How to Choose a Mortgage Lender
It’s not always easy to find a mortgage lender. The first step, naturally, is to check mortgage rates on the internet. But that’s not the final step. Selecting a mortgage lender should be based on more than just the lowest rate. Gather a few rate quotes, and then follow up with some research and interviews before you choose the lender who is right for you.
As a potential buyer, you want to speak with two or three lenders to make sure you find one who’s a good fit, the right match for you as a borrower rather than a product pusher. The right loan is not always visible right off the bat. You need to speak with a true professional to find what mortgage option is the perfect option for what you are trying to accomplish as a buyer, and what your long and short term goals are.
Asking friends, family and co-workers for lender referrals can be helpful, along with checking with your real estate agent. They work with these lenders day in day out and know who do the best job at meeting their clients needs and time-frames. Sometimes it can be as easy as going to my site for example, rickrichter.com. There you can get industry info, a free-pre-approval, an initial underwrite, look at what rates are available – and it is all free. This is a great first step.
If you are happy with your local bank you should still take a look at what other options are out there. At the end of the day 95% of the loans out there are offered by every institution. I would advise that though rate is important, it is the lender’s track record of getting loans approved by the time of closing in the smoothest way possible which is the most valuable aspect of a purchase loan. There is nothing worse than last minute chaos. It throws all the planning and expectations out the window when a non-reputable loan officer drops the ball.
At Guaranteed Rate, you do not need to apply for a loan to have your questions answered. All of our loan officers are happy to answer your questions and run multiple scenarios to make sure you, the client is 100% comfortable with the potential loan they will be applying for. A good loan officer should be able to understand and see your goals and particular situation in a full 360 degree view making sure multiple aspects of what makes you unique as a borrower are addressed, and cared for. Another important aspect for a buyer to pay attention to, is to have everything explained in plain English. If you dont understand what the loan officer is talking about, take a step back and ask them to explain it in detail.
Once you feel like you are ready to make a choice as to what lender you are going to use be sure to outline timelines and expectations for communication. I have heard nightmare stories where buyers dont receive any correspondence for weeks at a time and where the loan officer would not return phone calls in a timely manner.
Here are a few things you will want to know:
1. How long does the loan process take
2. What will the Lender require from me
3. How often will I be hearing from you
4. How far in advance of closing will I know I am approved.
This little piece does not cover everything but should put you on the right path to getting the best loan and having best experience possible. As always feel free to contact me if you have any questions.