South Carolina Mortgage Lender

    South Carolina Mortgage Lender: Compare Mortgage Companies Now

    shutterstock 536751019

    Buying a property in South Carolina can be a smart decision. After all, the state is famous for its low cost of living, fair weather, lip-smacking barbecues, rolling hills, and long coastline.

    But prior to purchasing a home in Palmetto State, you need to find a mortgage originator or servicer you can trust. To do that, you need to learn about the background of countless lenders and compare their offerings.

    To save you time and effort, we've done the work for you. In this guide, we'll share the best mortgage lenders in South Carolina. By the end, you'll know exactly which one you should turn to for your home loan.

    shutterstock 1716324079 1

    How To Choose A Mortgage Lender

    Before naming our top picks, let's discuss our methodology. We considered these factors to pick out the best South Carolina mortgage lender:

    Mortgage Options

    The top companies give borrowers the ability to pick from a wide variety of mortgage loan types. Generally, you can choose from the following:

    • Conforming loan: These refer to mortgages that meet the conforming loan limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. In South Carolina, the one-unit limit is $548,250, on par with the national average.
    • Jumbo mortgage: These are home loans that exceed conforming loan limits. Prospective buyers can opt to take out a jumbo mortgage to buy larger properties or houses in upscale neighborhoods. Since these loans
    • Fixed-rate mortgage loans: Fixed-rate home loans come with a set interest rate throughout the repayment period. Typically, borrowers can choose from 5-, 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. Most borrowers prefer this loan type because of the consistent monthly payments.
    • Adjustable-rate mortgages: ARMs are financial products with a fixed interest rate for a certain period. Once that period ends, the lender will adjust the interest annually based on a market index.
    • Government-backed mortgage loans: These are mortgage loan products that are insured by the United States government. They come with more flexible credit requirements and lower interest. Some of the mortgage loan types that fall under this category are Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans.
    • Mortgage refinancing: Refinancing refers to paying off an existing mortgage and replacing it with a new home loan. Most homeowners refinance to change the terms of their mortgage or to cash in on their home equity.
    • Home equity lines of credit (HELOC): HELOCs allow homeowners to borrow against their home equity (the difference between the property value and the remaining mortgage balance). You can use the money to pay off major expenses, such as home renovations or medical bills.

    Affordability

    Since interest rates fluctuate daily, it's difficult to determine a mortgage lender's affordability based on that standard. Instead, we look at factors that make mortgage products more affordable and accessible. These include:

    • Minimum FICO score: Typically, mortgage lenders require people to have a minimum credit score of 620. However, there are other lenders that accept applications from people with less-than-ideal credit. Some mortgage companies also consider alternative credit data, like one's utility bill payment history, to determine a prospective buyer's creditworthiness.
    • Minimum down payment: In most cases, buyers need to pay 20% of the purchase price upfront. Still, there are also mortgage lenders that offer low-down-payment options, provided that buyers also pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI).
    • Closing costs: These refer to the fees and charges associated with processing a mortgage application. In some cases, closing costs can reach 2% to 5% of the loan amount. However, some mortgage lenders waive these charges to make their loan products more affordable.
    • First-time homebuyer programs: The best mortgage lenders are those that partner with the state government to offer loans with a low down payment requirement. These programs are usually offered to low- to medium-income families and first-time homebuyers.

    Application

    Applying for a mortgage can either be a smooth or a tough process, depending on the lender you choose. So, we specifically recommend mortgage lenders that make the application process as quick and easy as possible. 

    We ask the following questions:

    • Can prospective borrowers submit mortgage applications online? These days, mortgage companies should have a fast and secure website where people can upload documents and track loan applications.
    • Is the lender transparent about its mortgage rates? The best lenders give prospective buyers instant access to mortgage rates, without requiring them to submit personal details. This makes it easy for buyers to see which business offers the best deal.
    • How fast can the lender process an application? Mortgage companies should be able to process applications and close deals within 2-4 weeks. If they take too long, the borrower may end up losing the house to another interested buyer.

    Customer Service And Satisfaction

    The best mortgage lenders are those that provide excellent customer service. To gauge how well they engage with their customers, we check studies from two agencies: JD Power and Better Business Bureau.

    JD Power is a research firm that conducts annual customer satisfaction studies. Meanwhile, the BBB is an organization that assigns a letter grade (F to A+) to businesses based on their trustworthiness.

    Availability

    When picking a mortgage originator or servicer, it's crucial to choose one that's licensed to operate in your state. It's also ideal to choose a mortgage lender that has physical branches in the local area. That way, you can meet with a loan officer face-to-face if you want to ask for details about your mortgage.

    shutterstock 568476271 4

    5 Best South Carolina Mortgage Lenders

    Based on the criteria above, here are our top picks for the best South Carolina mortgage lenders:

    Rocket Mortgage by Quicken LoansAlliant Credit UnionCarrington Mortgage ServicesBank of AmericaPrimeLending
    Best forOnline convenienceLow down paymentBad creditLoan optionsGovernment loans
    Conventional loan
    FHA loan
    VA loan
    USDA loan
    Conforming mortgage loan
    Jumbo loan
    Fixed-rate loan
    Adjustable-rate mortgage
    Min. credit score (FICO)FHA580500600580
    VA580500660580
    USDA500620
    Conventional620620620620620
    Jumbo740Undisclosed660740700
    Min. down payment3%0%3%3%3%
    BBB rating (A+ to F)A+A+A+A+A+
    JD Power rating (out of 1000)883N/A741860N/A

    1. Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans Best For Online Convenience

    If online convenience is your top priority, then Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans should be your number one choice. Borrowers can complete the entire mortgage process on the lender's website, from pre-approval to closing. On-demand support is also available by phone.

    Not only that, Rocket Mortgage offers a full suite of mortgage loan products. Aside from conventional mortgages, borrowers can get VA and FHA loans. Plus, the mortgage company offers YOURgage, a home loan with customizable repayment terms (from 8 to 29 years).

    Availability: Available nationwide

    2. Alliant Credit Union: Best For Low Down Payment

    First-time homebuyers who want down payment assistance should turn to Alliant Credit Union. Depending on their credit score, they can get up to 0% down payment mortgages. The union also offers competitive rates.

    Unfortunately, Alliant's range of mortgage loan products is quite limited. The union doesn't offer government-insured loans. Service is also limited to members.

    Availability: Available nationwide, except Maryland

    3. Carrington Mortgage Services: Best For Bad Credit

    If you're looking for a South Carolina lender that can accommodate those with bad credit, try Carrington Mortgage Services. It has a lower minimum credit score requirement for most loan types. Additionally, the lender offers alternative credit data in underwriting.

    Carrington Mortgage Services' website is quite useful. You can estimate monthly payments and apply online.

    Availability: Available in all 50 states and DC

    4. Bank of America: Best For Loan Options

    BoA is a direct lender that offers a wide range of mortgage options for prospective buyers nationwide. Borrowers in South Carolina can pick from conventional loans and government-insured mortgages. Existing customers may also get a discount on origination fees.

    Another advantage of working with BoA is the online convenience. The bank does well when it comes to rate transparency – just check the bank's website for details on how much you can expect to pay. Plus, you can get pre-qualified, apply, and submit documents to the bank online.

    Availability: Available nationwide

    5. PrimeLending: Best For Government Loans

    South Carolina borrowers who are looking for government loans should consider PrimeLending. The company offers all types of government-insured mortgages plus refinancing. It also offers a float-down rate lock, which allows borrowers to lock in their rates for up to 180 days.

    One reason to choose PrimeLending is its easy application process. Prospective buyers can easily upload documents and track applications online. However, details on PrimeLending's mortgage rates aren't available on its website.

    Availability: Available nationwide

    shutterstock 1463269301

    Closing Thoughts

    Settling down in South Carolina can be a good choice for you and your family, especially if you're a fan of the state's mild climate and pristine beaches. It's also a great place to experience southern hospitality.

    For more information on purchasing or refinancing a home in South Carolina, get in touch with Wesley Mortgage, LLC! Our mortgage brokers can help you with the following:

    • Choosing a mortgage servicer and understanding loan types
    • Comparing South Carolina mortgage rates
    • Understanding the details of various mortgage loans
    • Applying for mortgage loans
    Written By Ed Wallace
    Follow the author on:
    arrow-up