Choosing a mortgage lender is becoming a much more difficult process lately. Not only are we bombarded daily with unwanted spam on our email and endless internet ads that tout the lowest rates in the universe, but most of us know someone who has entered the mortgage business in the last three years who is anxious or, in some cases, desperate to originate our loans. Unfortunately, many borrowers find out too late that internet lenders who specialize in spam and false promises are neither ethical nor trustworthy. Telemarketers and direct mail lenders often specialize in the use of false or misleading information to entrap unsuspecting customers. Many of our anxious friends or relatives who recently got into the mortgage business don’t work for companies who adequately monitor or supervise them and they don’t have the experience or knowledge to follow through on their promises or deliver a truly positive mortgage experience. Borrowers need to learn to get a second opinion when it sounds too good to be true or when they feel obligated to work with a friend or relative. Asking the right questions at the proper time will prevent a process that will lead to frustration and disappointment.
Choosing a mortgage lender requires the importance that one would give to choosing an attorney, a financial planner, a dentist or a doctor. Many people spend more time considering who to use for their next haircut than they do deciding who is going to assist them in one of the biggest financial decisions in their life.
When choosing a mortgage lender, you will have a more successful and stress-free experience when the following points are taken into consideration.
- Work with an experienced professional with a proven track record who is concerned about maintaining their local reputation and earning your referrals in the future. If they are not local, make sure that you get a referral from someone you know that has had a positive experience with them. Title company employees, appraisers, and Realtors often have exposure to the manner in which lenders conduct their business, so they are often a good source of information or referrals.
- Work with a lender who is successful enough to be able to focus on your needs and not their own need to cash a commission check. This often eliminates those that are new to the business—especially those that do not work with an experienced mentor or work with the support of an experienced team.
- Work with a local lender who is available to meet with you in person at a convenient time and who will agree to be available to you as needed until your loan is closed.
- Make sure that your mortgage consultant works for a company that can provide a wide selection of mortgage products. Mortgage Bankers and Mortgage Brokers often have a much larger menu of loan program options than banks, making it easier to meet individual needs. Bankers who have the option to broker loans have the largest selection and the greatest chance of meeting the borrower’s needs as much as possible.
- Make your final decision after the mortgage consultant earns your business by conducting a comfortable and pressure-free consultation that leaves you feeling that they really listened to you, understood your needs and fully informed you about the options available to you.