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Mortgage Brokers - Scope
How A Mortgage Broker Works, And Should You Have One Working For You?
Compare our rates with other Local Mortgage Lenders!If you typed "Mortgage Rate" into your search bar, you need to know one thing: USE A MORTGAGE BROKER!!! The difference between a mortgage broker and a traditional "store front" lender is that a traditional lender sells only the loan programs available at that institution. The loan officers at Countrywide, Suntrust, Washington Mutual, etc. will only be able to offer the loan products of that one institution. A mortgage broker, on the other hand, isn't loyal to any one lending institution. Instead, a mortgage broker shops the entire lending market for you, INCLUDING all those "store front" institutions, and any others that offer home mortgage loans.Here's how the process works.Obviously you must first find a good mortgage broker. The internet is a great place to start your search. Beware, though, there are some illegitimate brokers out there, so check them out with the Better Business Bureau if you've never heard of the broker you're considering. In my years as a real estate agent, I heard horror stories about buyers who found a great deal with an on-line lender, but were unable to close because the lender could not fund the loan...HEARTBREAKING!!! Personally, I never had a client go through that because I always had my buyers check out their lender through the Better Business Bureau if I or my group of realtor associates had never heard of their lender of choice. Once you settle on a broker, you will need to provide them with some very personal financial information. To give you an idea of what they can do for you, they will need your social security number, annual income, work history, etc-all the more reason to check them out beforehand. Then the loan officer will run a quick credit check and tell you which loan programs for which you qualify. He/She will even work up a "good faith estimate" giving the costs of a new mortgage or refinancing your mortgage rate as well as forecasting your new house payment. There should be no charge at this point. If the person with whom you are dealing ever asks for payment to do a credit check -RUN, do not walk as far away as possible. This is not a legitimate lender!!! As a matter of fact, all closing fees should be paid at closing. The only fees you will pay outside closing will be for things like a termite inspection (treatment if necessary), survey (if necessary), and application fee. The interview/credit check part of the process usually takes only a day or so. If you do it over the phone or in person rather than using an internet form, it sometimes takes only a few minutes.Although it is fine to give contact information (name, phone number, e-mail address) and general financial info over the internet, I do not recommend submitting specific financial information over the internet. Specific financial info would be things like social security number, place of employment, checking/savings account numbers etc. However, checking a box that gives the general ranges of your age, years at current employer, annual income, etc. is not a big deal because there is no detailed info given on that type of form. Putting down specifics about your finances on a form, then sending it out into cyberspace to some faceless entity is just plain scary. I've never done it-never will. If you find a broker on-line, make sure they have an office within driving distance from you. Ask for their address. Then, make an appointment and go meet your loan officer in person. Doing this gives even more security that you are dealing with a legitimate lender. You want to make sure that your mortgage broker is not just some schmuck working out of his basement- these guys really are out there. And they are usually the ones behind the heartbreak stories I referred to earlier. Better to pay a few hundred dollars more than your lowest estimate and get a solid deal than to try for the "best deal" and have it go south at the last minute.Once you've taken that first step and found the right broker, he/she will walk you through the rest of the process to closing, which will include furnishing bank statements, pay-stubs, tax returns, etc. Most likely, you will close on your new loan in less than a month and accomplish the goal of obtaining a good mortgage rate. Happy hunting!!!
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