Mortgage Lenders and Brokers: Know the Difference

2-Minute Read
Published on March 20, 2019

The key difference between a lender and broker is the work they do. A lender loans you money, while a broker can help you find and work with a lender.

Mortgage Lenders

A mortgage lender is a financial institution that loans you money to buy a home or refinance your existing mortgage. Large banks, local credit unions and online lenders like Quicken Loans® are all examples of mortgage lenders.

What to Expect When Working with a Lender

Working directly with a lender gives you an opportunity to have a relationship with the organization that will loan you the money. When applying, you can contact the lender directly if you have questions, and the lender will reach out to you if you need to provide additional documentation. If the lender is the servicer for the loan, you'll continue that relationship as you pay your mortgage payments.

Apply for a Mortgage with Quicken Loans®

Apply online for expert recommendations with real interest rates and payments.

Start Your Application

Mortgage Brokers

A mortgage broker is an independent financial professional that acts as a liaison between you and the mortgage lender. Unlike mortgage lenders, brokers doesn’t loan you money – they’ll connect you with lenders, and assist by pulling your credit history, verifying your income and employment history, and using that information to apply for home loans on your behalf.

What to Expect When Working with a Mortgage Broker

From start to finish, brokers can walk you through the process of applying for a loan:

  • If you are shopping around, it can take some time to apply with different lenders. A mortgage broker is likely more familiar with how different lenders handle mortgage applications and may be able to help speed the process up.
  • Once you’ve selected a lender, a broker can also act on your behalf to handle the back-and-forth conversations with the lender.
  • When it’s time to close on your loan, your broker will work with you, your lender and your real estate agent to make sure you close your loan smoothly and on time.

If you decide to work with a mortgage broker, it’s important to know you’re working with an ethical, experienced broker. Just like contractors, plumbers, attorneys or other independent businesses, there are knowledgeable brokers who will work hard to get you the best loan possible, while others may not offer a consistent or efficient service.

Apply for a Mortgage with Quicken Loans®

Apply online for expert recommendations with real interest rates and payments.

Start Your Application

Which to Choose - Broker or Lender? 

You don’t have to limit yourself to working with only a broker or lender. Shop around and have conversations with both brokers and lenders to see who can offer you the best deal. Exploring your options will ensure you’re set up for financial success with your new home.

If you need help deciding to work with a mortgage lender or broker, our team of experts can answer your questions. Speak with a Home Loans Expert by calling (888) 452-0335, or reach out to a Quicken Loans Preferred Partner to speak with a mortgage broker.

See What You Qualify For

Miranda Crace

The Quicken Loans blog is here to bring you all you need to know about buying, selling and making the most of your home. Whether you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner, selling your current home or looking to keep your place in tip-top shape, our writers and freelancers bring their experience and expertise to meet you right where you are.