It’s easy to close your eyes and picture your dream home. You probably know the features you’re looking for and the neighborhood that already feels like home. But when you’re ready to make the dream a reality, choosing the right lender isn’t as easy to picture.
Lending might not be as fun to imagine, but it’s a necessary step to getting the funds you need to purchase that dream home. There are a number of factors to consider when making a lending decision. One of the important ones is whether to choose a local lender or a national lender.
Understanding the differences between local and national lenders will help you make an informed decision. Here are some of the key differences between the two.
Local Lenders: Area Expertise, Personal Attention and Lower Rates
When you’re ready to buy a home in a certain city, choosing a lender from that area can be very beneficial. For example, if you’re moving to Tampa, a local lender will have in-depth knowledge about the Tampa real estate market.
Local lenders have a vested interest in the community because it’s where they live, too. So, they can give homebuyers the insight that only a local would know.
Along with their knowledge, local lenders often provide a more personal experience. Since they have smaller teams and fewer clients, they can offer more personal attention than most national lenders.
Local lenders may even be able to save you money with lower rates and fewer fees. And local lenders might be more willing to work with you if you have some bumps in your credit history.
Keep in mind that local lenders may not have the same long business hours and 24-hour access that national lenders do. So, if you do choose to go local, ask about their availability beforehand so you’ll know when you can reach them.
National Lenders: Brand Recognition, Faster Approval and More Accessibility
National lenders come with built-in brand recognition. Since they’re larger operations, it’s easy to learn about their reputation and find out about their specific strengths.
Another advantage of national lenders is that they often have a faster approval process. You can apply online if you’d like to. And since they have larger teams, you can get a decision quickly.
National lenders can also provide added convenience because of their accessibility. They may have longer hours, 24-hour phone support, and more office locations if you need help.
Though convenience can be helpful, national lenders also have a lot more clients. That means that you’ll be one of many. You may not get the same level of personal attention that you’d get with a local lender.
Another thing to keep in mind with national lenders is that they might have more fees and higher interest rates than a local lender. So, if you’re trying to keep costs down, make sure to find out about all associated costs before you make a decision.