Mortgage Lenders

Allison Martin
Mortgage lender and customers

Mortgage lenders play an integral role in the home-buying process as they supply the funds and manage the financial segment of the transaction from inception to completion. Given the vast quantity of mortgage lenders in the industry, it is essential that you carefully evaluate your options since the larger, more established institutions may not always offer the most competitive products.

Types of Mortgage Lenders

There several types of mortgage lenders in business today.

Bank and Credit Unions

These institutions often offer deals to their existing customers in the form of special financing terms. However, it is important to understand that your loan may be sold to another mortgage servicer at some point during the repayment term.

Mortgage Brokers

Mortgage brokers serve as head hunters that connect buyers with lenders in the industry that offer the best products for their particular financial situation.

Sellers

In some instances, sellers will offer financing to buyers at a typically higher rate for a limited period of time. After a few years have lapsed, the debtor should seek more favorable financing elsewhere.

Online Lenders

There are myriad online mortgage lenders that offer expedited loan processing to prospective buyers. In most instances, customer support is offered around the clock and you never have to leave your home until it is time to close the loan as a majority of the transaction is handled electronically.

Evaluate Your Options

Prior to selecting a mortgage lender, there are a number of factors that you should consider to ensure that you are getting the best value for your dollar. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Company history and reputation
  • Financial solvency of lender
  • Interest rates
  • Standard closing costs
  • Average time to close the loan
  • Loan types (i.e. FHA, Jumbo, VA, Fannie Mae, Fixed, ARMs)
  • Loan terms
Checking credit report

Approval criteria

It is also important to inquire about their approval criteria to determine if you qualify for one of their loan programs. Specific items to ask about are:

  • The required credit score
  • Minimum income requirement
  • Work history requirement
  • Maximum allowable debt to income ratio

Special programs

Some lenders offer special programs for those who have non-traditional circumstances. Down payment assistance and programs for first-time homebuyers can help this select group of consumers seek financing, but not all lenders offer programs like these. Find out what programs are available before deciding upon one lender over another.

Reputable Lenders

J.D Power and Associates releases a list of the top lenders in the nation that excel in Mortgage Origination Satisfaction. Listed below are the top providers that made the cut for 2012.

Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans is the largest online retail mortgage lender. They possess an A+ ranking by the Better Business Bureau and have been in the mortgage industry for nearly 30 years.

Mortgage products include:

  • YOURgage
  • FHA
  • 30-Year Fixed-Rate
  • 15-Year Fixed-Rate
  • VA Loan
  • Adjustable Rate
  • Jumbo Loan
  • HomePath
  • FHA Streamline

To learn more about their programs or apply for a mortgage, complete an online application or call (800) 251-9080.

BB&T

Rated as one of "America's Best Banks" by Forbes, BB&T has been offering home loans to consumers since 1923.

Mortgage products include:

  • Fixed Rate
  • Adjustable Rate
  • Construction-to-Permanent
  • VA Loan
  • First-Time Homebuyer
  • Low Down Payment

To learn more about their programs or apply for a mortgage, create an online account to access the application or call (888) 946-8730.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank is over 150 years old and is the fifth largest banking institution in the nation. They also possess $321 billion in assets and were ranked as the Most Admired Superregional Bank by Fortune in 2012.

Mortgage products include:

  • Fixed-Rate
  • Adjustable-Rate
  • FHA Loan
  • VA Loan
  • Jumbo Loan

To learn more about their programs or apply for a mortgage:

Chase

Chase currently possesses over $2.3 trillion in assets in over 60 countries and services seven million mortgage and home equity loans. They were also ranked #1 in Customer Satisfaction by the American Customer Satisfaction index in 2012.

Mortgage products include:

  • Fixed-Rate
  • Adjustable-Rate
  • FHA Loan
  • VA Loan
  • Alternative Loan Terms

To learn more about their programs or apply for a mortgage:

SunTrust

Headquartered in Atlanta, SunTrust is one of the nation's leading financial services holding companies. In 2011, J.D. Power and Associates ranked SunTrust Mortgage second highest overall in customer satisfaction.

The company possesses $171.5 billion in assets and primarily serve residents in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Mortgage products include:

  • Fixed-Rate
  • Adjustable-Rate
  • Jumbo Loan
  • FHA Loan
  • VA Loan

To learn more about their programs or apply for a mortgage, complete an online application or call (800) 634-7928.

Wells Fargo

This bank has been around since 1852 and is the top retail mortgage lender with $237 billion in assets. In 2012, Forbes crowned Wells Fargo as America's largest bank by market capitalization.

Mortgage products include:

  • Fixed-Rate
  • Adjustable-Rate
  • FHA Loan
  • VA Loan
  • Jumbo Loan

To learn more about their programs or apply for a mortgage:

Flagstar Bank

Based in Michigan, the Flagstar bank has been around since 1987 and possesses $127 billion in assets. In 2011, they were ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Retail Banking for the North Central Region by J.D. Power and Associates.

Mortgage products include:

  • 15-Year Fixed-Rate
  • 30-Year Fixed Rate
  • Adjustable-Rate
  • Jumbo Loan
  • FHA Loan
  • USDA
  • VA Loan
  • HomePath Renovation
  • HomePath Standard

To learn more about their programs or apply for a mortgage:

Selecting a Mortgage Lender That's Right for You

Although some lenders rank substantially higher than others, your decision should focus on how their products best suit your needs, and not so much on how they rank amongst competitors.

Mortgage Lenders