3 Things To Look For In An Online Home Loan Lender
If you’re in the market for a new home or even an investment property, unless you’re paying cash, you’ll need a home loan lender. Finding one online is convenient and simple! There are a few things you should look out for to ensure that your lender has your interests as their top priority.
Here are 3 considerations when online mortgage shopping:
- Ensure that the lender offers multiple loan programs. Most people are best suited for a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage, but there are other options. You may prefer a loan with shorter terms. A good mortgage consultant should be able to explain in plain language the best loan to suit your needs. There are also incentives/assistance depending on the geographical location of your purchase and your demographics.
- Are you or your spouse a military veteran? First-time home buyer? Ask about VA loans and FHA loans.
- Get your preapproval in writing. Often people tell me that they’ve been “prequalified” by their lender—but that doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed a loan! ‘Prequalified’ is a vague interpretation of the information you self-reported to the lender regarding your income and a soft pull of your credit. It is a first step at best.
Instead ask the lender to preapprove your application. Generally, this means that they’ve verified your income, assets and debts. You’ll see a hard inquiry on your credit report. Preapproval means the lender is more involved and you’re more likely to get final funding of your loan.
- Check your credit well in advance of applying for a mortgage. Don’t be surprised!
- Lock in the rate that you’re quoted. Did you know that mortgage rates vary from day to day? Monday through Friday, rates can fluctuate based on the previous day’s activities. Don’t believe that the rate you were quoted most recently is etched in stone. Especially if it takes a few months to get your loan closed, you could see a change in your rate if it’s not locked in.
Once your online lender is trustworthy, willing to offer you options, preapprove your loan and lock in your rate, it’s time to compare rates, fees, etc. Don’t be afraid to review your disclosures at every change and ask line-by-line about anything you are unclear about, especially fees. It’s your loan for the conceivable future, and you should feel confident about your decision to buy a home.