Lois Marris | RE/MAX Results | Lois.Marris@Results.net
All mortgage lenders aren't the same. They are similar, but not the same. Plus, each lender has different types of mortgages to offer. The difference between mortgages can literally cost you thousands of dollars over time. That's why it is so important to find the right lender with the right mortgage for your needs.
Here are a few tips to help you find the right lender with the right mortgage.
FIRST: Ask around
Different lenders go through different things at different times so ask related industry professionals, such as your real estate agent or title company, which lenders are the best to work with right now. Perhaps a lender now offers FHA financing though they did not before. And maybe they just added a new loan package that makes allowances for medical school debt. As the economy changes so does the health and practices of lenders so just ask around to find out who is getting the job done well these days.
SECOND: Go around
I suggest you visit at least three different lenders. It's well worth your time to have a short visit with a loan adviser to ask about the different mortgages they offer. While one lender may not be able to provide you a loan, another may. Some will give a discount to their services if you complete a home owner education class. Let each lender give you advice on their loan offerings and get the costs and benefits for each one. You DO NOT need to fill out a loan application or have a lender pull your credit score at this time. Rather, consider this stage about fact finding.
THIRD: Shop around
After you've chatted with several lenders take time to step back and review your experience with each visit. Who made you feel the most comfortable? Who did you find easiest to ask questions? Who explained the process in a way you understood? Who gave you the most time? Who was the most professional? You want a loan adviser who is going to work in your best interests.
Once you feel you have found a few trusted advisers, it's time to compare their loans. Each lender should be able to give you a Loan Estimate, which is a standardized, multi-page form that can be used to compare the costs of each loan. Be sure to compare the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and the Total Interest Paid (TIP) to compare the loans. There may be a slight fee for this stage but if you miss this step you may select the wrong loan.
The Home Loan Guide - Step Six from the Consumer Financial Protection Agency has a great worksheet to help you compare loans.