Tapping into the right mortgage lender when you’re a resident of the Bluegrass State can be tricky — there are so many options! Once you start looking around, you can see that different lenders offer various types of mortgages and incentives.
Benzinga shares the inside scoop on getting a mortgage in Kentucky as well as a list of the best mortgage companies and expert advice.
Best Mortgage Lenders in Kentucky:
- Best for First Time Home Buyers: Bank of America
- Best for Self Employed Professionals: Better.com
- Best Online Lender: Rocket Mortgage® by Quicken Loans®
- Best for FHA Loans: Quicken Loans®
- Best for VA Loans: Veterans United
The 5 Best Mortgage Companies in Kentucky
Comparison-shopping and the right guidance will help you get the best mortgage for your needs. Minute details in interest rates or loan terms can add up to several thousand dollars over the course of your loan. Our picks will help you identify a lender that may work best for you.
1. Best for First Time Home Buyers: Bank of America
Bank of America offers a special program — America’s Home Grant® program — which offers first-time home buyers up to $7,500 in closing cost assistance. You can also access a host of loan options, including conventional, VA and FHA loans.
The rates for its 30-year fixed-rate loans are also lower than what some competitors offer. The lender provides chat and email options for those who prefer online help. In-person assistance is also available at any of its branches.
2. Best for Self Employed Professionals: Better.com
Better.com makes it incredibly easy for self-employed professionals to get approved for a mortgage. The lender leverages technology to help you see the available loan options and interest rates and lets you upload your documentation and get an estimate.
Better.com offers FHA loans as well as fixed and adjustable rates for 5-year, 7-year, 15-year loans, etc. The company also gives $2,000 in discounts if you need a refinance. Closing takes 21 days and you can get online or phone support.
3. Best Online Lender: Rocket Mortgage® by Quicken Loans®
Rocket Mortgage® offers numerous mortgage options if you want to complete the mortgage process entirely online. You can talk to mortgage specialists by phone or chat through the website. Quicken Loans also offers a mobile app that lets you upload documents and compare current mortgage rates. Its website also offers a vast resource of educational materials if you’re still in the research phase.
Rocket Mortgage® boasts impressive reviews from its customers. It offers conventional, USDA, VA and FHA loan options with lower-than-average rates.
4. Best for FHA Loans: Quicken Loans
Quicken Loans award-winning customer service, speedy processing and range of mortgage types make it a great choice for securing a government-backed mortgage. Its home financing experts are always on standby to answer your questions. The lender also offers low APR financing, which comprises all mortgage-related fees, including mortgage insurance.
The company’s YOURgage®, with its custom fixed-interest loan term, ranges from 8 to 29 years and can help you meet your financial goals. Its speedy processing will help you get into your home earlier than expected.
5. Best for VA Loans: Veterans United
Veterans United is a great mortgage financing option for veterans and current active-duty members. The lender partners with lenders from different branches of the military to ensure borrowers are informed about VA loans and homeownership. Fees and interest rates are competitive and you can get an initial quote online.
You’ll get 24/7 customer service and free credit counseling services for excellent customer reviews. A credit score of at least 620 will let you access home loans outside the lender’s VA program with 0% down payment. The easy-to-navigate website allows you to compare rates on different loans.
First-time home buyers receive a host of options when they request loan offers. There are multiple mortgage types and terms. Each mortgage type has its own eligibility and down payment requirements, but it all comes down to whether or not it’s insured by a government agency.
A mortgage term is how long you have to repay your loan. Here are the common mortgage types and terms.
- Conventional: A conventional mortgage isn’t part of a specific government program. You may obtain this loan from a private lender, such as a credit union, bank or mortgage company. Conventional mortgages typically need higher credit, are cheaper than FHA loans but can be difficult to obtain. You may need to obtain mortgage insurance for some conventional loans.
- FHA: The Federal Housing Administration insures and regulates these loans from private lenders. You can make down payments as low as 3.5% and the credit score requirements are low. Mortgage insurance is mandatory if you qualify for an FHA loan. You qualify for a higher loan limit if you’re buying a home with multiple units.
- VA: VA loans are insured and regulated by the Department of Veterans Affairs. They help veterans, active service members or surviving spouses buy homes. These loans usually have no down payment requirements. Mortgage insurance isn’t required and is replaced by the VA guarantee. Private lenders offer VA loans.
- 30-year fixed: You have 30 years to repay this loan. The mortgage rate is fixed and remains the same throughout the lifetime of the loan. Monthly payments remain the same as well. You can make extra payments to shorten the lifetime of your loan.
- 15-year fixed: This mortgage lasts 15 years. The monthly payments are higher than for a 30-year fixed loan. You’ll pay lower interest rates over the mortgage lifetime. Rates will vary among lenders, so explore your options to get the best deal.
- 5/1 ARM: An adjustable-rate mortgage has an interest rate that changes. Most ARMs have 2 periods. During the first period, your interest rate is fixed. In the second period, your rate changes depending on the market conditions. For example, with a 5/1 ARM, the interest rate is fixed for 5 years. After 5 years, you get a new payment amount and rate.
Home loans are different. Knowing which one is most appropriate for your needs prepares you for engaging lenders and securing the best deal.
Which Mortgage Lender is Best for You?
Evaluate potential lenders against these qualities to make sure they’re a good fit for you.
1. Lender Type
Do you prefer an entirely online loan application process? Do you want in-person assistance from an agent? These questions will narrow your options to online and traditional lenders. Online lenders offer their application process entirely online, with phone or chat customer service available to guide you. Traditional lenders offer in-person guidance through the mortgage process. Both lenders have similar mortgage options, but the experience is different. Evaluate your needs and choose a lender that works for you.
Don’t be afraid to dig deeper into the company’s reputation. Have your family or friends worked with this lender? What were their experiences? Read reviews online and check the lender’s rating on the Better Business Bureau. Ask questions like:
- How’s the company’s mortgage process?
- How are complaints handled?
- How is the lender’s customer service?
Avoid lenders who come up short on most of these questions.
3. Mortgage Options
You want variety when shopping for a home loan. Does the lender have financing options if you’re self-employed or a veteran? Are there first-time home buyer programs? Multiple mortgage options will help you compare rates and pick an option for your needs.
4. Eligibility Requirements
Eligibility requirements for different lenders vary. Some require a 580 credit score and others require a 620. How much of a down payment will you make? What documentation is required? Assess your situation and pick a lender that meets your needs.
Does your lender offer an online mortgage calculator? Can you access a quote tool? Do you need a mobile app for an on-the-go experience? Look for lenders with technology that matches your needs.
Lender Credit Score Minimums in Kentucky
Your credit score, created using a scoring model, predicts how likely you are to repay a loan on time. This scoring model takes into account:
- Your current unpaid debt
- Your bill-paying history
- New applications for credit
- Whether you’ve had a bankruptcy or foreclosure
- The percentage of available credit you’re using
- Your current number and type of loan accounts
The credit score is a 3-digit number that ranges from 300-850. Lenders use it to decide whether to offer a home loan. You will qualify for financing easily with a higher score. You may also get a better interest rate. Here are several credit score minimums for Kentucky lenders:
|Lender||Minimum Credit Score Required|
|Bank of America||620|
Current Mortgage Rates in Kentucky
Mortgage rate is the interest rate on your home. This rate is mainly determined by your credit score, but factors like home location, size of down payment, mortgage term and mortgage type also play a role. Mortgage rates change daily and vary from city to city. Lenders adjust their rates depending on the prevailing market conditions. Benzinga updates its information frequently to provide the most relevant rates in Kentucky.
|7/1 ARM (adjustable rate)||0%||0%|
|5/1 ARM (adjustable rate)||3.969%||3.675%|
Average Days to Close on a Loan
Closing is the final step in financing a home. You and all parties in the mortgage loan transaction pick a date to sign all the necessary paperwork. Have your paperwork 3 days beforehand and familiarize yourself with some of the crucial documents you’ll need to sign. The closing period can be between 3 and 90 days, depending on your lender, after which you become responsible for the loan.
Here is the average wait time to close on a loan from several Kentucky lenders.
|Lender||Average Days to Close|
|Quicken Loans®||30 days|
|U.S. Bank||44 days|
Finance Your Kentucky Home Today
Whether you’re thinking about purchasing a home or about to close, choosing the right lender is just as important. A little preparation will set you up for success with your purchase. Set out your priorities, have a clear budget and you’ll be ready to shop for a loan. Explore loan choices, meet up with your Kentucky lenders for an offer, compare your options and choose the loan that meets your needs. As you prepare for the closing process, beware of mortgage closing scams.
A home is a lifetime investment and picking the right lender makes all the difference.
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