.
3. First Midwest Bank: Best For Construction And Refinancing
Loan types offered:
Construction and renovation
If you want to be spoiled for choice, then First Midwest Bank may be right for you. The bank offers a wide assortment of mortgage loan types and also partners with the government to offer loans with a low down payment requirement.
Since mortgage rates are not posted on the lender's website, you need to contact a loan officer to learn which loan products you qualify for. The loan officer can also act as your mortgage consultant to help you choose which product is best for you.
Keep in mind that the bank charges significant processing and underwriting fees. However, you may be eligible for rebates if you're a banking customer.
Availability: First Midwest Bank is available in all US states except Alaska and Hawaii. The bank has several branches in Nebraska.
4. Wells Fargo: Best For Flexible Loan Terms
Loan types offered:
Best Builder (for newly constructed homes)
Wells Fargo is a national lender that offers a wide variety of mortgage products. The lender is also quite flexible when it comes to payment terms, helping you afford your mortgage payments every month.
Another to choose Wells Fargo is its simple and convenient mortgage application process. The lender's website has a calculator that automatically generates personalized mortgage rates. You can also apply and check updates online.
Availability: The bank originates mortgage loans in all 50 states and Washington D.C.
5. Navy Federal Credit Union: Best For VA Loans
Loan types offered:
Navy Federal Credit Union is our top pick for military members who want to take out VA loans. The union offers extremely low mortgage rates, as well as special programs for those who have already used up their VA benefits.
Like many other lenders, you can find Navy Federal's mortgage rates on its website. The lender also offers a free rate lock, allowing you to secure low rates as soon as you get preapproved for a mortgage.
What makes this credit union stand out is that they don't have a strict credit score requirement. The lender also considers alternative credit data, like your banking history, in order to determine an applicant's creditworthiness.
Availability: Navy Federal is available in 30 states, plus Washington, DC, and Guam.
Nebraska is a great place to live, especially if you love being surrounded by farmland. It's also famous for having some of the nicest and friendliest people.
If you need more you're ready to apply for a mortgage loan in Nebraska, get in touch with Wesley Mortgage, LLC! We can provide information on the following: