Most people approach the act of getting a home mortgage purchase or refinance loan the wrong way. They timidly approach lenders and cross their fingers that they will quality for that all-important loan. But that’s just the opposite of what most people should be doing!
There are a lot of lenders out there—some great and others that can be difficult to work with. And here’s the good news—they all want your business! Before agreeing to a contract with just any lender, you should make an appointment with (in person or by telephone) and ask them some important questions. Doing so could make the difference in a wonderful experience and one that you’d rather forget.
If you are in the process of applying for a mortgage loan—either online or off—then you should ask the following questions to every lender that you are considering.
• What are my loan options? Some lenders specialize in only fixed-rate mortgages and you couldn’t get an ARM if you begged. It’s important to know your options up-front.
• What is the interest rate? You can easily go online and find the competitive interest rate on any given day, and you should ensure that your chosen mortgage lender is offering you one in line with the market.
• How many points will I have to pay to guarantee that rate? Just because someone offers you a great interest rate, that doesn’t mean there won’t be strings attached. Be sure and ask if the interest rate they quoted you is contingent on your buying points.
• Will you charge an application fee? This can vary drastically from lender to lender, and in some cases the fees are negotiable.
• What happens if I pay off my loan early? Some lenders will include a pre-payment penalty in their contract, actually penalizing you for paying off your loan early. If one is included in yours, try to negotiate around it, or look for another lender.
• Can I lock in my rate? Be sure to ask specifics about this. Will it be possible to lock in a rate at the application stage, or will you have to wait until you’ve been approved? After you’ve locked it in, how long is it good for?
• Will I be assigned a person that I should call with questions? It is vital that one person is familiar with your application and loan documents so you don’t have to explain yourself every time you call with a question.
• How long will it take you to approve a loan? With the Internet and other modern advances, there should no reason that a lender can’t process your loan in a jiffy. If a lender appears to be slow, you should take it as a red flag.
The best way to find a good lender is to use a home mortgage loan company online that will give you multiple offers from different lenders. You want to let lenders compete over your business.
To see a list of recommended mortgage loan companies online, visit this page: http://www.abcloanguide.com/mortgageloans.shtml
- Carrie Reeder is the owner of ABC Loan Guide, an informational website with articles and more about various types of loans.