It’s no secret: the mortgage process can be intimidating, especially to first-time homebuyers—but it doesn’t have to be!
Mortgage lender: A company that lends money to a borrower to purchase a home and set the terms of the mortgage, including interest rates, term, conditions, repayment schedule and lending fees.
Though there are a wide variety of ways to find a mortgage lender, understanding some basic steps you can take to find the right one can make a huge impact on your mortgage experience.
From the offer to closing, a good lender is there for you to navigate the mortgage process and help you find the best options for you. Below are a few points to consider to find the best mortgage lender for you!
How To Find The Right Lender
While the mortgage process can seem complicated, a mortgage lender can help make the process easier. However, before starting your search, you may want to make sure you’ve done the following first:
1. Determine your credit score
2. Define your budget
3. Define overall goals
4. Do your research
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with these first few steps, you may find it much easier to find a mortgage lender by understanding both the industry and your current needs.
When it comes to choosing the right mortgage lender, it never hurts to shop around. Talking to at least three lenders can help you get an idea of what’s available and what you’re looking for. However, when visiting with different lenders, there are some additional ways to narrow down your search.
Although your initial impressions and interactions with each lender will still play a role in your decision—take it a step further than just talking with various lenders. By going through the pre-approval process with at least a few lenders, you will not only be able to get a feel for their process, but you can also compare the loan terms each one offers you.
Ask About Experience
Is this your first time buying a home? Are you working within a specific budget? Are you looking for a certain loan type such as VA, USDA or FHA? Just like every homebuyer, every home purchase is unique, and you should make sure that the lender you choose not only understands your specific needs but is equipped to handle them.
Check Out Reviews
If you’re like most buyers, no matter the industry, you probably trust reviews from your peers and others who may have been in a similar situation, right? Reviews can be an extremely useful tool when searching for a lender. They can give you insight into who might be the best fit for your situation or which lenders offered an exceptional experience to customers during their mortgage process.
A website like Social Survey is just one example of the many resources you can use to find lenders and their reviews. In some cases, you can also search for a loan officer through their website or by searching a specific branch.
Although location—specifically, proximity—isn’t a requirement for a good lender, there are quite a few advantages to finding a local lender. Not only will a local lender make it easy to get the process moving, but it can also make the process easier. For example, it may be difficult for you to close on your home in Missouri with a lender in California.
One quality of a good mortgage lender means not only understanding your needs but also taking personal responsibility for your loan. This can include everything from communication to delivering documents and meeting deadlines on time. Sometimes, that can be the difference between a small mortgage company and a large one but, often, meeting face to face can help make the process and service more personal.
Not only will you be working closely with your lender, but you’ll be working to make one of the biggest decisions a homebuyer can make! Which is why it’s especially important to not only do your research but to follow your instincts. Since there is no strict timeline on the process, don’t be worried if the first few options aren’t the perfect fit. As long as you keep your goals in mind and understand what to look for, finding the perfect lender won’t seem as daunting after all!
As one of Business Journal’s Top Lenders in St. Louis, we pride ourselves on lending excellence and a superior level of service to help you find the home of your dreams. With over 60 branch locations throughout the U.S., our doors at USA Mortgage are always open with a local lender waiting to help you navigate the entire mortgage process!