Best mortgage refinance lenders of 2023

Written by Josh Patoka / January 19, 2023
Reviewed by Jamie Young

Refinancing your mortgage can help you improve your monthly payment and repayment terms. You can also tap your home equity to accomplish some of your financial goals with a cash-out refinance.

While mortgage interest rates are no longer near record lows, using one of the best mortgages refinance lenders can help you qualify for today’s best rates and avoid unnecessary lender fees. 

Inside this article

  1. Best mortgage refinancing lenders
  2. Best overall: Bank of America
  3. Best for online-only applications: Better
  4. Best for minimum equity requirements: SoFi
  5. Best for no lender fees: Ally
  6. Best for federally-insured mortgages: Chase
  7. Best for military homeowners: Navy Federal Credit Union
  8. Best for customer service quality: Rocket Mortgage
  9. Compare the best mortgage refinance lenders
  10. Methodology
  11. How to qualify for a mortgage refinance
  12. Frequently Asked Questions

Best mortgage refinancing lenders

  • Best overall: Bank of America

  • Best for online-only applications: Better

  • Best for minimum equity requirements: SoFi

  • Best for no lender fees: Ally

  • Best for federally-insured mortgages: Chase

  • Best for military homeowners: Navy Federal Credit Union

  • Best for customer service quality: Rocket Mortgage

Best overall: Bank of America

4.7 stars

Interest rates: Below national average

Max DTI ratio: Does not disclose

Why it’s the best

Bank of America is the best bank for mortgage refinances in many situations as you can apply online or at one of its many branch locations nationwide. This institution also offers a wide variety of loan options including:

  • Fixed-rate refinance loan.

  • Adjustable-rate refinance loan.

  • FHA and VA refinance loan.

  • Cash-out refinance loan.

If you don’t want to replace your existing rate and term, home equity loans can be an excellent alternative to a cash-out refinance.

Additionally, Bank of America Preferred Rewards members can enjoy reduced origination fees and interest rate reductions. You qualify for this loyalty program with at least $20,000 in qualifying banking and investment balances.

Pros

  • Multiple refinance loan programs

  • Preferred Rewards relationship discounts

  • Online and local branch access

Cons

  • FHA and VA refinancing is only for existing home loan clients

  • Relationship discount requires a relatively high account balance

  • Doesn’t offer USDA loans

More details

  • Rates: Below the national average.

  • Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio: Does not disclose.

  • Perks: Preferred Rewards relationship discounts, FHA and VA-insured loans.

  • Preapproval: Receive a prequalified offer within one hour of applying.

  • Time to close: The typical closing timeline is from four to six weeks.

Best for online-only applications: Better

4.3 stars

Interest rates: Below national average

Max DTI ratio: 50%

Why it’s the best

Using an online-only lender can make it easier to avoid fees that brick-and-mortar lenders charge. For instance, Better.com doesn’t charge origination fees which can be as much as 1% of your loan amount.

You can apply for a rate-and-term conventional refinance or FHA mortgage refinancing. Cash-out refinancing is available too, and you may also consider a home improvement personal line of credit if you only need a short-term borrowing solution to boost your property’s curb appeal.

The lender also has a $100 Better Price Guarantee when a competitor’s loan estimate offers a lower price. You can receive the guarantee as a loan credit by refinancing with Better or as a cash payment if you choose the other lender.

Pros

  • No origination fees

  • $100 price guarantee

  • Fast closing times

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer VA or USDA-insured refinances

  • No physical branches

  • Need a minimum 700 credit score to refinance a jumbo loan

More details

  • Rates: Below the national average.

  • Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio: Up to 50%.

  • Perks: No origination fees, $100 Rate Match Guarantee.

  • Preapproval: You can be pre-approved within three minutes and will receive your loan estimate within three days of submitting your initial application.

  • Time to close: The average closing time is 32 days.

Best for minimum equity requirements: SoFi

4.2 stars

Interest rates: Below national average

Max DTI ratio: Does not disclose

Why it’s the best

It’s possible to refinance your mortgage through SoFi with as little as 5% minimum equity for eligible borrowers. However, private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums can apply until your equity exceeds 20% and your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio goes below 80%. 

Applicants can also automatically receive a free 45-day rate lock that helps guard against additional fees if delays occur during the closing process. In comparison, some lenders may only offer a 30-day lock without fees. 

Unfortunately, SoFi doesn’t offer FHA, VA, or USDA loans. However, you can refinance government-insured loans to a conventional product to avoid ongoing fees such as mortgage insurance premiums.

The lender offers no-cash-out conventional refinances, cash-out refinancing, jumbo loans, and home equity loans. Homeowners with a jumbo loan may prefer this lender as the maximum loan limit is $3 million.

Pros

  • No lender fees

  • Dedicated one-on-one support

  • Free 45-day rate lock

Cons

  • No FHA, VA, or USDA loans

  • Member Rate Discount doesn’t apply to home loans

  • Online-only

More details

  • Rates: Below the national average.

  • Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio: Does not disclose.

  • Perks: No lender fees, 45-day rate lock, low minimum equity requirements.

  • Preapproval: The initial pre-qualification can only take a few minutes after applying.

  • Time to close: Does not disclose.

Best for no lender fees: Ally

3.95 stars

Interest rates: Below national average

Max DTI ratio: 50%

Why it’s the best

Ally doesn’t charge lender fees so you won’t encounter an application, origination, processing, or underwriting fees. Like other lenders, the typical third-party fees still apply such as a home appraisal and title fees.

As you can complete the entire application process online, you can submit your initial paperwork within 15 minutes to receive a personalized rate. Additionally, it’s possible to close 10 days sooner than the industry average.

You can apply for a conventional rate-and-term refinance, cash-out refinance, and jumbo loans. Sadly, this lender doesn’t offer FHA, VA, or USDA loans.

Pros

  • No lender fees

  • Quick application process

  • Average time to close is 10 days sooner than the industry average

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer FHA, VA, or USDA loans

  • No physical branches

  • No relationship discounts

More details

  • Rates: Below the national average.

  • Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio: 50%.

  • Perks: No lender fees, can close 10 days sooner than the industry average.

  • Preapproval: It’s possible to receive initial approval within several minutes.

  • Time to close: Most closings take a few weeks to a few months to complete.

Best for federally-insured mortgages: Chase

3.7 stars

Interest rates: Below national average

Max DTI ratio: 43%

Why it’s the best

Chase offers multiple refinancing options including conforming, jumbo, FHA and VA-backed mortgage refinancing. In addition, cash-out refinancing and home equity loan products are available if you want to access your equity. 

As Chase is a brick-and-mortar bank, you also have the flexibility of applying online or at a local branch.  

Existing customers can qualify for a Chase Relationship Pricing Program interest rate discount. The discount can be as much as 0.50% with qualifying banking and investment deposits. 

It’s also possible to minimize your refinancing costs by pursuing a loan that doesn’t require a home appraisal. While this assessment is a relatively small fee, some lenders only offer loans that require an appraisal to complete the underwriting process.

Pros

  • Many loan options, including FHA and VA loans

  • Can apply online or locally

  • Offers a banking relationship discount

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer USDA loans

  • Charges origination and underwriting fees

  • Challenging to qualify for the relationship discount

More details

  • Rates: Below the national average.

  • Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio: Most loans require a DTI below 43%.

  • Perks: Offers FHA and VA refinancing, banking relationship discounts.

  • Preapproval: The lender doesn’t disclose although you can apply online or in-branch.

  • Time to close: The closing process usually takes a few weeks.

Best for military homeowners: Navy Federal Credit Union

3.45 stars

Interest rates: Below national average

Max DTI ratio: Does not disclose

Why it’s the best

Navy Federal Credit Union is one of the best military-friendly mortgage lenders. Their VA mortgage refinance options include the VA Streamline (IRRRL) and a cash-out refinance. Other specialty loans are available that have low minimum equity requirements. For example, the Homebuyers Choice and Military Choice loans only require 3% minimum equity (97% LTV). 

Additionally, members that are active duty military or veterans can qualify for lower interest rates than civilian applicants on certain loan types.  

Navy Federal also offers a free 60-day rate lock that lets you automatically receive a maximum 0.50% rate deduction if refinance rates lower during the loan process. 

A 1.00% origination fee applies to all purchase and refinance loans but it is waivable with a 0.25% interest rate increase. Other fees and potentially higher rates can apply to the specialty loan programs.

You can apply online or at a local branch. However, membership is limited to those with a military background and their immediate family members.

Pros

  • Multiple loan options with flexible equity requirements

  • Free 60-day rate lock

  • Can apply online or in-branch

Cons

  • Strict membership eligibility

  • Civilians can encounter higher interest rates

  • Origination fee or higher rate applies to all refinance loans

More details

  • Rates: Below the national average.

  • Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio: Does not disclose.

  • Perks: Free 60-day rate lock, military home loans, low equity requirements.

  • Preapproval: It’s possible to be instantly pre-approved.

  • Time to close: The average mortgage refinance takes 30 to 45 days.

Best for customer service quality: Rocket Mortgage

3.25 stars

Interest rates: Below national average

Max DTI ratio: Does not disclose

Why it’s the best

Rocket Mortgage offers a wide variety of loan options for an online-online lender. For example, homeowners can apply for conventional rate-and-term, cash-out refinance, FHA, VA, jumbo loans, and home equity loans. 

The platform also consistently receives accolades from J.D. Power for client satisfaction with primary mortgage origination. This platform has received the top spot eight times and most recently in November 2022. Additionally, phone and online chat support is available daily. 

Homeowners can also receive free closing cost credits by participating in the Rocket Rewards programs. It’s possible to earn rewards points by watching videos, reading articles, and completing other short tasks. When you’re ready to refinance, you can redeem your points and apply the savings directly to your closing costs.

For extra peace of mind, you can be eligible for a Verified Approval guarantee. If your mortgage doesn’t close after getting pre-approved, you can receive $1,000. 

Pros

  • Many conventional, FHA, and VA loan options

  • Excellent customer service ratings and accessibility

  • Can reduce closing costs through Rocket Rewards

Cons

  • Charges origination fees

  • No physical branches

  • Doesn’t offer USDA loans

More details

  • Rates: Below the national average.

  • Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio: Does not disclose.

  • Perks: Rocket Rewards closing code credits, offers FHA and VA refinancing, $1,000 Verified Approval guarantee.

  • Preapproval: You can receive initial prequalification within a few minutes.

  • Time to close: It takes anywhere from 30 to 50 days to close on most mortgage refinances.

Compare the best mortgage refinance lenders

LenderInterest ratesMax DTI ratioTime to close
Bank of AmericaBelow national averageDoes not disclose4 to 6 weeks
BetterBelow national average50%32 days
SoFiBelow national averageDoes not discloseDoes not disclose
AllyBelow national average50%A few weeks
ChaseBelow national average43%A few weeks
Navy Federal Credit UnionBelow national averageDoes not disclose30 to 45 days
Rocket MortgageBelow national averageDoes not disclose30 to 50 days

Why some lenders didn’t make the cut

Of the 17 mortgage lenders that we reviewed, only a fraction made the cut. The lenders that didn’t have high enough scores to be included, received lower ratings mostly due to having a lack of transparency around credit score, DTI requirements, and preapproval and closing timelines. Some of the excluded lenders also had limited customer service options and bad customer reviews.

Methodology

Our expert writers and editors have reviewed and researched 17 popular lenders to help you find the best mortgage refinance. Out of all the lenders considered, the 7 that made our list excelled in areas across the following categories (with weightings): loan cost (30%), eligibility and accessibility (20%), customer service (20%), and ease of application (30%).

Within each major category, we considered several characteristics, including minimum APR, maximum allowed debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, minimum credit score requirements, and applicable fees. We also evaluated each provider’s customer support options, borrower perks, and features that simplify the borrowing process—like time to close and preapproval time.

How to qualify for a mortgage refinance

The qualification requirements are similar to a home purchase loan and you should gather the same documents as before. Your potential lender may disclose other details such as a minimum credit score, maximum DTI, minimum equity and request your last two years of work history.

As a basic guideline, lenders typically require a minimum 580 credit score for FHA and VA refinances and at least 620 for conventional mortgage refinances.

If you have a complex situation, such as being self-employed or having imperfect credit, you should also seek out a lender specializing in your circumstances. A loan officer can navigate you through the application process to choose the best mortgage option and avoid underwriting delays.

When to refinance your home loan

Refinancing your mortgage is worth it when you need a smaller monthly payment or you can qualify for a better interest rate. However, you must decide if the refinancing costs are worth the potential benefits.

Some homeowners also pursue cash-out refinancing to use their home equity to cover expenses such as home improvements and consolidating high-interest debt. This option assigns a new interest rate and repayment schedule for your existing balance and any equity that you withdraw.

To minimize your fees and to preserve your existing mortgage rate which can be lower than today’s refinance rates, you may consider applying for a home equity loan instead. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who has the best refinance rates now?

Online lenders tend to offer lower mortgage refinance rates than brick-and-mortar banks. However, homeowners should be aware of a couple of potential drawbacks.

First, online direct lenders and online retailers may not offer the same level of customer satisfaction as local lenders to minimize operating costs, according to mortgage expert Cindi Conley, creator, and publisher at “Mortgage and Money Talk.” 

Second, Conley reports from her experience that online lenders can take longer to complete a refinance. If the lender is busy and the time to close is longer than usual, borrowers may need to pay extra for rate locks which helps offset some of the initially lower rate.

Comparing current closing speeds and rate lock fees is an essential part of the lender comparison process that’s easy for borrowers to overlook.  

Is it better to refinance with your current lender?

About the Authors

Josh Patoka

Josh Patoka

Josh became a full-time personal finance writer in 2015 after serving as a transportation operations supervisor for seven years. He draws from his own money management experience of saving for long-term goals, paying off debt, and career changes. His writing has been regularly featured in Forbes Advisor, Fox Business, and several award-winning personal finance websites.

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Jamie Young

Jamie Young

Jamie Young is an authority on personal finance who has been writing and editing for online media for 10 years. Her work has appeared on some of the best-known media outlets including Forbes, Time, CBS News, Huffington Post, Business Insider, AOL, MSN, and more.

Jamie is passionate about finance, technology, and the Oxford comma. In her free time, Jamie takes care of her two crazy cats and ever-growing collection of plants. She’s also an avid gamer who watches way too many true crime documentaries. 

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