The eight Finest USDA Lenders for 2021

Compare the best USDA lenders

What's So Great About Finding the Best USDA Lenders? Well only USDA and VA loans with no down payment are available. Hence, they are an affordable way to own home for many buyers.

Although USDA lending is supported by the federal government, you are still borrowing from a private lender. That means different companies will offer you better or worse mortgage rates, loan costs, and customer service.

Hence, choosing the best USDA lender is essential. You could save thousands by receiving and comparing quotes from multiple lenders.

Check Your USDA Loan Eligibility (February 22, 2021)

U.SDA lender
Best function (s) *

Movement Mortgage
Strong customer ratings, low USDA average prices, great online experience

Freedom Mortgage Corp.
Lowest USDA Average Rates Among Top Lenders

Caliber home loan
Second lowest USDA average rates among top lenders

Fairway independent mortgage
Lowest upfront fees on average

Flagstar Bank
Strong customer ratings

CMG mortgage
Strong customer ratings

American Pacific Mortgage Corp.
Strong customer ratings

PNC Bank
Low up-front fees on average

* An average interest and fee analysis based on self-reported data providers must be submitted under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Actual prices and fees vary by customer

Check Your USDA Loan Eligibility (February 22, 2021)

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The 8 Best USDA Lenders of 2021

Here's what you need to know about each of our recommendations for the best USDA mortgage lenders.

Keep this in mind when we use comparative terms (best, worst, highest, lowest) that we measure against the other USDA lenders in our group of eight.

And because these eight are the best, even the "worst" in a given category could mean that a company is great compared to USDA lenders.

1. Movement mortgage

Movement Mortgage was only founded in 2008. Since then it has grown from a team of four to over 4,000.

According to Movement, "over 75% of the loans are processed in just 7 working days."

This lender is especially strong if you want to get your mortgage process online. Of course, you will be assigned a loan officer who can help you every step of the way. However, if you wish, you can switch from applying to the online degree.

Here are some other highlights of working with Movement Mortgage:

Excellent customer reviews – Bound for the highest on this list. Competitive USDA Mortgage Rates – 3rd Lowest Average. Few complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Higher prepayment costs – The most expensive on our list. Operations in all 50 states. Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​Rating: A +

You are likely to have a great customer experience. However, you may have to pay a little more for it. So compare Movement mortgage rates with what some other lenders offer to make sure you are making big bucks.

2. Freedom Mortgage Corp.

Freedom Mortgage Corp. was founded in 1990 and is now one of America's largest mortgage lenders. More USDA loans were raised in 2019 than our other seven.

Freedom also had the lowest average USDA lending rate on our list – plus a moderate cost of borrowing.

Lowest Average USDA Rates in Our SurveyThird Lowest USDA Loan Costs Average Sixth for Customer Satisfaction ScoresMore customer complaints to the CFPB than most operators in all 50 statesBBB rating: B +

Freedom should be a challenge to your shortlist if you want to keep your monthly payments and loan costs down.

3. Caliber Home Loans

Kaliber tends to emphasize his personal approach. When you choose this company, you can rest assured that you will work closely with a credit advisor throughout the mortgage process.

Caliber Home Loans is also a strong competitor in other areas:

Second Lowest Average USDA Interest Rates Among Our Eight Lenders Competitive USDA Loan Costs Third Customer Complaints to CFPBLowest Average Customer Ratings – But all of our eight were rated very highOperate in all 50 statesBBB rating: A.

The caliber could be especially good if you want a low rate and prefer face-to-face interactions to online work.

4. Fairway Independent Mortgage Company

With Fairway, you can choose to connect fully with a loan officer or go mostly online through their website and app. The offer should therefore appeal to a wide range of borrowers.

Although the average USDA fairway rates were higher than others, the cost of the loan was the lowest. Therefore, it can be attractive to those with lower savings who need to prioritize upfront fees over ongoing payments.

Lowest USDA Upfront Loan Costs Our GroupGood Reviews From ReviewsHighest Average USDA Loan Rate In 2019 Operates in all states except Alaska and West VirginiaBBB Rating: A +

Fairway can be personable even to those with bad credit. If your score is too low, you can have a professional credit analyst review your credit report and create a personalized plan to help you improve it – at no cost to you.

This could easily make Fairway the best option for borrowers whose FICO scores are just below the USDA minimum of 640.

5. Flagstar Bank

Flagstar is one of only two full-service banks among our eight. They say it's America's sixth largest mortgage lender and second largest savings bank.

One potential benefit is the Flagstar Gift Program, which offers qualified buyers up to $ 2,500 for their down payment or closing costs. Such a grant can make or destroy dreams of home ownership – even for someone putting 0% on a USDA loan.

Remember that the closing cost is 2% to 5% of the loan amount, which is typically a few thousand dollars. Help in covering these problems can be of great importance to many home buyers.

Other features of the Flagstar Bank are:

Synonymous with the best customer reviews. Competitive USDA mortgage rates on average. Low USDA upfront loan costs. Average of $ 2,500. Flagstar Gift Program Grant. Operates in all 50 states

Mortgage lenders tend to outperform large banks in lender rankings. But Flagstar seems like an exception.

6. CMG mortgage

CMG was founded in 1993 and is unusual in that it is still privately owned. It seems to have maintained a cohesive, customer-centric culture while being agile and innovative at the same time.

A key feature is the company's CMG HOME mobile app, which "guides you through your home search and mortgage financing and connects you directly to your loan officer and broker." This could provide a complete home buying experience in one place.

Other important information about the CMG mortgage is:

Bound for Best Customer Review ResultsLowest Customer Complaints to CFPBThird Lowest USDA Mortgage Rate AverageThird Highest USDA Loan Cost Average AverageOperations in All 50 StatesBBB Rating: A +

More CMG customers seem to be happy with their lender than anyone else on our list. Hence, it seems like a great contender for USDA loans, especially for borrowers who want a little extra assistance with their loan application.

7. American Pacific Mortgage Corp.

American Pacific is possibly one of the least known names on our list. But it's a very credible lender with a range of industry awards and about 200 branches and 1,400 credit counselors nationwide.

American Pacific is another lender with lots of happy customers, which you think is one of the most important things to consider when making your shortlist.

Other features of the American Pacific are:

Synonymous with the best customer reviews. Second lowest number of customer complaints with the CFPBMidrange for USDA mortgage rates. Higher USDA upfront loan costs. Average for all 50 states. BBB rating: A +

These loan costs can put you off. However, they don't know exactly what your closing cost will be or how low your USDA mortgage rate might be until you get a quote.

8. PNC Bank

With 8 million customers and more than 160 years of history, PNC Bank is a serious provider of financial services.

PNC has a physical presence in 2,600 offices, mostly in eastern states. But it has impressive online and phone services available to mortgage and USDA lending across the country.

This includes the online home insight tracker, which you can use to process your application online as conveniently as possible.

PNC is also offering a $ 1,500 grant to qualified borrowers to help reduce closing costs. So you should check if you are eligible.

Mid-range USDA mortgage average interest rateTenth lowest USDA loan cost – Plus the option of a $ 1,500 grantHigh customer review scoresMultiple complaints to the CFPB – Though still less than 1 complaint per 1,000 loansOperates in all 50 statesBBB Rating: A +

If you like the idea of ​​working with a large and well-established bank, PNC might be a good choice. Even if you don't care about the type of institution this is an all-round strong lender with lots of referrals.

How to Find USDA Lenders Near You

To find the best USDA lenders, we started with a list of the top 25 largest mortgage lenders across the country who clearly state that they offer USDA loans. These are highly rated lenders with a documented history that offer fair interest rates and good service.

But the list doesn't stop there.

There are many other good USDA lenders out there – and some may even be based in your neighborhood.

Many borrowers can find great deals and personalized service from a local bank, mortgage lender, or credit union. So be sure to add local lenders to your shortlist as well.

If you are not sure whether your preferred bank or lender offers USDA mortgages, you can call them and inquire. Or, you can search for USDA lenders in your area on this complete list of USDA Approved Lenders.

Just keep in mind that not every USDA-approved company is currently actively issuing USDA loans. You must therefore check with each lender you find on the list before applying.

USDA loan services

If you've read this far, you probably already know the benefits USDA loans can bring. But it doesn't hurt to go through them:

No deposit – Literally 0% deposit is required. However, you can make a down payment if you want to reduce your loan amount and monthly mortgage paymentsFinance closing costs – You can often include all of the closing costs in your loan and repay it as a small part of each monthly paymentMortgage rates below the market price – USDA loans, on average, have interest rates that are as good or better than other mortgages. However, the required mortgage insurance will increase your annual percentage (APR).Affordable mortgage insurance – USDA Mortgage Insurance Costs are much lower than FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) and are often below the traditional PMI for loans. USDA's upfront guarantee fee is only 1% of the loan amount and the annual fee is 0.35% compared to 1.75% and 0.85% for FHA, respectivelyNo prepayment penalties – If you choose to repay or refinance your loan early, you will not be charged a penalty

USDA loans are especially popular with first-time buyers and lower-income borrowers because of their affordable upfront cost and lenient underwriting.

However, this program is also open to repeat home buyers and refinance homeowners.

Of course, as with all loans, if you have a large down payment, high credit score, and low existing debt, you are likely to get a better mortgage rate.

But many get USDA loans even on low incomes, with no down payment and moderate credit.

Check Your USDA Loan Eligibility (February 22, 2021)

How to Qualify for USDA Loans

USDA loans – also known as USDA Rural Development Loans – are supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

These mortgages are designed to improve low and middle income housing options in rural communities. As such, they are only available for homes purchased or refinanced in eligible rural areas.


USDA's "rural" requirement may sound restrictive, but in fact, most of the US landmass is classified as "rural" by USDA standards. Many suburbs are included.

You can use the USDA lookup tool to find out if the home you want to buy is in such an area.

Additionally, the property being bought or refinanced must be a single family home. Some condos and townhouses are eligible provided they are in the USDA geographic areas and are on a condominium project approved by FHA, VA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac.

And the borrower must plan to use it as their primary residence. Vacation homes and investment properties are not permitted.

Borrower Eligibility

Location isn't the only requirement for a USDA loan. Eligibility is also based on the borrower's income, credit, and ongoing debt.

The exact requirements may vary depending on the lender. However, the minimum standards for qualifying the USDA include:

Minimum score of 640
Clean credit history with on-time debt payments
41% maximum Debt to income ratio (DTI)
Fixed income and employment
Household income at or below the local USDA income limit

USDA is one of the few major loan programs that impose income limits on borrowers.

The rule is that you cannot earn more than 15% above the local median income. However, this is adjusted to take into account the number of people in the household, especially those who are dependent.

To find out if your income is at or below the local limit, you can use this USDA tool to find income limits.

USDA borrowers also need to be willing to finance their home with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. 15 year fixed rate loans and adjustable rate mortgages are not eligible under this program.

Alternatives to a USDA home loan

Suppose you are making too much money to qualify for a USDA mortgage or the home you are trying to buy is not in a certain area.

Don't give up your dream of owning a home! There are other types of loans that you may have access to.

If you are eligible for a VA loan (almost exclusively for Veterans and Active Duty Members), this is probably your best bet.

VA loans are the only other major home loan program that doesn't require a down payment and that interest rates are consistently below market price. Even better, there is no annual mortgage insurance.

However, you may have other options, none of which will limit income (other than being able to afford payments) or the location of the home.

In particular, look at the following:

FHA loan – You require a 3.5% deposit, but the credit standards are simple (580 min credit score) and the prices are competitive. Look out for expensive mortgage insurance premiumsCompliant Loans – From Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, these only require a 3.0% deposit. However, you do need a credit score of 620 or better

Are these down payments too high for your current savings? Explore Down Payment Assistance Programs (DPAs). There must be at least one program that you want to buy from.

You may be eligible for a grant, forgivable loan, or repayable loan that will allow you to complete a home purchase much sooner than you thought possible.

What are today's mortgage rates?

Today's mortgage rates, including USDA lending rates, are at all-time lows.

Coupled with USDA's zero down payment, this is a very affordable time to buy a home in qualifying areas.

Compare USDA lenders to find the best interest rate and lowest cost of borrowing for your situation.

Check your new rate (February 22, 2021)

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