- A mortgage broker takes care of a lot of the research that comes with buying a home.
- Some lenders work exclusively with mortgage brokers, and brokers can find you lower rates.
- A mortgage broker may be compensated by the lender, or you might have to pay them.
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Finding the right mortgage lender can be a tedious, time-consuming, and stressful process. To ensure you choose the best one for your needs and get the best deal, you’ll want to do a lot of shopping around and comparing rates. You may even need to apply with multiple lenders just to get a sense of what’s available to you.
A mortgage broker’s job is to do all that research and hard work for you.
What is a mortgage broker?
A mortgage broker acts as a sort of middleman between you and a mortgage lender. Brokers don’t lend you the money themselves. Instead, they do the work of comparing different lenders for you, helping you choose the offer that best suits your needs, and making sure everything is in line for you to close on time.
Mortgage brokers are different from loan officers. Loan officers work for individual lenders, and can only offer you loans that the lender they work for offers. Brokers can help connect you to a variety of different mortgage types from many different lenders. That can be especially useful if you’re not sure what you qualify for or need affordable mortgage options, such as an FHA mortgage or a lender that allows borrowers to make low down payments.
How does a mortgage broker get paid?
Mortgage brokers are typically paid commission on the loans they help close. Usually, the lender is the one who pays the broker, but sometimes the borrower is the one to pay.
Should I use a mortgage broker?
Tips for finding a mortgage broker
How do you find a trustworthy broker who will find you the best deal? The best option is to ask for references from people you trust. Ask family members and friends who have bought homes whether they used a mortgage broker. If they have, would they recommend the broker they worked with?
Find a few mortgage brokers who spark your interest and interview each broker before making your decision. Ask the brokers about their certification and experience, their costs, and how the mortgage or refinancing process will work with them.
Molly Grace is a reporter at Insider. She covers mortgage rates, refinance rates, lender reviews, and homebuying articles for Personal Finance Insider. Before joining the Insider team, Molly was a blog writer for Rocket Companies, where she wrote educational articles about mortgages, homebuying, and homeownership. You can reach Molly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @mollythegrace.
Laura Grace Tarpley, CEPF
Editor, Banking & Mortgages
Laura Grace Tarpley is an editor at Insider, responsible for banking and mortgage coverage on Personal Finance Insider. She covers mortgage rates, refinance rates, lenders, bank accounts, and borrowing and savings tips. She is also a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF). Before joining the Insider team, she was a freelance finance writer for companies like SoFi and The Penny Hoarder, as well as an editor at FluentU. You can reach Laura Grace at email@example.com. Learn more about how Personal Finance Insider chooses, rates, and covers financial products and services »