Companies listed on TopMortgageLenders.com cannot buy their position and we do not implement a ‘pay-to-play’ ranking strategy like many review sites do — this ensures unbiased rankings.
As a part of our service, we do attempt to partner with the companies that we review and may be compensated when you click or call them from our website. Our rankings may change depending on company quality, customer sentiment, and expert opinion of current company policies.
Each of our reviews, scores, and rankings are derived from an aggregate score of three different mortgage lender review sites, customer score, and expert score — this was done to give our users an overall online sentiment of each mortgage company we review (overall score).
We don't have any relationships with companies that guarantee position, rank, or score…and we never will. Like many sites, we are compensated through affiliate relationships with each company we review; however, our averaged ranking system ensures we remain honest and unbiased.
Some review sites were given different weights than others, according to trustworthiness of the review sites themselves.
Additionally, company scores are also given small penalties or bonuses based on an expert analysis and customer sentiment of company quality.
For example, New American Funding was given an overall score of 9.6 as a result of the following rankings:
- Review Site 1 — 9.0
- Review Site 2 — 9.8
- Review Site 3 — 9.7
- Expert Review Score
- Customer Review Score
Each of the three review sites listed is trusted and attempts to rank each company fairly. Our aggregate score is meant to measure the overall performance of each company and the customer sentiment regarding the companies.
Every company receives customer reviews regarding the specific service they provide. TopMortgageLenders.com relies solely on the trusted and verified customer reviews found on BestCompany.com, a site that screens and verifies its customer reviews.
The companies we review on TopMortgageLenders.com are also given scores based on four criteria points that are chosen by our resident mortgage expert. Because the mortgage lending industry is heavily regulated by the government, most criteria points are largely uniform, with some slight variations from lender to lender.
The criteria points are:
- Minimum Down Payment
- Minimum Credit Score
- Customer Score
- Interest Rates
Minimum Down Payment
The minimum down payment is a very important factor for customers choosing which mortgage lender they want to go with. In the end, it usually depends on which mortgage programs the lender offers — for example, USDA loans are backed by the Department of Agriculture and offer loans at zero down for lower income borrowers in rural areas.
In the end, larger down payments will actually lead to lower interest rates with your mortgage. We do recommend that every customer considers carefully how much money they can afford to put down on their new home. A higher down payment could ensure more affordable monthly payments for the duration of your loan.
Minimum Credit Score
The minimum credit score a company accepts for lending also largely depends on the loan type. However, every company has a minimum credit score for borrowers in order to receive a mortgage loan.
A straightforward criteria point, company experience is important for knowing how well a company can handle emergency situations and gives customers a good idea of what other customers think of the company in the form of customer reviews. Newer mortgage companies can be difficult to gauge because of their lack of customer reviews. This lack of experience is not a reason in and of itself to rate a company negatively, but it is important to consider.
Every mortgage lender or bank that we review is nationally recognized, but may not service every state. The reason we take state coverage into account when ranking companies is because it is an indicator of company size and success.