How do you find the best lenders for home loans?

It’s time to refinance your mortgage or get a loan to buy a home AND best lenders for home loans. With so many choices, how do you pick the best Seattle lender to apply with?

Digging Through The Dizzying Ads

$180 million dollars is expected to be spent on advertising by mortgage bankers this year alone according to Statista.

You’ll see them on TV, hear them on the radio, get piles of junk in your mailbox, get countless emails, and see them popping up all over the internet.

Then there are countless popup websites, Facebook accounts and platforms that want to lure you in for a quote and then just sell your data as many times as possible.

How do you make sense of it? You don’t have months to waste. You can’t afford to be applying and having your credit pulled at banks that are only going to turn you down.

It’s not even about finding the best lenders for home loans. It’s about finding the best lenders for home loans for your current situation, what you need to accomplish and the loan scenario and goals you have.

Find A Lender Who Knows Your Market

One of the most overlooked factors in looking for the best lenders for home loans is finding one which knows your local market.

There may be popular lenders with neat programs out of Michigan or New York or California. That doesn’t mean they are a good fit for your home loan in Washington.

Here’s the problem. Some out of area lenders see making loans at a distance riskier. They will add interest rate ‘bumps’ to those loans. They are happy to make money on them, they just may not be the most competitive deals.

Out of area lenders tend to be out of touch with local property values and property types too. Small properties may scare them. Expensive properties may scare them. Condos may scare them. They can add additional costs or interest rate hikes for those things. You also don’t want them to come back with a low appraised value and cut down your loan amount at the last minute.

Lenders Who Like to Make This Type Of Loan

All of the best lenders for home loans has their own preferred criteria for making loans.

This profile can include:

They might make other types of loan on exception. You really want to be in their sweet spot. That’s where the best interest rates and loan terms are. This can change every quarter and month too as the look to complete pools of loans.

Lenders Who Are Actively Lending

It may sound weird, but the best lenders for home loans aren’t always aggressively looking to put money into the market. They may have hit a snag in liquidity, be encountering internal problems and changes, or are experiencing high default rates with some types of loans.

These lenders can drag their feet on your application, make excuses about lost paperwork, or paperwork you to death until you give up.

High Application To Close Ratios

Some will take in every application they can and then filter them out over time. Seattle’s best lenders for home loans will do the opposite. They will take the time to understand you and your situation, and will only move you into the loan process when they are confident in funding you and want to make the loan.

Good Online Reviews

You can quickly spot some of the worst mortgage lenders with a few minutes on Google. They might have managed to buy rankings on Google or paid to push bad reviews and news on scams to the second or third page of Google. Yet, you can get a reasonable idea in a short amount of time online.

Watch out for banks who are notorious for blatantly breaking the law, lenders who have multiple complaints of bait and switch scams, and poor customer service.

Look For An Experienced Loan Officer

It only takes about a week of school to become a loan officer. Even before you get your license you can secure a job at just about any bank or lender’s call center.

However, it really takes years of experience of doing loans to really know the quirks, anticipate issues in underwriting and to build the relationships needed to get exceptions and speed loans through the process.

Success in getting your loan application approved really all comes down to your individual loan officer, not the brand name of the company. Choose wisely, the might not be one of the best lenders for home loans.

Use A Seattle Mortgage Broker

Trying to go from lender to lender to figure all of this out and to determine if you are a good fit, and they can really deliver on the loan deal you want, is a lengthy and expensive process. One which can tank your credit if you aren’t careful. Worse, when few will tell you all this information upfront. They just want to get you in the door.

Mortgage brokers can save you a lot of money. Their job is to get to know you and your loan needs. Then match you with the very best fitting lender and loan program from all that is out there. They can pinpoint the best deal and know where you will fly through the underwriting process, and not. This can save you months, it will save your credit, and may save your home.

Using a mortgage broker is the best hack you can find in getting the best lender and loan.


It can be confusing to try and choose a lender and loan offer today. Once you start working through this checklist you’ll start to understand some of the real differences between lenders. As well as the huge value a mortgage broker can offer. Find the best local mortgage broker in Seattle and have them find your best lenders for home loans.

About the Author

Helping Seattleites buy their dream homes for over 15 years. Founder of Seattle's Mortgage Broker and author of Homeownership Simplified: The Truth about ZERO Down.