Best Mortgage Lenders in Idaho

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Contributor, Benzinga
June 15, 2020

There’s more to Idaho than potatoes! You might want to live there for its bustling economy and its abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities. 

Ready to buy your Gem State home? Here’s Benzinga’s guide to Idaho mortgage lenders

The 5 Best Mortgage Companies in Idaho

To find the best mortgage lender for you, start by getting multiple quotes. Here are Benzinga’s top picks for Idaho lenders. 

1. Best for First-Time Home Buyers: U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank’s extensive branch listing makes it easy to talk to a loan officer. That can be a big help to first-time home buyers, who may need expert guidance through the home loan process. You can also talk to a loan officer by phone. 

U.S. Bank also offers online prequalification and an online application. These help to streamline the mortgage process. You can also view mortgage rates online which makes comparison shopping easy. U.S. Bank offers conventional, FHA, VA and jumbo home loans. 

  • securely through U.S. Bank's website
    securely through U.S. Bank's website
    Best For:
    Simplified Personal Banking

2. Best for Self Employed Professionals: Rocket Mortgage®

Self-employed professionals are some of the hardest-working people around. They deserve a lender that works just as hard. Rocket Mortgage® has won awards for its customer service for several years running. You can contact its loan experts by phone or by chat and they’ll work with you to find the right mortgage for your budget. 

You can also complete your application on its online platform. You can check out loan rates on the Rocket Mortgage® website to see how it stacks up with other lenders. 

Rocket Mortgage® offers FHA, VA, conventional, jumbo and proprietary home loans. 

3. Best Online Lender: Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate offers a digital mortgage experience. Many clients can even close online. It also offers excellent customer service. Most of Guaranteed Rate’s clients would recommend the company to family and friends. 

Guaranteed Rate also offers a wealth of resources for finding your perfect home. You can enter your potential ZIP code and find the area’s housing trends, school ratings, property taxes and more. 

Guaranteed Rate offers conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo and interest-only home loans.

4. Best for FHA Loans in Idaho: Guild Mortgage

With 60 years in the mortgage business, Guild Mortgage knows the FHA loan process. You can talk to a loan officer at a branch or by phone and you can also apply online. Your loan officer can help you decide if an FHA loan is right for you. If it’s not, Guild Mortgage also offers conventional, VA and USDA loans. 

Guild Mortgage is also an approved lender for Idaho’s homebuyer programs, which are definitely worth checking out. Use Guild Mortgage’s calculators to decide on the right loan for you. 

5. Best for VA Loans: Veterans United

Veterans United is the top VA lender for home purchases in the country. What sets it apart? The service it provides to current service members and veterans. 

Veterans United has representatives available around the clock so you can reach someone no matter where you’re stationed. Its website makes it easy to determine your eligibility. Its website also has affordability calculators and guides to the VA mortgage process. 

Veterans United offers home purchase loans and loans for refinancing your current VA loan. 

Mortgages Explained

Mortgages have a lot of moving parts. Here’s a quick guide to how they work.

Mortgage Type

Lenders have to follow rules for most mortgages. Who sets those rules? That’s what determines the type of mortgage you have. Let’s look at common mortgage types. 

  • FHA loans: Lenders take a risk when they lend you money. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) developed the FHA loan program to encourage lenders to lend to more borrowers. To do that, the FHA insures these loans. FHA loans are available with low down payments and to borrowers with less-than-perfect credit scores. 
  • VA loans: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) developed home loans as a benefit for those who serve our country. These loans typically don’t require a down payment. There’s also more flexibility if you have trouble making your payments down the road.
  • Conventional mortgages: Conventional mortgages aren’t part of a federal program. This gives lenders more freedom for how loans are structured. Credit score and down payment requirements vary based on the lender. 

Mortgage Term

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

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are a popular choice for many home buyers because they tend to have lower monthly payments. They also have the same interest rate for the entire time you have the mortgage so your payments are predictable. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also have the same interest rate for the entire term. This means your payments are predictable. You’ll pay more each month than you would with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, but you’ll pay less in interest overall. 
  • 5/1 ARMs are adjustable-rate mortgages. That means that your lender can change your interest rate and that also changes your monthly payment. These loans typically start with a fixed rate. A 5/1 ARM has a 5-year fixed-rate period. After that, the lender can change the interest rate annually. 

Which Mortgage Lender is Best for You?

How do you decide on a lender? Here are a few qualities to consider. 

  • Loan options: Do you have a specific type of loan in mind? Does the lender offer the loan type you’re interested in? If you’re not sure what type of loan you’re interested in, does the lender have several options? Look for a lender with loan options that meet your needs. 
  • Technology: An online application can streamline the mortgage process. A mobile app can help you stay in touch with your lender and answer questions when they arise. What technology options does your prospective lender have?
  • Service: How available is your lender? Can you reach your lender via chat or email? Does your lender get back to you promptly? Your lender should provide outstanding service that works for you. 

Lender Credit Score Minimums in Idaho

Your credit score is a computer-generated number that summarizes how you’ve handled credit in the past. Credit scores range from 300 – 850 and a higher credit score is better. Lenders use your credit score to decide whether you’re eligible for a home loan and what interest rate to offer you. Here are the minimum credit scores for several Idaho lenders. 

LenderMinimum Credit Score Required
Caliber Home Loans620
Quicken Loans620
U.S. Bank620

Current Mortgage Rates in Idaho

Idaho lenders change mortgage rates often — sometimes multiple times in a single day. Why? Lenders change rates to reflect what’s going on with the economy. If the economy isn’t doing well, lenders may lower interest rates to entice consumers to borrow money. If the economy is doing well, lenders raise rates since there’s more competition for limited funds. 

Benzinga updates rates regularly so you have the most relevant data.

Loan TypeRateAPR
30-year fixed N/A N/A
15-year fixed N/A N/A
7/1 ARM (adjustable rate) N/A N/A
5/1 ARM (adjustable rate) N/A N/A
Rates based on an average home price of $225,000 and a down payment of 20%.
See more mortgage rates on Zillow

Average Days to Close on a Loan

Unfortunately, you can’t get a mortgage overnight. It takes time. Once you submit your application to your lender, the lender needs to verify all the information. Lenders often have questions or require additional documentation. In most cases, your lender will also order an appraisal to confirm how much the home you’re buying is worth. 

Once the lender reaches a decision, you’ll work with your real estate agent to schedule a closing meeting. That’s when you sign your paperwork and pay any remaining funds due. 

Here’s how long that process takes, on average, for several Idaho lenders. 

LenderAverage Days to Close
Caliber Home Loans45
Rocket Mortgage®30
U.S. Bank44

Which Mortgage Is Right for You?

There may be several mortgages that could work for you. Which one is best? That depends on what’s important to you. If you like predictability, a fixed-rate mortgage is a good choice. If you don’t have a lot saved for a down payment, you may want to apply for an FHA or VA loan (if you’re eligible). A good lender will help you find the best mortgage lenders in Idaho. 

Get Ready for Take Off

Rocket Mortgage® is an online mortgage experience developed by the firm formerly known as Quicken Loans®, America’s largest mortgage lender. Rocket Mortgage® makes it easy to get a mortgage — you just tell the company about yourself, your home, your finances and Rocket Mortgage® gives you real interest rates and numbers. You can use Rocket Mortgage® to get approved, ask questions about your mortgage, manage your payments and more.

You can work at your own pace and someone is always there to answer your questions — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Want a fast, convenient way to get a mortgage? Give Rocket Mortgage® a try.