How do I find an ethical loan provider?

Start by asking for referrals. Ask your friends and family who they used and what they experienced.

Ask your real estate agent, too. Most agents have brokers and lenders with whom they work. Keep in mind, though, that many agents have their own agendas. They want your loan to close quickly, and may refer you to lenders simply because they work fast. It doesn't mean they won't be ethical, but it's a good idea to keep that potential conflict of interest in mind and watch out for your own interests.

Once you've gathered names and phone numbers, start making phone calls. Compare terms for a particular loan from each lender. Anything out-of-the-ordinary is a red flag. can help too. The Loan Analyzer can tell you if your rate is competitive, and you can compare rates from lenders in our Loan Comparison tool. What's more, lenders offering quotes on sign off on our Borrower's Bill of Rights, so you can be confident that they are not shady.

We also recommend that you check with the Better Business Bureau. Look for the number of complaints lodged against a given lender, as well as how well the company addressed those complaints. Any lender of any size will have some unsatisfied customers, but if hundreds of people report problems with a lender, you may want to look elsewhere.

For further research, you can check with government agencies overseeing lenders before making any final decision. Here is a list of federal agencies that oversee certain lenders:

Agency Jurisdiction URL
Federal Reserve Board of Governors State-chartered banks, trust companies belonging to Federal Reserve
FDIC State-chartered banks not belonging to Federal Reserve
Office of the Controller of the Currency Banks with "National" or "N.A." in their names
National Credit Union Administration Federally charted credit unions
Office of Thrift Supervision Federal savings and loans, and federal savings banks
Bureau of Consumer Protection Other miscellaneous lenders

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