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6% Mortgage Rates? Watch Your Monthly Payment Instead

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6% Mortgage Rates? Watch Your Monthly Payment Instead

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Jon Reed covers the housing market for NextAdvisor. He talks with multiple experts every week in his mission to help readers understand what’s going on with mortgage rates, home prices, home equity lending, and more.

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We want to help you make more informed decisions. Some links on this page — clearly marked — may take you to a partner website and may result in us earning a referral commission. For more information, see How We Make Money.

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This is Jon Reed with NextAdvisor, and the average 30-year mortgage rate and my taste in music have something in common: They’re both about the same as they were in 2008.

So that’s good news if you’re a pop-punk band living off streaming royalties, but bad news if you’re a homebuyer. Before last week’s mortgage rates, 2008 was the last time that the average was above 6%, according to Bankrate. (Bankrate and NextAdvisor are owned by the same parent company.)

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I wrote about the historical nature of these high mortgage rates in June, and how back in the mid- to late 2000s, a rate of 6% was good. Today, the world is different. These high mortgage rates come after years of record lows, and buyers are used to seeing 3% and 4%. They also come as homes are more expensive than ever.

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Of course, the rate for your home loan is just one part of a math formula. You need to look at how it actually affects your cold, hard cash, that is, your monthly payment. Fortunately, we have a calculator for that.

Consider, for example, a $400,000 house, which is about the national average. If you were shopping last year, when mortgage rates were around 3%, you’d be looking at monthly principal and interest – not including insurance or taxes – of about $1,350 on a 30-year loan with 20% down.

Fast-forward to today. Let’s say the house is still $400,000, but the mortgage rate is 6%. Your principal and interest are now more than $1,900. That’s about a 30% increase for a house that costs exactly the same. It’s just more to finance it.

That extra $550 a month hurts – a lot. That’s why the housing market has slowed down so abruptly. It’s why prices are starting to tip downward a bit. But if you’re in the market for a house, it may be something you have to contend with. Life doesn’t line up comfortably with the economy.

Experts have given us advice on how to handle these high rates. Here are a few things that might help:

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Shop around for a mortgage. This is basic, and something you should always do. You have the ability and the right to get quotes from different lenders and see who gives you the best deal. It’s on you to make them compete. Look at the rate, but also keep an eye on fees and points – a lower rate may come with upfront costs you can’t afford.

Stay within your budget. The monthly payment is the most important thing, so make sure you can afford it. Every variable that goes into buying a house – the mortgage rate, the price, the fees, the insurance, the taxes – comes out as one simple cost you pay every month. Do you like the house at that monthly rate? Can you pay it, comfortably, every month? Take it.

Hunt for a bargain. With fewer people house hunting, you have fewer competitors for the homes that are on the market. That means you might be able to offer below the asking price or get other concessions from the seller. It also means homes are staying on the market long enough for you to find them. There might be a deal out there if you’re willing to settle for a house that’s good, if not perfect.

The important thing, no matter what happens next in the housing market, is to buy something you can afford. The future is difficult to predict. A fixed-rate mortgage payment isn’t.

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Mortgage

Mortgage Rates Are Over 6%, A Level Not Seen Since 2008. Why Next Week’s Fed Meeting Could Push Them Even Higher

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Mortgage Rates Are Over 6%, A Level Not Seen Since 2008. Why Next Week’s Fed Meeting Could Push Them Even Higher

Credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A ‘For Sale’ sign outside a house in Albany, California, on May 31, 2022. Homebuyers are facing a worsening affordability situation with mortgage rates hovering around the highest levels in more than a decade.

We want to help you make more informed decisions. Some links on this page — clearly marked — may take you to a partner website and may result in us earning a referral commission. For more information, see How We Make Money.

Key Takeaways

  • The rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage rose ten basis points to 6.12% this week, the highest since 2008.
  • The Federal Reserve is likely to raise its benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points next week in its ongoing bid to reduce inflation.
  • Mortgage rates may move even higher — or they may stay the same, experts say.

Mortgage rates are above 6%, the highest they’ve been since 2008. With the Federal Reserve poised to raise its benchmark interest rate again next week, they could move even higher, experts say – or they could stay basically the same.

Experts expect the Fed will favor an increase of 75 basis points in its key rate in its ongoing bid to bring down inflation. The latest consumer price index (CPI) shows an increase of 8.3% year-over-year in August, indicating inflation is still hot. If the CPI were even 0.1% lower, “the Fed might’ve been looking at a 50-basis-point increase,” says Shashank Shekhar, founder and CEO of InstaMortgage, a digital mortgage lender. 

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Mortgage rates have roughly doubled since the start of the year due to high inflation, and jumped again this week, with the average 30-year fixed rate rising ten basis points to 6.12% in a survey by Bankrate, which, like NextAdvisor, is owned by Red Ventures. A similar survey from Freddie Mac, a government-sponsored entity that plays a key role in the mortgage market, showed that average at 6.02% – its first time over 6%  since November 2008.  

Both rates jumped after this week’s inflation report. That move might have been in anticipation of the Fed’s action next week – meaning we might not see much movement after the Fed hikes rates.

“If the Fed does what everyone expects them to do, I personally don’t see the 30-year fixed rate increasing,” says Nicole Rueth, producing branch manager with the Rueth Team Powered by OneTrust Home Loans. “I think what happened after the CPI report was that reaction baking in.”

Here’s what experts anticipate is coming for the mortgage market, and what it means for borrowers.

What to Expect from the Federal Reserve 

The Fed won’t make its decision official until Sept. 21, but experts often have a good idea what’s coming, and how it might affect mortgage rates.  

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“Interest rates have been bouncing around for basically the entire summer. So, I don’t think buyers are that surprised by what’s happening – it’s more of the same,” says Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin, a national real estate brokerage. “What’s worrisome is that the Fed might have to go so far as to put us into a recession to stop inflation.” 

Experts agree the Fed is likely to hike rates this month, as well as in the months leading into 2023. The question, then, is by how much? 

“The Fed has the full go-ahead to raise rates by 0.75%. It even added to the conversation the potential for a 1% increase, although personally, I don’t think that’s likely,” Rueth says. 

By making it more expensive to borrow money via higher interest rates, the goal is to curb consumer spending. Ideally, the Fed will hike rates just enough to slow demand – and reduce prices – without landing in a recession.  

Get the latest on the housing market delivered to your inbox every week.

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In your inbox every Thursday

How Does the Fed Affect Mortgage Rates? 

With mortgage rates topping 6% for the first time since 2008, it’s understandable that further rate hikes may be concerning for homebuyers.  

Whether the Fed decides on 75 basis points or 100 basis points, they won’t have a direct impact on mortgage rates. However, it’s likely that there will be some change. “Mortgage rates tend to go higher when you get a stronger inflation report, but there is no direct correlation” with the Fed’s rate, Shekhar says.  

Just because some interest rates will go up doesn’t mean that all rates will do the same.  One possibility: That the mortgage rate market has already factored in the expected Fed rate hike. 

“In some cases, when the Fed has been really aggressive in pushing up rates, mortgage rates reacted favorably because they think that will help tame down the inflation,” Shekhar says.  

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What Does This Mean for Homebuyers?

In recent months, mortgage rates have varied by the month, week, and even day. So, while a rate above 6% is not the most enticing, remember that it doesn’t have to be forever. “If you lock in a mortgage, you can still refinance when rates fall as we come out of this inflationary period. What I think people should try to plan for is what they would do if they lose their job,” Fairweather says.  

Mortgage rates are likely to remain unpredictable as the Fed works to get inflation under control. Rather than hyper-fixating on mortgage rates, experts recommend homebuyers focus on their own finances and determine the extent of what they can afford for a monthly payment.  

The consensus? Keep a finger on the pulse, but control what you can control. “I’m telling all of my clients to focus on the payments, not the rates,” says Rueth.  

Shop around for multiple quotes to ensure you get the best deal. You might get wildly different numbers from various lenders, so taking the time to do some research is well worth it in the long run. 

Pro Tip

When it comes to your mortgage, focus on whether you can afford the monthly payment rather than what the rate might do.

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Mortgage

Mortgage Rates Are Over 6%, A Level Not Seen Since 2008. Why This Week’s Fed Meeting Could Push Them Even Higher

Published

on

Mortgage Rates Are Over 6%, A Level Not Seen Since 2008. Why This Week’s Fed Meeting Could Push Them Even Higher

Credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A ‘For Sale’ sign outside a house in Albany, California, on May 31, 2022. Homebuyers are facing a worsening affordability situation with mortgage rates hovering around the highest levels in more than a decade.

We want to help you make more informed decisions. Some links on this page — clearly marked — may take you to a partner website and may result in us earning a referral commission. For more information, see How We Make Money.

Key Takeaways

  • The rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage rose ten basis points to 6.12% last week, the highest since 2008.
  • The Federal Reserve is likely to raise its benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points this week in its ongoing bid to reduce inflation.
  • Mortgage rates may move even higher — or they may stay the same, experts say.

Mortgage rates are above 6%, the highest they’ve been since 2008. With the Federal Reserve poised to raise its benchmark interest rate again this week, they could move even higher, experts say – or they could stay basically the same.

Experts expect the Fed will favor an increase of 75 basis points in its key rate in its ongoing bid to bring down inflation. The latest consumer price index (CPI) shows an increase of 8.3% year-over-year in August, indicating inflation is still hot. If the CPI were even 0.1% lower, “the Fed might’ve been looking at a 50-basis-point increase,” says Shashank Shekhar, founder and CEO of InstaMortgage, a digital mortgage lender. 

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Mortgage rates have roughly doubled since the start of the year due to high inflation, and jumped again last week, with the average 30-year fixed rate rising ten basis points to 6.12% in a survey by Bankrate, which, like NextAdvisor, is owned by Red Ventures. A similar survey from Freddie Mac, a government-sponsored entity that plays a key role in the mortgage market, showed that average at 6.02% – its first time over 6%  since November 2008.  

Both rates jumped after last week’s inflation report. That move might have been in anticipation of the Fed’s action this week – meaning we might not see much movement after the Fed hikes rates.

“If the Fed does what everyone expects them to do, I personally don’t see the 30-year fixed rate increasing,” says Nicole Rueth, producing branch manager with the Rueth Team Powered by OneTrust Home Loans. “I think what happened after the CPI report was that reaction baking in.”

Here’s what experts anticipate is coming for the mortgage market, and what it means for borrowers.

What to Expect from the Federal Reserve 

The Fed won’t make its decision official until Sept. 21, but experts often have a good idea what’s coming, and how it might affect mortgage rates.  

Advertisement

“Interest rates have been bouncing around for basically the entire summer. So, I don’t think buyers are that surprised by what’s happening – it’s more of the same,” says Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin, a national real estate brokerage. “What’s worrisome is that the Fed might have to go so far as to put us into a recession to stop inflation.” 

Experts agree the Fed is likely to hike rates this month, as well as in the months leading into 2023. The question, then, is by how much? 

“The Fed has the full go-ahead to raise rates by 0.75%. It even added to the conversation the potential for a 1% increase, although personally, I don’t think that’s likely,” Rueth says. 

By making it more expensive to borrow money via higher interest rates, the goal is to curb consumer spending. Ideally, the Fed will hike rates just enough to slow demand – and reduce prices – without landing in a recession.  

Get the latest on the housing market delivered to your inbox every week.

Advertisement

In your inbox every Thursday

How Does the Fed Affect Mortgage Rates? 

With mortgage rates topping 6% for the first time since 2008, it’s understandable that further rate hikes may be concerning for homebuyers.  

Whether the Fed decides on 75 basis points or 100 basis points, they won’t have a direct impact on mortgage rates. However, it’s likely that there will be some change. “Mortgage rates tend to go higher when you get a stronger inflation report, but there is no direct correlation” with the Fed’s rate, Shekhar says.  

Just because some interest rates will go up doesn’t mean that all rates will do the same. One possibility: That the mortgage rate market has already factored in the expected Fed rate hike. 

“In some cases, when the Fed has been really aggressive in pushing up rates, mortgage rates reacted favorably because they think that will help tame down the inflation,” Shekhar says.  

Advertisement

What Does This Mean for Homebuyers?

In recent months, mortgage rates have varied by the month, week, and even day. So, while a rate above 6% is not the most enticing, remember that it doesn’t have to be forever. “If you lock in a mortgage, you can still refinance when rates fall as we come out of this inflationary period. What I think people should try to plan for is what they would do if they lose their job,” Fairweather says.  

Mortgage rates are likely to remain unpredictable as the Fed works to get inflation under control. Rather than hyper-fixating on mortgage rates, experts recommend homebuyers focus on their own finances and determine the extent of what they can afford for a monthly payment.  

The consensus? Keep a finger on the pulse, but control what you can control. “I’m telling all of my clients to focus on the payments, not the rates,” says Rueth.  

Shop around for multiple quotes to ensure you get the best deal. You might get wildly different numbers from various lenders, so taking the time to do some research is well worth it in the long run. 

Pro Tip

When it comes to your mortgage, focus on whether you can afford the monthly payment rather than what the rate might do.

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Mortgage

10 Best Mortgage Lenders In Colorado

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10 Best Mortgage Lenders In Colorado

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Andrew Wan

Andrew Wan

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Contributing Writer

Andrew Wan has over 10 years of experience in the mortgage industry, having held roles as a…

July 20, 2022 | 9 Min Read

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We want to help you make more informed decisions. Some links on this page — clearly marked — may take you to a partner website and may result in us earning a referral commission. For more information, see How We Make Money.

If you’re looking to buy or refinance in Colorado, the “Centennial State,” choosing the wrong mortgage lender can end up costing you thousands of dollars in the long run. 

Saving money on a mortgage loan takes more than just being a well-qualified borrower. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, two similarly qualified borrowers could see a difference of as much as 0.5% in rates between different lenders. Over the life of the loan, the difference in monthly payments could easily add up to tens of thousands of dollars, enough for a number of vacations, new cars, home improvements, and more. 

The median Colorado sales price is up 19.6% year-over-year, according to data from the Colorado Association of Realtors. With the Colorado housing market being as hot as it has been lately, borrowers without large down payment savings will need to take on larger loan amounts. Shopping rates and lenders is one of the best actions a buyer can take to help themselves make sure they’re getting the best deal possible. 

You can check rates among different types of lenders, such as national banks, mortgage brokers, or smaller local credit unions. In choosing the best lender, transparency, national footprint, ease of use, rates, and fees are just a few things you could consider. 

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To help you navigate the process, NextAdvisor reviewed 51 different lenders and scored each one and narrowed down the list to the 10 best mortgage lenders in Colorado. 

Editorial Independence

As with all of our mortgage lender reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information about our scoring methodology, click here.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

10 Best Mortgage Lenders In Colorado   

Best With Fast Preapprovals and Closings

Guaranteed Rate

Best With Fast Preapprovals and Closings

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Guaranteed Rate

  • Guaranteed Rate’s Standout Feature::

    Guaranteed Rate says it can provide a preapproval letter in around 15 minutes, and the company goal is to be clear to close within 10 days.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • More than 400 branch locations nationwide
  • Operates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Fully online mortgage application process
  • Detailed advertised rates for many of its loan products
  • Online preapproval 15 minutes
  • Fast closings

Cons

  • Lenders fees not available online
  • Some loan types are brokered off to other lenders

The Bottom Line

Guaranteed Rate is a Chicago-headquartered firm with a strong online presence and 400 branch locations  across the country. We ranked the company a top lender because of its top-of-the-line digital experience, helpful consumer tools, solid customer service, and variety of loan products, including all three government loans.

Guaranteed rate received fewer consumer complaints compared to most other lenders we reviewed. The company logged less than one complaint per 1,000 loans originated with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) consumer complaint database, the agency responsible for collecting, monitoring, and responding to U.S. consumer complaints about financial services and products.

See our full review of Guaranteed Rate here.

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Best for Military Families

Navy Federal Credit Union

Best for Military Families

Navy Federal Credit Union

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  • Navy Federal Credit Union Standout Feature:

    Offers a unique relock rate option: You can lock in your interest rate and relock it twice if rates improve before closing.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Specializes in providing services and advice to the military community
  • Offers no-down-payment mortgages
  • Has flexible credit requirements
  • Doesn’t charge private mortgage insurance
  • You can lock in your interest rate and relock it twice if rates improve

Cons

  • Membership is limited to service members, veterans, and certain government contractors
  • Doesn’t offer FHA loans and USDA loans
  • You’ll have to request a customized rate quote

The Bottom Line

Headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, Navy Federal Credit Union serves all 50 states and has 344 branches worldwide. Navy Federal Credit Union was a high-scoring lender by NextAdvisor because of its price transparency, streamlined online application process, and loan product variety. It has a slightly above average complaint ratio of 2.8 complaints per 1,000 loans with the CFPB. But this lender offers no-down payment and flexible credit requirements on most mortgage products to qualified military service members and their families.

See our full review of Navy Federal Credit Union here.

Top Lender In Customer Satisfaction

Rocket Mortgage

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Top Lender In Customer Satisfaction

Rocket Mortgage

  • Rocket Mortgage’s Standout Feature:

    Despite its magnitude, the company has lower-than-average consumer complaints registered on the CFPB consumer complaint database.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Quick and easy preapproval process
  • Entirely remote application and approval process
  • Lends in 50 states
  • Wide range of loan options
  • Strong customer service reputation

Cons

  • No physical locations
  • You’ll need to call or chat with a representative for some loan information
  • No construction loans or renovation loans
  • Advertised rates may include discount points, which increase your upfront costs
  • Difficult to find mortgage menu of loans

The Bottom Line

Rocket mortgage is the online lender for Quicken Loans and is one of the largest mortgage lenders in the U.S. We ranked the Detroit-based company as one of the best mortgage lenders because of its simple online application process, low level of consumer complaints, the transparency and accessibility of its rates and fees, and the company’s wide offering of mortgage loan products.

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Rocket Mortgage stands out for the company’s high level of customer satisfaction. Rocket Mortgage originated over one million loans in 2020, making it the largest lender we reviewed by total volume.  We found 0.48 complaints per 1,000 loans — or less than half a complaint per 1,000 loans occurred. This figure is very low compared to the average complaint ratio of 2 complaints per 1,000 loans among other lenders we reviewed.

See our full review of Rocket Mortgage here.

Top Lender Among Military Families

Veterans United Home Loans

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Top Lender Among Military Families

Veterans United Home Loans

  • Veterans United Standout Feature:

    Veterans United provides a wealth of information on its website regarding what to expect through the loan process, closing, how to prepare for homeownership, home loans basics, credit, and underwriting.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Mortgage loans available in all 50 states
  • Educational content available through the company’s website
  • Highly experienced in VA loans as a top three VA loan originator for five consecutive years
  • Low number of consumer complaints with the CFPB
  • Offers a number of loan programs including VA, jumbo, conventional, FHA, and USDA
  • Full online application process

Cons

  • Limited online rate information; must call to see other rate options such as discount points
  • Difficult to find information regarding non-VA loan options
  • Does not offer home equity loans or lines of credit

The Bottom Line

Veterans United Home Loans, headquartered in Missouri, is a mortgage lender that specializes in VA home loans in all 50 states. Veterans United is incredibly active in the VA loan space. The U.S. the Department of Veterans Affairs has listed Veterans United in the top three among VA loan lenders by volume for five consecutive years. While the company focuses heavily on VA loans, it also offers conventional, jumbo, FHA, and USDA loans.

Veterans United has a fully digitized and easy online application process. Compared to other lenders we’ve reviewed, the company had one of the lowest complaint ratios logged with the CFPB: less than half of one complaint per 1,000 loans originated.

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See our full review of Veterans United Home Loans here.

Best for the Non-Traditional Borrower

North American Savings Bank

Best for the Non-Traditional Borrower

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North American Savings Bank

  • NASB’s Standout Feature:

    NASB has several programs that can help non-traditional borrowers get a home such as the self-employed and those with a less-than-prefect credit history.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Lends in 50 states
  • Has unique loans products for borrowers with credit issues or are self-employed
  • Advertises daily interest rates for purchase and refinance loans
  • Can get lower rate if rate drops during 90-day rate lock period
  • Streamlined online application process
  • Can get customized rate quote without hard credit check

Cons

  • 12 in-person branches, but only in Missouri
  • Does not offer USDA loans, construction loans, renovation loans, and home equity products
  • Higher credit score standards on FHA and VA loans

The Bottom Line

Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, North American Savings Bank (NASB) is a full-service bank that lends in all 50 states. North American Savings Bank has a more extensive mortgage menu than most, including options for veterans, first-time homebuyers, self-employed people, and borrowers with less-than-perfect credit histories. That’s because the bank offers VA loans, FHA loans, and mortgages for people who don’t fit conforming loan standards. NASB also has a streamlined online application process with transparent pricing for browsing borrowers.

See our full review of North American Savings Bank (NASB) here.

Best for Full Service Banking

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Truist (SunTrust and BB&T) Mortgage

Best for Full Service Banking

Truist (SunTrust and BB&T) Mortgage

  • Truist Bank’s Standout Feature:

    There is an allure of convenience to also have your mortgage through the same institution you bank with

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

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  • Offers a full lineup of the major mortgage programs
  • Advertises sample mortgage rates on both the SunTrust and BB&T websites
  • Mortgages available in 47 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Can submit an application online, by phone, or in person

Cons

  • Gathering mortgage product information is slightly confusing because of the merger
  • Mortgages not available in Hawaii, Alaska, or Arizona

The Bottom Line

Truist Bank, now merged with Suntrust and BB&T under its name, has an extensive footprint across the U.S. through its thousands of brick-and-mortar branches and online presence. Along with the company’s solid menu of mortgage products, easy-to-use online application process, transparency of rate and fee information, and average number of complaints compared to other reviewed lenders, the brand’s website is easy to navigate with several useful resources to help with the borrowing process, such as calculators, videos, and sample mortgages.

Truist offers a comprehensive menu of online or in-person banking accounts such as checkingsavingsmoney market, and CDs. If you are in the market for a bank, looking to switch banks, or already have a Truist account, there is an allure of convenience to also have your mortgage through the same institution. Some lending institutions also give incentives or discounts to existing account holders.

See our full review of Truist Bank here.

Best Online Application Process

Sebonic Financial

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Best Online Application Process

Sebonic Financial

  • Sebonic Financial’s Standout Feature:

    Sebonic’s proprietary borrowing platform, Octane. We found Octane to be one of the best online application processes

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Offers a streamlined digital application and closing process
  • Funds conventional loans, jumbo loans, and all three government-backed loan programs
  • Available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Interest-only jumbo ARMs available

Cons

  • Mortgage rates aren’t published on the lender’s website
  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans, HELOCs, renovation loans, reverse mortgages, or construction loans
  • In-person branches only available in Charlotte, North Carolina; Gaithersburg, Maryland; and Las Vegas, Nevada

The Bottom Line

Sebonic Financial is the mortgage lender division of North Carolina-headquartered Cardinal Financial. Sebonic Financial scored well with NextAdvisor because of the company’s high-end digital borrowing experience, full mortgage product lineup which is available in all 50 states,  and the lender’s history of below-average customer complaints with the CFPB. Based on 2020 data, Sebonic has less than one complaint per 1,000 loans originated in the same year.

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Although Sebonic’s mortgage rates and fees are not listed on the company website, the online system, Octane, makes it easy to access a quote without a credit check or drawn-out process. With Octane, borrowers can get a fast rate quote, start an application, upload documents, and sign closing documents, with real-time updates along the way. We found Octane to be one of the best online application processes compared to other lenders we’ve reviewed. It’s easy-to-use, high-tech, and we appreciate the ability to have a full-online digital experience with the option to speak to loan officers.

See our full review of Sebonic Financial here.

Best Online Experience

Penny Mac Loan Services

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Best Online Experience

Penny Mac Loan Services

  • Pennymac’s Standout Feature:

    Very low complaint history and best overall online user experience with price transparency and user-friendly application process

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Advertises daily interest rates for purchases and refinances
  • Customized rate quote available online
  • User-friendly online experience
  • Available in 49 states (not available in New York)
  • Maintains 16 branch locations spread across nine states

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer home equity products, jumbo mortgages, reverse mortgages, construction loans, and renovation loans
  • Doesn’t share information about minimum qualification requirements on its website

The Bottom Line

Pennymac Loan Services isn’t a well-known name. But the California-based mortgage lender stands out for its convenient online application process, ability to get a rate quote without a credit check, transparency of rates and fees, and low frequency of consumer complaints with the CFPB. In 2020, the CFPB reported less than 0.30 complaints per 1,000 loans. Pennymac offers most major mortgage products and all three-government loans in 49 states, with 16 brick-and-mortar branch locations.

The brand had one of the lowest complaint ratios among lenders we reviewed, but the more noticeable standout feature is the overall online experience. At NextAdvisor, we value price transparency and accessibility. Pennymac met this expectation with daily rate and fee updates and customizable rate quotes on its user-friendly webpage.

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See our full review of Pennymac Loan Services here.

Best for the Self-Employed Borrower

Watermark Home Loans

Best for the Self-Employed Borrower

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Watermark Home Loans

  • Watermark Home Loan’s Standout Feature:

    The “Non-QM loan,” or “Non-Qualified Mortgage” for the non-traditional borrowers, such as the self-employed, a history of bankruptcy, or with less attractive debt-to-income ratios. 

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Solid mortgage menu of products including all three government loans
  • Unique loan product for the non-traditional self-employed borrower
  • Calculators and tools very helpful
  • Easy digital application process
  • Low level of consumer complaints

Cons

  • Only originates mortgages in 38 states (more states coming soon)
  • A breakdown of lender closing fees is not provided with rate quote

The Bottom Line

Watermark Home Loans based out of Irvine, CA, and currently licensed in 38 states. The company is named one of NextAdvisor’s best mortgage lenders of 2022 because of its streamlined online application process, extensive loan product menu including standard conventional, jumbo, and refinance loans, but also all three government-backed loans (FHA, VA, and USDA). Another stand out product by Watermark is its “non-qualified mortgage” meant to serve borrowers with unique income criteria, such as the self-employed.

Watermark has a fully digital online application process with document uploading capabilities. The company also offers an online notary service so you can opt to complete closing paperwork all online versus in person. 

Borrowers can receive a customized rate quote by filling out a form online with basic information and then will get an email with a few different quote options to review that lays out clearly discount points, lender credits, or closing costs options. Watermark Home Loans advertises national daily rate averages along with data indicators of how much each loan type’s rate has moved up or down in the last 30 days.

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Watermark has a lower-than-average number of consumer complaints: Less than one complaint per 1,000 originated loans in 2020, according to the CFPB’s consumer complaint database.

See our full review of Watermark Home Loans here.

Best Pricing Transparency

LenderFi

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Best Pricing Transparency

LenderFi

  • LenderFi’s Standout Feature:

    Out side of third-party closing fees, LenderFi advertises no additional lender fees as part of the closing costs.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Rate quotes can be obtained online without a credit check
  • Quick and easy to reach a loan representative by phone
  • Very friendly customer service
  • Does not charge lender fees
  • Super transparent pricing

Cons

  • Short list of loan types: No VA, USDA, or home equity loans
  • Loans are not offered in all 50 states
  • Company’s website has minimal educational content

The Bottom Line

Headquartered in Calabasas, CA, LenderFi is named one of NextAdvisor’s best lenders because of the company’s easy-to-use online application process. LenderFi provides a unique feature to its rate quotes: A full, transparent, line-by-line breakdown of all rates and fees before even getting a credit check. Discount points are clearly advertised with how they affect the APR and monthly payment. The quote even estimates homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance (if applicable), property tax costs, and all third-party closing fees.

What’s more, the company has a below-average number of consumer complaints (per 1,000 loans originated) logged with the (CFPB).

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The company advertises that it does not charge lender fees as part of the closing costs. Third-party closing fees, such as appraisal, title insurance, and inspection costs still apply. But LenderFi says no additional lender costs are passed to the borrowers. Instead, all lender-related costs are rolled into the quoted rate and APR.

See our full review of LenderFi here.

Honorable Mention

Best Lender Marketplace

Costco Mortgage Program

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Best Lender Marketplace

Costco Mortgage Program

  • Costco Mortgage Program Standout Feature:

    Costco members have access to a network of lenders in one marketplace, one credit check, and potential discounts and incentives for borrowing through this platform.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Costco members get discounts on lender fees
  • Applicants can compare loans from several lenders
  • The mortgage application process is quick and automated

Cons

  • Fee discounts are only available to Costco members
  • Not a direct lender, but a marketplace program

The Bottom Line

The Costco mortgage program does not originate mortgages, so it was not included in the list of best mortgage lenders. However, the useful marketplace is worth an honorable mention. Costco members have access to a network of participating mortgage lenders offering discounts and incentives for borrowing through this channel. Through the Costco mortgage marketplace website, you can fill out a universal application, compare loan offers, and cash-in on discounts or lender fees if you choose a lender through this program. The marketplace platform is easy to navigate with transparent pricing and terms. You can get a rate quote online in minutes and will only be contacted by the lender with your expressed permission.

See our full review of the Costco Mortgage program here.

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How We Chose the Best Mortgage Lenders

Methodology

To find the best mortgage lenders in Colorado, we first looked at all the mortgage lenders NextAdvisor has reviewed so far. We then eliminated any lender that is not available to Colorado residents.

To score mortgage lenders, we’ve developed a framework using a weighted average score between 0 and 5, with more weight awarded to the criteria we determined to be the most important.

Our list doesn’t take into account key financial factors like mortgage rates, APRs, and fees, because those depend on market conditions and your individual creditworthiness. Instead of focusing on those numbers, it’s best to first determine the qualities you want in a lender and how to find the best mortgage rates. Then you’ll be prepared to find the best lender for you.

The factors we used to evaluate the best mortgage lenders:

  1. Online Convenience: A lender is scored 1 through 5 based on the company’s online application experience. A 5 is awarded if the company’s mortgage application can be completed fully online with a streamlined process, including uploading documents and a customized rate quote. A lower score is awarded if additional phone calls are needed to process an application or for a poor online user experience.
  2. Transparency: Lenders are scored 0 through 5 based on the accessibility and transparency of mortgage rates, lender fees, and credit check requirements for rates and/or fees. A 5 is awarded if the lender advertises rates and fees on its websites and doesn’t require a hard credit check to get rates and/or fees. Conversely, a lower score is awarded when consumers cannot easily access rate and fee information and/or must go through a hard credit check to access them.
  3. Nationwide Availability: Lenders are scored 1 through 5 based on the company’s geographical footprint. A lender can score a 5 if it operates in all 50 U.S. States. Lenders were eliminated from this list if they are not licensed to lend in the state of Colorado.
  4. Loan Product Variety: Lenders are scored 1 through 5 based on their loan product menu and variety of products offered. A high score of 5 is given if most or all mortgage products are available, with a lower score awarded for a limited mortgage menu.
  5. Customer Satisfaction: To measure customer satisfaction, we reviewed the number of complaints filed against each lender with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2020. We divided the total consumer complaints with the total number of loans originated over the same time period to get a complaint ratio per 1,000 loans originated. We sourced the total loans originated using publicly accessible data provided under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and regulated by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC).

What Are Today’s Mortgage Rates in Colorado?

For Wednesday, July 20, 2022, here are the current mortgage rates in Colorado. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 5.690%. The average 30-year fixed mortgage refinance rate is 5.630%. Today, the average 15-year fixed mortgage rate is 4.950%.

Looking at variable rate loans, the average 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) rate is %. 

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This information is from Bankrate’s latest survey of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders.

Current Mortgage Rates In Colorado 

Loan Type Rate
30-year Fixed 5.690%
15-year Fixed 4.950%
5/1 ARM %
30-Year Refi 5.630%

How to Find the Best Mortgage Lender for Your Situation

The best lender for someone else may not be the right fit for you. You should consider your own personal circumstances and goals to figure out what is most important to you in a lender. For instance, if you’re familiar with the process of obtaining a home loan, you may value pricing and transparency far greater than customer service. On the other hand, if you foresee yourself having many questions throughout the process, you may want to find a lender that offers great customer support or physical branch locations you can visit in person. 

To help in the search for the right lender for you, here are a few additional things you could consider:

Transparent Pricing

Finding a lender that offers competitive interest rates and fees can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. If you’re comparing lenders, make sure to get a written loan estimate, as it will help you avoid surprise fees showing up later on in the process. Also make sure to provide each lender with the same loan scenario, such as your loan amount, down payment, purchase price, and type of property you are looking to purchase. On top of the interest rate, remember to also consider fees like discount points. Some lenders will offer a seemingly lower interest rate, and will simply charge additional one-time fees elsewhere. A mortgage calculator can help you determine when it might make sense to pay these additional fees. 

Loan programs

Different types of loan programs have their own perks, benefits, and requirements. Finding a lender that offers the best program for you could mean the difference between being approved or denied. For instance, if you don’t have funds for a down payment, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to be approved for a conventional loan, unless you qualify for a first-time homebuyer grant. Those who are eligible for VA loans, however, could qualify for a VA loan requiring no down payment. Similarly, borrowers who have blemishes on their credit may find it easier to qualify for FHA loans, as opposed to conventional loans which are typically more strict. 

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Compare Offers With Multiple Lenders

Make sure you’ve shopped rates and fees with several lenders. One lender may be offering incentives for a particular loan that can save you money. Some mortgage lenders may also offer a wider range of loan types or terms. 

It’s also important to examine the loan estimate so that you have something in writing as to what fees the lender has promised. It can get confusing to know which deal is best, especially when one lender offers a lower interest rate but higher fees. Comparing each loan offer’s APR (annual percentage rate) can give you a better picture of the actual and overall cost. APR factors in many of the loan’s fees, in addition to the interest rate, over the loan’s full term. 

Using this Home Loan Comparison Calculator, you can enter in all the variables of each offer and see a side-by-side comparison. When entering each loan, make sure to add the closing costs and other upfront fees. Then you can see the actual costs for each loan over time.

Home loan comparison calculator

Compare your payment options side-by-side to see which is right for you and your financial situation.

Find the mortgage that’s best for you by comparing the cost of multiple loans over time.

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First Time Home Buying Assistance Programs in Colorado

First-time homebuyer assistance programs offer borrowers some type of help to make their dream of homeownership come true. This can be in the form of things like down payment assistance, grants, tax breaks, or loans. Programs will vary depending on the city, county, or state in which you are located, and will also have specific eligibility requirements that you might have to satisfy. 

You can browse your state, city, or county’s website for information on specific programs available. A local real estate agent can also be a great resource to determine what types of first-time home buying assistance programs could be available to you. 

If you are considering a purchase of a home in Colorado as a first-time home buyer, here are a few programs you may be eligible for:

Is It Better to Go with a Local Colorado Mortgage Lender?

In deciding between a local Colorado lender versus a nationwide lender, you should think about your goals and what is most important to you. Local lenders could offer specialized knowledge that could make the process flow more smoothly. For instance, nuances with certain neighborhoods could result in appraisal issues with a nationwide lender, but local lenders familiar with these areas may be able to handpick an appraisal company knowledgeable enough to avoid such issues. Online lenders, on the other hand, might be able to provide more competitive pricing since they don’t have as much overhead to pay for in terms of rent or expenses associated with physical branch locations.   

Pros and Cons of Choosing an Online Lender

Pros

  • More likely to provide more competitive pricing

  • May have faster turnaround times

  • Can usually save you time by allowing you to upload documents online

Cons

  • Can be more difficult to get a hold of customer service

  • Less likely to be able to have in-person interactions

  • May not be knowledgeable with your specific neighborhood

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who is the best mortgage lender in Colorado?

If you’re not familiar with the lending process, you could consider going with a lender known for great customer service, and one that has physical branch locations so that you can meet with a loan officer in person to walk you through the process. On the other hand, if your priority is to get the best deal possible, an online lender might be your best bet. Online lenders don’t have expenses associated with companies that have to pay for physical branch locations and can sometimes pass those savings to borrowers in the form of lower rates and fees.

Which Colorado mortgage lenders are the cheapest?

If you’re looking for the least expensive lender, remember to take into account not only the interest rate but also any fees charged with the loan. Some lenders may offer a lower interest rate and lower monthly payments, but may not be the best deal for you in the long run if they charge an excessive amount of discount points or fees for that low rate. You can always use a mortgage calculator to figure out the best deal for you based on the interest rate and closing costs.

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