What is a Mortgage Broker?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Often, people confuse mortgage brokers with lenders, but brokers offer the loan products of various lenders, while a lender provides the actual loan money to the borrower. Essentially, a mortgage broker is a loan provider who serves as a liaison between borrowers and lenders. A broker can work within a firm or independently.

Mortgage brokers serve as a liaison between borrowers and lenders.
Mortgage brokers serve as a liaison between borrowers and lenders.

A mortgage broker doesn't loan money. Instead, he or she works with borrowers, assisting them in finding appropriately matched mortgage loans. Typically, he or she will learn the needs of the borrower and do the work of shopping for the best loan deal from lenders offering that particular type of loan. Brokers usually work with numerous lenders, attempting to match the right lender with each individual client. Some brokers actually have hundreds of lender contacts. Because they have so many lenders from which to choose, brokers are more likely to find loans for borrowers with special needs, like problem credit, than individual lenders.

Mortgage brokers act as liaisons between borrowers and potential lenders.
Mortgage brokers act as liaisons between borrowers and potential lenders.

Mortgage brokers accept applications from borrowers and seek to lock in rates and terms with lenders. They also provide required state and federal disclosures. Additionally, brokers gather all necessary documents, including, but not limited to, credit reports, employment verifications, asset disclosures, and property appraisals. Once an application file is deemed complete, the broker submits it to the appropriate lender, who then handles loan approval and disbursement.

Frequently, a mortgage broker will provide basic credit counseling in an attempt to assist borrowers with correcting credit issues. He or she may also advise borrowers on ways to obtain better loan rates. Brokers answer questions and assist borrowers in understanding both the application process and loan details as well. They only offer assistance before the loan process is complete. Once the borrower has obtained a mortgage, the broker is effectively out of the loop and all questions must be asked of the lender.

Brokers earn commissions in exchange for bringing borrowers and lenders together. Usually, the broker's commission is paid indirectly by the buyer, in the form of closing costs or additional loan points. The mortgage broker receives payment when the loan is closed.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


I need some help to answer my question. me and my husband had a bad credit and we're trying to get a house. can the broker help us to find us a lender whom we can trust?


why do mortgage brokers ask for upfront fees when you don't have your mortgage offer letter?


What is the process to becoming a mortgage broker in my state? What is the average yearly salary?


If a mortgage broker gets his/her fee through loan points, would it not be in the broker's best interest to select a loan for the buyer with the most points?


Does a mortgage broker or a mortgage banker have to hold a license in their state (tx) in order to act as one?


I've been a mortgage broker (MB) since 1976. Mortgage brokers are approved by funding lenders to submit loan files. It's my experience that MBs are no more than glorified loan processors. MBs do not approve or fund loans, but collect commissions.

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