Home Buying in Chicago>Question Details

ngapt2010, Home Buyer in Chicago, IL

Can someone list top ten mortgage lenders in terms of service and interest rates in the Chicago area?

Asked by ngapt2010, Chicago, IL Fri Jan 20, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


MortgageHippo (mortgagehippo.com) is a great online tool that chooses the best mortgage for your needs – kind of like a broker on steroids. They're based in Chicago and currently serve all of Illinois.

Most borrowers go into the mortgage process not knowing what to expect – What can I qualify for? How much can I expect to pay? How much can I afford? MortgageHippo guides you through the process so you know exactly what's needed to be approved and what step is next.

First, they assess your personal situation through a series of questions, all done online, to help determine your personal needs, preferences, and risk tolerance.

Next, they get quotes from multiple lenders based on these needs (commercial banks and direct mortgage lenders like QuickenLoans are each tied to one lender, themselves, leaving you no option for comparison shopping).

Their proprietary loan scoring system (HippoScore) then matches users with home loans based on compatibility, affordability, and safety, making it easy to evaluate multiple options.

Finally, you are given access to a personalized mortgage management portal that keeps the entire mortgage process running smoothly and facilitates communication with live mortgage guides.

If you're comfortable using online services like TurboTax and Mint.com and are in the market for a purchase or refinance in the state of Illinois, this might be a great service to check out!
11 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2014
In no order I like Guaranteed Rate (Kyle Gillespie 312-933-1376)
and Chicago Bancorp (Eric Swanson 312-738-8405)
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 20, 2012
I would be happy to help you with your mortgage. I noticed in the lists below, there are no Community Banks listed. Standard Bank is a Community Bank. We have some products that other lenders might not have. Joanna 773-237-3580
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 27, 2012
Hi Joanna,
Do you work with IDA? What is your email address?
Flag Wed May 28, 2014
Hi Joanna. Do you mortgages for non resident and non US citizens? I am a British national, looking to buy a condo in Chicago as an investment. I have a good level of income and a good deposit.
Flag Mon Sep 23, 2013
The bank seller close our account, can we still buy the house?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Bill is correct. You need a good loan officer with experience working with various lenders. We have an excellent loan officer in our Baird&Warner Edgebrook office. Just give me a call and I would be happy to hook you up with him: (847) 533-7115
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 25, 2012
If u guys have an excellent loan officer, how come we lost the house we're supposed to buy? The seller's bank close our account and we're left in the dark.
Flag Tue Sep 25, 2012
Dear Ngapt2010,

I'm a little later to reply to this thread, but I think that it is critically important for buyers to get the mortgage lending part of their home search correct. It is the glue that holds your ability to purchase a property with a mortgage loan together.

I've been a real estate broker for 8+ years in the Chicago market, and I've got less than 5 mortgage loan originators to whom I'd ever refer you with confidence. One of them has been mentioned in this thread multiple times and his name is Sam Sharp with Guaranteed Rate.

I've seen Sam's work up close and personal, and I am a colleague of Wayne Beals (and have been for the last 8 years as we started at the same real estate brokerage within about 1 month of each other).

As real estate brokers were are encouraged when asked questions like these to provide consumers with at least 3 names of referrals (which I will do below). I'll give you my top 3, but the first 2 are my interchangeable 1 and 2 lenders. They are the best at programs, rates, and service (not necessarily in that order). They are not exactly the same, but your experience with them will be uniformly good. I have NEVER had a dissatisfied client that I've referred to them in the last 8 years.

Sam Sharp, Vice President of Mortgage Lending Retail Division
Guaranteed Rate
(312) 217-4030 (C)
(773) 290-0455 (ph)
(773) 516-6056 (f)

Daniel F Larkin
Divisional VP National Sales
Main Street Financial, Inc
1111 W. 22nd St
Oakbrook, IL 60523
NMLS #258898
224-699-5266 ofc
224-699-5265 efax
312-952-8068 cell

Jae McPherson
Chicago Bancorp
1555 Naperville-Wheaton Rd.
Naperville, IL 60563
630-388-1300 x 253 (ph)
312-212-5473 (f)
312-617-1723 (C)

They're all excellent, but Sam and Dan are truly a cut above all others. Good luck to you.


Christopher Thomas
Broker Associate, Keller Williams Realty Chicago Consulting Group
716 E. 47th St. Chicago, IL 60653
(773) 770-5947 (cell) (312) 577-0985 (fax)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 23, 2012
Hey ngapt2010,

You have a two part question here.

As far as rates go:

You'll find that rates are competitive between most mortgage banks. They are all shopping each other all the time, and because the prevailing rates are such a media magnet these days with record lows, over charging on rates is a recipe for no business. This doesn't mean you shouldn't shop the products from various lenders though. There's lots of diferences out there. Programs like homepath, homepath renovation, FHA 203K, FHA 203B, conventional conforming, portfolio lending, FHA, FHA Jumbo....the list goes on and on. The most important thing a lender can do in my opinion, is to offer a very broad spectrum pf products and understand them well. This will help the buyer by allowing them to use one lender for FHA,conventional and renovation lending products. Not every property qualifies for all mortgage products. For example, you're shopping for the perfect move in condition home. After 10 showings, you run across the perfect home, in the perfect location at a ridiculous price. There's just one problem. The prior owner absconded with the kitchen, furnace and plumbing. It's a multiple offer situation, Saturday, and your lender doesn't offer a rehab loan product...as you scramble to get pre-approved with a lender who has what you need, the seller accepts another offer.

Furthermore, you'll want to ask questions like:
"Is your underwriting in house?"
"Does your company fund the loan, or are you a broker?"
"When can I expect a good faith estimate?"
"Do you charge points?"
"When is best to lock my rate?"
"What happens when I need a rate lock extension?"
"Who services my loan after closing?"
If it's a construction loan: "Who inspects work for payment of my contractor?"

As you can see, there are a lot of potential questions for a loan officer, and you want to makes sure the individual you are choosing to work with has a good grasp of what they do.

This leads us into service:

I will say that I agree completely with the previous comments. It's the loan officer, not the company. I can attest to this with wildly varied experiences with different LO's at the same bank. In terms of service, you want an LO (loan officer) that thoughtfully analyzes your needs and carefully assembles your mortgage file, communicates well with you, your agent, attorney and everyone in the transaction. You want an LO that is committed to a fast response (like when you really need that pre-approval adjusted to get you offer in when there are multiple offers). You want an LO that has a great reputation. Reputation is everything in the business and when my sellers see an LO they don't trust on a pre-approval, they don't trust the offer. You LO must have good relationships in the real estate community. Unknown LO's and LO's with a rep for over-promising and not being able to deliver make it harder for a buyer to get there offer taken seriously.

There's a lot to consider here, and I don't think there are 10 lenders left in the business that are worth doing business with, so I will give you my number 1:

Sam Sharp, Guaranteed Rate. We've had 20+ transactions together over three years. Sam's pre-approvals are highly regarded and Guaranteed Rate has a great product spectrum and in house underwriting. Sam is responsive, courteous, informative and meets my standards for customer service and professionalism. His number is 312-217-4030. There are other great lenders out there, but I can tell you with certainty that Sam goes the extra mile.

Best of luck!
Web Reference: http://waynebeals.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 21, 2012

Bill (below) is correct. It comes down to the individual loan officer. Rates change frequently and in any organization there can be loan officers who are more or less experienced. Use this thread and seek recommendations of quality loan professionals and you'll end up doing great.

And I have no bias in Illinois --- I can't originate in that state. :-)

Rob Spinosa
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 20, 2012
Many qualified lenders in the area. The key is to find an excellent loan officer who can explain, consult, and provide excellent service all throughout the entire lending process from pre approval to closing.

First Centennial Mortgage is an excellent company that can get things done for you.

If you need any help, I'd be glad to assist.

Bill J Deligiannis
First Centennial Mortgage
Web Reference: http://www.BJDLOANS.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 20, 2012
There is no "list" but I would try asking people for good referrals. I would try Tony Lupescu 708-351-6416. He is literally the best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 20, 2012
I might suggest asking who the top 10 loan officers are in Chicago area vs. the top 10 mortgage lenders in terms of service and interest rates. I have come to find out over my career that there are good and bad loan officers at every mortgage company, just like in most industries.

Beyond that, it is important to interview and choose the loan officer who the most knowledgeable and gives you the best advise on loan programs that fit your short-term and long-term goals regarding the property. Additionally, it is important to work with the loan officer who has a strong grasp on what is going on in the mortgage market from day-to-day.

Feel free to view my Trulia profile for some of the feedback/comments of clients I have met and helped with a mortgage on Trulia Q&A.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 20, 2012
Guaranteed Rate, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and Fifth Third Bank are a few companies that my buyers have been very satisfied with. They are creative in matching a mortgage product that best fits the individual buyer's needs with the lowest possible rates and their customer service has received excellent ratings. Please call me at 312-399-0147 or e mail me jgregg@koenigstrey.com and we can further discuss specifics of your condo search needs and I can also supply you with contact information for some of the mortgage brokers that my past clients have been satisfied with.

Jeanette Gregg
Koenig & Strey
900 North Michigan Avenue Suite 1700
Chicago, Illinois 60611
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 20, 2012
I would shop around that would be a personal choice based on who you feel comfortable with and who will give you the best all round service. Debbie Bergthold-Smith Classic Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 20, 2012
I like Sam's list, it's a good one. I can help you move forward when you're ready.

If you would like a FREE home buyers guide, no obligation, simply email me.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 20, 2012
Now this is a list I have to see - I put my vote in for Guaranteed Rate as number 1 on all counts -
However you should shop around to find someone you are comfortable with.
Such as

Pearl Mortgage
Chicago Bancorp
A nd N Mortgage
Anderson Financial
Chicago Financail Services
Wells Fargo
Prosepct Mortgage

These are not listed in any specific order - just as a general resources for reputable companies. I would be happy to be 1 of your choices should you decide to give us a shot. Feel free to look my information up on various sights such as Yelp
Sam Sharp
Senior VP of Mortgage Lending
Guaranteed Rate
773 290 0455
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 20, 2012
Sam Sharp at Guaranteed Rate has been great to work with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 20, 2012
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