The primary mortgage market is where lenders make mortgage loans directly to borrowers like savings and loan associations, commercial banks, insurance companies, and mortgage companies. These lenders sometimes sell their mortgages into the secondary market to institutions such as FNMA or GNMA.
Fannie Mae, The Federal National Mortgage Association, is a federally-sponsored private corporation that provides a secondary market for housing mortgages.
Ginny Mae, The Government National Mortgage Association, is a governmental part of the secondary market that deals primarily in recycling VA and FHA mortgages, particularly those that are highly leveraged.
A savings and loan association is a state- or federally-chartered financial intermediary that accepts deposits from the public and invests those funds primarily in residential mortgage loans.
Commercial banks offer a full range of retail banking products and services, such as checking and savings accounts, loans, and investments to individuals and businesses.
Insurance companies prefer income-producing properties and long-term industrial projects. They frequently demand to be able to do a participation loan, which is a loan that requires interest plus a portion of the profits as payment.
Mortgage brokers are real estate financing professionals acting as the intermediary between consumers and lenders during mortgage transactions. A mortgage broker originates loans while the mortgage lender actually funds the loans.
A mortgage banker is a direct mortgage lender. No middlemen here. A mortgage banker or lender funds loans in his or her own name and is usually more competitive than a broker in terms of "points" and "fees".