California Mortgage Rates

Compare California mortgage rates and choose the best option for your needs.

By Myfin Team
Updated May 21, 2024
Loan Type
State
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Purchase Price
$
Down payment
$
%
Loan term
  • 10-Year Fixed
  • 15-Year Fixed
  • 20-Year Fixed
  • 30-Year Fixed
  • 40-Year Fixed
  • 1-Year ARM
  • 3-Year ARM
  • 5-Year ARM
  • 7-Year ARM
  • 10-Year ARM
  • 3-Year ARM I/O
  • 5-Year ARM I/O
  • 7-Year ARM I/O
  • I/O = Interest only
Credit score
  • 740-850
  • 720-739
  • 700-719
  • 680-699
  • 660-679
  • 640-659
  • 620-639
  • 350-620
EMPTY
More options
Points
  • Up to 3
  • 0
  • 0-1
  • 1-2
Property type
  • Single Family
  • Condo (Less than 4 stores)
  • Condo (More than 4 stores)
  • 41 - 2 units
  • 42 - 3 units
  • 43 - 4 units
Property use type
  • Primary Residence
  • Second Home
  • Investment
EMPTY
EMPTY
Showing 3 mortgages
NMLS#401822
APR
6.506%
Payment
$1,997/mo
Rate
6.375%
Fees
$4,400
Includes 0.375 Points ($1,200)
Details
30-Year Fixed;
Purchase
On partner's site
Get details
NMLS#1513908
APR
6.754%
Payment
$2,049/mo
Rate
6.625%
Fees
$4,517
Includes 0.191 Points ($611)
Details
30-Year Fixed;
Purchase
On partner's site
Get details
NMLS#1025894
APR
7.393%
Payment
$2,211/mo
Rate
7.375%
Fees
$578
Includes 0.038 Points (($122))
Details
30-Year Fixed;
Purchase
On partner's site
Get details
Data provided by Icanbuy. Payments do not include amounts for taxes and insurance premiums. The actual payment obligation will be greater if taxes and insurance are included. More information on rates and product details.
For example, if you apply for a 15-year $400,000 mortgage with an interest rate of 6.15% and a down payment of 10% you would receive $360,000 and make 180 payments of $3,067.14. The total amount paid would be $552,084.

Today's Mortgage Rates Trends in California

Mortgage in California

The housing market is experiencing a significant upswing, making it increasingly challenging for regular individuals to purchase suitable homes. Californians are particularly aware of this situation, given that the state holds the highest proportion of mortgages in the United States. Although there is no shortage of mortgage options available, finding an affordable one can be a complex task (utilize our mortgage calculator to estimate your prospective expenses). This article aims to highlight some of the top mortgage lenders in California, exploring their advantages and disadvantages, while addressing the key questions that arise from observing this remarkable market.

Great mortgage lenders in California

Homenda Mortgage

Homenda Mortgage is a lender that exclusively operates online and was established in 2021. Despite being a relatively new player in the industry, Homenda has already successfully closed over 150,000 loans.

Pros: Cons:
Provides online mortgage experience. Offers a small selection of available loan options.
Operates exclusively in California. No physical locations.
Homenda Mortgage has excellent customer reviews. The history of Homenfa Mortgage is relatively short.
Do not charge loan origination fees or any lender fees.
Free mortgage calculator.

While the specific lender has not yet received accreditation from BBB (Better Business Bureau), its parent company, Bay Equity Home Loans, has an excellent rating of A+. It offers conventional 30-year loans with Annual Percentage Rates (APR) ranging from 6.115% to 8.426%, based on the borrower's credit score, and require a 10% down payment.

First Citizens Bank

First Citizens Bank is one of the oldest and largest banks in the United States, dedicated to serving retail customers.

Mortgages are available with either fixed or adjustable interest rates. For a mortgage under ideal circumstances, the fixed Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is 6.289% for a 15-year term, 6.256% for a 20-year term, and 6.602% for a 30-year term. It is possible to lower the APR by purchasing points, which are upfront payments equal to 1% of the loan amount. The bank requires a minimum of two years of employment, a credit score of 620 or higher, and a Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratio of no more than 43%.

Pros: Cons:
Competitive Interest Rates. The First Citizen Bank offers competitive interest rates on their mortgages, which can result in potential savings over the life of the loan. Limited Branch Network. The Bank's physical branch network may be limited in certain areas of California. This could pose challenges for borrowers who prefer in-person banking services or face-to-face interactions.
Diverse Mortgage Options. The bank provides a range of mortgage options, including fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), and government-backed loans like FHA and VA loans. This allows borrowers to choose the type of mortgage that best suits their needs. Availability in Specific Locations. Depending on the location within California, the First Citizen Bank may have limited availability. This means that some borrowers may not have easy access to their mortgage services.
Experienced Lender. The First Citizen Bank is an established lender with experience in the California market. It has a solid track record of providing reliable mortgage services. Potential Eligibility Requirements. Like any other lender, the First Citizen Bank has specific eligibility criteria for obtaining a mortgage. Borrowers with unique financial circumstances or credit challenges may find it harder to qualify for a loan.
Streamlined Application Process. The bank strives to make the mortgage application process as smooth as possible. It offers online applications and guide the entire process, making it more convenient for borrowers. Additional Fees. While the bank's mortgage rates may be competitive, borrowers should be aware of potential additional fees associated with the loan, such as closing costs, origination fees, and other expenses that could increase the overall cost of borrowing.

Northpointe Bank

Established in 1999, Northpointe Bank provides financial services to clients throughout the United States. Their mortgage offerings encompass various options such as conventional loans, FHA loans, USDA loans, non-qualified loans, home equity loans, zero down payment loans, and more.

To qualify for a mortgage, a minimum credit score of 620 is required. If you have a very good credit score of 740, the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for a conventional 30-year mortgage with a 25% prepayment is 6.486%. Similarly, for a 15-year mortgage with the same credit score and prepayment percentage, the APR is 6.322%.

Pros: Cons:
Competitive Interest Rates. The Northpointe Bank offers competitive interest rates on their mortgage products in California. This can potentially result in cost savings over the life of the loan compared to other lenders. Limited Branch Network. The Bank's physical branch network may be limited in California, which could be a drawback for borrowers who prefer in-person banking services or face-to-face interactions.
Diverse Mortgage Options. The Bank provides a wide range of mortgage options, including conventional loans, FHA loans, VA loans, jumbo loans, and more. This variety allows borrowers to choose the mortgage type that best suits their specific needs and financial situation. Availability in Specific Locations. The availability of the Bank's mortgage products may vary in different areas of California. Some borrowers may find that the bank's services are not accessible in their specific location.
Customer Service. The Northpointe Bank emphasizes personalized customer service, aiming to understand each borrower's unique requirements. Their dedicated loan officers can guide borrowers through the mortgage process and offer tailored solutions. Eligibility Requirements. Like any lender, the Northpointe Bank has specific eligibility criteria for mortgage approval. Borrowers with unique financial circumstances or credit challenges may find it more difficult to qualify for a loan with the bank.
Online Tools and Convenience. The Bank offers an online application process, making it convenient for borrowers to apply for a mortgage from anywhere in California. It also provides online tools for managing the mortgage, making payments, and accessing account information, enhancing convenience and accessibility. Additional Fees. While the Bank's mortgage rates may be competitive, borrowers should be aware of potential additional fees associated with the loan, such as closing costs, origination fees, and other expenses that can add to the overall cost of borrowing.

Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage hardly needs an introduction; it is the leading mortgage lender in the United States. In fact, it is not only the leading mortgage lender but also the largest retail lender overall. Typically, a minimum credit score of 620 is required to qualify for mortgage products, although there may be some cases where an even lower score is accepted. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for their 30-year mortgages is currently at 7.199%.

Pros: Cons:
Online Convenience. Rocket Mortgage offers a fully online mortgage application process, allowing borrowers to complete the entire mortgage application from the comfort of their own homes. This can be convenient for those who prefer a digital and streamlined experience. Limited In-Person Support. Since Rocket Mortgage primarily operates online, borrowers may have limited access to in-person support. This could be a disadvantage for individuals who prefer face-to-face interactions or require personalized assistance throughout the mortgage process.
Fast Application and Approval. Rocket Mortgage aims to provide a quick and efficient mortgage application process. Their platform utilizes advanced technology to automate various steps, potentially speeding up the approval process compared to traditional lenders. Reliance on Technology. While the digital platform can be convenient, it also means that borrowers must be comfortable using technology and may face challenges if they encounter any technical issues or difficulties navigating the online interface.
Transparent and Competitive Rates. Rocket Mortgage provides transparency in its mortgage rates, allowing borrowers to easily compare and choose the option that suits their financial needs. It strives to offer competitive rates in the market. Potential Lack of Local Market Expertise. Rocket Mortgage is a nationwide lender, and its services may not provide the same level of localized expertise as regional or local lenders. This may be a disadvantage for borrowers who prefer working with lenders familiar with specific California housing market dynamics.
Wide Range of Mortgage Options. Rocket Mortgage offers a variety of mortgage options, including conventional loans, FHA loans, VA loans, and jumbo loans. This extensive range allows borrowers to find a mortgage product that aligns with their specific requirements. Limited Customization. Although Rocket Mortgage offers a range of mortgage options, their standardized online process may provide limited room for customization. Borrowers with complex financial situations or unique needs may find it challenging to tailor the mortgage terms to their specific requirements.

Average Mortgage Rate in California from 1978 to 2018

The chart shows average conventional mortgage 30-Year Fixed Rates in California.

Source: Federal Housing Finance Agency Monthly Interest Rate Survey

Information about the Housing Market and Real Estate Prices in California

Criteria Amount, $
The median home value in California $725,544
The income required to buy the median priced home in California $118,877
The monthly mortgage payment required to buy the median priced home in California $2,753
The median household income for California $89,446

What factors should be considered when choosing a lender for a mortgage?

When selecting a mortgage lender, the most crucial aspect to consider is the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). This percentage represents the total amount you will pay each year in interest and fees relative to the loan principal. The APR can either be fixed or variable, indicating whether it remains the same or fluctuates over the loan's duration. Mortgages with a variable APR generally involve a lower initial payment, but they can become more expensive in the long run.

Another important factor to consider is transparency. It is crucial to be fully aware of all the fees associated with the mortgage, such as underwriting costs, origination fees, and other charges. Hidden fees can be indicative of an untrustworthy lender. Therefore, it is essential to choose a lender who provides clear and transparent information regarding all the costs involved in the mortgage process.

It is important to verify in advance whether you meet the minimum requirements set by the lender. Each lender has their own criteria for evaluating potential borrowers, although there are some common standards dictated by legal regulations. In fact, most sellers require pre-approval as a prerequisite for considering your offer, highlighting the significance of meeting these requirements before making a purchase.

Who is the top mortgage Lender in California?

Rocket Mortgage is currently the dominant player in the California mortgage market, as well as nationwide. Other major lenders in the industry include UWM, Wells Fargo, Chase, and various others. However, it is important to note that being a top player does not guarantee that they offer the most favorable terms and conditions in the market. It is essential to carefully compare and evaluate the offerings from different lenders to ensure you find the best mortgage terms that suit your specific needs.

California first-time homebuyer programs

If you are a first-time homebuyer, you may be eligible for special benefits programs offered by the federal and state governments. In this context, a first-time homebuyer refers to someone who has not owned a home in the past three years, has only owned one with a spouse, or has a property that violates California's building codes.

One option available is a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, which is a type of insurance provided by the US government. FHA loans are known for their low-interest rates and relaxed requirements. They typically allow for a credit score as low as 500, a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of 50%, and a down payment as low as 3.5%. The maximum loan amount is generally $420,680 across most of the country (increasing to $472,030 in 2023), but it can be higher in expensive areas, such as up to $970,800 in 2022 and $1,089,300 in 2023 in Orange County. There is no upper-income limit for FHA loans, but borrowers are required to pay an insurance premium, which can result in a slightly higher effective APR compared to conventional loans. All the lenders mentioned earlier are FHA-approved.

Another option is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans, which do not require a down payment. However, they are only available in designated rural areas and have a strict income cap of 115% of the median income for the area. If your income exceeds that limit, you will not qualify. While there is technically no credit score threshold, lenders are often allowed to require a minimum of 640.

For first-time homebuyers with modest means, state Housing Finance Agency (HFA) programs like CalHFA in California can be an alternative. To qualify for an HFA loan in California, you generally need a credit score of at least 620. Importantly, your annual income must not exceed a specific limit set for each county, which can range from $118,550 to $228,300 depending on the county. Additionally, you may be eligible for down payment assistance, which can be as low as 3% for this type of loan.

Exploring these programs and their specific criteria can help first-time homebuyers find options that align with their credit profile, income level, and financial goals.

How do I get pre-approved for a house in California?

Customers who have obtained mortgage pre-approval often have an advantage when negotiating with home sellers. During the mortgage pre-approval process, the lender thoroughly assesses the potential borrower's financial status, including income, credit score, employment verification, and more, to determine their ability to repay the loan. To initiate the pre-approval application, you will need to complete a specific form known as the Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA). Additionally, you will be required to provide recent pay stubs and account statements as evidence of your earnings. Moreover, W-2 forms and tax returns from the past two years are also necessary to complete the pre-approval process.

What do I need to qualify for a mortgage in California?

Most lenders offer loans that are subject to certain conditions imposed by federal agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Some of these restrictions specifically apply to borrowers:

  1. Debt-to-Income Ratio. The debt-to-income ratio typically cannot exceed 50%. This ratio compares your monthly debt obligations to your gross monthly income.
  2. Income Verification. Lenders require verification of income through tax returns, W2s, and pay stubs to ensure your ability to repay the loan.

Lenders are allowed to impose stricter limits beyond these requirements. If you do not meet the standard criteria, you may be looking at a non-qualified mortgage. Non-qualified mortgages are less common and tend to be more challenging to find. They are generally not known for being affordable, as lenders are not backed by the government if they issue these loans irresponsibly, leading to higher risks. However, non-qualified mortgages may be beneficial for self-employed individuals, foreign nationals, or those seeking non-standard options such as interest-only periods or extended loan terms.

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Your credit score plays a significant role in the mortgage approval process. While the minimum credit score requirement is typically 620, FHA loans may accept scores as low as 500. Additionally, lenders may have other common-sense requirements, such as no recent bankruptcy filings.

The necessary documentation for a mortgage application includes your social security number, detailed financial information, employer's contact information, and a property description.

You will likely be required to make a down payment, which varies depending on the lender. FHA-insured mortgages typically require a down payment of just 3.5%, while HFA loans may have a minimum down payment of 3%. Conventional loans generally have higher minimum down payment requirements.

It's important to note that specific loan terms, conditions, and requirements can vary between lenders. It is advisable to research and compare multiple lenders to find the best mortgage option that suits your financial situation and goals.

FAQ

What is the maximum mortgage duration in CA?

In the United States, the maximum loan term permitted for qualified mortgages is 30 years, which also happens to be the most commonly offered and utilized duration. Although it is feasible to come across non-qualified mortgages with longer terms, typically for refinancing purposes and less commonly for purchases, such as 40 or even 50 years, these loans do not benefit from the same legal protections for lenders and cannot be sold to federal agencies. Consequently, such loans come with less favorable conditions, including higher interest rates and upfront payments, and impose stricter requirements on borrowers.

What is the mortgage rate right now in California?

The interest rate for a mortgage is influenced by various factors, with the borrower's credit score, property location, loan term, down payment percentage, and points being among the primary considerations. Consequently, the precise answer to the interest rate question would depend on your circumstances. On average, in California, a fixed 30-year mortgage tends to have an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 6.65%. For 15-year loans, the average mortgage rate in California is around 6.06%. These figures provide a general idea of the average rates, but it's important to note that actual rates can vary based on market conditions and individual qualifications. It is recommended to consult with lenders or mortgage professionals to obtain personalized and up-to-date information regarding interest rates specific to your situation.