Best Mortgage Lenders in Tennessee

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Contributor, Benzinga
May 14, 2020

Home to Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee offers a rich musical past and present. Whether you’re a little bit country or a little bit rock and roll, you’re sure to find the perfect home in the Volunteer State. Here’s Benzinga’s guide to the best mortgage companies in Tennessee to help you make the dream to own a reality.  

Best Mortgage in Tennessee:

The 6 Best Mortgage Companies in Tennessee

With so many lenders out there, it can be tough to choose the right one. Here are Benzinga’s picks for the best mortgage lenders in Tennessee. 

1. Best for Bank Statement Loans: Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions

Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions is a full-service mortgage lender offering traditional and portfolio Non-QM mortgage loans. Angel Oak is licensed in 45 states and offers competitive rates and quick closing times. 

  • Available for purchase, cash-out or rate-term refinance
  • Primary, second home, or investment properties
  • Single family, townhomes, or condos
  • Loan amounts up to $3.5 million
  • No tax return options for self-employed borrowers and real estate investors
  • 1099 income options available
  • Government loan products available (FHA, USDA, VA)
  • Competitive rates on conventional purchase and refinance
  • Flexible down payment options
  • Non-warrantable condos allowed

2. Best for First Time Home Buyers: Quicken Loans®

First-time home buyers need expert guidance and access to educational resources.

Quicken Loans offers both, and much more.

Its loan experts are there to guide you through every step of the mortgage process. It offers award-winning customer service and an easy-to-navigate website. 

If you prefer doing things online, Rocket Mortgage® by Quicken Loans® offers a seamless digital mortgage experience.

Quicken Loans has several loan options, including VA, FHA, USDA and conventional loans. 

3. Best for Self Employed Professionals: CrossCountry Mortgage

Self-employed professionals sometimes have a challenging time finding a mortgage. CrossCountry Mortgage offers a bank statement qualifier mortgage, which can be an excellent option for the self-employed.

Bank statement mortgages allow you to qualify based on your actual income, which is often higher than the income reflected on your tax returns. 

CrossCountry Mortgage works with borrowers who have credit scores as low as 580. With its bank statement mortgage, you can borrow up to 80% of the property’s value. You can use personal or business accounts to qualify. 

  • securely through CrossCountry Mortgage's website
    securely through CrossCountry Mortgage's website
    Best For:
    Self-employed Borrowers
    Read Review

    Available in: CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IL, MD, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA 

4. Best Online Lender: Better Mortgage Corporation

Better Mortgage Corporation offers an efficient online mortgage process.

Just as importantly, it doesn’t charge any lender fees, which can save you thousands.

You can get a loan estimate and a basic preapproval in a few minutes. 

Better Mortgage Corporation offers FHA, conventional and jumbo mortgages.

Its technology keeps the mortgage process moving along, and you can see what’s happening at every step of the way on the Better Mortgage website. 

5. Best for FHA Loans: SunTrust

SunTrust has local loan officers who can work with you, which makes it a great fit for those considering FHA loans.

These loans have extensive documentation and specific requirements, so having a knowledgeable loan officer to guide you through the process can be a big help. 

SunTrust also offers an online application process, so it’s easy to track what’s happening with your loan.

SunTrust also offers other mortgage options, including VA, USDA and conventional loans. 

6. Best for VA Loans: Veterans United

Like FHA mortgages, VA loans have specific requirements when it comes to eligibility and documentation. It’s best to work with an experienced lender. Veterans United has been the top VA lender for home purchase loans for 4 years running. 

Veterans United representatives are available around the clock, so even if you’re serving overseas, you can talk to someone when it’s convenient for you. It has rave reviews from its customers, who praise its professional staff and efficient process. Veterans United is a great choice for buying or refinancing a home with a VA loan. 

Mortgages Explained

When you start looking for a mortgage, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. You’ll see several mortgage types and terms. Your mortgage type refers to whether the mortgage is part of a government program. Your mortgage type can also impact how much you need for a down payment. 

Your mortgage term refers to how long the mortgage will last, assuming you don’t make any extra payments. 

Mortgage Type

  • Conventional: A conventional mortgage isn’t associated with a government agency. To qualify for a conventional mortgage, you’ll typically need a credit score of 620 or higher and a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less. If you’re a first-time home buyer, you may be able to make a down payment as low as 3%, but most borrowers make a down payment of 5% or more. 
  • FHA: The Federal Housing Administration insures FHA loans. This backing allows home buyers to make down payments as low as 3.5%. To make the lowest down payment, you need a credit score of 580 or higher. If your credit score is 500-579, you’ll need to make a down payment of at least 10%.
  • VA: The Department of Veterans Affairs backs VA mortgages. These mortgages are available to current service members and veterans who meet service requirements. If you qualify, you typically don’t need to make a down payment. VA loans also have flexible credit requirements and no maximum loan amount. 

Mortgage Term

  • 30-year fixed: A fixed-rate mortgage has the same interest rate — and the same monthly payment — for as long as you have the mortgage. With a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, you have the same payment for the entire 30-year term.  
  • 15-year fixed: With a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, you have the same interest rate for the entire 15-year term. You pay less in interest over the life of your mortgage than you would with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. 
  • 5/1 ARM: An ARM is an adjustable-rate mortgage. With this mortgage, your lender can change your interest rate, which also changes your monthly payment. ARMs typically start with a fixed-interest rate period. With a 5/1 ARM, you have the same interest rate for 5 years. After that, your lender can increase or decrease your interest rate once per year. 

Which Mortgage Lender is Best for You?

What should you look for in a lender? Here are a few qualities to consider. 

  • Service: Your mortgage may be the most significant financial transaction you make. It’s important to choose a lender that understands that. Choose a lender that is easy to get in touch with and responsive to your questions. 
  • Reputation: What kind of reviews does the lender have? How is it rated with the Better Business Bureau? How long has it been in business? Look for a lender with experience and a stellar reputation. 
  • Technology: A digital mortgage process can help move your mortgage process along. What technology tools does your lender offer? Can you upload documents and complete your application online?

Lender Credit Score Minimums in Tennessee

Your credit score is a 3-digit number that sums up your credit history. A score of 670 or higher is considered good, and the higher your score is, the better. Lenders look at your credit score to decide what interest rate to offer you. Lenders also have minimum credit scores, and if you don’t meet the minimum, you may need to take steps to improve your score. Here are the minimum credit scores for several Tennessee lenders.

LenderMinimum Credit Score Required
Bank of America620
Better Mortgage Corporation620

Current Mortgage Rates in Tennessee

Lenders change mortgage rates frequently, and sometimes even daily. They change mortgage rates to reflect changes in the economy and the housing market. At Benzinga, we update rates frequently to make sure you have up-to-date information. Here are Tennessee’s current mortgage rates. 

Loan TypeRateAPR
30-year fixed 6.415% 6.458%
15-year fixed 5.917% 6.044%
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 $175,000 and a down payment of 20%.
See more mortgage rates on Zillow

Average Days to Close on a Loan

The closing process starts when you submit your formal application to your lender along with your documentation. After that, your lender reviews your financial information and decides whether to approve your application. Once it’s approved, you set a time to sign your loan documents and pay the balance of your down payment. You don’t officially own the home until after closing, so the sooner the process is finished, the better. Here are the average closing times for several Tennessee lenders. 

LenderAverage Days to Close
Bank of America45
Better Mortgage Corporation21

Choosing a Tennessee Lender

Choosing a Tennessee lender is a big decision. Look for a lender that offers the mortgage products you’re looking for. If you’re planning to use one of the state’s home buyer programs, look for a lender experienced with those programs. If you’re looking for a USDA loan, look for a lender that knows the program in and out. Contact multiple lenders and review each loan estimate carefully. Choose a lender that provides outstanding service and reasonable rates.

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.