Best Refinance Mortgage Companies of 2020

In the heavy shadow of coronavirus, many banks and lending institutions are making special concessions for homeowners struggling from 2020’s economic downturn. While the coronavirus has created hardship for some American families, it has also presented a glowing opportunity to refinance your home loan for far more favorable terms.

Mortgage Rate Comparison Tool

Finding the best mortgage refinance companies isn’t easy — you’re agreeing to pay a new company for years to come, so you should take the time to ensure you pick the best one. We used our proprietary SimpleScore measuring system to rate and review the best refinance companies to make your decision easier.

The 6 best mortgage refinance companies of 2020

Mortgage refinance lenders at a glance

Lender 30Y Fixed APR Min. Credit Score Fees
SoFi 3.325% – 4.310% Varies Lender fees: varies
Bank of America 3.572% 620 Origination fee: varies
Closing costs: 2% – 5%
Santander Bank 3.558% Varies Appraisal fee: varies
Returned Payment Fee: $30
Payment Collection Fee: $10 for online payments, $15 with customer service agent
Rocket Mortgage 2.875% 580 Origination fee: usually 0.5% to 1% of loan
Third Federal Savings 2.97% Varies Closing costs: $295-$595 for low cost loans
Return check: $36
Application fee: none
Prepayment fee: none
Raymond James Bank 3.463% 580 Varies

SoFi – Best for Member Perks

SoFi

Join the online mortgage lending revolution with SoFi — a lender that makes homeownership a social club

30Y Fixed Rates
3.325% - 4.310%
Customer Satisfaction
N/A
Fees
Variable lender fee
SimpleScore
3.5 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore
SoFi
3.5
  • Rates
    4
  • Hard/Soft Credit Pull
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    N/A
  • Minimum Credit Score
    3
  • Fees
    4
If you’re a current member of SoFi, then getting a home loan with the online lender is extremely beneficial. Furthermore, SoFi gives some flexibility in conventional refinance loans terms, offering 30-, 20-, 15- and 10-year terms on mortgages. Its refinance rates are competitive, but the minimum credit score is slightly higher than what some homeowners may be able to achieve.
Full review

Our Two Cents — While SoFi’s rates are on par with top mortgage refinance lenders, it doesn’t can be slightly difficult to find specific information — call the lender for more information.

Bank of America – Best 15-Year Fixed APR

Bank of America

Competitive rates and low fees make Bank of America a strong pick for your mortgage refinance.

30Y Fixed Rates
3.375% (3.568% APR)
Customer Satisfaction
J.D Power 3/5
Fees
Application and origination
SimpleScore
3.6 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore
Bank of America
3.6
  • Rates
    5
  • Hard/Soft Credit Pull
    3
  • Customer Satisfaction
    3
  • Minimum Credit Score
    3
  • Fees
    4
Bank of America is one of the few lenders who actually give an estimated monthly payment for its refinancing options. It puts the lending terms into a format that borrowers can actually understand. When you refinance your 15-year fixed mortgage, you can also choose the cash-out option which can give you extra cash at closing to use for your more urgent needs.
Full review

Our Two Cents — All you need is a computer to get rolling with Bank of America’s refinancing

Santander Bank – Best 30-Year Fixed APR

Santander Bank

Santander Bank doesn’t have a large service area or online presence, but it offers rates that rival its larger competitors.

30Y Fixed Rates
3.375% (3.558% APR)
Customer Satisfaction
J.D Power 3/5
Fees
Late fee and appraisal fee
SimpleScore
3.5 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore
Santander Bank
3.5
  • Rates
    4
  • Hard/Soft Credit Pull
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    3
  • Minimum Credit Score
    N/A
  • Fees
    2
When you work with Santander, you have the option of refinancing your 30-year fixed loan with either zero points or three points. There’s the added bonus of the retail sector that allows you to meet with an actual loan specialist rather than the more informal online application. Santander is only available in 11 states and Washington, D.C., so while the refinance options are great, many homeowners won’t qualify. Note, however, that Santander charges varying appraisal fees, late payment fees and returned payment fees. If you’ve had trouble paying on time with your current mortgage, it might be best to not refinance with this bank.
Full review

Our Two Cents — Northeasterners will love the convenience of Santander and not for financing cars, but for refinancing homes, too.

Rocket Mortgage – Best for Fast Refinancing

Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage has the power of Quicken Loans with some of the lowest rates available.

30Y Fixed Rates
2.875% (3.139% APR)
Customer Satisfaction
J.D Power 5/5
Fees
Origination fee
SimpleScore
4.8 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore
Rocket Mortgage
4.8
  • Rates
    5
  • Hard/Soft Credit Pull
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    5
  • Minimum Credit Score
    5
  • Fees
    4
Rocket Mortgage provides quick, easy service with full online access and low fees. The rates are among the most competitive, and Rocket Mortgage boasts the best customer service with a perfect score from J.D. Power. Backed by Quicken Loans, Rocket Mortgage has streamlined the mortgage origination and refinance process, most notably through a mobile app.
Full review

Our Two Cents — The mortgage rates for Rocket Mortgage are out-of-this-world, and you don’t need amazing credit to qualify.

Third Federal Savings – Best for Minimal Fees

Third Federal Savings

Third Federal keeps it simple with one rate for its mortgage products, but it’s less forthcoming about eligibility requirements.

30Y Fixed Rates
2.89% (2.97% APR)
Customer Satisfaction
N/A
Fees
Closing cost & returned check
SimpleScore
4.33 / 5.0
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SimpleScore
Third Federal Savings
4.33
  • Rates
    5
  • Hard/Soft Credit Pull
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    N/A
  • Minimum Credit Score
    N/A
  • Fees
    3
There’s a 60-day rate lock and where most companies charge fees for higher jumbo loans, Third Federal offers discounts instead. If you qualify for its Community Support Lending, you can benefit from zero closing costs and APRs about 2% lower than normal rates. Otherwise, closing fees are $295 if you opt for a Smart ARM or 10-year fixed refinance.
Full review

Our Two Cents — Third Federal Savings is all about equal opportunity, giving one rate to all qualifying borrowers.

Raymond James Bank – Best for Flexibility

Raymond James Bank

Choose your loan size and pick from seven different kinds of mortgage products for a perfectly customizable experience.

30Y Fixed Rates
3.375% (3.463% APR)
Customer Satisfaction
N/A
Fees
Varies
SimpleScore
N/A / 5.0
close
SimpleScore
Raymond James Bank
N/A
  • Rates
    N/A
  • Hard/Soft Credit Pull
    N/A
  • Customer Satisfaction
    N/A
  • Minimum Credit Score
    N/A
  • Fees
    N/A
Raymond James Bank is not only available in all 50 states, but it also has no minimum loan size requirement for a truly flexible, customizable experience. Despite its multiple products, though, you won’t find the application process online, so you will have to call for further details.
Note: There is not enough information available to the public for a SimpleScore to be calculated. Representatives at Raymond James Bank have indicated that more information can be found when meeting with a loan officer at a branch location.
Full review

Our Two Cents — Get personalized care with Raymond James for your mortgage refinance, but be prepared to work closely with your lender’s rep because there’s little for you online.

What is a mortgage refinance?

A mortgage refinance is a powerful financial move that allows homeowners to replace their original mortgage loan with a new loan under new terms and new rates. A mortgage refinance company will offer homeowners new rates to decrease monthly payments and/or longer terms to extend the life of the loan. You can refinance with a new mortgage refinance company or stick with the current one if it’s beneficial.

How mortgage refinancing works

A home loan doesn’t last just a few months or years like a personal loan does; instead, it can last for 30 years and more. A lot can happen in so many years, and your needs will likely change. This is when mortgage refinancing can be an invaluable help to your household.

When you refinance, the process is quite similar to your original home loan. There is plenty of documentation that will need to be submitted, and your credit score and payment history will be heavily weighted in the decision to grant you a new loan.

While it may take some work to refinance your mortgage, there is a lot that can be gained from the process. This is not ideal for homeowners who intend to move or sell the home in the coming years, but if you are settled in your home and need to adjust your current financing, this could be the right solution for you.

New rate

When the novel coronavirus struck in early 2020, the world came to a standstill, and markets plunged in response. With such low rates, many homeowners jumped at the chance to take advantage of the incredible savings they could bring.

It doesn’t take a global pandemic to bring beneficial mortgage rates, however. If you originally financed your home during a time when rates were very high, you could stand to save a lot of money by refinancing when market rates fall.

New loan terms

They don’t call it house-poor for no reason. When you first buy your home, it likely puts a real strain on your budget, but as the years pass, your economic situation can change. Not only can you benefit from a better rate, but sometimes, you can also benefit from better loan terms, too. You could stand to reduce the length of your loan, or you could change from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate that brings greater stability.

When to refinance

The market is not the only thing that can dictate when is a good time to refinance your home. Most homeowners will refinance when they stand to gain at least a 1% decrease in rates on their home loan, but if your refinance is based on need, you likely have personal circumstances that will not wait until the market fluctuates in your favor.

Everyone’s situation is different, but it is always ideal if you can benefit from lower interest rates and better terms when you refinance your mortgage.

How to choose the best mortgage refinance loan for you

When you commit to any kind of loan, it is crucial that it is the right kind of loan for you and carries terms that you are able to meet.

Here’s how to find the best place to refinance a mortgage

  1. Choose your mortgage refinance loan.
    There are many different types of mortgage loan products that you can use to refinance your home loan. Fixed-rate mortgages are available in different lengths, like 15 and 30 years, and there is also adjustable-rate refinancing. You should also consider refinancing options from the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Agriculture and the Veterans Administration for military households.
  2. Compare interest rates.
    The loan terms for each lender can be very different and not only in the interest rate. You should also give consideration to the length of the loan to see if this is a realistic fit for your family’s needs.
  3. Don’t forget about the fees.
    The fees for your mortgage refinance can vary drastically from lender to lender. Even the best mortgage refinance companies have their own costs for things like origination fees, late fees, application fees and prepayment penalties if you pay your loan off early. Read the fine print and weigh these fees against the other costs associated with each loan to find the one that will work best for you.
  4. Consider the eligibility criteria.
    Some refinance providers have eligibility criteria like credit score or income requirements. Make sure you find out what the criteria are before applying — it doesn’t make sense to waste time on a lender if you know you’ll be denied.

Mortgage refinancing FAQs

What do I need to do before refinancing?

When you apply for any kind of loan, one of the first things that a lender will do is pull your credit report. Before you apply for mortgage refinancing, you should pull a copy of your credit report so you can see what the lenders will see. If you have a lower credit score, you can save time and your credit score by moving to another refinance company rather than applying for a loan that you will not be approved for.

What are the current mortgage rates?

As the U.S. continues to grapple with COVID-19, the markets continue to fluctuate in response. When the world shut down and the housing market plummeted, it presented a very lucrative opportunity for those who were able to leverage dropping interest rates against their existing home loans.

As summer slowly brings the reopening of American businesses, current mortgage rates for 2020 are still much lower than we have seen in recent years. This presents a very lucrative opportunity for those households that managed to escape the claws of COVID-19 and are financially sound enough to refinance their mortgage.

Too long, didn’t read?

With the coronavirus causing interest rates to drop, this can be a very beneficial time for homeowners to refinance mortgage loans. While you will still need to qualify for the loan, you may be able to benefit from lower interest rates and competitive terms that can save you thousands of dollars and take years off the life of your loan.

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Methodology

The SimpleScore was created with you in mind, to simplify the process of making complex financial decisions for your peace-of-mind – and wallet. We rated top mortgage lenders based on five different categories: rates, customer satisfaction, eligibility, fees and application process.

We also lean on our editorial expertise and industry knowledge to help choose and rank each company. Our ratings are meant to be a directional and helpful tool to help you in the process of choosing a refinance mortgage provider. Be sure to continue your research and shop around for the best lender that fits your specific needs. Learn more about our methodology.

Lena Borrelli
Lena Borrelli
Contributing Writer

Lena Borrelli is a Tampa-based freelance writer who has worked with leading industry titans, such as Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, and Simon Corporation. Her work has most recently been published on sites like TIME, ADT, Fiscal Tiger, Bankrate and Home Advisor, as well as many other websites and blogs around the world.

Reviewed by

  • Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in insurance, personal finance, and loans. Previously, she wrote and edited for Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, Ballantyne Magazine, Thread Magazine, The Post, ACRN, The New Political, Columbus Alive and the Institute for International Journalism.