Types of Mortgage Lenders

A mortgage lender is an institution that offers a home loan to purchase real estate. Four main types of lenders exist banks, credit unions, direct lenders, and brokers.

LoansMortgage Lenders In Utah evaluate a borrower’s risk using a combination of personal factors (like credit history and income) and larger market forces (like the Federal Reserve). This is how they set interest rates.


Whether you’re buying your first home or looking to refinance your existing mortgage, you need the right lender to help make it happen. Banks, credit unions, non-bank lenders and brokers can all meet your mortgage needs. Each type of lender has its own set of criteria and best practices. But which one is the right fit for you?

Most mortgage lenders require borrowers to provide documentation of their income and assets as part of the loan application process. The documentation that they ask for varies by lender, but it can include the following:

Lenders often request two months of bank statements when reviewing a mortgage application. This is so they can get a complete picture of your income and spending habits to see if you’re able to afford the loan. This is particularly important for self-employed borrowers, as their income can fluctuate.

Some lenders will also review your assets, including cash in checking or savings accounts, investments held in a money market account, and stock and bond holdings in a non-retirement brokerage account. These are all considered as potential sources of funds if you lose your job and can’t make your mortgage payments. The more assets that you have, the less risky you will appear to be to your lender.

Many banks offer mortgage lending services in addition to their banking and investment products. This includes big banks like Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo. Banks may choose to keep their mortgage loans in their portfolios and service them, or they may sell them on the secondary market to a larger mortgage lender. The larger lender then takes over servicing the loan, including handling your monthly mortgage payments and other related activities.

Some mortgage lenders specialize in specific types of loans, such as jumbo and FHA mortgages. This makes them better equipped to meet the unique financing needs of certain borrowers. For example, a lender that specializes in FHA loans can help you qualify for a higher loan amount with a smaller down payment, and it might be able to offer special programs for medical professionals.

Credit Unions

Credit unions, which are not-for-profit entities, can offer some attractive mortgage loan terms compared to banks. For example, they are often able to provide lower closing costs and lower mortgage rates. These can translate into thousands of dollars in savings over the life of a loan. In addition, many credit unions offer proprietary mortgage programs that allow borrowers to purchase a home with no down payment.

Unlike banks, which are required to distribute profits to their shareholders, credit unions can use their excess revenues to reduce their fees and mortgage rates. This is because they do not have investors to pay and can pass on those savings to their customers.

As a result, you may find that it is easier to get approved for a credit union mortgage if you have less than perfect credit. In contrast, banks are typically only willing to lend to borrowers with good or excellent credit.

Another advantage of credit unions is their local connection and focus on a specific community. This can make them more familiar with the market and your local housing situation. In addition, you can probably find a branch close to you where you can visit with a loan officer and discuss your mortgage needs.

One drawback of a credit union mortgage is that they may sell your mortgage to a third party after the loan closes. This means that you will likely deal with a different company for your monthly mortgage payments and other services associated with your loan.

While most credit unions offer a variety of personal finance products including checking and savings accounts, some also provide consumer loans, investment accounts, credit cards, and insurance. In addition, they can also offer a wide array of mortgage options including conventional loans, FHA loans, VA loans and jumbo mortgages.

Credit unions are not as large as banks, but they usually provide many of the same financial services, such as financial education and counseling. Moreover, they typically have shared branches and ATMs for their members. However, unlike banks, which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000 per accountholder, most credit unions are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.

Direct Lenders

Direct lenders are banks or credit unions that work with borrowers without the use of a broker. These lenders typically offer competitive interest rates and can provide a quicker mortgage process than a mortgage broker. They also can help borrowers qualify for loans that are not conventional.

In the US, direct lending firms often finance middle-market borrowers that traditional banks eschew due to regulatory constraints and the need to syndicate their loans (slice them up and sell off shares to outside investors). The fact that they’re unregulated also means that they can pursue higher risk deals, which may not appeal to some mainstream investors.

The advantage of a direct lender is that the borrower can communicate directly with the lender during the application and underwriting processes. This can make the entire process more efficient and allow borrowers to quickly answer any questions that come up along the way. Additionally, many borrowers choose to work with a direct lender because they can be trusted with sensitive information and can be more flexible with their terms.

While cutting out the middleman can save money, it’s important for consumers to compare rates between multiple lenders. The best way to do this is by using a mortgage calculator, which can show the impact of a specific interest rate on a monthly payment. Borrowers should also be sure to consider any additional fees, such as loan origination fees, property taxes, homeowners insurance, and interest rate lock periods when comparing costs.

If a consumer decides to work with a direct lender, they should ask friends, family members, or other borrowers for recommendations. Then, they should interview several brokers and check their licensing. They should also ask about their fees, the lenders they work with, and their experience.

Another benefit of working with a direct lender is that they may have better underwriting guidelines than larger lenders. Big lenders typically have minimal overlays and lend money based on their in-house programs. This can make it challenging for them to approve borrowers with special circumstances, such as self-employed borrowers or those with bad credit. However, direct lenders often have minimal overlays and lend money based off the VA’s, FHA’s, or Freddie Mac’s underwriting guidelines.


Mortgage brokers are a type of financial intermediary that matches home buyers with lenders. These professionals can save borrowers time and effort during the mortgage process, as well as money over the life of the loan. They typically work independently or for a mortgage brokerage firm. In contrast, loan officers are employed by lending institutions like banks or credit unions and are obligated to present the institution’s mortgage options to clients.

A mortgage broker acts as a personal shopper for a homebuyer, identifying loans that meet their needs and budget. They also act as an advocate throughout the mortgage process, from application through closing. They have access to a wider range of mortgage products than a loan officer, which may allow them to provide better terms. Mortgage brokers are licensed and regulated, and can be held personally liable for fraud or misrepresentation.

To protect their clients, mortgage brokers must carry a surety bond. The amount of the bond depends on the number and value of the mortgages they originate and sell, and is required to ensure that they follow state regulations and prevent any fraudulent activity. If a mortgage broker is not properly licensed or insured, they may be subject to fines and other penalties.

Borrowers should carefully consider the pros and cons of working with a mortgage broker before choosing one. Getting quotes from several lenders can help them choose the best loan for their situation, and can potentially save thousands of dollars in interest and fees. In addition, a broker can help borrowers understand their purchasing power, and can assist with compiling and reviewing paperwork.

Despite the fact that mortgage brokers are not directly responsible for the approval of a mortgage, they often have a greater influence on how a lender is perceived by consumers than a direct lender does. Consequently, mortgage brokers must balance their role as an advocate for the borrower with their responsibility to the lender’s bottom line.

When selecting a mortgage broker, borrowers should ask friends and family for recommendations. They should also check the National Multistate Licensing System to make sure that the broker has not been cited for malpractice or misconduct. In addition, a borrower should consult the mortgage broker’s website to see how long they have been in business. A lengthy career may indicate a high level of experience and knowledge of the industry.