Looking for a mortgage in today’s market can be complicated. So many banks have become insolvent or are on the brink of financial trouble that loans are no longer as simple as they used to be. One way to be sure that your lender is in good financial shape and that you are getting the best mortgage deal possible is to do business with a company which makes large numbers of loans. While your hometown bank may be financially sound, it may also be difficult to secure a low-interest loan with an institution like this due to tightening of standards for lenders in the wake of the housing “bubble” burst.
Who are the Top 10 Mortgage Lenders?
The top ten mortgage lenders in the United States (according to loansafe.org) are listed below, with notes about each. Dealing with one of these companies may be the easiest way to get a good loan at a reasonable price, and be certain that your financial future is safe.
1) Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac
With a portfolio of over $1.5 trillion, these institutions, which are run by the federal government, are actually the largest lending entity in the country. While these federal agencies do not make loans directly, loans through them are guaranteed by the government, so underwriting lenders are secure in their loans. This year, the government stepped in to re-order both agencies, in view of tremendous losses due to bad loans made by subsidiary lenders, so expect some very detailed questions and a hard look at your credit report if you are mortgaging through them. On the other hand, the purpose of these agencies is to make low-cost loans available, so you will likely get a good interest rate if you qualify.
2) Wells Fargo Mortgage
With a portfolio of $77 billion in 2010, Wells Fargo is the largest private mortgage lender in the country. With 23.9% of the market share, this bank has offices nationwide and offers competitive interest rates to qualified borrowers.
3) Bank of America
Bank of America claimed 22.19% of the total market share for mortgages in 2010, with a portfolio of $71.5 billion. Second only to Wells Fargo, this banking giant makes thousands of home loans every year, and provides many other banking services, as well.
Chase claims a smaller percentage of the market, at only 10.16%, or about a third of the top two competitors. However, aggressive marketing and the move into revolving credit lines have helped this company grow. Chase has a total mortgage portfolio of $32.8 billion.
5) Ally Bank
A branch of GMAC financing, this group claims 4.02% of the market share, with a portfolio of $13 billion. While mortgages are not GMAC’s main business, this is a large sideline, and the diversity may help keep interest rates low. On the other hand, being tied so closely to the automobile market may also spell trouble down the road.
Like so many of its brothers, Citi Bank has become very diversified, offering revolving credit lines, home mortgages, and personal loans. With a mortgage portfolio of $11 billion and 3.43% of the housing market share, Citi is poised to grow as smaller companies get out of the mortgage business.
7) U.S. Bank Home Mortgage
Another company which has grown substantially in the face of the downward-turning housing market, U. S. Bank takes 2.78% of the market share, with a portfolio of $9 billion.
8 – PHH Mortgage
This company claims 2.78% of the market share, with $7.8 billion in loans in 2010. While not the largest mortgage company, its smaller size may help it absorb some of the housing shocks which may still be on the horizon.
9) SunTrust Bank
From its southern roots, SunTrust has weathered many storms such as losses from hurricanes in Florida, and is still going strong. It has 1.75% of the market share for mortgages, and a portfolio of $5.6 billion.
10) Provident Funding Associates
Rounding out the list is Provident, a name unfamiliar to many, but with a 1.6% total of market share and a mortgage portfolio of $5.2 billion.
Of course, size is not always the most important factor in choosing a lender. However, if you are interested in protection and want your mortgage company to remain solvent throughout the life of your loan, your risk is far less with an established company which has a large percentage of the market share. Choosing a lender like this may be more important than saving a few tenths of a percent on your interest rate, in view of the recent mortgage problems experienced by many banks.
Compare Mortgage Rates from mortgage lenders nationwide!