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- Lenders One Cooperative announced the grand opening of its first three mortgage lender in-store branch locations.
- Lenders One said its objective is to offer a suite of mortgage solutions to Walmart customers.
- Another two in-store locations will open in the next 30 days in Orlando, Fla., powered by Family First Funding and in Boonton, N.J., powered by MLB Residential Lending.
- Expected to help Lender One members diversify their business model with retail foot traffic in geographical locations they would not normally have a presence in.
In March, Lenders One Cooperative announced it will lease space at select Walmart stores so homebuyers can access mortgage origination solutions where they shop in their community. On Friday, the lending cooperative announced the grand opening of its first three mortgage lender in-store branch locations at Walmart stores in New Jersey and Florida.
The first in-store branch Lenders One location opened Oct. 7 in Newton, N.J., and is powered by Family First Funding LLC. Founded in 2011 and based in Toms River, N.J., Family First Funding is a retail mortgage lender licensed to do business in 35 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. It offers solutions to residential and business customers, with a mission to provide clients with fair and reasonable rates and costs, as well as educating their clients throughout the process, the company said.
Another two in-store locations will open in the next 30 days — in Orlando, Fla., powered by Family First Funding, and in Boonton, N.J., powered by MLB Residential Lending LLC. MLB Residential Lending is based in Springfield, N.J., and serves the lending needs of homebuyers, homeowners, real estate professionals, and builders, it said.
“Walmart has long been a trusted name for consumers, so seeing the branch in-store opportunity with Walmart come to fruition with Family First Funding and MLB Residential Lending is an exciting opportunity to connect lenders and borrowers at our first three locations in Florida and New Jersey,” said Justin Demola, certified mortgage banker and president of Lenders One. “The physical in-store presence at Walmart helps Lenders One members connect with and educate the local community about opportunities to achieve the American Dream of homeownership. If the consumer does not qualify for a mortgage at first, our members can provide them with homebuyer education and resources to help them become mortgage ready in the future.”
The objective of Lenders One Cooperative is to offer a suite of mortgage solutions — including purchase, refinance, and home equity lines — to Walmart customers, with a strong focus on consumer education, underserved markets, and affordable homeownership, the company said.
This opportunity will also help Lenders One members diversify their business model with retail foot traffic in geographical locations they would not normally have a presence in. The concept behind this venture is that Walmart customers can enjoy the convenience of being able to apply or inquire about borrowing options face-to-face, in the same place they do their regular shopping and receive other in-store services.
In addition to Florida and New Jersey, Lenders One plans to open branch locations in Walmart stores in California, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas.
Although economists and industry experts have dour predictions about where the housing market is heading, Demola told NMP in March that even with a 2% to 5% penetration rate with Walmart customers, the in-store branches will be very profitable.