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Best cash-out refinance lenders 2019

Peter Warden
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Choosing from the best cash-out refinance lenders

You’ll want to choose the lender that has competitive pricing and provides a good experience. For example, if you’re most comfortable doing business face-to-face, you may prefer a lender with a conveniently-located branch. But, if you prefer to engage online, you’ll look for a company with a highly-functional website.

Similarly, you may want the solidity of borrowing from a huge lender with trillions in assets and a long history. Or you may prefer to go with a young, hungry company that’s working hard to build a reputation.

Start your cash-out refinance here. (Dec 11th, 2018)

Either way, your final pick must offer the type of loan you want to people who are in your financial position. So make sure you meet a lender’s:

  • Credit score threshold
  • Cap on the proportion of your home’s value you can borrow (loan-to-value ratio or LTV)
  • Cap on the percentage of your monthly income that you expend on keeping up with your total debts (your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI)

This choosing process is a two-way street.

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Some lenders are better than others for homeowners, depending on how they wish to do business. Here’s a quick rundown.

  • Best loan for people with credit issues – Lenda’s guidelines are flexible. Good for those with less-than-perfect credit
  • Best loan for low rates — Guaranteed Rate gets high marks from its clients. And their rates are excellent
  • Best loan for maximum cash out — Lenda allows up to 97 percent cash out. And any FHA lender allows up to 96.5 percent LTV, while VA lenders provide up to 100 percent cash-put refinancing
  • Best loan for people who hate applying for mortgages — Rocket mortgage advertises its simple application process
  • Best online experience — Quicken, loanDepot, Guaranteed Rate and Lenda

And here are our more detailed reviews.


Reviews:


How to compare lender guidelines

Many lenders do not publish their requirements for credit scores and LTV and DTI ratios. But don’t assume that automatically means they won’t be interested in borrowers with low scores and high LTVs and DTIs. Indeed, they might be signaling that they’re flexible.

Related: Should you do a cash-out refinance before retirement?

All lenders view applications as a complete package. Suppose a lender says it works with people with a score of 580. It may actually lend to just a handful of people with that score, and they must be better-than-average in other ways — perhaps with low LTV and DTI numbers.

The good news is that applying for a mortgage is a relatively quick process, with the initial underwriting performed electronically. If in doubt, just apply and get a decision in minutes.

Best cash-out refinance lenders

The following is The Mortgage Reports list of its best cash-out refinance lenders for 2019. It’s in alphabetical order.

Related: Cash-out refinance rules for conforming, FHA, VA and reverse mortgages

These are mostly national organizations. If you have an existing relationship with — or just like the look of — a regional or other lender, by all means get a quote from it, too. However, you’ll still need multiple quotes in order to be sure you’re getting the best deal. The more the merrier — and wiser.

Bank of America

With 67 million consumer and small business clients and around 4,400 “retail financial centers,” Bank of America is a behemoth. It can trace its roots back to 1784.

Better Business Bureau rating: A+ (accredited business)

Of course, every business with so many customers will have plenty who are dissatisfied. Those posting comments on the BBB website mostly address customer service issues.

Application experience

You can begin making your application online and all information you enter will be saved and accessible by your loan officer. Quite soon in the process, you’ll be prompted to call a loan officer or have one call you.

The bank says you can pursue your application “at a Bank of America Financial Center, online at BankofAmerica.com or by phone.” You can use its online portal for prequalifying, making your application, uploading documents and accessing account management services.

Range of mortgage offerings

The bank offers Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Administration (VA) loans as well as conforming and nonconforming mortgages.

How much?

Closing costs vary by transaction based on property type, loan product and market. If you’re a client of Bank of America or Merrill Lynch, you may be eligible for discounts.

Related: Best uses for your mortgage cash-out refinance

These depend on your membership of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, which is available to clients who have qualifying combined balances in their Bank of America deposit and/or Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch investment accounts.

There are three tiers based on qualifying balances: Gold $20,000+, Platinum $50,000+ and Platinum Honors $100,000+. Depending on your tier, as a mortgage client, you should be eligible for a $200, $400 or $600 reduction in your origination fee. You’ll want to include this discount when comparing B of A pricing to that of other lenders.

Will you qualify?

Bank of America does share many of its lending  criteria:

  • Minimum credit score — 620 for a conforming mortgage, rising to 640 for one backed by the FHA and 660 for a VA loan. Nonconforming mortgages require 680
  • Maximum Debt-to-Income — 41 percent for VA loans, rising to 43 percent for conforming and nonconforming mortgages, and 55 percent for FHA loans
  • Maximum Loan-to-Value — 89.99 percent  for nonconforming mortgages, increasing to 95 percent for conforming ones, 96.5 percent for FHA ones and 100 percent for VA ones

However, remember that lenders view applications as a package. If you barely meet one criterion, you may have to exceed lender guidelines in another.

Request cash-out refinance rates here. (Dec 11th, 2018)

Chase

Chase claims to serve almost one-half of all American households. It has 5,100 branches and a useful online banking presence.

It is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co, which operates globally and has assets of $2.6 trillion.

Better Business Bureau rating for Chase Home Finance: A+ (not an accredited business)

Application experience

Chase offers a full range of application options: call, apply online or make an appointment for a face-to-face meeting with a Home Lending Advisor.

Range of mortgage offerings

The bank has a range of mortgage offerings:

  • VA loans
  • FHA loans
  • Jumbo mortgages
  • Adjustable-rate mortgages
  • Fixed-rate mortgages
  • Options for 15-year or 30-year terms

Talk through your choices with an advisor.

How much?

Again, you can explore your likely closing costs with an advisor. Chase, in common with all mortgage lenders, must by law send you a Loan Estimate within three business days of receiving your application and that will include a good-faith estimate of your closing costs. Use it to compare their quote with that of other lenders.

Will you qualify?

Chase doesn’t appear to publish its lending criteria and didn’t respond to requests for that information. You can probably expect those to be roughly in line with other mainstream lenders.

It does suggest on its website that it may be sympathetic to those with troubled histories, providing their difficulties are in the past:

“Although your credit history is important, it’s still just one factor in our decision to approve your refinance. If you can demonstrate that your credit problem is in the past and you’ve been able to re-establish a good track record, speak to us openly and honestly about your situation. We’re happy to work with you to evaluate your current credit profile and determine what home financing options best suit your particular needs.”

Citi

CitiMortgage, which provides Citi’s loans for home purchase and refinance transactions in the U.S., originated $13.1 billion in new loans in 2017. The wider group serves 100 million customers in 19 countries.

Application experience

You can make your application by getting in touch with a local Home Lending Officer, phoning a call center or using the online portal. Citi says that completing its online application should take you about 30 minutes but you can save your form at any time and come back to it later.

Range of mortgage offerings

Citi offers a broad range of types of mortgages. In addition to other mainstream products, these include VA, FHA and jumbo loans.

How much?

Like all other mortgage lenders, Citi must by law send you a Loan Estimate within three business days of receiving your application. That will include a good-faith estimate of your closing costs.

Will you qualify?

Citi doesn’t publish its lending criteria. The only clue on its website is that “The preferred [debt-to-income] DTI ratio is generally around 36 percent.”

You can probably anticipate similar underwriting standards from Citi as you’ll get with most other mainstream lenders.

Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate is a 21st-century lender (literally: it was founded in 2000) that has grown quickly. In less than 20 years, its team has expanded from 15 to more than 3,000 professionals.

It’s especially proud of its innovative processes and technologies. They include Transfersafe, which allows customers to securely upload documents.

Better Business Bureau rating: A (accredited business)

Many customers on the BBB website are fans and the company has close to the highest star rating of all lenders on this list.

Application experience

If you’re expecting such a new company to offer a good online application experience, you’d be right. But Guaranteed Rate also has 170 offices nationwide. So help should be on hand if you need assistance or prefer a more traditional application experience.

Range of mortgage offerings

For cash-out refinancing, Guaranteed Rate recommends FHA loans and 30- or 15-year fixed rate mortgages.

How much?

Check out the company’s “What Will My Refinance Costs Be?” online calculator.

Will you qualify?

According to the Guaranteed Rate website, “The minimum credit score accepted is between 620-660, with FHA’s minimum is 580-670 depending on your state.” Of course, you’ll get a lower interest rate the higher your score.

You should probably expect requirements for debt-to-income and loan-to-value ratios to be roughly in line with other lenders.

Lenda

Lenda is another new kid on the block, having been established in 2013. It’s yet to have a nationwide presence and currently operates only in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington. However, it says it plans to expand into other states soon.

It claims to be “a first-of-its-kind platform that makes the home loan experience honest, fast and completely online from start to finish.”

Better Business Bureau rating: A+ (not an accredited business)

At the time of writing, only one disgruntled customer had left a review on the BBB website.

Application experience

Most of the heavy lifting is done online. Lenda says that its platform, built from the ground up, educates its users throughout the entire process. It also has licensed representatives available to answer borrowers’ questions by live chat, email or phone. So if you want a face-to-face meeting, you can have one via an online video service.

Range of mortgage offerings

The company offers FHA loans as well as other types of mortgages. But it can’t currently help with VA or USDA products.

How much?

One of its big strengths is that Lenda doesn’t charge any lender fees. The amount you pay will depend on your state’s title fees and the amount you’re borrowing. And, of course, you’ll have to pay third-party fees. As the company puts it, “We are zero cost to the consumer – no lender fees and no junk fees.”

However, almost any lender can engineer a so-called “no cost” loan by raising its interest rate. If you want one, compare offers from several and choose the program with the lowest interest rate.

Will you qualify?

Lenda reveals some very easy lending criteria:

  • Minimum credit score — 580
  • Maximum Loan-to-Value — 97 percent
  • Maximum Debt-to-Income — 55 percent

Bear in mind our earlier caveat: The chances of your qualifying if you’re on the threshold of all three criteria may be smaller than you’d hope.

loanDepot

As its name suggests, loanDepot is a relative newcomer, having been established in 2010. However, it’s already funded loans worth $150 billion.

If you expect it to be slick when it comes to technology, you won’t be disappointed. But it also has 150+ local loan locations nationwide, and employs 2,000+ licensed loan officers.

Better Business Bureau rating: A+ (accredited business)

Although some customers report bad experiences on the BBB’s website, many others are enthusiastic. Indeed, loanDepot has among the highest BBB star ratings of any of the companies featured on our list of the best cash-out refinance lenders.

Application experience

You can apply online or over the phone. And, thereafter, you can complete the whole process remotely. Your only face-to-face encounter can be at the loan signing, and you can opt for that to happen either in your own home or at an “approved settlement location.”

Range of mortgage offerings

loanDepot offers cash-out refinance customers FHA and VA loans as well as jumbo ones and mainstream fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages.

How much and will you qualify?

loanDepot did not respond to requests for information for this list. Other online sources suggest its origination fees can range from 1 percent up to 5 percent.

One such source suggests the company requires a minimum credit score of 600 for a purchase mortgage. All these figures may vary for a cash-out refinance.
Start your cash-out refinance application here. (Dec 11th, 2018)

PNC

PNC goes back more than 160 years. It now has 2,400 retail branches and 8 million consumer and small business customers.

Better Business Bureau rating: A+ (not an accredited business)

As with most other lenders, PNC customers post generally negative comments on the BBB website. These appear to mostly relate to customer service.

Application experience

PNC seems largely geared to handling mortgage applications in branches and over the phone. When you want to apply on its website, you fill in a form that should result in a callback.

The company says, “PNC has mortgage loan officers available in most of our 2,400 branches in our retail network which is in 19 states plus the District of Columbia, located primarily in the Middle Atlantic, Southeast and Midwest. We also have mortgage loan officers located in offices throughout most of the rest of the continental United States.”

Range of mortgage offerings

If you want a government-backed mortgage, PNC will consider cash-out refinances for VA, FHA and USDA loans.

In addition to others, it also has two special, proprietary programs:

  • PNC Community — An affordable lending product available to first time home buyers in certain Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) census tracts
  • Medical professional loans — Loans tailored for those in the medical profession

Both of these can be used for cash-out refinances.

How much?

PNC’s fees on closing typically range from 3 to 5 percent of the total loan amount.

Will you qualify?

The company does not publish its requirements for credit scores, LTV and DTI. Expect it to assess your application across a full range of criteria.

Quicken Loans

The company says, “Quicken Loans Inc. is the nation’s largest mortgage lender. It is also the nation’s largest FHA lender and a premier Veteran Affairs (VA) lender.” It closed mortgages worth $400 billion during the period 2013-17.

Better Business Bureau Rating: A+ (accredited business)

Its customer reviews star rating on the BBB website is exceptionally good. That alone would justify its inclusion in this list of the best cash-out refinance lenders 2019. However, it has other qualities that recommend it.

Application experience

Quicken Loans says it offers, “The first completely online mortgage experience which gives consumers the ability to import and verify financial information, customize their mortgage, get approved and lock their rate without speaking to a human being.”

However, there is plenty of advice available from real human beings, if you need it. You can contact one of those by email, fax or phone throughout the process.

Range of mortgage offerings

The company says its most popular cash-out refinance mortgages are:

  • FHA loans
  • 30-year fixed-rate loans
  • Adjustable-rate mortgages
  • VA loans

Other types of refinance products may be available.

How much?

You can probably expect your origination fee to be in a range of 2 percent to 5 percent of your loan’s value. That will depend on the type of loan you choose.

Unusually, Quicken Loans charges an upfront fee when you decide to accept its quote. This is usually between $400 and $750. However, the amount you pay will later be deducted from your closing costs.

As with many lenders, you may be able to roll up your closing costs within your new loan in a “zero-closing costs” deal. However, these loans can be more expensive if you keep them for many years. .

Will you qualify?

The company can be more sympathetic than most when it comes to approving loans. Unlike many, it’s been known to lend to borrowers with scores below 600 for FHA loans. However, you’ll likely need a score of at least 620 if you want a conventional (non-government) loan.

Although it doesn’t appear to publish its requirements for debt-to-income and loan-to-value ratios, Quicken Loans hints on its website that it might be understanding about those, too.


SunTrust

Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, SunTrust has 4.4 million customers and 23,199 employees in 1,222 branches. It’s originated or purchased $24.4 billion in mortgages and refinances.

Better Business Bureau Rating: A (accredited business)

In spite of its size, SunTrust has fairly few customer reviews on the BBB’s website.

Application experience

SunTrust urges prospective cash-out refinance borrowers to call, email or find a mortgage loan officer in a branch. Loan officers can be found in branches in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

There seems to be no way to apply wholly online. However, you can initiate a pre-approval process on the website.

Range of mortgage offerings

For those wanting government-backed loans, SunTrust offers VA and FHA loans. It also offers a number of proprietary products. Ask your loan officer for more information.

SunTrust says, “We are a purpose-driven company, and our client-centric approach to serving clients means we work to understand our clients’ needs and provide the products and services that help them make financially confident decisions.”

How much?

Lenders’ fees vary depending on the loan product. Any additional fees levied by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac for cash-out refinances are passed on the borrower.

Will you qualify?

SunTrust does not disclose its criteria for credit scores, LTV or DTI. Instead, it says, “We work with our clients to provide the right solution to meet their needs.”

TD Bank

TD Bank is one of America’s 10 biggest banks. Over its 150-year history, it has evolved into its current form: 9 million customers, 27,000 employees and 1,250 branches across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida.

Better Business Bureau Rating: A+ (accredited business)

As with virtually all full-service banks with millions of customers, there are some negative reviews on the BBB website. These mostly relate to customer service.

Application experience

The TD Bank website allows you to track your cash-out refinance application and to access your documents. However, the bank seems geared for personal applications, either face-to-face in branches or over the phone.

Range of mortgage offerings

The bank supports a comprehensive range of mortgages, including FHA and VA loans.

How much and will you qualify?

TD Bank is reticent about its lending criteria and its origination and other fees. It urges visitors to its website to call a mortgage advisor via its call center.

In the absence of better information, you can probably expect its offerings to be roughly in line with other, similar mainstream lenders.

Request cash-out refinance quotes from top lenders here. (Dec 11th, 2018)

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank has a history going back to 1863. Today, it is America’s fifth-largest bank and has 73,000 employees. At the end of 2017, it had assets of $462 billion.

Better Business Bureau rating: B+ (accredited business)

The bank gets only a B+ from the BBB because it has faced government action.

As is always the case with big banks, customers tend to post remarks on the BBB website only when they’ve encountered problems. Most complaints seem to relate to customer service in areas of activity not related to mortgages or other home equity finance products.

Application experience

If you want, you can manage your entire refinance, including your initial application and document uploads, online. But U.S. Bank has more than 1,300 mortgage loan officers across the country, many based in branches. So, if you prefer to conduct your business in the traditional way, you may be able to do so locally.

The U.S. Bank Loan Portal lets you choose how to engage. So you can set up live, online conversations with a loan officer if you wish.

Range of mortgage offerings

As well as offering cash-out refinances on VA and FHA loans, the bank has its own portfolio of programs.

In particular, it has a streamlined Smart Refinance option. One of these delivers:

  • Zero closing costs
  • A loan-to-value ratio of up to 90 percent without mortgage insurance
  • Terms of up to 20 years

For the right borrower, that could be a great deal.

How much?

If you can’t get or don’t want the Smart Refinance deal, you’ll likely have to pay lender’s fees on closing and possibly an application fee.

U.S. Bank doesn’t publish how much these might be. It says, “Fees can vary by state, loan size and loan to LTV.” However, it must disclose the ones that will apply to you soon after you make an application.

Will you qualify?

The bank says that its requirements for credit scores, LTV and DTI “vary per program and per unique borrower characteristics.” Which is another way of saying it views each application individually.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo may well be America’s most famous bank. Its romantic, 160+-year history has culminated in a strong modern-day presence that includes 8,050  branches, 265,000 employees and $1.9 trillion in assets.

Better Business Bureau rating: No rating (not an accredited business)

Wells Fargo has had widely publicized issues in recent years. BBB says its No-Rating status exists because “The business is in the process of responding to previously closed complaints.”

However, the bank still deserves inclusion in any list of best cash-out refinance lenders. It has quality products and a good application experience.

Application experience

You can use Wells Fargo’s online portal to apply for your cash-out refinance, including from a smartphone. It usually takes 20-30 minutes. At any time, you can save your application and then return to it later. And, after that, you can track your application online.

You can, of course, get help from a loan officer or apply in a local branch. The call center can also provide advice and get you going.

Range of mortgage offerings

Wells Fargo offers VA and FHA cash-out refinances, as well as other mortgage products.

How much?

The bank explains, “There is a processing fee on all originations and it is not specific to cash-out refinance transactions.  Processing fees vary by state.”

You should probably expect your Loan Estimate to reveal fees roughly in line with similar lenders.

Will you qualify?

Wells Fargo says that it regards its lending criteria (credit score and loan-to-value and debt-to-income ratios) as proprietary information. Again, the ones it employs are likely to be close to those of other similar banks.

Get a quote from a top cash-out lender

Tapping into your home equity can help you with financial goals such as home improvement, paying off debt, or even starting a retirement fund.

Get your best cash-out refinance rate now by getting quotes from multiple top lenders in the U.S.

Start getting cash-out refinance quotes here. (Dec 11th, 2018)