66 mortgage lenders, brokers make Inc. 5000 list

Mix of regional banks, tech-centered lenders, brokerages make the cut

Nearly 70 mortgage lenders and brokers made it on the list of Inc. Magazine‘s 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the U.S. for 2022.

The companies are U.S.-based, privately held and independent as of Dec. 31, 2018. Additionally, all these businesses had a minimum revenue of $100,000 in 2018 and $2 million last year.

All the top five mortgage lenders debuted on the Inc. 5000 list for the first time. theLender, which offers government and conventional mortgages as well as non-QM products, saw a 20,489% three-year growth rate.  

MortgageOne (no. 284) came in second place for top mortgage lenders, growing 1,952% in the past three years. Zap Mortgage (no.335), Trius Lending Partners (no. 372) and ASTAR Home Capital (no. 390) trailed with a four digit three-year average growth. 

Trius Lending, a local direct and hard-money lender specializing in residential investment, attributed its rapid success to customizing to investors’ needs.

“The edge that we have as a local lender focusing on Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic is to meet with investors in person and closing loans more quickly than national lenders,” said Joshua Shein, partner at Trius Lending. 

According to the firm, the core business at Trius Lending is residential rentals or properties for fix-and-flip. With about 35% of its customers being first-time real estate investors, Trius is hopeful to get repeat customers as it keeps its losses to a minimum, Shein added.

“We raise funds from outside investors and that’s how we fund these loans. Those investors and also ourselves (the partners) we want to be looking out for our loans and we believe that approach helps us to keep the losses to a minimum,” he said. According to the firm, Trius has more than 350 loans it holds and services. 

Several of the top 10 HMDA lenders by volume were on the Inc. list. Freedom Mortgage, the seventh-largest HMDA lender, was ranked No. 4158, with average three-year growth of 112% Guaranteed Rate, the 10th-largest HMDA lender, ranked No. 1673, with growth of 372%.

Mortgage brokerages on the list included The Everest Equity Company (No. 2522) and Right Key Mortgage .

As with many lenders, technology was one of the main factors that propelled growth for these lenders, including LoanFlight Lending, a Florida lender that saw 420% growth. 

The firm started building a cloud-based model for loan originations in 2017 as a back-up plan for when tornadoes hit, but when the pandemic hit, “having that “contingency plan paid off in a different way,” said Paul Blaylock, CEO at LoanFlight. LoanFlight funds loans with warehouse lines and bids the loans out to about 15 different bidders, including traditional banks, and nonbanks every day. 

“We didn’t have branches all over the country, we had a consumer to direct-model in place before others,” said Blaylock. “Everything can be done except for closing. A lot of what we save, we pass to the customers.”

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