Maine has a beauty that’s all its own. The coastal capital of Portland, Moosehead Lake and the rocky headlands of Acadia National Park offer residents and visitors stunning views. Natural beauty combined with small-town living and an average cost of living make Maine a great state to call home.
If you’re ready to buy, the first thing you need to do is find a great lender. Here’s our guide to finding the best mortgage lenders in Maine.
Best Mortgage Companies in Maine:
- Best for First-Time Home Buyers: TD Bank
- Best for Self-Employed Professionals: First Portland
- Best Online Lender: Quicken Loans®
- Best for FHA Loans: loanDepot
- Best for VA Loans: Veterans United
The 5 Best Mortgage Companies in Maine
It can be hard to know where to start when you’re searching for a lender. Here are our picks for some of the best mortgage lenders in Maine.
1. Best for First-Time Home Buyers: TD Bank
First-time home buyers might find the mortgage process overwhelming, so having a consistent point of contact can help.
TD Bank provides personal service at its branches throughout Maine. It offers a range of affordable home loan options, including loans with down payments as low as 3%.
You can start the process online, by phone or with a local mortgage officer. You can also check the status of your application at any time on TD Bank’s website.
2. Best for Self-Employed Professionals: First Portland
First Portland offers local expertise and has been in business for 25 years. It offers a range of mortgage products for borrowers, including bank statement mortgages. These mortgages are a great fit for self-employed borrowers because they use your actual income as the basis for the mortgage.
First Portland accepts borrowers with credit scores as low as 620 and you can use personal or business bank statements to qualify. It also has mortgage calculators on its website so you can explore which mortgage option is best for you.
3. Best Online Lender: Quicken Loans®
Quicken Loans offers Maine residents a digital mortgage experience through its Rocket Mortgage® by Quicken Loans® platform. It streamlines the mortgage process by syncing with your bank account to get accurate numbers.
The platform shows you a variety of mortgage options that might meet your needs. The YOURgage® program allows you to choose a custom mortgage term.
Quicken Loans has award-winning customer service, and you can reach its experts by chat or by phone.
4. Best for FHA Loans: loanDepot
Take a look at loanDepot if you need an experienced mortgage lender with expertise in FHA loans. You can work with loanDepot online, by phone or at its branch in Portland.
Loan officers will work with you to help you find the best mortgage, whether it’s an FHA loan or another option. It offers fast closings so you can get into your new home sooner rather than later.
The lender also has a user-friendly website with educational articles and mortgage calculators so you can compare your mortgage options.
5. Best for VA Loans: Veterans United
Lots of lenders offer VA loans, but not every lender specializes in them. Veterans United has been the top lender for VA purchase loans for 4 straight years.
Veterans United focuses exclusively on VA loans and understands the unique needs of service members, veterans and military families. It has representatives available 24/7 to answer your questions and walk you through the mortgage process.
Veterans United gets outstanding reviews from its borrowers.
As you look for the right lender, it’s also essential to find the right mortgage. Here are a few of the terms you need to know to help you navigate that decision.
Your mortgage type refers to who regulates and insures your mortgage. These are the most common types.
- Conventional mortgages aren’t part of a government program or insured by a government agency. This means that they may have more stringent requirements than government-backed mortgages. They might require a higher credit score or a higher down payment.
- FHA loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration. Private lenders offer these loans, which have low credit score and down payment requirements. If you have a credit score of 580 or higher, you may be offered the option of a down payment as low as 3.5%.
- VA loans, backed by the Veterans Administration, are available to qualifying service members, veterans and some surviving spouses. These loans are offered by private lenders and have no down payment requirement. They also have no minimum credit score requirement, but lenders do review your income and credit history to ensure that the mortgage is a good fit.
Your mortgage term refers to how lenders structure the repayment of your home loan. Here are a few common mortgage terms.
- 30-year fixed mortgages mean lenders use a 30-year payment schedule to determine your payments. Assuming you don’t make any extra payments, your loan will be paid in full in 30 years. The fixed rate means your interest rate is always the same. This means your monthly payments stay the same as well.
- 15-year fixed rates schedule your payments over 15 years. This means you have higher monthly payments than you would with a 30-year mortgage. Since it’s a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate and monthly payments stay the same until you pay off the mortgage or sell or refinance your home.
- 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) have an interest rate that the lender can change. These mortgages start with an introductory fixed rate. A 5/1 ARM has a fixed rate for 5 years. After that, the lender can change the interest rate annually. This means that after the introductory period, your monthly payment can increase or decrease annually.
Which Mortgage Lender is Best for You?
What should you look for in a Maine mortgage lender? Here are a few qualities to consider.
- Reputation: What kind of reviews does the lender have? Do you have friends or family who have worked with that lender? You can also check out the Better Business Bureau to see if the lender has had complaints and how it has handled those complaints.
- Service: Do you have a consistent point of contact? How do you get in touch with someone if you have a question? Can you talk to someone via chat? Think about the kind of service you prefer and whether the lender offers that support.
- Experience: How long has the lender been in business? A lender that has been around for a while knows the ups and downs of the housing market and has stood the test of time.
- Options: Some lenders specialize in a specific type of mortgage. Others offer a wider range of mortgages. Consider the type of mortgage, how it might work for you and whether the lender offers that mortgage.
Lender Credit Score Minimums in Maine
Your credit score is a 3-digit number that lenders use to get a sense of how you handle credit and debt. Lenders use your credit score to help decide what interest rate to offer you. They also have minimum scores for borrowers.
If you’re below the minimum, you might need to take some time to improve your score before you can get a mortgage. Here are the minimum credit scores for some of Maine’s lenders.
|Lender||Minimum Credit Score Required|
|Bank of America||620|
|Homebridge Financial Services||620|
Current Mortgage Rates in Maine
Lenders change their mortgage rates frequently. Some change them daily. They make these changes to reflect changes in the housing market and the economy. When the economy is booming, interest rates tend to be higher because there’s more competition for loans. When the economy dips, interest rates tend to drop to encourage consumers to take out home loans.
Given these frequent changes, Benzinga regularly updates rates so you can always make an informed decision. Here are the current mortgage rates in Maine.
|7/1 ARM (adjustable rate)||4.062%||3.581%|
|5/1 ARM (adjustable rate)||3.062%||3.149%|
Average Days to Close on a Loan
The closing process is the time between the submission of your formal application and the signing of final documents. This time can last a few weeks or more because the process is involved.
The lender needs to verify all your financial information. It also may order an appraisal, which is an independent assessment of the value of your potential home. You will likely have a home inspection done so you don’t experience any surprises.
Your lender will reach out to you with a decision. Once you are approved, a closing meeting will be scheduled. At the meeting, you’ll sign your documents and pay any funds due for down payment and closing costs.
The length of this process varies by lender. Here are the average days to close for several of Maine’s lenders.
|Lender||Average Days to Close|
|Bank of America||45|
|Homebridge Financial Services||30|
|North American Savings Bank||30|
Which Lender is Right for You?
The best mortgage lender for you ultimately depends on your goals, needs and more. An experienced lender can help you discuss your options and help you decide which type of mortgage is best for you.