So what’s the big different between local lenders versus national/online lenders? To put it simply, a lot. As your experts on everything local, we’ve seen first hand the differences between local and national/online lenders countless times, which is why we’ve compiled this list of the pros and cons of working with local lenders as opposed to national lenders. Real estate is local after all, shouldn’t your lenders be too?

Here’s Shanneé, one of our buyers agents, outlining this concept:

More Easily Available

Local lenders have flexible work hours, meaning they work evenings, weekends, and sometimes even holidays. They’re not just in a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, like national lenders. They’re also available by cellphone, which means you can easily text them or call them any time of the day and they will be there. This way, if you or your agent have any questions or concerns, they’re just one text away.

National lenders typically much more difficult to reach. They usually only work 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. This means, unless they are in office, you aren’t going to be able to reach them. It also means, depending on the lender, it can be significantly harder to reach them even when they are in office because of long hold times.

Local Expertise

Local lenders are familiar with the realtors in town. A lot of the time, if you are in a competitive situation, they see that one offer is using a local lender, who they know/recognize, and then they see a big national company, usually they’re going to lean towards that local person. This is because they have a reputation and they’ve worked with them before, so they know that that person can get them to the closing table.

National lenders don’t typically have a local reputation. Usually, if you’re using a large national lender, the person selling the house or their agent will view that as a more risky move, because they don’t know how that lender typically works.

Property Taxes and Insurance Rates

Local lenders know the right property taxes and the insurance rates, meaning your estimates up front are going to be more accurate than a national brand or a national lender. So, why is this important? Because a lot of people don’t understand how our taxes work in the city of Savannah versus Effingham County/Bryan County/unincorporated Chatham county. There’s also the nuances of local laws and property taxes. For example, when it comes to a primary residence that has a carriage house attached to it: a lot of local lenders will try to make that a multi-family when it’s actually a primary so you get lower interest rates. They are also very familiar with the local purchase incentives. We have a lot of really good incentive programs in Savannah and Georgia that a lot of bigger lending companies don’t know about, like Georgia Dream maker. Our local lenders are really familiar with those programs so if you do qualify for them they will be great they will be great.

National lenders aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of local property taxes and insurance rates. This means that they will have to take time to research these nuances, which can cause delays, and might make errors, which will also cause delays.

How Business is Generated

Local lenders generate their business with goods and services and word of mouth. This is important because everyone likes to work with someone that they know other people have worked with and they’ve had good experiences with.

National lenders typically just market and advertise with money and expensive marketing, which doesn’t always equal out to good service. It just means they’ve spent a lot of money on a marketing team.


Local lenders typically have a lighter workload, so you aren’t just a number to them, you are a person who they want to make you happy. They want to get you into your new home.

National lending companies can often times view you as just a number. They want it to be fast and easy for them, so the service can be less personable and different.

Looking to purchase a home? Looking to invest in real estate? We can help!