Best Mortgage Lenders in Hawaii

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Contributor, Benzinga
November 7, 2023

There’s no state like Hawaii. Its natural beauty is unmatched and it has a rich cultural heritage. The local landscape and culture are great reasons to look for a new home in the state. If you are thinking about buying a home in the Aloha State, you need a reputable mortgage lender. The right mortgage lender can make the difference between a successful home purchase and one that leaves you wanting. Here’s Benzinga’s guide to the best mortgage lenders in Hawaii. 

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Best Mortgage Lenders in Hawaii

  • Best for First-Time Home Buyers: Bank of Hawaii
  • Best for Self-Employed Professionals: Griffin Funding
  • Best Online Lender: Rocket Mortgage® 
  • Best for FHA Loans in Hawaii: Guild Mortgage
  • Best for VA Loans: Veterans United

The 5 Best Mortgage Companies in Hawaii

Who are the top lenders in Hawaii? Keep in mind that you’ll also contend with loan terms, origination fees, private mortgage insurance, conventional loans and a range of government-backed loans from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Keep your eyes open for the lender that works best for you. Here are Benzinga’s picks.

1. Best for First-Time Home Buyers: Bank of Hawaii

Bank of Hawaii lets you work with a lender in person who knows the local landscape. First-time home buyers need a lender that will educate them on the mortgage process. Bank of Hawaii will walk you through the process and make sure you choose the mortgage that’s right for you. 

Bank of Hawaii offers a range of home loans, including FHA, VA, conventional and jumbo loans. Bank of Hawaii also works with the state’s home buyer programs

Pros

  • Competitive interest rates
  • Variety of mortgage options to choose from
  • Flexible repayment terms

Cons

  • Strict qualification requirements
  • Possible fees and closing costs

2. Best for Self-Employed Professionals: Griffin Funding

Griffin Funding specializes in home loans for self-employed professionals. Self-employed professionals sometimes face challenges in getting a home loan. Griffin Funding offers a bank statement mortgage, which can be a good fit for the self-employed. 

A bank statement mortgage means you can qualify based on your personal or business bank statements. Griffin Funding allows you to use 1 month, 12 months or 24 months of bank statements. It allows down payments as low as 10% and you can qualify with a credit score of 620 or higher.

Pros

  • Flexible loan options
  • Quick and efficient loan application process
  • Expertise in jumbo loans and unconventional borrowers

Cons

  • Might not offer specialized loan programs for specific needs

3. Best Online Lender: Rocket Mortgage® 

Rocket Mortgage® makes it easy to get a mortgage from the comfort of your home. Its online platform is intuitive. It walks you through the application, and you can even sync it with your bank so it can verify your income without a lot of hassle. 

Preapproval is fast and you can schedule closing right through the platform. If you have questions, you can contact a loan expert by phone or chat. Rocket Mortgage® offers conventional, FHA and VA loans.

Pros

  • Apply online through their website
  • Faster loan processing times
  • Variety of mortgage options

Cons

  • Lack of personal interaction
  • Inability to negotiate terms

4. Best for FHA Loans in Hawaii: Guild Mortgage

Guild Mortgage has been in the mortgage business for 60 years, making it a great fit for those looking for an FHA home loan.

FHA loans have specific requirements so it’s important to work with an experienced lender. 

You can apply online or with a loan officer at a branch.

If an FHA mortgage isn’t the right fit for you, Guild Mortgage offers VA, USDA, conventional, jumbo and proprietary mortgage products. 

Pros

  • Strong reputation and experience in the mortgage industry
  • Personalized customer service and guidance throughout the mortgage process
  • Special programs or incentives for first-time homebuyers 

Cons

  •  Eligibility requirements and qualification process may be strict

5. Best for VA Loans: Veterans United

Veterans United makes getting a VA loan a breeze. You can start the loan process right from their website or by calling one of their always-available representatives. 

Why is Veterans United a great choice? It specializes in VA loans. It has advisors from every military branch to ensure it’s taking great care of service members and veterans. It’s the top VA lender in the country due to its expertise and excellent service. Offers VA purchase and refinance loans. 

Pros

  • Transparent pricing
  • Fast approval and closing times
  • Low interest rates

Cons

  • Limited loan options
  • Lack of in-person support

Mortgages Explained

Mortgages are complicated, and finding an online mortgage lender takes more than a simple seearch. Here are some important terms for you to know.

Mortgage Types

Your mortgage type refers to whether your mortgage is part of a government program. Here are common mortgage types:

  • Conventional mortgages aren't part of a government program. Lenders have a lot of freedom when it comes to how these mortgages are structured. 
  • FHA loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration. These loans are designed to help more people buy homes. To make the loans more accessible, they have low down payment and low credit score requirements. 
  • VA loans are overseen by the Department of Veterans Affairs. These loans are a benefit for current service members and veterans who meet service requirements. Those who qualify typically don’t have to make a down payment and there’s some flexibility when it comes to your credit score. 

Mortgage Terms

Your mortgage term is how your lender designs your mortgage. Here are a few common mortgage terms. 

  • 30-year fixed mortgages offer home buyers low monthly payments compared to other mortgage terms. A fixed-rate mortgage also has the same mortgage interest rate for as long as you have the mortgage. This means you make the same monthly payments until the mortgage ends in 30 years. 
  • A 15-year fixed mortgage is similar to a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. It has higher monthly payments but you pay less in interest. At the end of 15 years, your home loan will be paid off. 
  • 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) have an interest rate that the lender can change. This adds an element of unpredictability to your mortgage since that means your monthly payment can change as well. These loans usually have a fixed-rate period for the first few years. A 5/1 ARM has a fixed rate for the first 5 years and the rate changes after that. 

Which Mortgage Lender is Best for You?

How do you find the best mortgage lender? It starts with getting quotes from multiple lenders. Here are a few qualities to look for. 

  • Reasonable rates: The best lender may not be the one with the lowest rates. After all, there are other qualities to consider. But the lender’s rates should be competitive. Keep an eye on the lender’s fees and whether it offers any lender credits. Competitive interest rates drive a lot of business in this sector, and mortgage brokers know they need to push your rates down as much as possible.
  • Excellent service: Is the lender responsive to your requests? Do you feel valued? Does the lender help you choose a loan that meets your needs or do you feel pushed? A good lender will put your needs first. 
  • Loan options: Do you have a specific type of loan in mind? Not every lender offers every type of loan. Check with prospective lenders to see what loans they have to offer. 

Lender Credit Score Minimums in Hawaii

Your credit score is a 3-digit number generated by a computer model. Lenders use your credit score to decide whether you’re eligible for a mortgage, and if so, what interest rate to offer you. Here are the interest rates for several Hawaii lenders. 

LenderMinimum Credit Score Required
Caliber Home Loans620
Wells Fargo620
Veterans United620
Quicken Loans620

Current Mortgage Rates in Hawaii

Lenders can change mortgage rates frequently. Sometimes it’s as often as multiple times per day. Lenders change rates to reflect what’s happening in the economy and the housing market. They tend to lower rates when the economy isn’t doing as well to encourage consumers to borrow money. They tend to raise them when the economy improves since there’s more competition for loan funds. 

At Benzinga, we keep our rates up to date to reflect the most relevant data. Here are the current rates in Hawaii.

Loan TypeRateAPR
30-year fixed 6.469% 6.562%
15-year fixed 6% 6.137%
7/1 ARM (adjustable rate) N/A N/A
5/1 ARM (adjustable rate) 6.625% 7.692%
Rates based on an average home price of $325,000 and a down payment of 20%.
See more mortgage rates on Zillow

Average Days to Close on a Loan

Closing refers to when everything is said and done when it comes to your mortgage. The process starts when you submit your formal application and financial information. Next, the lender confirms all your financial data. You may need to answer questions or provide additional documentation. Lenders typically order an appraisal, which is when a neutral 3rd party evaluates how much your home is worth. 

Once your lender has all the information, it will let you know whether you’ve been approved. If you’re approved, you’ll have a meeting with your real estate agent and other parties to sign your final paperwork. You’ll also pay any remaining funds due. 

How long does all that take? Here are the average days to close for several Hawaii lenders. 

Which Mortgage is Right for You?

While choosing a mortgage can be stressful, there may be multiple options that could work. Look for a mortgage that fits your budget without causing you stress. Keep in mind that homes often need improvements and repairs, and set aside funds for that too. There’s a mortgage to fit just about every situation, so keep looking until you find one that’s right for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

What is the lowest acceptable credit score for a mortgage in Hawaii?

A

The lowest credit score to get a mortgage in Hawaii is 620.

Q

Where can I find a good mortgage lender in Hawaii?

A

You can find a good mortgage lender in Hawaii by looking at the list above.

Q

What are the three types of mortgage loans?

A

Three types of mortgage loans are a 30-year fixed rate loan, a 15-year fixed rate loan, and an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM).