Monoline Lenders vs Banks

A monoline lender specializes in one type of lending, unlike banks that offer a variety of services such as checking accounts, investment accounts, and credit cards.


A monoline lender is one that only deals in one type of lending, where banks offer many different types of products. They often don’t have branches you can visit, you can’t open a chequing account, investment accounts of credit cards where with a bank you can do all of this. Due to their attention to just mortgages, their overhead costs are so low they can afford to beat the banks. Monoline lenders will often offer lower rates than other lending institutions, particularly for fixed rate mortgages. Some examples of Monolines are First National, MCAP, Merix and RFA. The main advantages are lower rates, faster process and better chance of approval. The disadvantage is that there is only one type of service offered.