15 of the best mortgage refinance companies for 2021

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Our goal here at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, referred to as “Credible” below, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we do promote products from our partner lenders who compensate us for our services, all opinions are our own.

The best mortgage refinance companies run the gamut from online-only lenders to national banks. (iStock)

Many American homeowners took advantage of the historically low interest rates seen in 2020. But with rates still low, it’s not too late to get a good deal on a mortgage refinance.

Whether you want to save on interest, free up cash or tap into your home equity, refinancing can be a great financial decision. 

Below is a list of some of the best mortgage refinance companies that are likely to provide a satisfying customer experience, according to Credible’s home loan experts.

The best mortgage refinance lenders of 2021

When it comes to selecting the best mortgage lender, you’ll first need to consider what’s most important to you as a customer. For instance, if you value a lender that has plenty of physical branch locations, you’ll want to consider a national bank like Wells Fargo or Bank of America. 

Here’s a look at each refinance lender, which clearly lists what they’re best for, along with their available refinance options and credit score requirement for a conventional loan. Look for the asterisk to indicate a vetted Credible partner lender.

  • Best for in-house loan servicing*: Caliber Home Loans
  • Best wholesale mortgage lender: JMAC Lending
  • Best non-bank lender*: loanDepot
  • Best high-volume lender*: QuickenLoans
  • Best for refinancing remotely*: Stearns
  • Best for quick closings: United Wholesale Mortgage
  • Best loyalty perks: Bank of America
  • Best for well-qualified borrowers: Chase
  • Best for physical branch locations: Wells Fargo
  • Best online lending platform*: Rocket Mortgage
  • Best regional lender: PNC
  • Best for veterans: Veterans United
  • Best credit union lender: Navy Federal
  • Best online lender: Better.com
  • Best for borrowers with student loans: SoFi

Caliber Home Loans

Best for in-house loan servicing

Caliber Home Loans offers a variety of conventional and government-backed loans, including VA streamline (IRRRL) and cash-out refinancing options for homeowners with sufficient equity. One thing that makes Caliber one of the best refinance lenders is that it services a majority of its own loans, so it’s less likely that your loan would be sold to a company you’ve never heard of. 

Pros

  • Cash-out refinancing
  • In-house servicing on a majority of loans

Cons

  • No rate information available unless you provide contact information

Lender details

  • Loan options: Conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo, cash-out
  • Min. credit score (conventional): 620

JMAC Lending

Best wholesale mortgage lender

JMAC Lending is a wholesale mortgage lender, which means it doesn’t work directly with the public. Rather, it partners with mortgage brokers who work with a variety of lenders to give their clients a range of loan options. 

The benefit to the borrower is that you can compare loans from different lenders and choose the one that best meets your needs.

Pros

  • Brokers cite the company as having competitive rates and fast closing times
  • Jumbo Plus and Jumbo Plus+ loans for borrowers who don’t meet standard jumbo loan eligibility criteria

Cons

  • Your overall experience with JMAC will largely depend on the broker you work with

Lender details

  • Loan options: Conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo, cash-out
  • Min. credit score (conventional): 620

Compare mortgage rates and see if you qualify for a mortgage refinance right now using Credible’s free online tools.

loanDepot

Best non-bank lender

LoanDepot is America’s second-largest non-bank mortgage lender. Its proprietary software platform, mello smartloan, lets you work through the entire loan process online. 

Once you’ve taken out a loan with loanDepot, it’ll waive lender fees and cover the cost of the appraisal in the event you refinance with the company in the future.

Pros

  • Fully online mortgage experience available through its mellow smartloan platform
  • Fee reimbursement

Cons

  • Rates pages don’t actually show any rates and there’s no indication on how much you’ll pay in fees either.

Lender details

  • Loan options: Conventional, FHA, VA, cash-out
  • Min. credit score (conventional): 620

Quicken Loans

Best high-volume lender

As America’s largest mortgage lender, with $320 billion dollars in loans closed in 2020, Quicken Loans originates refinance loans in all 50 states. You can complete the entire loan process online using Quicken’s Rocket Mortgage digital platform or you can work with a mortgage rep via phone, email or chat seven days a week.

Quicken has been ranked highest in U.S. customer satisfaction for primary mortgage origination by J.D. Power for 11 consecutive years, as well as primary mortgage servicing for seven consecutive years.

Pros

  • Top ratings for satisfaction
  • 99% in-house loan servicing

Cons

  • No opportunity to meet face-to-face with a loan specialist

Lender details

  • Loan options: Conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo, cash-out
  • Min. credit score (conventional): 620

Stearns

Best for refinancing remotely

Stearns has over 30 years of experience helping its customers purchase and refinance their homes. The Stearns Digital platform streamlines your loan application and processing. 

However, you can also meet face to face with your loan originator without leaving home via screen sharing, a feature just one other refinance lender on this list offers. 

Pros

  • Video conferencing capability
  • Easy-to-use digital platform

Cons

  • Website can be confusing due to its organization by “experience” rather than a straightforward navigation menu

Lender details

  • Loan options: Conventional, FHA, VA (streamline and cash-out), jumbo, cash-out
  • Min. credit score (conventional): 620

United Wholesale Mortgage

Best for quick closings

United Wholesale Mortgage is a loan wholesaler, so you can’t borrow from the company directly. However, its loans might be an option for you if your mortgage broker is a UWM partner. 

The average UWM loan is clear to close 14 days after the application is submitted, making it one of the faster turnaround times we’ve seen advertised among various lenders.

Pros

  • Quick turnaround time for new loan origination
  • Robust tools to keep brokers working efficiently within UWM’s digital system

Cons

  • Credit and milestone tracking program could result in unwanted contact from broker

Lender details

  • Loan options: Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, cash-out
  • Min. credit score (conventional): 620

Bank of America

Best loyalty perks

As one of the nation’s “Big Four” banks — Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citi being the others — Bank of America offers a solid selection of refinance loans plus perks you can’t get with a non-bank lender. 

One perk Bank of America offers through its Preferred Rewards program is an origination fee discount if you meet minimum balance requirements across all of your Bank of America accounts. You may also be eligible for an interest rate discount on home equity loans.

Pros

  • Preferred Rewards program offers exclusive benefits to customers with balances of $20,000 or more
  • Digital application, loan processing and loan management

Cons

  • No weekend customer service for mortgage and refinance loans

Lender details

  • Loan options: Conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo, cash-out
  • Min. credit score (conventional): Contact loan adviser

Chase

Best for well-qualified borrowers

Chase is similar to Bank of America in terms of the scope of its products and services but the website is short on loan specifics so you’ll need to contact a loan specialist to gather more detailed loan information.

That said, if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for managing your finances, including investments, and you have a solid credit rating, Chase is a strong contender. 

Pros

  • Large, well-known bank with a plethora of different financial products
  • Branches and ATMs in most states

Cons

  • Stringent credit requirements for home loans

Lender details

  • Loan options: Conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo, cash-out
  • Min. credit score (conventional): 700

Wells Fargo

Best for physical branch locations

The last of the “Big Four” banks on this list, Wells Fargo has scaled back its refinance offerings in the past few years. For example, it temporarily suspended cash-out refinances and VA refinances are limited to streamline (IRRRL) loans. 

Wells Fargo still has a large number of physical branch locations throughout the U.S. and plenty of loan products to choose from. You can apply online or arrange to have a mortgage specialist contact you.

Pros

  • Wide variety of loan products available, even with scaled-back offerings
  • Branch locations in most states

Cons

  • Must contact a loan adviser to get basic loan information

Lender details

  • Loan options: Conventional, VA (streamline), jumbo
  • Min. credit score (conventional): 620

Rocket Mortgage

Best online lending platform

Rocket Mortgage is the online platform for Quicken loans. It is not itself a lender — when you apply for a loan from the Rocket website, Quicken processes the application. The Rocket Mortgage platform lets you submit your documents online, work through and track the progress of your loan from application to closing.

Pros

  • Streamlined loan process
  • Screen sharing with customer service available

Cons

  • Online process can be difficult for borrowers who aren’t computer-savvy

Lender details

  • Loan options: Conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo, cash-out
  • Min. credit score (conventional): 620

PNC

Best regional lender

PNC is a regional bank, and although you can’t apply for a refinance loan online, you can start the process by filling out a form on the bank’s website. This top refinance lender is likely to appeal more to homeowners in the eastern half of the U.S., where a majority of the bank’s branches are located.

Pros

  • Allows you to begin the refinancing process online
  • Ability to contact a local PNC mortgage loan officer to assist you

Cons

  • As a regional bank, it only has physical locations in 23 states, plus the District of Columbia

Lender details

  • Loan options: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, cash-out
  • Min. credit score (conventional): Contact loan adviser

Veterans United

Best for veterans

Veterans United is the nation’s top lender for VA purchase loans and it offers VA refinance loans as well. Although Veterans United also has loans for those with no military affiliation, its clear focus is on serving veterans and active members of the armed forces.

The lender offers two VA loan refinancing options: a streamline refinance and a cash-out refinance. The streamline option has limited paperwork and typically requires few (if any) out-of-pocket costs.

Pros

  • Specializes in serving veterans and active military service members
  • Lends even in states where it has no physical branches

Cons

Lender details

  • Loan options: Conventional, FHA, VA (streamline and cash-out), USDA, jumbo
  • Min. credit score (VA): 640

Navy Federal

Best credit union lender

Navy Federal is the only credit union on our list. To be eligible to join, you or an immediate member of your family or household must have a connection to the armed forces, the Department of Defense or the National Guard.

The credit union has several refinance options, including a unique Military Choice loan for qualified members that have used up their VA benefit.

Pros

  • Benefits of credit union membership, such as competitive interest rates on deposit accounts and loans and member-only discounts on a range of products and services
  • High loan-to-value refinance loans available

Cons

  • Higher rates to refinance non-Navy Federal loan

Lender details

  • Loan options: Conventional, VA (including a streamline option), cash-out
  • Min. credit score (conventional): Contact lender

Better.com

Best online lender

Better.com is an online lender that touts a streamlined refinancing process. You can have a loan estimate in seconds and lock in your rate online at any time. 

While Better only has a limited number of products (you won’t find government-backed mortgages here), its process is entirely online and could make for a convenient option if you’d prefer not to have any in-person meetings. 

Pros

  • 100% online mortgage experience
  • No origination fees

Cons

  • Since it’s an online lender, there are no physical locations and you’ll need to be comfortable with completing the entire process virtually

Lender details

  • Loan options: Conventional, jumbo, cash-out
  • Min. credit score (conventional): 620

SoFi

Best for borrowers with student loans

SoFi might be best known for its investing app but it also offers a variety of online financial services, including mortgage refinancing. The company offers a student loan cash-out refinance option that lets you save on your home refinance loan while drawing equity to pay down student debt.

Pros

  • Cash-out refinance option tailored to students
  • Loan discounts for members who meet minimum account balance requirements

Cons

  • No customer service chat or weekend support for home loans

Lender details

  • Loan options: Conventional (fixed-rate only), cash-out
  • Min. credit score (conventional): 660

If you’re confident in your credit score then insert your estimated score into Credible’s free tools to see what kind of rates you qualify for.

How mortgage refinancing works

When you refinance, you’ll replace your current mortgage with a new mortgage. That means you must borrow at least as much as you currently owe. 

The two primary types of refinancing are rate-and-term refinances and cash-out refinances. Here’s a quick breakdown of how the two differ:

  • Rate-and-term refinance: Lowers your interest rate and/or changes the loan term. You won’t borrow money at closing.
  • Cash-out refinance: You borrow more than you owe on your current mortgage and take the extra money as a lump sum payment.

Reasons to refinance

A homeowner might want to refinance for any number of reasons. Here are some of the more common reasons:

  1. Get a lower monthly payment: If you’re struggling to make your payment or simply want to free up money each month, refinancing is one way to do it. You can either refinance into a loan with a lower interest rate or get one with a longer term so that your payments are stretched out over a longer repayment period.
  2. Changing your loan term: Whereas extending your loan term can result in lower payments, reducing your term can also save you money. The shorter term means your loan will be paid off sooner so you’ll pay less in interest over the remaining life of the loan.
  3. Switching between adjustable- and fixed-rate loans: Adjustable-rate loans often have lower interest rates in the early years of the loan. So switching from a fixed-rate loan to an adjustable-rate one can work in your favor if you plan to sell before the rate adjusts. On the flip side, switching from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate can protect you from that potentially steep increase and give you a predictable monthly payment.
  4. Taking cash out of your home: If you have enough equity, a cash-out refinance can do double duty — get you a more favorable rate or term and provide you a lump sum payment. You’ll have to pay interest on the payment over the life of the loan but it can help you tackle higher-interest debt, fund home improvements or be put toward a major purchase.

With Credible’s free online tools, you can complete the entire refinance process — from comparing mortgage rates to closing the loan — on the same platform. Start the process now.

Should you refinance your mortgage?

Whether or not you refinance can significantly impact your finances for years to come. Generally, refinancing your mortgage makes sense if it saves you money on interest or reduces your risk of defaulting on the loan. 

Because the decision is so impactful, it’s important to compare lenders before you make a final choice. Interest, including points and terms, loan fees and closing costs, all impact the actual cost of your mortgage refinance loan. 

More resources on mortgage refinancing

Want to know more? Here’s some additional information about refinancing a home loan:

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