9 Best Mortgage Lenders for Bad Credit of 2023

Mortgage

You may think that because you have bad credit buying a house is out of reach for you. But, there are plenty of trustworthy mortgage lenders with good offers willing to loan to people with poor credit.

So, you might just have to start packing sooner than you thought.

Best Mortgage Lenders for People with Bad Credit

LendingTree

Crediful’s rating
Visit Site
Overview

For flexible mortgage options with less stringent credit score requirements, check out LendingTree. Instead of serving as a direct lender, LendingTree aggregates multiple mortgage offers after you fill out a single application.

The process is completed entirely online, and you could potentially see up to five different offers from various mortgage lenders. From there, you can compare the interest rates and terms 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 loans from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA loans) and VA loans. These come with lower credit requirements and lower down payment requirements.

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

Read our full review of LendingTree

CitiMortgage

Crediful’s rating
Visit Site
Overview

CitiMortgage has a range of home loan products for people with various credit scores. A unique feature of CitiMortgage is that they consider nontraditional credit situations, such as paying rent and child support on time.

They only approve loans for houses in good condition. This means all construction must be finished, and the roof and windows must be intact.

So, no fixer-uppers, HGTV fans. In addition, there is a $100 application fee and an origination fee, but this is not unusual.

If you can’t 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. Plus, 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. Applicants must make 80% or less than the neighborhood’s average income. However, it’s available to anyone in low-income areas.

CitiMortgage also offers a conventional loan geared toward those with low income and low credit scores. It comes with no mortgage insurance requirements and highly competitive interest rates. However, origination fees are typically a bit higher.

Read our full review of CitiMortgage

Navy Federal Credit Union

Crediful’s rating
Visit Site
Overview

Serving military members and their families, Navy Federal Credit Union makes first-time home buyers their number one priority.

They help 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 interest rate 15 or 30-year loan with 100% financing and no mortgage insurance.

There is a 1.75% funding fee that you can get waived if you’re willing to pay a higher interest rate. This is a great option at closing if you need to save some cash.

Like CitiMortgage, Navy Federal evaluates a range of payments for borrowers with poor credit scores, such as rent, cell phone, and utility payments. There is no minimum credit score requirement for VA loans, but it’s 620 for others.

The only real downside is that some borrowers report that it takes longer to close on houses than other mortgage lenders.

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

Read our full review of Navy Federal Credit Union

new home

Best Refinance Lenders for Borrowers with Bad Credit

For borrowers with bad credit scores who are considering refinancing their mortgages, we recommend Credible and Connexus.

Credible

Crediful’s rating
Visit Site
Overview

When considering Credible (NMLS #1681276) for your mortgage refinance, you can get prequalified in under three minutes. Plus, it’s a loan marketplace, so you can actually get three refinance offers to compare from different online mortgage lenders.

Applying for a mortgage won’t harm your credit score during the prequalification process. So, if you’re in the process of trying to repair your credit history, you won’t experience any setbacks.

Another differentiator for Credible is its mortgage refinancing process. They batch questions and documentation requests, so you’re not wasting your time answering the same things over and over again.

It’s rare for a loan marketplace to provide great customer support during the process, making Credible a true standout in the industry.

Interested in a cash-out refinance? Credible makes it easy to tap into your home equity to put it to use elsewhere. Or you can do a limited cash-out refinance to cover things like closing costs and fees of refinancing or a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

Read our full review of Credible

Connexus

Crediful’s rating
Visit Site
Overview

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 regarding refinancing. Any homeowner can go to their website and fill out an online form detailing what they currently have.

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

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

Read our full review of Connexus

mother and daughter in tent

Best Mortgage 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

Crediful’s rating
Visit Site
Overview

At HomeBridge, you can initiate your mortgage application online, where they have various home loan programs 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.

Any negative feedback a customer provides is addressed as soon as possible by HomeBridge so that every customer can walk away happy. Look for this kind of dedication elsewhere, and you’re going to have a tough time.

Most companies who perform customer feedback questionnaires analyze the results and ask themselves how to resolve the problem moving forward.

HomeBridge not only resolves the problem moving forward but will actually go back to the initial complaint and address that specific issue, too.

Read our full review of HomeBridge

Network Capital Funding Mortgage

Crediful’s rating
Visit Site
Overview

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 prequalification tool. So if you’re interested, you’ve got to go through the whole process to see if this mortgage lender is even interested in working with you.

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

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

Secondly, they offer support to you while you’re applying and 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, believes that no matter how digital we become, everyone wants to hear a human’s voice during such a significant life decision. So, they are there to answer questions and 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.

Read our full review of Network Capital Funding

Best All-Around Mortgage Lenders for Borrowers with Bad Credit

Taking into account the entire user experience, there are two bad credit mortgage lenders that stand out:

New American Funding

Crediful’s rating
Visit Site
Overview

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.

The loan application can be completed online. You can also get rate quotes, and you can track your loan status remotely.

New American Funding works with down payment assistance programs in numerous states. They also have a vast array of loan products.

Here’s a list of everything they offer:

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

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

In other words, they’ll look at you holistically despite your bad credit score because they understand that cultures handle money differently.

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

With a no-debt mindset, of course, you may have a low credit score, but that doesn’t mean you don’t know how to handle money.

A person’s ability to be a responsible homeowner goes beyond what the three major credit bureaus consider. And New American understands that.

Read our full review of New American Funding

Carrington Mortgage Services

Crediful’s rating
Visit Site
Overview

Unlike the other lenders, Carrington Mortgage Services seems to bend over backward to help people with poor credit become homeowners. They’re even willing to work with you if your FICO score is as low as 550.

Carrington also requires all homeowners to go through a mortgage education program before purchasing, which some people consider a negative.

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.

Carrington considers the typical factors that play into your credit score, like payment history and money owed. However, they also consider job history, job stability, gross income, and down payment size for approval.

Need assistance with a down payment?

Depending on where you live, Carrington may be able to help you. 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, bad credit borrowers.

It should come as no surprise that Carrington has a solid digital infrastructure, and offers competitive refinance rates. Their customer service is also among the best of the best.

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

Bottom line: Carrington Mortgage Services is awesome.

Read our full review of Carrington Mortgage Services

Tips for Applying for a Home Loan With Bad Credit

Many of the mortgage lenders listed in this article are ideal for borrowers with high credit scores. But if you have a lower credit score, know that it’s still possible for you to qualify for a home loan.

Many mortgage lenders for bad credit are willing to work with borrowers that have lower credit scores. Here are five steps you can take to get started.

1. Take steps to begin improving your credit score

The first place to start is to request a free credit report from each of the credit bureaus. Your credit reports will give you an idea of where you are currently and the steps you can take to improve your credit score.

Make sure you check your credit report for any inaccuracies or derogatory marks. You can request to have any incorrect information removed. If you have any negative marks on your credit report, you can write your lender a goodwill letter and ask to have them removed as well.

The best way to improve your credit score is by paying down credit card debt and making monthly payments on time. Just taking these two action steps alone should help your credit score, since they account for most of your FICO score.

2. Be realistic about what you can afford

If you don’t have good credit, you can still apply for a mortgage. But be very realistic about what you can afford with your current budget.

Since you have a low credit score, lenders will see you as more of a risk for defaulting on your mortgage, so you will have a higher interest rate. However, if you only request the maximum loan amount you need, you’ll have a better chance of getting approved for your loan.

3. Check out alternative loans

Borrowers with imperfect credit may qualify for a bad credit mortgage loan with alternative homebuyer programs. For example, borrowers can get an FHA loan with credit scores as low as 580. The required minimum down payment is 3.5%.

Veterans with bad credit should look into getting a VA loan. These mortgage loans don’t have a minimum down payment requirement and are easier to qualify for than traditional mortgages.

Finally, USDA loans are designed for low-income homebuyers in rural areas. They typically require a credit score of at least 640.

See also: 14 First-Time Homebuyer Grants and Programs for 2023

4. Save up for a sizable down payment

If you want to increase your odds of approval, then it’s a good idea to save up for a sizable down payment. At least 20% is ideal for convention loans. It will also save you from having to take out private mortgage insurance (PMI).

A down payment won’t compensate for a bad credit score. However, it could help you make your case with some lenders.

5. Consider applying with a qualified cosigner

And finally, you can look into applying with a qualified cosigner. When you apply with a cosigner, that person agrees to take legal responsibility and repay the loan if you can’t. And since that person’s credit score is tied to the loan as well, it increases your odds of approval.

However, cosigning a loan is a risky move. So, you only want to ask someone to do this if you’re confident you can make your monthly mortgage payments. Otherwise, you’re putting that individual’s financial future at risk.

How to Compare Mortgage Lenders for Bad Credit

Finding the best mortgage lenders for bad credit to fit your financial situation requires careful consideration. You need to be sure about what you need from any bad credit home loan. Along with mortgage rates and loan terms, here are the other major factors to consider when comparing mortgage lenders for bad credit:

Minimum Credit Score Requirements

Credit score requirements will vary depending on the mortgage lender and the specific loan product. There are many mortgage lenders who will work with a low credit score, including all the lenders we’ve analyzed above. 

Debt-to-Income Requirements

In most cases, the maximum debt-to-income ratio that lenders will work with is around 43%. However, with so many online lenders today you will still find mortgage companies that have higher than normal debt-to-income limits.

Make sure you’re clear on where your debt-to-income ratio stands. Then, take some time to see if you can improve it before applying for a loan formally.

Down Payment Requirements

The reality is, if you have a bad credit score you’ll likely be required to save a larger minimum down payment. Generally speaking, those with a lower credit score who still qualify for lending will need a down payment of 10%.

However, regardless of what your credit history looks like, it’s useful to shop around. This is because most mortgage lenders will consider a range of factors when evaluating your loan application.

Home Buyer Assistance Programs

When considering different mortgage products, make sure to look for any home buyer assistance programs. Many companies have their own programs with benefits. They can range from a lower minimum credit score requirement, lower down payment percentages, or credits toward closing costs.

Fees

The most common mortgage fees include origination fees, application fees, underwriting fees, processing fees, and administrative fees. Some lenders don’t charge these fees, but don’t forget to check what they do charge.

Best Mortgage Lenders for Bad Credit FAQs

What is considered ‘bad credit’ for a mortgage?

According to FICO, which is the biggest credit scoring company, anything below 580 is considered poor credit. Here’s a quick run through of the entire credit scoring range:

  • 300 – 579 – Poor credit
  • 580 – 669 – Fair credit
  • 670 – 739 – Good credit
  • 740 – 799 – Very good credit
  • 800 – 850 – Exceptional credit

However, the definition of ‘bad credit’ can vary between lenders, as they won’t all stick rigidly to FICO scoring. So keep this in mind as you look for loan products to apply for, and make use of online loan quotes that don’t run hard credit checks.

Can I get approved for a mortgage with bad credit?

Absolutely, it is possible to qualify for a mortgage even if you’ve got a low credit score. Your credit score is always an important factor for mortgage lenders. However, alternative credit data such as stable employment and saving a large down payment can sometimes help offset a bad credit score.

Some mortgage products, for example, an FHA loan, comes with lower minimum credit score requirements than conventional loans. However, if possible you should always try to build your credit score before taking out a loan. This can help you significantly improve your mortgage options. It can land you a better interest rate and lower monthly payment, potentially saving you thousands of dollars.

What type of mortgage can I qualify for with bad credit?

There are several types of mortgage products available for those with poor credit:

FHA loans

Government backed loan programs, such as Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, are among the most popular option for bad credit borrowers. The majority of people will need a minimum credit score of 580 to qualify, as well as a minimum down payment of 3.5%. However, if you can make a 10% down payment, you could be eligible for an FHA mortgage with a credit score as low as 500.

VA loans

While VA loans don’t have any formal minimum credit score requirements, the reality is that the ideal credit minimum varies between lenders. If you do go for a VA loan, keep in mind that many lenders prefer to lend to those with at least good credit. However, others will be more sympathetic to lower credit scores.

USDA loans

Another of the popular government backed loans, USDA loans typically require a credit score of at least 640. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to qualify for a USDA-backed loan with a poor credit score. It just means your application will have to be processed manually, and may require consideration of alternative credit data.

If your score is high enough, you can use a USDA loan to purchase a home with no down payment.

What is the lowest credit score I can get a mortgage with?

The answer to this question will differ widely depending on the loan program and mortgage lender you choose. Conventional loans usually have a minimum credit score of 620, and for jumbo loans it’s 680. However, FHA, VA, and USDA loans have lower minimum credit score requirements and might make more sense for you if your credit is poor.

For lenders who are happy to allow bad credit mortgages, a credit score of 500 is generally the lowest that lenders will work with. Your interest rate will be high and you’re likely to need a large down payment to get a mortgage with a score this low.

Crediful
Meet the author