Mortgage service providers are more important than ever
The company you are sending your mortgage payments to may not be the owner of the loan or the original lender.
Instead, payments are sent to a separate "mortgage service company".
Mortgage service providers are usually out of sight and out of their minds. You usually don't have to interact with them other than to send monthly payments.
However, if you need help from your mortgage servicer, such as removing PMI or applying for mortgage relief, you want it to be a good experience.
Here's what you need to know about mortgage service providers, including what actions to take if you are not happy with your business.
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What is a Mortgage Loan Service Provider?
It may come as a surprise, but many mortgage lenders do not service the loans they take out.
Instead, they transfer the service rights to another company that takes over the day-to-day management of the loan.
This includes receiving and processing payments, managing a customer's escrow account, providing tax forms, assisting with customer inquiries, and other tasks.
The mortgage service company also tracks a customer's payment history and reports this information to the credit bureaus.
Mortgage Loan Service Providers and COVID-19
Your mortgage loan service provider is also the company to turn to when you need mortgage relief due to financial difficulties – like an indulgence plan or a loan modification.
This was the case with millions of homeowners who had to pause payments or update their repayment schedule during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new awareness of their mortgage service provider brought new pains to some homeowners.
Hours of hold-up, costly "system problems", and credit reporting errors were just some of the cracks that emerged as mortgage loan service providers dealt with an unprecedented wave of credit relief requests.
As a result, many homeowners are likely to be more careful about who is bringing their servicer forward.
So who are the best mortgage service providers? How do you know who yours is? And what should you do if you want a different loan service provider?
When you work with your mortgage service company
Knowing your mortgage services company is important if you need to interact with the company outside of your payments.
You may need to contact your mortgage service provider if:
You need to update your homeowner's insurance information or ask a question
You believe your property has at least 20 percent equity and you want to ask for removal private mortgage insurance
You have been hit by COVID or some other financial setback and need to discuss it Mortgage Relief Options
You have lost your job or had a drop in income and you have to Please be indulgent to keep your mortgage in good shape
Of course, there's a good chance none of these will ever apply to you.
If so, you can continue to make mortgage payments to your servicer without ever worrying about who that company is or how good their customer service is.
How to find out who your loan service provider is
It is important to note that your mortgage services company can change multiple times during the life of your loan.
However, it is easy to find the name of the company currently servicing your loan.
You can find this information on your mortgage statement or search the electronic mortgage registration system by your name, real estate address and social security number.
If your mortgage company changes, you will receive a letter notifying you of the change at least 15 days before the transfer date.
In addition, the new servicer sends a letter after the transfer is complete.
This letter contains pertinent information such as the name and address of the new servicer and the date you will send payments to the new company.
Who are the best mortgage loan service providers?
Some mortgage loan service providers have better relationships with their customers than others.
In the satisfaction survey for mortgage service providers by J.D. Power, homeowners are asked what they think of their mortgage service providers in five areas: communication, customer interaction, billing and payment process, and management of escrow accounts.
Here are the 15 servicers who have proven to be satisfactory (all achieved above average scores of 781/1000 or higher).
Top Mortgage Service Providers for 2020
Mortgage service company
Customer Satisfaction Score1
Huntington National Bank
810 / 1,000
810 / 1,000
Bank of America
BB & T.
1Top 15 Mortgage Service Providers According to U.S. Primary Mortgage Service Provider Satisfaction Study 2020 by J.D. Power. You can find the full report here
Should I care who my mortgage services company is?
Because mortgage service experience can vary, some homebuyers want to know the name of the company that will service their mortgage once it is closed.
That is understandable. However, when buying a mortgage loan, the focus should not be on the service company. It should be about getting the cheapest loan. This can potentially save thousands over the life of the loan.
In all honesty, even if your mortgage lender transfers the service rights, you likely have little (if any) interaction with the service company.
When buying a mortgage, the focus shouldn't be on the service company. It should be about getting the cheapest loan.
Also, keep in mind that many reputable lenders work with reputable service companies as well.
So, if you want to increase the likelihood of having a positive experience with a mortgage service company, the first thing to do is to get interest rate quotes from well known, highly rated lenders.
Don't be afraid to ask questions either. If you have any maintenance concerns, see if a lender is servicing their own loans.
When they transfer your mortgage, include the name of the service company they are using. From there, you can research the company to make sure it has a good reputation and high ratings with its customers.
What to do if you are dissatisfied with your loan service provider
Unfortunately, you have no say in whether a mortgage lender transfers your loan to a service company. You have the right to transfer the loan and choose where it ends.
If you are dissatisfied with your credit service provider or have major problems, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Also keep in mind that not every lender transfers their loans to a service company.
Some lenders are able to service their own loans and take on the day-to-day management of those loans. This is rare, but it does happen.
If you prefer a lender who offers their own service, you can apply to one of the following banks:
Quicken LoansChaseUnion BankUS BankFlagstar
In addition, many local and smaller community banks service their own loans as well as some credit unions.
Buy a mortgage loan, not a mortgage servicer
The bottom line is, you probably don't need to interact with your loan servicer much – if at all.
That means it shouldn't be a major concern when buying a mortgage.
Finding the right type of loan, low interest rate, and fair loan terms are more important as these are the factors that will determine how much you will pay over the long term.
However, if you are concerned about who your servicer will be, don't be afraid to ask. If a lender is calm or cagey with their service partners, it is likely a bad sign.
However, once they get the names, you can do your own research and determine if they are a servicer you would like to work with.
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