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Your State’s Most Popular Mortgage Lender Is Probably Local

Home buyers have ample options when choosing a mortgage lender, including neighborhood credit unions, big-name national banks and online-only lenders. But which type appeals the most to consumers across the country? A new NerdWallet analysis shows that for many people, a local bank or credit union — one headquartered in their state — is the top choice.

NerdWallet reviewed 2015 data —the most recent available — from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, which collects mortgage transaction information from all lenders in the 50 states and Washington, D.C. In more than 60% of cases, the top mortgage lender was a local one.

If you’re shopping for a home, getting a mortgage preapproval with your lender of choice before you make an offer can give you a competitive edge.

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- Wells Fargo wins: Wells Fargo was the most commonly used mortgage lender nationwide during 2015. Quicken was the second most popular, and Bank of America was third.
- Local lenders go toe-to-toe with big banks: However, for each state’s top lender, local institutions came out on top in 60.8% of cases, or 31 states. And home buyers used local banks or credit unions for the majority of all mortgages in nearly half of the states (22). In Hawaii and South Dakota, the top five mortgage lenders were local. Buyers might trust local lenders more, or in some cases, they might offer lower interest rates.
- Market share is spread out: The average market share for each state’s No. 1 lender was just over 10%. The top lender held the highest percentage of the market in Alaska, where locally based Residential Mortgage LLC originated 29% of the state’s loans. The top lender had the lowest percentage of market share in Texas, where Wells Fargo originated only 4% of loans.

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Emily Starbuck Crone is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: emily.crone@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @emstarbuck. Daniel Tonkovich is a data analyst at NerdWallet. Email: dtonkovich@nerdwallet.com.

Updated March 22, 2017.

METHODOLOGYNerdWallet analyzed 2015 data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and grouped mortgage originations by state and lender. We then counted the number of mortgages written by each lender in each state to find the most popular lenders. Finally, we compared the state in which the lenders were headquartered (provided by the HMDA) with the state in which the loans were written in order to categorize loans as out-of-state or local.

The article Your State’s Most Popular Mortgage Lender Is Probably Local originally appeared on NerdWallet.

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