Differences Between A Direct Lender And A Mortgage Broker

by : Eric Morgan

Getting that perfect mortgage for your new home is always made better when you know that you got a good deal on it. It is always comforting to find out that you are still happy with it even some time later. The way to find that perfect deal, though, could begin with something as simple as making a choice between a direct lender or a mortgage broker. Here are some thoughts to show you why one may be better than the other.

Before any of the differences are looked at, there are some things that are common to both. The first thing, though this might surprise some, is that both are usually paid on a commission basis. While it is often pointed out that mortgage brokers only get their money from the actual sales of mortgages, the same is true of loan officers at a bank. In other words, both have the exact same motive for helping you - they want to make a living, and, they both get a portion of the cost.

This makes it so that both of them are operating on the same principle - more sales equals more money. Other than that, both of them will draw from various mortgage products and both will try to fit the client with the best mortgage product that they have at their disposal.

The Differences

Now, for some of the differences. Here is where you will find a much larger field, and it is one that will bring about a large difference.

&bullThe Products Available

A loan officer is simply the front man for an organization - the bank. He or she is the one that you will deal with when seeking a mortgage. Since they are essentially an employee of the bank or other lending institution, they will can only receive money when they sell that particular company's mortgage products. To put it plainly, they can only show you the products they are given - from one company. Although there may be a rather large number of products, they are limited as to what the company offers.

A mortgage broker, on the other hand, would have at his or her disposal, an extremely wide selection of products because they regularly deal with many companies. In fact, a mortgage broker can represent a couple of hundred different companies, and therefore would be able to offer many hundreds of different mortgage options - possibly even thousands of options.

&bullLevel Of Commitment

Another difference between a direct lender and a mortgage broker is the matter of his or her personal interaction with you. Now every person is different, but generally, you will find that a direct lender will be much more business-like in his or her demeanor. It will be more of an official visit.

A mortgage broker, on the other hand, will usually be much more friendly, relaxed, and personable with you. They honestly value your business and they will usually let you know it. It would not be unusual if a broker even visited you in your home to go over some details or talk with you some more. They often give you more time to talk person-to-person than a lender will, and they will be very glad to take the necessary time to make sure you understand all the details.

Apart from this, a direct lender may not be as committed to you as a mortgage broker. A loan officer knows that people will come to the bank looking for loans simply because it is a bank. They can get by with doing little and there may not be a lot of incentive on the part of the loan officer to go an extra mile for you. The reputation of the loan officer is not the same thing as the reputation of the bank. With a mortgage broker, however, his or her reputation is the business. They want your business and will often work hard to find a mortgage product that is suited to your needs. They know that a satisfied client will speak for their business in years to come - especially if you know a lot of people.

&bullGreater Options

In most cases a direct lender, especially one that has been in the business a while, will often stay away from certain loan products. This will tend to make their products better for people with good credit and a strong ability to repay the mortgage. This makes the loan officer extremely limited because most of their products (if any) may not be suitable for those who have less than good credit. The interest rate of a standard lender for this type of situation would make the interest rate too high for most - if a loan could be extended at all.

A mortgage broker, though, regularly deals with people in this situation and quickly knows which lending agency to call on that could provide a mortgage at a better rate for someone with a lower credit score.

&bullBetter Deal

A direct lender is more likely to give you a deal without being able to provide much of a leeway when it comes to interest rates or extra fees. The lending agency itself would set these fees and the interest rate based on certain parameters and the loan officer usually is not able to vary much from it - except upwards.

Once again, though, because the mortgage broker is dealing with many companies, and each lender he deals with knows it, they will provide (in many cases) a greater flexibility for him to vary several factors - thus often resulting in a slightly better deal.

Advantages Of A Direct Lender

While there are certainly a number of advantages that do make the mortgage broker appear to be the better way to go, there are also some things to consider that may point the other way. One thing that could make the bank officer a possible better way to go would be if you already have a mortgage with that bank. It is possible that, since they already have your paperwork in this case, that you may be able to save on a lot of the expense of either remortgaging or getting a second mortgage. It also may be better because many lenders will give you a discount if you have more than one loan with that bank.

Another possible advantage is that a broker may contact a lender in other parts of the country. This could tend to slow down the mortgage process if they are not familiar with the various reasons of why a house in your area may cost more, and be worth more in your area than in another. They would have to take the time to search out the matter satisfactorily, which could delay your mortgage - and possibly set back the closing date. A local lending institution would already know the values of buildings in that region and would not have difficulty with it.