Do you think that because you have bad credit that buying a house is out of reach for you? Not so fast. Not only are there banks out there willing to loan to people with bad credit, but they’re trustworthy banks with good offers.

new home

You might just have to start packing sooner than you thought.

Who are the top online mortgage lenders for people with bad credit?

LendingTree

For flexible mortgage options with less stringent credit requirements, check out LendingTree. The benefit here is that rather than serving as a direct lender, the LendingTree website aggregates multiple mortgage offers for you after filling out just a single application.

The process is completed entirely online, and you could potentially see up to five different mortgage offers from various lenders. From there, you can compare the rates and terms of each one to see if any fit your needs.

LendingTree also offers mortgages from lenders that provide a broad range of home loan types. In addition to conventional loans, you can also access FHA and VA loans. These not only come with lower credit requirements but also lower down payment requirements.

With an FHA loan, for example, you could qualify with a credit score of just 580 and a 3.5% down payment on your new home’s purchase price. Even if your score is lower than 580, you could still potentially qualify if you increase your down payment to 10%.

For multiple home loan options with a quick and easy application process, be sure to consider applying through LendingTree.

J.G. Wentworth Home Lending

If you have poor credit but want a fast, automated way to get a home loan, J.G. Wentworth is the way to go.

They are a company that’s truly up-to-date. It’s so tech-savvy, that many in the industry refer to it as a tech company instead of a banking company.

While that’s not by any means accurate, they are one of the first banking institutions to realize just how much people prefer to conduct business online. They’re current and also have an extremely easy to use website that’s emulated by many companies.

Choose them as your lender and you’ll have a very pain-free, automated experience. Additionally, they charge a low lender fee of just $299 for most loan types (of which they have a vast array of options).

Lastly, if you have bad credit, they will, like other companies on this list, use alternative means to evaluate your application.

If you’re intrigued by J.G. Wentworth, know that they do have some shortcomings. For instance, they don’t operate in the following states:

  • Hawaii
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New York

They also only have a few physical locations throughout the U.S., but that’s not a huge issue if you were pulled to them because of their online presence.

CitiMortgage

CitiMortgage has a range of programs for people with various credit scores. One of the more unique things about CitiMortgage is that they take into account situations for nontraditional credit — such as always paying your rent or child support on time.

They only approve loans for houses that are in good shape, meaning all construction must be finished, the roof must be fine, and the windows intact. So no fixer uppers, HGTV fans. Also be aware that there is a $100 application fee and a separate origination fee, but this is by no means unheard of in the industry.

If you don’t have the ability to put much of a down payment down, CitiMortgage offers what they call a HomeRun loan program. This program allows you to only pay 3% down, and they don’t even require you to pay for private mortgage insurance.

So, a $200,000 house would only require you to put $6,000 down. To qualify, you can only make 80% or less than the average income in the neighborhood, but in low-income areas, it’s available to anyone who wants it.

Navy Federal

Serving military members and their families, Navy Federal makes first-time home buyers their number one priority. Comprising over 55% of their borrowers, Navy Federal helps would-be homeowners by offering a wide variety of loans. Some of their loans include:

  • Adjustable-rate mortgages
  • VA Loans
  • FHA Loans
  • Interest-only loans
  • 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate loans

Their standout loan is the HomeBuyers Choice. It’s a fixed rate 15 or 30-year loan that comes with 100% financing and no mortgage insurance.

There is a 1.75% funding fee that you can get waived if you’re willing to let your rate increase by 0.375% — a great option at closing if you need to save some cash.

Like CitiMortgage, Navy Federal evaluates a range of payments for borrowers with low credit scores, such as rent, cell phone, and utility payments.

The only real downside to Navy Federal is that borrowers who have gone through them, report that it takes a bit longer to close on houses than other lenders.

This is not incompetency by any means. With such popular mortgage options, they likely have more volume to get through than some other lenders.

What is the best refinance lender for borrowers with bad credit?

For borrowers with low credit scores who are considering refinancing their mortgages, we recommend Connexus Credit Union.

Connexus

By no means just a refinancing company, Connexus is an all-around great credit union with nothing but positive feedback online. With a super strong and user intuitive web presence, they’re easily one of the trailblazers for next-generation banking.

Connexus offers great mortgage rates for anyone, but they do something a little special when it comes to refinancing. Any homeowner can go to their website and fill out an online form that details what they currently have.

After only two business days, a loan officer from Connexus Credit Union then calls to discuss every option available. They call this their “No-hassle mortgage comparison.”

If you’re worried about your credit score, Connexus also considers alternative methods to determine your ability to repay a loan, such as utility bills, rent, monthly cell phone payments, and child support.

mother and daughter in tent

What are the best lenders for customer support?

Decent customer support seems to be what companies struggle with the most these days. People want 24/7 support, but they don’t want to speak with robots. Two companies that have figured out how to meet customer expectations are HomeBridge and Network Capital.

HomeBridge Financial Services

At HomeBridge, you can initiate your mortgage application online where they have a variety of loan options to choose from. You can also learn about the pros and cons of each loan and refinance option through their extensive library of educational content.

Where they really receive their accolades, however, is through their customer support. It’s not something they really boast about, but they are constantly tweaking the process of getting a loan or refinance more user-friendly.

Here’s how.

Each time a customer fills out a feedback survey, HomeBridge addresses any negative feedback as soon as possible so that every customer can walk away having had a good experience. Look for this kind of dedication elsewhere, and you’re going to have tough time.

Most companies who perform customer feedback questionnaires analyze the results and ask themselves how they can fix the problem moving forward. HomeBridge not only fixes the problem moving forward, but will actually go back to the initial complaint and fix that specific issue, too.

Network Capital Funding Mortgage

Be advised: Network Capital does have its faults. For example, it only does business in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington, D.C
  • Wisconsin

It also doesn’t have an online pre-qualification tool. If you’re interested, you’ve got to go through the whole process to see if they’re even interested in working with you.

Even with these complaints, we still love Network Capital. Why? They’re doing a lot of things right.

For starters, they don’t charge any lender fees.

Secondly, they not only offer their support to you while you’re applying, but they want you to call and ask questions.

Even if it’s just for a small question that will take them three seconds to answer, they want you to call.

Tri Nguyen, the founder, urges this because he believes that no matter how digital we become, everyone wants to hear a human’s voice during such an important life decision. Not only are they there to answer questions, they’re also there to help you gather documentation.

And they do this all before they even know if they want your business. But don’t worry: the minimum credit score they require is only 600.

What are the best all-around lenders for borrowers with bad credit?

Taking into account the entire user experience, there are two companies that are kicking butt and taking names: New American Funding and Carrington Mortgage Services.

New American Funding

New American Funding is just about everywhere and doing everything right. They have 150 branch locations across the U.S. (except New York and Hawaii), and have a solid web presence.

You can go through the entire application online, get rate quotes, and track the status of your loan application right from your computer.They also have a vast array of loan options.

Here’s list of everything they offer:

  • Adjustable-rate loans (5/1, 7/1, 10/1)
  • Bank Statement Loans
  • Conventional and FHA Renovation Loans
  • Fixed-rate Loans of 10, 15, 20, and 30 years
  • FHA, VA and USDA loans
  • Loan refinancing
  • Manufactured home loans

Unlike other lenders, they still do everything old-school — they evaluate each and every application individually with (gasp!) a real live human. No algorithms here.

This means that even if you have a low credit score, they’re going to go beyond the numbers and look at you holistically because they understand that all cultures handle money differently.

For example, Latinos tend to pull money from family members when making a large purchase, and much prefer cash to credit cards.

With a no debt mindset, of course, you’re going to have a lower credit score in our society, but that doesn’t mean you don’t know how to handle money.

For this type of lifestyle, there are ways to pull data to support whether or not a person would be a responsible homeowner that go beyond what the three ranking credit bureaus consider. New American Funding knows this and delivers.

Carrington Mortgage Services

Unlike the other lenders, Carrington Mortgage Services seems to bend over backward to help people with low credit scores become homeowners. They don’t just work with you if you have below-average credit, they’re even willing to work with you if your score is as low as 550.

Another thing about Carrington that some people consider a negative (but we think is positive) is that they require all homeowners to go through a mortgage education program before buying.

They do this to make sure all borrowers understand everything that revolves around a home loan so that they’ll be more likely to make better financial decisions in the future.

Also, when your score could be better, Carrington doesn’t just consider the typical factors that play into your credit score, like payment history and money owed. Carrington also considers things like job history, job stability, gross income, and size of down payment for approval.

Need assistance with a down payment?

Depending on where you live, Carrington may provide you with help. However, the program isn’t available nationwide because some states would require Carrington to sell the servicing rights to the associated loans if they helped with the down payment.

If they did this, it would impact their ability to work with low income, low credit score borrowers.

It should come as no surprise that Carrington has a solid digital infrastructure, that their customer service is among the best of the best, and they offer refinancing.

The only cons we can come up with for this company is that it’s not in every state (namely Alaska, Massachusetts, North Dakota, and Vermont), and it can’t offer down payment assistance nationwide.

Bottom line: Carrington is awesome.