The Best 30-Year Mortgage Lenders of 2018

What Is a 30 Year Fixed Mortgage?

Shopping for a mortgage is a big deal, and if you’re buying your first house, you may not know where to start with all of the different lenders, loan types and terms available. One of the most popular home purchase loans is the 30-year fixed mortgage, which allows you to pay back your loan over the course of 30 years at a stable interest rate.

There are different types of 30-year fixed mortgages, including conforming mortgages, government-backed, and jumbo loans, but the main idea is that since the loan term is long, you pay much less each month than you would if you took out a 15-year mortgage.


The Top 5 Lenders for 30-Year Mortgages at a Glance

LenderAPRRequired Credit ScoreBest FeatureVisit
LendingTreeStarts at 4.18%Varies per lenderUp to 5 free quotesGet Quotes
J.G. Wentworth home lendingVariesAt least 620FHA, VA, HARP and USDA loans availableGet Quotes
AmeriSave Mortgage CorporationVariesAt least 600500 loan specialists on callGet Quotes
Rocket MortgageVariesNo minimumDown payments as low as 3%Get Quotes
Quicken LoansStarts at 4.086% but changes frequentlyNo minimumLends up to $3 millionGet Quotes

The Pros and Cons of a 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage

Because 30-year fixed rate mortgages come with lower monthly payments, they are the most popular mortgages in the United States. As with all loans, however, there are pros and cons. 

ProsCons
Lower monthly paymentHigher interest rates
Less monthly budget stressTakes longer to build equity
Makes expensive property more affordableOverall more expensive
May qualify for a mortgage interest reduction 
Easier to qualify 

30-Year Mortgages vs 15-Year Mortgages

If you’re debating as to whether a 30-year mortgage or 15-year mortgage is best for you, here are some things to consider:

  • Monthly payment amount: Monthly payments for 30-year mortgages are significantly lower than those of 15-year mortgages—would you be able to afford a higher monthly payment? If not, a 30-year mortgage is better for you.
  • Cost of your house: A 30-year mortgage usually makes it more financially feasible to buy a more expensive house, since the payment is spread out over such a long time period. To pay off a very expensive house ($400,000) with a 15-year mortgage means you need to be earning a high yearly income.
  • Interest rates: 15-year mortgages come with lower interest rates, which means you can save money in the long run. However, you have to go back to the first bullet and ask yourself, even if I’d like to save money through a lower interest rate, can I actually afford higher monthly payments?
  • Your income: Will you have a steady income until you retire? If yes, a 15-year loan is a good option. However, if you’re not sure whether your income will remain steady, a 30-year loan might be a better option, since the monthly payments are smaller and you have a better chance at paying them even if you’re in between jobs.

Top 5 Lenders for 30-Year Mortgages

LendingTree is not an actual lender but rather a marketplace where you can search for loans based on your parameters. LendingTree works with a network of 350 partners, making it a good option for people who want to shop around and compare rates. When you use LendingTree to search for mortgages, there’s no commitment and it doesn’t affect your credit score.

  • Rate as low as 4.125%
  • One application for many lenders
  • Will retrieve your credit score for you

Standout Feature: Up to 5 free quotes

 

Applying for a 30-year mortgage through J.G. Wentworth is straightforward and simple; you can do it online or over the phone. J.G. Wentworth offers many types of loans, including federal-backed loans like FHA, VA, HARP, and USDA. Some loan down payments are as low as 3.5%, making it a good option for people who don’t have a large sum to put down but would still like to purchase a home.

  • 630+ credit scores accepted
  • Low mortgage rates
  • Minimum down payment 3.5%

Standout Feature:  Excellent customer service

 


AmeriSave​ is a direct lender, but it offers such a large selection of loans that you have the freedom to shop around for the one with the best terms. Rates are fairly competitive and you can apply online or by phone. The website also has great resources to help you figure out which mortgage is best for you, as well as 500 mortgage specialists on call for your convenience.

  • Competitive interest rates
  • Over 500 mortgage specialists 
  • Informational blog

Standout Feature: Originates and underwrites all loan

 

Rocket Mortgage, a subsidiary of Quicken Loans, offers a variety of loan options for people in different financial situations. There are many loan types, including conforming and government-backed loans. In some cases, down payments can start as low as 3%. The whole loan process is completed online, and the platform is smooth and seamless.

  • Entirely online process
  • Impressive customer support
  • Speedy application process

Standout Feature:  Mobile application

 

Quicken Loans offers a quick application process and fast pre-approval for potential borrowers. Rates are updated daily, and there are a lot of loan options available. If you’re looking for a jumbo 30-year mortgage loan, Quicken can lend up to $3 million to qualified customers.​

  • Online home buyers guide
  • Email and text rate updates
  • Fast online application

Standout Feature:  Rate as low as 4.6%


Rate Fluctuation

Interest rates fluctuate daily, so your quotes might change from day to day and certainly will from year to year. Usually, fluctuation is minimal, but when dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars, even .01% can be significant. Some experts believe that Monday is the best day to lock in the best rate, though it’s worthwhile asking a loan advisor before committing to anything. For 2017, the average rate for a conventional 30-year loan was 3.99%, ranging from 3.81% in September to 4.17% in February.

Besides daily fluctuation, your rate will also depend on the type of loan you take. In the table below, you can see the rates as of April 30, 2018 for different types of 30-year mortgages. Other factors that affect your rates are your credit score, cost of the house, and your down payment

LoanRate1-Week Interest Rate ChangeAPR%1-Week APR Change
Conventional 30-Year Fixed Rate4.625%-.05% to .05%4.688%-.05% to .05%
30-Year Fixed Rate FHA4.5%-.05% to .07%5.568%-.05% to .07%
30-Year Fixed Rate VA 4.625%-.05% to .07%4.981%-.05% to .07%
30 Year Fixed Rate Jumbo4.750%-.03% to .06%4.772%-.03% to -.06%

Applying for a 30-Year Mortgage

When applying for a 30-year mortgage from any of the above companies, you’ll find that though the process can seem nerve-wracking, it’s actually pretty straightforward. If you’re serious about getting a mortgage, most of these sites offer quotes and possible pre-qualification in a matter of minutes, so all you need to be prepared to do is enter the following information:

  • Name, date of birth
  • Address, phone number, email address
  • Location of house you want to buy, cost, how much down payment you can put down
  • Credit score

Once you pre-qualify, you’ll then be asked to submit or upload further documents:

  • Proof of income
  • Proof of assets
  • Cosigner if necessary
  • Disclosure of debts
  • Various tax paperwork

While some applications can be completed online, you can always speak to a loan officer for help and guidance.


Bottom Line

30-year mortgages are the most popular type of home loan in the United States, and for good reason. These mortgages can be paid back over the course of 30 years and they make home purchase possible for people who aren’t earning 6 digits. Because the loan term is quite long, you’ll have a significantly lower monthly payment than you would have with a 15-year loan. The downside is that interest rates and APR are typically higher than 15-year loans, but many people are willing to take it on because they can’t afford huge monthly payments.

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