Home Lenders

I have met or personally spoken with all the lenders below.  These lenders below can help you in the following areas:
  • They are willing to work with you to help you improve your credit to qualify for a loan.
  • They are very responsible in following through to make sure you close.
  • Most companies have in-house underwriters, which translates into better and more efficient service for your loan.  

Home Mortgages 101 (For First Time Home Buyers) 

Alameda Mortgage

Mark Oakden's company provides conventional and FHA loans. To help FHA buyers, Mark has been willing to work with clients to help them find FHA approvable homes. We have sent him photos if we had doubts, and he would let us know if it would go FHA or not.  Very helpful lender.

If you have your own down payment, you can get approved with a credit score of 620.

If you don't have a down payment, you can get approved with a credit score of 650. Mark also does MHFA loans, which are designed for low income, low down payment situations. People can get into homes with only $1000 down in many cases.  But it's not always the best program if people have money or make too much income.
Mark A Oakden
Sales Manager
Cell: 612.685.6275


Heidi Smith is happy to help buyers improve their credit so they can buy a home. Says Heidi:   "I do work with clients with credit issues. Our company offers 'Credit Expert' through Kroll Credit so sometimes I am able to help clients get there score up in as little as 10 days... Primelending does all in house underwriting!"

Heidi Smith
8201 Norman Center Drive, Suite 230

Bloomington, MN 55437
Phone: 952-334-319 3

Land Home Financial

Shawn Reese

This company has a variety of programs, including:
  • 1% down payment, 2% gift - It appears this program gifts you 2% towards your down payment, not limited to first time homebuyers
  • Up to 6% down payment assistance - Military, teachers, and other civil employees
  • Investment loans -- No income verification, up to 80% loan to value
  • Loans one-day out of foreclosure or bankruptcy, no PMI, up to 50% debt to income ratio
  • Loans to self-employed
  • Sweat equity Credit - if you are a licensed contractor or a licensed contractor reviews your work, the buyer can apply this credit to some of their closing costs
  • Conventional renovation loans

Bell Mortgage

Bell Mortgage used to be a mortgage broker, but has recently also become a bank. Bell Mortgage requires their agents to provide final approval one week before closing.  Bell Mortgage keeps their loans in-house, and they are based out of Minnesota.

Cheryl Stuntebeck
Office: (952) 224-3908Cheryl offers full MHFA loan assistance, including down payment assistance.
Cheryl is willing to offer credit counseling to improve your credit. She has been working in the mortgage industry since 1987.  Cheryl is a good lender, and effective at making sure all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed, but once an appraiser demanded that a new roof be put on with a conventional loan.  (Usually that only happens with FHA loans.)

Nancy Hostetler
Office: (612) 374-9911, 2524 Hennepin Ave. Uptown, Minneapolis.
Nancy offers full MHFA loan assistance, including down payment assistance.
Nancy prefers to meet with clients once they have completed an on-line approval, she has worked with many cultures, and has Spanish-speaking assistance. Nancy offers limited credit repair assistance, otherwise she refers buyers to a non-profit service.

Bob Strandell
Office: 612-210-2200
Cell: 612-210-2200
Bob Strandell has been originating loans since 1985.

Progressive Lending Solutions, Inc.

Jenny Coffey, loan consultant, works for Progressive Lending Solutions. Jenny says, "I love what I do and try very hard to get people into the best loan."
        Ph: 651.636.2840
        Web: www.progressivels.com

Wintrust Mortgage

The interesting thing about Wintrust is that they don't charge a 1% origination fee (except for MHFA loans).  Most lenders will charge this fee, in addition to an underwriting fee, processing fee, and possibly a commitment fee.

Lynn Elkin
Cell: (612) 998-1738
Office: (763) 746-8450
Lynn offers full MHFA loan assistance, including down payment assistance. She is willing to work with buyers to improve their credit to qualify for a loan, and she is able to get buyers their closing paperwork 1 week before closing. She is the branch manager at the Maple Grove office.
WiinTrust Mortgage

Royal Credit Union  

This credit union charges a flat fee of $395 for loan origination (most lenders charge about 1%).  This credit union might be a good option if you are buying a foreclosure property that a typical FHA lender would not approve.  The credit union offers a construction type of loan, which will work for these type of properties.
Mark Erickson 
Edina, St. Paul, and Coon Rapids
Office:  (952) 465-0913

Top Line Federal  CreditUnion  
This credit union charges 1% loan origination rate, offers foreclosure and rehab loans, and can get you your closing paperwork 3 days to a week before closing.
At the time I checked, they had the best interest rate for a 15 year loan, and no-closing cost specials for home equity loans.
Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Plymouth, Maple Grove, & Como Park locations.

Mainstream Banks Offering 3% Down Loans

Mainstream banks such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America have started offering 3%  down loans. It may be worth looking into, because you may be able to get a conventional loan instead of an FHA loan.  Here are a few banks and their info:
  • JPMorgan Chase announced its offering called the “Standard Agency 97%” program, a 3 percent down payment loan geared for first-time home buyers and requires a FICO score of 680. Chase also has a loan program called “DreaMaker Mortgage,” which offers a 5 percent down payment – 3 percent of which can come from the borrower as well as flexible funding options for closing costs and reduced mortgage insurance requirements.
  •  Earlier this year, Bank of America began offering a 3 percent down payment loan that did not involve the Federal Housing Administration and does not require mortgage insurance. The bank requires a minimum FICO score of 660.
  • Wells Fargo’s newly launching lending program, “yourFirstMortgage,” requires a 620 FICO minimum score and minimum down payment of 3 percent for a fixed-rate conventional mortgage of up to $417,000. Down payment assistance also can come from gifts and community assistance programs. Customers who complete a homebuyer education course can earn a 1/8 percent interest rate reduction, although the course is not required.

Read the full article here.


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