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Which Is Better: Online Mortgage Providers or Local Lenders?

February 2, 2018 | By Dave Nimick
What is the true difference between working with a local lender and working with a national mortgage provider? Today, I’ll be going over which of these options is actually better.

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Which is better: working with a local lender or with an online mortgage provider?

The first thing you need to consider is interest rates. I’ve been working in this business for years, and something that I’ve noticed in that time is that interest rates tend not to vary all that much between different companies. 

Generally, all companies are going to take the same things into consideration: your credit score, down payment, income, assets, and debts.

The next thing you need to think about when deciding between a local lender or an online mortgage provider is the subject of local market knowledge. In the city of Chicago especially, there are a lot of condos.

Local lenders are going to have a wide base of knowledge and be extremely familiar with the process of getting loans approved for condos. Quality local lenders will even be able to provide you with information from specific buildings. National mortgage companies simply won’t have this level of local understanding. 

Since you are providing a lot of information about yourself through the lending process, you may have some concerns about where that information might end up. If you are working with an online mortgage provider, these concerns may be a little more valid than if you’re working with a local lender. 

Local lenders aren’t going to share your information—it’s just going to stay with them. National providers, however, might share things like your name, cell phone number, and other information with various other companies. This can lead to you getting a lot of unsolicited calls.

National companies like to make it sound as if getting a mortgage is as simple as pressing a button. Don’t let yourself be fooled by this. This simply isn’t the case regardless of who you’re working with. 

Getting a mortgage is going to be a detailed process. A local lender will be honest with you about all of the aspects from the beginning. Local lenders will also give you a much higher level of service.

Generally, you find local lenders by referrals from your friends, family, or business associates. These local lenders are happy to give you their direct contact—they encourage you to reach out to them, personally. National providers have no way of replicating this level of service or this personal connection. 

Working with a local lender gives you the benefit of knowing that you are in the hands of an accountable, knowledgeable professional. 


If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.