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How can I tell if I am working with a mortgage broker or a mortgage lender?

Some financial institutions operate as both lenders and brokers, so you should ask whether a broker is involved in your loan transaction. 

Most brokers are paid a fee for their services on a specific loan. The fee may be in the form of a commission or other payment from you or the lender. Just as with lenders, you can and should shop around for brokers.