Fairway Independent Mortgage Review for 2024

Fairway Independent Mortgage Co. is a nationwide lender with top customer service scores. Read our Fairway Mortgage review to find out if this lender is best for you.

Lending flexibility5.0
Customer service4.7
Ease of application5.0
Online experience4.3
Our Score
Fairway Independent Mortgage
Minimum down payment3%
Minimum credit score580
Loan Products Offered

Conventional mortgages
FHA,VA and USDA mortgages
Jumbo loans
Renovation loans
Construction loans

Best Features

  • Top-notch customer service
  • Great selection of mortgage and refinance loans
  • Good blend of digital tools and customer support


  • You have to apply to see mortgage rates
  • Rates and fees are typically competitive, rather than ultra-low


The Mortgage Reports may be compensated by some of the mortgage lenders we review. However, this does not affect our review process or the ratings lenders receive. All reviews are created independently by our editorial team. We review products and services from partner lenders as well as lenders we do not work with.

Fairway is licensed to lend mortgages in all 50 states and Washington D.C. And it's known for having exceptional customer service.

This mortgage company gets high marks in J.D. Power's 2021 Mortgage Customer Satisfaction Study, and has a top A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Fairway has also invested heavily in technology, allowing customers to apply for a mortgage and track loan progress online or via app.

As for mortgage rates and fees, Fairway seems to be competitive, rather than industry-leading. But rates vary by customer, so you'll have to get a quote to see if Fairway's rates are best for you.

Fairway Mortgage rates 

On average compared to some other major lenders, Fairway seems to have slightly higher mortgage rates and fees. But remember that interest rates vary a lot from one borrower to the next and Fairway could end up being the most affordable option for you depending on your circumstances.

Our table shows average rates and loan costs from 2021, the most recent data available at the time of writing. Your own rate will likely be higher because mortgage rates have increased since then.

Average mortgage rates at major lenders

Fairway MortgageRocket MortgageWells FargoFreedom Mortgage
Avg 30-Yr Interest Rate, 202113.18%3.00%3.14%2.66%
Median Total Loan Costs, 2021$4,651$4,670$3,600$3,880
Median Origination Fee, 2021$1,590$2,430$1,330$0

Average rate and fee data sourced from public rate and fee records required by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

While Fairway mortgage rates seem high, it’s worth noting that this lender helps more people with lower credit scores than many other mortgage lenders. And that can skew its rates higher on average.

So if you like what Fairway has to offer, it’s worth getting a personalized rate quote.

Find your lowest mortgage rate. Start here

Fairway Mortgage review for 2024

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, and was founded in 1996. Since then, it’s become one of the top mortgage lenders in the nation.

Fairway Mortgage must be doing plenty right. Because its customer satisfaction scores place it near the very top of the industry, and the growth of its business has been impressive.

So what’s the secret to Fairway’s success? Well, it likely breaks down into three parts:

  • The breadth of its loan portfolio means it can find the right mortgage for a wide variety of applicants. From those wanting multimillion-dollar jumbo loans to those with low savings and damaged credit
  • Fairway offers highly personalized service over the phone or in its branches. But it also allows you to use its online, self-service technologies (including an app) as much as you like
  • It’s recognized by many for providing genuine emphasis on customer satisfaction

The main drawback from our perspective is that you have to apply to see mortgage rates; they’re not advertised online.

But advertised rates are only a sample, and you have to apply to see your actual rate at some point anyway. So that’s not a huge drawback.

Working with Fairway Independent Mortgage

Fairway has over 400 branches, with at least one in 48 states plus Washington DC. Only Alaska and West Virginia do not have a Fairway Mortgage branch. This means you have a better chance of meeting a loan officer in person than with many other lenders, who might have fewer branches in fewer states.

However, Fairway does not require you to meet with a loan officer in person. Many applicants simply talk to a loan officer over the phone, or apply online through the lender’s website or mobile app.

Fairway says that you can complete an online application process and “get approved in minutes.”

The Fairway Mortgage website offers home buying resources and guides, mortgage calculators, and an online mortgage preapproval process. It also lets you securely upload loan documents and check on your loan progress. So you never have to wonder what stage your application is at.

FairwayNow mobile app

Many mortgage companies offer a digital home buying experience, but few have embraced mobile quite like Fairway. With the FairwayNow app, borrowers can:

  • Get mortgage approval
  • Search for a home
  • Calculate mortgage payments
  • Securely upload documents
  • Track their loan process in real-time
  • Message loan officers

Fairway can help lower-credit borrowers buy a home

Another benefit of working with Fairway Mortgage is that the company can be flexible when it comes to credit approval. Suppose your mortgage application fails because your credit score is too low. The company’s website says:

"If your Loan Officer determines that you can benefit from credit score improvement, you may be referred to work with Fairway's internal Creditool team at which time you'll be asked to take part in our program. One of our highly skilled credit analysts will be assigned to review your credit report and draft a credit improvement action plan for you. There is no cost to you to do so."

Conforming to credit score requirements is one of the most important factors when applying for a mortgage. So one-on-one credit counseling to help improve your score is a big benefit.

Fairway Mortgage customer service reviews

We’ve already mentioned Fairway’s reputation for providing highly-rated customer service. But here are some details.

CFPB Complaints, 20214Complaints Per 1,000 Mortgages, 20215J.D. Power Satisfaction Score, 20216
Fairway Mortgage260.08871/1,000
Rocket Mortgage3760.24876/1,000
Wells Fargo4880.58832/1,000
Freedom Mortgage2620.35829/1,000

Fairway Independent Mortgage ranked in the top five providers in the J.D. Power’s 2021 mortgage satisfaction study.

In addition, fewer than one customer per thousand complains about Fairway to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (which keeps a record of official mortgage complaints).

Fairway also scores highly on consumer forums. It gets 4.95 stars on Zillow and 4.9 stars on Lending Tree.

Overall, these reviews make it a top company for service out of the major mortgage lenders.

Mortgage loan products at Fairway

Fairway has an extensive list of mortgage options:

  • Conventional loans: A loan conforming to guidelines established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. First-time home buyers can usually qualify with 3% down and a credit score of 620. Keep in mind that conventional mortgages require private mortgage insurance (PMI) with down payments less than 20%
  • Jumbo loans: For borrowers who need access to loan amounts above the conventional limit, which is $ in most parts of the U.S.
  • FHA loans: Low credit score requirement of 580, and first-time buyers can qualify with as little as 3.5% down. This type of loan requires mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) until the home is sold or refinanced
  • VA loans: Eligible veterans and service members can get great lower-than-market rates and a 0% down payment. Credit score requirement with Fairway is 580
  • USDA loans: This rural development mortgage requires zero down payment if you’re buying in an eligible rural area and have a qualifying income. But borrowers need a score of at least 640
  • Physician Loan Program: Medical doctors, dentists, dental surgeons, and veterinarians can put down as little as 5% with no mortgage insurance required
  • Reverse mortgages: For those 62 years or older who want to release some of their home’s equity to enhance their retirement. No monthly payments
  • Home renovation loans: It’s all in the name
  • Residential construction loans: For when you want to build your home instead of buying one
  • Residential lot loans: Used to buy a plot of land to build a home on
  • Investment property mortgages: Real estate investors can purchase a home to rent out to others
  • Fixed-rate mortgages:The most popular type of mortgage with an interest rate and payment that are fixed for the full loan term
  • Adjustable-rate mortgages: These start with a fixed rate for a few years, then your rate can move up or down annually

Chances are, one of these loan options will suit you. It’s just a matter of finding the right loan type based on your credit, down payment, location, and financing goals.

Refinancing with Fairway Mortgage

Homeowners who are looking for a mortgage refinance loan can choose between a rate-and-term refinance or cash-out refinancing.

  • Rate-and-term refinance: Exchanging your original mortgage with a new one that offers loan terms that are more favorable, such as lower monthly mortgage payments
  • Cash-out refinance: Access your home equity by replacing your current mortgage with a new, larger loan amount, and then receiving the difference as a lump sum of cash

The lender’s refinance rates are generally similar to its home purchase rates. But your refi rate will vary depending on the type of loan and your personal situation.

Lastly, borrowers who want to tap their equity without refinancing will have to go elsewhere. Fairway does not offer a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

Where can I get a mortgage with Fairway?

You can get a loan from Fairway mortgage anywhere in the US. It’s licensed to lend in all 50 states.

And there’s likely a branch near you, because there’s one or more in 48 states and Washington D.C. The only states without physical Fairway branch locations are Alaska and West Virginia. Borrowers in those states will have to rely on the phone and mail or the internet — or any combination thereof.

Is Fairway Independent Mortgage the best lender for you?

Fairway Mortgage may turn out to be the best lender for you.

Fairway has a wide enough range of home loans to suit most people, and its customer service earns top ratings.

We’d especially recommend looking at this company if your credit score is too low, or on the borderline, for mortgage qualifying. In that case, the company’s free credit counseling could be a huge help.

Homeownership may be the biggest decision of your financial life, and the lender you choose can impact your budget for years to come.

To decide whether Fairway Independent Mortgage is best for you, check rates and terms from a few different lenders and weigh your options carefully.


The Mortgage Reports considers multiple factors when reviewing lenders. These factors include credit and down payment requirements, loan types offered, customer service indicators, and availability of online tools. We then use these factors to rank lenders in four categories:

  • Lending flexibility: Includes the number of loan types offered, special programs offered, minimum down payment requirements, and minimum credit score requirements
  • Customer service: Includes CFPB complaints per 1,000 loans and average rating from other top rating services
  • Ease of application: Includes the availability of an online pre-approval or pre-qualification process
  • Online experience: Includes the robustness of the lender’s online offerings, including online chat availability, phone number availability, and learning center/help center availability
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  1. Average mortgage rates and fees sourced from self-reported data mortgage lenders are required to file under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Rates and fees shown reflect the previous year’s data and may not align with today’s mortgage rates
  2. Monthly principal and interest payments calculated using TheMortgageReports.com mortgage calculator. Payments shown are based on a $200,000 loan amount and assume a “very good” credit score. Property taxes and homeowners insurance are not included. Your own monthly payment will vary
  3. Number of mortgage originations for the previous year sourced from self-reported data mortgage lenders are required to file under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act
  4. CFPB Complaints reflect the number of mortgage origination or closing-related complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for the previous year
  5. Complaints per 1000 mortgages reflect the number of official complaints filed against a lender with the CFPB for the previous year, compared to the lender’s total number of mortgage originations for the previous year
  6. JD Power Rating reflects the company’s customer satisfaction score according to JD Power’s most recent Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. Survey respondents score their lenders in four areas: application/approval process, communication, loan closing, and loan offerings