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Your State’s Most Popular Mortgage Lender Is Probably Local

Finding the Right Mortgage, Mortgages
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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? For many people, a local bank or credit union — one headquartered in their state — is the top choice.

» DID YOU KNOW? Getting a mortgage preapproval can give you a competitive edge when shopping for a home.

Key takeaways

  • Wells Fargo wins: Wells Fargo was the most commonly used mortgage lender nationwide during 2015. Quicken Loans 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.
  • 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.

» MORE: NerdWallet has 5 tips to help you find the right lender.


NerdWallet 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.

Emily Starbuck Crone is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @emstarbuck. Daniel Tonkovich is a data analyst at NerdWallet. Email: [email protected]m.