You may someday be able to add mortgages to your Walmart shopping list, right alongside paper towels, dog food, and laundry detergent.
Lenders One Cooperative is opening mortgage lending branches in three Walmart stores in New Jersey and Florida.
The first “store in store” branch, as Lenders One is calling the new locations, opened in the first week of October in Toms River, New Jersey. Two more Walmart mortgage lending branches are expected to be open by early November in Boonton, New Jersey, and Orlando, and more are likely to soon follow.
Lenders One, which describes itself as an “alliance” featuring more than 250 mortgage bankers and more than 90 industry service providers, plans to follow up the initial openings with a nationwide rollout of branches in Walmart stores.
Lenders One is now looking ahead to a wave of additional opening branch openings in Walmart stores in Texas, California, Ohio, and South Carolina. No word yet on Massachusetts, but it certainly sounds like Lenders One will definitely be looking to recruit mortgage loan originators at each location.
Overall, mortgage banking members of Lenders One originated more than $700 billion in loans in 2021. The Lenders One platform, in turn, is a subsidiary of Altisource Portfolio Solutions. Want to see where your competitors stand in the market? You can track them with our state-of-the-art Mortgage MarketShare Module.
So, is this just an advertising gimmick or can you really refinance your mortgage or get a home purchase loan at Walmart?
According to Lenders One, you definitely can, with each branch offering purchase mortgages, refinancing, and home equity lines of credit. Each branch, in turn, will be 300 square feet to 600 square feet in size and fully licensed by state and federal regulators, with licensed loan officers on duty six days a week, company officials told the Mortgage Professional, a trade magazine.
Amid fierce competition in the mortgage industry, Lenders One is looking to give its members, who tend to be relatively smaller, a leg up in their battle for market share with the industry’s biggest players, Justin Demola, president of Lenders One, told Mortgage Professional.
It will certainly be interesting to track the mortgage data as these Walmart-based mortgage lending shops get established.
The budding network of Walmart-based mortgage branches will also enable Lenders One members to establish a presence in underserved areas where they may not currently have a physical location, the company noted in a press release.
“When we look at what we do for our members, our primary mission is to help them compete with the larger, better-capitalized mortgage companies in the country,” Demola told Mortgage Professional. “That’s through savings, better execution, and now, for one of the first times ever, helping them fill the top of their sales funnel with potential applicants.”
When the Walmart mortgage branches make their debut in Massachusetts, you can track their progress through The Warren Group’s NMLS Loan Originator Data.
We’ll be keeping an eye on this, so stay tuned.