Lower, a multi-channel mortgage lender based in Columbus, Ohio, expanded its retail branch network for the second time in three months by becoming the parent company of Honor Home Loans.
Tennessee-based Honor will operate as a private label retail group for Lower. It has several branches located in Alabama and Kentucky in addition to its home state, a Lower spokesperson said.
“As part of a benefit to joining Lower, they were given the opportunity to build their own brand (or maintain their brand as others have chosen) representative of their values,” the spokesperson said. . “As a lender focused on helping military and first responders, Honor Home Loans was the natural choice to reflect their commitment to these groups.”
Derek Vandlen, Honor’s founder and military veteran, is now the unit’s vice president. More than 60 other employees also remain on board.
“At Lower, we’ve found a parent company that wants to partner with us to make the customer journey the best it can be,” Vandlen said in a press release. “In addition, we will expand our product and service offerings to enhance our already excellent service from start to finish.”
In addition to retail, Lower participates in direct-to-consumer and wholesale origination channels as well as offering mortgages as a service; the company owns 15 other private labels in addition to its former company Financial of the house.
In June 2021, Lower completed $100 million Series A fundraising from venture capital firm Accel, in a bid to take on bigger competitors like Rocket and put itself on a level playing field with Bettercompany executives said at the time.
The private label deal with the team behind Honor has a different structure to its very first acquisition, the June purchase of Hamilton Home Loansunderlined the lower spokesperson.
And he’s still in the market for additional relationships.
“We are actively looking for the right partners to join the company,” Lower’s spokesperson said.