What to Look for in a Mortgage Lender

FinanceMortgage & Debt

  • Author Cynthia Andrews
  • Published January 18, 2010
  • Word count 796

Any loan is a major financial commitment that should be entered into with care. Given the large amount and long repayment term of mortgage loans, though, it is vitally important that you find the right lender who will give you the best deal that you can get. There are several things that you should look for when trying to find the right mortgage lender for you and your home loan; these key points will help you to secure more favorable loan terms with a lower interest rate, potentially saving you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage.

Upfront Terms

One of the first things that you should look for when searching for a mortgage lender is a set of loan terms which are easy to understand and which don’t try to lose you in legal-speak. There will obviously be some portions of the loan agreement which may be hard for the layman to understand, but the lender should go over the loan with you and explain every portion of the loan agreement. Beware of any mortgage lender that tries to gloss over the lending contract or who gives vague answers to any questions that you might have in regards to the terms and conditions of the home loan that you’re considering.

Low Fees

There are a number of fees which can be included with a mortgage loan, the most common of which are opening costs and closing costs. If you can find a mortgage lender who doesn’t feature any of these additional fees then you will be able to save quite a bit of money on your loan, but more than likely you will have to pay at least some of the possible fees which are allowed for mortgage loans. Search for a lender who charges low fees for the same services that others charge a significant amount for, and avoid any lender who isn’t clear as to exactly what fees you will have to pay upfront or out-of-pocket.

Low Interest Rates

In addition to looking for a lender who offers low mortgage fees, you should also be on the lookout for the best interest rate that is available to you. The interest rate that you agree to will be added to your remaining mortgage balance each month until the loan has been repaid, and having a high interest rate can cost you a significant amount of money over several years. By shopping around and searching for the lowest interest rate that you can get you will not only be able to save yourself money in the long run but will likely be able to lower the amount that you have to pay for your monthly payment as well.

Mortgage Options

There are a number of different types of mortgages available, and the one that’s best for you might not be the standard home loan that some mortgage lenders want to try and convince consumers to take out. Look for a mortgage lender who is more than willing to offer you several different options so that you can choose the loan that’s best for you, and try to find one who will take the time to explain the differences between the various mortgage types so that you can understand exactly what your options are. Examples of the various types of mortgages that you may be interested in include balloon mortgages, interest-only mortgages, and mortgages with variable interest rates.

Positive Reviews

Take the time to try and find out what others have to say about the mortgage lenders that you are considering. Check with the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce in your area to see if there are any complaints filed against the lender, and spend some time searching local internet forums and websites to try and locate reviews and stories that tell about the experiences that others have had with the lender. Ask friends and relatives if they have any experience with any of the lenders, or if they know anyone who does; the more information that you can find out about a potential mortgage lender from actual customers, the more you’ll be able to develop an idea of whether they are the right lender for you.

Easy-to-Understand Application Process

One last thing that you can look at when trying to find the mortgage lender that’s right for your needs is the application process that you must use to apply for your home loan. Before you complete your application, check for any hidden fees or application terms that seem different from the loan terms which were originally described to you. Feel free to ask questions to clarify the application in order to avoid being locked into a loan that isn’t right for you.

Cynthia Andrews is a freelance writer who writes about specific topics such as how to work with a mortgage lender.

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