For the eighth year in a row, we compiled the industry’s most comprehensive list of the nation’s top mortgage
originators. The rankings include
not only the originators who are
closing the most dollar volume and
the most loans, but also the leaders
in niche areas, like Federal Housing
Administration, U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department
of Agriculture loans as well as home
equity lines of credit.
View Scotsman Guide’s
Top Originators 2016 at
By Steven Wyble
Fresh out of high school and not yet in college,
Keith McKay entered the mortgage industry working as a notary in the mortgage brokerage of his
then-girlfriend’s father. After college, instead of
pursuing a job in his field of study, he chose to obtain his mortgage broker’s license.
After working for a couple different companies,
McKay started his own company, Prime Choice Funding Inc. in Orange County California, about eight
The work McKay has put into growing his company has paid off, earning him a No. 2 spot on the
Top VA Volume list in Scotsman Guide’s annual
rankings — published earlier this year and based
on 2016 loan data.
“We love working with [military] veterans,” he
says. “They’re very organized and on top of things.
It’s been a good experience for us in that market.”
With any kind of loan, however, McKay says a hands-on approach is an essential element of success.
“I love originating loans and, as a producing owner,
I think it’s important that I stay in tune with what
clients need and how to address their needs and
how to give good, quality loans to people,” he says.
McKay says Prime Choice Funding is able to offer
customers lower interest rates than its competitors by working on thinner margins and larger volumes. Additionally, the company employs the latest
technology to facilitate tasks such as pricing and
e-signing. The latter is especially crucial, he says, as it
makes it easy and convenient for customers to sign
Steven Wyble is online content editor for Scotsman Guide Media.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
initial disclosures and other documents without
having to strain their printers.
“We take advantage of whatever technology is out
there to help make … [borrowers’ lives] easier,”
McKay says. “I always said when I started my own
company, I want to run my business not from a
lender’s perspective, but more from a borrower’s
experience perspective — try to make the loan process easy and enjoyable for the borrower, because
loans are not easy. There’s a lot of moving parts.”
McKay also ranked No. 12 on Scotsman Guide ’s most
recent Top Refinance Volume list, with 98 percent
of his business coming from refinances in 2016.
As interest rates creep up, he says his business is
poised to shift toward the purchase market.
“With interest rates falling, we have been able to
help a lot of people save money on their loans …
[through refinancing],” McKay says. “But we will just
shift more toward what the need is in the market.”
McKay has one word of advice for budding originators: Find a mentor who can help you navigate your
“Anyone can take a loan application, but loans are
… almost like stories,” he says. “When people have
a story, and it goes onto their application, you need
someone to help understand that perspective, because there’s going to be bumps and bruises along
the way. Having a good business plan and marketing
plan is extremely important, whether you’re chasing
down Realtors, or going direct to consumers — but
you need to have someone to help coach you along
Keith McKay, Prime Choice Funding Inc.
No. 2 Top VA Volume (2016)