Mortgage Brokers Vs. Banks: Which Should You Choose?

Whether you refinance an existing mortgage or get one for the first time, you want to find the best deal. This means shopping around for offers by different lenders and comparing them based on loan terms and products. You also need to decide the kind of mortgage firm you wish to borrow from. You will get your answers when comparing mortgage brokers vs. banks which should you choose it.

The mortgage industry features two main options—mortgage brokers and banks. The difference between banks and brokers comes down to who finances property purchases after a mortgage application has been filed. 

Banks lend money directly to borrowers. On the other hand, mortgage brokers help borrowers find and apply for loans. If you plan to take a mortgage to finance a home purchase, you need to know how mortgage brokers and banks work.  

Below are details of how each works and how to make the right choice between mortgage brokers vs. banks. 

Mortgage Broker 

Mortgage brokers are service providers that don’t loan borrowers money. As third parties, they connect borrowers with potential mortgage lenders. Essentially, mortgage brokers spend their time helping buyers shop for loans and weigh the options available from different lenders.  

They can help with mortgage preapproval and pass vital documents to lenders on behalf of borrowers. If your loan application gets lender approval, the broker can initiate the signing and closure of the loan. There are instances where banks serve as mortgage brokers for some loans. If you’ve approached a lender directly, it may be helpful to clarify their role in a mortgage process. 

Good mortgage brokers focus on getting borrowers the best terms possible. However, some brokers send borrowers to their preferred lenders, even when the deals they offer aren’t the best in the market. If you work with a broker, you need to research and compare available options to find an advisor of repute. Research the loan options they propose to ensure they are the best in the market.  

Banks or Direct Lenders  

Banks or direct lenders are financial institutions where you can borrow funds directly to finance your home purchase. Other lenders like credit unions underwrite home mortgages besides banks. Direct lenders offer different types of mortgages; you may find some specializing in USDA and FHA loans, while others give conventional loans.  

Choosing Between Banks And Mortgage Brokers  

Filing your mortgage application directly with a bank can save you significant time and money. This option works well for conventional conforming deals if your loan application is straightforward and you have substantial assets, income, and excellent credit history.  

But if your loan application has some challenges, working with a mortgage broker to identify the most flexible lenders would be a good option. For instance, if you have poor credit scores, working with a good broker would help you find lenient lenders who are likely to approve your loan.  

Most banks offer a wide range of loan programs, while brokers provide competitive service prices. Check the lenders’ portfolios if you want an innovative mortgage product.  

How Do Banks Lend Mortgage Loans? 

Banks lend their funds to mortgage borrowers directly. Mortgage processes in banks are handled by their processors, loan officers, and underwriters. This means borrowers can file their mortgage applications directly with the bank and have a chance to negotiate certain costs such as origination and underwriting fees. 

Loan officers are responsible for marketing banks’ mortgage products, earning commissions for each loan they originate. The officers only offer loans in their portfolios, limiting borrowers’ options. Banks are advantageous because they can be flexible with loan pricing. Loan officers may offer mortgages at different price points.  

Borrowers can choose between loans with high upfront costs but lower interest rates and loans with no closing costs but higher interest rates. When shopping for a bank mortgage, check available pricing options and negotiate for a favorable rate-and-fee structure. Some bank mortgage drawbacks include non-disclosure of the amount a bank makes from your loan and a higher risk of loan applications being turned down even when you’re an excellent financing candidate.  

How Do Mortgage Brokers Works?  

Mortgage brokers can access different loan products at various price points because they work with different lenders. This allows borrowers to compare multiple loans and better understand each product’s closing costs, interest rates, and other details to find the best offer. You can also use mortgage refinance calculator to calculate by comparing multiple lenders.

If you were to do this on your own, you’d have to apply for each product separately to compare the offers. For lower-rate mortgages, borrowers pay a one percent commission to brokers. In essence, brokerages are smaller compared to banks. The advantage of working with brokers is that it’s easier to negotiate since they set their profit margins.  

A major drawback of working with mortgage brokers is their minimal control over the underwriting process. Brokered mortgages may take longer to process, and brokerage fees may be high. If you decide to work with a broker, you’ll have more physical interactions as you work through the loan application. But finding a good mortgage broker isn’t as easy as it sounds. An excellent way to find a reputable broker is to ask your real estate for referrals.  

Final Thoughts  

When looking for a mortgage, you’ll come across loan services offered by mortgage brokers and banks. But which option should you choose when faced with these two options mortgage brokers vs. banks? The highlights provided above should help you make the right decision when that time comes.

Originally posted 2022-07-13 17:00:00.