Oregon Mortgage Lender

    Oregon Mortgage Lender: Which One Is The Best?

    The median home price in Oregon is $312,200, placing it as the ninth-most expensive state for homes just behind New York. If you’re looking to purchase a new home in Oregon, you need to be prepared to pay almost $50,000 over the national median – which isn’t a small amount of money. Fortunately, a good Oregon mortgage lender can help you save by providing lower rates.

    If you’re looking for the best Oregon mortgage lenders for your new home, we’ve got you covered. Find out the best mortgage lenders in Oregon and which criteria we used to choose them!

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    Choosing A Mortgage Lender 

    We measure five key areas in our selection of top mortgage lenders:

    Loan Products Offered

    There is a wide variety of residential mortgage loans offered by lenders. Since each of them fulfills different needs, a loan that’s good for other consumers may not be the best option for you. 

    Below, we explain some of the most common loan products offered today. You can also ask mortgage brokers about which loans best fulfill your needs.

    • Conforming mortgage: All mortgages valued under state lending limits fall into conforming mortgages. For Oregon, the lending limit is set at $548,250.
    • Jumbo mortgage: If you’re eyeing a home priced above local lending limits, you can consider a jumbo mortgage. Jumbo loans allow you to exceed lending limits but often in exchange for higher rates and/or a higher credit score requirement.
    • Fixed-rate mortgage: These conventional mortgages feature static interest rates. They’re stable and most often chosen by first-time homebuyers. 
    • Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs): ARM interest rates readjust annually based on market index fluctuations. These loans offer initial stability with a period of fixed rates that last 3 to 10 years.
    • Government mortgage: These loans are offered by three government agencies: the Federal Housing Authority, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. These loans usually feature a low interest rate and reduced credit score requirements. 
    • Mortgage refinancing (refi): Getting a refinance replaces your existing home loan with a new one. Refis help you save money by changing your mortgage loan terms or securing lower refinance rates.
    • Home equity lines of credit (HELOC): This type of loan gives you a credit card-like source of funds, using your property as collateral.

    Affordability 

    Oregon mortgage rates can change at any time due to market conditions, so a lender having the lowest rates doesn’t mean it’s the most affordable one. Instead, we measure affordability with four factors that determine how easy it is to qualify for a lender’s loan offerings:

    • Minimum credit score: Your FICO credit score is often used as the primary means of determining eligibility. Most lenders impose a credit score requirement of 620, but other lenders may make their loans more affordable by lowering the credit score requirements. Some lenders will even allow you to qualify with no or bad credit, thanks to manual or alternative underwriting.
    • Minimum down payment: The general rule is that you need to pay a 20% down payment on mortgages. However, you can qualify with as little as a 3% down payment with the tradeoff of private mortgage insurance.
    • Closing costs: Most of the fees incurred during your mortgage process need to be paid upon closing, with these closing fees usually worth 5% of your total loan amount. Some lenders fold these into your interest payments to reduce your upfront expense.
    • Homebuyer assistance programs: State housing authorities almost always offer programs to help their residents become homeowners. These assistance programs can come in the form of low-rate mortgages, down payment assistance, or closing cost grants aimed at both first-time and repeat homeowners.

    Application Process

    A good lender, credit union, or bank helps its borrowers by making the application process convenient and easy to understand. We look at these factors when measuring the convenience of a lender’s application process:

    • Online capabilities: Online application forms are almost required for mortgage lenders nowadays. This benefits people who cannot meet with a loan officer to make a mortgage application.
    • Online rate transparency: Transparent rate estimates help potential consumers compare mortgage rates between multiple lenders easily. Lenders provide rate estimates in different ways – some display them on the website, while others require that you speak with a loan officer first.
    • Length of the application process: Nationally, the average mortgage closing time is 4 to 6 weeks. However, if a lender or bank encounters issues in your application, it may take several months to finalize. Ask your loan officer about the lender’s average closing times so you can make plans around it. 

    Customer Service And Ratings

    Customer service is essential in mortgage lending because existing customers invest a lot of money into their home loans. If you encounter a problem, you need a lender who always has a loan officer ready to answer your questions. For a better look at a lender’s customer service, we look to two rating organizations: J.D. Power and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

    J.D. Power measures customer satisfaction across many industries by studying consumer survey reports. These study results are then published in an annual study that ranks and awards the top-performing companies. 

    The BBB rates the trustworthiness of companies by rating them with a letter grade from A+ to F. The factors examined include customer complaint responses, government actions, and transparency of business practices.

    Access To Lender

    The final criterion for the best mortgage lender is its accessibility. Put simply, a lender needs to service your area if you want to take advantage of its services. If it doesn’t, then you have no choice but to seek other lenders.

    Another aspect of accessibility is the number of offices a lender operates. Lenders that operate many branches are the best choice for borrowers who prefer applying directly with a loan officer. 

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    The Best Oregon Mortgage Lenders

    We chose four Oregon mortgage lenders that best fit the five aforementioned criteria. Before we break them down one by one, here is a general overview of Oregon’s best mortgage lenders. 

    Each lender in this list specializes in one aspect of the lending process, so identify which part is most important to you and choose the lender that can fulfill that need.

    Wells FargoRocket MortgageBank of AmericaGuild Mortgage
    Best forIn-person serviceOnline lenderClosing cost benefitsVariety of mortgage products
    Loans
    Conventional loan
    FHA loan
    VA loan
    USDA loan--
    Jumbo loan
    Fixed-rate loan
    Adjustable-rate mortgage
    Mortgage refinancing
    Home equity loansCurrently suspended
    Other criteria
    Minimum FICO credit scoreFHA620580 640-
    VA620620660-
    USDA620---
    Conventional loans620620620620
    Minimum down payment3%3%3%3%
    BBB rating (A+ to F)N/AA+A+B+
    JD Power rating (out of 1000)840883860864

    1. Wells Fargo - Best In-Person Service

    Wells Fargo is your best bet if you prefer talking to a loan officer. With 1,000 branch offices spanning 49 states, a borrower can consult with mortgage brokers and loan officers almost anywhere. Even if you’re not the type to apply directly with a loan officer, Wells Fargo also offers online capabilities, including loan application tracking and online document signing.

    However, there is a caveat to Wells Fargo’s services – it was subject to several financial scandals in the past. The company has since put efforts into winning back the trust of its consumers through marketing campaigns and an in-depth review of its business practices.

    Lender availability: Wells Fargo operates over 1,000 branches in 49 states, the one exception being Vermont. However, its online services are available for consumers nationwide.

    2. Rocket Mortgage By Quicken Loans - Best Online Lender

    Rocket Mortgage places itself as an online-only and beginner-friendly mortgage experience. Consumers can start and finish loan applications within half an hour. Rocket guarantees this speed by providing FAQs and tutorial videos throughout the application process.

    As a completely online mortgage lender, Rocket doesn’t operate any branch offices. However, you can still talk to a loan officer by phone if needed.

    Lender availability: Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans offers mortgages for the entire nation exclusively through its online platforms.

    3. Bank Of America - Best For Closing Cost Benefits

    As one of the nation’s largest banks, Bank of America offers many benefits for its consumers, especially regarding closing costs. It's Community Homeownership Commitment allows you to qualify for up to $10,000 in down payment assistance and up to $7,500 in closing cost grants for homes in select areas.

    Moreover, you can reap more benefits if you’re already a Bank of America customer. Existing bank consumers can qualify for a $600 cut in origination fees, further reducing initial expenses. 

    Lender availability: Bank of America services loans and operates over 4,600 branches nationwide.

    4. Guild Mortgage - Best Loan Selection

    Guild Mortgage offers many loan options catering to various needs. In addition to the usual complement of conventional and government loans, it also offers other options like renovation loans and manufactured home loan options. However, home equity loan products are notably absent from its offerings.

    As an extra benefit, Guild guarantees a 17-day closing to qualifying borrowers. If your loan takes over 17 days to process, Guild will give you a $500 closing cost grant. 

    Lender availability: Guild Mortgage offers loans nationwide, and you can apply online or through one of its 250 branch offices in 31 states.

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    Closing Thoughts 

    High market prices mean a good mortgage lender is paramount if you’re looking to buy a home in Oregon. You don’t just need the best mortgage rates, you also need the best customer service in case you encounter problems with your home loan.

    For more information and advice on home buying in Oregon, contact Wesley Mortgage, LLC today! Our team is more than ready to help you navigate the housing market and find the best deals for your first home in Oregon.

    Written By Ed Wallace
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