The 10 best mortgage lenders of 2021


Mortgage rates have been volatile over the past few months, but the list of most active mortgage lenders has remained stable over the past year.

Rocket Mortgage and United Shore Financial remained first and second in volume of loans issued in 2021, unchanged from 2019 and 2020. Most of the other names in the top 10 also remained the same.

There were a few maneuvers on the list. In one big move, LoanDepot climbed to third place, up from fifth place a year ago. Meanwhile, US Bank disappeared from the top 10 altogether, and Bank of America fell in the rankings by number of loans (although the megabank remained in the top 10 by dollar volume). This shift underscores both the aggressive growth of non-bank lenders and the decline in interest from some traditional banks in originating mortgages.

The top 10 lenders accounted for 28% of all U.S. home loans issued in 2021. These rankings are based on exchange rate analysis of preliminary Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, with assistance from ComplianceTech’s LendingPatterns.com.

The 10 biggest lenders

Top 10 lenders by number of mortgages originated last year:

  1. Rocket mortgage. Largest by far, Rocket issued more than 1.2 million loans worth $340 billion in 2021, according to HMDA data. After posting massive growth in 2020, Rocket saw a more modest 8% increase in the number of loans issued from 2020 to 2021.
  2. United Shore Financial. Better known as United Wholesale Mortgage, this lender issued 654,000 loans worth nearly $227 billion in 2021. Both figures represent double-digit increases from 2020.
  3. LoanDepot. Continuing to grow, LoanDepot issued nearly 390,000 loans worth $137 billion in 2021.
  4. Wells Fargo. Megabank Wells Fargo issued 376,000 loans worth $159 billion last year.
  5. Liberty Mortgage. This lender issued 361,000 loans worth $89 billion, both down from 2020. Freedom Mortgage focuses on loans offered through Federal Housing Administration and US Department of Health mortgage programs. Veterans. His average loan amount of $248,000 was the lowest among the top 10.
  6. JPMorgan Chase. The megabank’s Chase Home Lending issued 274,000 loans worth $134 billion. His average loan amount – more than $487,000 – was the highest among the top 10.
  7. Fairway Independent Mortgage. Fairway has issued nearly 236,000 loans worth $71 billion.
  8. Caliber of home loans. Caliber has issued nearly 232,000 mortgages worth $71 billion.
  9. Reception point. Home Point canceled 209,000 mortgages with a total value of $74 billion.
  10. Penny Mac. PennyMac has issued nearly 209,000 mortgages worth $60 billion.

When lenders are ranked by dollar volume rather than number of loans made, PennyMac and Fairway Independent Mortgage do not make the top 10. Their places are filled by Bank of America, which originated 172,000 mortgages worth $85 billion, and Guaranteed Rate, which originated 195,000 loans worth $74 billion.

Traditional banks retreat

If you took out a mortgage last year, chances are you went with a non-bank lender rather than the bank where you keep your checking and savings accounts.

Traditional financial institutions, even those with active residential mortgage operations, have largely backtracked. Wells Fargo and Chase were notable exceptions to this trend. Wells Fargo made 17% more loans in 2021 than in 2020, while Chase picked up the pace by 20%. Both megabanks served borrowers with high mortgage balances, reflecting their focus on mortgages as part of their overall service to their best customers.

More typical were the trends of Bank of America, which originated 6% fewer loans in 2021 than in 2020, and Truist Bank and Flagstar Bank, each of which saw their originations fall by 10%.

“This has been the general trend since the financial crisis,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate. “Banks have backed off – but not eliminated – originations. Non-banks have more than filled the void as the market has rallied, and the big banks are often buying the management rights so they’re in the game with less risk and cyclicality on the upside. origin.

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