What Are Mortgage Lenders?


A mortgage lender is a financial institution that offers and underwrites home loans. Boise Mortgage Lenders have specific borrowing guidelines to verify your creditworthiness and ability to repay a loan and set terms like interest rates, fees, and repayment schedules.

LoansMany types of lenders include banks, credit unions, online mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers. It’s a good idea to apply with several unique lenders to compare mortgage rates, fees and repayment terms.

Types of Lenders

Mortgage lenders are financial institutions or mortgage banks that offer and underwrite home loans. They use particular borrowing criteria to determine a borrower’s creditworthiness and capacity to repay the loan. These lenders also set the terms, interest rates and repayment schedules of a mortgage. There are several types of mortgage lenders, including banks, credit unions, and private companies.

Banks are a common type of mortgage lender, and many national banks offer a full suite of financial products. They usually require that you provide proof of income, credit documentation and information about your liabilities. Some banks may have more stringent guidelines, while others have less.

Another type of mortgage lender is a credit union, which is similar to a bank but is owned by its members rather than shareholders. Most credit unions offer a range of services, including checking accounts, savings and investment options. They typically have fewer restrictions on mortgage lending, and they can often offer better mortgage rates than traditional banks.

Other types of mortgage lenders include private companies and specialty lenders. These companies are best suited for borrowers with unique financial circumstances, such as those with bad credit or low incomes. These lenders are able to offer more flexible credit requirements, and they often have faster turnaround times than other lenders.

One final type of mortgage lender is a correspondent lender, which acts as an agent for a larger mortgage lender. These lenders do not make their own mortgages, but instead purchase mortgages from other parties on the secondary market. Typically, they sell them to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which are the major U.S. secondary lenders.

Choosing the right mortgage lender can feel intimidating, but it’s important to do your research. Shopping around can save you money, time and frustration, especially if you know what to look for. Keep in mind, though, that there is some overlap between the different categories of mortgage lenders, so be sure to consider all your options carefully.

Ultimately, you should choose the lender that offers the best mix of rate and term for your specific needs. The key is to have your documentation organized and be frank about your finances, so the mortgage lender can match you with the perfect product for your situation.


A mortgage lender is a financial institution that lends money to individuals for the purchase of a home. These lenders set the terms, interest rates and repayment schedule. They also underwrite the loans, weighing creditworthiness against an applicant’s ability to pay back the loan. Mortgage lenders may be banks, credit unions, non-bank lenders or even brokers. Choosing the right one for you is an important step in the homebuying process.

Mortgage lending laws differ by state, but most require a borrower to have sufficient income and good credit to qualify for the mortgage loan. To prove these things, the lender will look at pay stubs, W-2 forms and tax returns. They will also check for unexplained gaps in employment. In addition, the lender will want to see your savings and any other assets you have available for a down payment.

Many large banks offer mortgage loans and also act as lenders. They often have stricter criteria for borrowers and higher interest rates. Some of these institutions may have an online application that allows borrowers to check their qualification status and get preapproval for a loan amount. This preapproval will help a borrower shop around and compare the different types of mortgages offered.

The requirements for mortgage lenders vary by state, but all must be licensed by their respective states. Lenders must pass a test to be licensed as a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO). They must complete specific training courses and meet minimum experience requirements. Some lenders may have additional requirements, such as having a certain number of mortgage transactions or submitting to an ongoing quality review.

Some mortgage lenders provide their own mortgage products, while others act as a “lender of last resort” and work with other companies to service the loans. The company that services the loan may be different than the original lender, and this information should be clearly explained to borrowers.

It’s generally a good idea to apply with several different mortgage lenders for preapproval. The process is typically easy and can be done online or over the phone. Then, when it’s time to formally apply, the borrower can choose the best lender for their needs.

Interest Rates

The interest rate that you pay on your mortgage will have a big impact on how much your monthly payment is and how much total you’ll spend over the life of the loan. That’s why it pays to shop around for the best rates. A difference in your mortgage rate of just a few fractions of a percentage point can save you thousands over the course of your loan.

The mortgage rates that lenders offer depend on a variety of factors, including the type of loan you get (government-backed versus conventional loans have different rates), your credit score, your location and your down payment amount. The lender’s overall financial health, which includes their balance sheet and their profit margin, can also factor into the rates they’re willing to offer.

Your credit score is a key factor because lenders want to make sure that you will be able to repay your debts. A high credit score indicates you’re a good risk and can help you qualify for lower mortgage rates. You can also lower your mortgage rate by making a larger down payment or paying points on the loan.

Lenders set their rates each day according to a formula that may include the current federal funds rate, competitor rates and even how many staff members they have available to underwrite loans. However, the average mortgage rate tends to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note.

While the mortgage interest rate is important, you shouldn’t ignore the other costs of buying a home, such as loan fees, closing costs and mortgage insurance. Use this tool to see how your mortgage rate would change if you changed some of these factors. The tool lets you adjust your estimated credit score, home price, down payment and loan term to see rates that better match your situation.

If you’re shopping for mortgages, look not only at the advertised mortgage rate but also at the annual percentage rate (APR), which will give you a fuller picture of what you’ll pay over the lifetime of the loan. It’s also a good idea to apply for mortgage preapproval from several lenders so you can compare their rates and terms side-by-side.


Many different fees are associated with the mortgage lending process. Most of these pay individuals along the way for their labor and time, while others compensate entities that host documents or otherwise provide a service that’s utilized throughout the mortgage process. Mortgage lenders are required to detail these fees in a document called a Loan Estimate, which you receive after you’re pre-approved for your mortgage and before closing day. Some of these fees, like origination fees, are fixed costs that the lender cannot control, but some, such as credit checks and appraisals, may have room for negotiation.

Whenever you have questions about a fee, ask the lender to clarify it. They should not be reluctant to do so, and pushing back or being evasive might be red flags. You’ll also want to review the list of fees with a fine-tooth comb, paying particular attention to any that seem exorbitant or redundant.

Some of these include an application fee, which pays the lender for processing your homebuying information. Other fees are paid to a title company for searching public records and checking on liens or claims on the property. Some lenders will charge you for a survey fee to confirm the property boundaries and assess any environmental issues, as well as a recording fee that pays the city or county to record your deed and mortgage documents.

You should be prepared to pay these fees, which can add up to 2% to 5% of your purchase price. However, as with all things mortgage related, there are ways to save money by shopping around and negotiating with your lender. Some of these fees may be fixed and non-negotiable, such as credit fees or appraisals, but others can be reduced or eliminated by taking the time to shop around or find a lender that’s willing to work with you. You may also be able to save on these fees by using a mortgage broker, who can give you access to several different lenders and loans. However, be aware that most brokers are paid in the form of “points” that you’ll have to pay either at closing or as an addition to your interest rate.