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Kip Tips

Trim Your Mortgage Rate With a 'Nonbank'

Online lenders could help you cut your expenses.

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You may get the best rate on a home loan, with faster approval and closing, if you borrow from a direct lender. In 2016, nonbanks issued nearly half of all mortgages, led by Quicken and PennyMac Financial.

See Also: How Smart a Home BUYER Are You?

When we shopped a handful of banks and direct lenders for a 30-year fixed-rate loan, we found that the direct lenders tended to beat big banks by an eighth to a quarter of a percentage point. Compared with the big banks, nonbanks are more willing to compete on rate, offer greater flexibility in underwriting and are less likely to penalize borrowers who have, say, a less-than-stellar credit score or a small down payment, says Guy Cecala, the publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, which covers the mortgage industry.