Merrill Lynch is now a subsidiary of Bank of America and as such they have little wiggle room to tailor home loans beyond the parameters provided by the parent institution. The range of loan products available is broad and includes fixed rate mortgage, adjustable rate mortgage, FHA loans, VA loans, jumbo Loans, HARP refinance services: mortgage refinancing, cash-out refinancing, new home loans, and reverse mortgages.
The Original Loan and In House Servicing
Strangely enough, Merrill Lynch had been contracting out its loan origination and servicing to a company called PHH, but have as of 2016 developed their own inhouse originating and servicing system. In house servicing is usually a good sign that the cost of the loan application process will be lower. Another advantage with in house origination is that all of the people involved in the process are working together as opposed to borrowing across institutions. Their website claims to enjoy flexibility in matching people up with loan options, but Bloomberg describes them as primarily lending to wealthy people. It would be an interesting question to ask your loan counselor at Merrill Lynch how many of their homes loans are made through government programs like FHA.
The Cost of Brokering and Servicing the Loan is Not Clear
The costs of the loan as far as fees and service charges are not as clearly described or centered in this company’s description of their services. Remember, all retail home loan companies charge you for the privilege of their expertise and service in setting up, evaluating and processing the loan application. Finding out what those costs are is very relevant to your eventual financial obligation and more importantly how much upfront money it costs to get the loan. One thing is for sure; if you are already a Bank America customer, you know what you are getting into with that institution.