Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Mortgage Banker Rated Highest in Quality?

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a mortgage banker that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified mortgage banker. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated mortgage broker and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Sonoma County – Mortgage Banker CATEGORY

Ken McCoy is a 28-year veteran of the mortgage industry and manager of American Pacific Mortgage dba Petaluma Home Loans, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 439-8297 or by email.

Ken McCoy

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Ken McCoy: An Unexpected Investment

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

PETALUMA — When Ken McCoy bought his first house, he knew he was making a smart financial investment, but he never thought he’d also end up with a new professional livelihood. “In my prior career, I sold furniture,” he explains. “It was during this time that I bought my first house. After the purchase was finalized, the loan officer I was working with told me that if I ever got tired of selling furniture, I should come work for him. I guess he saw something in me.” Six months later, feeling a growing sense of dissatisfaction with his work, Ken remembered the offer and made a call. “I contacted the loan officer and asked if his offer still stood. He said it did, so I got my real estate license and went to work for him. I’ve been doing home loans ever since.”

Today, as manager of Petaluma Home Loans, Ken says he enjoys the varied and challenging nature of his profession. “Every loan is a puzzle and no two loans are the same, so it’s a continual challenge to assemble things in a way that meets both the underwriting guidelines and the borrower’s needs. In some cases, I have to think outside the box in order to make things work, but those kinds of challenges keep the job interesting.”

A resident of Petaluma (where he lives with his wife, Cheryl), Ken expresses his appreciation for the city’s close-knit character. “There are more than 60,000 people living in Petaluma, but it’s still a small town where everybody knows everybody, so it’s a really neat dynamic.”

Outside of work, Ken engages in a variety of active pastimes, from RVing to sports. “I’m the wagon master of a local RV group that does monthly weekend trips to places like Reno, Fort Bragg and Monterey,” he explains. “I also play soccer in a local men’s league, as well as handball and golf.” Additionally, Ken enjoys spending time with his family (including his three sons, Chris, Nicholas and Brandon) and volunteering with his local Rotary Club. “I’ve been in the Rotary Club of Rohnert Park-Cotati for 28 years. I’m actually an advisor to the Rancho Cotate High School Interact Club, which is like a Junior Rotary Club.”

In regard to his professional career, Ken espouses the importance of integrity. “It all comes down to treating people right and doing the right thing, even if it doesn’t always benefit your personal interests,” he says. “If I make a commitment to a client and something doesn’t go right on my end, I pay for that out of my own pocket. At the end of the day, keeping my commitments is a far higher priority than making a profit.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Ken says he’d split his time between volunteering and travel. “I’m not the kind of person who likes to sit still, so I’d definitely continue to be active in the Rotary Club. I’d also travel more—in fact, I’d love to take my RV around the United States and see some areas of the country I haven’t yet visited.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: It’s a tie between Scotland and New Zealand.

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco Giants.

Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: I played trumpet in the band.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: 630 Park Steakhouse in Rohnert Park.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: I collect pin flags from different golf courses I’ve played at. I must have 40 or 50 pin flags on my office wall.

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The Complex Truth about Interest Rates

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PETALUMA — In the past, if you wanted to know the current interest rate for a home loan, you could simply ask a mortgage professional and get a direct answer. Today, however, interest rates aren’t as simple as they once were. For… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: A Good Time to Reassess Your Mortgage

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Complete Video Transcription:

PETALUMA — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’ve had a recent life change such as retirement or the birth of a child, it’s a good time to reassess your… Read more

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THESE TOP RATED COMPANIES

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INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES BY THE DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESOURCE

Agua Caliente
Alexander Valley
Annapolis
Asti
Bloomfield
Bodega
Bodega Bay
Boyes Hot Springs
Camp Meeker
Cazadero
Cloverdale
Cotati
Duncans Mills
El Verano
Eldridge
Fallon
Fetters Hot Springs
Forestville
Fort Ross
Freestone
Fulton
Geyserville
Glen Ellen
Graton
Guerneville
Guernewood
Healdsburg
Jenner
Kenwood
Lakeville
Larkfield
Lytton
Mark West
Monte Rio
Occidental
Penngrove
Petaluma
Rio Nido
Rohnert Park
Roseland
Russian River
Russian River Meadows
Salmon Creek
Santa Rosa
Schellville
Sebastopol
Sheridan
Sonoma
Stewarts Point Rancheria
Temelec
the Geysers
Sea Ranch
Two Rock
Valley Ford
Villa Grande
Vineburg
Windsor

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94928
94931
94951
94952
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94999
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95416
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95431
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Association of Mortgage Professionals (NAMB) (www.namb.org/namb/Default.asp)
California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP) (www.ca-amp.org)
California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) (www.dca.ca.gov)
California Department of Real Estate (DRE) (www.dre.ca.gov)
California Mortgage Association (CMA) (www.californiamortgageassociation.com)
California Mortgage Bankers Association (CMBA) (http://www.cmba.com)
Diamond Certified (https://www.diamondcertified.org)
Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) (www.fhfa.gov)
Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) (https://www.mba.org)
National Association of Independent Housing Professionals (NAIHP) (www.naihp.org)
Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) (portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD)

Know What You Want
Know Your Needs before Calling Local Mortgage Bankers in Sonoma County

If you are in the market to purchase a new home, building, or real estate property, one of your first calls should be to a mortgage professional who can help you secure the funds you need to move forward with the transaction. Mortgage banks in Sonoma County might be a good choice as a purchasing partner.

Before you make phone calls or sit down with lenders and their representatives, however, you’ll want to have a solid idea of your needs and wants so that you can ask the right questions. The following are some sample questions you may want to consider as you begin the process. Write down your goals and specific qualities and answers you’re looking for from a local mortgage banker, then use that list in your interviews with those professionals.

  1. Do I want a Diamond Certified mortgage banker that is rated highest in quality and helpful expertise, and that is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee?
  2. Am I looking for a mortgage bank that can offer direct loans and deal with me directly without having an intermediary?
  3. Do I want to work with a local mortgage bank service in Sonoma County that understands the housing or real estate market in Guerneville, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Cotati, Cloverdale or my area?
  4. Do I know my estimated budget for a new home, commercial building, or real estate? Or will I need my mortgage banker to help me figure out how much I’m qualified to borrow?
  5. Do I know details about my credit rating and financial history? (If not, you may want to start by getting some of this information in order so that you aren’t surprised by what you learn from your loan professional.)
  6. What personal and professional qualities am I hoping for in a mortgage banker or mortgage bank loan officer? These may include honesty, reliability, helpfulness, practicality, resourcefulness, friendliness, trustworthiness, responsiveness, approachability, and ability to help with filing papers.
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What To Ask In Person
Meeting with Sonoma County Mortgage Bankers


After talking with several Sonoma County mortgage banking companies over the phone, it’s time to narrow your list to the top three to five candidates. You’ll want to make an appointment to meet with a representative from each loan company to discuss your specific needs and what their loan officers can do for you.

Again, it is wise to bring a written list of questions to ask so that each mortgage banking representative has the same opportunities to answer your questions and win your business. Keeping notes during each conversation will help you keep straight the answers you get and which company seems to be the best match for your needs.

Some questions you may want to ask are listed below. You should also add any specific questions that pertain to your needs or wants.

  1. Has your company earned and maintained a Diamond Certified rating?
  2. Is your company and are you currently licensed to provide mortgage loans in the state of California?
  3. Can you offer me proof of license and insurance?
  4. What are the benefits of choosing your mortgage banking service as my mortgage lender?
  5. Can you help me secure a home loan or real estate loan for a property in Cotati, Windsor, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Guerneville, Healdsburg or my preferred area?
  6. What fees do you charge for your services, and how are they set?
  7. Besides fees and quoted costs, will this loan incur other fees or costs? What are they?
  8. What will happen to my loan after it is secured—will you maintain the rights to service it, or will you sell it? What will that mean for me, and how will it impact me and the repayment of my loan?
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  • What To Ask References
    Learn from Previous Clients of Sonoma County Mortgage Banks

    It’s best to choose among Diamond Certified mortgage bankers because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from local mortgage bankers in Sonoma County and the greater Bay Area, have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company.

    Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies, including local mortgage banking services. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers who have hired these local contractors and have actual experience dealing with them and can attest to the quality of their work and services.

    If you can’t find Diamond Certified mortgage banking services in Petaluma, Windsor, Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Cloverdale, Sebastopol, Cotati, Guerneville, Rohnert Park or within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own. In that case, it’s wise to call references provided by your top candidates.

    It is important to know that reference lists provided by mortgage bankers are not equal in value to the large, random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers by companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from their entire customer database. Instead, you’ll most likely be given contact information for a few customers that the mortgage bankers know are satisfied, and you won’t get unbiased reports. Still, the information can give you insight into what previous clients experienced with the companies in question.

    If you do decide to call references, request a list of the Sonoma County mortgage bankers’ 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied. Then call those clients and ask your questions.

    Sample questions include the following; you should also add to this list any specific questions you have.

    1. Did you work with (Sonoma County mortgage banking service name)?
    2. Were you able to secure a mortgage loan through this company?
    3. What kind of mortgage loan were you looking for (e.g., home loan, business loan, real estate loan, commercial loan, jumbo loan, government-backed loan, FHA loan, HUD loan, VA loan, etc.)?
    4. Do you feel you were treated honestly and fairly by this mortgage banking service?
    5. Were you presented with a variety of loan options to meet your needs?
    6. Was the mortgage banker you worked with competent and familiar with the services you needed and the area in which you were buying your home or property?
    7. Was your loan officer able to walk you through the process and simplify it for you? Were they able to answer your questions in a way that you were able to understand?
    8. Do you feel the fees and fee structure was fair and appropriate for the services and loan you received?
    9. Did you feel pressured by your loan agent?
    10. What was the best thing about working with this Sonoma County mortgage bank? Was there anything you didn’t like about their service?
    11. Would you recommend this company to family and friends?
    12. Is there anything I should know about this company before I decide whether to seek a loan through their mortgage bank?
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  • Review Your Options
    Find a Good Mortgage Bank in Sonoma County for Your Mortgage Transaction


    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Your choice in a mortgage banking service can enable you to buy the home or property of your dreams, and it can impact your financial health for years to come. So it’s vital that you carefully research your options and choose the local mortgage bank that offers the best solutions for you.

    Review your interview notes, think about which mortgage bank offers you the best possible outcomes, which loan officer seemed most interested in helping you meet your goals, and whether you have a preference among the Sonoma County mortgage bankers you met with. Then ask yourself these final questions before choosing the company that’s best for you.

    Of course, if you didn’t find a company that met all of your needs or that you feel comfortable working with, don’t feel pressured to choose one. Instead, take the time to create a new list of possibilities and talk with them until you find a company that has your best interests at heart.

    1. Is there a mortgage banking company in Sonoma County that can meet my needs in terms of knowledgeability, honesty, fair rates, loan availability, and customer service?
    2. Is there a mortgage banking service in Sonoma County that made me feel most comfortable?
    3. Was there a loan officer I especially clicked with on a personal and professional level? If I choose their company, can I request and work with that loan officer or mortgage banker?
    4. Did one company stand out above the rest in terms of financial services and customer service?
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  • How To Work With
    Create Trust with Sonoma County Mortgage Banks Near You

    Getting a loan or mortgage through a mortgage bank in Sonoma County is an act of trust for both you and your lender. You trust that your mortgage banker will work on your behalf to find you the best mortgage and the fairest rates, and your mortgage bank trusts that you will do your best to make good on your agreement and pay back your loan in the time and manner promised.

    That’s why it’s important for both you and your mortgage bank loan officer to act in good faith and prove your seriousness and dedication to honoring your commitment.

    That building of trust doesn’t happen when you sign the final contract, however. It actually begins from your first contact with the company and its representatives. You’ll be looking for signs that you can trust and have faith in your Sonoma County mortgage bank and its loan officers, and they’ll be looking for signs that they can trust you personally as they verify your financial history.

    Here are a few things you can do to be the type of client that Sonoma County mortgage bankers in Petaluma, Windsor, Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Cloverdale, Sebastopol, Cotati, Guerneville, Rohnert Park and other areas want to work with and can trust:

    • Be honest about your financial history, your past loans, any debts or financial problems you have, and other financial and personal details that can impact the transaction. Your mortgage bank will need to dig through your entire financial history and current financial standing; they will likely find out everything there is to know about your history with money. If you withhold important information, expect that they will find out the truth. By being forthcoming and honest about your financial past and current situation, your mortgage banker likely can work with you to find a solution that takes into account your specific needs and challenges.
    • Don’t hide the fact that you’re interviewing other mortgage banks and loan officers. As a client and borrower, it’s your prerogative to find the best rates and terms for your needs. Most Sonoma County mortgage banking professionals expect that clients are shopping around to find the best rates and loan professionals to fit their needs. However, it’s important that you make a decision and move forward with a company in good faith rather than dealing with multiple companies too far into the process.
    • Tell your mortgage banking loan originator about your goals and needs. Give them the information they need to help you. The more honest, upfront, and clear you are, the better service they can provide and the happier you’ll be with the outcome.
    • Provide the paperwork, documentation, and other details your Sonoma County mortgage banker needs as quickly as possible. Don’t keep them waiting. Dragging your feet, whether you’re trying to hide something or because you aren’t making it a priority, can only slow down the process and create frustration.
    • Work with local mortgage banks in Sonoma County, including those in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Windsor, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Cloverdale and your area. Avoid companies that aren’t familiar with Bay Area real estate or mortgage lending in the areas where you’re looking to buy. Some online and outside companies lure in customers promising low rates, but their end rates and customer service usually can’t stand up to the quality of local, experienced mortgage bankers, particularly those who have earned Diamond Certified status.

    What to Do When You’ve Found a Mortgage Bank That Meets Your Needs
    Once you’ve completed your interviews and found the mortgage banking service that best fits your needs and goals, it’s time to move forward with that company. At this point, you’ll want to thank and end communication with other local mortgage banks you’ve been courting and sign a contract for services with the mortgage banking lender of your choice.

    Then talk with your loan officer about the process for finding and securing the loan you need. This often includes providing proof of employment, income details, financial history documentation, current financial obligations, and more.

    While the process can seem invasive, it’s vital that you give your mortgage bank access to all of the information needed to secure your loan. Work to provide all documentation and other items as quickly and completely as possible so that the process will move smoothly and you won’t be stuck waiting for a loan and miss out on a property that you want.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    Be a Good Sonoma County Mortgage Bank Client

    All companies appreciate working with honest, clear, patient clients. And mortgage bankers are no exception.

    Why would you want to be a good customer when dealing with mortgage banking services in Sonoma County? Good mortgage bankers in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sebastopol, Cotati, Cloverdale, Rohnert Park, Cazadero, Camp Meeker, Bloomfield, Temelec, Stewarts Point Rancheria, Schellville, Two Rock, Jenner, Eldridge, Fetters Hot Springs and other areas appreciate clients who are forthright, truthful, and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior helps to set the tone for the business transaction and can create an environment conducive to a good relationship. Your mortgage lending experience may go smoother and any conflicts or misunderstandings you experience may be more easily resolved.


    Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring Sonoma County mortgage banking services.

    • Be clear and upfront with the mortgage banking professionals. Let them know what you want from them, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
    • Before you hire a mortgage banker in Sonoma County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the mortgage banking services representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local companies occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your mortgage banker if you should call to check on the progress or if they will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your company contact has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while your mortgage banking services are in progress. They may need to reach you with necessary updates, questions or other vital information.
    • When your Sonoma County mortgage banking company contacts you, return the call promptly.
    • Pay for the work in the manner and time promised or indicated by your contract.
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Check The Work
Review Your Invoice for Mortgage Banking Services

Not all mortgage bankers in Guerneville, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Cotati, Cloverdale or the rest of Sonoma County issue invoices, as fees may be included in your mortgage payments. However, if you do receive an invoice, the following information should be included.

Regardless of whether you receive an invoice or the payments are rolled into your mortgage, you may want to ask for paperwork detailing the following information so that you are sure you and the mortgage banker have the same understanding of the agreement and to protect yourself from future discrepancies.

  • The mortgage banking company name, physical address and state license number.
  • The name, license number, and other individual information for the mortgage banker you worked with.
  • A complete list of all services performed.
  • The total cost for the services, including the itemized amount charged for labor and other fees.
  • A written explanation of any warranties or guarantees provided by the product manufacturers and the contractors.
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Written Warranties
Get Any Promises in Writing

Unlike with physical services, many mortgage bankers in Sonoma County and the rest of the Bay Area don’t offer standard warranties or guarantees. However, many will make promises about their services, fees, or other aspects of their transaction with you.

If they are willing to make promises about their services, they should be willing to put them and the following information into a written document:

  • The Sonoma County mortgage banking services name, physical address and state license number, and the name and license number of the mortgage banker you worked with.
  • A description of what exactly the mortgage banking guarantee covers
  • Any exclusions must be explicitly stated.
  • Your responsibility in the case of a problem and what you need to do in order to redeem the warranty.
  • How long the warranty is valid, and whether it expires on a specific day or is prorated (meaning, the coverage diminishes over time).
  • Any actions on your part that may invalidate the guarantee or promises.
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Top 10 Requests
Most Popular Mortgage Banking Services in Sonoma County


Home loans and real estate loans are the primary services offered by Sonoma County mortgage banks in Guerneville, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Cotati, Cloverdale and beyond. However, many companies offer a variety of services that cater to their clients’ needs.

Those listed below are some of the most common services offered by mortgage banking services. If you have unconventional loan needs or hope to qualify for a specialty loan, it’s a good idea to make sure that your loan company can offer that service or product before you get too far into the process.

Residential Home Loans in Sonoma County
Home loans for residential properties and buildings are a common type of loan for Sonoma County mortgage bankers and mortgage banking services across the Bay Area and beyond. These loans are generally straightforward with a standard set of requirements, fees, and documentation needed. Most good mortgage banks are able to help clients find fair loan rates to enable them to purchase a new home or secondary home.

Government-Backed Loans
Many Sonoma County mortgage banks offer government-backed loans. These loans, including FHA loans, Veterans Affairs loans (VA loans), HUD loans, USDA rural home loans, and more, are those that are subsidized by the US government. These loans protect lenders against payment defaults, which can help borrowers get lower interest rates. Most government-backed loans are intended to help lower-income families afford homes and enable first-time homebuyers to get into homes.

Jumbo Loans
Jumbo mortgages, also called jumbo loans, are large mortgages with amounts higher than conforming loan limits. Conforming loan limits are the limit at which government programs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will purchase. This means that jumbo loans are a greater risk for lenders because of a higher probability of default and a lower probability of being able to sell the defaulted property for the full price. Jumbo loan amounts vary depending on the area in which the property is, but generally falls between $417,000 and $729,750 or 125% of the median home price. Not all local mortgage banks can offer jumbo loans, so talk with your Sonoma County mortgage bank about jumbo loans if you are seeking one.

Real Estate Mortgages through Mortgage Banks
Real estate properties, including residential real estate and land for development and other use, may qualify for mortgages through Sonoma County mortgage banking services in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sebastopol, Cotati, Cloverdale, Rohnert Park and other areas.

Correspondent Mortgages
Correspondent mortgage lenders are a type of mortgage bank that originate and fund loans, but then sell those loans to mortgage lenders. The mortgage lenders and mortgage banks who purchase the correspondent mortgages then sell those loans or service them for the life of the loan. Most correspondent mortgage lenders offer a large variety of loans and products from a variety of lenders and sponsors, on whose behalf they act.

Direct Loans
A direct lender is a bank or mortgage lender that works directly with homeowners and funds mortgages with their own finances. They do not use middlemen or brokers to deal with clients; instead, they perform all aspects of the mortgage lending process. Sonoma County mortgage bankers, portfolio lenders, and other entities in Cotati, Windsor, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Guerneville, Healdsburg and beyond are considered direct lenders.

Loan Evaluation Services
Sonoma County mortgage banks and their loan officers can provide loan evaluation services, including verifying loan applicants’ suitability and their loan history, employment status, salary, credit history, and past and current financial information. Much of this information is required to fill out loan documents, and good loan officers can help clients find the information and fill out the needed forms.

Good Faith Estimates
The law requires that mortgage lenders, including mortgage banking services in Sonoma County and throughout the Greater Bay Area, provide good faith estimates. These are estimates that honestly disclose all fees and charges incurred during the process of securing a mortgage, including fees assessed by lenders, credit reporting agencies, home appraisal professionals, the mortgage lender itself, and other related services.

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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Terms Associated with Mortgage Bankers and the Mortgage Banking Industry


Mortgage banks have their own set of terms that relate specifically to their industry. The following glossary will help you better understand and communicate with your mortgage banker. As with any industry, it is important that you understand the terminology used. If at any time during your transaction or communication with your mortgage bank or loan officer, it is vital that you ask for clarification until you do understand the terms and the items to which you’re agreeing.

correspondent mortgages
Correspondent mortgage lenders are a type of mortgage bank that originate and fund loans, but then sell those loans to mortgage lenders. The mortgage lenders who purchase the correspondent mortgages then sell those loans or service them for the life of the loan. Most correspondent mortgage lenders offer a large variety of loans and products from a variety of lenders and sponsors, on whose behalf they act.

Also known as: correspondent mortgage lenders, correspondent mortgages, correspondent mortgage bankers, correspondent mortgage banks

direct lender
A direct lender is a bank or mortgage lender that works directly with homeowners and funds mortgages with their own finances. They do not use middlemen or brokers to deal with clients; instead, they perform all aspects of the mortgage lending process. Mortgage bankers, portfolio lenders, and other entities are considered direct lenders.

Also known as: direct mortgage lender, mortgage banker, direct mortgage banks

government-backed mortgage loans
Government-backed loans, such as FHA loans, Veterans Affairs loans (VA loans), HUD loans, USDA rural home loans, and more, are those that are subsidized by the US government. These loans protect lenders against payment defaults, which can help borrowers get lower interest rates. Most government-backed loans are intended to help lower-income families afford homes and enable first-time homebuyers to get into homes. Many local mortgage banks can offer government-backed mortgages and government loans to qualified clients.

Also known as: government loans, government-backed mortgages, VA loans, HUD loans, USDA loans, FHA loans, subsidized mortgages

jumbo loans
Jumbo mortgages, also called jumbo loans, are large mortgages with amounts higher than conforming loan limits. Conforming loan limits are the limit at which government programs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will purchase mortgage loans. This means that jumbo loans are a greater risk for lenders because of a higher probability of default and a lower probability of being able to sell the defaulted property for the full price. Jumbo loan amounts vary by location, but most are more than $417,000 for typical homes or  $729,750 or 125% of the median home price for homes in more expensive areas. Not all mortgage banks offer jumbo mortgages because of the amount of capital needed and amount of risk incurred.

Also known as: jumbo mortgages, nonconforming loans, jumbo mortgage loans

loan evaluations
Mortgage banks provide loan evaluation services, including verifying applicants’ suitability, loan history, employment status, salary, credit history, and past and current financial information. This information is traditionally required to fill out loan documents, and loan officers may help clients access the information and fill out necessary forms.

Also known as: loan evaluation services, loan evaluations, loan application qualifications

mortgage
A mortgage is a financial loan that enables an individual, business, corporation, or other group to purchase property or real estate. The loan often uses the property or real estate purchased as collateral to back up the loan. The purchaser agrees to specific terms to pay the lender over a set time frame until the mortgage loan is paid back in full, at which time the property then fully belongs to the borrower.

Also known as: home loan, real estate loan

mortgage bank
Mortgage bankers are mortgage lenders that originate, or fund, their own loans. Mortgage bankers may service the loans they originate, or they may sell the rights to other companies to service the loans. Some mortgage bankers also sell loans on the market to other investors.

Also known as: mortgage banking institution, mortgage banking service

mortgage banker
Mortgage bankers are loan officers or loan agents who work at a mortgage bank. These individuals work primarily with home mortgages (although some may work with commercial mortgage funding) that are funded directly through the mortgage bank at which they work. Because mortgage banks are services that are responsible for originating and funding the loans and working with clients, they are responsible for every step of the mortgage process. Mortgage bankers and company representatives are in control of the entire application and lending process.

Also known as: mortgage bankers, loan officers, loan consultants, loan agents, finance officers

portfolio mortgage lenders
Portfolio mortgage lenders originate and fund loans. They may also maintain the rights to service the loan. These mortgage lenders are considered mortgage bankers and often are more flexible than mortgage brokers, since they own and set the terms for their loans.

Also known as: mortgage bankers, portfolio mortgage bankers, portfolio mortgage banks

real estate loans
Real estate properties, including residential real estate, commercial real estate, and real estate land for development and other uses, may qualify for mortgages through mortgage banking institutions. These are borrowed funds and loans based on collateral (usually the property being purchased) that allow buyers to purchase homes, land, and other real estate, and then pay back the loan over time at prearranged terms.

Also known as: real estate mortgages, mortgage loans

residential home loans
Home loans for residential properties and buildings are a common type of loan for mortgage bankers and mortgage banking services. These loans are generally straightforward with a standard set of requirements, fees, and documentation needed. Most good mortgage banks are able to help clients find fair loan rates to enable them to purchase a new home or secondary home.

Also known as: home loans, residential home mortgages

wholesale mortgage banks
Wholesale mortgage lenders originate and fund loans. They may also service those loans or sell them to other companies who will then service them. These lenders work with independent mortgage brokers who deal with clients on their behalf. The wholesale mortgage lenders don’t interface with clients, instead, they rely on their brokers to handle correspondence with borrowers.

Also known as: wholesale mortgages, wholesale mortgage lenders, wholesale mortgage bankers

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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions about Mortgage Bankers and Mortgage Banking Services

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified mortgage bankers?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a mortgage banking service with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only qualified mortgage bankers rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. In fact, most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your experience is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified mortgage banker near you.

Q: What is a mortgage banker?

A: A mortgage banker is an individual, company, organization, or institution that funds mortgages. Mortgage bankers use their own funds or funds from a warehouse lender (a company that offers mortgage bankers and other loan originators a line of credit) to act as a loan originator for clients. Mortgage bankers may keep that mortgage in a portfolio or sell it to an investor, and they may be the ones to service the mortgage or they may opt to sell the mortgage servicing rights to a different financial institution. Most mortgage bankers earn money from the fees they earn by originating loans rather than servicing those mortgages.

Q: How are a mortgage banker and mortgage broker different?
A: Mortgage bankers and brokers offer very similar services, but there are some distinct differences. First, and most importantly, mortgage bankers are the lenders. They work directly with a lending institution or through their own finances to lend mortgage funds to clients. They are considered loan originators. Mortgage bankers use their own funds or funds from only one lending institution, and they are responsible for the entire mortgage lending process. On the other hand, mortgage brokers act like a liaison between their clients and lending institutions, shopping for loan packages among several lenders.

Q: Should I choose a mortgage banker instead of a mortgage broker?
A: Depending on your needs and circumstances, it may be beneficial to you to work with a mortgage banker instead of a broker. While brokers can take care of much of the process and paperwork, can negotiate with lenders on your behalf, and may help prevent loan application problems before submitting them to lenders, mortgage bankers can actually approve your mortgage. Since mortgage bankers work for or are the direct lender, working with them cuts out the go-between and gives you direct access to the lender. Additionally, having a long-term working relationship with a mortgage banker and their associated lending institution can be a good idea for individuals and companies that regularly purchase properties and like having a specific person and institution they can call for personal, direct service.

Q: What services can local mortgage bankers in my area offer?
A: Mortgage banks and their employees (often referred to as mortgage bankers, loan officers, loan consultants, loan agents, or finance officers) can usually offer a complete range of mortgage lending services, including standard loans and conventional loans, government-backed loans, FHA loans, VA loans, USDA loans, home loans, business loans, commercial building loans, industrial facility loans, jumbo loan, portfolio loans, rental property and income property loans, and more.

Q: What are some benefits of choosing a local mortgage banker?
A: Because mortgage bankers sell their own services and products at their own rates, some consumers prefer to work with a mortgage banker and cut out the so-called middle-man. Mortgage bankers can sometimes offer lower rates than brokers because they are in charge of their own products and fees. And, since there is no intermediary broker when working with a mortgage bank, you may be able to cut out certain fees or lender costs by dealing directly with the mortgage lender. Because the mortgage bank is the lender and the broker, it also has more control over the process than a broker or lender alone. In fact, mortgage bankers are in charge of the entire process from start to finish. Therefore, they may be better equipped to keep clients informed about the status of their application and loan, and they may be more able to answer specific questions.

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