When you refinance a mortgage, you take out a new loan to pay off your existing mortgage at a lower interest rate—a move that can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Mortgage rates are still low by historical standards (see the chart), which means it might be a good time to consider refinancing, especially if you took out your existing mortgage when interest rates were much higher.

Refinancing may also be worth a second look if you currently have an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), where the interest rate moves up and down in response to economic conditions. While these loans can be attractive at first, they often lead to higher rates down the road—and increased stress if you’re worried about rates increasing in the future.

Think refinancing might be a good option for you? To help jumpstart your research, we looked at data from a 2018 U.S. News report on the best mortgage refinance lenders as well as five other industry “best of” rankings and found six companies that appeared on at least three of the lists. Here they are, in alphabetical order.

Bank of America

Bank of America has been around for more than 200 years. It serves approximately 47 million consumers and small businesses in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 35-plus additional countries.

Highlights

  • Ranked by U.S. News as Top Lender for Online Applications
  • 15- and 30-year fixed, adjustable, jumbo, cash-out, FHA and VA loans
  • HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) lender
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 55%
  • Equity required: 5% for most loans
  • Origination fee: yes, varies (discounts may be available for Preferred Rewards bank customers)

CitiMortgage

CitiMortgage is the mortgage branch of parent company Citigroup, a worldwide investment banking and financial services firm founded more than 200 years ago. The company serves millions of customers in hundreds of countries around the world and offer 40-year fixed-rate refinance loans—one of the few lenders to do so.

Highlights

  • Ranked by U.S. News as Top Lender for Long-Term Loans
  • Apply for loans in person, over the phone, or online
  • HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) lender
  • 10-, 15-, 30- and 40-year fixed, adjustable, jumbo, FHA and VA loans
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 50%
  • Equity required: 10.1%
  • Origination fee: $100 application fee and a $915 to $1,115 commitment fee (discounts may be available for bank customers)

Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate was established in 2000 and today has a workforce of more than 3,000 mortgage professionals who serve customers throughout the U.S. The company aims to “simplify the [mortgage] process and bring the lowest rates, transparency, and a high level of service to home buyers and those looking to refinance.”

Highlights

  • Ranked by U.S. News as Top Lender for 15-Year Fixed-Rate Loans
  • Completely digital mortgage platform with an easy online loan application process
  • Real-time, online access to rates and information about loan products
  • 15- and 30- year fixed, adjustable, jumbo, FHA and VA loans
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 580
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 57%
  • Equity required: 2.25%
  • Origination fee: yes

Lenda

Like other newer lenders, San Francisco–based Lenda offers a digital experience intended to provide transparency and save customers money. Customers have 24-7 online access to their loans and loan progress via Lenda’s interactive loan dashboard. Currently, Lenda operates in only 12 states:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington

Highlights

  • No origination fees or broker commissions
  • An automated suggestion engine finds ways to lower your rate, if possible
  • 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year fixed loans plus cash-out refinancing
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 50%
  • Equity required: varies
  • Origination fee: no

Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans started out as a mortgage industry disrupter in 1985 and today is a mainstream lender. Offering loans in all 50 states, Quicken Loans is the largest online mortgage lender and the second-largest retail mortgage lender. The company is known for having competitive rates and several unique mortgage products not offered by competitors—including customizable loan terms that run between 8 and 30 years.

Highlights

  • Ranked by U.S. News as Top Lender for Customer Satisfaction
  • HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) lender
  • 15- and 30-year fixed, adjustable, jumbo, FHA, USDA and VA loans
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 580; 620 for most loans
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 63%
  • Equity required: varies by loan program; as low as 0%
  • Origination fee: yes, but waived for some programs

Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage launched in 2015 as Quicken Loans’ online and mobile-friendly mortgage application process. While it has its own website, Rocket Mortgage has nearly the same underwriting standards as Quicken Loans. The primary differentiation is that Rocket Mortgage’s entire mortgage process takes place online. While you can complete the application without speaking to a customer service representative, you always have the option to do so, if you would like.

Highlights

  • A fast, online application process
  • 15- and 30-year fixed, adjustable, jumbo, FHA, USDA and VA loans
  • YOURgage allows you to choose a mortgage term between 8 and 30 years
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 580; 620 for most loans
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 45%-60%, depending on loan program
  • Equity required: varies by loan program; as low as 0%
  • Origination fee: yes, but waived for some programs

When Refinancing May Not Make Sense

Keep in mind, a mortgage refinance might not make great financial sense for your situation. Here are four circumstances under which it could be smart to avoid refinancing:

  • You’ve had your current mortgage long enough that you’ve paid off most of the interest already (and you’re building equity).
  • Your existing mortgage has a hefty prepayment penalty. If there is one, be sure to factor it into your calculations when deciding if a refinance makes sense.
  • You plan to sell your house within the next several years.
  • The fees outweigh what you’ll save. If you’re not sure, do a break-even calculation to see how long you need to stay in the home to benefit from a refinance.

To calculate the feeds, add up all the fees, figure out how much you’ll save every month with the lower payment, and then divide the total fees by the savings. The result is the number of months that will elapse before you break even and start saving money. If, for example, you have $4,000 in loan fees and you’ll save $100 a month on your payment, you’ll break even in 40 months ($4,000 ÷ $100 = 40)—or just over three years.

The Bottom Line

If you think you want to refinance your mortgage, other lenders worth considering that made it to the U.S. News list of best mortgage refinance lenders include loanDepot (Top Lender for Term Options), PennyMac (Top Lender for USDA Loans), PNC Bank (Top Lender for Jumbo Loans), TD Bank (Top Lender for Adjustable-Rate Mortgages), USAA (Top Lender for VA Loans) and Wells Fargo (Top Lender for FHA Loans).

Of course, if you are thinking about refinancing your mortgage, it pays to do your own research and compare the various companies’ rates and programs. Also, it’s important to consider your own preferences and needs—for example, how you’d like to apply for the loan. If you’re tech-savvy, you may enjoy (and even rejoice at) dealing with one of the companies that offer a completely digital experience. But if you prefer speaking with someone face-to-face, you may want to find a company that offers in-person assistance at a branch location.