Best Mortgage Lenders In Florida

Editor’s note: The Bankrate Score considers a mortgage lender’s products and services only; it is not a reflection of a lender’s internal operations or practices. We continuously evaluate each lender we review to ensure the Bankrate Score is consistent with this methodology. If you’d like to consider other lenders, visit Bankrate’s lender review hub.

If you’re hoping to buy a home in Florida, you’ll have to deal with the current cloud hanging over The Sunshine State: a lack of housing inventory that’s pushing prices upward. That surge in prices makes comparing mortgage lenders in Florida more important than ever. Here are some of the best lenders in the state that have earned high marks from Bankrate and positive feedback from borrowers.


Methodology

To determine the best mortgage lenders by state, Bankrate evaluated lenders based on several criteria, including affordability (APR, discounts and/or incentives); availability (approval/closing timelines, loan products); and experience (application process, customer service).


Best mortgage lenders in Florida

Direct Home Lending

Direct Home Lending review

Direct Home Lending has a five-out-of-five Bankrate Score, making it one of the best options out there for Florida homebuyers and homeowners. You’ll find conventional, FHA and VA loan options through this lender, and if you qualify, you can expect an approval in less than 24 hours and to close in as little as 14 days (if purchasing a home). Depending on your situation, you might also be able to take advantage of the lender’s zero-closing cost option.

Loan products
  • Purchase and refinance
  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • FHA
  • VA
  • Investment property
  • Reverse mortgages
Credit requirements 620 for conventional loans; 680 for jumbo loans; 600 for FHA loans; 600 for VA loans
Pros
  • Fast underwriting and quick closings
  • No-closing cost option
Cons 
  • No USDA loans
  • No home equity line of credit (HELOC) or home equity loan options
Expected closing time 14-30 days

Veterans United Home Loans

Veterans United Home Loans review

As you might have guessed, Veterans United Home Loans specializes in VA loans, but you’ll also find conventional, FHA and USDA loans with this lender. You can expect a smooth experience, complete with 24/7 customer service for when questions pop up along the way. Notably, Veterans United Home Loans has some flexibility when it comes to qualifying borrowers, and might be able to consider non-traditional credit data on your application.

Loan products
  • Purchase and refinance
  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
Credit requirements 620 for conventional loans and VA loans
Pros
  • VA loan specialist
  • 24/7 phone customer support
  • Free credit counseling for servicemembers
Cons 
  • No HELOCs or home equity loans
Expected closing time 30-45 days

Better.com

Better.com mortgage review

If you’re looking for a conventional or FHA loan, Better.com could be a convenient online choice, offering competitive rates in part due to low overhead (it has no branch locations). In addition to low rates, the lender doesn’t charge fees for your application or an origination fee, which it estimates saves borrowers approximately $3,500.

Loan products
  • Purchase and refinance
  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • FHA
  • Bridge loans
Credit requirements 620 for conventional loans
Pros
  • Entirely online experience (but with human support available)
  • No commissions or fee charges
  • ·Automated process nets preapproval letter in three minutes
Cons 
  • No branches to visit
  • Not all loan types available
Expected closing time 21-45 days

eClick Lending

eClick Lending mortgage review

eClick Lending offers conventional, FHA, VA and USDA loans. When working with this lender, the process can start online, but you can’t finalize your application until you consult with a loan officer. Despite this offline component, purchase closings are still relatively fast: On average, you can expect to close a purchase in 21 days with this highly-rated lender.

Loan products
  • Purchase and refinance
  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Investment property
Credit requirements 620 for conventional loans
Pros
  • Quick closings available
  • Borrowers report positive experience
Cons 
  • Must speak to loan officer to get preapproved
Expected closing time Average of 21 days

First Midwest Bank

First Midwest Bank mortgage review

Although First Midwest Bank sounds like it only services one part of the U.S., its mortgage products are available in most states, including Florida. The bank has a 4.9 Bankrate Score out of five stars, which makes it a top lender in our book for a conventional, FHA, VA or USDA loan. Although the bank operates some brick-and-mortar locations (only in a few states), most of the loan process can be easily completed online.

Loan products
  • Purchase and refinance
  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Jumbo
  • HELOC
  • Home equity loan
  • Construction and renovation loans
  • Physician loan
  • Portfolio loan
Credit requirements 620 for conventional loans
Pros
  • Rebate on closing costs for banking customers
  • Special loan programs for first responders
Cons
  • Branch locations only available in four states
Expected closing time 35-40 days

Florida conforming loan limits

Before you start looking for a home, you should have a solid understanding of your price point. That’s not just about your budget, either.

Depending on the type of loan you use to purchase your home, it might be subject to conforming loan limits. If it’s a conventional mortgage, the amount is capped at $647,200, which is the limit imposed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency in 2022. If your loan is backed by the FHA, the loan limits are different, and in some areas, might be surprisingly higher. For example, in Monroe County, home to Key West, the FHA limit for 2022 is $710,700. In most places in Florida, though, you’ll need to adhere to the FHA’s standard limit this year of $420,680.

Check out Bankrate’s county-by-county listing of conforming loan limits in Florida to see what applies to you.

Florida first-time homebuyer programs

Buying your first home can be especially daunting, but you might be able to qualify for some extra help to ease your worries from Florida Housing, the state’s housing finance authority. The organization works with lenders to offer a range of programs that can help you lock in competitive rates on 30-year loans, pay less for mortgage insurance and get access to cash to cover down payment and closing costs.

To take advantage of any of Florida Housing’s offerings, you’ll need to meet income and purchase price requirements and complete a homebuyer education course. You can learn more about Florida first-time homebuyer programs here.

Tips to get the best mortgage rate

Mortgage rates can look similar at first glance. What’s the difference between 3.5 percent versus 3.7 percent, you might ask? A lot. Over the course of 30 years, even slight variances in your rate can meaningfully affect your total interest paid.

It’s not just about the rate the lender advertises, though. You can make all the difference in getting the best mortgage rate by improving your credit score, saving more for a down payment and putting in the work to compare offers from a few different lenders. This can help ensure you get the lowest-cost option based on your credit and financial situation.

Summary: Best mortgage lenders in Florida

With additional reporting by Sarah Sharkey 

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