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Mortgage brokers vs. Mortgage Bankers

A comparative guide to brokers and bankers and why knowing the difference between them matters

In the world of home buying, we often find ourselves discussing the vital role of mortgage professionals. You’ve likely encountered two key players in this field: mortgage bankers and mortgage brokers.

I’d like to shed light on these two distinct professions and explain why, in many ways, mortgage brokers are a superior choice for consumers.

What’s the Difference Between a Mortgage Banker and a Mortgage Broker…

Let’s start by defining the terms: A mortgage banker works for one specific financial institution, like a bank, credit union, or a singular non-bank lender. They lend the money directly to homebuyers and use the financial resources of their employer but can only offer that specific lender’s products and interest rates.

Mortgage brokers, on the other hand, advocate for borrowers’ mortgage needs with a variety of lenders. They help connect borrowers with lenders that suit their specific needs with tailored mortgage resources and are able to offer a variety of products and interest rates from many different lenders. Because mortgage brokers are independent of a single lending institution, they can shop around for the borrower and have access to wholesale rate sheets and sharper pricing.

Source of Funding…

Mortgage Banker: Originates and funds loans with their institution’s resources.
Mortgage Broker: Originates loans that are funded directly by the lender that the borrower’s loan is placed with.

Loan Options…

Mortgage Banker: Offers loans from their specific institution, limiting choices for borrowers.
Mortgage Broker: Provides access to a wide range of loan options from multiple lenders, offering more choice.

Interest Rates…

Mortgage Banker: Typically offers rates specific to their institution, with limited negotiation.
Mortgage Broker: Can often provide more competitive interest rates by leveraging their entire network of lenders.

Service Personalization…

Mortgage Banker: Might have less flexibility in customizing loan offerings to individual needs.
Mortgage Broker: Focused on personalized service, tailoring loan options to each borrower’s unique situation.


Mortgage Banker: Less competitive as they represent a single institution, which may lead to higher rates or fewer loan options.
Mortgage Broker: Fosters competition among lenders in their network, often resulting in better rates and terms.

Complex Situations…

Mortgage Banker: May have limitations in working with borrowers who have non-standard financial situations.
Mortgage Broker: Have access to lenders specializing in unique scenarios and can find solutions for diverse financial profiles.

Loan Process…

Mortgage Banker: Handles the entire loan process internally, which can lead to a greater disparity in customer service depending on the speed and experience of the specific lender.
Mortgage Broker: Can choose to utilize a lender that prioritizes speed, experience and/or service if the transaction calls for it.

Borrower Representation…

Mortgage Banker: Represents the interests of their specific institution, which may or may not align perfectly with the borrower’s needs.
Mortgage Broker: Represents the borrower’s interests and finds the most suitable loan options from different lenders.

Regulation and Licensing…

Mortgage Banker: Typically subject to the regulations and licensing requirements of their state. Loan Officers who work specifically for banks may not be individually licensed.
Mortgage Broker: Also subject to state and federal regulations and licensing, but they must comply with additional guidelines for brokering loans.

Fee Structure…

Mortgage Banker: May charge loan origination fees or other costs, with terms set by their institution.
Mortgage Broker: Charges fees, but they often have flexibility in negotiating these fees and can potentially save borrowers money.

Consumer Choice…

Mortgage Banker: Offers limited choice, often resulting in less competitive terms.
Mortgage Broker: Empowers consumers with more options, encouraging borrowers to make well-informed decisions

Mortgage brokers offer consumers a world of advantages, from unparalleled choice and competitive pricing to personalized service and the ability to navigate complex financial situations. So, when you’re guiding your clients through the intricate process of buying a home, consider recommending a mortgage broker.

Choose the power of choice. Choose mortgage brokers.