How Do I Find a Lender?

Mortgage loans are offered by banks, savings and loans, credit unions, private mortgage companies and various state government lenders. Shopping for a loan is just like shopping for the best deal on a car or a new sofa. You can probably save money if you take your time and look around at all your options. Different lenders offer different interest rates and loan fees. A lower interest rate can make a big difference in the cost of your home. Talk with several different lenders before you make your choice. Keep in mind that the loan approval process can take three to six weeks.

Reputation

There’s no shortage of mortgage companies. There are plenty of choices, some with big national names and smaller companies, too. Browse and review sites online to read what other people are saying about your potential lenders.

No matter who you choose, do your homework and find out more about them. How long has the company been in business? Are they in good standing with the local Better Business Bureau or the local Chamber of Commerce? Talk to your friends and family: have they had good experiences with this company? Consider your personal circumstances. Some lenders specialize in certain kinds of loans: people with poor credit, relocation loans, etc.

Service

Your relationship with your mortgage company is very personal and the process is complex. You want to have confidence in your lender and know that they are going to be there for you every step of the way. First impressions are important. Were you able to speak to someone on the phone right away? Did they answer your questions accurately and in an easy-to-understand manner? Did you feel pressured to fill out an application? Are they flexible and responsive to your needs? When it feels wrong, it seldom turns out right. Trust your instincts.

Product Selection and Price

Ask your loan officer how they will determine the best loan for you. Is it based only on what they have to offer, or is this truly the best choice regardless of where you take your business? Most companies offer the most popular mortgage products available, but product selection is still important. When you have a rate quote in hand, it is a good idea to compare it with other lenders. Compare fees as well as interest rates. When you’ve made your final decision and submitted an application, review the Good Faith Estimate carefully. Ask questions about anything you don’t understand. If you don’t feel comfortable with the answers, it may be time to consider another lender.