Manual Underwriting Lenders: 15 Mortgage Lenders and Banks Listed

Many lenders offer manual underwriting, most commonly for mortgages. Lenders that offer manual underwriting for home loans include: Alterra Home Loans, CashCall Mortgage, New American Funding, and NewRez. Banks with underwriting services include: Bank of America, Flagstar Bank, PNC Bank, and Wells Fargo. To learn more about manual underwriting and available lenders, see below.

What Is Manual Underwriting?

When you apply for a loan, the lender will likely collect some basic information like your income, debts, and credit score. This information is typically input to a software program that will generate a decision on whether you should be approved for a loan or not. If you are denied in this process, some lenders will simply refuse to work with you. Others will send your information to a manual underwriter, or someone who will look at your information and other criteria to help you get approved. For example, you may have a large debt that you are close to paying off. Lending approval software may reject your loan application because your debt-to-income ratio is too high. A manual underwriter, on the other hand, would see that your debt is close to being paid off, meaning you’ll have greater cash flow in a few months.

The most common reason to work with a manual underwriter is a lack of credit history or poor credit. If you choose to work with a lender that will manually underwrite your loan, be prepared to hand over detailed financial documents in order to qualify. Lenders may want to see a year or more of bank statements, written statements describing certain parts of your credit history (explaining past-due loans, for example), and statements of good standing from utility companies and/or landlords. Keep in mind, a lender or bank that offers manual underwriting may charge higher interest rates and fees since these loans are seen as higher risk.

Manual Underwriting Lenders in the Mortgage Market

Manual underwriting is most common for mortgage lending. A large portion of the mortgage market is controlled by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These companies provide insurance for lenders writing mortgages. In order for a loan to qualify for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac insurance, it must meet strict underwriting criteria — including a minimum credit score and a low debt-to-income ratio. But, even if you have a low credit score or limited credit history, you can still qualify for a mortgage through manual underwriting. Below, we have the list of lenders that offer manual underwriting for home loans.

Alterra Home Loans

  • Loans available: Conventional (fixed- or adjustable-rate), jumbo, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and mortgage refinancing
  • Fees: Undisclosed
  • Terms: Undisclosed
  • Minimum credit score: 620 for conventional loans; 580 for FHA loans
  • Source: Alterra Home Loans

Carrington Mortgage Services

  • Loans available: Conventional, non-prime, jumbo, refinancing, VA, FHA, USDA
  • Fees: Underwriting fees range from $400 to $900.
  • Terms: A minimum down payment of 3% is required. Borrowers must complete a financial education course before closing.
  • Minimum credit score: 550
  • Source: Carrington Mortgage Services

CashCall Mortgage

  • Loans available: Conventional, FHA, VA, Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)
  • Fees: Loan origination fees vary but are typically around $1,000. Loans with no closing costs are available.
  • Terms: Repayment terms up to 30 years. Fixed-rate mortgages and interest-only payment options are offered. The minimum loan amount is $75,000.
  • Minimum credit score: 680 for conventional loans; CashCall Mortgage also considers other credit data
  • Source: CashCall Mortgage

Churchill Mortgage

  • Loans available: Purchase, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, and mortgage refinancing
  • Fees: Vary based on the type of loan and other factors
  • Terms: No minimum or maximum loan amount
  • Minimum credit score: 620; Churchill Mortgage also considers other credit data
  • Source: Churchill Mortgage

Connexus Credit Union

  • Loans available: Conventional (fixed- or adjustable-rate), jumbo, home equity lines of credit, home equity loans, and mortgage refinancing
  • Fees: Undisclosed
  • Terms: You must be a member of the credit union; you can join by making a $5 donation to its affiliated charitable organization. Repayment terms up to 30 years. A minimum down payment of 3% is required.
  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Source: Connexus Credit Union

Guild Mortgage

  • Loans available: Conventional (fixed- or adjustable-rate), jumbo, refinance, FHA, VA, USDA, and down payment assistance
  • Fees: Vary depending on the loan type and amount
  • Terms: Repayment terms up to 30 years. A minimum down payment of 1% is required.
  • Minimum credit score: Varies by product; the average credit score for approval is 715 across all loan types. Guild Mortgage also considers other credit data.
  • Source: Guild Mortgage

New American Funding

  • Loans available: Conventional, FHA, VA
  • Fees: Vary depending on the loan type and other factors
  • Terms: Repayment terms up to 30 years. A minimum down payment of 3% is required.
  • Minimum credit score: 620; New American Funding works with borrowers with nontraditional credit
  • Source: New American Funding

Navy Federal Credit Union

  • Loans available: Conventional (fixed- or adjustable-rate), VA, FHA, and mortgage refinancing
  • Fees: Loan origination fee is 1% of the loan value.
  • Terms: Your down payment can be anywhere from 0 to 20%, depending on the loan type. Repayment terms of up to 30.
  • Minimum credit score: No minimum score is required; NFCU also considers other credit data. NFCU targets military families and first-time home buyers.
  • Source: Navy Federal Credit Union

In case you need to apply and it takes far longer than you were expecting, maybe bookmark this article about how long it takes to get approved by Navy Federal.

NewRez

  • Loans available: Conventional (fixed- or adjustable-rate), jumbo, FHA, VA, home equity lines of credit, home equity loans, and mortgage refinancing
  • Fees: Undisclosed
  • Terms: Repayment terms up to 30 years. A minimum down payment of 3.5% is required.
  • Minimum credit score: Undisclosed
  • Source: NewRez

Skyline Home Loans

  • Loans available: Conventional (fixed- and adjustable-rate), jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA
  • Fees: Undisclosed
  • Terms: A minimum down payment of 3% is required for conventional loans. No down payment options are available for specialty loans. Repayment terms up to 30 years.
  • Minimum credit score: Varies by loan type; Skyline Home Loans also considers other credit data
  • Source: Skyline Home Loans

SoFi

  • Loans available: Conventional and mortgage refinancing
  • Fees: No origination fees for mortgages
  • Terms: A minimum down payment of 10% is required
  • Minimum credit score: 680; SoFi also considers other credit data
  • Source: SoFi 

Looking for a Bank That Does Manual Underwriting?

Some large U.S. banks have underwriting staffs that approve all types of loans, from personal loans to mortgages. You should also check with your local bank, as it will be more familiar with your local economy. For example, if you live in a farming community, your local bank may be more likely to manually underwrite agricultural loans. Below is the list of the major banks that offer manual underwriting.

Bank of America

  • Loans available: Mortgages, home equity loans, auto loans, and mortgage refinancing
  • Fees: Vary depending on the loan type and amount. You may qualify for a discount of $200 to $600 if you’re already a Bank of America customer.
  • Terms: Repayment terms up to 30 years. A minimum down payment of 3% is required.  Loans up to $5 million may be approved.
  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Source: Bank of America

Flagstar Bank

  • Loans available: Conventional, FHA, and mortgage refinancing
  • Fees: Vary depending on the loan type and amount
  • Terms: Loans up to $3 million may be approved. Repayment terms up to 30 years.
  • Minimum credit score: 620; the average Flagstar Bank borrower has a score of 720
  • Source: Flagstar Bank

PNC Bank

  • Loans available: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA
  • Fees: Vary depending on the loan type and amount
  • Terms: Repayment terms up to 30 years. A minimum down payments of 3% is required. The maximum loan amount is $3 million.
  • Minimum credit score: 620; PNC Bank also considers other credit data
  • Source: PNC Bank

Wells Fargo

  • Loans available: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, and mortgage refinancing
  • Fees: Vary depending on the loan type and amount
  • Terms: A minimum down payment of 3% is required
  • Minimum credit score: 620; 580 for FHA or VA loans
  • Source: Wells Fargo

In Summary

Manual underwriting can help you get a loan. There are plenty of lenders in the mortgage market that offer manual underwriting and you can even find a bank that does manual underwriting. To learn more about qualifying for a mortgage, see our article: What Credit Score Do You Need to Buy a House? if you’re unsure how large of a loan you should get, see our article, Should you really buy your “dream” home?

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