How to Choose the Right Mortgage Company
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GetMortgage Company Referrals
Applying for apre-approval online can help save time and make it easier to get thebest rate, but before you decide on a lender, ask for referrals.
Friends, family and coworkers who own their homes can bea great source of information.
You can also aska REALTOR® for a list of preferred lenders.
SmallVersus Large Lenders
Choosing between a small local lender or a largernational lender is mostly a matter of preference, but knowing which you’dprefer can help you find the right deal for your situation.
If you like personal service, and enjoy the face-to-facecontact, it may make sense to choose a small mortgage lender in your localarea.
If you don’t have much time to waste and seek a well-organizedlender, having a larger lender may be the choice for you. Also, a large lendermay have more payment options such as online payment or automatic mortgagededuction.
Generally, a good lender will have a solid reputationwith accreditation and reviews to back it up. To figure out where your lenderstands, start by doing this research yourself:
§ Check with the Better Business Bureau forratings, reviews and complaints against the mortgage company.
§ Look for a posted mission statement orcustomer service rewards on the lender’s website.
§ Verify the lender’s standing with the localChamber of Commerce.
§ Check review sites for both negative andpositive reviews of the mortgage company.
MortgageCompany Customer Service
Finding a lender with great customer service can makethings easier, especially if you have questions about the application orterms—or find yourself needing help with your mortgage down the line.
Test the lender’s customer service skills by calling witha few simple questions about the application or the lending process. After youtalk with a representative, ask yourself these questions:
§ Did the lender seem knowledgeable?
§ Did you wait on hold for a long time?
§ Was the lender helpful?
§ Did you feel rushed?
Remember, first impression can be very telling in thebusiness world, and buying a home is a big financial commitment—so you shouldexpect to be treated well by your mortgage company.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choice to three or fourlenders, ask for a good faith estimate: a detailed list of costs provided by a bank or mortgage lenderto a borrower, required by law. The costs listed include the following:
§ Settlement or closing costs
§ Title insurance
§ Attorney fees
§ Partial month interest
§ Credit check costs
§ Hazard and property insurance rates
While these are only estimate and may vary slightly fromyour actual costs, you can use your good faith estimate as a tool to help youchose the most reasonable lender.
Updated from an earlier version by Susan Wellish