Shopping overview -> Finding a lender

Finding a lender

Having a good mortgage lender makes the mortgage process less stressful,
and may save you a great deal of money.

To choose a capable, experienced lender with a good reputation, whether a loan officer at a bank, credit union or savings & loan, an online lender, or a mortgage broker:

Talk to people you know

Real estate agents usually have one or more competent, experienced lenders whom they work with regularly. Another professional you work with—a financial planner or accountant, a stockbroker or an attorney—may also know a reputable lender. You may want to ask a friend, neighbor, or co-worker who has just purchased or refinanced for a recommendation.

Check with direct lenders with whom you are familiar

Direct lenders include your bank, local savings and loan, or credit union. There may be some limitations in working with a direct lender as some lenders have a relatively limited range of loan products.

Call at least one mortgage broker

Since the mortgage crisis unfolded, most mortgage brokers now have both a direct banking affiliation and the ability to broker loans to at least twenty different other lenders, including a range of local, regional, and national banks, savings & loans, credit unions, and mortgage banks. These institutions generally discount their loans to mortgage brokers so that borrowers do not pay more to use a broker than they would going direct. A broker is especially valuable if you have an unusual scenario that falls outside the normal guidelines.

Interview more than one lender

You need to feel comfortable with the lender you choose. You want a lender who asks probing questions, listens to your answers, and presents you with intelligent options. Having the Borrower Information worksheet in the Shopping Toolkit already completed, and reading Information needed for a quote will assist you in finding the right lender for your situation.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are shopping with online lenders, be aware that the rates published online are often for loan programs which have very tightly defined criteria that few borrowers meet. Use the worksheets in the Shopping Toolkit to make sure that you are being quoted the correct rate for your scenario. Be aware that if you are purchasing a property, and you are in a multiple offer situation, the seller may feel more comfortable accepting an offer from a borrower using a local bank or mortgage broker, rather than an online lender.

Feel free to include me in your process – I make it a point to take calls and assist people whenever I can, whether or not you are working with me.