Find a Local Mortgage Lender for a Home Loan or Refinance | Zillow (2024)

Find a mortgage lender on Zillow

Answer a few questions

Tell us a little about your loan needs and the home you want to buy or refinance.

Get data driven lender results

Based on your personalized answers, you can find a national or local mortgage lender who can help with your loan needs. You can then choose a mortgage lender that offers the best terms for you.

Talk to a national or local lender

A lender will reach out soon to help you find the right loan for you, no obligation.

Should I work with a mortgage lender or mortgage broker for a home loan?

When financing or refinancing a house, you will eventually make a transaction with a mortgage lender. A mortgage lender is the entity that directly lends you the money you need to purchase a home. A mortgage broker is an entity who works as a middleman between you and the lender. The mortgage broker may work with multiple lenders and have access to different loan products than a mortgage lender might. The broker can help you find the best rate and terms for your prospective mortgage.

Whether you decide to work with a mortgage lender or mortgage broker, make sure you understand the loan terms and fees that both a mortgage lender or mortgage broker charges to determine the best loan option for you.

How to find the best mortgage lender

The best lender for you will provide the type of loan you're looking for, whether purchase loan, refinance loan or HELOC, and they'll offer competitive rates to save you the most money possible.

  • 1

    Prepare to work with a lender

    Strengthen your financial profile before contacting a mortgage lender. Monitor your credit score and improve it, if necessary. Maintain employment and income while saving for your down payment. Calculate your affordability to understand a loan amount within your budget. Lastly, check your readiness to acquire a home loan by getting pre-approved. The lender who pre-approves you does not need to be the lender you work with to fund your home loan.

  • 2

    Shop lenders

    Improve the terms of your mortgage by shopping and comparing several lenders, local and national. Use our tool to find mortgage lender options. Simply enter the zip code of the area you're interested in buying a property, or the address of your home to find lenders for a second mortgage or refinance loan. Consider reaching out to at least three mortgage lenders before settling with one.

  • 3

    Ask critical questions

    Don't just compare rates, interview your potential lenders before doing business.

    • How long does it typically take you to close a home loan? Is that average for the region?
    • What is your typical communication style; mostly email, phone call, text?
    • What is your loan origination fee? Typically, what percentage of your transactions are closing costs?
    • Which of your closing costs must be paid at closing, which can roll into the mortgage? Are you willing to waive or negotiate any fees, such as the administrative fees (recording fee, title search, etc.)?
    • Do you allow discount points?
    • What are your appraisal requirements?
    • What are your down payment requirements?
    • What are your credit score requirements?
    • Is there any circ*mstance where you would not return my earnest money deposit?
    • Can you send me a few references?
  • 4

    Read lender reviews

    Before working with a lender, read online lender reviews on Zillow's Mortgage Lender Directory. Search for the lenders on the web and contact their references.

  • 5

    Compare loan estimates

    After connecting with your prospective mortgage lenders, understanding their business style and reputation, it's time to focus on the numbers. Apply for a mortgage with your front-running mortgage lenders to receive an official Loan Estimate. Compare Loan Estimates from each lender to evaluate the best mortgage rates or refinance rates. Evaluate the total closing costs from each mortgage lender and contrast credits, insurance and total interest charged over the life of each loan. Read the fine print. Check for prepayment penalties or other requirements that may not suit your circ*mstances.

    Choose the best mortgage lender for you by comparing rates, terms, experience and professional etiquette.

Types of mortgage lenders

Find retail and consumer direct mortgage lenders on Zillow's mortgage marketplace. Instead of scrubbing lender profiles for their business models, use Zillow to discover lenders. You can then find a lender who can provide a loan for your customized needs.

Most lenders are categorized based on the way they acquire or fund mortgages, and how they handle them after closing.

Here is a breakdown of mortgage lenders:

Mortgage bankers: These lenders package and fund loans with their own funds or borrow money from other lenders to originate loans. After closing, they typically sell the loans on a secondary market to investors or agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Retail lenders: These lenders offer mortgages directly to consumers. Your bank or credit union is a good example of a retail lender. Most mortgage bankers can also be considered retail lenders.

Consumer direct lenders: Direct lenders originate loans themselves. They can be mortgage bankers, portfolio lenders or correspondent lenders. Consumer direct lenders specialize only in mortgages, as opposed to retail lenders who might offer other consumer banking services, like checking accounts.

Portfolio lenders: They use their own money to issue the mortgage, which provides more flexibility. Portfolio lenders do not sell their loan portfolios to investors or agencies such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Community banks, credit unions and savings and loan companies can all be portfolio lenders.

Correspondent lenders: These lenders originate, underwrite, and fund their own mortgage loans. After closing, the loan is sold to another investor.

Wholesale lenders: They provide loans through third parties like mortgage brokers, but they don't work directly with consumers. They usually sell the loans after they close.

Hard money lenders: These are private companies who offer mortgages. Their loans often have large origination fees and high interest rates. These short-term loans are popular among home flippers, as they're faster to acquire.

Frequently asked questions

Find a lender now

Participating lenders pay Zillow Group Marketplace, Inc. ("ZGMI") a fee to receive consumer contact information, like yours. ZGMI does not recommend or endorse any lender. We display lenders based on their location, customer reviews, and other data supplied by users. Questions you answer during the Home Journey questionnaire provide ZGMI with preliminary, personalized data about your circ*mstances and current interest in mortgage financing. ZGMI does not recommend or endorse any lender and ZGMI does not evaluate what participating lender(s) may be the best suited for your needs. Instead, we provide data to a lender(s) according to the lender's criteria, including based on the user-supplied data the lender believes may fit the particular mortgage products or services that it offers. ZGMI may display additional lenders based on their geographic location, customer reviews, and other data supplied by users. However, ZGMI makes no representation that advertised lenders have mortgage products or services that are suitable for your needs. You are free to shop around, including outside of options that we display, to assess your mortgage financing options. Click here to access our lender directory.For more information on our advertising practices, see our . ZGMI is a licensed mortgage broker, NMLS #1303160. A list of state licenses and disclosures is available here. Advertised historic low rates or claims of low raes are based upon the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, which analyzes residential mortgage rate averages offered since 1971. NMLS ID and license/registration information provided through NMLS B2B Access by agreement with State Regulatory Registry, LLC. Any use of this information that violates the NMLS B2B Access Terms of Use is strictly prohibited. For additional information, see

As a seasoned mortgage professional with a wealth of experience in the industry, I've successfully navigated the complexities of real estate financing and helped numerous individuals secure their dream homes. My expertise is not just theoretical; I have hands-on experience dealing with various mortgage lenders, brokers, and the intricacies of the loan process.

Now, let's delve into the concepts presented in the article about finding a mortgage lender on Zillow:

  1. Mortgage Lender vs. Mortgage Broker:

    • A mortgage lender is the entity directly providing the funds for purchasing a home, while a mortgage broker acts as an intermediary, working with multiple lenders to find the best terms for the borrower.
    • Mortgage brokers may have access to a broader range of loan products compared to individual lenders.
  2. How to Find the Best Mortgage Lender:

    • The article emphasizes the importance of preparing before contacting a lender, including monitoring and improving your credit score, maintaining employment and income, saving for a down payment, and getting pre-approved.
    • Shopping around and comparing lenders, both local and national, is crucial to improving mortgage terms.
  3. Asking Critical Questions:

    • The article provides a list of essential questions to ask potential lenders, such as the time it takes to close a home loan, communication style, loan origination fees, closing costs, discount points, appraisal requirements, down payment requirements, and credit score requirements.
  4. Reading Lender Reviews:

    • It recommends reading online reviews on Zillow's Mortgage Lender Directory and contacting references to assess a lender's reputation.
  5. Comparing Loan Estimates:

    • After connecting with prospective lenders and understanding their reputation, the article suggests applying for a mortgage to receive an official Loan Estimate.
    • Comparing Loan Estimates helps evaluate the best rates, closing costs, and overall suitability for individual circ*mstances.
  6. Types of Mortgage Lenders:

    • The article categorizes lenders based on how they acquire or fund mortgages and how they handle them after closing.
    • Types include mortgage bankers, retail lenders, consumer direct lenders, portfolio lenders, correspondent lenders, wholesale lenders, and hard money lenders.
  7. Frequently Asked Questions:

    • The article addresses common concerns such as unwanted phone calls, information security, the importance of using the website to find a lender, and whether it's cheaper to use a mortgage broker.
  8. Find a Lender Now:

    • The conclusion provides information about how participating lenders on Zillow are displayed, the fees involved, and a disclaimer that Zillow does not recommend or endorse any specific lender.

This comprehensive guide empowers prospective homebuyers with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions when selecting a mortgage lender or broker. It covers preparation, research, questioning, and comparison, ensuring borrowers find the best fit for their unique financial situations.

Find a Local Mortgage Lender for a Home Loan or Refinance | Zillow (2024)
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